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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Music in the garden, rain on my plants …

Yesterday (Sunday) the weather was overcast and I was so sure the sun would come out as it usually does when I want a cloudy day.   So it didn’t and the rains came down instead.  I needed to go outside to pick some more beans and at the same time I wanted to listen, yet again, to the most beautiful music in the world – Adam Sutherland’s Squall!  Here is how I did that!   The sound was a teensy bit muffled but my ipod and speaker stayed nice and dry & I could hear the music so that was fine!   Plus, a lid to keep my mug of Yorkshire tea  from being diluted by the rain worked well.  And .. lately .. I’ve been finding things lost and thought I’d never see again.  The most recent is the packet of Irish Shamrock seeds.  I’d located the packet of  Irish soil a few days ago and sort of lamented that I’d misplaced the seeds .. et voila!
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Speaking of finding lost things .. lately I’ve been either finding things or else the things that I want to have are right there for me.   Having written that, I might better explain this by giving some examples.  When I was working on tidying up the stony area beside the house a few days ago, I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I had some more landscape fabric.  I went beneath the sundeck and there is a folded section of the same that I’d bought last year and hadn’t used!   Right there, waiting for me!  I didn’t have to go searching, it was just there.  Other similarities, wanting string ..oh, there it is.  Looking for a certain container .. oh, there it is. On and on .. other examples don’t spring to mind, but it has been happening quite a bit – enough for me to notice.

Now, what is happening?  Are all these things that I “need” noticed by my unconscious and when my conscious mind thinks ” oh .. I must have this .. or that .. and where is it …?” then my unconscious kicks in and I am able to locate them?  Whatever is happening, I’m quite happy that the end result is that I am able to find what I need.

Out in the rain with little JaneE Kat .. she is having her outdoor shower via the skies above.

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The rain was soft at first and then changed into a steady pour ..

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Loving how the raindrops bejewel the petals of the sunflower ..023

I’m rooting for this squash to grow so I can see what type it is.  It is nearing the end of August and there should be a month plus of growing weather.  I didn’t plant the seeds till July and am not sure if that was late or not.  One more thing to check next year – the fun of gardening.   030

The graceful tendrils of the squash tumble down, lending an aura of decadent beauty.  Utterly beautiful, by Mother Nature!

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Rain droplets on a blueberry plant .. a diverse array of shapes and designs ..

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Cherokee Trail of Tears … the beans turn green when cooked .. they are delicious and crunchy when eaten fresh off the vine.  Yum.

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Beneath the protection of my umbrella, I checked the vines of some Scarlet Red Runner beans.   Yesterday I’d noticed that they had grown back on themselves, seeking a structure to cling to and they were so intertwined that I knew the vines would break if I tried to untangle them.   They were also in the way as they hung down about  5 feet from the ground – I had to move them aside to get anywhere.   I fetched my ladder and simply tied them to a branch of the apple tree and they seem to be settling in quite well.

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Never cease to be amazed by the vigour of this old rose plant .. it just keeps on flowering and reaching up to the sun.  Now, should I use the descriptive “old” or just “mature”?? Either way this plant has grown for many years (I’m guessing 30 when I planted it).  I was younger and so was the plant.  Now .. I’m still “young”in my heart and will stay so.  Maybe we are both “older and wiser” .. tough and durable and still pretty !!

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Red lupins .. love how the rain paints a dainty trim of watery lace around each leaf and then gently drifts down to the centre, creating a silvery pool of water .. very ethereal.

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Spanish Musica, Cherokee Trail of Tears and Blue Bush beans.  I vowed I wouldn’t freeze beans this year, but with such a bounty, have changed my mind.   Found an easy way to treat them .. rinse, dry, chop, freeze.  No water bath.  That’s my kind of winter prep.  Although now that I’ve learned the proper way to prepare beans (big pot of slightly salted water, add beans, cook for 3 minutes) I think all the beans will be happily eaten before winter!  My lovely plants are so generous.

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A few years ago I began my little garden note book and in it I wrote what I planted and when.  This serves as a good reference for me.  However, this year I couldn’t find that little book until I’d planted everything and of course this year I didn’t write down when I planted what.  And later on I found that little book!! I know that I planted the beans in July, and the squash seeds after that.   There is always next year to keep notes so I’ll just relax this year and enjoy the generous bounty of my lovely garden.  We were lucky to have hot sunny summer weather which enabled all the plants (properly watered!) to grow well.

Sunny day today .. time to get on with my daily life …

🙂

 


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Friday was a rainy day but the sun came out in the afternoon

Monday, March 31, 2014

Amazing to me how quickly the days are passing .. especially since January just didn’t seem to want to move ahead very quickly.  I think that it just seems that time is moving too fast .. when I think about the lovely longer days with more things to do especially outside.

Take Friday, for instance.  The day was a long one and it started out in a rainy fashion.  Our boot camp group met at the designated location for the Friday session.   Brrrrr .. it was grey skies, a light rain and off we went.   I am glad I went but really I was sorely tempted to stay home.  And if I had stayed home .. then I would have missed seeing this Great Blue Heron looking for breakfast!

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And as we went along the pathway, I turned and snapped another photo, so very glad I had decided to get out and get going.

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Another one of those lovely bridges/footpaths .. leading us into another area of the forest.

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I have recently been salvaging native plants (I belong to an official salvaging group) and had collected a good supply of Sanicula, which boasts the most beautiful yellow flowers.  Glad to see this plant growing naturally, to be left alone.

04Also lots of luxurious moss … with many tiny wildflowers waiting their turn to grow.05

A great grouping of Low Oregon Grape .. this is what I will plant at our next home .. mass plantings!

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Dainty little ferns growing at the base of a moss-covered tree trunk.

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After traipsing uphill through muddy sections and slightly steep (for a Friday morning!) walk .. we arrived at a viewpoint.  Lots of lichen on the trees .. a very tranquil spot.

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And on our return trip .. we noticed how high the water was at Elk Lake.   Usually there were Mallards at this area .. but they must have relocated till the waters recede a little.

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Oh, and here is another most wonderful reward for going outside!  What a very stately and handsome guy!

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D said hello to him and he patiently stayed in place for that.

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After a minute though, he had to race to catch up to his doggy-dad.  Enough time spent here … thank you very much.

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Pretty shades of green … the pale green of the Indian Plum intermixed with the deeper shade of the Horsetail … again, Nature’s Beauty is best.

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Can you see the laughing face in the tree?  and also the drooping mustache?    Quite a handsome tree.

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The contrast of the light/dark/shiny/dull image of the lake/trees/background struck a most appealing sight.

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That was the early part of my day … I then went to do some volunteering at Fort Rodd Hill .. and will share some of those photos tomorrow.

Although Friday wasn’t really a sunny day … I am pretending that the afternoon was like this .. what’s the harm, eh?  Smile

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Today the weather was sunny and a bit of overcast ..but last Sunday, there was snow!  My garlic is all covered … but it is very resilient.

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My winter sown summer seeds are safe in their individual greenhouses

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Monday .. more snow and some rain .. here is my wonderful garden cart … I really should have put it away from the elements .. but it is a tough little cart.12

My little crop of lettuce, spinach and Mizuna and other greens were doing well, during the snow/thaw/snow/thaw routine.   And a few days ago I removed all of these containers from the old hot tub cover and took down below to my potting area.   There was lots of cilantro .. I potted some of that up .. will show later.

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These stair photos are from last Friday .. here is a view at the top looking down (and thank goodness we only made one trip down and one trip up!)

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This is the view from the bottom (at the beach part) .. lots of stairs..

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Last Wednesday, as we walked briskly along .. I happened to notice this beautiful formal pond and statuary down below .. can you imagine having such a garden?  So peaceful.

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We continued on to the most wonderful Finnerty Gardens at UVic

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Ok, this was a bit funny to me .. this is obviously an oak stump .. talk about excess signage .. still, rather sweet..

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I believe this is a deer tongue fern ..2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And in the city of Rhodo’s .. here is yet another …There is another park, Playfair, in Victoria, which has a forest of rhodo’s .. the park is also a doggy park and I spent many many hours there with my lovely dogs.

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Back at home, I noticed many daffodils, snowdrops, tulips and other bulbs that were preparing to show their flowery wonderfulness .. here are some daffs …

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Our neighbourhood squirrel was trying to get a drink of water out of this bucket .. however, I had emptied it .. so she was a little surprised.   There are lots of water sources in the yard for the birds and squirrels.

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Here she is, attempting to hide her cache of peanuts .. oops .. she sees me ..

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Yesterday’s glorious skies …

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Lovely …. sky art ..20So, some snow, some rain, some sun, some rain.  Typical Victoria weather .. aren’t we lucky!

And today I went to get some lovely Llama manure .. more about that tomorrow.   Today also I attacked my triple compost bins .. emptying, sifting, mixing, spring is definitely on its way!
🙂

 


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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Well .. we’ve been having a spell of rainy weather here in Victoria, BC lately!  See my lovely Silverberry ..  I’ve searched for information on this plant and have found many sites, with many variations.  I really had no idea there were such a variety.  Here’s a site that shows the plant that I have:  http://www.deeproot.co.uk/pbo/plantdetail.php?plantname=Elaeagnus+x+ebbingei

08Now this plant is one of two that I purchased maybe 15 years or so ago.   They are much tougher than the plants of the same type that I purchased a few years ago.  My original two stayed in the original pot for maybe 5 years at least .. placed in an area to be planted, but forgotten about.  No attention to these two and they thrived!  I could not believe my luck one hot summer’s day .. when I was clipping some plants nearby and found these two.  Sad little specimens, growing despite my neglect.  Bravely stretching their roots where they were.  So I carefully removed them.  Planted them by the fence and they are thriving.  One of these is actually flowering (it gets more sun) and the one in the shady back hasn’t flowered.  I’ve read that it isn’t easily propagated from cuttings, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying.  I’ll see next spring if my confidence is justified.

Yesterday, the rains kept a’comin!   With brief spells of almost sunshine.  I went outside to replenish the bird feeders.  Here is a plant saucer that I keep filled with water for the lovely birds to bathe and have a little drink.  Can you see the rain drops?

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You know .. I read somewhere .. that .. if you have sun chokes in the garden .. you will always have them.  I kinda scoffed at this.  Now I believe!  Last fall I had dug up a great supply of these.   And gave them away to those who love this bulbous root of a plant that looks so much like the sunflowers.

07I was just looking for a site so I could show what the plant looks like .. and came across this very funny experience of someone who had cooked them … you gotta laugh at the author’s story …she writes so well: http://www.hungrycravings.com/2009/06/my-first-and-last-sunchoke.html and here is another blog: http://www.thekitchn.com/why-you-might-want-to-take-it-slow-with-sunchokes-bon-appetit-186516

And finally .. here is a blog that shows the sunflower-like plants:  http://www.commonsensehome.com/before-you-plant-sunchokes/

All of my plants were gigantic.   (I’d originally thought that some of the sunflowers had developed club-root until I discovered what they really were).  And all mine were not planted by me!   They were volunteers from the birds, I think.

While I was outside yesterday, in the chill of the backyard, umbrella in hand during the bursts of rain .. I discovered these mushroom-type plants growing merrily from the bale of hay .. kind of pretty, I think.

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One of those “darling” little squirrels stored some peanuts here … you can see the spot that is missing the green growth of garlic!!!!!!  (lower left area)

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And then .. I just had to step back and look at my impromptu garlic beds.   This is the result of learning that garlic cannot be grown in the same area for more than 2 years (rust and all that) and because this is the sunniest area of the yard, I needed to be creative in planting them.  Thus all the containers!  And I was being so firm with myself, just planting enough garlic.  Except, every time I found a sprouting garlic in my cooking stash, I just had to plant it (them).   Plus, I have my Irish garlic and some from a friend (both labelled) I just, you know, had to plant them.  Thus, I have a lot of garlic.   Just so you know .. all my garlic (except for these two types) are all grown by me.   Organic and all that.  Fed well with seaweed and EM.

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Yegads and gadzooks! I’d nearly forgotten why I was blogging today!  It was to share some special recent purchases.

After looking at my knees when I was wearing shorts, I was shocked.  I had “gardeners’ knees!  (we all know what that is like!)  So … previously I’d given up on knee pads .. had bought a few pairs and they all slid down.  They were fine at first, but the more I moved around the yard, the more they slipped down and the more I had to adjust them.  Enough of that!

But, during a recent visit to our lovely Lee Valley store in Colwood .. I decided to look at what they had. And I decided on this pair.  They seem to work quite well .. they fasten easily and don’t seem to slide.  I’ll test them out well this spring.   Gardeners just have to get down on the ground and look closely at plants and I am tired of moving a kneeling mat around the yard.  So here goes.  And if my knees are lovely and beautiful .. well, so much the better, eh?????

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However, aside from the above knee pads .. look at this most beautiful basket that I purchased from a thrift store.  I know .. I was going to curtail unnecessary purchases this year.  But, since I was at Lee Valley .. the thrift store was .. oh, so close .. and I decided to go there. And I am so very glad that I did!  For only $4 … I have the most lovely basket.  Already it is quite handy .. I’ve found myself loading it up with things from “upstairs” that need to go “downstairs” .. and I just know that I will be filling it often with my garden produce next summer.  Oh, what fun this is!  I just love baskets and this one is number one my favourite.
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Well .. that is it for now.   Happy with my recent purchases.  And looking forward to sunny days.  But in the meantime .. laziness calls me ..

🙂