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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Monday, September 16, 2013

Such a lovely quiet weekend .. spent time in my garden.  Decadent hours with some of my gardening book collection scattered around me.  A few mugs of Yorkshire Tea.   Inspirational and melodic music playing from my iPod.   Birds twittering.  Sun trying to break through the clouds.  I hadn’t spent such a peaceful relaxing and decadent time in the back yard for a long time.  And it was just wonderful, thank you very much.

And I finally started a long-awaited project of naming the plants that surround me  …. this is truly a formidable task and one I’d started a number of times and just given up.

But Saturday was the day that I once again began this Herculean task.   Armed with my (new) aluminum writing case (I’ll just have to take a photo today to show this and my notes)  …. I started at one side of the yard and began the initial rough drawings, along with a legend of names.

Discovered quite a few name tags were not attached to the plants, so began taking photos and will do some research.  If I have trouble identifying them, then one day soon I will post photos and ask for help from the gardening community!

Oh, wow .. I know that I am a plantaholic but even the list that I made overwhelms me.  I’m currently on page 11 and have only covered maybe less than 3/4 of the yard.  Gulp

Then I took time out to move some of the recently acquired bales of hay .. the dance of moving the bales from the car, through to the back yard and then to the compost area has begun:

01While moving the hay, I heard the soft trill of the European Starling

15aDainty little sunflower peeking out of the tomato planted basket .. how sweet ..

02Volunteer tomatoes have sprung up among the squash plants …

14It seems as if these jewels have popped up overnight …. they are pretty

10The magic of plants .. ever-growing in the sun (and the rain)

12Tiny little squash .. still lots of growing time left as the first frost in Victoria isn’t predicted till early November.

11Another little patch of sunflowers .. growing near one of the bird feeders

13This squash is growing quite well .. wondering how big it will be when it is time to harvest!  I plan to save this one for decoration until it’s finally time to cook it ..

09Lots of surprises every day in the garden … as I find little treasures tucked away …

07I truly was surprised to see the one luffa plant that survived!  I’d started out with maybe 6 that had sprouted.  This jewel keeps opening up flowers daily …..I love the shape and texture, they are very delicate ..almost humble

06Every luffa fruit that had grown lasted only for a few days before dropping off, so this really was a treat to find an actual luffa growing around the aluminum tubes that are stored here.  And imagine my surprise when I found another one growing nearby yesterday!  These really are gifts from my garden.  Thank you.

05And I just liked the look of the sage plant growing nearby …. I have zillions of sage seeds, so perhaps next year I’ll plant a hedge .. that would be very striking in the summer!

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Grow on .. squash … whether or not I actually am able to harvest squash from this plant matters not   The beauty fills my heart with the joy of the magic of plants.   Plus this will be nice to look at in the cool winter months when I dream again of planting my veggie garden!  Although I think that I might make a structure for them to grow on.  This is my first experience of growing them and is a bit of a learning curve that happens to all.

03There are a few of this type of squash growing .. looks like a spaghetti squash, but not really sure what it is.

08It just never gets tired .. the joy and magic I find in my garden.   And I’ve so enjoyed the wonderful time just being outside, looking through books.   Getting to know what is growing where and listing the names.  I’m reconnecting with the beauties that I’ve been gathering for a few years.

Some will be moved to another area of the yard.   Some will be propagated quite easily.  Lots to do yet in my back yard adventures.  And more delightful discoveries to be made as I venture out there.

sigh.

Time to start my day!

🙂


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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Summer time is a fun time, right?  Too much to do and schedules and timelines are just not a high priority with me right now!  Yippee.   I’ve wanted to write and have kept putting off this decadent pleasure.    Time to start-up again so here I go!

Recently I’ve been reminded (yet again) of the amazing power of positivity.     How simply marvellous this energy is and how strengthening.to focus on the positive, especially in the garden.

My garden needed some “oomph” which it didn’t seem to be getting, so I went searching online –  looking for sites with information on the effects of negativity in the garden (for example, heavy construction noise, dynamite blasting, etc) … and I rediscovered the power of music on gardens.

A number of times I’d heard about the amazing effect of music on plant growth.  As a matter of fact, I always have music playing when I garden.   Lovely  violin, fiddle, instrumental, classical, world music.

Here is a great site on the positive effects of music on plant growth and development, showing the results of scientific testing to prove this:  http://www.musicforyourplants.com/

Some of the sites listed details of how the tonalization of the music impacts the growth of plants and you’ll find the Italian video quite interesting.

And from this site, I am learning more and more and Joel Sternheimer thoughts make sense to me, here is his site on energy and the power of music:  http://tama-do.com/roothtmls/cell-research.html

So much to learn, so much to discover!

I’ve copied some of the music onto my gardening iPod and have also included my new purchase of sitar music (ranked to be among the best for the garden) by Ravi Shankar “the Living room Sessions Part 1.

Much scientific wording and examples of music are given.  Me, I’m a believer.  And am shortly going outside to play again my lovely music and admire the growth of my plants.    I just love my garden and each and every plant that grows in it!

These geraniums had not bloomed at all this year .. but look at this ..many little buds will be opening soon!!

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I was watering some plants last evening after a very hot day.  Look at what I found in a sedum planting!   I think my friend D was being creative with this surprise!  Little kitty kat!  🙂

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Peek-a-boo .. I see you!  Little cannelloni beans growing away behind the leaves.  I’ll leave these on for dry beans later on for winter soups.   With a few set aside to plant next year, of course!

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Here is a little squash I just noticed last night, growing away so quietly.

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Yet another squash that appeared overnight, it seemed!    I was puzzled that spaghetti squash were growing and then I remembered the time last fall when I had diligently cleaned the seeds from an organic spaghetti squash, dried and put them away in a Ziploc bag.  No labeling (sigh) so I had assumed that these seeds were for another type of squash.  Note to myself, label seeds this year.

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Grow on .. little squash ….

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more surprises …

 

 

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Our area in Victoria, BC has been hit with a number of days of really hot weather!!   so everything seems to be growing great!

I’ve been sorting out my garlic, saving the largest for planting in October.  And I’ll also be planting those little yellow thingies that grow at the base of hard-neck garlic … they look a little like dried bean, but have a pointed end.   Not sure if they are  called “bulbets”   Should get a few small garlic bulbs from them.

Here is the most amazing, informative site on growing garlic!  https://www.garlicfarm.ca/

Now .. mug of tea, camera, music and I’m all set to go out and play in my yard ….

🙂

 


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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Next year, I vow (again) I will have an improved veggie garden.

I’m learning (quickly) my strengths and weaknesses in growing vegetables.

My pal D has a definite green thumb.  She can grow tomatoes like there is no tomorrow, harvesting hundreds of tomatoes from several plants.  She even gave me 2 healthy specimens for my garden.  Alas, I have not harvested as many as she has.  She nurtures the plants, carefully watering them, turning them daily to ensure they receive enough sunlight.  I, on the other hand, do water them but not as carefully.  And the squash tendrils (from the container squash plants) have quite grown through the tomatoes so that I cannot easily turn the pots.

Ah, next year!!

And my squash plants have gone crazy!  I’ve planted 3 types so won’t be able to save the seed from this years crops .. but, hey, that is what Seedy Saturdays are for!  These look like spaghetti squash, but  I don’t think they are … pretty though.   Labeling the plants would help! sigh.

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Nice hidden treasures …

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It feels like Christmas morning, going outside to check on the squash!  Little hidden treasures on the ground.

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Here is a reason why I have difficulty turning some tomato plants around … squash has taken over!

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Quite literally – taken over .. growing onto the grass ..

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I made a makeshift area for the squash to grow … they seem to like this!  (next year, ahem, I’ll plan accordingly, in advance of planting the squash seeds!)  The joys of gardening, the adventures!  The discoveries!  Plus  .. happy memories to remember in the winter!

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I had filled Rubbermaid containers with water, to make it easier to nourish some plants that weren’t directly in the easy reach of the hose.   One day I found a ladybug vainly trying to swim in the water .. oh, silly ladybug, you are meant to fly, not swim!  So I scooped her out .. see ..

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And then I gently placed her on the leaf of a nearby .. yes!  Squash leaf!  They do come in handy for these types of rescues!

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Hard to believe that this area was quite thickly planted with my lovely garlic … and now home to squash!  Happy memories of my garlic … time to plant again in a few months.  Yum!

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Kentucky Wonder Beans … although they grew rapidly up the lattice, I haven’t harvested many beans from these, planted in a container.

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Quite an abundant harvest from the same type of bean, growing in partial shade, twisting and turning .. as they grow just as rapidly

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Happy honeybees ….

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Any excuse to stop and marvel at the magic of nature ..

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I’ve lost the marker for this flower .. any idea of the name??? I bought it for the hummingbirds .

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I bought 2 of these little feeders at the SPCA thrift store in Port Alberni weeks ago .. the Nuthatch approves!

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And this dear little Chickadee is happy also!

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Well .. the day is starting .. time to grab a pail and check out the local blackberries .. for juicing later on today …


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About the lovely joy of surprises and unexpected treasures from a friend! Oh, and the birds are now visiting the birdbath!

 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

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It is true, time does fly when you are having fun!  Our summer started at the beginning of July, when the warm weather stayed to visit and here it is, past the middle of August.

Yesterday was a serious planting day .. one in which I devoted hours to installing some of the many perennials that I’ve been buying on sale!

First thing though, as I went outside, mug of Yorkshire Tea in hand, ready to take a little walk around the yard.  To check on the differences since the latest application of EM, last Friday.

Walking past the garlic drying area beneath the sundeck, I remembered that my friend D had mentioned that she was going to leave a surprise for me there.  So I looked in and there was a magnificent picnic basket!  I’d always wanted one of these, but it just never happened.   And here was one for me!

I quickly picked up the basket and took it over to one of my outside working tables and opened the top latch, to see how much space there was in the interior.

Wow .. imagine my surprise when I lifted back the folding lids and saw treasures inside!  It felt like opening a surprise Christmas present, only on a warm sunny morning!

Inside there were such beautiful things .. a magnificent book on Hummingbirds, with exquisite colour plates and information on their habitat, how they live their daily lives.  Included was an article on the loss of hummingbirds in Cuba, that is terrible and I plan to find out more information.

I’m also inspired to plant more Hummingbird plants after seeing some of the beautiful photos.

Oh, more and more treasures, a book on lavender & one on craft printing (I’ve always wanted to learn how to write those curly cue little sayings and this books shows exactly how to do it).

And more and more .. I put the basket on the grass and then just sat down, lifting each item out, admiring the beauty of the candle holders, the bright colours of the mugs (now these will be my gardening mugs, easy to spot and not lose in the grass!)

I had fun, lifting out each item!  And happy when I saw the note about the tomatoes.  The story behind this is that my friend & her son grew 5 tomato plants last year, they were small little plants and they had a few tomatoes from each plant.
This year, they grew the same type of tomatoes, but, this year, they added EM on a weekly basis.  The results?  Over 400 tomatoes on 5 plants.  And the plants were not small this year, they were like little trees!  Ah, the magic of EM (effective microorganisms).

After playing for a while, I tucked everything away in my new picnic basket … time to get serious now!

I wandered over to the hanging bird bath and saw some tiny little feathers in the water .. and shortly after, I saw a little Chickadee perch on the edge of the bath .. another special moment to enjoy in the garden!

Spent some time admiring the busy activity of the bees as they visited the prolific flowers of a plant that was given to me by my gardening neighbour.  It grew from seed (see how tall this plant is!!) and I think it is part of the daisy family.  This is the second year.

Late in the day, I was furiously planting lots of perennial grasses and a mixture of other hardy perennials in one part of the side yard.   Looking good.  I’ll take photos in a few days.

Thankfully the weather is a little milder and not so hot .. making it more pleasant to play outside.

And now I’m off to start my day.  Lots more plants for the other side of the yard.   Oh, plants are my life,  and I just can’t seem to have enough.

🙂

 


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Why do potato plants have square stems? And other things.

Friday, July 27, 2012

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We are so lucky with the hot sunny weather!

Spent some time bringing a few containers of dried seaweed  outside.. to sit in the sun for a while .. to make sure they are really, really dry!  Otherwise, there could be quite a stench in the house.

Mixed up some EM … watered a few tomato and squash plants.  All are growing nicely.

I have a few little casual sitting in my garden.  Mostly, they are just oversized boulders that I’ve moved from one area of the yard to another.  Perfect for placing in a few little spaces and just relaxing there for a while .. to study the birds and the bees and butterflies playing around the yard.

Sometimes I feel as if I’m not making any progress in the yard .. yet, when I look around me .. I really am amazed at all that I’ve done.  I seem to work best in little blocks of time.  Overwhelming though the work seems to be .. once I get started in a little corner, then I just seem to zone into that special  world of plants and creativity.

So maybe that is where I’m losing the sense of “conscious” time… the place where I make lists and plan and that sort of thing.  I’ve entered that amazing, creative, energizing place where nothing exists except that very positive flow with the magic of the living earth and plants.

I’m easily distracted by the flight of butterflies in my path, hummingbirds zooming overhead.  Chickadees and other birds visiting the trees and chirping their hello’s!

And I am so very glad that we planted those many trees years ago, they are overgrown, but that is the way we like them.   They provide us with shade and lots of oxygen.   Not the least is their gift of fruit, plums, apples and cherries.

But, most of all .. I’m glad they are there .. because they provide shelter for the variety of winged friends who visit.   Lots of safe places for them to hide and build their nests.

There are so many places, properties, where all the old trees and bushes have been removed, to “tidy” up the landscaping.   How barren and how empty.

Spent some lovely time just listening to some relaxing music, quiet time .. chilling out .. watching the every changing skies above.

Relaxing in the sun.

Watching the birds.

Getting some things done.

Yes, I finally planted quite a few perennials that had patiently sat in their pots for many months.

Established some raspberry plants among the perennials.  It’s always nice to munch on a fresh sun warmed berries .. .these will be fruiting next summer.

Spent some time watering some parched plants.

Walked through the berry section .. studied the potato plants .. noticed that their stems are square .. now, why is that?  There must be a specific reason for this .. but I just don’t know what that reason would be .. something else to research, I guess.

Where the potatoes are now flourishing .. well, next year I’ll have a few more rows of raspberries.   And should any potatoes show up … they will be quickly potted up in a big container.  I love potatoes, but they really take up space!

Watching the sweet peas growing .. .waiting for them to flower.

Some tomatoes are increasing in size .. still green though.

A very wonderful day in my garden.

🙂