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!


Leave a comment

Noticing the little things …and having fun enjoying a few good memories!!

It’s been nearly 4 months since our most beautiful JaneE Kat, Queen of the Garden,  left us here for the mystical magical Rainbow Bridge … to join our other special pets and it makes me happy to visualize them cavorting about, having fun .. no more pain.  I’m content to be away from the “now” pain when it happened, I longed for the faraway future to comfort me and broaden the distance. And now the future is here and I can think of her and be happy about all of our time together.  But I still “see” her here .. you know what I mean .. a flash where she used to sit by the front door, patiently waiting for who knows how long .. till we came home. Thousands of those happy memories.  As long as they exist, she is here.  Along with our other lovely furry pets .. those memories don’t fade.

Just last night, I was roasting cauliflower, dusted with spices and a little olive oil –  I hadn’t made that special dish for many years.  And up flashed my memories of Samuel T Dawg, a most handsome black and tan dog, I’d just begun fostering him (I’m a foster flunkey, btw) and he needed to lose a “few” pounds so he learned to love carrots .. and this one night, I’d prepared the cauliflower for me .. but as I took the roasting pan out of the oven .. his eyes lit up and he genuinely smiled .. a big goofy grin.  He was ecstatic with happiness .. and so we took turns eating the cauliflower.  One for him .. one for me .. and soon it was gone!  Oh we had such fun!!

And here, via all the magic of cameras, time and the incredible computer .. is a blast from the past .. Samuel T on the left and Oreo on the right!  We were camping at Salt Spring, 2007 .. whoa, that is a “few” years ago!  Happiness abounds!!Sam and Oreo, 2007From time to time I volunteer at Fort Rodd Hill, in the Learning Meadow and surrounding areas.  It is such fun to participate and learn new things.  Here are a few Swallows, the adult and a baby … how picturesque is this, heh?22 Fort Rodd

The ever vigilant parent …keeping an eye on baby ..20, swallows

Baby .. see the beak is wide, as he grows, the beak will narrow …and become more pointed.21, baby swallow

How sweet .. a little Wren sings a song atop her lovely little home ..

11a, Wren

11, Wren

Beauty surrounds us everywhere .. the morning dew sparkles on the underside of this leaf …forming jewels of varying shapes and sizes.  To an ant or a ladybug, they would be like huge mountains of water.  Luckily, there is lots of room for tiny insects to walk around these features!!  31, dew on leaf

Ahhhhhh .. .Nasturtiums.  So vibrant in colour, so playful in shape.  I like the light and dark tones of this orange flower .32, single nasturtium

I have a packet of giant sunflower seeds that I have been meaning to plant but just haven’t done that yet.  It is my belief that this gorgeous giant sunflower was planted either by one of the many birds that visit the feeder or perhaps a squirrel had one too many of the seeds in its little mouth and one fell out.  For whatever reason, I am grateful and happy to see this one growing strongly near the fence, during the summer.  There were a few other surprise sunflowers also and they were of a smaller stature.  The bees are ecstatic, buzzing all over this one!19, sunflower

Speaking of bees, I was happy to see this little guy, am pretty sure it is a Leaf Cutter bee.  I’ve seen the telltale circles removed from leaves all throughout the garden and I once saw one zip to a leaf, swift as lightning, cut out a circle and gone in a flash!  I’ve often wondered where they nested.  And suddenly noticed this  one, look at the bottom area of the space between the 2 sections of sidewalk.  It was challenging to even get a photo!  Then I noticed another bee, a few feet away, doing the same, preparing a nest.   This was late summer and I had been busily tidying up an area where I store my gardening supplies, when I took a little pause and that’s when I noticed this activity.  18, cutter bee

And I discovered my first “digger bee” .. these bees are just amazing and there are many varieties of these bees.  My bee knowledge is increasing, thanks to the wonderful Learning Meadow at Fort Rodd Hill!!  Tomorrow I’ll write a bit more about bees!

17, digger bee

And these little guys are big bad bullies!  I’ve seen them hunting wasps for protein, they are swift.  I’m very very respectful of them.

13, wasp

Little Ladybug .. I didn’t knotice many of them in the garden this year.  And the climbing Nasturtiums were quite infested with aphids, towards the end of the summer.  My pal D tells me that Nasturtiums are grown in gardens to attract aphids and thus they won’t be drawn to the rest of the garden.  So next year I will plant them away from my veggies!12, ladybug

And taking the time to notice things .. today I was in traffic, waiting for the light to change and I happened to look at the grass growing on a nearby traffic island.  The invisible wind manifested its prescence by causing millions and millions of the blades of grass to sway in various directions.  And for some reason this struck me.  Something unseen that causes such motion to happen.  Later that day, driving another route, stopped at yet another light .. I started looking at the various shapes of tree branches, uplifted to the skies above.

Then I made myself stop thinking along those lines and focus instead on my driving!  Lovely as these nature thoughts are that trickle through my mind .. that activity is best left for my walking!

🙂


Leave a comment

It’s Been Awhile Since I’ve Blogged & Guess I’ve Been Busy .. or Lazy???

When I first retired, I began my blogging .. I meant it to be an exercise in creativity to express the many events of my daily life .. in a garden sense.   It was a way to let loose my thoughts and let my fingers fly over the keyboard.

As the years have progressed .. so did my activities and I found it a challenge to take the time out to just sit at my desk and list photos etc.

The joy of writing has never left me…it’s always there .. and I do miss expresssing my garden thoughts .. the magic of watching plants grow.  Seeing and hearing baby birds of all types flit about the yard.  Learning their vocabulary in bits and pieces from their parents.  The pure energy of all living things in my garden.  How wonderfully lucky I am to experience all of this!

I normally don’t write of things other than my garden .. but …sometimes it’s better to share things than keep them inside.

Mid-April, we had shocking news that a dear friend of ours passed away suddenly while on a walking tour in Europe.  We had visited with him a few months ago and this was hard to encompass.   Unexpected loss is painful.

That is all that I will say and so I seek solace in the beauty and growth of my little garden and begin with some lovely photos . .please enjoy!

Turkey Vulture soaring overhead up-island!!

June 3, 09

An unexpected surprise last week .. while waiting for the light to change at Blanshard & Hillside!  I thanked him and sadly didn’t have enough time to take some money from my purse to give him.   I’ve seen panhandlers but never a fiddler at this location!

June 3, 17

This is how I start my gardening day .. A pottery mug (from dear Potluck Ceramics in Port Alberni) full of delicious Yorkshire Tea!!

June 3, 01

And sometimes, when I feel like it .. my gardening day ends like this!

June 3, 16

My JaneE Kat .. my garden buddy! Graciously sitting on her bench, regally awaiting her treats.

June 3, 15

How exciting!!  My peas are flowering and we have an abundant supply of crunchy fresh pea pods to eat!  I had so much fun starting these peas in flats a few months ago.

June 3, 13

Lots of potatoes planted in large pots.  Potatoes are growing everywhere in the yard, even in the garlic.  I love potatoes!June 3, 12

Spot the scapes?  I’ve been gathering them to make garlic scape pesto, which I will freeze by the spoonful to add to soups and pasta and .. lots of things!  Scapes are sometimes elusive .. just when I think there are no more to gather, I find some hidden away.  A mystery to me is how some scapes grow faster than others.  Scapes are only grown on hardnecked garlic!

June 3, 11

See?  Same garlic type (elephant .. i know, a member of the leek family but these are very garlic-y)  🙂June 3, 10

Luscious lazy lupins in Port ..June 3, 08

JaneE getting soaked by the sump-pump water fountain .. drops of water glisten on her fur!  Krazy Kat!June 3, 07

Loving the light through the leaves… nature’s artistic renderings of joy …June 3, 06

Springtime beauties .. happy little flowers ..June 3, 05

Woo Hoo .. towering Cues up in Port a few weeks ago ….

June 3, 04

June 3, 03

Since I have such an abundant supply of beads and things, I decided to create some garden art to share with my friends!  There were others also, where I played with colour and designs .. didn’t take photos .. maybe I’ll make more today after I’ve played in the garden and then prepared the scape pesto!  June 3, 14

Well, I’ve enjoyed this little visit at playing with words .. it’s been fun so I will continue tomorrow!

On with this most lovely day!  🙂


Leave a comment

A memory of frost, a walk along the beach and a most delightful dog that I met along the way …

Frost is lovely to look at and I happened to have my camera with me one morning while outside .. replenishing the bird feeders.  These marbles looked so pretty with their light covering of frost.  In the summer I had added water to this dish, hoping to attract some butterflies to rest and have a sip of water …the cold has caused the dish to fracture so guess I’ll have to find another container for the summer.

01And each day, I trundled out to the yard to knock out the frozen ice in the bird baths and added some clear water for the birdies.   The ground is frozen hard and all the life therein is resting, waiting for the spring to arrive.

02

Yesterday I had some extra time in between appointments so I took advantage of this and visited Willows Beach .. a lovely place especially for dogs and their families to run and play.  Overhead, there were lovely blue skies and fluffy clouds.

03

And some interesting skies over the water .. a bit darker …but not much, really.

04

Lots of parking for vehicles at the side and it was mid afternoon so not very busy either.

06

Refreshing sounds of gentle waves … such a pretty sight to see.

05

Of all the dogs that were playing and running .. this darling little Olive caught my attention.  She was 100% positive energy, excitedly running for the ball that her doggy mommy would throw for her.  She is a prime example of how to enjoy life!  She ran with such joy and speed!   I visited for a few minutes then continued my walk, so incredibly happy to have met this darling little girl so full of life.

07

The ocean shares what is hidden to our eyes … a visual treat.

08

Grass will grow where it wants, don’t you think?  I liked the mini garden that grew in this log, a lovely contrast of weathered wood and the tenacity of the grass.  With the velvet addition of the moss to pretty it up and provide a place for insects to hide.

14

There were a couple of people enjoying their kayaks and they looked quite colourful on the water .. here is one of them ..11

Such strength and beauty in this weathered chunk of wood .. in so many ways ..

15

I sat on a comfy log and just relaxed, enjoying the tranquil atmosphere, the silvery grayness of the water and then began noticing the flow of the water on an apparently flat section of the beach.  Watched as the water followed a design of its own, meandering in style to the ocean where it joined that body of water.   And thought of how life is like that, if we just allow ourselves to be, to follow the flow that is meant for us and not worry or be sad, just be. All will be fine and that was comforting.    I guess that is where the “go with the flow” phrase comes from!

10

I scrambled over some rocks, carefully, as some of the rocks were a bit slippery and I didn’t want to take a tumble, by myself, how awkward would that be, 🙂  Sometimes life seems like that pile of logs, all topsy-turvy .. yet wild and free!  My life feels like that and I’m happy, it suits me.

13

So .. normally I do not spend money on myself.  My $$ seems to go on trips to visit family,  I would rather go to France, Ireland, Germany, but duty prevails. And on groceries and of course, on plants!    However, yesterday, I succumbed to the lure of this lovely Sonic Drum and decided that I deserve some joy so now this lovely drum is mine.

I love the silvery magic sounds of the Hang Drum and dreamt that someday I would have one.  However, the $$$ of that drum, plus the large size (awkward to carry around) helped me decide to get this drum.  It is hand-made in Indonesia, tuned to A Major.  I love the sounds and am having so much fun playing around with the sounds, the middle section can be treated as a drum and I gently tap the smaller cuttings and then play some drums and the result is so lovely.  I’ll be playing this quite a lot, I’m thinking.  Plus .. it is yellow …. my favourite sunshine colour!

Here is a site with a similar type of drum, so you can hear some of the magic:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGk4y1Y3MS4  and there are many others, here is one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HHLmwORr3Y

16

There are quite a variety of steel drums out in the world, ornate and simple, tuned to various keys.  I’m happy with mine.  Some use little batons, but mostly one just lightly taps, with an upward motion for the sounds.

And the types of instruments that can be played along with this drum seem to be endless.  Here is a video of a Hang Drum with trumpet (starts at about 1:57) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZdGUrqTbjA

Sigh.  A busy week this has been .. a mixed bag with some happiness thrown in for good measure.

On with this day.

 


Leave a comment

Loving the creative energy that Music provides. And watching the acrobatic maneuvers of the beans in the bean forest.

The skies above .. a few days ago .. fluffy and looking like cotton candy ..

wed-007

Ever changing and cheerful summer skies

wed-006

And here sits Lady JaneE Kat .. waiting for her treats.  A very patient little gal and a determined one.  She sits there till I put some treats out for her.   Listening to the lovely Scottish fiddle of Adam Sutherland.

wed-009

I have some gifted bean plants.  This one is performing the death-defying acrobatic head stand on the other bean.  A tricky maneuver but successfully done in this instance.

wed-015

And I caught a neighbouring bean, warming up to perform the same technique.  Guess I surprised them, they didn’t see me standing there!  Tricky beans.  What else goes on in the bean forest when I’m not there?  The mind boggles.

wed-012

This is a sunflower that I accidentally mowed down .. so I placed it in amongst some support stakes and the birds were still able to feast on the seeds that were forming.  That gives me joy.

wed-014

Cherokee Trail of Tears flowers ready to burst open.  I’d planted these very late and I’ll still get some beans from the plants, I saw a few yesterday.  And it is nearly mid-September so there are still a number of weeks left for them to grow.  October will share a few more weeks of growing weather.  I’ve seen people tearing down their bean plants but I’m a more optimistic type of  gardener and will  let them all grow till the frosts dictate their removal.

wed-011

“my favourite bean” .. I’m leaving at least 10 or more of the pods to let go to seed for next year.  These are very similar to the Blue Lake Bush Bean, round, firm beans that are deliciously crunchy.

wed-010

A cheerful view to cherish in the winter and to enjoy now.  Even if I don’t get a lot of squash fruit, I’m happy knowing that the bees are getting lots of nectar – as there are many squash plants flowering away luxuriously in the sunshine.  More joy.

wed-008

Same story for the Scarlet Red Runner Beans.  Many hundreds of flowers for the bees – such a lovely sight ..

wed-001

More bees .. there are many types that visit the yard ..

wed-002

Oops .. getting a bit crowded, time to leave ..

wed-003

Changing direction after departure, more flowers are sighted over there!!

wed-004

I’m being stalked by my Gardening Kat!  Sometimes she follows me around, wanting to know where I am, what I am doing.  Perhaps hinting for more treats?

wed-013

More sky-art above …

wed-005

There have been times in my life when I’ve been bored .. and when I think  of those times, I’m just amazed that I actually experienced that state.  “if I knew then what I know now”

Where does boredom come from?  I cannot even imagine ever being bored in my life, but I know that I have been.

I think that the times when I was bored – that there weren’t the possibilities that now exist.  I grew up in the era without computers .. cell phones .. digital cameras.   It wasn’t a time of self-expression as exists now.    I really like now.

And, like all kids, I dreamed of becoming a world-famous clothing designer, a ballerina, a world-traveller, brave and unafraid of visiting many countries as a way of life.  A writer and an independent thinker.  I dreamt of these things.

So now when there are the opportunities to explore new (to me ) worlds I have grabbed the opportunities as they arise.

The music, the clogging, the drumming, among other creative expressions.

Music .. is such a powerful energy, full of creative promise and dreams.  Music goads me on to work in the garden, the magical universe where miracles happen.    And Music guides me to imaginary worlds of creativity with my beads and writing and all things.  Music energizes me when walking on the busy paved streets, away from my beloved garden.

Music is a language from the heavens and speaks to us in many ways.

Gotta love music.

More thoughts on the joy of being in the garden are popping up but the morning has started and I must go and throw myself into this day of possibilities and magic.

🙂

 

 


Leave a comment

Musical Spanish Musica Beans, tasty tomatoes and inspiration from the garden (yet again!)

So here is a photo of one section of the area beside the house that I recently renovated – neat and tidy when I first did this area and over the years overgrown with bluebells, morning glory and fallen leaves & rose petals.   Refreshing, really, to see it tidy once again.   A lot more to go before it is finished, but inspirational to have tidied it up thus far!  And again, motivational and meditational.  05

And you know that good ole saying “stop and smell the roses” .. well I did!  This rose bush is old, I planted it about 30 years ago.  Don’t remember the type, but it does have a faint scent.     Bonus, it grows like crazy and doesn’t need much water at all …. I suppose because the roots are so deep.

04

Love surprises in the garden .. yesterday it was this delicious little tomato!

06

Kale growing all over the yard and letting the seeds go to ground for more plants for the winter!01

Spanish Musica seeds growing like crazy.  Kinda funny that this one resembles a musical note and I’m learning how to read music!

03

I thought these were dry beans until I read what type they are.  Turns out that they will be delicious when harvested young like this.   And, as it is never too late to learn and undo a cooking habit .. yesterday I discovered (online) that beans are best  when placed in a large pot of boiling, slightly salted water and cooked for only 3 minutes, then tossed with butter.

And there are many other ways to finish off the beans but this suits us fine.  Nice and simple.  Although I may toss them with tiny tomatoes & slices of garlic from the garden.  Quite a change from the insipid way I had been preparing them – placing beans in a small pot with cold water which I then brought to a boil .. resulting in all the goodness being cooked out of them.  Never again!

DH loves them the new way which is great as I do not plan on freezing my crops of beans ..just plan to enjoy them every day!

09

Tenacity of the squash .. quite pretty and very strong.   I look forward to seeing the squash when they start to appear on the plants!

Absolutely stunning are these plants in the light of the sun .. all from a little seed .. fascinating and humbling …nature has it all ..

08

07

This year has been a bumper crop of fruit.  Here, one of the plum tree’s branches was so heavily laden that it cracked and broke .. I cut away most of the wood but this branch remains and will be removed later.  See the new growth from the branch?   Resilience, strength, renewal.

10

Another surprise squash .. seems to be many of them in the garden .. nice one!12

And of course .. the tendrils are reaching out for support, beginning with the surprise sunflower.

11

Some flowers on “my favourite bean” .. these grow in a group of four, and each one takes their turn to commence on the next step to create a bean.  A bean a day!

13

And finally, the Spanish Musica bean .. online, the length of the vine is purported to be 6 to 7 feet.  These are at least 15 feet and still growing .. reaching out for support.  I’ll climb the ladder this morning to try and train them to grow on a neighbouring tree.  Inspirational?  You betcha!

02

Time to finish household stuff, practise my violin, and then will literally run outside to enjoy the day.  It is a bit overcast today so it will be fun to get things done!