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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My garlic crop is growing very well, and so are my potatoes .. happy days


Thursday, May 30, 2013

My garlic crop is growing so very nicely, thanks to the chopped oak leaf mulch, the seaweed (that D & I gathered through the seasons!) and the EM (magic stuff, really).

The hardnecks are just gigantic and I’ve been harvesting the scapes .. some of which I’ve chopped up and put in the freezer for later stir-fries and some I’ve made into pesto .. oh, my goodness .. very garlic-y!   And really, the scapes have grown so early on this crop .. I’m sure that last year that they didn’t arrive till much later.

IMGP2016Stepping back . .here is a view of my garlic crop .. I’ve planted them in  rectangles this year, and should have made the paths between them wider than I did .. guess I got a little greedy in wanting to plant more garlic!

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A little Golden Crowned Sparrow was walking through the garlic forest ..

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I am so looking forward to harvesting this crop …

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Finding tiny objects from the seaweed .. so I decided to decorate the garlic leaves .. pretty, hey?

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The great, ah, scape .. ha ha

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A little Robin goes hunting in the garlic forest …

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I mixed up a batch of garlic scape pesto .. no recipe .. just roughly chopped up the scapes, tossed into the trusty Braun food processor, added lots of olive oil, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds .. finely grated Parmesan cheese … yummmmmmm… very delicious.  Using an ice-cream scoop, soon filled a parchment covered cookie sheet .. into the freezer for a while .. and then ..

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Filled up a ziplock bag and in the freezer .. ready to toss into soups, stews, spaghetti, sandwiches .. sheer heaven ..

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Young Anna’s … so very sweet ..

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Welcome visitors .. I just know these babies have hatched somewhere in our little forested yard ..

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My deluxe greenhouse .. an airplane windshield .. so very perfect …

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I’ve planted these coffee sacks with potatoes … interesting to see how many potatoes I will get.  There are also some volunteer potatoes that I missed digging out .. so happily I will have many potatoes this year.  I heard about growing potatoes in burlap bags, so this is my version of that idea.  I put the bags inside sturdy garbage bags, with holes punched in the bottom for drainage.  And as the plants grow, I’ll unroll the tops and add more soil.

IMGP2017As a matter of fact .. that is what I am going to do right now .. change into my gardening clothes and run .. well. … .first I”ll brew some more tea and then I’ll rush outside!!

🙂


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A lovely sunny, rainy and hailing kind of a day. I purchased my first Mason Bee house (and .. um .. more plants!)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Yesterday was so much fun .. wandering around the Fernwood & Haultain neighbourhoods with my pal D … she knows the area so well and thus we walked up many little pathways and shortcuts that I was quite lost.  So in a way, it felt as if I was on a holiday in another town or country and all was new.  Quite energizing.

So when I got home, mid-afternoon, I had a little think about the choices that I had in the rainy afternoon.  Well, number one, it was rainy so I wasn’t excited about working outside and getting all muddy.

That left indoor stuff.  Made a pot of tea, pondered, read further on my Ruth Rendell novel “Kissing the Gunner’s Daughter” … really just wanted to finish this exciting mystery, but it is daylight so I really “should” be doing something.

Thought about working away on my decluttering.  Then decided to put the milk from my tea away to the fridge.  Opened the fridge door .. noticed that there were a few items that were ready for the compost, so I started that activity.  While I was transferring the veggie items to the compost pail, I wondered, curiously  …. if others have this same hobby.  Of purchasing fresh veggies for the compost and just put them in the fridge for a little while till they are in just the right stage for the compost bin?  Just wondering, that’s all.

While looking through the fridge I found a large bowl of peeled potatoes.  I’d purchased some organic potatoes awhile ago and since they were starting to sport buds on the surface, decided to peel them and cook “later” … helloooo .. it’s later now!

D and I had been talking about potatoes and she mentioned that she’d shred potatoes and make hash potato patties for her family and this was a portable snack for walks.  Well, thinks I .. I’ll try that.

Started off with shredding the potatoes with a grater, now that was a bit messy.  So I climbed onto a kitchen chair and brought down the kitchen processor to do the job.  Once all the bits were assembled and the machine plugged .. I started the task of shredding the potatoes.  Next step involved attempting to remove the excess water.  By this point I had realized that these little red skinned potatoes were not the right type for hash browns, but I’m too far gone in the process to stop.  Sliced up red onions and garlic, added to butter sizzling in an iron fry pan and proceeded to cook a gigantic patty.    After (quite) a while, the potatoes were done and very tasty, thank you very much.

I still had about 2 cups of mushy shredded raw potato left, so fetched a container of organic chicken broth, into  a Corningware pot it went, along with the potato mixture.  Searched through the fridge and found a lovely bag of carrots purchased at Dan’s Market.   These carrots were just delicious!  Also discovered some celery, so sliced up ample amounts of both of these and into the pot.  Next I found a bag of dry curry leaves that I had bought a few months ago.  Popped in 5 or 6 of them into the soup.  Yum

Now I was on a roll and decided to make a little carrot salad, so out comes the fine hand grater and soon I had a little bowl of very thin  strips of carrot, topped this off with finely chopped celery, a drizzle of flax oil and this tasted so delicious that I had two (tiny) bowls of salad.

My inner chef was very creative and I bow to her!  I’ve noticed that my cooking is very creative when I’ve tapped into my creative energy and this is so rewarding!

Sorry, no photos, I was thinking of taking photos to share, but that would have stopped my creative flow.  So just visualize very pretty attractive food dishes and you’ll be right!

On with today!  I’d taken some Rosemary cuttings months ago, added EM to the water and patiently waiting for them to root, and most of them have.  Passing by the kitchen counter, something different caught my eye and I returned to have a look .. and saw these oh so very dainty little Rosemary flowers on a cutting that had just the tiniest bit of root.  Magic, sheer magic.

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New additions for my garden, purchased two of these lovely plants at Country Grocer at Royal Oak.   I’ve been finding all kinds of wonderful new plants …. supplied by local and Vancouver Island Growers .. how lovely!   I’ve not grown these before and Hummingbirds are supposed to love them.  I’ll take photos in the summer.

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There was a bit of a hail storm, well, several, actually … throughout the day.

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I went to the North Saanich Farmers Market today .. it’s once a month for now, soon to be twice a month and in June, yea, every Saturday.  It was my first visit today.  I was on a quest to purchase some Musquee de Provence seeds from Tina at Alden Harvest.  She’d completely sold out of these seeds at Seedy Saturday .. but she saved 6 for me and thus I paid for them .. these are my newest “precious” seeds. I’ll plant 4 and save 2.  Looking forward to taking photos of them this summer.

At the market, I purchased this most lovely Mason Bee house .. isn’t this great?  The little bees are in the top section (see the hole where they can fly out) and soon they will hatch and be busy little bees in our yard.  This style will be very easy to maintain.

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Now for some yard fun, I perched the Mason house on the rustic tree trunk and beside it I placed this funky bell-ringer (from one of our thrift store ventures, when D & I buy things that we don’t really need, but, heck, they are fun).  Not sure if you can see the hummingbird design that is part of the bell-ringer.  I still have to decide where I’m going to install this, but the meantime, this looks good.   Doesn’t it appear as if the Masons have a doorbell?   Or have I had too much fresh air today .. ha ha ha

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I was surprised to see an actual outdoor telephone, at the Deep Cove store, as these pay phones simply don’t exist much anymore.  Nice to see.

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Good storage, plain and simple.7

Inside the washroom … I just had to take these pictures of the crows …. as I seem to be on a theme of crows right now .. time to share.6

Have you ever wondered what you were going to do with that spare set of cupboard doors?   Well, wonder no longer.5

et voila …4

and again ..3

Lovely wooden walkway outside the store .. old-fashioned, friendly and relaxing, don’t you think..2

I fell in love with this pot of wild strawberries, they’ll have small golden fruits.

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These artichokes will occupy a fair bit of land so I’ll put some of them in pots.9

It’s been a fun day .. I’ve travelled in the city, out to North and then Central Saanich and had lots of fun …. talked to quite a few people.  Experienced the relaxed and creative atmosphere of the North Saanich Market.  I bought the world’s most delicious butter tart square there .. omg .. so very delicious that I will definitely return to buy another in May!

The weather has been:   sunny;  rainy;  hailing …. quite a mix and quite lovely for all the plants in our yard.

🙂


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Why do potato plants have square stems? And other things.

Friday, July 27, 2012

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We are so lucky with the hot sunny weather!

Spent some time bringing a few containers of dried seaweed  outside.. to sit in the sun for a while .. to make sure they are really, really dry!  Otherwise, there could be quite a stench in the house.

Mixed up some EM … watered a few tomato and squash plants.  All are growing nicely.

I have a few little casual sitting in my garden.  Mostly, they are just oversized boulders that I’ve moved from one area of the yard to another.  Perfect for placing in a few little spaces and just relaxing there for a while .. to study the birds and the bees and butterflies playing around the yard.

Sometimes I feel as if I’m not making any progress in the yard .. yet, when I look around me .. I really am amazed at all that I’ve done.  I seem to work best in little blocks of time.  Overwhelming though the work seems to be .. once I get started in a little corner, then I just seem to zone into that special  world of plants and creativity.

So maybe that is where I’m losing the sense of “conscious” time… the place where I make lists and plan and that sort of thing.  I’ve entered that amazing, creative, energizing place where nothing exists except that very positive flow with the magic of the living earth and plants.

I’m easily distracted by the flight of butterflies in my path, hummingbirds zooming overhead.  Chickadees and other birds visiting the trees and chirping their hello’s!

And I am so very glad that we planted those many trees years ago, they are overgrown, but that is the way we like them.   They provide us with shade and lots of oxygen.   Not the least is their gift of fruit, plums, apples and cherries.

But, most of all .. I’m glad they are there .. because they provide shelter for the variety of winged friends who visit.   Lots of safe places for them to hide and build their nests.

There are so many places, properties, where all the old trees and bushes have been removed, to “tidy” up the landscaping.   How barren and how empty.

Spent some lovely time just listening to some relaxing music, quiet time .. chilling out .. watching the every changing skies above.

Relaxing in the sun.

Watching the birds.

Getting some things done.

Yes, I finally planted quite a few perennials that had patiently sat in their pots for many months.

Established some raspberry plants among the perennials.  It’s always nice to munch on a fresh sun warmed berries .. .these will be fruiting next summer.

Spent some time watering some parched plants.

Walked through the berry section .. studied the potato plants .. noticed that their stems are square .. now, why is that?  There must be a specific reason for this .. but I just don’t know what that reason would be .. something else to research, I guess.

Where the potatoes are now flourishing .. well, next year I’ll have a few more rows of raspberries.   And should any potatoes show up … they will be quickly potted up in a big container.  I love potatoes, but they really take up space!

Watching the sweet peas growing .. .waiting for them to flower.

Some tomatoes are increasing in size .. still green though.

A very wonderful day in my garden.

🙂


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Another lovely day in the garden …

So .. I’ve been enjoying all my precious time in the garden.  Still so much to do but I find that things develop in their own good time and I just learn to flow with it.

I’ve been tending to my compost bins, alternately layering kitchen scraps with manure, hay, cardboard, kelp, glacial rock dust.   MMMMM

My garlic crop is fantastic and yesterday I clipped the scapes .. they are delicious.

Surprise potato plants have been emerging from the garden.  It’s true .. once you plant potatoes, you’ll always have them.

Mixed in alpaca manure with the spoiled hay, leaf mulch and some pea cuttings (planted to inject nitrogen in the soil)    Tomorrow I’ll plant the lovely kale plants (gift of my neighbour) and the balance of the sprouted garlic that I’d not yet planted.