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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Hopes and dreams abide in my garden ..

 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

 

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Sometimes it takes me awhile to get into that wonderful garden state .. the one where time stops, energy increases and I just keep moving things around .. but sometimes it’s just well worth the wait.

Yesterday was a day of going hither and thither and yon.  (are those really words?)

And finally, time to put on my garden costume and step forth into the yard.

With all my recent plant purchases, I’ve amassed quite a pile of plant pots.  These need to be completely sorted, put in bags and then I’ll list them in the local Free section of our Used Victoria and hopefully an ardent gardener will come by to claim them.

I used to save them all for future propagation, but realize that I was simply hoarding them.  My precious plant pots, ha ha ha.

So that’s on my to do list today.

I had moved about a yard of the Miracle Mulch (sometimes I just call this my Magic Mulch .. same thing!) onto a tarp in the back yard.  This was where I headed yesterday afternoon.  Soon I was mixing this with bagged manures and then shovelled this onto the other side yard.  And here I began placing the final lot of my recently purchased perennials.

Looks lovely, but no pictures yet.  I’d placed landscape ties against the edges of this area but finally decided that the neat and tidy edging didn’t fit with the natural flow of the plants, so moved them to the back yard.  Ah, yes, this was much better.  Now I feel the yard can breathe .. no structure here.

Noticed that the grass is now growing quite well around the paving stones that I carved into the yard .. soon it will be lovely and green in this area.

Visited my recently planted Tea Rose .. and see the leaves are burgeoning all over!  Hard to believe that when I’d seen this plant at the store last Thursday, it looked as if it was on the fast road to the compost heap.   The sales clerk had swiftly trimmed away the dead leaves and soon  I could see about 20 little areas of new growth.

Took it home  (after I paid for it, ha ha ha ), planted it and with a liberal dose of that magic elixir, EM .. it is now sporting a vast array of leaves and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it were to grow some lovely fragrant roses soon.

Itching to dig in the potato patch . .how many taters are left there for me to find?  Feels like a treasure hunt as I gently probe the garden fork around the base of the raspberry plants .. where the darned things have grown.

I stop for a while, looking at the rich, beautiful mulched soil that is now here ..  thankful that my hard work of gathering oak leaves, spoiled hay, compost, aged manure, spent hops .. all combined to create such a wonderful growing medium.

What a treat to finally see the red skin of the potatoes peeking out from the rich dark soil.  Sheer magic, I feel!  I gathered up the remaining  crop and put them in an old white enamel pot that had belong to my DH’s grandfather.  He used to garden a fair bit and I’ve been lucky enough to have some mementoes from his hobby.

I have two zucchini plants and a few are growing from these .. so I pluck one to take inside for cooking.

The pea plants are nearing the end of their cycle .. fun to see the peas growing in their pods, distorted and twisting with the energy of their growth.

Lots of tomatoes, but still in the green stage.  Strawberries are still flowering .. fingers crossed that these will grow into ripe red fruit.

Lots of dreams and hopes lie in my garden .. and time to go out there and play again for another day.

🙂

 

 


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I drew the winning ticket! However, it wasn’t for me!

Monday, August 13, 2012

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We went to a car event on the weekend .. many hundreds of classic and stock cars of all kinds.  I took lots of photos, only to find out later that I’d accidentally smudged some sunscreen on the lens … so although I love the photos, they all have that slightly blurry effect!  Sigh.

As we were parking, dh pointed out the Martin Mars water bomber that was flying overhead, so I scrambled to take a picture and was able to take a quick one!  What a magnificent plane this is!  Wonderful to see it flying .. just for fun!

Several times on that day, Sunday, we found ourselves stuck in a long line of traffic … so during the first wait, I looked outside the car window and rested my eyes on the calming greenery of a little wooded area .. it helped me avoid the “argh” feelings of being stuck in traffic.  And eventually … traffic inched along and soon all resumed speed.

Beautiful weekend.   Lots of lovely skies.   Many birds sighted.  People in a holiday mood.

At the end of our day at the car event, we were on our way out and gave in to the volunteers selling 50/50 tickets and bought ourselves a strip of them.  We waited around to see if we would be the lucky winners.  The volunteers were busy tearing up the perforated tickets and mixing them up very well.  One of them called over to me and asked me to draw the winning ticket!  So, facing away from the large ticket container, I swirled my hand around through the tickets .. which one shall I choose?  Finally I plucked one up and handed it over to the gentleman in charge.

Woe, it wasn’t one of our numbers.  However, the money is going to a very good cause, so we are happy about that.

As we left the area, we could hear the announcer telling everyone the lucky number!  And I felt happy that somehow I was able to be a part of the connection in the outcome of the lucky winner!

It was wonderful being away and doing something very different from our everyday lives … on a sunny Sunday!

Today I spent some happy time in the garden . .visiting with my good friend D.  We spent hours and hours talking about creative things.   Good energy.

I happily showed her the changes in my garden since her last visit.  She has grown vegetables for years and so I ask question after question.   And get the answers that I add to my growing veggie gardening information bank.  I’ve really only started growing veggies last year .. so every year I get a little better.  Still haven’t tackled the whole tomato pruning thing yet.  Lots to learn yet.

Here it is, nearly mid-August .. we’ve really only had full hot summer since the beginning of July.  I feel as if I “should” be farther along in my gardening than I am.

There are half-finished projects here and there.  I have been successful in some things and have cleared away hundreds of gardening pots to give away. And washed (in the same water, so as not to waste) plastic bags that once held soil or manure.  Dried them in the sun and they are ready to take to the recycler.

Slowly, slowly, the hundreds of chores that I have listed in my mental “to do” list are getting done, a few at a time.

Recently, I’ve devoted many hours .. a whole day even .. to completing little jobs.  Like, one section of the front yard .. weeding, pruning, mulching.  Another involved one side garden .. that I am so happy with.  There are more to do.   And although I know that gardening will never be finished …I am truly enjoying the journey!

And tomorrow, I plan to get up real early and start again.

It is so tempting to just run outside in the morning, but, there are litters to be cleaned, floors to be swept, little daily household chores.  Better to be done with them first thing in the morning and then I don’t have to think about them till the next day.

It’s been a day!  Another great one, of course!

🙂


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A variety of things, including flying, gardening, mulch .. etc.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

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So, August is zipping along.  Lots of gardening.  Lots of flying.  Now that summer is here in full force, it’s so easy to forget those cold rainy days.

Veggies are growing well.  I finally shovelled the last of the 5 yards of the miracle mulch and so the perennials have a nice soft blanket to retain moisture and keep the soil cool.

And yesterday, so lucky .. woke up to the sound of branches being buzzed and then ground up as a few neighbourhood trees were being trimmed.  These included an oak tree.

Quickly grabbed my mug of Yorkshire Tea and dashed out the door … and politely asked the working crew if I may have the chips!  Well, lucky me .. they said yes and I was ecstatic.  These are things that only a fellow gardener can understand!

So at least 1 ½ yards were gently deposited on a tarp in the driveway and I spent a few happy hours shovelling up this lovely mulching material and spreading under our first Christmas tree … the 2 yards that I placed there yesterday has nearly disappeared.

And I noticed that this tree only has a very few cones on it this year .. this means that the tree is not under stress.  Finally, I’m giving it the love and attention that it needs.

Once all this shovelling was done, I decided to clip some roses for drying.  But first, I:

–          Discovered that the branches of an old apple tree in the back were in my way, so went to find the clippers to trim away some of the ones that were at eye-height

–          Then I thought it would be a good time to drag out the soaker hoses for the recently updated side yard .. this took a good chunk of time as I sorted through the two sizes of hoses and too late remembered that I couldn’t attach the 3/8 to the 5/8 .. so undid my work and started again

–          Put aside a tarp to take to the front yard, to help when I weed that area

–          Became enthralled with the sight of the bees buzzing around flowers, so took pictures

–          Again, became enthralled with the skies up above and more time spent there

–          Took a few minutes to search for berries

–          Had a look at the various squash, basil and pea pods growing

–          Then finally I walked to the rose-bush, clippers in hand (after searching for a basket to hold the flowers) and finished what I’d wanted to start over an hour ago, that is, clipping roses

Then, time to go to the front yard and begin pulling out some invasive perennials .. they’ve served the purpose of greening up the yard, but time to remove these, fluff up the soil and then go shopping for some ferns and things to complete the woodland look along the front of our first Christmas tree.

And now I must go outside and continue what I started yesterday.

I forgot to mention that my work was stopped by a thunder & lightning storm …  heavy raindrops, thank you for watering my garden!

🙂


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Working in the sun, planting, digging, sorting .. having fun outside.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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Oh, so sadly I learned of the passing of the wonderful Maeve Binchy .. from Bridget’s blog:  http://arignagardener.wordpress.com/author/arignagardener/

Maeve Binchy, is, bar none .. the most gifted writer there has ever been .. she captures the heart and soul of everyday people in everyday situations.

I have all of her books and re-read them from time to time, noticing more nuances with each reading.

Oh, how very lucky we are to have had her in our world.  Bless you Maeve.

Flying has been very much in my world I am very happy to say!   Loving the skies, clouds and birds up above .. my joy is increased when we are up in the air flying from here to there.

The skies have been sporting such beautiful cloud formations lately .. and my little camera has been clicking away at every opportunity.  Some of the clouds are stupendous in their beauty and gracefulness .. shifting and changing as we pass by ..and I cannot pass up the chance to take lots of photos as we do.

I see animals, boomerangs, people in the puffy cloud formations … scenery .. all sorts of things.  Quite beautiful.

Working hard in the garden during the week so that I can relax and just absorb the peaceful beauty of the lovely skies and scenery on the ground.

I’ve been mixing large quantities of EM during the past few weeks, and last night I applied quite a bit on some newly transplanted cedars and bay trees.   I know that you are not “supposed” to transplant perennials in the hot sun .. but I took a chance and started digging in late afternoon .. followed by a very liberal dousing of EM. And today I noticed the plants are looking just fine!

I’ve come to depend quite heavily on the EM (effective microorganism) mixture.  It gives the same results, pretty well, as brewed compost tea .. however, I haven’t put together a tea composter (with aquarium tubing and motors) this year.  Perhaps next year.  For now, though, my EM is the magical elixir for all things growing in the garden.

The strawberry plants have started to flower again.  Same for the tomatoes.  The snapeas and the sweet peas .. same story.   And the growth of the bay tree in the back, along with the bay laurels and the willow .. well, these are growing into lovely giant plants.

Yesterday I was busy reshaping one side of the yard.  Down on my hands and knees, with only a few garden tools, I busily dug out weeds, created a shallow edging at the forefront of this garden bed and found yet more garlic from a few years ago.  I’m drying these and will plant them in the main garlic bed in September.

I also pulled out invasive plants, too many crocosomia, Euphorbia and a few others.   Now I want space for the cedars to grow out and up.   And more space for the lavender and rosemary plants.  Plus, I’d like to grow a variety of lavender plants, to make a lovely lower border at the front of this garden area.

Working in the blazing sun, getting dusty and dirty, wearing my sturdy garden outfit, I feel quite happy in my world.  Getting lots done sometimes and not so much in others.

Spent some time today in clearing away fence boards and the mess that accompanies new fencing in the yard.   A few hours into the lifting, carrying, sorting and tidying and I was quite ready for a tea break.

Now .. time to go back outside .. to enjoy the sun and to plant some more perennials. Does it ever end!

Tomorrow I’ll be getting 5 yards of that lovely Miracle Mulch for the perennials beds:  http://www.miraclemulch.com/

Lovely.

Now .. time to get ready to go back outside.


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Happy in the sky, flying amongst the clouds

Saturday, July 29, 2012

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My life on Saturday was mostly spent in the air .. and only a little bit of time in my garden.  Lots of time for that in a few days.

For now .. up up and away ..to enjoy the clouds … be at cloud base .. enjoy the shifting shapes.

Flying through the air .. first in the airplane and later in the sailplane.

How lucky am I .. .  I know I am ..

Soaring above the earth ..  flitting among the clouds.

Feeling the energy of the natural forces of the earth and sky combined.

Feeling the freedom of being up in the sky …

I sink back into my passenger seat and just soak in the rays of the sun.  Feeling the joy of being in the air.  The silence …. The swoosh of the wings as the sailplane effortlessly swirls and soars.

Oh, I am so very  lucky.

Saturday was a day of heights .. of things high in the sky.

Happy Birthday MJ!!

Onwards and upwards .. more flying to be done.

More clouds to be enjoyed.

More flowers to be seen.

More birds to watch.

On this very lovely and sunny day ….

🙂


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Watching Birds. Sipping on Yorkshire tea. Enjoying some quiet time. Nice.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

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Friday …. started off as an overcast day .. .which later on morphed into a sunny afternoon!

Spent some time enjoying the antics of the birds cavorting about the skies, in and out of the trees!   Visiting the bird feeders!

The female Downy Woodpecker visited one of the suet blocks .. I wonder if she and hubby had some babies this year?   I haven’t seen any, but they most probably are flying around in the wee hours of the morning so I might not see them for a while.   Still, I enjoy seeing her so close by.

I can hear the tiny Bushtits  .. their cheerful little piping cries sound out from the interior of the trees!   Haven’t seen the Nuthatches but do see the Chickadees flying around.  They are so sweet.

Admiring the growth of the plants, bushes and trees in the yard!!  Spent a good few hours digging away at one side of the yard which had become very weedy.  Found a few more garlic bulbs from a couple of years ago.  Clipped and weeded and soon was rewarded with a tidier bit of yard.   Noticed the raspberry plants have been taking over.  Sigh.  Thought that I’d removed the majority of them last spring!  Well, I’ll just dig them up in a few months and will transplant them into the berry section.

Spent some time looking at the garlic harvest.  Plan to save the largest to plant in the fall.  And have been looking at the garden, thinking of how I can change the layout of this area.   And, not that I’m getting too obsessed or anything .. with garlic ..but am visualizing a slightly larger block of ground for the garlic.  This year I’ll plant them in rows in a more rectangular shaped bed.

I can plant lettuce, tomatoes and potatoes in containers next summer.  This will leave me more room for garlic.   Toying with the idea of ordering a few more varieties from Richter’s herbs.  And this time, I’ll carefull label them.

Noticed the squash, cucumber and zucchini plants are flowering and growing.  I’ll be happy with a few fruits from each . .I’m not greedy.

Picked more cherries and froze them, washed, with stems and pits in them.   After having spent hours pitting them with a single pitter .. I’m done enough.  Saw a great multi-cherry pitter on a blog site a few days ago.   It neatly pits about a cupful of cherries in one go, and the pits are neatly contained in a little square holder.  How decadent!

The highly scented lavender-hued Buddleia is flowering away at the side yard .. this explains the presence of some butterflies .. seen hovering around the yard.   So pretty.  Am sure that I saw a Monarch, all lovely in yellow hues.  And then there is the brownish/black/cream butterfly that has been flitting about.  So pretty.

Enjoying quiet time, sitting on the back steps, in the sunshine.  Mug of Yorkshire tea.  Sudoku.  Relaxing music playing on my iPod.   Watching the birds fly around.  Looking up at the skies.  Seeing planes travel about.  Seagulls soaring by.   Crows with their nasal screeching.

Having a good time.

🙂


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Wednesday brings good fortune for me and bad karma for others!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

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Wednesday was one of those rare sunny days .. these ones that appear from time to time, and deludes us into  thinking that summer has arrived.  I’ve not yet put my winter clothes away yet and have found that procrastination has paid off!  For the sunny days, there are my capris and t-shirts.  For chilly days, I have my lined cargo plants, t-shirts & jackets.  Gloves and scarves too.

But yesterday was a summery day as my pal D & I headed off to a local beach to collect seaweed for the garden.

Tide was at its lowest about 9:15 …. and it was lovely to see that we could walk way .. way out to the ocean!  It was a nice quiet day, perfect for selecting this treasured material for the garden.

I’m very careful to only collect that seaweed which is dried or otherwise not still attached to rocks and yesterday, due to the heat, there was a nice crispy layer on the surface of the wet seaweed.  So I was rolling the top layer like Sushi!

I’d brought my trusty old Rubbermaid containers, the same units I’ve been using for over 20 years.  Originally I’d used them to store the variety of pot-pourri, moth repellents (herbal), stove top spices and bath herbs, back in the day when I was making the rounds of craft sales.  And also selling these items, packaged, in stores, on a small-scale.

These containers were just plain handy.  Anyway, as I started to fill them up, I noticed that there weren’t as many there as when I’d started.  I had brought 11 and now there were only 7.   Mystified, trying to understand why someone would take 4 of these .. didn’t make sense.  Perhaps there are people who just like to take things that are on a beach?

Well, karma will out.  Next time I’ll write my name on my few remaining containers.  I just hope that whoever took them finds these containers to be as useful to them as they have been to me.

Anyway, collecting done, containers filled, tucked in the car .. it’s time to relax in the sun.  Body aching from hours of bending, collecting, filling, lifting.  It was sheer heaven to settle in on the warm rocks and breathe in the beautiful fresh air.

As always, we meet people who ask what we are doing .. and explain that the seaweed is good for the garden.  Adds minerals and texture to the soil.  enriches the compost.  Garlic loves it and slugs avoid it.

We have both taken an intensive seaweed workshop and understand how to properly harvest any living seaweed, cut off just a little and leave the plant growing.

At the end of our long outing, the decision was made to visit a different little place for our special treats.  We had been going to a little place that was noisy and that was just not relaxing.  So yesterday we went to another place.

And wow .. it was as if we had been transplanted to a lovely little European bakery!  It’s called “Little Vienna Bakery” and what a beautiful change this was for us.   Entering the welcoming open front door (and there were precious mosaic designed bistro tables & matching chairs near the entranceway)… we found ourselves in the most delightful bakery.

Gilt framed mirrors were everywhere.   Spacious tables were positioned so that everyone could comfortably visit and have privacy .. no crowding of tables.   We chose a little table outside .. and were rewarded with the most colourful flowering vista!  Vehicles could be heard but not seen.  Instead, our eyes saw towering banks of colourful foxglove, a wall of sunny California Poppies, waves of delicate red poppies.  And there were other perennials also, but my eyes were drawn towards the cheerful palette of the flowers.

How wonderful to find this oasis .. a perfect way to finish our day’s outing!  Sandwiches, soups, cheeses .. are all served here.  D had the poppy-seed bar, delicate and delicious (she shared with me) and I .. fell in love….  with the Schnecke!  Bought 2, 1 cinnamon and 1 chocolate (a treat for my DH).   Well, I broke off a little piece of the cinnamon one and found myself unable to stop.   So .. bought another one, as a treat, for when I was home.  Luckily there was one remaining in the case, otherwise, I don’t know, I might have broken down and cried if they were all gone.  So I was saved that embarrassment!

D pronounced the Schneckes as perfect, identical to the dainty pastries that were served in Vienna!   So the quality of the pastries, in conjunction with the most beautiful surroundings, the decadent regality of the gilt framed mirrors .. all added to the magnificence of this treasured place.  Oh, and they serve meals also, Breakfast & Lunch.  As well as wheat free products (as in the poppy-seed bar).

I think that next time I will have a grilled Panini .. they have a choice of Sicilian and Parisienne.  Well, with names like that, I just know that they will be delicious (really, though, I know they will be delicious .. cause in this beautiful bakery, everything is beautiful and tasty)  .   I’ll order the Parisienne next time, and I’ll just pretend that I’m back in France, wandering around dusty side streets .. listening to the language being spoken all around.  sigh.

Here is the site for the Vienna Bakery:  http://littleviennabakery.com/

As I was sitting there, looking around at the flowers, D whispered … don’t move!  A striking red and black butterfly had settled on the black ribbon encircling my hat, I was totally unaware.  So I passed the camera to her and she clicked away.  Luckily . .she was able to snap two good photos showing the butterfly nice and clear.  I’ve not seen a butterfly as striking as this one.  So I wondered, is this a sign of good luck?   That’s what I’ll interpret the little visit as.

It made up for the loss of my four containers.   And I released the negativity that I was feeling over the theft.

Soon, time to begin the trek home.  Back in traffic.  Happy for the day’s outing.  It’s so much fun to spend a day like this every once in a while.  Fresh air, sandy beaches.  D noticed a deer and a mink at the beach .. she always notices these things.

Back home, I emptied the containers from the car, and began the process of moving them to the back yard.  Some that I had gathered was for the bath so these I placed out on framed lattice sections, to dry.   The rest .. well I’ll be digging that into the garden today.