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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Thursday, a day of cloud and rain and playing in the garden .. oh joy!

Friday, June 29, 2012

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So Thursday was a mixed bag of weather, I seem to remember sunshine in the morning and later this morphed into an overcast type of day.

Perfect for puttering in the yard.

I continued to pursue the digging around the cherry tree. Poor ole ground has been neglected for a while, it’s mostly tough and unyielding. Time for a change.

Using a lot of the composted material from an area that has served as the latest composting area, the one with the spoiled hay and all the other goodies, I began to pile on the lovely decomposing material. Lovely earthy scent. Lots of big fat earthworms.

Using my lovely Lee Valley angled hand digger, I soon have the outline perfect. And then I used the edger to score neater edges, but the soil is that hard that the hand digging works better.

Soon I’ve added in the balance of all the mosses .. some of the potted Scotch mosses have grown so well since last year that they are nearly triple in size. Then I place some geraniums around .. they always add a spot of cheer. I’m not a big fan of annuals, but they do work to add that instant colour.

Looking at my finished work (but, you know, it’s not really finished, I’ll be adding some Sweet Woodruff and a few other low growing perennials) .. I can see that in just a month’s time, this area will be just be growing so well! And of course I added a generous amount of EM .. so should be seeing some differences of new growth in a few weeks. Pics to follow!

Mixed up a few more watering cans of diluted EM and generous applications made to perennials around the yard. Noticed that some of the plastic seams are coming apart one of the containers .. uh, oh, must remember to rinse them out with water .. the busy little critters are eating away the plastic!

Checking on my garlic .. starting to wonder if these vigorous stems and leaves will also lea to gigantic bulbs, or is all the growth going to them and not the bulb? gulp … only another week or so to find out. Although, my pal D says it’s ok to pick them anytime, so I might be tempted to try one today.

I keep finding little garlic scapes! Honestly, I swear that they hide beneath the leaves! Just when I think that I’ve gathered all of them, then I find a few more! In the fridge, I have a Ziploc bag of garlic scapes, they must weigh at least a pound or so, quite heavy. Today I’ll pick up some almond chips and whir up another batch tonight .. and will store them in the freezer, in round, patty shapes, easy to lift out one and add to quinoa or whatever.

Still picking up cherries dropped by the wind/birds. See the robins vying for the best ones at the top .. too high for us to climb with the ladder .. glad to see them enjoying the fruits.

The apples are getting larger and the berries are getting closer to that ripe stage.

Loving the peace and tranquility in the yard. Listening to beautiful music on the iPod, sipping a mug of Yorkshire Tea. Watching the birds zip around the yard. A bright yellow butterfly flits by.

Entering that place where creativity resides .. leaving only space for beauty, peace and joy. The magic of the garden .. that’s empowering.

Today, after a few necessary outside duties .. it’s back to the garden.

Lovely .. lovely .. lovely


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A beautiful rainbow! Lots o healthy veggies . .What a lovely farm this is! and a vineyard, sigh.

Two Barn Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A double rainbow from yesterday. I think that’s a sign of a plentiful garden this year. Sounds good right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have been planting. Thanks to my brother Dave who enjoys waking me up before sunrise to get some seeds in before work. We’ve got corn, peas, bush beans, beets, radishes, carrots, pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelons, basil, dill, parsley, and lots of flowers to attract pollinators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zucchini is blowing up and my tomatoes are already flowering. Shouldn’t be long now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peas popping up and the peppers are doing great. They are already flowering! The rabbits are eating my beans so I have to take steps to deter them today. Maybe some Cayenne pepper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Playing in the garden, making headway in decluttering. Continuing to watch the aerial art of clouds.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

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Wednesday was a treat, sunny from the start .. beautiful skies .. more interesting cloud formations.

Really made headway with sorting out my plant pots and have filled 5 large plastic bags with them, ready to give away.  More space for creative things.  I’ve decided that I don’t need to store hundreds of small, medium and large pots for future plantings.   The pots always seem to come into the yard, so no worries there.

Spent some time just moving things around the yard .. closer to the gate for recycling, composting, etc.

Observed Duncan cat sitting motionless at the edge of the side garden .. watching for some rodent or other to appear.  He glances over to me and then back to focusing on his target.  Seems I’m accepted now in his daily world .. he no longer runs away.   The trust is happening and that feels good.

I can hear the tiny chirps of the Bushtits, but they are so tiny that I don’t easily see them among the branches.

My little scotch moss plants have not thrived well .. that is, some of them have and some of them havent.  I’ve watered them, given them EM, but only a few tiny touches of the bright green foliage is seen.  So I decide to plant them, maybe the earth around their roots will entice them to grow.

I’ve been digging a circular area around the cherry tree … over the years the roots have grown up to the soil  in two places and I’m tired of tripping on them .. so I’ve decided to make a little area of plantings, a sort of canopied situation, if you will.

Yesterday, on my hands and knees, digging away with hand tools, forming a circular area, narrow trench, placed the Scottish (and one Irish!) mosses around the circle.  Feeling sad that I’ve let these plants down by not planting them right away.  Then . .my gaze moves to the lovely long tin planters that I’ve recently received from friends.   There are some very healthy Scottish mosses growing abundantly in them, I’d planted them about a month ago.

Ding!  Idea!  I’ll transplant these mosses into the circle edge and then .. ta da .. I’ll put some strawberry plants into the planters.  I love it when ideas click!  So that’s my first chore outside today.

then, some sweet woodruff .. this low-growing ground cover is a lovely plant and the whorled leaves, dried, have a vanilla scent that is reputed to repel moths.  If I were a moth would I like the scent?

The Kentucky Wonder Beans are living up to their name.  Recently planted from sprouted seeds, they seem to grow quite rapidly.  I’ve been taking pictures of their progress.  Ok, I wouldn’t make a very business like farmer . .I spend way too much time taking photos of plants in the yard.  Well . .I do have fun, though.

The skies continue to offer the most interesting cloud formations .. quite beautiful and relaxing to look at this aerial art.

Also spent some time digging a pathway in the newly created garden (spoiled hay, alpaca &  goat manure,  leaf mulch, compost).  Decided to a) remove a narrow pathway amidst this growing area so that b) I could toss some of the soil beneath the cherry tree!  This involved moving some of the kale plants .. and I discover that this large leafy plants thrive on a very small rootstock!

I’ve recently planted some squash and zucchini plants here and look forward to the long lazy growth of the plants.

This area gets the full morning and late afternoon soon .. I’ve been watching this place for days.  Good area to grow.

The raspberries are becoming pink, the blueberries are staying green ..but we were able to harvest a few strawberries.  The cherries are ripest at the top, of course, where the sun hits them.  The birds feast on these as we don’t have a ladder long enough.  We’ll enjoy the cherries on the lower branches.  As I was raking up the ground around the cherry tree .. I was picking up the fallen fruit .. enough to fill a large plant pot .. wah!!

Onwards with this day .. moss to transplant, strawberries too!  More digging, more plantings, skies to watch, birds to see.

🙂


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Oh wow …. I’m just speechless .. this looks too delicioue .. and so simple!!!

Voila!

Even though pizza on the grill may be pretty much the best way to cook pizza at home, this is a close second with no grill necessary. And a grill can’t be necessary for recipes in our house because we don’t have one. So, here’s the deal: make some dough from your favorite recipe (and if you have a favorite, can you pass it on to me?) or get the store bought kind (Harris Teeter sells the dough they use for their pizza’s), then layer up the sauce and toppings of your choice. We had fresh onions and leeks from our excursion out to a local farm so that’s what I added on this one. Pizza is a blank slate just waiting to be experimented with.

Ingredients
3 leeks, sliced thin
1 1/2 onion, cut in half the sliced thin
2 1/2 T. butter
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
salt…

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OMG .. carrot top pesto! Pesto is a wonderful world and I’m having fun finding my way through!

Leek Soup - Dina Avila, Photographer

Roasted Vegetable Pappardelle with Carrot Top Pesto

© Dina Avila

Spring Roasted Vegetable Pappardelle with Carrot Top Pesto

I know my blog posts have been quit short as of late. I’ve been wanting to make pictures for you and share recipes, but I’ve been busier than usual and just haven’t had the time to sit down and write a proper post. What’s been going on? Well, if you don’t already know this about me, one of my gigs is staff photographer for Eater PDX, a groovy food and nightlife website that you’ll find in most major cities. We’ve been building our photo archives up so whenever my editor needs a quick picture of a restaurant, we have a beautiful shot to choose from, rather than borrowing one from Yelp or using a shaky picture from someone’s camera phone. Click here and here for an idea of what I’m talking about. The past couple of weeks have been packed with shoots like those and  the next couple of…

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Yum .. Leek Pesto recipes!!!! (and other good foods also, looks very interesting, especially the veggie pancakes!

Lady Locavore

Pesto is a sauce originating in Northern Italy and traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil and pine nuts and blended with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. The name “Pesto” means to poundto crush, in reference to the original method of preparing of the ingredients. In our more conventionally made pesto the ingredients are not “pounded” or “ground” with a circular motion of the pestle in the mortar, but rather well processed in a food processor.

Ingredients in our modern-day Pesto Sauces have evolved to a wide variety of ingredients.  As long as you have the basic elements, a Pesto Sauce can be made. I love how Pesto is used in so many ways and incorporated in so many different ways as well.

Pesto spread on fresh-cut french bread and broiled for a few minutes makes a great snack or accompaniment to your favourite pasta or stew. I enjoy adding Pesto to rice…

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