Summer time is a fun time, right? Too much to do and schedules and timelines are just not a high priority with me right now! Yippee. I’ve wanted to write and have kept putting off this decadent pleasure. Time to start-up again so here I go!
Recently I’ve been reminded (yet again) of the amazing power of positivity. How simply marvellous this energy is and how strengthening.to focus on the positive, especially in the garden.
My garden needed some “oomph” which it didn’t seem to be getting, so I went searching online – looking for sites with information on the effects of negativity in the garden (for example, heavy construction noise, dynamite blasting, etc) … and I rediscovered the power of music on gardens.
A number of times I’d heard about the amazing effect of music on plant growth. As a matter of fact, I always have music playing when I garden. Lovely violin, fiddle, instrumental, classical, world music.
Here is a great site on the positive effects of music on plant growth and development, showing the results of scientific testing to prove this: http://www.musicforyourplants.com/
Some of the sites listed details of how the tonalization of the music impacts the growth of plants and you’ll find the Italian video quite interesting.
I’ve copied some of the music onto my gardening iPod and have also included my new purchase of sitar music (ranked to be among the best for the garden) by Ravi Shankar “the Living room Sessions Part 1.
Much scientific wording and examples of music are given. Me, I’m a believer. And am shortly going outside to play again my lovely music and admire the growth of my plants. I just love my garden and each and every plant that grows in it!
These geraniums had not bloomed at all this year .. but look at this ..many little buds will be opening soon!!
I was watering some plants last evening after a very hot day. Look at what I found in a sedum planting! I think my friend D was being creative with this surprise! Little kitty kat! 🙂
Peek-a-boo .. I see you! Little cannelloni beans growing away behind the leaves. I’ll leave these on for dry beans later on for winter soups. With a few set aside to plant next year, of course!
Here is a little squash I just noticed last night, growing away so quietly.
Yet another squash that appeared overnight, it seemed! I was puzzled that spaghetti squash were growing and then I remembered the time last fall when I had diligently cleaned the seeds from an organic spaghetti squash, dried and put them away in a Ziploc bag. No labeling (sigh) so I had assumed that these seeds were for another type of squash. Note to myself, label seeds this year.
Grow on .. little squash ….
more surprises …
Our area in Victoria, BC has been hit with a number of days of really hot weather!! so everything seems to be growing great!
I’ve been sorting out my garlic, saving the largest for planting in October. And I’ll also be planting those little yellow thingies that grow at the base of hard-neck garlic … they look a little like dried bean, but have a pointed end. Not sure if they are called “bulbets” Should get a few small garlic bulbs from them.
Next year, I vow (again) I will have an improved veggie garden.
I’m learning (quickly) my strengths and weaknesses in growing vegetables.
My pal D has a definite green thumb. She can grow tomatoes like there is no tomorrow, harvesting hundreds of tomatoes from several plants. She even gave me 2 healthy specimens for my garden. Alas, I have not harvested as many as she has. She nurtures the plants, carefully watering them, turning them daily to ensure they receive enough sunlight. I, on the other hand, do water them but not as carefully. And the squash tendrils (from the container squash plants) have quite grown through the tomatoes so that I cannot easily turn the pots.
Ah, next year!!
And my squash plants have gone crazy! I’ve planted 3 types so won’t be able to save the seed from this years crops .. but, hey, that is what Seedy Saturdays are for! These look like spaghetti squash, but I don’t think they are … pretty though. Labeling the plants would help! sigh.
Nice hidden treasures …
It feels like Christmas morning, going outside to check on the squash! Little hidden treasures on the ground.
Here is a reason why I have difficulty turning some tomato plants around … squash has taken over!
Quite literally – taken over .. growing onto the grass ..
I made a makeshift area for the squash to grow … they seem to like this! (next year, ahem, I’ll plan accordingly, in advance of planting the squash seeds!) The joys of gardening, the adventures! The discoveries! Plus .. happy memories to remember in the winter!
I had filled Rubbermaid containers with water, to make it easier to nourish some plants that weren’t directly in the easy reach of the hose. One day I found a ladybug vainly trying to swim in the water .. oh, silly ladybug, you are meant to fly, not swim! So I scooped her out .. see ..
And then I gently placed her on the leaf of a nearby .. yes! Squash leaf! They do come in handy for these types of rescues!
Hard to believe that this area was quite thickly planted with my lovely garlic … and now home to squash! Happy memories of my garlic … time to plant again in a few months. Yum!
Kentucky Wonder Beans … although they grew rapidly up the lattice, I haven’t harvested many beans from these, planted in a container.
Quite an abundant harvest from the same type of bean, growing in partial shade, twisting and turning .. as they grow just as rapidly
Happy honeybees ….
Any excuse to stop and marvel at the magic of nature ..
I’ve lost the marker for this flower .. any idea of the name??? I bought it for the hummingbirds .
I bought 2 of these little feeders at the SPCA thrift store in Port Alberni weeks ago .. the Nuthatch approves!
And this dear little Chickadee is happy also!
Well .. the day is starting .. time to grab a pail and check out the local blackberries .. for juicing later on today …
The hot sunny weather continues … these are the lovely long days of summer! Here’s a pic of my first attempts at braided garlic. As I went along, braiding rope after rope, I began to imagine how easy it would be to incorporate coloured ribbon, flowers, all sorts of things. That will be my goal for next year.
For now, I’m happy with the rustic look. These will be gifts to friends .. and for me, a reminder of the summer. A complete day given up to sorting this years garlic crop. Hours spent, trimming the roots, brushing away the surplus soil. Sorting into sizes and beginning my attempts at braiding! A very happy day. Oh .. and I must select the largest cloves for planting this fall!
All the garlic is now braided or bunched and hanging to continue the drying. I stood there amongst the garlic … savoring the tranquility and enjoying the feeling of accomplishment. Oh, and I also dreamed a bit. Of moving to a place with more land so I could grow more garlic. I’m also growing shallots, they are easy to grow .. so would like to plant more of that also. A gal has to have a dream, right?
One of the zillion busy bees in the garden. Industrious creatures are bees …
Shasta daisy .. a cheerful sight to behold in the front yard. Modest flowers, I don’t notice them growing away until they burst into flowers adding so much beauty . . asking for nothing in return, save a bit of water in order to grow.
The edible peas are growing into giants and I harvest some daily. Still magical, isn’t it .. one little seed produces so much food. And such beauty. These vines have grown quite tall, over 6 feet in height. I’ll be saving some seeds for next year, you can bet!
I love this sky .. reminds me of a giant bowl of clouds being stirred around ..
Now .. this is an impressive cloud …
I watched as it evolved quickly, growing and spreading … see the cavern in the center? There was rain hours later …
A happy view of the suns rays beaming down onto this developing formation …
My favourite channel to tune into .. the sky … every changing and breathtaking ..
The Pawnee coming in for a landing .. it is the tow plane for the sailplane (glider). Having released the happy pilot & passenger way up in the blue skies .. it will land in a few seconds. Lovely plane. Formerly used for crop dusting, now it has a happier life towing sailplanes! The only thing that should be spread on crops is compost tea!
Ohhhhh .. a baby, wispy cloud.. how ethereal …sky art.
Look Dick, see Jane and hey Spot .. here is the Pawnee …
Nothing cheers me up like the sky does. No matter what is happening down here .. there is always something beautiful to see up there. Not man-made .. just nature doing its thing!
Yesterday I spent some time bracing up my bean crop. Using cut lengths of bamboo .. I made a makeshift frame and began running strings from the horizontal bamboo to tie onto the beans and peas to give them something to hold onto as they began their upward growth.
I was wearing my gardening outfit, muddy as usual and kneeling on the ground, focusing on ensuring that the string was snug when suddenly there was a flapping of tiny wings and a young sparrow landed on a length of bamboo that was just inches away from me. I think it got caught in the strings and then decided to cling to the bamboo to get its bearings. I scarcely dared to breathe and didn’t make any movements as we locked eyes .. Me looking at this tiny little innocent bird as it, in turn, stared, wide-eyed back at me. Complete silence for a brief moment of time.
The little tiny feet couldn’t quite get a grip on the smooth surface of the bamboo and he twirled and swirled in graceful minute arcs, round and round. Quickly he flew away and I, just as quickly, added some yellow plastic ties to warn other winged creatures that the strings were there.
Later on I stood quietly watching birds in the cherry tree .. munching away .. and saw the same sparrow. It had to be the same one, as he continued to swing in circles around branches. A fledgling member of the Cirque du Soleil, perhaps?
There are always unexpected surprises in the garden. Whether these be unexpected flowers, playful encounters with my feathered friends .. or something like this:
Honest to Pete, I had tried my best EM treatment with this Mexican Orange tree. It was one that I had neglected and it was really nothing but a stick with a few branches, nothing green whatsoever. I applied a liberal dose of EM about a month ago, but nothing happened. I was going to chop it up for composting, but, just hadn’t gotten around to it.
Yesterday, moving things around in the back yard, I happened to see this strong new growth.
It was one of those magical gardening moments and I just felt again the impact of the forcefulness of nature, the resilience of plants (and the power of EM). This was awesome and in so many ways it was a sign of encouragement and of not giving up. Truly an inspirational moment and humbling at the same time.
A mini-miracle that gave me such joy. And affirmed once again the positive power that we all discover in the garden.
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 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?
Have I been lazy, not writing every day? I’ve missed quite a few days. Frankly, my energy level has been quite low lately. Due a lot to the loss of our little Youbou cat .. we loved him so very much and it’s been a struggle to deal that. But we’ve dealt with that. Duncan is spending more time inside and we spend a lot of time with him.
Also with JaneE cat .. she’s started a new habit.
Now, when I’m at the computer, she sits on the floor beside me, meows hello, then stands up and stretches, gently putting her claws against my leg. So I pick her up, she sits on my left arm, like a little armchair, and rests her paws on my left shoulder. And purrs happily. So we sit like that for a while .. I continue clicking away at creative sites and she is content.
The other factor in my lack of energy is the constant construction noise that is taking place in our neighbourhood. Huge buildings are being built .. that will soon shadow the streets and take away the sunshine for most of the day for those who live nearby. We are far enough away that our light won’t be affected.
That noise is intrusive and nasty …and takes away the joy that I normally have in the garden. So I relish the quiet times, at the end of the workday and the weekends, when I can sit outside in the quiet and hear the birds sing. And the lovely silence.
I did stock up on some of the lovely silence during the weekend, so my creative and artistic batteries have been recharged. And suddenly, I feel happier, more optimistic and more my usual self. Lovely.
So what have I been doing in the past few weeks? Well, I’ve been playing around with the layout of the veggie garden. Still haven’t planted my garlic, but nearly there. I’ve decided to plant the garlic in blocks, so am making little paths between the blocks and have been putting a thick layer of that wonderful miracle mulch between them .. great for walking on and it will eventually turn to soil..
Then I’ve been thinking about how to relocate some large rocks in this area. I want to make a little grouping and then place some of the little rounded, flat rocks (gathered by the seashore) and tiny little rocks amongst them ..to make a casual place where I can sit in the sun. I’ve been playing around with the rock arrangement .. and will post a pic when done.
I’ve also been planting the Dragon Kale that my lovely gardening neighbour has given me. These will grow blue when placed in the sun and will stay green, when they are planted in the shade.
I’ve also discovered that what I thought was a wild plumroot-stock (the wild and crazy tree) is actually pear stock! This is the tree that we planted many years ago, the graft tree died and I nursed back one of the root growths.
And I’ve discovered that the orange spots on the leaves are pear trellis rust. Argh. Felt very dismal when I first noticed the spots and the protuberances on the underside of the leaves, they looked like ugly barnacles.
Now …. this tree affords us tremendous privacy in the yard during the growing season and we do not want to cut it down.
So today I’ve learned that the Juniper is the host for this fungus disease. And that there are organic ways to rectify it. Oh, I am so very glad that I took the Gaia Organic Master Gardening course .. for that is where the positivity for the healthy repair came from!
So I’ll be composting the fallen leaves in a separate container, with lots of EM, vegetation, etc. And then I’ll be placing healthy composted soil around the tree, lots of seaweed. Lots of EM. And I’ll be spraying seaweed and kale liquids on the leaves. Looking forward to next year at this time to see the results. This is so very positive and I’m so very happy …. yea!!
On the weekend, DH & I went for a “little” walk to a magnificent restaurant. Along the way, on the Blenkinsop trail, we had a happy time. We met Cowboy, the Quarter-Horse, whose owner was taking her little brother for a ride .. and then she let him lead the horse while she rode. I told her that she was making a lot of people happy .. seeing that handsome horse, and she smiled! Lovely.
We saw the random garden artwork that is well displayed at a property that is up for development. Thought I’d better take more photos, cause one day, with the development, this personal touch will no longer exist.
Finally we reached our destination and had the most delicious meal, seated at a window overlooking the ocean. Sigh …
The meal over, we began our homeward trek … and I found out that we’d walked over 10 miles (there and back) .. didn’t seem like much of a walk .. we love walking. Especially in the sun.
Lots more happened, but I’ll talk about this tomorrow. About a day trip with a friend that ended up with us visiting a casino, a beach and a second-hand store! 🙂
I’m back in my normal energy level .. loving the exploration of my world and garden. Oh and the birds! I’ve got to say that there is this huge robin in the yard .. he’s massive! And I’ve been taking photos of him as he poses around the yard.
So here we are in September .. and I have another birthday looming up .. not for weeks yet. I love birthdays .. another opportunity to celebrate!
The heat of the summer has been slowly winding down and now the days are shorter, darkness falls around 8 pm. Gearing down for the fall .. lovely lazy days. No more rushing around to plant veggies & flowers. Time to relax and enjoy the beauty.
Yesterday my lovely gardening neighbour came over for a visit and to pick some of the plum bounty. She laughed as she saw, once again, that I’d planted some tomatoes in the shadier parts of the yard. She is teaching me some good gardening techniques that she has brought with her from the Russian Ukraine, so I’m slowly learning by experience.
The Kale plants that she’d given me (Tuscany, Dragon and a ruffled type) were all doing well and they would last me through the winter, she assured me .. and I could collect the seeds in the spring. I quite like growing kale. All I have to do is plant it, some water, some EM ..wait for a bit and then just clip the outer leaves. My kind of easy care plant.
The cabbage plants that she’d given to me .. well, they were sun lovers, and as they are planted in the shade .. I’ll not expect much more than a few leaves from them.
She quite liked the way that the pumpkins were growing over the little arbour! And I have one large pumpkin and a few smaller ones.
Of all the squash plants that are growing, I might be able to pick a few small fruits for cooking.
Oh .. next year .. just wait .. I’ll start my veggie plants earlier and I will carefully tend them during the cool spring months. I promise that I will!
My very best crop, my absolute favourite .. is my garlic! And I will plant them in mid-October (this is the best time, she advised me).
And the strawberry plants, that I’d placed in those lovely long oval tin planters, well, the soil isn’t deep enough for them .. so when the weather turns a bit damp, then I’ll be planting them in the side garden border, where they can develop longer roots.
I like the idea of growing vegetables, fruit and flowers together. Pretty and practical.
Last weekend we went up-island for more sail planing .. and there we met the most wonderful pilot-in-training! He is 86 and learning to fly! He travels over 3 hours to reach the flying destination. Wonderful person. And to top it all off, he brews tea .. makes up a lovely pot of tea and shares! How very decadent is this! So we all enjoyed a hot brew in the morning sun.
I love meeting such interesting people who just go out and live life.
Oh and I meant to talk about Coombs, the famous place with the goats on the roof! This time I didn’t take any photos of the little animals on the roof, they must have been inside a pen. But I did take some pictures of a few of them grazing in their meadow.
How many times, over the years, have I stopped by the Coombs general store, parked the car, gone inside and shopped, and then left. Too many.
This visit, however, DH & I decided to wander around to see what other businesses there were. Oh ..wow .. another world appeared.
There was a little wooden structure, very picturesque and I think this was a cheese shop. Then there was this most elegant of buildings that housed a pizza restaurant. High scale .. reminded me of the many similar buildings that I saw in Europe, too many years ago. There were the black iron filigree designs around the windows, the large Boxwood plants in tall planters and inside, I could see the draperies tied back to show tables all set and waiting for customers to dine.
And then we met Thor from Whistler .. his doggy daddy was happily taking photos of Thor at various locations & I took some photos of both of them. We learned that friends always looked forward to Thor’s travels and his pics!
We discovered many more little shops and large parking areas. All of this was always there and we wouldn’t have known, if we hadn’t just taken the time to walk around.
Well . .I could go on, but the morning is flying and I must go outside.
A lovely gardener has given me some plants .. ferns and grasses and I look forward to planting them in various areas around the yard.
– several tomes of gardening books to check on plant size – check
– camera ready for taking photos of birds/trees .. whatever – check
– beautiful skies above – check … and here is where I met my downfall and paired up yet again with my ole pal, Procrastination.
Looked up and saw the most beautiful blue skies dotted with puffy clouds and decided to walk around and take some aerial photos.
Somehow ended up by the gigantic yellow globe Buddleia at the side yard. Hmmm .. this plant has morphed into a giant .. some branches would do best to be trimmed. So I fetched my clippers and started making a few trims of outstretched growth.
And, a few hours later, I’d pruned the plant down to just one main stem. Discovered that the rapid growth was gently squeezing the life out of my cedar trees, planted a few years ago. I say “gently” because the cedars were still bright green, but they were sort of pushed in at the sides.
I trimmed quite a few branches for propagating … oh, just stop me now! Then I decided to make a mulch out of the balance, so a few hours of trimming the supple branches and leaves .. they might as well be added to the compost, to add to the garden later.
Then I started looking at the Crocosmia plants. Several people had given me the corms over the years and I’d just planted them here and there in the yard. Well, I’m not spreading rumours, but, since I’ve added EM to the soil, I’ve noticed that plants have started exploding in growth. Seriously, I’m not kidding.
Where there were only a few raspberry canes, a few Crocosmia plants last year .. and that was fine .. this year they are bursting out of the ground. I pulled hundreds of Crocosmia plants out of the ground and the same story with the raspberry canes. I’ve grown these raspberry plants for years and never, ever, have they grown so abundantly.
And then I noticed the lily plant .. now this one I don’t remember planting, but it appeared last year .. very demure and sweet, about 2 feet tall. Last night, I looked “up” at this same plant, it’s over 6 feet tall!
I noticed my Mock Orange plant is growing, but all twisty and turny .. so time to move it to a place where it can grow up a bit straighter, with more room.
Where the cedars have been given space to grow, these are lush and taller .. and some of the smaller ones need to be dug up and moved over a bit.
I ripped out all the hundreds of annual flowers, the flowers have bloomed already, but these are taking up too much room. Darn that EM anyway, ha ha ha.
So, procrastination won out in the end. I admit defeat yesterday. But, on the bright side, I tackled a chore that wasn’t even on my list (that is, if I had a list, ha ha ha ). And I made changes that I wasn’t aware needed to be done. That is .. clearing away space so my cedars can grow.
That side of the yard feels much more spacious now .. it’s a good feeling.
I was going to post photos, but decided that I’ll show those pics tomorrow.
For today, I just want to share some of the sky pictures that caught my attention in the first place .. and the reason why I succumbed to procrastination.
We are finally enjoying hot summer weather and it’s wonderful for the garden and the humans also!
Yesterday I heeded the information that the garlic is ready to harvest when the bottom leaves turn yellow. Although I’ve also read that one should wait till the crowns have wilted. Anyway, I was so excited about digging up some of the garlic that I just started digging away.
The garlic was well rooted, what with the composted soil, the addition of lots of seaweed plus liberal doses of EM …. plus the recent rains had made it a bit more challenging to lift the garlic.
Nonetheless, I did harvest quite a number. As I was cleaning off the bulb and then trimming the roots neatly, I had a thought. What if the roots are meant to be left on?
So, into the house and I started searching for information on garlic. Found several sites. But .. the best site, bar none, was this one, and located in British Columbia! Boundary Garlic Farm. http://www.garlicfarm.ca/about-us.htm
And here I learned to keep the leafy section and the roots attached to the bulb, so that they would add more energy and growth to the bulb. And not to worry about the dirt around the roots, these can be gently removed later when they are dry.
Besides recipes and many, many growing tips and information on how to choose which garlic would be suitable for various climates .. I learned that I can slice the cloves of garlic in a food processor and then dehydrate them. I’ll try that .. drying them in the oven. Then, the dried slices can be kept either in an airtight container or in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Later, they can be ground to a powder.
Lots of helpful information on this site.
I did find a site that mentioned that the garlic roots are a delicacy .. but can’t try that out, as the root cuttings from yesterday are scattered, drying, in the garlic bed. Murphy!
Well, I decided to let the rest of the garlic just stay nice and cozy in their bed until the leaves are more yellow. This will give the soil time to dry out a bit, making it easier for me to harvest them.
I’m sure going to need a lot of space to dry these giants … and luckily, my friend D gave me a wonderful netting that will be perfect for drying. I’ll take a picture tomorrow!
I am very impressed with the size of the garlic, it’s mostly hardneck (I’d bought 4 types from Richter’s a few years ago) and they are the size of elephant garlic. I had bought several cloves of elephant, but wasn’t very successful with those.
Other things I learned while searching for information in the world of garlic .. were that the seeds of garlic can be sown .. they will grow into various shapes over the following 3 years, resulting in large bulbs.
And that the “rounds” can be harvested …. dried .. and then planted again and the result will be larger bulbs.
And that those tiny little round chickpea-like growths that are on the hardnecks can be planted again. So I’ve soaked quite a number of them in concentrated EM and put them in a container for rooting. At which time I’ll plant.
Also, some “rounds” might result from bulbs not receiving a month of 10 degrees of coldness in the fall.
And that you can speed up the rooting of garlic cloves, if time is tight in the fall, by putting them in containers, filled with compost, in the kitchen, until the roots form … which they will do, quickly . .and then plant them out.
Yesterday, another lovely hot and sunny day! Spent some time spreading out some rock weed to dry on some lattice frames. Perfect for soaking tired hands & feet later on. Seaweed is perfect for soothing tired muscles, sore from lots of gardening.
So very much to do in the garden .. that’s what happens when chores aren’t organized, I find. However, it’s never too late, I tell myself .. as I wandered around . .. sorting out where to start first.
I’m quite surprised when I visit the area of the garden where I have organized my propagating and seeding area. Uh, oh, all those packets of seeds that I left out on the table, with all the best intentions of putting them in seeding flats … and then I’d gone on to other things. Well, most of them have sprouted.
I’d purchased a lot of them at a Seedy Saturday, months ago. Then stored them neatly in a clear acrylic box, for future use. After that, I’d taken them outside and so .. now .. after periods of rain .. some of them have actually sprouted in their envelopes. Strong plant roots have broken through the paper barriers and grown and grown.
Opening some of the envelopes, I’m surprised to see strong and vigorous green growth! The Pea seeds (a rare German variety) were well rooted. I soaked the envelope in a little bucket of water, so that I could easily separate these treasures, without harming the root structure. And I installed one of my wonderful pvc sections, joined in the middle, to form an arch and placed on long rebar stakes, held firmly in the ground.
Next, I hung plastic netting to the sections (last year I’d placed screws along the sides of the pvc, so that the netting could be held firmly in place) and fastened it snugly. Then, busy gardening, I dug a long trench, planted the pea seeds, watered with EM and placed seaweed carefully around the seeds. This keeps away the slugs. No “slug bait” needed here. Nature rules.
Soon, these strong little peas sprouts will be rapidly climbing the netting. I foresee a heavy yield of these peas .. and will save some for seeding next year.
Once that was done, I returned to the table to check on the next packet of sprouted seeds. These turn out to be Kentucky Wonder Beans .. and wow .. do they live up to their name! Again I placed the seeds in water to loosen up the roots and pot them up, temporarily, in pots, to plant today. I’m running out of garden space .. so spend some time, planning another temporary garden section.
I notice that the basil and flax seeds have been thoroughly drenched and so I soak them and place them, temporarily in pots, ready for planting.
Procrastination just doesn’t always work in the garden.
I mix up another batch of EM (effective microorganisms) .. the magic elixir that enriches the soil with a mix of bacteria, fungi, et al, that makes the soil come alive and encourages splendid new growth. And I water some of the veggies with the EM ….. healthy soil, healthy plants.
And I tuck seaweed around the base of some blueberries, to deter the slugs which have been munching away on the leaves. They aren’t doing that anymore, thanks to the seaweed!!
I love the new temporary raised bed, by the wild and crazy tree. A wonderful mix of spoiled hay, leaf mulch, alpaca & goat manure, plus compost. I had one remaining board left from the original raised beds of years ago. That formed the front edge of the new bed. Next I collected bricks from around the yard and made a facing, so it appears as if the bed is solidly established.
Then I placed sections of boards on top of the facing board, placed flower planters on top and interspaced them with beach rocks .. so now it appears as if this bed has been here for a long time! (photos tomorrow!)
So .. today .. lots to do … setting up more little temporary beds and will plant those Kentucky beans there.