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

Being adventurous and growing lettuce, onions and carrots! A walk along the shore.

Tuesday, September 20,2013

About 3 weeks or so ago, I decided to just trying growing some greens .. the first day of frost here in Victoria isn’t due till November 1 .. so I filled up my new plant containers (a sort of waterproofed fabric with grommets for drainage).  This one has green onions and two types of greens .. quite a few have sprouted and I believe that I will be able to harvest some for a few meals.

03

Some (non gmo, organic) Red Bowl lettuce .. and I’ve planted some coriander in all 3 containers.

02

And some multi-coloured carrots!

01

This is my first time at growing squash .. some sites state that long vines should be cut so that all of the strength would go into the growth of the squash.  Being a timid soul, I didn’t do that .. thus this lovely little squash growing at the end of a long stem of vine.  Hurrah!!

04

Heritage strawberries.   Interesting that I paid nearly $7 for a plant from a market and only $2 at a plant sale in Port Alberni!  Yeah for Port Alberni.  Anyway, next year I plan to start more of these from saved seed.  They are a rampant grower!   And the berries are so tasty.  I believe they are “Fraises des Bois” and here is a good site for saving strawberry seeds:  http://gardentherapy.ca/save-alpine-strawberry-seeds/

05

Last week I ventured down to Dallas Road .. the tide was the lowest I’d seen .. so I walked about for a bit. 

14

Lovely skies set the scene for a quiet stroll ..

13

The sea birds were enjoying the peaceful serenity .. sharing a bit of gossip, enjoying the view ..

12

This little guy was taking a little snooze …

11

I wasn’t wearing my walking shoes and some of the rocks were a little slippery so I proceeded along slowly … striving to maintain my dignity!  After all, falling by yourself takes on a different view than it does when walking with a friend, then it’s not so bad, eh?  One can imagine all kinds of reasons why someone would fall when walking by themselves ,,, at least, with my active imagination anyway!

10

Tiny little worlds of living beings in the little tidal pools ..

09Logs left behind by the receding waters ..

08

Dreamy skies …

07

And then the brilliant rays of the sun and puffy cumulus clouds take over ..

06I walked on a little .. and turned back …. enjoying the sweet solitude of the early morning .  A little moment in time when the crowds were somewhere else.  I love these moments.

This is truly a lovely time of the year.  A delicious blend of sun and rain.   Now .. I love the rain.  Absolutely love it.  It’s a time when I can actually get something done in the house.  And walking in the rain is a delight.  Memories of getting soaked as a kid, then in the house, change into dry clothes.  Mug of hot chocolate or tea.

Speaking of walking .. time to get out and see what’s happening in the neighbourhood!  Maybe I’ll meet some lovely little doggies!

🙂


2 Comments >

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Murphy’s Law … I’d carefully watered the garden yesterday afternoon and rain has arrived overnight!  Well, I’m happy about that!   So really I should be doing housework … cause it really needs to be done.  But first, some delay tactics before I begin that Herculean task.  Tea is called for.  Next, I start to go through my photos, of which I have quite  a few.    So I’ve selected a few to share and here they are:

First .. I was downtown Victoria, heading towards Dallas Road to meet up with a friend when I happen to notice this lovely antique car in my rear-view mirror:

01

This was about 3 weeks ago and there was the annual antique car show, which was the most spectacular event,  Thousands (I think) of amazingly beautiful cars arrive at the Inner Harbour and park there … while thousands of people walk around and admire these autos.  It is really quite a happy thing to drive around and see these vehicles travelling about.

02

Oh my lovely Kentucky Wonder Beans … there will be quite a bounty and I look forward to cooking them and smothering them with butter .. yum!   I’ll save some seeds for next years crop!!!

17

Rose petals drying in the sun ….

15Along with some calendula petals ….

16

Sunflowers are so beautiful and cheerful.  They each sport a unique personality …  this one appears to have rabbit ears!

12

Lovely lilies growing in the yard, my pal D tells me that these are star-gazer lilies!

14

Now there are squash plants growing in the same area where I harvested my huge crop of garlic!!

13

DH and I had some fun time away and made our way to Port Alberni for some time of flying and enjoying the beauty of the Alberni Valley.   No computers as repairs were being made to my new Asus.  So some time of being disconnected from the electronic world.  And I found that I quite liked that.  Although, mid-way through our holidays, we had to return home for a few days.  And the laptop had returned.  So I found myself wasting hours on both days.   Was quite happy to depart again without this item and able to enjoy the world without it.

Up in Port Alberni, A Buffalo prepares for take off .. they had picked up some sky divers who had taken part in aerial exercises .. I just caught sight of the last one landing!   Quite impressive.

11

Beautiful cloud formations on a hot and sunny day …. I love this!  And in the fore front there are some trailers for sailplanes which are now happily set up and ready to spend some time in the air!

10

Wheeeeeee … I was so happy to go for an hour-long sailplane ride!!!  The Pawnee is towing my pilot and myself in the PW6 !!!

04

The pilot released the tow line, and we were flying, thermalling ,,,,, and we were soon flying near my lovely dh, who was flying the PW5 just ahead of us .. that was so exciting ….

06

Such skies …

05

We flew above some eagles .. powerful ..

08

Darling little Coco …. she really wanted to be with her poppa, but it was a very hot day and we had air conditioning in our motor home …. so we hung out there for a while.  Her face tells a story, it is as if she is saying, politely ” you know, I do enjoy being here with you in this nice and cool motor home, but you really must understand that I long to be with my poppa.  I don’t meant to be rude, but, please, could you let me go to him?”

03

And what a nice surprise when dh and I returned, midway through our time away … my pal D had left this lovely bouquet of sweet peas!  Friends are the best!  She also looked after our beloved kitties while we were away!

09

Well, I can delay no more .. housework calls.   I know that once I begin the vacuuming, laundry, dusting activities of making our home tidy .. I will enter the zen flow of energy.   My reward today will be the totally surprised look on my dh’s face when he comes home from work today.  That will be worth it!

🙂


Leave a comment

Want to know the most effective way to re-start an exercise regime?????

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another in a series of lovely sunny days, except today, the skies are clouding over .. perhaps we will have some much-needed rain!

DH and I are going away for a quick dash away to relax and just simply enjoy our time away from schedules and work.    So Exciting.

So I’ve been busy, going shopping for some summer clothes.   It’s been quite awhile since I’ve bought new clothes so I have been enjoying the journey.

And as I’ve been trying on clothes in those stark dressing rooms .. I’ve come to a realization that I need to ramp up my exercise regime!!!  Nothing like a reality check to get that going!

ha ha ha

In January I’d started my daily exercise program, only to stop it when we had to focus on working on the yard of our rental, when our tenants moved out.  We both worked so hard for 4 months, and my program fell to the wayside.  Then I sort of started and stopped it.

Well, no more!  I feel so very much better and promised myself to continue this simple little exercise and walking routines .. really very little effort involved and the results are so quick!

Yesterday I began (sigh) my callenetics (Callan Pinckney, she is wonderful) and restarted my lovely daily walks.

Feel oh so much better .. I’ve missed this so much.  No quitting this time!!

Anyway, not to bore anyone about my non-gardening life .. I’ll share more lovely photos from my lovely daily life!

IMGP2737

Sun and shadows … how lovely …

IMGP2828

More sky art.

IMGP2768

Oh my darling little JaneE …..

IMGP2799

Music “In a Persian Garden” .. it was a day when I really was seeking positivity and beauty outside and when this song started playing on my little i-pod, I felt so happy ..

IMGP2740

My pal D and I had gone exploring in Sooke a few months ago .. and we’d found some interesting wood formations, just small ones .. along the beach.  Very artistic.

IMGP2734

Are these Canterbury Bells?  So very pretty.  Growing randomly in my garden.  Self seeding.

IMGP2736

Calendula and rose petals .. drying in the sun.

IMGP2733

 

Fun in the sun and gardening too !

🙂

 


Leave a comment >

Friday, July 5, 2013

Life is just a busy fun place to be and sometimes I speed up when I really should slow down.   And that is where friends come in!

I have been busy working on the little garden at the Dakota Cafe for the past 3 mornings.   One day spent weeding and digging through the plants with my pal D to help me out.  The next day was intensive weeding and planting.  And this morning, a frenzied time of cutting back Rex Rosemary which had grown to be too high for the windows of the cafe .. it was getting difficult for customers to spot planes through the windows.. so a massive cutback was done (sob).  I’ve taken most of the cuttings home and will try to propagate them.   No photos really, but once the little flowers start blooming, I’ll be clicking away.

It sure felt good to work intensively for 3 hours or so at a time … and I was spoiled and given tea by lovely Jess .. so I happily drank my tea and gazed upwards at the blue skies.  Lots of planes, eagles, turkey vultures and other birds.  Sheer heaven.

Then time for a visit with D and her son … she gave me some great clay pots and I plan to make a crooked planting, arranging them on a section of rebar in the garden.  Then she showed me a little ladybird dragon that was morphing into a ladybug on the nasturtium leaf… how very magical!  Also, she has a Garry Oak growing in her hop plant ….I forgot to take a photo, but believe me .. it is there and very healthy.  How exciting!!

20

Then D wanted me to go to see the amazing boulevards in the Haultain area and here is one that is just spectacular .. I think that the homeowners were advocating boulevard gardens years ago, they were very hardworking.    And from the look of their boulevard gardens and their private gardens they haven’t slowed down a bit!  Very impressive and inspirational.

03

And they have provided a  lovely rustic area for passersby to relax …

05

Colourful nasturtium flower peeking out from the feverfew ..

04

Along another boulevard … labelling helps identify the plants, such as this one:

01

and here is the California Tree Poppy (listed above):

02

I love this “secret” front door …. well done!

06

Then it was time for refreshments … at a lovely little table outside the coffee shop … see the darling dog in the background?  His doggy parents were making sure he was in the shade, had access to water and he was one happy little guy!

15

Yea .. coffee grounds for the garden .. happy to see ..

13

I’m betting that the coffee grounds/compost material doesn’t stay around for long, there are many gardeners in the area so I counted myself very fortunate to have this bag.  Oh, see the red/white polka dot bag behind this?  It’s my special surprise purchase from today.

14

There is so much to see and do here in Victoria .. here are some posters showing some of the activities, music, dance, drumming ….
16

Ok .. this is where my special unexpected purchase took place.   As D and I walked down the street, past little shops, I noticed some clothing on a rack outside of a high-end hair dressing establishment.  Couldn’t see anything in particular .. and as I know that normally clothes that are displayed outside these types of shops tend to be expensive, I wasn’t expecting to be interested in anything.  However, something compelled me to move closer.  This shopping bag is quite interesting, thousands of cut pieces of fabric knotted onto soft burlap.  Nope, I wasn’t interested …

09

But then I fell in love with this very funky dress .. it is from Italy!  The owners of the shop had taken a trip there and brought back some clothes to sell.  Not sure if this photo does the dress justice, but this dress is me!  It’s raggedy,  swirling, colourful and I love the uneven hem.     See the round circles on the front, showing the colourful fabric beneath . .these aren’t pockets, just design circles.  This is my new sunshine dress and I plan to wear it a lot this summer!  I’ve been looking for a nifty dress and so happy now I found it!  This wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gone for this walk with D!!!  I can’t imagine not having this lovely fun item of clothing!  See the pea flowers along the right of the dress … they match!

11

And here is my sparkly hat (gold threads woven through that just shine in the sun!):   So now I am all set for the summer!

12

Then it was time to check out a lovely new little grocery shop and they have a machine that will grind up grains …. well done.

17

Back at home, there was just a little more garlic to harvest.  Time passes so quickly, it just seems like yesterday when I was planting the cloves in October.  Now we have gone full circle.

21

The garlic is now outside, curing in the sunshine .. and I plan to try to braid the soft necked garlic.

22

Well, it’s been a busy day.   D and I parted ways .. I went shopping for groceries and beer .. promised myself a wee glass of wine when I got home!

18

And now I must go outside to see if the sage cuttings (from Dakota) are doing well and to put them in a bucket of water .. tomorrow I will taking cuttings of them, the Rex Rosemary and some Wormwood cuttings also.

Also, lately I’ve been buying more plants.  I know, I promised months ago that I wouldn’t and I have not yet kept that promise.  However, a few days ago, when D and I were returning from gardening at the Dakota Cafe .. the traffic was quite heavy on the highway.  So she suggested that it might be a good time to turn left and go visit the Art Knapp garden centre at Mattick’s Farm.

What the hey, I thought, so my car dutifully turned left and .. drum roll … once again I did not keep my plant promise.   Due to the heat .. there were a lot of plants for sale.  I should mention that we’ve been undergoing a heat wave and plants are just going crazy.

Anyway, there were a lot of deals and I bought all sorts of veggies, 3 different squash plants, a tomato, and many others.  Besides some interesting berries, a purple raspberry and I just can’t remember the others.  Oh, red onion sets, white onions, a dill .. countless others.  They have been soaking in EM and water since yesterday and tomorrow I can plant them in the areas now vacated by the garlic.

Speaking of which, I harvested the last of the garlic .. kind of a nostalgic moment .. and it was a very satisfying feeling to think back to last fall, culling the largest cloves for planting.  Then the process of preparing the beds, planting them.  Covering with the seaweed that D helped me collect last summer.   And then I watered with EM at various times.

Well .. it’s been a day .. just really wanted to share my fantastic dress, really, I just love it!

🙂


Leave a comment

A sunny walk at Swan Lake .. my daily walking adventures continue!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lovely summer days, not sure if it is officially summer yet ..but we’ve had quite a few (more than 3!) days of  warm sunny weather.

And, yeah, yesterday I began again my lovely long morning walks.   I’d started the year out well, walking and exercising .. however, that had to be put on hold for a number of months while DH and I worked on the landscaping of our rental.

Now that is complete and my walking adventures continue!

Lovely border flourishing at the edge of the local allotment gardens!

01

And this garden area looked most welcoming .. very friendly and open.

02

Farther along .. I think this is Cottonwood fluff … looks a lot like snow!
03

Lovely cheerful sunlight lights up the leaves …

04

Can you see the tiny little dot to the left of the tree trunk?  A spritely little Robin poses for a minute.

05

At very long last .. closer to Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary!!!!  Feels like I”m going home for a visit .. it’s been awhile!

06

Aptly named, eh?

07

Not many people out as I walked along the pathways.  Serious birders have most likely come and gone.  I passed a few joggers and some teenagers .. but otherwise, it was a lovely quiet moment in time.

08

All is quite peaceful at Tuesday Pond .. I’ve missed the baby ducklings and goslings.  Noticed this couple of Mallards, quickly snapped a photo and silently backed away .. to leave them undisturbed, although they knew I was there.    This is their home, after all, and I am but a visitor there.  Respect.

09

How splendid .. all growing things are fully leafed out …

 

 

 

 

10

I tiptoed along the little bridge spanning Tuesday Pond, not wanting to disturb the bathing ritual of the little Robin below.

11

One of the million or so wild roses blooming .. scenting the air with their most beautiful perfume ..

12

Dainty little wild flowers have been lovingly planted in spaces along the rock’s surface …

 

13

Next I notice the hawk perched high above .. overseeing the Sanctuary . . he knows I’m there and turns his heard around several times to stare at me as  lift my little camera to take a photo.  Decides I’m not going to cause any trouble … so that’s a good thing!

14

Time for a quick grooming …

15

A loose feather is plucked out .. and I watched as it tumbled … floating gently into the blackberry bushes below.   I was so tempted to wade into the chest-high grasses to retrieve it, but decided to leave it.   I even stepped a few feet into the grass, but realized that the odds of finding the feather in the thick growth of blackberries that surrounded the base of the tree were slim to none.

16

Leaving the Hawk to continue his search for breakfast .. I continued on my way.

18

Beautiful … beautiful .. beautiful …

19

No birds about .. must signify that the eagles are nearby …

20

The little observatory .. and I searched for the remains of the Marsh Wren’s nest, but couldn’t see any …

21

What a wonderful way to start the day!   And then I spent the rest of this most marvellous day playing in the yard.  Mulching the garlic beds with the seaweed that D & I collected last week.   This garlic crop is stupendous.   Some of the soft necks were growing out of the ground and they were huge!  Also. although I’d planted the cloves some distance apart, somehow, during the winter, some of them had converged into groups of 2 and 3!!

Ah well .. time for another walking adventure and backyard gardening!

🙂

 


Leave a comment

Yesterday was so much fun .. and I attended my first ever Soccer Game!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

So very much going on and I’ve really wanted to blog but my life has been proceeding along like one of those crazy Family Circle cartoons .. the one which shows the kids racing all over the house and outside.  Leaving a trail of marks that indicate foot prints, showing the directions they have been going in.

Well .. that is what happens in life, right?   Everything is calm and then .. ba boom!  Activity happens.  I’m taking care of two yard properties and doing a lot of clearing away, decluttering.  Cleaning.  All in a timeline and so for several weeks I haven’t taken my daily walks and oh how I miss them.

That will change as of tomorrow … when I recommence my lovely daily walks and so I’m dusting off my camera, polishing off my binoculars and will venture out for a “short” one hour walk.

A few days ago … I had a little visit with little Jeanie .. she is such a little love and hasn’t forgotten the sound of my voice, even though it’s been quite a while since we saw each other.  She is a darling and was wearing a very stylish plum coloured outfit … isn’t she beautiful?

05

And lovely skies recently .. I quite loved this cloud .. seen as we were travelling by ferry to Salt Spring Island yesterday.

08

We recently had some intensive tree work done and I finally had a chance to see the professional climbing equipment that our friend, the arborist, used to climb the tall trees.   Those are serious hooks and very necessary to ensure safety during the climb.

2

And I was very happy that he brought along little Gemma!   Here she is sitting quietly after eagerly chowing down on a huge chicken sandwich.  burp   We’d just come back for a good little walk and had worked up an appetite.

03

Yum .. that was a good sandwich, she seemed to say .. would there be the possibility of another?

04

So anyway dh & I arrived at Salt Spring and made our way to visit our friends who live over there.     And look at this sky!!!

23

After a lovely cup of tea .. we went outside to see what was happening in the yard .. and I noticed a cheery little crocus that had popped up through the moss .. delightful.

11

And there were . … literally .. thousands of daffodils growing everywhere … maybe we’ll have a chance to go for another visit so I can take some photos of their blooms!  Stunning.

09

And .. not to mention … masses of snowdrops … like bouquets scattered here and there.   Landscaping by Nature .. the best ever.

07

And while I was standing there, quietly, snapping pics, a sudden movement at my feet caused me to look down and there was a tiny little tree frog …he’d jumped up from the grass .. seeking warmth from the stones.  How very cute is this!

12

The rustic beauty of the fence caught my eye.

10

So then our friends invited us to a soccer match .. I’d never been to one and so was looking forward to this.   Here … the Salt Spring Island Men’s team were getting ready to start the game.

14

They went into the pre-game huddle to plan their strategy.

19

The games officials began their trek to the field.

15

Ouch .. this is a really physical game.  The players were extremely active, running, jumping, racing … I was quite tired just looking at them!

21

And our friend’s son was playing!  He’s a very good soccer player!!

17 16

Our dear friend Gemma came along to watch the game with everyone.

18

The cheerful skies above seemed to cheer on the SSI team as the score was 2-0 when we left … to catch another ferry ..22

As the ferry left the terminal .. this little seagull just waited patiently to see us away.

26

It was a lovely day .. .and now we were on our way to a wedding!!  More about that tomorrow.

🙂


Leave a comment

Why I take the photos that I do … Well .. here are some of the reasons!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

There is so very much beauty in this world …. everywhere …up above in the sky.  Scenery.  Trees. Birds.  And photos of these all make the most loveliest of memories for later on.

Such as this tiny bird, perched, ever so briefly, on a branch (I think this is a Golden-crowned Kinglet).  I was out walking and surprised to see a few of these darlings twittering about the tree.  They didn’t stay still for very long, so I was lucky to get this pic.

01

And a surprise entry pathway that I’d not noticed before.  It was only due to the fact that I chose another route to my destination and discovered this one.

09

The joy of walking along an undiscovered route heightens the enjoyment of my lovely daily walks.12

And the overhead canopy of branches seem to delicately and gently welcome me along the way.  Soon these will be wearing their summer finery and provide shade from the summer’s heat.10Imagine, this pathway was here all along and I’m happily making my way …the highway and sidewalk are way to the left and while people are busily starting their busy trips to work and shopping, I’m quietly discovering more of Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary!!

08

After a few minutes I found myself actually at the allotment gardens, a good opportunity to see these plots up close, so I opened the gate and went in.

13

So this is, I believe, part of Swan Creek .. lots of water and the reason for the bridge (above) 🙂

14

This area is vast .. so beautiful to see unique gardening plots .. lots of work.

05

Each gardener has their own unique way of gardening.  Variety, as you know …04

Along the way, I’d gone shopping at Thrifty Foods .. and my visit was made much better by the lovely daffodil that I was given!  It was a surprise and I felt great just walking along with this bright and cheerful flower nodding along in my shopping bag.  So, I just had to stop and take a photo.

16

I liked the look of the mossy covered tree trunks.  But just looking at this picture with Saturday morning eyes .. I think they also resemble great big giant legs with mossy green slippers!  Just squint your eyes a little and you’ll see what I mean.

02

I wonder if the Downy woodpecker is thinking about gathering some moss for a spring nest.  Or perhaps something else has caught her attention?

07For now, though, time to dine!

06Now .. this chubby little Robin .. is quite the robust little bird, isn’t he?  Dining al fresco on an apple nested snugly in the branches.

22

Then he (she) is gone .. leaving the apple for other birds to dine on.  They aren’t greedy.

18

Walking downtown, here is this great, gnarly tree, outside of St. Andrew’s Cathedral.  Talk about character .. gadzooks!

20

And the remainder of a delicate little frost.  Not heavy enough to freeze the water so the birds can still sip.  Grateful for the lack of snow which is causing misery throughout the rest of Canada.

 

 

19

And sometimes I take pictures like it’s my lifelong ambition to capture every single moment of activity around me.   Sometimes, if I’m visiting someplace new to me .. I want to capture the feel of the place.  What it looks like, sounds like, feels like.

Wanting to remember the crunching sounds made by my shoes as I walk on a gravel topped pathway, mixed in with those sounds are the lovely pine scent of the nearby conifers, the cheerful chirping of birds hidden from sight.

When I see the lovely dogs, stop and have a chat with their owners … seeing the happy faces of well-loved pets … brings joy to my spirit.

These are some of the reasons why I take the photos that I do.

But .. Saturday rushes in and I have lots to do today .. .no time for a walk .. that decadent treat will have to wait for another day.

🙂