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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We had a bit of snow and then we had some sun .. but the best part was that my garden had fun!

Victoria was ahead of the game last week when we had some snow.  I wasn’t going to take any photos, but decided, what the heck so I fetched my camera and took a few pics.

Some snow on the Mexican Orange shrub .. this plant is tough as nails!  I can do an extreme pruning and then a few months later, it flowers!  Nov 7 02Below, photo taken this week .. snow has gone (yea!!) and the flowers are still looking great.Nov 7 -09My little garden bench .. where JaneE loves to perch and await her treats!  I liked the way the sun brought out the shadows which always adds interest.  Nov 7 01Leaves decorating the frozen water in the bird bath.  I replenished the water so that the birds could bathe.   Nov 7 - 07Honestly, these sweet little flowers just add so much beauty and carefree energy to the garden .. love them!Nov 7 -98One of the many reasons I love taking photos in the fall .. so I can remember how beautiful nature is.  Took this photo last week.  Nothing like a cheerful sunflower to brighten the atmosphere, n’est-ce pas?Nov 7 -05And this venerable rose bush, another tough as nails plant!  I planted this – maybe 35 years ago?  I swear it lives on love as I rarely water it even during the hot summer.  It does not mind a heavy pruning and just seems to flourish.  The Anna Hummingbirds love this one!Nov 7 -10Alpine strawberries.  I do not plant these in the ground as they are tenacious and would soon cover the yard, as I discovered a few years ago!  Now I just keep one plant in a pot and that is enough.  Yesterday, this caught my eye, I loved the dainty flowers against the broken clay pot.  This .. to me .. is true beauty of the best kind.Nov 7 03A few days ago, I gathered some pumpkin seeds and scrapings, placed them on a Rubbermaid container lid for the birds to feast on.  Our lovely JaneE (nearly 22 years old now) loves pumpkin squash and I caught her eagerly dining on this!  She soon stopped and walked away to her little bench.  The Stellar Jays noticed this food and quickly made this disappear.  I noticed one of the Jays swallow a seed whole, snatched up another and flew away to rest in one of the trees!Nov 7 -06

Last year I only noticed one Stellar Jay in our yard .. this year there are 4 and they are such beautiful birds.  If only their song would match their beauty!  Happy to see them pick out the peanuts I leave for them.  Nov 7 -04

It is the first week of November and I still haven’t planted my garlic.  This week I will definitely plant a small patch just to enjoy their growth.  At one time I really wanted lots of property so that I could grow lots of organic garlic to sell.  Plans change and now I am content to just plant a small amount.

As all gardeners know.. the peace and tranquility of a garden soothes the soul and the joy of watching plants grow, the love of watching the interaction of the birds has an energy unlike anything else.

Sometimes I wander outside, a little overwhelmed by the work that needs to be done.   After giving JaneE her treats, and filling up the bird feeders, checking on the hummingbird feeders to make sure they have enough for the day .. I wander around, with my mug of strong Yorkshire Tea .. looking at the various areas in our garden.

And I truly surprise myself (time after time after time!) at what happens next.

I move a few plant pots, tie up a few wandering berry vines and soon find myself involved in changes that involve a different way of using the yard.

Loving the idea of creating private garden rooms and not wanting a permanent structure anywhere .. I am always thinking of a different way of doing things.  And so happy at the results.

This year I’ve placed two arbors (from Lee Valley .. not the expensive types) in the garden about 5 feet apart … and next year will plant a string bean tunnel!

And I have quite a few planters with bamboo and am playing with them to use as green walls in another garden place.  It’s funny how I’ve been focusing on just one area of the yard, forgetting about others and now I am re-discovering these sort of forgotten areas.

And mulching the seaweed that my pal D and I gathered a few weeks ago with straw from the summer and leaves raked last week.   This will make lovely soil for next year and also provide a place for the birds to peck away, looking for the insects that will live there.

Love being in my garden.

But now, off to practise my fiddle and my singing as I have another voice lesson soon!  Loving this also!

🙂


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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!

🙂