My Garden – Mon Jardin – Mi Jardin – Mein Garten – Daily Adventures & Thoughts

No matter the language, my garden is my paradise. To watch the lovely birds that nest in the trees and bushes. The bees, butterflies are such a joy to see.

Leave a comment >

Saturday, February 8, 2014

We actually had a smattering of snow yesterday!  I was going to cancel out of going to the Friday workout and actually called my pal D… who convinced me to go and R would drop by and pick me up.  So despite myself I went exercising with the others and it was so very beautiful.  I took lots of photos and will post them tomorrow.

Anyway .. look at this beautiful sky!! I went outside this morning to re-fill the hummingbird feeders (otherwise they freeze) and replenished the bird feed.  Looking up .. what sky eye-candy!




and more .. and then I really had to get going … although the sun was a little warm, the air temperature was not!


A chubby little Robin flew past me and settled onto this little gate post.  This is one of my new raised beds full of garlic .. see the lovely green leaves.  And this funky gate is so lovely and I plan to use it as a little feature all throughout the garden.  Then you can see the pvc loop (I put green plastic mesh for climbing plants) and then there are those wonderful garden trellis planter things .. I have 3 and they are very portable to put throughout the yard.   I’ve just left them here for the winter.


Here is a longer view of that same photo of the Robin.   All those pots you can see in the background have garlic growing.  Even those little buds from the bottom of the Elephant garlic are planted in shallow pots.07

Then I caught a glimpse of the little grey squirrel, racing up the sidewalk and heading for the stairs … excited to fetch two more peanuts from the sundeck above.   They have to eat .. theirs is  a precarious life and so I am happy to provide them with food during this freezing weather.  Can you imagine if humans had to travel so far for so little and survive on these few peanuts?  I thought about that last night as I grabbed a handful of peanuts from the large bag that I bought (for them!) and thought how easily I can provide them for myself, compared with the little squirrels, who value these treasures and travel far and wide to gather them, cache them and save for future meals.


I was still watching the little Robin when I caught sight of the squirrel racing away with his treasures.  I clicked the camera and hadn’t expected to actually get a good photo!  He’s racing like mad.


Oh, I must share these photos.  Dh & I had this ficus for many years.   It flourished well .. except for a time last fall .. when all but a few leaves survived on a sad looking dried branched tree.   It had developed soil mites .. they were little little fruit flies.    I searched for remedies and tried them .. like putting a layer of sand on the surface of the soil so the eggs wouldn’t hatch.  That didn’t work.   I put the plant outside for weeks .. .the mites were still there.  Drastic measures called for a new pot, new soil.  I removed the figus from the old pot, washed the rhizomous roots in a light solution of Ecos laundry soap and then rinsed thoroughly with clear water.  Into the new pot, with new soil. And .. a good application of EM .  I didn’t bother to even trim away the dry branches, as I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  Well .. a few months later and we are astounded at the tiny little new growths and now these have become leaves and stems!   I believe it was the EM that saved it and encouraged the tree to grow.  Isn’t it lovely!  I’ll trim away any dried stems in a month or so.  We are so happy .. DH, myself .. and the ficus, all three!

11Then there is another success story.  This plant below, was purchased from a “big box store that I will not name” over 10 years ago.  I don’t know the name of the plant.  If anyone could identify it .. I would be most grateful.  This plant is tough.  It has survived on no care, no water and has been moved about a lot.  For the past 4 years, it has sat in the back room of the basement.   I moved it outside for the summer and back inside for the winter.  Then, a few weeks ago, I felt so bad for this living plant that just wanted to keep on growing and wouldn’t die.  So I added a bit of soil to the top surface.  Gave it a liberal dose of EM and some sunlight.  And look!  It is so very happy and is growing so well.   The power of a tough plant and the magic of EM!  I love you little plant.


Just can’t get enough of this beauty ..


Thank you .. lovely skies up above for this glorious display!  I could look at you all day!03

And finally … a friend told me about a little bird that was drawn into a Buffalo (airplane!) which was flying low and slow .. the little bird perched on the Captain’s finger .. I found this to be such a fabulous photo & story and I’m sure you will agree:

The tiny bird sitting so confidently  .. while flying inside the mighty Buffalo!

I sent the photo to Ann Nightingale, a birder extraordinaire, based in Victoria, BC.  !  I haven’t met her in person yet, but whenever I have a photo of a bird that has issues or a bird that is unusual, I always e-mail her and she always has the right answer for me.  I look forward to meeting her someday.

Anyway, here is Ann’s information on this little bird:

“It’s a Kinglet … perhaps (because the photo is from July) a baby Golden-crowned Kinglet .”  How magical!!!

Sigh .. what a wonderful world!  And such amazingly wonderful people!



Sunday, February 2, 2014

There is a good little Compost Education Centre in the Fernwood area of Victoria.  I hadn’t visited it for quite a few years and decided it was time for me to register for some workshops.  So on Saturday I did this.  Look at the funky welcoming sign, attached to the outer fence, I love it!  btw, the membership cards have the same design.


After I paid for my membership, bought a few seed packets it was time to go to the  building where the workshop would be held.  And it is in the most lovely Cobb house!  I’ve seen photos but have never actually seen one so this was quite a treat for me.



Here is a side view.  I found the thick walls of the straw/hay mixture were very effective at retaining the heat, plus I loved the look of this.


and here is a photo from the opposite side of the building ..



Among some of the items discussed, and the workshop was about vegetable gardening year round .. were the following:   So me, loving gardening in general and not very clever (yet) in vegetable gardening .. I found this information quite helpful.   So the thing is .. to plan when the seedlings need to be planted out and then work backwards from that, to actually start the seeds.  Although, with the “winter start of summer seedlings” I’m waiting to see how those seeds will sprout!


And, of course, this is quite important ..18


And the sun came out and the skies were blue …. while we were outside .. looking at the raised beds.

17Clever and inexpensive way to have a protected crop.  Seen in books and lovely to see in real life.


I just loved these permanent places to grow peas, beans, squash!


Clever way to keep neighbourhood cats out of the garden, tiny stakes planted helter skelter to dissuade our feline friends from using raised beds as their toilet.  In the past I’ve used those airy plant trays to keep kitties out .. but this idea is one that I will try.  I think it might also keep cats away from the birds.  Since our Duncan has departed this earth, I’ve noticed some neighbourhood cats .. cute as they are .. in our yard and I want to discourage them.


These raised beds look wonderful .. lots of work has gone into their creation and I can only imagine the lovely crops that will appear in the summer.


Here is a cover crop of vetch in one raised bed.  So that is what vetch looks like!  There is already lots of that around the yard!11


And I really like the look of this lovely old willow …. looks like it is well used.



There is even a composting toilet .. that is a subject for another day, I think.07

The blue skies were there for a while .. and when I was inside, I was impatient to be outside.  Right.24


And how did I miss this very attractive display of container gardening!06


There are also allotment gardens for the neighbourhood at the Compost Centre … very interesting gardens they were.


And on the way out .. I caught sight of this lovely little garden gnome/elf .. thought he was kinda cute.

21The workshop lasted from 2 to 4 pm and I appreciated the knowledge of the Instructor  (an Organic Master Gardener and certification of Permaculture from Gaia College!!!) .. and I learned much about planning a vegetable garden.   Now I need to plan what I am going to plant.

And I’m still checking on my “winter sowing of summer seeds” that I started in Mid-January.

This was a fun day and I quite enjoyed being in a gardening atmosphere in a place that I hadn’t visited for way too many years.