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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These are a few of my favourite things ….

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Haven’t spent much time out in the yard and today was just a totally luxuriantly lazy day .. so I thought I would share some of my favourite things!

First on the list is this most wonderful yard cart that DH gave to me on Christmas Day.   Not sure what I love more .. the fact that he gave me something that is such a labour-saving device in the garden .. or the fact that he spent so much time on Christmas Day assembling it for me.  I think the two facts are part and parcel … really, a gift of love, priceless!

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Next on my list is the amazingly beautiful vista overhead .. the ever-changing sky landscape.  I must admit that I really don’t get a lot of gardening done on beautiful days like this!   Spend a lot of time looking up at the sky!  Really, can you blame me, though?13

 

This was a soft … gentle sky … wispy clouds11

 

And these were all taken on the same day, can you believe it!  10

 

Moody .. in a happy way …09

 

Lovely cumulus clouds .. they resembled a stack of fluffy pancakes .. 08

Ok .. these really struck a chord in me .. so beautiful ..06

 

and my other favourite things ( on a very long list ) are .. birds.    Here is a little Chestnut-Backed Chickadee at one of the suet holders.05

Mustn’t forget my latest plant purchase .. for our next home … there is one more at the store .. and .. I … must … resist … purchasing … that one!04

 

Sweet little Bushtits … they are so very darling ..03

 

They are also very polite .. waiting patiently for their turn at the suet block02

 

Ok .. I like them a lot …01

and .. look how easy this is . .no more shovelling the contents of the cart .. just pull on the tipping handle and all the contents are on the garden bed .. saves me so much shovelling. (this is after)

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and this is during … such ease .. I am feeling quite pampered now!

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At first I thought that the cart wouldn’t hold much material .. but as I continued shoveling the fine mulch into the cart .. I was really amazed .. it holds a lot!19

 

Well .. there you have it .. a pictorial display of (some) favourite things .. there are many others, of which I am quite grateful.

Sigh.

And for the New Year .. .I’m not one for making resolutions, “but” I will continue on my decluttering activities.  Since I’ve already started that this year … guess I’ll just continue on.

About procrastination .. I’ve been working on that this year and actually making some headway .. yea to me.  However, I’ve recently found that the phrase “I’ll start that in the New Year” quite appropriate and have been using that mantra during the past few days. As I look at areas that I fully intend to organize/recycle/finish!!!  Just as I start to feel that I “should” get started, but really don’t feel like doing …right now!

As soon as I say the magic words “next year” I feel as if a tremendous weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

It’s a fait accompli, or something like that.

So .. if I am not inspired to blog tomorrow .. although I think that I will ..  for right now – I’ll hoist a glass of dry white and wish everyone a very very Happy New Year .. 2013 .. wow!  All the best and all that! (sip … sip ..)  ha ha

🙂

 


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Thursday … time spent looking at the birds in the backyard .. and.. yea .. my new garden cart!!!

Friday, December 27, 2012

Yesterday, Thursday, slightly overcast with lots of sun shining through.  The kind of day that teased with promises of sun till the rains came down, sun still shining through.

Lots of visitors to the yard, though.   Heard the steady chirping between Mr & Mrs Downy Woodpecker.   They were chatting away, flitting among the branches and then each settled down on separate suet feeders .. quietly nibbling away.

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Skies overhead …. mostly like this:

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I’d filled up the hummingbird feeder .. it was quite empty .. lots of little Anna’s flitting about.  Funny, last week I’d noticed two of the young ones flying around.  It was obviously schooling time for them.  The parents, much slimmer .. sat on branches nearby, issuing orders.   The two youngsters perched nearby.  Heads constantly on alert status, looking quickly to the left, right, left, right – never still.  Then they would zoom overhead, tiny wings touching as they did so … resulting in little thwap-thwap sounds.  I couldn’t help but laugh at these antics, which they repeated over and over.

Really, this is deadly serious life training for them … however, this is the first time I was privy to such schooling and I was totally unprepared for the their activities.  I felt honoured to be there, quite frankly.

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Then I happened to look over at the Downy on the suet .. he seemed to be king of the suet, the way he stood so proudly on the top!  Quite a noble pose.11

Wandered over to the garlic beds and happy to see the sweet-peas have continued growing.  I’m not one to pluck everything out of the ground once summer is over.10

The birds are still daintily nibbling away at the fallen apples .. they are very thorough in their pecking away .. leaving a graceful outline of the apple base.  Garden art at its best!

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and the darling little Bushtits .. yesterday they were everywhere, it seemed.  Groups of them visited 3 of the suet blocks.   Many of them awaited their turn … sitting patiently above the blocks.

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And of course squirrels have to eat.   This one is a resident, I believe .. having seen him (or is it a her?) throughout the yard at the front, sides and back.05

Oh .. a beautiful Spotted Towhee.   Not sure if this one is nesting nearby.  There have been a few tall trees cut down in the neighbourhood.  Not in our yard, though.  Lots of perching room for everyone.  I’ve seen the Towhees at the bird feeder, nice surprise.  This one is resting in the old plum-tree by the kitchen window.  Nearby (but not in the photo) were some Junco‘s, a golden-crowned sparrow and a house sparrow.04

The roses are still blooming at the side of the house …03

Some ducks enjoying the quiet tidal waters by Spinnakers Pub …

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The log created a breakwater for them .. a place to calmly settle in for the morning.01

I must share this with you .. DH surprised me with this most wonderful, tilting wagon!  And he spent hours on Christmas morning, putting it together for me!  I could hardly wait to take it outside to use in the garden.  Here is my first trip yesterday .. time to take the geranium filled pots to the back yard, to rest in a frost-free zone for the balance of the winter!

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Next it was time to test a load of the Miracle Mulch .. so I loaded up the wagon .. it holds quite a bit.  And see those tires?  No more do I have to worry about being careful going from point A to B in the yard .. these sturdy tires just roll everywhere.  And they turn on a tight radius also!  yea!!!

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Another bonus to this lovely cart!  I can easily dump the contents by simply pulling on the handle at the back of the base and .. voila .. no more shovelling!  I love this!  Then I just pop back the box and it locks in place!

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That just took a few minutes and now the mulch covers this area of the yard.  Well done and with little effort.  Now I’ll have time to do more things in the yard!

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And as I wandered around the yard .. .looking up .. .seeing these glorious rays of the light at the end of the day …

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So beautiful

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Peaceful15

 

Restful14

And thus ended another lovely little visit to the backyard .. more today!

🙂

 


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Wishing happy thoughts and peaceful moments on this day …

Saw some Spotted Towhees, Juncos (male and female) Bushtits, Robins, Anna Hummingbirds, Fox Sparrows, House Sparrows .. European Starlings, Seagulls etc in our yards recently .. so very happy to see them.

Placed more suet and bird seed around the yard.

Happiness,

Tranquility.

Their amazing beauty and activities are humbly appreciated.

🙂

And .. I just wanted to share some blue skies with everyone ….

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Time for tea .. blue skies .. another plant purchase .. a lovely period of time

Monday, December 24, 2012

A few days ago … I decided it was time to go shopping downtown .. time for a quick coffee visit with a friend and also to visit the Mediterranean shop on Pandora.  Hadn’t been there for quite a few years .. how time flies and all that.

On the way there … I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to look up at the beautiful sunny skies and snap some photos.  Interesting clouds.

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The white fluffy clouds tumbled and twirled .. changing shapes smoothly and quickly.  Always beautiful, though.

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Lucky to find a parking space not far from the shop … looking forward to visiting it again.  My pal J and I used to visit this lovely treasure at lunch-time, years ago.  Bought the most delicious middle-eastern foods for lunch.  Spices.  Tea.  All sorts of lovely things.  Same proprietor … working from 7 am till 10 at night … rent is high in this district.  I understand that he sells the free-range eggs for the same price that he pays for them .. so no profit from them.  I bought 2 dozen (delicious) eggs and a supply of foods for the pantry.

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Among my purchases was this delicious tea .. .. loose leaf, the best.

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Next .. I went to Penelope’s (sorry, no pic) to meet with J for a quick cup of tea.  We both have places to go, people to see .. but important to fit in a quick visit.   Lovely cafe … we enjoyed large cups of English Breakfast Tea .. and the lovely counter-guy brought us a little pitcher of milk to our table (we’d forgotten that!) …. he was so very thoughtful.

Afterwards, I drove down to the shopping area by the water .. looking forward to visiting some stores there.   Spent some time looking at the lovely old brick buildings still intact.  Below is one building used for Hydro … I’ll bet the offices there are funky!

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Another fine old building … didn’t notice the business name ..just admired the beauty.05

And … the skies were still amazing ….06

Rustic .. and protected by fencing …

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Window coverings, serving as security for the building and decorative ironwork .. liking that.

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For just a brief moment, as I walked along ….I stopped for a few seconds .. there was no traffic noise, sun warming the street .. I felt transported back to my hometown of my younger days, a little place with lots of brick buildings, no crowds .. it was a nostalgic moment and I savoured it

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Always love this mural painted on the back of a building which faces the parking lot of Capital Iron … doesn’t it seem as if the young cub is looking right at you?

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I think these are passion flowers gone to seed .. the birds were happily feasting away on the seed-heads .. cheerful sounds ..11

Ahhhhh …..12

Lovely old windows, warm butter-hued paint against the rustic brick …

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Stopped to admire the beauty of this delivery bike .. and chatted with the owner.  She and her DH worked hard to keep this sprout business going.  She bikes from the nearby Fernwood neighbourhood (about 15 minutes away) and delivers the fresh organic product to homes and businesses.

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Heading back to my car .. I noticed several pairs of pigeons, nestled on the overhead wires, soaking up the warm rays of the sun.

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Oh, and one more thing .. after seeing this tree at Capital Iron .. for over a month now … every time I go shopping there .. and thinking and dreaming about this tree .. I finally broke down and bought it!  It is a weeping pussy willow tree.   Pendula Salix caprea.   And it was half price.  How could I possibly resist.  After paying for it (and another red flowering currant .. flowers for the hummingbirds in the spring) .. I spent about 10 minutes fitting it into my car.  All efforts were worth it though!  Here it is in the back yard.  I’ll pot it up into a bigger container .. as it will be planted in our next place!   Happy am I.

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Blue skies .. birdies flying around .. more plants for the garden .. and visiting with friends …treasures indeed!  🙂


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More treasures to share ..

Friday, December 21, 2012

Yesterday the sun came out to play and so I spent some time looking upwards, taking lots of photos of the lovely blue skies ….

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All of the clouds were so pretty …47

So very delicate looking .. and wispy … dreamy …46

And I want to share my lovely new shopping bags .. here is a great one, from the SPCA …Love … the warm nose of a dog … how much love they add to our lives … immeasurable.  I miss not having my four-legged furry friends .. of the dog persuasion .. . but perhaps in a year or so we can add some to our family … wonder how the cats will like that!  Although JaneE is well used to dogs .. Duncan is another kettle of fish!

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And here is my la la la bag .. turns out I could see a Perrier Convention at the top.  So I count myself lucky anyway at this new find, thanks to my Pal D who located it in the shop!  Perfect for transporting containers of soaps!41

And here is a supply of Turkish Towell and some facecloth, which D & I gathered up a few days ago .. nicely drying in a woven basket.40

And speaking of la la la, fancy things … here is a beautiful little beaded bag & lipstick holder.  Since I’m not a fancy-schmancy kind of person .. I will use this bag for soap labels, that sort of thing.  However, the lipstick holder … I fully intend to place a lipstick in there!

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And this lovely woven item .. is perfect for carrying just essentials when I’m going for a walk!

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And … another treasure!  Teletubby napkins .. how fun!31

I found this magnificent tiny woven basket with a lid in one of my “goodie” bags ….the handwork is very fine.

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And I’ve decided to use this basket all year round.  Right now it is storing the dried seeds from my organic squash.  The one squash that grew and made it to maturity.  Rainy weather equalled a very poor crop.  So this spring I will plant more!  Bright orange flesh, makes the most delicious soup!

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As soon as I saw this dish .. I knew that I had to have this treasure .. so very lively ..27

 

And Santa .. Santa .. Santa .. what a happy set of figures

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Sparkly … each one is different .. and they are brand new .. and just the type of fancy decorations that I love …

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Oh, isn’t he a treasure!  D and I wondered what was wrong with his right eye … when we moved his little eyeglasses upwards .. we saw that he was winking!  He looks like he belongs it the claymation movie “The Light Before Christmas” .. what a love he is.

 

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This little snowman is the most dapper and happiest version I have ever seen … what a charmer .. how sweet.22

Sweet little mouse .. a tailor, I believe .

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Oh, how very darling .. I love miniatures …. 20

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And .. more and more … sky pictures44

 

Lovely .. aren’t they ….43

.. another .. lovely .. lovely … day ….

 

 


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Well, it was another seaweed-y kind of day, with some shopping thrown in .. all on a rainy day!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

D and I chose yesterday as the “day in the week” for our weekly adventuring.  The weather was predicted to be dry and perhaps a little sunny.  So we weren’t totally surprised to see the pouring rains.

Due to the proximity of the mountains in this part of the world, the weather predictions just aren’t always reliable ..but we are used to that.  This time of the year, it’s normal to carry an umbrella and sunglasses, to cover all bases.

We pondered over whether we should travel today or not .. and decided to continue …. the rains would probably stop at some point.

As we drove to our first destination .. amidst the steady, downpour of rain, windshield wipers efficiently working away to keep the glass nice and clear for good visibility… we chatted about this and that ..  commenting on the weather .. and why the heck there was a steady line of traffic heading towards Victoria and away from Sooke.   Normally, early mid-morning, traffic is very light.  Hmmm .. perhaps dwellers of Sooke were travelling to the big city for Christmas shopping and we were going there ….

So .. our agenda consisted of shopping .. to the delightful Lighthouse Bakery in Langford … I bought the most delicious assortment of cake squares .. a lovely mix of Nanaimo Bars, Langford Bars and some lemon square.    Delicious and such reasonable prices, I couldn’t make them for the price they charge.

Finally .. champing at the bit .. we head to our first thrift store.   We always enter the store, firmly deciding that we would make no purchases and soon we are carrying little shopping baskets … filling them up as we go.  Not just any purchases, but genuine treasures.  Delicate little ornaments to add to the tree (I’ll show pictures tomorrow!!!)

There seems to be a trend of items from the 60’s available now .. and so we have lots to choose from.  Including delightful Christmas wrapping paper from that era.  I did pick up a package .. but will I use it or save it?  I think that first I will take a photo, to preserve the look .. and then .. I will use the paper.  It’s been saved long enough .. time to get out there and let everyone admire the beauty.

Then on to Glenwood Meats … local product .. support the Island businesses, we say.

A few more shops .. more treasures found.  Lovely glasses.   A Dr. Oekter’s flan tart pan (only $3.50 and half price at that ) brand new!!  I plan to make some shortbread, using some delicious vanilla brandy that D prepared, generously giving me some (glad she told me it was for baking, I’d been looking forward to having a sip of this mixture!)

What else did we find ?  Oh, the most absolutely wonderful capacious travel bag .. brand new … with “mots en francais, partout” .. .I’ll take a picture of that and will share tomorrow.  As I’ve said before, D has a special talent for unearthing the most amazing treasures when we go shopping.  This bag had been sort of hidden away and she unearthed it!  Could it be any more perfect for transporting my soaps .. in a grand and stylish way!

Oh, we gathered such wonderful treats.  And I found an unusual SPCA zipped bag .. just had to get that and I’ll share that tomorrow also.

Time for a wee break … once all of our shopping was done .. and away to our favourite bakery for a little bit of soup and a beverage .. the Little Vienna Bakery!!!

See the lovely festive Christmas decorations decorating the mantle of the sideboard at Little Vienna Bakery .. yesterday …

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And dainty little blue globes adorned the branches lovingly arranged in the container nearby

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I wonder …. if I were, perhaps, a little taller .. would I have been tempted to see if I could tastefully remove this delicious cookie for a taste test?

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A close up of one of the sparkly decorations in the window …

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Finally … time to visit the beach to gather up some of the lovely chopped seaweed .. for the garden.   Sun would be setting fairly soon .. so we had a timeline.  And together we gathered up quite a bit in a very short time.  Yea … my garden is going to be so happy and healthy.

And .. guess what!!!  The rains had stopped pouring down by this time .. we were so lucky!!  Our timing was right on!   Yea!!!

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The tide was coming in so we had to work fast.

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The sounds of the waves got louder and louder and we swiftly glanced at the incoming waves as we scooped up the seaweed potpourri ..

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Some ducks flew by overhead and I quickly snapped a picture .. can you see them .. among the branches?

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The tide was swiftly coming in .. as each wave cascaded onto the beach ..swiftly encroaching on the bounty of seaweed .. reclaiming it again to the depths of the ocean …

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Oh, the massive amounts of seaweed lying there on the beach .. quite an impressive sight .. so close, and yet so far .. with the waves washing in … no way was I going to brave the power of the ocean .. tempting as it was ..

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And then .. along comes someone who savours the power of the waves … as a sort of open highway for his board ..

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D and I watched as he carefully placed his board on the water, getting ready for his ride upon the waves …

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And soon he was paddling away .. nice way to end the work day, what!13 14 15

And we on shore looked down at the quickly disappearing beach .. adieu … until another day ..

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Driving home, tired and happy .. we discussed our purchases and couldn’t recall exactly all of the things that we chose .. so that just adds to the surprise later.   Like a practice Christmas morning!

The car smelled deliciously of the ocean …. as we had quite a few netted bags of chopped seaweed in the back of the car.   Spread over top of these were our new purchases .. here and there!

So .. D back home to prepare supper for her family .. and I made my way home … DH is working so I can quickly unload the seaweed to the back yard and transport my treasures to the kitchen for a quick scrub and dry .. before putting them all away.

I’ll show him what I’ve brought home … later ….  he is quite appreciative of my frugal purchases.  And, if I don’t show him all of the things .. well .. ummm … some are supplies for my soap making .. so I’m quite sure he wouldn’t be interested in those things, right now, anyway.

I know that I need to be decluttering like crazy .. but for now .. in this time before Christmas … I will just accumulate just a few more things.  I can always pass them along, can’t I?

And the fun that D and I have on our shopping trips is just priceless.  We both appreciate the quality of items from times gone by.  Not for the monetary value but always for the beauty, the care taken of the objects by their former owners.  And we both respect the value of that energy.  And pass it along.

The items that we purchase are things that were actually made by people who cared .. therein lies the beauty.

🙂