My Life is really in the Garden

Enjoying and sharing the daily discoveries of the beautiful nature that surrounds me in my lovely garden and everywhere else!


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I’ve Been Learning a Lot About Turtles! And Continuing My Playing in the Garden.

Last Sunday, I was happy to be part of a group of HAT volunteers (Habitat Acquisition Trust) that were going to plant native plants at a turtle habitat, near Eagle Lake.  Here is a link that shows the hard working HAT volunteers who prepared this site, below (at the HAT link go to near the bottom of the page and you can see that)  June 5, 01

I must admit that I was ignorant of the life span (60 years) of turtles, that there were so many varieties .. and how they find special places to plant their eggs, which take a very long time (I think over a year) to hatch and then the babies know where to follow their correct route.  Paige, from HAT, patiently educated me and a few others about turtles.  I now have more respect for these creatures and I felt quite proud to be part of this event. June 6, 02Everything has been carefully planted and watered  – the water was obtained from Eagle Lake and brought up to the planting site, bucketful by bucketful.  I simply had to encircle the plants with rocks.  This, hopefully, would allow passersby to understand that these plants were intentionally placed there.June 6, 05Important information for people to see and learn more about the turtles.JUne 6, 09I also learned that one can have one’s property noted as a Habitat Steward!  The information is on their web site.  This is wonderful.June 6, 10There are about 5 or 6 logs near the edges of the lake.  These were placed there by HAT, so that turtles could bask in the sun!June 6, 04

Once the planting was done, we had some time to wander down to the lake, so we followed this lovely green pathway there.June 6, 07

And here we had a good view of the lake at more of a ground level.  What a peaceful place.   There were several families alongside the lake, swimming, relaxing, enjoying a quiet Sunday away from the traffic!

June 6, 08Some aquatic plants floated in the water, a gentle breeze created some graceful arcs around them .. in a very artistic manner.June 6, 03There is a cob house in the area and the owners take people on guided tours to show them how the house was built.  I think that the same people built this cob building for the park.   It certainly suited the surroundings.  At any moment, I half expected Snow White to saunter out of a little doorway in the building, basket in hand, all set to harvest greens and mushrooms for supper.  Really, that is how my mind works and I like my imagination a lot.  We spend a lot of time together, and this is how it should be, for a creative person, n’est-ce pas???  🙂June 6, 06

Anyway, I quite enjoyed my second outing with the HAT group.  Each time was an adventure.  Another day I will blog about our very special outing to Senanus Island.

On another note, last Friday was another fiddle lesson for me.    I travel from just outside the grand metropolis of Victoria to get to my teacher’s home.   The route entails going along Blanshard Avenue, and whatever construction is happening near downtown Victoria and so I never know if I’m going to be stuck, again, in traffic.  So now I just plan to leave extra early and just relax at Beacon Hill Park until just shortly before my lesson, at which point I get back into my trusty little freckled car.  It’s freckled because the red paint has been slowly lifting off of the surface of the car, leaving a bedraggled look.   It doesn’t bother me at all, but I do get sneers and snide looks from people who seem to find it disgusting.    I mean, really, it’s just a car with a worn out paint job, what is the big deal anyway?

So here is the big watering can at the outskirts of the park, along Douglas Street.  During the hot summer months, the water will sprinkle down on lots of little kiddies and happy  parents!  Picture me, so not there!!June 6, 21So my pal, D, whom I had visited just before driving out here, packed me a little picnic treat.  She’d made a delicious apple crisp (made with the dehydrated apples I had prepared from our tree!) and insisted on giving me a portion to take with me, complete with a fork to eat it with!   She also gave me the Red Green bathroom book .. he is such a funny guy!  And there is my watch, ready to let me know when to leave for my lesson!June 6, 22Back home, I kind of wandered around the yard with my camera .. and saw the Iris flowers blooming away.   Beautiful, floppy, gentle, calming and graceful.June 6, 11From the backyard .. more pretty flowers ( and yes, cannot remember the name).June 6, 19Salal growing like mad at the front of the house .. and more evidence that the Leafcutter bees have been active!June 6, 12Darling, lovely Bewick Wren .. perched atop our First Christmas Tree … so precious.  I love them.   This photo was taken from the back yard, about 30-40 feet from this 50 foot tree (or maybe higher than 50 ft., it’s hard to tell, but it is tall!)June 6, 13I hadn’t noticed that my garlic was growing scapes, my pal D pointed them out to me!June 6, 15This is the first year that I had planted all my garlic in containers.  They are doing well.June 6, 14Bizzy Bee …June 6, 17On one of my (too) many trip to Michael’s Craft stores, I happened to notice this Guide Dog vehicle.  I have the highest respect for what they do and this was the first time that I’d seen a car with the signage on it, so I just had to snap a photo.

June 6, 20Life has been pretty busy, now that the rains have stopped and the sun has begun shining.

The rains were frequent and heavy.  I was happy for that meant that I didn’t need to be concerned with watering the plants.  This complacency continued after the rains stopped and so I lost a few precious blueberry plants.  So sad, really.

And a few days ago I began paying more attention to the needs of my garden and the rest of my plants are faring well.

I’m still shaping the veggie garden and have begun planting tomatoes and other things.  The peas are growing fine .. and even though I had bought seeds and inoculate, I kept delaying the start of planting them so I finally resorted to buying some starter plants.

Even if I don’t harvest any peas, the greenery looks lovely.

I’m still working on the placement of the tall bamboo poles, to create a special little hiding place for me to be, during the summer .. a place that will be like a secret garden, the mini version.   A place for me to be and not see anything but greenery.

I find it to be a magical process, to shape a garden.   I go outside, look around, drink mugs of Yorkshire Tea while contemplating what I would like to do.  Can’t think of a thing.

The ideas appear when I’m actually digging around the garden, moving things, the creative process begins and I’m always surprised at how things turn out.

When I’m kneeling on the ground, grubby in my long sleeved t-shirt and Carhartt bib overalls and gumboots.  Trowel in hand, I dig away and suddenly the ideas pop up and I dig away, reshaping some areas into mini-garden spaces.  It isn’t a large area but big enough for me to move around and shape things.

Once it is all finished and things are growing, I’ll post some photos.

I find it all quite exciting!

So now, it’s off to watch that dreary Coronation Street … argh.

🙂


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The Gold Crowned Sparrows have returned. The bees are busy .. and the rains have arrived.

A few days ago we had really artistic skies .. like this one ..

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and this one ..

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Yesterday .. these were a memory as the weather was changing, getting ready for the rain that started falling yesterday evening.  sigh.

So I wandered around the yard, looking for interesting happenings that I hadn’t seen before .. this spider’s web had a lovely sheen of rainbow haze which I couldn’t quite catch .. nonetheless .. quite beautiful.

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I had scattered some French Marigold seeds throughout the bean forest and had completely forgotten about them until, searching for beans on the Blue Lake bush beans plants, I noticed this Marigold!  Ready to flower so that will be pretty to see and more nectar for the  bees!

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One of the sunflower feeding stations which evidently is being visited by an assortment of little winged friends who visit.

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I love the weathered look of this sunflower .. seeds nearly completely gone ..

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Diminutive sunflower shyly peeking out ..

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Looks like the leafcutter bees are still active .. they are good pollinators ..

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The Gold Crowned Sparrows arrived in the yard on Monday … fresh from their long trek from Alaska.  I find their loving bird-song very comforting and was so happy to hear them.  Here is a link with more information and sound tracks of their songs:  https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Golden-crowned_Sparrow/sounds

When they first return it is challenging to find them, but they soon overcome their shyness and are more evident as they look for food in the yard.  Because it is still technically summer, I don’t put out much food – but I knew it was going to rain so distributed small chunks of suet and birdseed in the feeders for them.

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Loving the light playing through the bean leaves …

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This patch of beans was planted very late but peeking through the vines I was happy to discover these beans.  More will grow ..some for juicing .. some for saving seeds for next year.

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Another surprise Nasturtium growing away at the base of the bean plants.

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And another one ..

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Simple beauty .. bounty from the bean forest …thank you my garden ..

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Loving the surprises that are tucked away!!   Exciting to see how long this little squash will grow .. it is mid-September now.  I’ve just checked several online sources for the fall frost date and it seems that Nov 5 is the start, here in Victoria, BC.  So, there is still a month of growing to happen.  Lovely mix of EM/llama manure and lots of rain with sun dropping by will result in magical transformations!

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Yet another surprise squash healthily growing away, tendrils reaching out for support – there is a lot of that in the bean forest!friday-20

Bees are busy .. glad the flowers are there for them

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Time to leave and find another source of nectar ..

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As quickly as the bee buzzed in … it was gone.  Life is busy for the bees.

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A line-up is happening over at this squash flower.  Normally I notice, when there is a bee in a flower, another bee just leaves to find another one.  Perhaps this little guy was just tired and taking a break or perhaps it sensed that there was more nectar than the first bee could handle?

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So satisfying to see such a myriad of happenings throughout the yard.  There are still other areas of the yard to finish organizing and to observe what is going on.  For now, though, it is the growing portion of the yard that attracts my attention so I will stay with that.

Rain and sun for the next few days.   I’ll take advantage of the rain to do some indoor things today!!!  Soon I  will be entering my creative world of artistic endeavours – crafting away some bracelets of beads and wire … that the sunshine and outdoors drew me away from.

🙂

 


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It rained .. yea!!!

Yesterday morning . I opened the curtains in the kitchen to see …. rain!!  Yea … I can go and play in my craft room today!  But .. as usual .. the rains stopped .. I went outside with JaneE Kat and spent some time wandering around the yard.   Graceful droplets of rain on the sunflowers ..

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Not sure if there will be any squash from these plants, today is the first of September, but in the garden, you just never know.  This strong flower promises sturdy squash ..

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Annie Jackson Pole Beans … the first of many .. .. growing in clumps of 3 beans ..

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… and groups of 2 beans ..

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Dainty flower of the Annie J beans ..

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Scarlet Red Runner flowers ..

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And the S R R beans growing away .. this one is a little out of focus ..and I had only noticed this one and now I see a few others in the background.  Surprise beans .. the best kind.

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A little bit of sunshine created this subtle bit of leaf art ..light and shadow .. both are powerful and necessary for contrast.  Can’t have one without the other (as the song goes)

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This Buddleia is a cutting from an original plant.  It struggled to grow in a shaded yard, reaching up to the sun, flowering at the top.   I took a cutting and planted it in the sun and oh my .. did it grow!  This plant towered in the back corner, it grew so big and flowered so much that the main stem couldn’t bear the weight so it broke in half.  I pruned it to the ground in the spring and just a few months later .. it grew to 5 feet tall, thrived and burst into flower.  Nectar for the butterflies and Annas.  I will definitely prune this soon, so it won’t become too invasive for the other plants in this spot.

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Another Buddleia … the Swallowtail butterflies just love this one and that is why I hadn’t pruned it in the spring.  As a result, it crowded out all the other plants with negative results so I really had to prune it quite extensively.  There were still many flowers for the butterflies though and I see that the one stem that remained had also burst into flowers.  I know that the Buddleias are considered invasive in some areas but aren’t a problem in my yard.

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Tomatillo plants growing in a few areas of the yard … from plants grown years ago.  I know that I won’t get the fruit this year but can’t bear to just pull up the plants.  Much nicer to let them grow as long as they want to.   The flowers are so pretty.

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The leafcutter bees have been industrious as usual.   I actually saw one a few years ago.  Buzz .. buzz and then it was gone.  I’ve had Mason Bees for a few years and quite enjoyed the process of caring for them.  Unfortunately, my last batch of them weren’t strong enough to break through their cocoons so only a few males hatched.  I purchased more from a garden store, but same thing happened.  So I decided to just go with Ma Nature and it turns out there are many bees in the yard.  The Leafcutters in particular are very hard workers.

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Love the flowers of my favourite bean .. 2 colours .. do the flowers start out yellow and end up white or are there 2 different colours??   The allure and mystery of the bean world.

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A tiny patch of Cherokee Trail of Tears beans.  There is still a month of warm weather and I have every confidence that there will be a heavy crop of these beans plus a few pods for seeds for next summer!   Dainty little flowers.

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And yet again, the daily crop of Spanish Musica beans ..

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Such a variety of sunflowers throughout the sunny areas of the yard .. always cheerful and inspirational …

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Darling little JaneE kat .. taking a break from her sump-pump showers and demands for her treats!

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Finally .. after weeks of hot sunny weather .. a day that started out with rain.  This meant I could run to my crafts room and play with my beads and wire.   As any crafter is well aware .. what starts out as a tidy work area soon becomes a muddled (creative) mess of beads as I try out one idea after another.  Lately I haven’t had much time to organize so yesterday I took advantage of the rain to do just that thing.

I have talked with other creative souls and this is the norm.  Plus it is kind of meditational to re-organize things like wire, findings, beads, etc., into a sense of order.  Labelling containers, rearranging the pegboard.   All the time .. ideas are swirling away in the subconscious which will manifest themselves at a later time.

Time spent also leafing through my old violin books .. re-reading yet again how to hold the left hand without a stranglehold grip.  Playing the fingering movements .. remembering that it takes time and lots of practice and remembering that again and again.

A busy day and a fun one .. always!

🙂