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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Enjoying the lazies .. and getting ready to energize my garden life! But first, some photos to share …..

Finally .. I am getting over the “lazies” of winter and energizing myself to get back into my garden!  I have been visiting my little garden almost daily, making sure the bird feeders and Hummingbird feeders are topped up and cleaning them to ensure that my little feathered friends have proper eating stations.  And always, I find little treasures that I’ve placed throughout the garden.  Here is a glass fishing globe that I bought from Capital Iron many years ago .. the colour blends in with the rocks and oak leaves!

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And there are at least 6 Stellar Blue Jays that have been visiting .. at first they loved the squash seeds and now much prefer peanuts in the shell, followed by some bird seeds.  They are versatile .. and they are beautiful.  Too bad they can’t sing!

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They aren’t so shy now and I love how they stand so victoriously when they grab a peanut.  I’ve seen one of them stuff a peanut to the back of their beak and then grab another one.   Then fly back to a tree branch for a little picnic!  They are clever birds.jan2307

Here is another little upside down umbrella for some little birds to perch while they eat.  I took this photo from across the yard so it is a little blurry.  The Junco is so sweet!

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Stellar on a bamboo cane … a striking bird.jan2311

This years garlic beds (although I have a few more, just couldn’t stop myself!)  I’d covered the bulbs, back in October, with leaf mulch and seaweed .. now that the greens are growing, I’m pushing the cover aside.  This is one of those shape shifting gardens, temporary little walls of brick.  Soon there will be tall peas growing at the edges, followed by a great variety of beans ..yum!  I’ve ordered a variety from Salt Spring Seeds and Annapolis Seeds.  Nothing like sipping on a glass of dry white while looking at the online catalogues   Let’s just say that I’ll have a great variety of beans.  Even if I had been sipping on a mug of Yorkshire Tea, the result would have been the same.    Lots of pole beans, to create my little garden room! Lots of beans for eating, juicing, freezing!!jan2304

I think these are crocus bulbs, fingers crossed they aren’t bluebells, the stems seem rather strong so I’m leaning toward the crocus.  Bulbs are so hardy!jan2305

Here is a rose my neighbour gave me last year .. it is anxious to start growing so I must find a place to plant it soon!jan2302

I loved watching the Bewick Wrens in this tree last year!  Busy collecting the fluffy willow buds to add to their nest.  It won’t be long now!jan2306

Tiny little lupin flowers .. soon they will be at least 3 feet high and the bees will be buzzing!  jan2309

Our lovely little JaneE .. who celebrated her 22nd birthday the day after Christmas.  We didn’t have a cake but we did have lots of fun & cuddles.  She loves that!  She is Queen of our Yard!   Our lovely little girl!!!jan2312

And finally .. I’m turning into a sort of yard detective!  About 7 years ago, when I retired, I began changing the yard again.  Over the years, I’d had raised beds, surrounded by 6 yards of gravel (that I’d moved, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow from the front of the house to the back yard!)  Gardeners aren’t afraid of a little work!  Time for change and I’d shifted and rinsed the gravel.  I also began sifting the soil and found many interesting things (I’d posted the pics, go and have a look if you like!     Anyway, I’d found this glass slag and searched as I may, didn’t find much information!  However, recently I’ve discovered the Archives at Centennial Library and have gone for a beginner visit.  Everyone there is so helpful and I’ve begun the research for the glass factory that was here at one time.  I’ve located several building foundations, partly in our yard and shared with the neighbours. I love a good mystery .. so this is a fun journey that I’ve begun!

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Well, every year is the same, I’ve noticed the pattern.  Highly energized in the spring, summer and fall.  Finally winding down to total laziness by this time of year.  This year, I decided to embrace that laziness .. knowing full well that it never lasts long.  And the busyness begins.  I love that!

So .. time to get on with this day!  My German lesson starts soon so .. va va voom!

🙂


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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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Enjoying the Beauty that is in my Garden!!

Pretty Pink Lupins!  I’ve kept these in a pot but just might plant them somewhere in a sunny spot so they can grow and prosper.  I’ll do that once they set seed and I will save some for the future!  27May 01Not far away is this lovely old rose bush .. the roots are deep so it doesn’t need much water at all .. my favourite kind of plant.  Once in awhile I’ll add some EM or some other nutrient .. liquid seaweed.  It’s a tough old plant and adds beauty and nectar for the bees and I’ve seen the Anna’s there also.27May02I planted some blue Columbines and now I see that there are pink ones also.  Love garden surprises.27May04The blue Columbines that I planted …years ago ..now flowering away like mad  .. a neighbour to the pinks!27May03So here I’m being “artsy” and applied a Slate shade to the blue Columbine.. glad that the flowers aren’t really this colour, but I do like the dreamy effect.27May11Some thornless blackberry flowers .. huge berries!!  I wonder if the Leafcutter bees have been active .. as I’ve noticed some circular indentations on a variety of leaves.  Busy Bees.27May05Sweet little Lady Jane .. this is one of her favourite places to have her treats.  She keeps running towards this little bench, sits and stares expectantly upwards .. “where is my picnic?27May06Where are the rest of my treats?????27May07I finally decided to try growing potatoes in straw, having read many online accounts of success.   I carefully unrolled some chicken wire, folded in half, lengthwise, inserted bamboo sections for the frame.   Added some organic seed potatoes and covered with the straw.   The potatoes had already started rooting when I planted them.  Added some water and now I’ll just wait to see how they grow and will keep adding straw as the plants grow.   I shovelled some soil on top, just a little bit.27May09These are the little potato sections that I had cut up, a few weeks ago, and planted them in little pots.  99% of them rooted and sprouted leaves .. see how strong the root section is!!  And also, I see a couple of bean plants in the cells  .. no idea where they came from as I had not planted them.  happy to see them, though.  Time will tell what kind of beans they are.   One of the joys of using homemade compost, I think!  the magic continues.27May10

I was out for a walk a few days ago, just had to stop and take a photo of one of the neighbourhood eagles.  I’ve seen them for quite a few years, watched them grow from the juvenile stage to adulthood.   Very convenient location, close to Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.27May08Every year I shape-shift my veggie garden.  Every year I just cannot fathom how to come up with a new design .. and .. every year I do!  This year is the same.  We have had steady rains up until last week, so I haven’t gone outside to play.  Now the sun is here and I’m all excited about work in the garden.  It takes a few sessions outside before I’m really energized so patience is a virtue there.

If you’ve seen the photos of my previous years .. you’ll see a marked change.  I’ve removed most of the raised beds and planted my garlic in large pots.  To the left is the chicken wire potato circle.  At the front is another Lee Valley arbour and peas are growing up the sides.  I’ve planted some low growing berries in the little bricked areas (temporary brick formations).  And way behind is a frameworks for my beans to grow.  Then I’m removing the final raised bed.

Am in the midst of forming a bamboo teepee frame to create a little private space in the middle.  Where I can look out and only see green .. no houses at all!  and inside will be a little secret garden of sorts.   I’ll post more photos of my progress.  This is a real garden in the works, folks!27May12

Well .. time is running .. off to recycle, work in the garden and then my fiddle lesson!  The fiddle is lots of work but really gives me such joy.   I’m going through a little slump in energizing my discipline for practise but I know that this will pass.

🙂


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Oh my where has the time gone and I’ve been having fun and now it is the eve of my 65th Birthday!!

Well .. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and will repeat “where does the time fly to anyway”?

Back in March I thought I’d take a few days away from blogging and then things started happening, days passed, I missed my blogging terribly.

This is really my precious time .. when I can let my fingers fly across the keyboard and let my mind wander and dream and think and reminisce over the day and weeks gone by.  Decadent time .. akin to indulging in a sinfully rich chocolate cake.

I really do miss this .. and so I will continue.

And share that today is my eve of my 65th birthday!  Every birthday is wonderful and I think of each celebration as a new year in my life.  I am so lucky I know.  And I am so happy .. so I thought I would share some photos of things that bring me joy in my garden!    This is a tiny little tomato .. how sweet ….

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More tomatoes ripening on the vine … I usually don’t have great success with tomatoes but with the heat of the summer plus some organic molasses mixed into the EM that I watered the veggies with .. I seem to have been having a decent crop of tomatoes.P1070553

 

 

One of the many things I’ve been involved in doing this summer is creating glass garden totems . .here is one, beside the “sump pump” fountain (to drown out construction noise) .. I’ll blog more about my totems with lots of pics .. at a later date.

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Scarlet Red Runner Beans.  Now, being a gardener and loving things that grow and attract  bees and hummingbirds .. why on earth did I only clue into these lovely beans this year?  I vow to always plant these beans for these most exquisite beings .. the happiness from seeing them visiting the flowers knows no bounds!  I’ll post pics later on, for I do have them.P1070571

The power of EM (effective microorganisms) knows no bounds.  Here is a potted up Bay tree .. I’d dug it up from one area of the yard and then just left it in a pot for a few months.  And so it seemed to have not survived .. until I watered it liberally with EM and look at this vigorous new growth.  Oh, I am so happy.   I’ll have to cut away the part that isn’t thriving but that is for another day.

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Baby Scarlet Red Runner Beans .. along with the joy and excitement of veggies growing in my garden is the fact that I now have a marvellous new camera!  I bought it in the early summer .. the Swallowtail butterflies were visiting the Buddleia and I so wanted to get some good photos (I’ll share them later).  I splurged on a Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS40 30X Super Zoom camera … love learning about it as I go along.P1070586

Squash growing in the garden … from the compost!  Outgrowing the beans I planted in this section.  The random beauty of the squash, the squash flower and the clematis caught my eye ..P1070595

ahhhh … sometimes I’ve been forgetting to look up .. at the sky art ….what I would have missed!

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I’ve been growing tri-coloured beans in pots, they have been growing quite well.  As my pal D notes … the purple beans turn green when cooked.  Eye candy to a gardener, eh?P1070610

 

Clever birds know where the food source is .. as I discovered when I noticed the empty sunflower seed heads!

 

 

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Oh the delight of the Bush-tits as they joyfully swarm around the yard … cheerfully chatting away as they nibble at the suet …P1080362

 

This smartly capped Chickadee was nestled onto a bamboo length and I discovered too late that he was chatting away to another Chickadee which was only about a foot away from me when I clicked this photo!  Oh, they must have chuckled over that, when I realized this too late and missed the close up photo.P1080399

 

Oh, the magic of a garden .. to witness up close the amazing power of a plant to grow from a single seed …into the rampant elegance of, say, this squash plant.
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The scarlett red runner beans were growing merrily up the tripod of stakes and the sunchokes were just as tall .. they tower above me and I’m guessing they are about 15 + feet in height!  What wonderful privacy plants they are, don’t you think???P1080426

 

Scarlet flowers and tiny beans .. oh, Red Runner Beans you are so amazing!  Alongside this Peppermint stick grass (I love this plant too!!)

 

 

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Buddleia still flowering away .. butterflies and the Anna’s love them.

 

 

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A circle of sunflowers .. thanks to the birds who scattered the seeds …

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Up close …

 

 

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Some of the peas that the sparrows had been feasting on .. I dug them up and planted them in containers .. see how strongly they grow?  Peas are not fragile little plants, bless ’em!

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Surprise red strawberries .. these caught my eye when I was looking at the little squash.

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Well .. there you have it!

I’ve re-entered the world of blogging and have so very much to share and talk about.

For now though .. I just wanted to share some of the very many things that bring me joy.

And to share that I’m celebrating another Happy Birthday!

🙂