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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Watching Turkey Vultures soaring high above ..

Friday, September 28, 2012

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Another beautiful sunny day .. and a busy one!

First thing, I loaded up quite a few, maybe 7 …paper yard bags, full to the brim with branch cuttings and weeds gathered from the past few weeks.  Even had one in the passenger seat .. didn’t want to leave any at home!   And soon I’d arrived at the local municipal yard and emptied their contents into one of the large bins there.   Next step, they will all be shredded and composted.

Back home, felt great that I’d actually accomplished something, early in the morning!  Soon, outside and digging away.  Happy with the way the re-shaping of the back yard is going .. in particular, the veggie garden.

I’ve been digging up a small mountain of mulched material from last fall .. a mix of alpaca manure, spent hops, spoiled hay and oak leaves.   Nearly a year later and this mixture has resulted in the most loveliest of soil!  So I’ve been placing this around the newly created “berry forest”!

I had a good growth of perennials against the back fence and had a wood chip path extending in front of that.   Decided to ditch the path and just add more soil and then create a little jungle .. composed of an intermixing of blueberries, raspberries, some thornless blackberries, some bamboo and a few other plants.

And I just love this.  No point posting pictures yet .. not much to see .. but I can feel the difference and will post pics next summer.

These changes are giving a different feel to this area of the yard.   A richness of plantings.   Really amazing how many plants I’ve dug up and moved around.

And surprised at how the Chickadees have taken notice of the changes.  I’ve seen them flitting about, sitting on the branches of the plants as they are now in their new locations.   Quite nice to see!

After this little jungle .. then .. I am placing the garlic beds!  They will sit in full sun and a perfect place for them.

Looked at my zucchini, squash and tomato plants .. these are still growing in what will soon be  .. the garlic bed!  Almost dug them up tonight, but decided to give them another week and then .. kerpow!

Spent a fair chunk of time looking up at the sky today .. as I happened to notice the Turkey Vultures soaring overhead.   They soared yesterday .. and I know they are getting ready to migrate south.  It’s just a matter of days.  In the meantime, though, I cannot tear myself away from the grandeur that is high above me.  Their majestic soaring compels me to watch.  I was able to take some photos .. they might just look like dots in the sky, but they represent  the power and majesty of nature, which far surpasses what happens down below, on terra firma.

How lucky I am to spend as much time as I like, just gazing upwards, looking through the binoculars at these huge birds.  And then taking the time to create new areas in the garden.

Very lucky, indeed.

🙂


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Slowly making changes in the garden layout. And thinking about my gardening style.

 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

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Well .. I survived my birthday yesterday!   It was a beautiful sunny day!  DH asked me what I would like to do .. and since we couldn’t fly anywhere, the plane is needing some work .. I wanted to just be outside in my garden for a while.  So he said that it was my day and I could choose … so that’s what I did.

Spent some time soaking up the sun … looking at the work I”d completed thus far.    Opening up the garden space .. creating a little side path, 2 bricks wide. perfect for delineating some space at the side .. and also making a tidy route to the composters, when it rains and perhaps (hate to say this) snows!

Happy that I am able to spend time like this when I can … how very decadent .. from a lifetime of working away at jobs that paid the bills.

I do yearn for more organization in my life .. to make a schedule for my days .. that’s the way I’ve lived my life and it’s very difficult to change and just have no responsibilities.  Except for, you know, organizing the yard, decluttering, getting on with my artistic hobbies .. like sewing, which I do love very much; playing with my acrylic paints, painting on glass, beadwork.

Sigh.  Just some random thoughts, I think.  On another year, a new start to the year .. how exciting.  New energies.   Sometimes I think I am too hard on myself and so I’ll cut some slack.  I do get a lot accomplished.   And I do notice that I don’t often just relax and do nothing.  Even when I relax, I’m sipping tea, solving Sudoku puzzles and looking for birds up in the sky.

I’ve decided (after a talk with DH) to make changes in the veggie garden .. and then .. keep them that way, instead of changing the shape every year.  So today I dug out all the blueberries, red currants, raspberries and other plants that were randomly placed.  And increased the width of the garden at the very back of the yard.   This is where I am planting very tall perennials .. to add more privacy to the yard.

Privacy in the yard .. that is the number one thing that people want  … a place for solitude and  shut away the world.  It doesn’t take much to start with.  Make a plan is a good way to start.

Then choose the plants, cedars are great.  As are laurels (keep them trimmed so they will fill out more) Silverberry (same thing, I just pruned the 2 gigantic plants in the back), bamboo – depending on the type, most are shallow rooters, so just line the planting area with heavy landscape material and the roots will stay confined, they won’t spread.  Or you can just keep clipping the roots that grow from the main plant.

And raspberries .. well .. the raspberry canes this year grew to be over 7 feet.  And I believe that this was due to the EM that I fed them.  Even some plants that had been reduced to sticks, grew and flourished with the EM.  I’m serious!

My gardening style is rather hit and miss.   When I really want to make big changes and find that I’m initially lacking the drive and energy to do so, I actually trick myself.  Rather in a similar manner to decluttering, I think.

With decluttering, and feeling overwhelmed with the task ahead, I simply remove one item from the area.  Take it outside.  Repeat  Repeat.  Repeat.  Soon I have a nearly empty area and can then decide whether I want to recycle or re-use the items.

I find that I sort of work the same way in the garden.  Dig.  Dig. Dig.  Uproot plants.   Put in temporary containers and then leave the area .. maybe go inside, make some tea . .or wander around the yard.  Then I return to the original working area, look with fresh eyes at what I’ve done.  I always amaze myself.  What .. I did that?

And that is what I found happened yet again today!  I’ve left the yard to relax overnight.  Happy that I’ve really made a dent in reshaping the berry area and changed the energy flow of the yard.    And I also replanted some of the blueberries, raspberries and bamboo in different areas, sort of a staggered, layering design.

Trimmed some branches of the wild and crazy tree, letting in more light.

And left the yard happy that I have really accomplished some changes and look forward to continuing in this vein tomorrow.

And tomorrow, I must make the decision to harvest whatever little zucchini’s and squash plants that are there.  Fall has arrived.  And I really really really want to plant my garlic!!!
🙂

 

 

 

 


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Some happy photos from my garden .. and, thank you, Yorkshire Tea, for remembering my birthday!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

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Oh, shiver, my birthday is looming!  My favourite day of the year!  And how sweet .. lovely Yorkshire Tea sent me a birthday card along with a Yorkshire Gold teabag!  What a lovely surprise that was to receive in today’s mail!

So I’ll be brewing up a cup of that, the day after tomorrow!

Random acts of kindness.

Today was a day spent mostly in the garden .. actually getting things done!  That is, aside from watching the skies above, the birds, solving some Sudoku puzzles and, oh, yes .. mugs of Yorkshire Tea!

I had surprises each time I returned from the house to my lovely universe in the yard.   Once, I  happened to look up and see several hawks, lazily soaring overhead.

Another time, I’d just set up my little garden chair, set to spend some few minutes in the sun with my Y tea and Sudoku .. looked up and there was a flock (?) of Turkey Vultures … wings casually spread .. sailing along slowly .. .on a cloud street.   Soon disappeared and I felt so privileged to have seen them, by chance, as it were.

Spent a fair bit of time searching for things, seeds, tools, extension cords (for my lovely “fountain”) .. thus began my creative search for changes in the garden bed layout.

What to do, where to plant things, which plants to move.

Finally, grabbed my shovel, began digging up some Salmon berry plants, raspberries and sundry other plants established in the last year.

Dug away at some clay soil … watered .. added lovely mulched soil and repositioned the above plants.  Top dressed with Miracle Mulch (finely shredded leaves, tiny branches … absolutely no bark!!)

Looking good.

Began playing with creating another temporary path with bricks.   I don’t do “structured” gardens and each year I play around with changing the shape and paths of my veggie bed.  Always fun and always surprised with what I come up with.

So today I created a little brick path by the little berry bed .. this path will go straight to the back of the yard.   Then, to the right, I will create two rectangles for the garlic bed.  However, I have to wait for the squash to finish.  argh.

The Bush-tits swirled in .. oops .. time to replenish the suet block.  That done, I could enjoy watching them attaching the fresh suet.

Thought back to yesterday .. I’d been watering various areas of the yard .. which included an apple tree.   The leaves were dripping with water when the Bush-tits flew in and I watched as they all used that moisture from the leaves to enjoy a little bath .. fluffing out their tiny feathers, chirping to each other.  Hopping from one leaf to another.  So very sweet.

A pleasant, creative, energized day ….

And looking forward to tomorrow.


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Thoughts on creativity, and the like, on a quiet Sunday morning.

 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

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I’ve been reading some lovely blogs recently and quite a few of them list the reasons why they blog and I find that quite interesting.  And I thought, why don’t I do the same thing .. try to explain why I blog.

I didn’t know what a blog was a few years ago.   In fact, I went to a writer’s group at the local library at that time and listened to some interesting audience  feedback to the presenter, a published author, who was talking about writing, and how to get the stories out there in the world.  She said that blogging was an excellent way to do this.

One person listed his blog and stated that it helped him with his creativity in writing fiction.  It was something like … Running with the Tao, or something like that.  I remember thinking how brave he was, to publicize his thoughts .. could I ever unlock my soul to be so sharing also?

Interesting, also, he discussed the fact that his sister had created a small one-person play and played this part over and over and over, at fringe fests all over the place, Canada and the US.  She perfected the play so well that it was finally produced as a tv show.  Unfortunately, I didn’t note his or her name, nor the name of the show.

What I did remember, though, was the persistence of the woman, how she rehearsed her little play, the same one, over and over and over until it was polished sparkly bright.

That imagery of her focus stayed with me.  That is the power of dedication.  I love hearing stories of people who work hard like that.

Reminds me of the poem:  A diamond is only a piece of coal that stuck to its job you see.  If it wasn’t for that piece of coal, where would the diamond be!

Anyway, I dutifully copied down his blog address, went home and typed it into the url location, expecting it to take me to a web site.  No joy.  After a few more attempts, I gave up.

Then, nearing retirement, 2 years ago, and wanting to continue yakking about gardening, a co-worker suggested that I start a blog.

What is a blog, I said?  And, who, me?  Who would read what I wrote?  And could I really write my thoughts down so that others, people I don’t know .. could read them?   Bare my thoughts about gardening and how it brings such pleasure into my life?

Another co-worker helped me with locating a good blogging site, ahem, WordPress!

And so I went there and timidly (I’m serious!!) I registered and started writing.

At first I was stiff and very conscious that others might possibly read what I wrote, so I was very cautious   And really, I wasn’t used to just letting my thoughts flow from my mind down through my fingers tapping away at the plastic keys of the keyboard, resulting in all these neat and tidy black symbols on a white screened background.

Sheer magic.  I fell in love.

Once again, I felt the joy of creativity.  I enjoyed the power of unleashing my hidden thoughts.  The energy of the free flow of my dear subconscious, free at last from the chains of being in the background.  I’d not used my creativity for quite a few years and thus this freedom was such a joy.

After awhile, I stopped worrying  about what I wrote, how I wrote it and what people would think, if they bothered to stop and visit, that is.

Now, I know that I must write everyday if I can.  The simple pleasure of sitting at my keyboard, mug of Yorkshire Tea, photos downloaded .. time to look at what’s been happening in my life and appreciate all those treasures.. is such a treat.

I love very much the beauty that surrounds me.  The activities and awareness of nature that fill me with awe .. like the magnificent ocean visits, the cheerful whirlwind that is the flock of Bushtits that twirl around the suet block.

The little sparrows that momentarily alight on my little water fountain (actually a barrel liner with a bamboo spout).  The quizzical chirps of the Chickadees as they flit from branch to branch on the various trees in the yard.

The Anna’s who dive and zoom and sip at the nectar in the hummingbird feeder.

All of this is right here and having the time to just sit outside in the quiet of the day and enjoy all this is quite a treasure for me.

Beauty .. it is everywhere .. sometimes I have to look hard, but when I shift my view .. well, there it is!

Well, that’s enough for a Sunday morning .. time to get going and see what else is happening out there.

Enjoy .. and if you liked my ramblings, well, that is good .. and I feel happy for having taken the time to ramble on and on and on.

🙂

 

 

 


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This person is a shining example of looking after the environment by keeping useful items out of the garbage stream!

Things I find in the garbage

I went out this afternoon to try to get a trumpet I have fixed up. The valves don’t compress, basically (I found this in the trash a while back). He told me it probably just needed a cleaning, but that it would cost 65 bucks plus tax, and that’s not really in my budget right now.

Maybe I can clean it myself. This guy online says all it really needs is valve oil and some grease, so maybe I’ll try that.

Regardless, on the way back I saw a few things, some of which bothered me.

First off was this old laptop. Not old enough to not have XP, but old enough to have a floppy drive. I just tried it out and it still turns on, but it seems like the screen is busted. I may just give it to the computer place on St Laurent. As least they…

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How Friday went .. in my garden

 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

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So Friday started out overcast .. but I could see the sun way up high, working hard to fight through the overcast layers and before long it had succeeded and the day turned out to be sunny.

And I enjoyed the look of one of my newly painted found objects.   A little plastic table, found on D’s and my little adventure day on Wednesday.  Transformed with some flat black spray paint .. now ready to be used somewhere in the garden.

A large plant pot, painted green with gold overtones .. I think I’ll add more green paint and will post a pic … then there is a metal filigree plant holder, painted black .. looks kind of cool and I’ll post a pic tomorrow of that.  One of those funky things that looks good in a garden.

Played around with my garlic crop .. separating them into baskets.  I saved the largest cloves for planting this year, in another month .. my gardening neighbour plants garlic mid-October and I’ll follow her lead.

Besides, right now there are some squash plants sprawling all over the area where I plan to grow the garlic and i want to give these plants some time to produce some squash!

Patience!

Then I sorted garlic to be given away .. and some to be sent to my sister .. oh, and some for me to use also!

A basket of garlic that hadn’t a covering on their cloves .. guess I dug them up too early .. more patience needed for next year, it seems.

Finally, a little basket of garlic seeds and one of those little yellow bulbets .. I’ll put some in pots and see if I can grow garlic greens for eating now!

I tried an experiment that I saw posted all over Pinterest, that of re-growing green onion greens.  It’s magic!  Day one, there were little new shoots and now, day three, they are growing  larger.

Now, today, I will separate them into two groups and in one jar I will add some EM .. just to see what the difference will be.

And I bought these green onions from a local greenhouse, so, no chemicals!!  Yeah.

So that was pretty much my gardening time yesterday .. and I plan to continue today.

Time to plant the Dragon kale that my gardening neighbour gave me …. this type turns blue in the sun and stays green in the shade.  Lovely, I say.  I’m really loving this kale and have fun just clipping away the lower leaves when I need some for a meal.  Fun in the garden.

Well .. time to go outside and plant those kale plants …  🙂

 


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More abour our wanderings at Saxe Point, such a magnificent place to be.

Friday, September 21, 2012

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I look at the date on today’s paper and think . .yegads .. my birthday is next week!  And for that I am glad.  Remembering when I was little and thinking “I am 8 and the year ends in 8” (I won’t say which decade though, ha ha ha) .. followed by subsequent years of “I’m 12 and the year ends in 2” … guess I’ve fallen out of the rhythm, cause my next number ends in 4 and the year ends in 2!

Guess its high time to start a new birthday saying, heh?

Besides the sometimes complimentary birthday drink I receive (depending on the restaurant) .. I find that each birthday feels to me like New Years Day .. a fresh slate, as it were.  A fresh new year starting.

Now, I will create new habits, new routines, finish what I’ve started, and start new things.  Oh, it is so nice to have these dreams!

Today I’m posting the balance of pictures taken a few days ago, when my pal D and I went out for a day of adventure and discovery.

We’d started the day at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.  Planned to meet in the Nature House, arriving within a few minutes of each other .. and then, each waiting for the other, we made little forays outside and thus kept missing each other.

I had a few conversations with someone who worked there and then made a few visits to my car.  She, in turn, would exit the building and go looking for me.  So, in hindsight, we must have looked kind of cute, like one of those little cartoons, where 2 people don’t exist in the same space at the same time.  However, eventually the time continuum stopped playing around with us and we met up at the entrance!
And, good friend that she is, D fully understood how I was sad at the loss of our little Youbou and gave me this very lovely card, a Beth Logan work of art .. that caught the essence of little Y.  He did have that quizzical air about him as he went through his daily life with us.  And how appropriate, as it turns out, that he was on a boat, nearing or approaching a harbour … to the next stage of his lovely little soul’s journey.

And again, how appropriate, as it turns out .. that the card had a nautical air .. as D and I later on were exploring around the ocean’s edge at Saxe Point!

So I had a little sniffle session, reminiscing about little Y –  and carefully placed this beautiful, thoughtful acknowledgement of little Y’s presence on this earth in my car for safekeeping.

And we began our day’s outing.

Such fun, scrambling along the rocks, discovering paths and rockeries.  Beautiful gardens.  A lovely abandoned house that had belonged to the caretaker, now empty, how sad.  Imagined how wonderful it would be to live in a house like that and to live in such beautiful surroundings, with such amazing views of the ocean.  Heaven, indeed.

It was a weekday, summer was over and so not many people at the park on that lovely sunny day.   Felt carefree and worry-free .. with no appointments, work timelines.  Such a good feeling.

We found some crystalized salt areas and many uniformly shaped string like sections … D did some detective work and concluded that these were actually sections of sea-lettuce, the green colour removed by the salt and then dried by the sun.

So we spent a few hours wandering around, exploring, discovering … and enjoying the priceless beauty of the surrounding waters.

Another lovely day .. and all within the confines of our lovely city.

There are many many more such treasures and we will find them when we strike out on our discovery walks, now that the gardening season is slowing down.  And look forward to another pal from the past who will be retiring in another month and she will join our wanderings .. then we can really make trips of discovery!  Such fun ….and .. Gadzooks .. we will even try to travel to the Mainland (Vancouver) for a time or too.

And perhaps a gulf island day trip … now won’t that be fun!

But there is so very much here to discover on the island and in the city of Victoria .. we are so very lucky, don’t you think?

So .. on with this lovely day.