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 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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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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Time for a playing day .. in the garden.

Friday, August 10, 2012

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One think that I like about gardening is that I can spend one day working very hard outside and the next day I can play if I want to.

Playing means to me .. things like .. finally sifting the beach stones that I’ve collected, separating the tiniest stones and rounded rocks from the vegetation that has been mixed in.  Ending up with little buckets of these and a bucket of fine sand & grasses, to use on a garden bed.

And putting together a little raised bed from boards left over from a project that dh has done for the yard.   I had to get help from him in putting them together.  I won’t even go into the details of how I was trying to assemble the boards, but his way made more sense.   I am just not gifted in building things with wood.  I learn really easy, but the hows and whys are just not part of my creative bent.

So I ended up with a raised bed that is truly creative .. in that it is not perfectly square and two ends are higher than the sides .. but this will go on the ground and filled with lovely mulch and so no one will ever be the wiser.

DH looked at my results, shook his head and laughed .. I told him that it was just perfect for the garden .. a true garden is not perfectly square and in alignment.

Next in my playtime . . I separated the seeds from the dried flower pods from the white flowering sage plant.  I’ve read in one of my gardening books that sage would make a good garden border, so I’ll try that.  Free sage border, gotta like that.

Then I decided to cover up my tomato plants.  Having given away yards of Remay years ago … I wasn’t sure what to use in place of that .. so ended up fetching some Ikea lightweight cotton sheers and spent some time wrapping up some of the larger plants .. I’ll take pics later today.

I was on my hands and knees, pulling out grass and plantings from an overhead bird feeder, when I noticed a young Anna hovering above .. finally settling on the  tiny perch of the hummingbird feeder.  And the camera is at least 10 feet away.   So I quietly observe this little visitor.  I believe it must be one of the babies, there is still fluffy white downy feathers on the lower part of its body, and tiny little markings at the outer edges of the eyes.   He watches me and I watch him .. timeless magic.   One of those gardening moments that money cannot buy.

Sigh.

Next I mix up dilutions of EM so that I can install some perennials in one of my newly tidied side gardens.  Which gives me an idea .. one rainy day .. I will spend some time looking through photos of the past few years and I’ll show the transformations that I’ve made in the yard.  Creating areas of beauty from badly neglected spaces.   If I hadn’t taken the photos, I would have forgotten how much I’ve done.

I planted several lavender plants, carefully removing them from their plastic pots.  Soaking their roots in EM, trowelling out a space and putting them in their new home.  Gently tamping in soil around them and a final watering of EM.

Then I notice that the sunlight has disappeared .. .dusk has arrived.   I walk around this garden edging … noting where I’ll be digging in more plants and then finally decide that the time needed for this chore is going to take hours.   So might as well pack it in for the day.

Thought back over my day, what I’d accomplished .. and reflected on my playing time (that’s where creativity kicks in and time stops) and decided that I’d had yet another most wonderful day in the garden.

So, time to take a mug of freshly brewed Yorkshire Tea (the lovely loose leaf type) and go outside for another playing day.

🙂