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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Spiders and seaweed .. some of the things I have in my garden. Plus some photos of the moon .. how fun

This is one of 2 Silverberry plants that I bought many .. many years ago.   Tough as nails these plants are.  They survived neglect (kept in a plant pot out in the garden .. forgotten) and although they didn’t grow much, they didn’t give up.  Bless em.  4 years ago I finally planted them and last year they started to flower.  These plants are quite large now and I’ve begun pruning them.  The flowers are a positive sign that they are happy …and I’m loving them for hanging in!  This is just a small section to show the flowers up close .. there are hundreds of these tiny little beauties of joy.

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A few days ago I was removing plants that had come to the end of their growth .. trying to make some space for kale,spinach and mizuna plants.  I noticed this spider had settled in on the squash vine .. so, not wanting to disturb him … I left the removal of this spent vine for another day.

02Finally all the seaweed sacks were emptied, the seaweed either dug into the soil or put in the compost bins.  These were then rinsed thoroughly and draped on the conduit frame and bamboo, wherever there was space .. to dry and soak up the sunshine.  Ready for another trip sometime in the future.

03At the end of the day …. spider was still there … he looked settled in so I left him in peace.

04Part of an old window from our house and a little stained glass sunburst them I made years ago.  Just waiting for me to re-purpose them into something artsy for the garden.  For now they will just stay put .. pretty to look at and not in the way of anything.

 

05Last year my pal D and I went to the beach shores in Sidney, there is a small section which receives a lot of broken ceramics and bricks .. washed ashore from a nearby island.  Lots of treasures to be found .. I might sprinkle some into a fairy garden, they would be perfect.

06Each sunflower is different, some have broader petals, smaller faces .. each one is beautiful.

07The moon two nights ago .. I was playing with my camera to see how close I could aim with the 30 zoom (Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS40) …. loving this camera .. here are some views that I took ..

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11The moon doesn’t really seem that far away .. shapes and craters can be seen ..

12And just as I finished my little tour around the garden .. I noticed that a potato had been growing away in bean container.  Fancy that .. I must have used some compost here .. it will be interesting to see if I harvest any little taters here!

10Well .. its’ a new day, lots to do .. .which includes a garlic workshop at the Victoria Compost Centre later on in the day.  I intend to learn a lot about this lovely crop!

🙂

 


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Enjoying the beauty of Cherokee Trail of Tears beans … and other beautiful growing plants in my little garden

My pals, R & D & I went seaweed collecting last week … we carefully chose the seaweed that was battered and torn up … nothing fresh and growing.  Anyway, part of our ritual is to stop for lunch at the Little Vienna Cafe in Sooke!  Delicious food .. happy atmosphere.  We sat outside and there is the most marvellous water feature there …

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And if you happen to have an old wooden boat handy on your property and are at a loss as to what to do with it .. here is an idea!  Plant a garden!   Hmmm … wouldn’t it be lovely to see garlic growing away in this? (I love garlic!)

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Such magnificent blue skies.  I love blue skies and take a zillion (seriously!) photos .. so many, in fact, that D suggests that I create a “Cloud” blog .. well, that is certainly food for thought.

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A crow flying overhead … just one crow!  Where are his buddies?

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Definitely eye candy overhead on a sunny day …

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And here is eye candy of another sort .. out in the garden …

06There is always one in every crowd .. you know .. the one that stands out and seems to say “it’s me .. see me” .. in a nice way, though!

07Lovely Clematis flower … soon it will be time to sleep and rest during the fall and winter months.  Ready to spring forward and bloom anew in the warmer seasons.  Thank you for adding to the magnificent beauty in my backyard oasis.

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How lucky am I .. strawberries are still growing away and it is the end of September.

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With the promise of more berries to come.  Way to go, strawberries!

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More of Nature’s garden art .. how delicate and sweet ..

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Doesn’t this make you smile?  I don’t cut the sunflowers down .. just let them grow away and provide food for the birds when it is time.

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I love these Cherokee Trail of Tears beans .. they are a very vigorous plant and the vines are super tough ..and talk about fast growing!  I had put out a few tall stakes, however, their rapid growth caught my by surprise.  I was concerned that perhaps their intertwining might mean not so many beans, but as you can see, that is not the case!

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Their diminutive flowers are so gentle and calming .. funny thing for me to say about a flower, but that is the sense I have when I’m outside, admiring them.

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So I’ve learned yet another thing about planting beans!  Planting these Tiger Eyes bush beans next to the Cherokee Trail of Tears was not such a great idea as they quickly became shadowed out.  However, a few pods have grown so I will save them for seed for next year.  When I’ll plant them in their own area!

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See how the Cherokee beans grow right up through the trees!

016Yesterday was a most beautiful sunny Sunday.  And I was able to spend the complete day outdoors!   I spent so much time wandering around .. soaking up the beauty of the flowers, beans, vines, plants.  It was just such a wonderful day.

And I finally spread around the seaweed that my friends and I gathered last week .. it was getting to the stinky stage and I put lots in the compost containers and dug in the rest into the garden soil .. with lots around the pear stock tree!

I dug up a brick path that I’d installed last fall .. to create a pathway in the veggie bed.  Time for change.  My gardens are all about change and moving things about.

Anyway .. time is speeding up and I have my exercise group to join .. so more later!

🙂


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Looking backwards in time .. to a sunny day in June!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Well, I really want to talk about my garden.  Started looking through my photos and perused some sunny days in June when D and I went seaweeding in Sooke.  Our good friend R joined us in September, I think, and I have some good photos from that time and will post later.

Anyway, it was a midweek day and D & I set off to Sooke.  Looking forward to spending time on the beach, harvesting some seaweed for the garden.  Breathe in the fresh air and just spend some time away from the reality of daily life.  So, it was a sunny day, see this beautiful sky ..

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It was early in the day and the tide was way out there .. we could walk for miles along the shoreline .. see the seaweed covered rocks.   Lots of sea lettuce.   I’ve seen people just hacking away at these and stuffing huge bags full .. to use in restaurants.   That is just so wrong.  D & I, having taken seaweed courses, know that you just carefully trim a leaf from a plant, leaving the rest to continue growing on the rocks.
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Such an eerie feeling, really .. to walk along these rocky shores that normally are full of water, too deep for me to ever enter when the tide is in.  I am so grateful for this experience.

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Tide is coming in .. the hidden sea creatures can now escape their hiding places and cavort about in the salty brine of the ocean.

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And here is D .. she’s found a lovely kelp, the fronds are still attached.  The plant itself is ok to harvest, it is not still growing.   Treasure indeed, my garlic thanks you.

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Yum yum .. says my lovely garlic .. more than 60 minerals in seaweed .. enriches the soil quality and adds taste to the garlic.

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And the Elephant Garlic mumbles a gnarly thanks also … it is too busy growing to pay us much attention!02

 

Later we wandered along this lovely wooden walkway that stretched over the waters of Sooke …16

 

And along the way we saw this happy family busy throwing their crab traps … they would carefully check the size of the crabs and any too small or too large would be cast back into the ocean.

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Don’t these branches remind you of a giant dinosaur or a monster of some type?

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The beautiful blue skies continued overhead .. how lovely is this ..18

 

Saw some magnificent trees along the switch back walkway that led us down to the ocean .. strong, beautiful trees .14

 

Loving the contrast of light and shadow.  The Yin and the Yang.  The Positive and the Negative.  Balance in all things.  Too much of one is boring, but a subtle mix is seductive and interesting, non?15

 

 

A last look at the shoreline .. and it was nearly time to leave.

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Back home, in between unloading the seaweed and moving to the back yard, I just had to stop and admire busy bees cavorting in the lupines.

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And the red-hot poker plants … the birds and insects love these blooms.23Sigh .. that was a lovely visit back to June .. especially in this winter.  Although, the weather in Victoria, BC today was sunny, there was some chill, but not much.  So we can’t complain.   And must not boast, you know.  But we all do enjoy this lovely weather.  And I, for one, just plain dream of next spring and summer.

 

 

 


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Another day at the beach … gathering seaweed .. breathing in the fresh ocean air .. and there were seals out there!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lovely lazy Sunday … slightly overcast and then the sun broke out of the clouds, yea!!!

Friday my pal D and I ventured out to Sooke to gather some seaweed for gardening.  It was a most beautiful day.

First thing, though,  had to check on my shallots .. hadn’t grown them before and had purchased some Dutch shallots from Richters Herbs… here is one of them .. shedding the papery husk of the original bulb .. I thought this was worthy of the “magic” of gardening so thus the photo.   They are tenacious growers and I would like to plant more of them.  Maybe I’ll get into a shallot growing  frenzy as I have done with garlic!

Everything is always magical in the garden .. it just never gets old and always I am humbled at the miracle of a seed growing into a plant .. the inherent knowledge of the plant (non-GMO, of course) .. nature happening in it’s own way …

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Here are some Valerian plants .. growing so tall .. I need to plant them soon …

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Ok, so D and I arrive at one of the many beaches in Sooke .. what a magnificent day.  And both of us are experiencing issues near our homes, where vast building projects are ongoing and we really need some natural beauty to offset the construction issues.  This s a good start.

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What amazing skies ..
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The stones are placed so artistically along the shoreline … now this is real art .. the natural kind.

 

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It was a lovely outing, escaping to nature.   No cranes.  No trucks.  No hammering.  Just the soothing sounds of the waves off in the distance .. a warm breeze swirling around us as we gathered seaweed.  Now that was a lot of work and we quickly filled some bags which I loaded into my trusty little car.   Then it was time to relax and go for a walk along the shoreline.

Such clear water on the firmly packed sand .. like a mini-pool

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The tide was way out there …. 
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I could see tiny crabs and lightning fast little fishes darting in all directions below.

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And D noticed this large piece of heavy industrial  plastic .. it looked like a hatch cover.  Would have liked to have removed it from the beach but it was very heavy, so we had to leave it there.

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Such a relaxing sight to see the myriad of stones beneath the clear saltwater.

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D noticed the seals … out sunning themselves on the rocks … their barking noises echoed over the water and sounded quite close to us

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And I learned from D that this is sea-asparagus.  Served in fine restaurants, imagine that.  Most likely not cheap, either.

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This ancient log resembles a whale, don’t you think?

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More seals …enjoying their natural habitat ..

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It was a fun relaxing day trip and finally it was time to leave .  However, we did stop along the way and went for another walk in a small forested area along the highway … where the fronds of the ferns were now unfurled and the well-worn pathways were edged with fields of them.

Photos tomorrow ..  now it is time to work outside .. to enjoy the one day of the week when the construction noises cease and I can pretend that today is like the normal days of years ago .. when quiet was normal.  sigh.

🙂

 

 

 

 

 


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Beach walks, natural beauty, power of the waves and … I saw Jupiter last night!!

Tuesday,

January 22, 2013

One day last week, my pal D and I embarked on another adventurous day .. our list of activities included visiting some local thrift shops and then go to the beach to gather seaweed.  The skies were a little overcast in the morning and later broke out into beautiful blues and whites:

03Unique bus stop bench and planters .. how suitable for this lovely little town.

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As we began our walk along the pathway by the beach .. we saw some of the found items that had been lost by previous walkers.    Can you picture the scenario for the glove and toy?   Busy parent with active child and thus these things tumble and fall.   I hope the little phone toy is claimed .. looks like a favourite toy.

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The tides were starting to come in, the waves rolled in and crashed against the rocks.

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Splish .. splash … and jump out of the way!

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Later D noticed that this scenario looked Egyptian.   And sure enough ..see the camel in the foreground and the pyramids in the background:

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The tides follow their own rhythm .. can you imagine the immense power of the water .. causing the rolling waves to advance and recede.  Humbling.

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Beautiful ..  natural  … beach art …honest and true.10

Oh, Nature .. you are the best artist that there could ever be.   Nothing contrived or planned.   09

And again, the power of the water to shift these huge logs, tossing them randomly along the beach.  Creating places to sit and relax, enjoying the beauty of these surroundings.  Peaceful and yet invigorating.08

Such a vista .. no words needed to explain why so many people want to live there.  Unfortunately, forested areas have been cleared away to build huge box like buildings.  That is truly sad.07

D found this artistic display of stones .. dried seaweed roots that had grown on these rocks resulted in a lovely arrangement, created by another admirer of beauty.06

And just a few seconds later, a very splashy wave struck against a rock and deflected on D … she was slightly soaked and we both flew up the side of the rocky wall.  Didn’t know we could move so fast.05

Sigh …. 04

So we collected some lovely seaweed that was piled on the beach .. perfect time to gather this miracle material for the garden!

It was a day.  And .. another day I’ll share what I bought at the shops.  Lovely things for the house and great tools for the garden!

🙂

p.s. .. looked up in the sky early evening yesterday and noticed a round light coloured shape kind of near the moon.  This is the best photo I could take (sob).  I e-mailed the Dominion Observatory (just outside of town) and learned that this is Jupiter!   And that it will be seen tonight, but the moon won’t be as close.  Photographers with really good cameras will take much better photos … so I will search for some.  See .. it pays to look up at the sky!  I spent some time setting up our telescope (have you ever tried to look at something far away with one of these things? .. very challenging).

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Sharing my photos from Thursday’s adventure, gathering seaweed, visiting thrift shops and then lunch at Little Vienna Bakery Café

Saturday, October 20, 2012

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So I’m back to the slideshow method now .. this works much better for me, as I love to share photos of where I’ve been.  Maybe sometimes I’ll just insert a few photos.  But not today, though!

I’m sharing photos taken last Thursday.  A day that started out in a sunny fashion.   And my pal D and I were set to embark on another seaweed gathering day.  But first, I noticed the roses still blooming at the side of the house, so I gathered some and put the petals in a flat tray on a little table in the backyard,  Envisioning that they would be mostly dry in the lovely sun.

As it turned out, though, the rains poured down while we were up-island .. so as soon as I returned back home, I quickly gathered them up and put them on paper towelling so they would dry .. and they did, quite nicely!

Anyway, we began our day, driving to some lovely thrift shops.  We each picked up some treasures!   Including some black computer chairs, which we tried out in the thrift store, sitting on the chair and swirling around in circles.   Why even bother trying to be a sophisticated shopper anyway!  This was way more fun.

Everytime I buy a little knickknacks, I’m justified in the purchase.  Even though I’ve been busy decluttering at home!   DH asks me, when I show him my treasures .. well, actually, he just shakes his head and doesn’t say much … he’s very patient!  I try to explain why exactly I “need”these new things .. how they add beauty to the house!  Especially those decadent tureens (one with a lid) and the platter.

So, we visited 3 thrift shops and then it was time to go to Little Vienna Bakery Café  The rains had started in earnest, so we decided to have lunch inside!

I had a magnificent butternut squash soup, so rich!  And D had the sumptuous dumplings with a wicked mushroom sauce!  And desert!  Well, that was wrapped up and taken to our respective homes … for a later treat.

Well, finally, we reached Whiffen Spit.  The waves were crashing to shore and I asked someone nearby if my car would be safe where it was .. and I was assured that it would be!

Normally when we visit this place, the tides are out a bit .. and even the high tides weren’t as high as they were on Thursday.  So it was a change to see the waves come rolling in and then crash to shore.  Bringing with it enormous amounts of bull kelp and seaweed.

So we walked along a bit.   Then ventured to a sheltered area, to gather some seaweed.  Which was broken up into pieces by the powerful wave action as they were plummeted to shore.

We were in seaweed heaven!  Soon we had a few bags gathered and I put them in the back of my car .. being careful not to dislodge our recent treasure of purchases!

I also gathered some sea water, to use in the garden .. and thus add precious minerals to the lawn and garden.  Still working on getting the pear tree back to health and avoid the pear trellis rust.
I’ll be composting the leaves from the pear tree in a separate compost pile.  Adding lots of EM, seaweed and seawater.   The resulting mulch I’ll be using on the side garden.

As I noted before, last year, before my shift of paradigms (garden wise) I had just raked up all those lovely leaves with orange spots and composted them.  Hadn’t had any problems.  However, this year, with my new knowledge, I’ll be treating them differently.  And curious to see if this rust doesn’t return next year!.

Well, pouring rain thundering down, we decide that it’s time to return to the metropolis (ha) of Victoria, so we make our way back.  I keep to the posted highway speed in this type of weather … respecting the highway, the downpour and other vehicles.

Soon we are at D’s place and together we take her treasures inside, laughing as we remember what we bought at which store!  Another fun day.

Then, time for me to take my little car home and start the process of emptying the contents.   Sea water and sea weed taken to the back yard, about 4 trips.  Then I carefully gathered my rose petals to dry inside.

Next, my treasures are unloaded and brought home .. all freshly washed and dried!.

So much fun and such a low-cost.  My car gets great mileage .. up to 60 mpg on the highway, so that was negligible.   Then, the total cost of my treasures were under $40, so I had great value there.  Plus all the happiness they bring.

When it’s time in the future to pass these treasures along to someone else (so I can make room for more, as D says!) then I’ll enjoy the process.  It’s all fun anyway.

I must admit, I’ve quite enjoyed picking up little treasures for low costs … challenging my creative spirits and laughing along the way!

Well .. on with this day ….

 


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Here are some pics of some blue skies, some crows, lovely flowers and proof that I’ve planted my garlic

The crows were not pleased with the presence of the Great Blue Heron on “their” roof!

Last week on one of those rainy/sunny days, I decided to use my Cannor’s Nursery gift card, the one that DH gave to me for my recent birthday.  I wandered around outside, not many people there, just enjoyed the ambience of the proximity of thousands of plants.  Wondering which ones would be coming home with me.  Suddenly, the sound of crows cawing away directed my attention to the top of a nearby roof.

I watched for minutes while one crow in particular tried to scare the Great Blue Heron away from the roof.

So this one particular crow tried scare tactics .. but the Heron just yawned and continued preening.

The crow would fly up and then swoop down on the Heron, but the Heron just ignored him and continued his grooming.

 

Beautiful water flowers at Cannors Nursery

These flowers attract insects for fine dining .. I believe.  Quite beautiful in their arrangement.

And it was a rainy day, perfect for wandering the garden nursery

Aren’t the glistening drops of rain beautiful . . transforming the leaves into amazing natural works of art .. finer than any jewel could ever by.  Fashioned by Mother Nature.

 

Ok, this photo was from last week .. lovely skies

The beautiful blue skies from last week .. the clouds were constantly changing shape and so I was busy clicking away, taking little breaks from planting my lovely garlic.  I love the skies and  am constantly looking upwards, there is so much to see.  Always.   And thus the beauty.

One little block of garlic ready to be nestled in for the winter

Here is one little block of garlic.  I dug little trenches, put in the cloves, pointy side up.  Then watered them well with EM.   Next, I carefully covered the cloves with soil.

After the soil was spread over the cloves, next came a layer of seaweed/grasses

Then I covered them with a thick layer of seaweed.  Which D & I gathered over the summer months.   Followed by a cover of dried sea grasses.  (All of the grass was washed up by the tides, gathered gratefully and dried in the sunshine)  A lovely blanket for the garlic.

Sigh ..

 

Sigh says it all!

One of my recent “treasures” found in a thrift shop, for my garden

When D & I went for our seaweed gathering, we began to add little routines to our day.  When we began, we would collect spent seaweed,  then we would go to a nearby cafe for lunch.   We started adding variety to our trips a few weeks ago.  This included a visit to the Casino

I collected my $5 Birthday voucher,  and then she chose the machine.  It was Egyptian, of course!  Every time the points would increase, the costumed guard of the tomb would do a pretend arm “dance” ..so we giggled quite a bit at that!   Wisely, she suggested that I cash out, once my winnings were at $19.  So I did.  But then, I put in $10 and when that rose to $18, the reminder was given again, and so I cashed out again!  Actually walked away from the Casino with cash!  Usually on my Birthday $5 vouchers, I just make my yearly visit, spend the $5 in less than 10 minutes and walk away.  So I was quite pleased to walk away with more than I started with!.
Anyway, next we visited the local St. Vincent de Paul.  Oh, my, and thus began a series of “must have” purchases for home.  Above, is the garden mirror that looks great outside, leaning against a tree.

Then, I bought a cat scratching recliner thingy for JaneE.  Beautiful decanters and bottles.   Lovely.

One of my plant purchases at Cannors Nursery

One of my recent purchases for the garden!

Lovely Canna Lilies

Including a gorgeous pot of Canna Lillies!

ha ha ,, DH, adjusting the labelling of my oat bran!

So I opened up the kitchen pantry doors a few days ago and saw this and thought “Goat Bran” .. oh, DH was having fun changing the wording of my “Oat Bran“.  🙂

D’s 3rd crop of basil, from the same plants! The magic of EM!

And, oh, wow .. this shows the power of EM!  D had bought this pot of basil, kept it in the same soil.  Added EM .. and this is the third crop of basil that she has gathered.  And the same soil, now totally enriched with the EM.  Are you sold on this EM yet?  🙂

D’s little tomato plant, soldiering on, still bearing fruit, despite the weather! (EM!!)

And this is one of the famous four tomato plants.  The plants grown from the same seed as last year, small bushy plants.  This year, D watered them with EM.  Results were towering plants, a crop of way over 400 tomatoes from 4 plants.  And this plant is still growing.  Leaves and fruit are smaller, but still .. power to the EM!  And beyond.

D’s yellow tomato .. quite the interesting shape.

And D always is finding unusual fruits and veggies in her wanderings.  Here is one example of a strangely shaped tomato!  Like a quadruple tomato, eh?

Oh, Duncan, our little darling …

Darling little Duncan .. he’s wandering around the yard .. and he doesn’t like the camera!.

Well, I just wanted to share some photos from last week and yesterday.  To show my garlic, finally planted.  I created some rectangular areas in the garden and tried to plant one type per section.  So I have  mostly hardnecks, and I’ll be collecting the scapes next summer for more garlic pesto.

I planted the golf size and larger round bulbs in one section.  So looking forward to see the results next year!   And then the gigantic elephant garlic.  Lots of garlic.  And I saved one block for some winter veggies . .must go looking for some.

My lovely gardening neighbour has given me more Dragon kale, so I’ll be planting that soon.

I’ve been feeding my pear tree (the one with the pear trellis rust) with lots of seaweed solution and placed a fair amount of actual seaweed at the base.  And sprayed the branches as best as I could with the liquid seaweed.

After wonderful advice from the Gaia Community Board, I’ve been reminded that “healthy plants don’t get sick” … of course, now I remember that from my Organic Master Gardening Course, Gaia College!!   I’ve also learned that what I thought was the root stock of a plum-tree is actually pear stock.  So much to learn, how exciting.  We’d planted this tree about 30 years ago, so I forgot what it was.  🙂

D and I have been adding activities to our seaweed gathering days.  These now include 3 thrift shops!  Oh my.   I’ll post the pictures of my recent treasures tomorrow.  I think there are enough photos for today.

So today I tried a new way of posting photos.  And I will revert back to the slideshow method tomorrow.  As this posting of photos, one by one, just takes so much more time, and I’m the kind of person who wants to get on with things.

Anyway, I’m back to blogging.

So much more to talk about.  Including, ta da .. .another gardening course!  This one is Ecological Landscaping .. so I’ll be talking about that as I go along.  It starts Oct 31 and ends Dec 8 .. so another whirlwind session of learning is about to start.  Two sessions a week, 3 hours each.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these photos and tomorrow I will post pics of the crashing waves at Sooke and the pics of my recent purchases!
Now .. on to either gardening or decluttering.  Wonder which will win out?

🙂