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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Sunny & frosty days …some snow has arrived to transform the garden. And the birds are happy. I think the Faeries have been partying at night!

The weather here in Victoria has been pretty normal, what with the rainy days, the sunny days and the faintest touch of snow once in awhile.  This is why everyone is drawn to this beautiful city.

Yesterday I was in the back yard .. topping up the bird feeders, tipping out the ice from the bird-baths (ok, we have had a few frosty mornings, I can live with that) … and my eyes were drawn to this (still) potted Hellebore .. which I will plant when the weather warms up a bit.  It is a tough little plant and has been enjoying the balmy parts of the day when the sun warms up the yard here and there.P1350675

Yesterday, those darling little Bushtits were hungry and so they didn’t fly away when I approached them.  They love these little ceramic and coiled metal suet holders .. this design is perfect for them and so I’ve placed several in this corner of the yard.

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Here is another chunk of slag .. left over from a glass factory many years ago.  Love how the sun brings out the blue/green colour.

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I’d bought this at a garage sale, many, many, many .. years ago.   It’s nice and chunky, someone’s prized stained glass project.  Here I have placed it upside down … it’s nicely covered with some garden soil and it could serve as a night-time party surface for the wee faeries when they come out at night to party and enjoy the solitude of the garden.  It’s placed far enough from the house so that their music and singing isn’t heard inside.  Tempting to tip toe outside on a hot summer evening to see if I can see them frolic and play.  That would be fun.

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The frosty weather is nature’s opportunity to change things up in the yard .. a chance to show us her creativity.  Here is a lovely display of ice .. so pretty, sparkling in the sun.. but not easy for the birds to drink!   Maybe .. the faeries have donned their winter clothing and skates .. perfect surface for them to practise their skating techniques during the nights when we sleep.  Perhaps the crackles were cause by a few of them, having had one too many little hot toddies as they demonstrated their triple axels??  (or whatever they do when twirling about on the ice in their tiny jewel encrusted skates!)  Can’t you just picture this?  I can!

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So I tipped the ice out and added some water for the little birdies!  To drink and perhaps have a little bath.P1350681

When I’d finished tipping out the ice, I looked at those round circles and decided to play with them and create a little ice path!  For viewing only, for beauty only.  sigh.

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Today was brrrr in the yard … I know that birds who visit our yard are wild and can fend for themselves .. however .. I did invest in a rather fair bit of a variety of bird seed expressly for them .. so out I went .. and added a generous amount to each feeder and made sure there was a healthy chunk of suet in each holder.  Good thing.  As it turned out, this afternoon we had a surprise coating of snow. Pretty to look at.  The yard transformed and magical again.

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I took some photos through the kitchen window .. I knew that if I went outside to take photos, the activity would frighten the birds away and I just wanted them to enjoy some quiet time and a chance to fill up their little bellies for the cold night that approaches.  Here is a beautiful Spotted Towhee …P1350695

Some Junco’s, sparrows .. the yard was full of birds flitting about and doing their little shuffle-shuffle dance to find sunflower seeds hidden in the snow.P1350700

Here’s another photo of that beautiful Hellebore ..looking lovely against the grass of yesterday!

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So very excited .. am I!!!  Recently received my order from Salt Spring Island seeds!!!  This is going to be such a fun summer of growing peas and beans and a few other things.  It won’t be long before there will be tunnels of these in the garden.  A little room in the back where I can sit on my bench, glass of white or mug of Yorkshire Tea (depending on the time of day!!).   A place where I don’t see any buildings .. only the green of the lush vines growing all around!P1350692

And today my order from Annapolis Seeds arrived!   Lots and lots of beans for juicing, munching and freezing!  This year will be abundant.  And I’ll be freezing the beans whole (no blanching required as the beans won’t be touching the ground!)

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My final photos is from Seedy Saturday, last Saturday, at the Victoria Conference Centre.  This is the first year that I haven’t volunteered, since I retired and I really enjoyed my time .. happy to see  garden friends there .. an exciting time wandering the tables and a choice of very informative seminars!  So many knowledgeable speakers!

Normally I take photos every few feet but this year I found myself drawn more into conversations and so ended up taking only one photo and here it is!

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I’ve really missed my daily blogging .. instead have been utilizing my time in a dozen different ways.   Busy all the day long.

This past Friday, I decided to change that.  When the weather is more conducive to being inside, I appreciate this opportunity to do those things that I find challenging when the warm weather calls for me to be outside.

Recently I decided to focus all my energies into starting to learn the theory of music.  It’s something that I had decided was way to hard to me to comprehend.   My fiddle teacher has been very patient in trying to help me understand this.  But the doors in my mind refused to open.   Then, at my 2nd to last singing lesson, my teacher and I were talking about theory and I realized that I must learn this.  No more to use the excuse and stubborness to veer away from learning.

So, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I spent many long hours, at my computer, a stack of index cards to write on.  A pile of beginner fiddle books.  Many online sites.   And the light is dawning.   The doors are opening.  The comprehension has begun.

Music is a language .. I love learning languages … and I love learning more about music!.

Well .. time for supper and I look forward to practising my fiddle and learning more!

🙂


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What I have seen in the garden during the past few days!!

The birds are used to the new feeders!  Actually this was sold in a gardening center for placing air ferns inside.  I immediately saw “birdfeeder” and bought about 5 or 6!   One of my many dreams coming true .. seeing the little Chickadee perched there.  Dreams can be about absolutely anything .. I love dreaming and have joy in seeing them come true!

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And then I saw this darling little Anna … busily chatting away to another Anna in a nearby tree.

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 Another opportunity to play with my new Camera .. learning as I go, what the best settings are.  I’ll study the “how to” manual on a rainy day. For now I will just take lots of photos …

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These tiny birds are so lovely to watch .. but they are tough little birds.  My cat once caught one, many years ago.  I’d heard an unusual sound from the yard and on investigation, found a tiny Anna that she had somehow brought to the ground.  Carefully I picked up the stunned little bird, surprised at the solid little weight it made in my hand – They are so small I visualized them as being as light as a feather.  It was an adventure that ended well for her.  I carefully put her in a room, opened the window, shut the door and shortly after that I saw the little bird Anna quietly on the branch of a nearby tree.

I think this Anna is the baby, still learning from the parents …

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ok .. just one more photo .. I love them!

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Strawberries are still flowering, bearing fruit even though it is mid-October.  This is a wild strawberry, the tiny yellow type which will easily invade your yard if planted.  I discovered that this summer.  Thought it would be nice to have a few varieties of wild strawberries planted among the veggies.  I soon found out that they will send out runners “till the cows come home” and ended up putting some in pots and the rest in the compost.  Hmmmmm … I realize that I will be getting a few hundred of these plants next spring from the compost!    Well, I can always share them.

At last, what a treat .. I was able to see the baby Bewick Wren!!!!!  They must be nesting somewhere in the yard …We planted many trees over the years and they have become home to Bush-tits, Chickadees, Juncos, Downy Woodpeckers, Sparrows (House, Gold Crowned, White Crowned) Flickers, Nuthatches .. on and on ..

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This was a rare treat to see this baby and I was ecstatic!   I had heard the parents “talking” to the baby over the summer and didn’t dare hope to ever see it.  Yet another one of the million delights in a backyard garden.   Right now, he is looking at the suet block below.  I must have made a little noise because after this photo, he abruptly flew away.

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There are still a few tiny little squash growing along.  I haven’t the heart to dig them up and will just leave them for awhile longer.  They are cheerful looking and brighten up the garden.

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Speaking of beauty it is all around us .. the ever changing skies overhead.

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Another treat from the compost, a surprise squash.  It is only tiny and might just grow a little bit more.

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I so love this plant, everything about it . .. even the name is cheerful “Peppermint Stick”.  I’d acquired it a few years ago and planted in the shade.  This year I moved it into the sun and like magic .. it showed me how happy it was in the new location by growing and growing and growing!   I was admiring the appearance of the raindrops and sunshine scattered along one of the broad leaves.  And here is a most interesting link that I found when looking for the proper name of this grass, I guarantee that you will find this blog most interesting  :http://www.louistheplantgeek.com/a-gardening-journal/491-arundo-donax-peppermint-stick

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Although I’ve harvested and composted the majority of tomatoes in the yard .. this is one of the few remaining and you can see why I’ve left them in place.  They look like cascading jewels, adding yet more beauty to the yard.

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The same reasoning works for these squash plants.  I’ll deal with them after the frost visits the yard .. there are still a number of weeks before that happens.

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And another sky photo …

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It’s been a busy few weeks .. having lots of fun in the yard, getting it ready for winter.   Harvesting the Scarlet Runner Beans, the Cherokee Trail of Tears, the tri-colour bush beans.   Surprises every day.

Gardening is so magical, ever changing and satisfying.

🙂