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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Fall has arrived but I still think it is summer in the garden …

Lucky us with lots of sun happening .. JaneE Kat doing her due diligence by the wash tub water fountain.  She just loves having her showers here …and patrols this area quite often. And then she sits in the sun to dry off.th07

Here is me and my shadow …taking a photo of me!  Another me in another dimension coincidentally occurring in the same timeline?th01And I had planted my potatoes late also .. these are supposed to be purple potatoes.  I’d planted them in a huge oversize container in the back of the yard and they didn’t get much sun at all.  Still, a respectable amount of potatoes despite all that.  And that green thing that looks like a lime is totally strange.  It grew along with the potatoes and is a strange vegetable .. one which I will not eat!th02This is the rose that I’d planted many years ago.  It survives on nothing, I swear.  I don’t water it or feed it and it keeps growing on.  The root system must be very deep.   Anyway, I’d given it a very hard pruning months ago and was surprised to see the new growth.  That’s my kind of plant.  Tough and independent and at the same time, so very beautiful.th03I know that there are many ladybugs in the yard but I really hadn’t seen many until I saw this shiny new one, resting on a bucket lid.  Did it prefer the red colouring?  Seems so.th04The pigmentation is starting to change in the bean plants ..quite pretty, I think.th06Despite this .. all of the pole beans are growing like mad and there are so many flowers and beans growing!th05A morning photo .. dew on the bean leaves .. I like the effect.th10Sweet little Gold Crowned Sparrow .. doing the shuffle shuffle dance, looking for food amongst the fallen leaves of the wild and crazy tree (pear stock).th11

One morning, I saw the White Crowned Sparrow, perched high atop a telephone wire, quite the handsome bird.  http://www.birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/white-crowned_sparrowth12

In the backyard, a diminutive Anna perched on a branch of the wild and crazy tree …there are quite a few around the front, sides and back yard ..adding a speedy sparkle to the atmosphere.th14

Oh, la la .. the French Marigold has blossomed, adding a spice of red and gold to the garden.   I’d sowed the seeds after I planted the beans and was surprise to see them (but happy at the same time!)th13-2And the tiny tomatoes keep on growing ..there are quite a few.   I don’t give them any special care and they just flourish.  See the tiny one growing on the left?  Is it a tomato or is it a tiny garden sprite, camouflaging itself so that I wouldn’t notice?  The top part does really look like the kind of headgear that a little sprite would wear during the summer, to blend in and no one could notice. th13There are sunflowers in all stages of growth near the bird feeder.   This one is at the seed forming stage …th08

And this one is at the smorgasbord stage …the birds are feasting on the seeds which are still growing .th09

I know that summer is over and fall has begun.  But when the sun shines so warmly as it has done for the past while .. it’s easy for me to pretend that it is still summer.    With a mug of strong Yorkshire tea in hand, I walk around my bean forest and bask in the joy that a garden brings.  Reliving the steps that I took to prepare the soil, plant the seed, build up the structures for the beans to grow along.

Planning what to do for next year.  Soon enough it will be time to undo all that I have done and stow equipment away for the winter.  Still have another month for that, though.  So I will just continue to wander around and enjoy what is there.

Watching the dancing blue skies above … with the achingly beautiful cloud designs that are constantly changing and adding so much design and texture.

Loving the sight and sounds of the birds as they perch in the trees, fly about the yard and surprise me with their sudden chirps.  The Chickadees, in particular, love to settle on a branch by any one of the bird feeders and demand more food.

JaneE, with her wash tub showers and imperious demands for treats makes me laugh.

The pyracantha berries are nearly all dry .. I spread the orange berries outside in the sun to dry and take them inside for the night.  I hope that the birds will enjoy them during the winter months.

The garden is a busy, happy and magical place to be!

There is much to be learned and there is a lot of wisdom there if one looks closely enough.

🙂


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Fall is approaching but there is still a lot of summer beauty in the garden ..

A lovely big dragonfly was zooming around the yard a few days ago so I thought that I would provide a drinking dish for it.  Pretty marbles in a dish with a bit of water.  I waited around for the return of the dragonfly but alas wasn’t able to see it.  Hoping it returned and, liking the colourful display, rested there for awhile.  There is a lot of activity  in the garden when I’m not there!w01Sweet little JaneE Kat patiently awaiting her treats!

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A fresh new birdfeeder is welcomed quickly by the birds.  Here is a little sparrow  – he has ventured inside and is now perched in the opening, checking to see if other birds are nearby.   He owns the feeder for now.w03

Give us this day our daily beans.  Non stop growing of all the beans.  I’m juicing these like mad as there is no more room in the freezer.   Maybe I could set up a road-side stand in front of our house??  🙂w04Fall really is approaching.  The daily dance of the wild and crazy tree (pear tree stock that has grown like mad over the years) results in a potpourri of the leaves being scattered throughout the yard.   The pear trellis rust is nearly gone.  Thanks to all the healthy foods I’m feeding the tree with.  EM, llama manure, seaweed, nothing but the best for my garden.w05Lots of self-sown tomatoes.    So dainty. w07More sunflowers ready to burst into bloom.  w09Lots of flowers everywhere for the bees.  w10Lovely to see the flowers of the Scarlet Red Runner Beans.  Prolific beans and tasty.

w11More of my “favourite” beans .. pole vines that grow up high, into the trees.  Nice crunchy beans & delicious cooked or juiced.  There will be lots of these seeds for sharing so others can enjoy them  next summer.

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Just a handful of beans picked – Spanish Musica, Blue Lake Bush, Scarlet Red Runner and my “favourite” beans.  I like using these round baskets as my “picking” containers, have had them for years and have no idea where I got them.    Anyway, some days I go outside and pick 2 full containers of beans.  Morning and afternoon.   I’m honestly so surprised at the bountiful growth of these beans.   And I swear they hide on me sometimes.  I feel like the great “bean hunter” as I carefully search for them in the bean forest.   There will be a great supply of the Spanish Musica beans also, for sharing.  There must be at least 30 pods (with many seeds in each one) hanging way above my head, too far to reach so I’ll just let them stay on the vine and let the pods dry .

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Eye candy for me to enjoy during the cold winter months – inspiration to start planting as soon as the spring starts.  Next year I’ll plant the squash and beans a little earlier than I did this year (mid-July) so that the squash plants will have a chance to grow more fully.

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More aerial looping by the beans.  Now why on earth is this bean doing the twisty thing?  No obstacles in its way.  Just being silly I think.

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ta da!  Very strong tomato plants that grew from the compost that I put here.   A very sturdy plant with lots of tomatoes.  I’ve been clipping away surplus leave so all the energy will go towards the tomatoes themselves.  Last year I grew those tiny patty pan squash in this oak container and they grew very well.  This year tomatoes  are growing here.  Next year .. potatoes?  tomatoes?  who knows.

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I know that the season is nearly over and I won’t get tomatoes from these flowers, but the bees will savour the nectar.w17

This is the time of the year for gardeners to tidy up the yards and get ready for the cold weather.  So I’m doing all of that also.

And I am also spending a lot of time just wandering around the yard, admiring the growth of the plants.   Thinking about where to move this and that.  Mixing up the rich compost with poorer soil.   Gathering up all the plant saucers that were so needed during the hot weather, so that all potted plants watered would retain some moisture for the roots.  With the fall rains coming these are no longer necessary.

Watching the bird activity – welcoming the fall visitors, like the Gold Crowned Sparrows back to our yard so I can enjoy their beauty.  Placing some seed in the feeders .. not too much as there is a lot of food available to them naturally.  Enjoying the Nuthatches as they dig out insects from the trees.  Listening to the Bewick Wrens as they sing their unique songs from hidden areas in the trees.  Loving that.   I still have their abandoned nest from a few years ago ..and know that they are nesting somewhere in the yard.    https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Bewicks_Wren/id

Such an interesting place is my garden!   So many things to see and enjoy.

Magical, energizing and fun!

🙂


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The Gold Crowned Sparrows have returned. The bees are busy .. and the rains have arrived.

A few days ago we had really artistic skies .. like this one ..

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and this one ..

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Yesterday .. these were a memory as the weather was changing, getting ready for the rain that started falling yesterday evening.  sigh.

So I wandered around the yard, looking for interesting happenings that I hadn’t seen before .. this spider’s web had a lovely sheen of rainbow haze which I couldn’t quite catch .. nonetheless .. quite beautiful.

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I had scattered some French Marigold seeds throughout the bean forest and had completely forgotten about them until, searching for beans on the Blue Lake bush beans plants, I noticed this Marigold!  Ready to flower so that will be pretty to see and more nectar for the  bees!

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One of the sunflower feeding stations which evidently is being visited by an assortment of little winged friends who visit.

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I love the weathered look of this sunflower .. seeds nearly completely gone ..

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Diminutive sunflower shyly peeking out ..

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Looks like the leafcutter bees are still active .. they are good pollinators ..

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The Gold Crowned Sparrows arrived in the yard on Monday … fresh from their long trek from Alaska.  I find their loving bird-song very comforting and was so happy to hear them.  Here is a link with more information and sound tracks of their songs:  https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Golden-crowned_Sparrow/sounds

When they first return it is challenging to find them, but they soon overcome their shyness and are more evident as they look for food in the yard.  Because it is still technically summer, I don’t put out much food – but I knew it was going to rain so distributed small chunks of suet and birdseed in the feeders for them.

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Loving the light playing through the bean leaves …

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This patch of beans was planted very late but peeking through the vines I was happy to discover these beans.  More will grow ..some for juicing .. some for saving seeds for next year.

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Another surprise Nasturtium growing away at the base of the bean plants.

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And another one ..

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Simple beauty .. bounty from the bean forest …thank you my garden ..

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Loving the surprises that are tucked away!!   Exciting to see how long this little squash will grow .. it is mid-September now.  I’ve just checked several online sources for the fall frost date and it seems that Nov 5 is the start, here in Victoria, BC.  So, there is still a month of growing to happen.  Lovely mix of EM/llama manure and lots of rain with sun dropping by will result in magical transformations!

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Yet another surprise squash healthily growing away, tendrils reaching out for support – there is a lot of that in the bean forest!friday-20

Bees are busy .. glad the flowers are there for them

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Time to leave and find another source of nectar ..

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As quickly as the bee buzzed in … it was gone.  Life is busy for the bees.

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A line-up is happening over at this squash flower.  Normally I notice, when there is a bee in a flower, another bee just leaves to find another one.  Perhaps this little guy was just tired and taking a break or perhaps it sensed that there was more nectar than the first bee could handle?

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So satisfying to see such a myriad of happenings throughout the yard.  There are still other areas of the yard to finish organizing and to observe what is going on.  For now, though, it is the growing portion of the yard that attracts my attention so I will stay with that.

Rain and sun for the next few days.   I’ll take advantage of the rain to do some indoor things today!!!  Soon I  will be entering my creative world of artistic endeavours – crafting away some bracelets of beads and wire … that the sunshine and outdoors drew me away from.

🙂

 


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Loving the creative energy that Music provides. And watching the acrobatic maneuvers of the beans in the bean forest.

The skies above .. a few days ago .. fluffy and looking like cotton candy ..

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Ever changing and cheerful summer skies

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And here sits Lady JaneE Kat .. waiting for her treats.  A very patient little gal and a determined one.  She sits there till I put some treats out for her.   Listening to the lovely Scottish fiddle of Adam Sutherland.

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I have some gifted bean plants.  This one is performing the death-defying acrobatic head stand on the other bean.  A tricky maneuver but successfully done in this instance.

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And I caught a neighbouring bean, warming up to perform the same technique.  Guess I surprised them, they didn’t see me standing there!  Tricky beans.  What else goes on in the bean forest when I’m not there?  The mind boggles.

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This is a sunflower that I accidentally mowed down .. so I placed it in amongst some support stakes and the birds were still able to feast on the seeds that were forming.  That gives me joy.

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Cherokee Trail of Tears flowers ready to burst open.  I’d planted these very late and I’ll still get some beans from the plants, I saw a few yesterday.  And it is nearly mid-September so there are still a number of weeks left for them to grow.  October will share a few more weeks of growing weather.  I’ve seen people tearing down their bean plants but I’m a more optimistic type of  gardener and will  let them all grow till the frosts dictate their removal.

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“my favourite bean” .. I’m leaving at least 10 or more of the pods to let go to seed for next year.  These are very similar to the Blue Lake Bush Bean, round, firm beans that are deliciously crunchy.

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A cheerful view to cherish in the winter and to enjoy now.  Even if I don’t get a lot of squash fruit, I’m happy knowing that the bees are getting lots of nectar – as there are many squash plants flowering away luxuriously in the sunshine.  More joy.

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Same story for the Scarlet Red Runner Beans.  Many hundreds of flowers for the bees – such a lovely sight ..

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More bees .. there are many types that visit the yard ..

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Oops .. getting a bit crowded, time to leave ..

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Changing direction after departure, more flowers are sighted over there!!

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I’m being stalked by my Gardening Kat!  Sometimes she follows me around, wanting to know where I am, what I am doing.  Perhaps hinting for more treats?

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More sky-art above …

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There have been times in my life when I’ve been bored .. and when I think  of those times, I’m just amazed that I actually experienced that state.  “if I knew then what I know now”

Where does boredom come from?  I cannot even imagine ever being bored in my life, but I know that I have been.

I think that the times when I was bored – that there weren’t the possibilities that now exist.  I grew up in the era without computers .. cell phones .. digital cameras.   It wasn’t a time of self-expression as exists now.    I really like now.

And, like all kids, I dreamed of becoming a world-famous clothing designer, a ballerina, a world-traveller, brave and unafraid of visiting many countries as a way of life.  A writer and an independent thinker.  I dreamt of these things.

So now when there are the opportunities to explore new (to me ) worlds I have grabbed the opportunities as they arise.

The music, the clogging, the drumming, among other creative expressions.

Music .. is such a powerful energy, full of creative promise and dreams.  Music goads me on to work in the garden, the magical universe where miracles happen.    And Music guides me to imaginary worlds of creativity with my beads and writing and all things.  Music energizes me when walking on the busy paved streets, away from my beloved garden.

Music is a language from the heavens and speaks to us in many ways.

Gotta love music.

More thoughts on the joy of being in the garden are popping up but the morning has started and I must go and throw myself into this day of possibilities and magic.

🙂

 

 


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Oh joy .. green beans can be juiced!!

We  have had a fair bit of sun and rain this year.  Long hot spells finally cooled down lately and for that I am grateful!   The days are getting shorter  .. no longer does the sun shine till 9 pm but starts setting around 7:45 … what we’ve taken for granted as long hot summer days are slowly preparing us for fall weather.  But.  It is still officially summer until Autumn comes knocking at the door.  So I will continue to revel at the sight of the most cheerful of all flowers … the sunny Sunflower!

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For a change of pace .. here is a b/w of yet another sunchoke!  I’ve read that you cannot gert rid of this plant and I believe it.  Over the past few years I’ve dug up the knobby root and listed it for free with lots of happy people who love this.   This plant resembles a sunflower but is much taller, with smaller flowers.   Argh.  Not that I dislike this plant but I would rather have more sunflowers.  (and in some part of Victoria, someone is thinking the exact opposite!)tuesday-2

This is the largest of my squash that is actually fruiting.   It is a close up photo and the squash is actually only about 3″ in diameter.    Frosts are in the distant future and there is still about 7 weeks of growing.    Exciting to wait and see what will happen.tuesday-3And alongside this plant .. there are a few other hopefuls growing away.  I added some lovely llama manure to all the plants yesterday so hopefully this will give them a boost.tuesday-4And the beans grow steadily onwards.  These are some Scarlett Red Runner beans … growing from the apple tree branches.  The flowers are so pretty and the bees and Annas love them.tuesday-5A quick glance at these two plants and it appeared as if the squash flower was devouring the bean leaf.tuesday-6I’ve been trying to train this squash plant around the garden screen ..sort of a success .. it will be interesting when the squash start growing .. to see if they will hang properly from the frame.  Yet more beans in the background .. growing along the stakes in the ground.  More Scarlet Red Runners to the left. They are everywhere.   If you want instant privacy in the yard, grow pole beans!!tuesday-8I had placed a variety of (saved) squash seeds throughout the yard and they all grew .. along with any seeds that were in the compost.  Even if I don’t get any squash from these plants, the flowers add so much beauty and nectar for the bees.tuesday-7And yet more beans (Cherokee Trail of Tears, Spanish Musica, Blue Lake Bush beans, Annie Jackson Pole Beans) this morning I picked a basket of beans .. went inside and thought .. omg .. the freezer and fridge freezer are both full.  I cannot cram another  batch of apples or beans…. what can I do!

Then .. I wondered .. can green beans be juiced?   Yes .. the internet resounded loudly.  Not only can they be juiced .. they are full of vitamins and minerals.  So good for you.

I almost broke down and cried I was so happy!!   A bountiful year for beans and now I can juice them!!!   So I did just that!   And the nice thing was that there was very little pulp left in the juicer!

Not being someone who follows a recipe, I threw in some carrots, celery, lots of beans, a few apples .. and soon DH & I were sipping on the delicious juice!  Forgot the ginger, but will add that tomorrow.

So happy!  JaneE Kat wanted to go back outside a few hours later.  She, being a cat, envisioned more treats and so that was her motivation to meow at me to get on outside.  So I did.  After giving her about 3 to 4 sets of treats, I set about picking more beans so I could juice them tomorrow.

Despite having meticulously picked through all the plants for beans this morning, I still found even more this afternoon.  Oh I am so very happy that I won’t have to freeze them any more .. but will just enjoy them in a juice format!   DH is very happy also as I won’t be overstocking the freezer.

Despite the perfect storm for growing food this year (hot weather, lots of rain) … I know that it is the combination of the lovely Llama manure (no medicines used!) and the EM (effective microorganism mixture that I mix up) that create such happy healthy soil for everything to grow in.    Also, seaweed that I have gathered.  If I run out of seaweed, I just use liquid seaweed.  Same stuff without the bother.  🙂  Over 60 minerals adding richness to the soil.

There is nothing like the magic of a garden to focus in on the beauty of life.

🙂


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It rained .. yea!!!

Yesterday morning . I opened the curtains in the kitchen to see …. rain!!  Yea … I can go and play in my craft room today!  But .. as usual .. the rains stopped .. I went outside with JaneE Kat and spent some time wandering around the yard.   Graceful droplets of rain on the sunflowers ..

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Not sure if there will be any squash from these plants, today is the first of September, but in the garden, you just never know.  This strong flower promises sturdy squash ..

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Annie Jackson Pole Beans … the first of many .. .. growing in clumps of 3 beans ..

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… and groups of 2 beans ..

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Dainty flower of the Annie J beans ..

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Scarlet Red Runner flowers ..

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And the S R R beans growing away .. this one is a little out of focus ..and I had only noticed this one and now I see a few others in the background.  Surprise beans .. the best kind.

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A little bit of sunshine created this subtle bit of leaf art ..light and shadow .. both are powerful and necessary for contrast.  Can’t have one without the other (as the song goes)

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This Buddleia is a cutting from an original plant.  It struggled to grow in a shaded yard, reaching up to the sun, flowering at the top.   I took a cutting and planted it in the sun and oh my .. did it grow!  This plant towered in the back corner, it grew so big and flowered so much that the main stem couldn’t bear the weight so it broke in half.  I pruned it to the ground in the spring and just a few months later .. it grew to 5 feet tall, thrived and burst into flower.  Nectar for the butterflies and Annas.  I will definitely prune this soon, so it won’t become too invasive for the other plants in this spot.

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Another Buddleia … the Swallowtail butterflies just love this one and that is why I hadn’t pruned it in the spring.  As a result, it crowded out all the other plants with negative results so I really had to prune it quite extensively.  There were still many flowers for the butterflies though and I see that the one stem that remained had also burst into flowers.  I know that the Buddleias are considered invasive in some areas but aren’t a problem in my yard.

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Tomatillo plants growing in a few areas of the yard … from plants grown years ago.  I know that I won’t get the fruit this year but can’t bear to just pull up the plants.  Much nicer to let them grow as long as they want to.   The flowers are so pretty.

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The leafcutter bees have been industrious as usual.   I actually saw one a few years ago.  Buzz .. buzz and then it was gone.  I’ve had Mason Bees for a few years and quite enjoyed the process of caring for them.  Unfortunately, my last batch of them weren’t strong enough to break through their cocoons so only a few males hatched.  I purchased more from a garden store, but same thing happened.  So I decided to just go with Ma Nature and it turns out there are many bees in the yard.  The Leafcutters in particular are very hard workers.

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Love the flowers of my favourite bean .. 2 colours .. do the flowers start out yellow and end up white or are there 2 different colours??   The allure and mystery of the bean world.

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A tiny patch of Cherokee Trail of Tears beans.  There is still a month of warm weather and I have every confidence that there will be a heavy crop of these beans plus a few pods for seeds for next summer!   Dainty little flowers.

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And yet again, the daily crop of Spanish Musica beans ..

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Such a variety of sunflowers throughout the sunny areas of the yard .. always cheerful and inspirational …

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Darling little JaneE kat .. taking a break from her sump-pump showers and demands for her treats!

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Finally .. after weeks of hot sunny weather .. a day that started out with rain.  This meant I could run to my crafts room and play with my beads and wire.   As any crafter is well aware .. what starts out as a tidy work area soon becomes a muddled (creative) mess of beads as I try out one idea after another.  Lately I haven’t had much time to organize so yesterday I took advantage of the rain to do just that thing.

I have talked with other creative souls and this is the norm.  Plus it is kind of meditational to re-organize things like wire, findings, beads, etc., into a sense of order.  Labelling containers, rearranging the pegboard.   All the time .. ideas are swirling away in the subconscious which will manifest themselves at a later time.

Time spent also leafing through my old violin books .. re-reading yet again how to hold the left hand without a stranglehold grip.  Playing the fingering movements .. remembering that it takes time and lots of practice and remembering that again and again.

A busy day and a fun one .. always!

🙂

 


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Something new to think about and what to do with all those apples???

Our Red Delicious apple tree has never had such a crop before, the branches are bending nearly to the ground with fruit.  I seem to remember that there is a bumper crop every few years and don’t expect this to happen next year.  It must tire the tree a lot to produce so much.

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I’ve begun harvesting the apples, ripe or not just to try and lighten the load of the branches.  Have been thinking of juicing them and putting the juice in the freezer for later.  Organic, no pesticides (never).   Have been looking at various budget-wise juicing machines to do this.   Where the apples are exposed to the sun, they are nice and red.  And delicious.

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Yesterday I spent some time hunting in my little bean forest.   Noticed the disparity of size in these beans, all on the same stem.  Two tiny little beans growing beyond the two mature beans.    Spanish Musica.  There will be a lot of seeds for next year .. I’ll share these with friends, as always.

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And again, with the tiny beans growing beyond the mature pods.  And see .. blue skies above!

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Growing happily in the bean forest .. I see a squash and think (hope) it is a spaghetti squash (love them).3337

Here again is the Clematis that I’d pruned back a few weeks ago …it grows at least several inches every night .. soon it will be climbing like crazy over the little arbour!  I can see the plant tag still there .. easy to see now that the majority of growth has been removed.

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Don’t be shy little sunflower .. it’s growing in the bean forest and knows where the sun is!  A helpful garden spider is taking a little rest on the leaves.  What adventures must be happening in this place all during the day and the night when I’m not out there to see.

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Loving the difference the sunshine makes and the leaves are soaking up the energy to help the plants grow.  3340

I have a very tall Bay tree in the back yard.  This lovely tree provides privacy, shade and flavouring for food.   Yesterday I just stopped to admire how the sunlight created  a tiny thread of light around the leaves.3341

Sun and shadow create poignant works of art .. fleeting and beautiful .. happy I was standing there at that particular moment of time to see this.

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Oh .. silly little bean .. trying to be art deco or something like that!  Definitely heritage seeds .. I guess there is one in every crowd, eh?  It was delicious, thank you bean!

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After a relaxing chunk of time hunting and picking at all the bean plants around the yard, I came into the house with a fine harvest.  All rinsed, dried, chopped and in the freezer.  Ready for some quick meals.  And I discovered later, as I was doing this preparation, that some of the beans are definitely meant to be saved for drying.  The beans in some of the pods were becoming quite firm.   I’ll pay more attention to my garden labels next time I pick the beans.  I definitely like the Blue Lake Bush Beans and will save some seed for next year.    These beans have long, round pods, quite crunchy and delicious.  Prolific also.

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Sweet and cheerful.  Planted by the birds.  Enjoyed by all.

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How lovely ….gentle skies above ..3346

The birds are spreading this diminutive flower everywhere .. plus it self seeds like crazy.   The insects love it so I’ll let it flower and then pull them out before they start seeding again.  There are many in the yard.  They started appearing a few years ago (those birds!)

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I’ve been looking at a marvellous dance site:  https://balletespressivo.com/    I was entranced with their dancing as it looks very strong and very creative.   They welcome adults, including adults who do not have ballet experience (that would be me!!!)   This type of (to me) folk-dance/ballet attracts me and if I were 3,000 miles closer, I would be very tempted to register with them.

Yesterday, they posted a fb entry which included the term “embodied cognition”.  This seemed quite interesting .. so I had to do some research and love what I found out.

There are quite a number of informative sites with information on this subject and here is a simple explanation that I found on one of them:  “Embodied Cognition is a growing research program in cognitive science that emphasizes the formative role the environment plays in the development of cognitive processes.”

Here is the excerpt from the Ballet Espressivo fb posting:  ”

From Canadian Living, August 2016: “Retrain Your Brain” by Lesley Young

” The Bad Habit – “I slouch.” …psychologists have proven there is a direct link between how tall and proud we stand and how relaxed and in control we are on the inside. It’s called embodied cognition, and it indicates how at peace we are.”

We can help you!

http://www.balletespressivo.com

and here is the link to the Canadian Living magazine article: .. http://contentsmagazine.com/articles/creating-for-the-brain-in-the-body/

 

I found this to be terribly fascinating .

Well .. on with this most marvellous sunny day!

🙂

 

 


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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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Bees, blue skies, the perfect wine glass and relaxing in the garden

With blue skies above and a day full of magnificent sky art above .. I finally finished all my indoor stuff and raced outside!!!

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The Spanish Musica vines are now officially beyond my reach.  Any beans growing higher than this will be dried for next years plants.   I’m going to have lots of seed for that!   Have to be careful as there are tiny little beans growing just beyond these two that I’m plucking from the vine and as each bean is so precious I don’t want to ruin any of them.

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I’ve only grown beans for a few years and am always learning from them.  Each type, it seems, flowers in a different manner.   The S. Musica has the “one bean a day” approach.  That is .. there are two flowers at the join of the vine, one matures first and grows a tiny little bean .. the second one waits a day or so before the bean starts.

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See … the bean on the right is smaller than the one on the right (which I picked and ate!)  Beans are fun to pick .. it is fun to hunt through the  vines to find them!  I like to pick them when they are mid-size .. but  .. sometimes it is challenging to find them all and quite often seem to find the larger ones tucked away out of sight.  Could they be hiding from me?  I wonder …810

My favourite bean!!!  So crunchy and delicious.  The vine is covered in flowers so there will be lots to eat and many seeds to dry for next year.  Always, for gardeners, there is next year.  We love the heck out of this year .. but there are always plans to do things a little differently, perhaps.804

Trying to bring a bit of elegance into the veggie garden .. I put this tri-screen next to the bush beans & squash plants and am training the squash vine to grow up and around the frame.  Soon the frame will be hidden and the squash will be soaking up the sun all day long.

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And day three of the clematis vine shows the rapid growth of this vine!  Yesterday I posted 2 photos taken a day apart and was amazed at the swift growth overnight.  I continue to be amazed.  The vine now is reaching for support and soon will be covering the arbour again in all of its splendour!814 (2)

Having been admired for weeks by me and much visited by the bees, the sunflower is now morphing into a feeding station for the birds.  The transition to forming seeds has begun.

An interesting thing happened just as I clicked this photo.  As I was standing up, I caught my boot in a burlap bag (I use coffee burlap bags on the pathways, to protect the earth from being trampled on).   Somehow I caught the tip of my boot under a layer of a bag and found myself floundering, arms akimbo, mind going ” ????” as I scrambled to grab hold of something.  You know the crazy feeling.  At the same time I didn’t want anything to happen to my precious camera .. so as I (gracefully??) fell to the ground I somehow found a way to gently place my camera on a soft surface.   What a weird experience.   And I vowed to pay attention where I place my feet when traipsing along.  Humbling and a reminder to be focused!807

While standing in the shade of the bean vines, happily listening to the loving music of Adam Sutherland’s music (Squall) I noticed this vigorous squash growing amongst the vines.  Quelle surprise and a nice one at that!  Where did that one come from?  The fun of gardening.  Adding to the fun are the self-seeding plants from compost spread around the yard.  Kale and tomatoes are growing everywhere – what fun!

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More quiet time … again .. standing by the pots of Scarlet Red Runner beans, background noise quiet for a time … I listened to the rustle of the leaves as a gentle breeze swept through the yard ..  the sun shone down and I just basked in the peace and joy of watching the magic of nature.   No matter what technology exists .. this is really where its at.814

On to another flower .. gonna be a busy day for this little bee ..

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A buzzing i will go .. a buzzing I will go .. hi ho the Derry-O .. a buzzing I will go ….

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JaneE sleeping .. smiling ..  happy dreams …I wonder if she is dreaming that I’ll be getting more kitty treats for her?   Cause I did do that later on!!

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Later on, I looked at the little sunflower growing in the midst of another bean patch and liked how the sun shone through the petals ..

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It’s been such a hot summer here and there are so many projects yet unfinished in the yard.  I get lost in the rhythm of watching the plants grow, listening to the birds .. and then end up (as always) getting involved in a project that I had no idea I would be doing.  The one I found myself doing yesterday was beside the house.

A few years ago I’d restructured the back of the yard (photos taken when I started blogging).   Intensive work and I’d sieved the soil from half of the yard – with the result that I ended up with quite a large quantity of stones and pebbles.

These I used along the side of the house … where bluebells and morning glory were ruling that space.  I dug up everything, put down a few layers of  landscape fabric and “artfully” added all these stones and everything looked nice and tidy.

A few years later and the accumulation of falling leaves, rose petals and assorted garden debris took its toll and what was once pretty was looking sad and abandoned.  So yesterday I began the task of changing all that.

I began removing the stones, clearing away the plant debris, repositioning the landscape fabric and replacing the stones .. and what a world of difference.  I’ll take some pics of the before and after, just to give myself a pat on the back!  Once this project is done, I have a feeling my enthusiasm to proceed on my other unfinished projects will return.

With music playing softly in background, mug of Yorkshire Tea nearby on a tree stump, aware that JaneE was sleeping away on the back stairs .. I let myself enjoy the meditational activity of the stones and the transformation of this area.

Later on .. on my trek to Michaels .. I found the perfect wine glass!!  🙂  I didn’t buy it but it was fun to imagine!

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Another fun day  …oh . and the skies were still beautiful as I walked along ..

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🙂

 


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A Few More Pics of the Mineral & Gem Show & Back to the Garden!

So here are the rest of the pics I took on Friday, at the 2nd Annual Victoria Gem & Mineral show at the Pearkes Arena .. when the light shines through this, it is stunning!

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Who knew there was such a diversity of quartz …

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I could have asked how these were shaped – but that would have taken the mystery away.  The skull to the left of the pink quartz was intriguing.

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Purple Haze (reminds me of the Purple Haze lavender farm at Sequim!  I was all set to go there but my passport had expired .. wah .. )302

For some reason, this made me hungry!  It just seemed to be so edible, like a slice of bread or a cookie.

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Lots of love and  $$$$$  tied up in minerals …

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Now these really caught my eye .. at first I thought that these were sculpted metal .. .however, they are created with varying gauges of fine silver and gold wires.  So very beautiful .. I tried to take some closeup photos of several “works in progress” but couldn’t get clear views with my camera.  This young artist is fabulous .. I couldn’t find a web site for Drala Designs … but there is an e-mail if you would like to contact him:  icjakobll@gmail.com  .  Since I’m always curious and always seeking knowledge, I searched for the meaning of “Drala” :  A Tibetan word, “drala” means “without aggression”. When you invoke drala, you begin to experience basic goodness reflected everywhere – in yourself, in others, and in the entire world.

Here is one pic that is clear .. showing some wire in progress.

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Such beauty ..

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Bamboo, Bead & Bling …love that store.  Amazing free jewellery classes: http://www.bamboobeadsandbling.com/

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I’m not into gold but if I was, here is a bargain! 311

Sigh .. and it is back to the garden .. to watch  my beans growing.  These are Spanish Musica – delicious and a “bazillion” beans on each plant.  I plan to just keep serving these up and not freezing them this year!  (well, maybe a few!)

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It’s been a bumper crop of fruit in Victoria .. we have 3 different apple trees and I’ve been freezing chunks of apple (washed, put briefly in a sea salt water mix) spread on parchment paper on a tray in the freezer and then bagging them for tossing in a roast in the winter.  And lots of applesauce, yum, yum!!

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Bzzzzeeeee ….I will look at this photo in the winter and dream of these happy summer days in the garden.

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My s-i-l gave me this Irish dirt years ago and I must use it in a pot .. one of these days .. there was a packet of seeds somewhere .. .I’ll have to have a search for it.   Anyway, just another gardening moment .. Sometimes I have to just stop and look at what I’ve been doing … getting lost in the rhythm that is creativity ..

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My darling little JaneE Kat .. she will be 21 in December!  Little Garden Kat …

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Yesterday was quite a windy day …really strong gusts continuously . . a sky shot to say “salut”

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The joy and magic of a garden is so fun .. it seems that one day I’m planting a seed and just a short time later, as in my lovely beans .. there are 8 foot plus vines growing up to the sky and I’m surrounded by the vital energy that surrounds them.

Speaking of energy, a few years ago I heard about music for plants .. how it helps them grow.  I believe this and think my music (that I always play) in the garden affects everything that grows.   A good subject for tomorrow!

🙂