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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Oh my, not more perennial plants on sale???

Friday, August 24, 2012

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What a week this has been.   I’m almost embarrassed to recount that I found yet another perennial plant sale.  This one was at the local Sears mall, at Cannor Nursery.
I’d started my Thursday debating as to whether I should just go straight outside .. or dilly dally and go out into the world.  The local Toyota dealership had a special test drive day .. complete with sandwiches, deserts etc.

So I decided to go there first thing .. to enter my name in a draw for one of several prizes.  Walked around with a young sales guy and looked at a few trucks .. dreamed of how lovely it would be to have a nearly full sized truck, one I could use to load up on garden materials.

Years ago I did have a few trucks, they were quite handy .. and I seem to remember that I was quite often helping people out with moving, loading up on gardening materials etc.

After a nice chat I made my way to Sears .. for a little walk-around.  Big changes happening to that mall … and I looked at the huge buildings that were going to be installed there.   My main interest, though, was in the native plant garden plantings … too soon to see now …. later on I will take photos .. but not expecting it to be in place till next summer.   Lots of work to take place before that.

I just about made it to my car when I noticed the Sale sign at the garden center.  I’m weak, I know.  And soon my car was filled with even more lovely plants.  Included were some Rock Rose plants .. which grow to 3 – 4 ft in height and 6 to 8 ft in width!  And they don’t like to be transplanted, so I made sure that I placed them a decent space apart.  I plan to make cuttings for propagating in a week or so.

I love plant sales.

Then, back at home .. hard at work to mix soil & miracle mulch, plan where to install the plants and many happy hours situating my new perennials into just the right place.

And finally, this morning .. the moment I was waiting for .. the EM moment!  I mixed up over 5 litres of EM, into many large containers and then this mix into the watering cans.  Started at the front yard, then to the various front and side gardens.  This took hours, no kidding!

Then, on my energy roll, I finally tidied up the yard.  Sorted hundreds of plant pots into their various sizes.  Shovelled up the remaining Miracle Mulch into containers, this will go in the very back border next week.

Took down my work tables, neatly tucked away.  A final deep watering of all of the gardens.  A final watering of EM for the veggies & the basil.

And .. sigh of relief .. yard looks nice and tidy.  Room to breathe.   There are still veggies to gather.  Tomatoes to ripen.  Pumpkins to develop.

Special moment .. when a flock of Canada Geese flew overhead.  We are on the flight path to the local Nature Sanctuary .. so we see them quite often.  Lucky, I know.  I think that the Geese flying overhead are the very goslings that I saw in the spring.  Their Moms have taught them well, how to fare in the world.   Now .. is the time for them to fly.   They have earned my respect and I wish them well on their journey.

Well .. August is nearing the end.  And we are so lucky to have sunshine.  Even some cool weather would be welcome, for the sake of the plants and the grass.  And me!  🙂

Lovely days.

🙂


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Hopes and dreams abide in my garden ..

 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

 

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Sometimes it takes me awhile to get into that wonderful garden state .. the one where time stops, energy increases and I just keep moving things around .. but sometimes it’s just well worth the wait.

Yesterday was a day of going hither and thither and yon.  (are those really words?)

And finally, time to put on my garden costume and step forth into the yard.

With all my recent plant purchases, I’ve amassed quite a pile of plant pots.  These need to be completely sorted, put in bags and then I’ll list them in the local Free section of our Used Victoria and hopefully an ardent gardener will come by to claim them.

I used to save them all for future propagation, but realize that I was simply hoarding them.  My precious plant pots, ha ha ha.

So that’s on my to do list today.

I had moved about a yard of the Miracle Mulch (sometimes I just call this my Magic Mulch .. same thing!) onto a tarp in the back yard.  This was where I headed yesterday afternoon.  Soon I was mixing this with bagged manures and then shovelled this onto the other side yard.  And here I began placing the final lot of my recently purchased perennials.

Looks lovely, but no pictures yet.  I’d placed landscape ties against the edges of this area but finally decided that the neat and tidy edging didn’t fit with the natural flow of the plants, so moved them to the back yard.  Ah, yes, this was much better.  Now I feel the yard can breathe .. no structure here.

Noticed that the grass is now growing quite well around the paving stones that I carved into the yard .. soon it will be lovely and green in this area.

Visited my recently planted Tea Rose .. and see the leaves are burgeoning all over!  Hard to believe that when I’d seen this plant at the store last Thursday, it looked as if it was on the fast road to the compost heap.   The sales clerk had swiftly trimmed away the dead leaves and soon  I could see about 20 little areas of new growth.

Took it home  (after I paid for it, ha ha ha ), planted it and with a liberal dose of that magic elixir, EM .. it is now sporting a vast array of leaves and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it were to grow some lovely fragrant roses soon.

Itching to dig in the potato patch . .how many taters are left there for me to find?  Feels like a treasure hunt as I gently probe the garden fork around the base of the raspberry plants .. where the darned things have grown.

I stop for a while, looking at the rich, beautiful mulched soil that is now here ..  thankful that my hard work of gathering oak leaves, spoiled hay, compost, aged manure, spent hops .. all combined to create such a wonderful growing medium.

What a treat to finally see the red skin of the potatoes peeking out from the rich dark soil.  Sheer magic, I feel!  I gathered up the remaining  crop and put them in an old white enamel pot that had belong to my DH’s grandfather.  He used to garden a fair bit and I’ve been lucky enough to have some mementoes from his hobby.

I have two zucchini plants and a few are growing from these .. so I pluck one to take inside for cooking.

The pea plants are nearing the end of their cycle .. fun to see the peas growing in their pods, distorted and twisting with the energy of their growth.

Lots of tomatoes, but still in the green stage.  Strawberries are still flowering .. fingers crossed that these will grow into ripe red fruit.

Lots of dreams and hopes lie in my garden .. and time to go out there and play again for another day.

🙂

 

 


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Just another lovely sunny gardening day … that’s all

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

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The lovely heat stays with us … and things are growing well.

Especially the Wormwood Artemisia absinthium .. it is growing very well with the Columbine and the two are almost intertwined.  I looked up some info on the Wormwood and read that the roots secrete a substance that inhibits the growth of surrounding plants.  Well, it had no effect at all on the Columbine.

I’ll propagate it in the fall and will add more plants around the yard borders.  Years ago I included this in a moth repellant that I mixed .. might do the same this year.

Lots of steady work in the yard .. pruning, digging.  Today I dug away at the hard clay soil and scraped out enough space to place 3 round pavers for walking.  Pics tomorrow.  Then I moved some of that lovely Miracle Mulch onto the pathway in this area.  Starting to look and feel good.

I’d scattered hundreds of Calendula seeds around the base of the cherry tree and can see them growing like crazy!  I’ll have lots of the bright flower petals soon, I think!

The birds are all having fun.  Yesterday I noticed the swallows having fun up above.   They were flying en masse and then one would chase the other and would flutter it’s wings!  Maybe a flying game.

And yesterday I dug up the first of my volunteer potatoes.  How exciting was that!   They have grown up amongst the raspberry canes and so I didn’t want to dig too deep .. I’ll check for more in a month or so .. when I’m digging up and moving the raspberry canes.

I’m changing the shape of the garden again, a bit at a time.  Plan to grow lots of garlic!  And speaking of which, next week I plan to sort through my current harvest, which is drying in beneath the sundeck.  I’ll choose the largest cloves and will plant them in September.  And will use up the smaller ones for cooking.

I plan to try to grow carrots next year .. and maybe a few other veggies.

Lovely day .. back outside to work before the sun sets .. which it is doing, earlier and earlier!

🙂


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Watching the birds .. spreading the Miracle Mulch .. enjoying the hot summer sun

Friday, August 3, 2012

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I almost did some time travelling into the year 3012 .. good thing that I check my typing as I go!

Anyway, continuing to enjoy these most lovely of sunny days.

Standing outside yesterday, I was thinking back to the cold snow months of January and onwards.  Snow tumbling down.  Me, outside with birdseed and suet blocks, furiously filling out the bird feeders so that the birds would have lots of food.  Tromping through the snow.

Not caring if I had warm clothes on or not, the most important objective for me was to ensure that all the birds who visited our yard had enough to eat.

Remember looking outside the basement window, marvelling at the sight of a Flicker, crouched down on the gravel by the sundeck, pecking away at some insects.   That was lovely.

But .. back to the present.  And enjoying the warmth of the sun as I took a break and revelled in the antics of the Redbreasted Nuthatches, the Chestnut-backed Chickadees .. taking turns at the bird feeders.

I was all set to write about the various shapes of leaves ..but . that will be something that I can attack at a later date.

For now .. I just want to look at the antics of the birds.  Used the motor drive of the camera to capture all kinds of flying movements of our little visitors!

Then … it was back to work.

I’d ordered 5 yards of Miracle Mulch (leaves, tiny branches, no bark, etc.) and it was sitting on a tarp in the driveway.  I’d promised DH that I’d clear this away in 2 days.  Oh, wow, that was a promise that I just had to keep.   That is, if I wanted to keep on ordering this lovely material for the yard.

So yesterday I shovelled for hours, slowly moving the mulch to  ….the front side yards, the back side yards .. and on and on.

And today, I finally finished!

This material is so lovely for the ground .. it protects the soil, and retains moisture, thus less watering needed.

I want to order 5 more yards in a few months so that I can top up everything again.  I was told of someone who ordered over 240 yards of this material .. oh, I would just be in mulch heaven if we had enough property so that I could order that much.

Today, I planted more Mondo grass, some other perennials and topped up the surface with the mulch and the one side garden looks lovely.  Pictures to follow.  Including photos of a few years ago .. when this was just a blackberry patch.  That was a story.  I so love transforming little areas of yards …

So tonight I will EM everything in the yard . .that should take a few hours.   I love this part.  A few days after treatment .. such an amazing increase in leaf colour, fruits, flowers .. just magic, I tell you!

🙂


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Enjoying the wonders of the skies as I toil in the garden .. eye candy for the gardener!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

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Basking in the warmth of the sun, I find myself out in the garden again.  Only this time, for the past few days, I’ve been busy, busy, busy.

Pruning the buddleia’s that have been taking over the sidegarden.

Pulling out the annuals that reseed themselves year after year, claiming nearly every inch of the garden beds.

Clipping, bagging and transporting the superfluous garden branches etc.

Joy at finding garlic bulbs that were growing, hidden away among the plants.  These I will dry and replant in the fall.

Taking lots of time to just look up at the sky.   Feeling much happiness at the ever-changing vistas .. cheering me up constantly.

Listening to the tiny chirps of the chickadees, nuthatches and bushtits as they cavort around the yard.

Cavort .. not a word I would usually associate with these tiny birds, but they do seem to be to be such little sprites of cheerfulness.  They really brighten up my world and I am so glad they visit.

The bushtits seem like little whorls of energy, filling the trees with their twittering sounds as they gather together on the branches before flitting away to visit another yard.

And the chickadees .. the yard will be quiet, until, suddenly, I hear the little nasal chirps .. seeming to say “I’m here .. I’m here”.  They are so sweet.  And smart.  When the bird feeder is empty, they will tap their tiny beaks against the sides of the feeder as if to say .. “hey up .. this needs refilling”!

I’ve been noticing the variety of leaf shapes in the garden also.  Tomorrow I’ll post the pics I took yesterday.  There are reasons why nature has chosen the shapes she has for the many food plants.  I don’t know the why’s and wherefores, but, perhaps, something else to study up on.

Yesterday, being so hot .. I spread out some containers of dried seaweed … to dry them out further so I could crumble them up and thus take up less space in the downstairs area.

Then, finally, time for the 5 yards of Miracle Mulch to arrive … and so for a few hours last night, I spent the time filling up wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow .. taking each load to the side yard, to topdress the bare garden soil.   This lovely mixture can also be used in the veggie garden .. which is lovely.  I know that the 5 years will quickly disappear ….as I carefully spread it around on all of the sidegardens.   Lovely to look at and perfect for retaining the moisture in the soil.  And .. no tree bark .. just fine branches, leaves and twigs.

So .. that will be my day today .. all day . .shovelling and moving the mulch.

Time to get started, methinks!