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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Penny Table Top – This is such a very clever idea!

I had an old wood table that I was embarrassed about as the top was cracked. Most old side tables, stands, end tables get most of the wear and tear on the flat surfaces.

via Penny Table Top.

I was looking for organic methods to remove buttercups from the garden .. and .. in that wandering way of searching for information .. I found this treasure!

Now that pennies are slowly being removed from daily transactions …. and I for one will be keeping all of mine … I relish such wonderful creative ideas such as this one!!!


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A lovely sunny, rainy and hailing kind of a day. I purchased my first Mason Bee house (and .. um .. more plants!)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Yesterday was so much fun .. wandering around the Fernwood & Haultain neighbourhoods with my pal D … she knows the area so well and thus we walked up many little pathways and shortcuts that I was quite lost.  So in a way, it felt as if I was on a holiday in another town or country and all was new.  Quite energizing.

So when I got home, mid-afternoon, I had a little think about the choices that I had in the rainy afternoon.  Well, number one, it was rainy so I wasn’t excited about working outside and getting all muddy.

That left indoor stuff.  Made a pot of tea, pondered, read further on my Ruth Rendell novel “Kissing the Gunner’s Daughter” … really just wanted to finish this exciting mystery, but it is daylight so I really “should” be doing something.

Thought about working away on my decluttering.  Then decided to put the milk from my tea away to the fridge.  Opened the fridge door .. noticed that there were a few items that were ready for the compost, so I started that activity.  While I was transferring the veggie items to the compost pail, I wondered, curiously  …. if others have this same hobby.  Of purchasing fresh veggies for the compost and just put them in the fridge for a little while till they are in just the right stage for the compost bin?  Just wondering, that’s all.

While looking through the fridge I found a large bowl of peeled potatoes.  I’d purchased some organic potatoes awhile ago and since they were starting to sport buds on the surface, decided to peel them and cook “later” … helloooo .. it’s later now!

D and I had been talking about potatoes and she mentioned that she’d shred potatoes and make hash potato patties for her family and this was a portable snack for walks.  Well, thinks I .. I’ll try that.

Started off with shredding the potatoes with a grater, now that was a bit messy.  So I climbed onto a kitchen chair and brought down the kitchen processor to do the job.  Once all the bits were assembled and the machine plugged .. I started the task of shredding the potatoes.  Next step involved attempting to remove the excess water.  By this point I had realized that these little red skinned potatoes were not the right type for hash browns, but I’m too far gone in the process to stop.  Sliced up red onions and garlic, added to butter sizzling in an iron fry pan and proceeded to cook a gigantic patty.    After (quite) a while, the potatoes were done and very tasty, thank you very much.

I still had about 2 cups of mushy shredded raw potato left, so fetched a container of organic chicken broth, into  a Corningware pot it went, along with the potato mixture.  Searched through the fridge and found a lovely bag of carrots purchased at Dan’s Market.   These carrots were just delicious!  Also discovered some celery, so sliced up ample amounts of both of these and into the pot.  Next I found a bag of dry curry leaves that I had bought a few months ago.  Popped in 5 or 6 of them into the soup.  Yum

Now I was on a roll and decided to make a little carrot salad, so out comes the fine hand grater and soon I had a little bowl of very thin  strips of carrot, topped this off with finely chopped celery, a drizzle of flax oil and this tasted so delicious that I had two (tiny) bowls of salad.

My inner chef was very creative and I bow to her!  I’ve noticed that my cooking is very creative when I’ve tapped into my creative energy and this is so rewarding!

Sorry, no photos, I was thinking of taking photos to share, but that would have stopped my creative flow.  So just visualize very pretty attractive food dishes and you’ll be right!

On with today!  I’d taken some Rosemary cuttings months ago, added EM to the water and patiently waiting for them to root, and most of them have.  Passing by the kitchen counter, something different caught my eye and I returned to have a look .. and saw these oh so very dainty little Rosemary flowers on a cutting that had just the tiniest bit of root.  Magic, sheer magic.

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New additions for my garden, purchased two of these lovely plants at Country Grocer at Royal Oak.   I’ve been finding all kinds of wonderful new plants …. supplied by local and Vancouver Island Growers .. how lovely!   I’ve not grown these before and Hummingbirds are supposed to love them.  I’ll take photos in the summer.

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There was a bit of a hail storm, well, several, actually … throughout the day.

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I went to the North Saanich Farmers Market today .. it’s once a month for now, soon to be twice a month and in June, yea, every Saturday.  It was my first visit today.  I was on a quest to purchase some Musquee de Provence seeds from Tina at Alden Harvest.  She’d completely sold out of these seeds at Seedy Saturday .. but she saved 6 for me and thus I paid for them .. these are my newest “precious” seeds. I’ll plant 4 and save 2.  Looking forward to taking photos of them this summer.

At the market, I purchased this most lovely Mason Bee house .. isn’t this great?  The little bees are in the top section (see the hole where they can fly out) and soon they will hatch and be busy little bees in our yard.  This style will be very easy to maintain.

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Now for some yard fun, I perched the Mason house on the rustic tree trunk and beside it I placed this funky bell-ringer (from one of our thrift store ventures, when D & I buy things that we don’t really need, but, heck, they are fun).  Not sure if you can see the hummingbird design that is part of the bell-ringer.  I still have to decide where I’m going to install this, but the meantime, this looks good.   Doesn’t it appear as if the Masons have a doorbell?   Or have I had too much fresh air today .. ha ha ha

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I was surprised to see an actual outdoor telephone, at the Deep Cove store, as these pay phones simply don’t exist much anymore.  Nice to see.

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Good storage, plain and simple.7

Inside the washroom … I just had to take these pictures of the crows …. as I seem to be on a theme of crows right now .. time to share.6

Have you ever wondered what you were going to do with that spare set of cupboard doors?   Well, wonder no longer.5

et voila …4

and again ..3

Lovely wooden walkway outside the store .. old-fashioned, friendly and relaxing, don’t you think..2

I fell in love with this pot of wild strawberries, they’ll have small golden fruits.

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These artichokes will occupy a fair bit of land so I’ll put some of them in pots.9

It’s been a fun day .. I’ve travelled in the city, out to North and then Central Saanich and had lots of fun …. talked to quite a few people.  Experienced the relaxed and creative atmosphere of the North Saanich Market.  I bought the world’s most delicious butter tart square there .. omg .. so very delicious that I will definitely return to buy another in May!

The weather has been:   sunny;  rainy;  hailing …. quite a mix and quite lovely for all the plants in our yard.

🙂


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Feels great to be tapping on the keyboard again .. and I’m sharing some of the lovely sights I’ve seen today! Oh, there is more, much more!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Funny how time just flies when life is just rolling along, similar to a nonstop whirling round and round and round and I just want to stop!  🙂

Times were kinda slow at the beginning of the year .. I was focused on getting fit for the summer by going for very long walks and exercising.  Then our lovely tenants had to move and my focus totally changed and I stopped my lovely exercise regime and DH and I began the task of preparing our sunny rental into a home for new tenants. This involved (me) scrubbing and repainting all the rooms and cupboards and DH worked on the hard-scaping and landscaping (a huge job).

The task is slowly nearing the end.  I’ve kept track of our daily adventures and although it seems a very long time ago (beginning of February) as I look over my notes I remember the forgotten tasks.  Selecting and taking home 8 huge cedar trees from the grower’s fields (oh wow they were tremendously heavy).  Together DH & I carefully unloaded one tree at a time from a lovely trailer that a friend lent us.   I love this trailer.  Anyway, we’d carefully put one cedar on a tarp and made a pathway of other tarps so we could (ever so slowly) slide one cedar at a time to the back yard.  Where we’d dug deep holes for them.   Added some magical organic fertilizer to assist the roots in their growth.

And I won’t bore you with the other details.  About how I (ahem) transported one ton of nave-jack from the trailer at the front of the house  by shovelling 7 scoops at a time (this stuff is very very heavy)  into my trusty new yard cart and made a bazillion trips, slowly, walking backwards to the yard and slowly created a mini mountain from which my DH would scoop some with bags of cement into the cement mixer and began the creation of a sidewalk.  Similar with the heavy sand for the base of the sidewalk.

So exhausted I just didn’t have the creative energy to post anything .. so have decided to get back in the habit of that.

We still have a way to go before the yard is finished, but, since we both have other projects on the go .. we have been taking a few days away from yard transformations and I have had the joy of spending a few days in our own yard.

So a few days ago, I was digging out weeds and bluebells from the back side-garden, when what did I see!    This was growing up from under a large rock, which I rolled away so I could get at these precious bulbs, you can see the indentation below.

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Somehow I missed digging up a few garlic bulbs, how on earth could I have missed them!  And  so they grew and so I dug them up.   All planted now amongst the flowers and I will keep a sharp eye on them this summer!

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Really, I haven’t a clue as to what this mystery plant is .. must have planted it last year, no tag, tsk tsk!

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We had sun for a day .. sigh

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So I took some time out and just stood there, staring up at this beautiful sky …

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The manner in which this little leaf was laid ever so carefully on a branch of the tree reminded me of laundry hung out to dry, perhaps one of the wee little garden sprites had been busy and had forgotten to bring in this leaf or .. perhaps I startled them and they disappeared!

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So today .. I went to visit my pal D, for tea in one of her fancy tea cups.  She has quite a beautiful collection of the most dainty beautiful items.  Doesn’t this look so pretty .. and creative?   Well, you are right, it was!

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After a few hours of sipping and nibbling at the cashew mixture and a delicious sourdough sandwich, we decided to go for a walk in the rain.

And thus I began to learn more about the little neighbourhoods of Fernwood and area .. here is a pathway at Bowker Creek (blush, I hadn’t visited this area before!)

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This magnificent and majestic Willow tree rising out of the creek bed was an Avatar moment for me.

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Another surprise was the sight of this Eucalyptus tree, regrowth from the base of the seemingly dead trunk!  Lovely.

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Many many burls on this massive tree ..

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Someone had placed a live tree in the centre of this trunk ..look at the size .. how old this tree must have been …

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Look, D said .. see what joins these houses together!   Solid rock that wasn’t blasted away when the houses were built!  Solid foundations!

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Gigantic Rosemary .. taller than D . . to the left!

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When I saw the size of this Flowering Red Currant (so enamoured by Hummingbirds) I began to rethink where I was going to plant the 3 that I have at home!

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Ha ha .. tucked away in the front yard of one home .. the crow was chilly and so wore his toque and scarf today!

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Two similar houses ..one all prettied up and the other … sadly neglected .. mirror images..

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And some lovely little homes:

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I so totally fell in love with this one!  D told me that new owners had changed the yard from neatly trimmed lawns to this current wildly artistic happy yard.  We saw two cats sleeping on the front porch.  In the back there is another small home plus several little buildings.     This is the most fascinatingly magnificent home and yard I have ever seen.

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Well .. after this most lovely long walk … my first in a long time .. I felt my happy creative energy start to flow .. my goal now is to emulate the happy carefree spirit of this yard above …

Back home .. I found myself creating lovely foods for supper .. it all started as I began to clear out the fridge .. but I’ll share those happy items tomorrow!

Feels great to be back blogging again …. 🙂


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I cannot believe that this is happening … GM alfalfa in Canada? No .. speak up on April 9

Woke up this morning … checked my e-mail .. found a message regarding Monsanto introducing GM alfalfa! to Canada!!  The Federal government’s Agriculture Secretary has decided to allow this.

As everyone knows, this will kill organic farmers and will ruin their farms.

We don’t want and we don’t need this.

There will be a day of protest ….April 9.

Scary and must be stopped …   watch his video .. if you aren’t aware of the evil of Mosanto ad GNM .. this will shed some light on what actually happens.

 

http://www.cban.ca/