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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No computer for two weeks .. what will I do?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Well .. I grew up in the era when computers didn’t exist.

There were typewriters, manual types.   Not the electric machines.  It was exciting enough when these came along.  Life really was simpler “back then” .

I clearly remember a friend of mine telling me that she had used an electric typewriter.  I was so impressed.  She came over to visit while I was polishing our (family) wooden table and sideboard with lemon oil, as I usually did on a Sunday.  At this time I was a teenager and there wasn’t much to do.  So I was relegated to some kind of housework.

She was working at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto and had met the great comedian, Bob Hope.   So that stayed in my memory banks.  I also remember that she told me that he was not a tall man.  So much for the magic of tv, that made everyone into something bigger than life.  Hmmm .. I believe that this still happens, n’est-ce pas?  Instant fame and all that, just for being on a screen.

humph.  Interesting.

Anyway, my  nearly new (since last november)  laptop, Asus, had been experiencing problems since I first purchased it .. so I took it to the shop, again,  where I’d excitedly purchased it.   Turns out all the little problems that I’d been experiencing with it equalled a faulty hard drive.

So it has now been sent off to a shop somewhere in Ontario for fixing.

And I am without a computer for 2 weeks.

In a way, this is freeing.

I do not have an i-phone or blackberry or blueberry or anything like that.

I do have, however, my trusty old $85 Toshiba .. this trusty little laptop doesn’t even have a dvd player and takes forever to connect to any kind of wireless so won’t be using that.

This will be a 2 week test of living without a computer.

At first I was going through a type of withdrawal, what will I do without a computer?  How will l connect with my e-mail?  How will  I find out the news?

Well .. finally .. I decided that this will be a good break for me.

Time to unwind, focus on nature, plants, birds, insects, read, enjoy, relax.

So that is what I’m planning to do for the next few weeks.

Will I try to maintain some type of daily diary .. yes, I think I will do that.

Interesting challenge ahead for me … one that I think I will enjoy for the changes.

J

Oh,   and about dogs..  Yesterday I saw a variety of dogs.   From a tiny Chihuahua to a stately Standard Poodle.  Of all the dogs that I saw, however, one type stands out in my mind.

It was the very noble black Lab that was assisting a lady in a wheelchair while she was shopping at the local Tillicum branch of London Drugs.    She was not able to walk, and as she saw me gaze lovingly at her dog, she gave me a smile that bespoke pride, love and happiness.in this fine fellow. 

Such dignity and such love surrounded her.  And her dog ..well, he looked to be a fine fellow, well groomed, very patient and he had an air of profound stateliness about him. 

Anyway .. I’ll be without my electronic lifeline for several weeks .. looking forward to the solitude and feel  again what it is like to be without a computer in my life.  Just like the “old days” .. kind of an adventure, I think.

🙂


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Oh My .. .. Two Weeks WIthout A Computer!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Well .. I grew up in the era when computers didn’t exist.

There were typewriters, manual types.   Not the electric machines.  It was exciting enough when these came along.  Life really was simpler “back then” .

I clearly remember a friend of mine telling me that she had used an electric typewriter.  I was so impressed.  She came over to visit while I was polishing our (family) wooden table and sideboard with lemon oil, as I usually did on a Sunday.  At this time I was a teenager and there wasn’t much to do.  So I was relegated to some kind of housework.

She was working at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto and had met the great comedian, Bob Hope.   So that stayed in my memory banks.  I also remember that she told me that he was not a tall man.  So much for the magic of tv, that made everyone into something bigger than life.  Hmmm .. I believe that this still happens, n’est-ce pas?  Instant fame and all that, just for being on a screen.

humph.  Interesting.

Anyway, my  nearly new (since last november)  laptop, Asus, had been experiencing problems since I first purchased it .. so I took it to the shop, again,  where I’d excitedly purchased it.   Turns out all the little problems that I’d been experiencing with it equalled a faulty hard drive.

So it has now been sent off to a shop somewhere in Ontario for fixing.

And I am without a computer for 2 weeks.

In a way, this is freeing.

I do not have an i-phone or blackberry or blueberry or anything like that.

I do have, however, my trusty old $85 Toshiba .. this trusty little laptop doesn’t even have a dvd player and takes forever to connect to any kind of wireless so won’t be using that.

This will be a 2 week test of living without a computer.

At first I was going through a type of withdrawal, what will I do without a computer?  How will l connect with my e-mail?  How will  I find out the news?

Well .. finally .. I decided that this will be a good break for me.

Time to unwind, focus on nature, plants, birds, insects, read, enjoy, relax.

So that is what I’m planning to do for the next few weeks.

Will I try to maintain some type of daily diary .. yes, I think I will do that.

Interesting challenge ahead for me … one that I think I will enjoy for the changes.

J

Oh,   and about dogs..  Yesterday I saw a variety of dogs.   From a tiny Chihuahua to a stately Standard Poodle.  Of all the dogs that I saw, however, one type stands out in my mind.

It was the very noble black Lab that was assisting a lady in a wheelchair while she was shopping at the local Tillicum branch of London Drugs.    She was not able to walk, and as she saw me gaze lovingly at her dog, she gave me a smile that bespoke pride, love and happiness.in this fine fellow. 

Such dignity and such love surrounded her.  And her dog ..well, he looked to be a fine fellow, well groomed, very patient and he had an air of profound stateliness about him. 

Anyway .. I’ll be without my electronic lifeline for several weeks .. looking forward to the solitude and feel  again what it is like to be without a computer in my life.  Just like the “old days” .. kind of an adventure, I think.

🙂

 

 


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Want to know the most effective way to re-start an exercise regime?????

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another in a series of lovely sunny days, except today, the skies are clouding over .. perhaps we will have some much-needed rain!

DH and I are going away for a quick dash away to relax and just simply enjoy our time away from schedules and work.    So Exciting.

So I’ve been busy, going shopping for some summer clothes.   It’s been quite awhile since I’ve bought new clothes so I have been enjoying the journey.

And as I’ve been trying on clothes in those stark dressing rooms .. I’ve come to a realization that I need to ramp up my exercise regime!!!  Nothing like a reality check to get that going!

ha ha ha

In January I’d started my daily exercise program, only to stop it when we had to focus on working on the yard of our rental, when our tenants moved out.  We both worked so hard for 4 months, and my program fell to the wayside.  Then I sort of started and stopped it.

Well, no more!  I feel so very much better and promised myself to continue this simple little exercise and walking routines .. really very little effort involved and the results are so quick!

Yesterday I began (sigh) my callenetics (Callan Pinckney, she is wonderful) and restarted my lovely daily walks.

Feel oh so much better .. I’ve missed this so much.  No quitting this time!!

Anyway, not to bore anyone about my non-gardening life .. I’ll share more lovely photos from my lovely daily life!

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Sun and shadows … how lovely …

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More sky art.

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Oh my darling little JaneE …..

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Music “In a Persian Garden” .. it was a day when I really was seeking positivity and beauty outside and when this song started playing on my little i-pod, I felt so happy ..

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My pal D and I had gone exploring in Sooke a few months ago .. and we’d found some interesting wood formations, just small ones .. along the beach.  Very artistic.

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Are these Canterbury Bells?  So very pretty.  Growing randomly in my garden.  Self seeding.

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Calendula and rose petals .. drying in the sun.

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Fun in the sun and gardening too !

🙂

 


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Saturday, July 13, 2013

The hot sunny weather continues … these are the lovely long days of summer!  Here’s a pic of my first attempts at braided garlic.  As I went along, braiding rope after rope, I began to imagine how easy it would be to incorporate coloured ribbon, flowers, all sorts of things.   That will be my goal for next year.

For now, I’m happy with the rustic look.   These will be gifts to friends .. and for me, a reminder of the summer.  A complete day given up to sorting this years garlic crop.  Hours spent, trimming the roots, brushing away the surplus soil.  Sorting into sizes and beginning my attempts at braiding!  A very happy day.  Oh .. and I must select the largest cloves for planting this fall!

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All the garlic is now braided or bunched and hanging to continue the drying.   I stood there amongst the garlic … savoring the tranquility and enjoying the feeling of accomplishment.  Oh, and I also dreamed a bit.  Of moving to a place with more land so I could grow more garlic.  I’m also growing shallots, they are easy to grow .. so would like to plant more of that also.  A gal has to have a dream, right?

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One of the zillion busy bees in the garden.  Industrious creatures are bees …

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Shasta daisy .. a cheerful sight to behold in the front yard.  Modest flowers, I don’t notice them growing away until they burst into flowers adding so much beauty . . asking for nothing in return, save a bit of water in order to grow.

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The edible peas are growing into giants and I harvest some daily.  Still magical, isn’t it .. one little seed produces so much food.   And such beauty.   These vines have grown quite tall, over 6 feet in height.   I’ll be saving some seeds for next year, you can bet!

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I love this sky .. reminds me of a giant bowl of clouds being stirred around ..

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Now .. this is an impressive cloud …

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I watched as it evolved quickly, growing and spreading … see the cavern in the center?  There was rain hours later …

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A happy view of the suns rays beaming down onto this developing formation …

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My favourite channel to tune into .. the sky … every changing and breathtaking ..

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The Pawnee coming in for a landing .. it is the tow plane for the sailplane (glider).  Having released the happy pilot & passenger way up in the blue skies .. it will land in a few seconds.  Lovely plane.  Formerly used for crop dusting, now it has a happier life towing sailplanes!    The only thing that should be spread on crops is compost tea!

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Ohhhhh .. a baby, wispy cloud.. how ethereal …sky art.

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Look Dick, see Jane and hey Spot .. here is the Pawnee …

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Nothing cheers me up like the sky does.  No matter what is happening down here .. there is always something beautiful to see up there.  Not man-made .. just nature doing its thing!

Yesterday I spent some time bracing up my bean crop.   Using cut lengths of bamboo .. I made a makeshift frame and began running strings from the horizontal bamboo to tie onto the beans and peas to give them something to hold onto as they began their upward growth.

I was wearing my gardening outfit, muddy as usual and kneeling on the ground, focusing on ensuring that the string was snug when suddenly there was a flapping of tiny wings and a young sparrow landed on a length of bamboo that was just inches away from me.  I think it got caught in the strings and then decided to cling to the bamboo to get its bearings.   I scarcely dared to breathe and didn’t make any movements as we locked eyes .. Me looking at this tiny little innocent bird as it, in turn, stared, wide-eyed back at me.    Complete silence for a brief moment of time.

The little tiny feet couldn’t quite get a grip on the smooth surface of the bamboo and he twirled and swirled in graceful minute arcs, round and round.   Quickly he flew away and I, just as quickly, added some yellow plastic ties to warn other winged creatures that the strings were there.

Later on I stood quietly watching birds in the cherry tree .. munching away .. and saw the same sparrow.  It had to be the same one, as he continued to swing in circles around branches.  A fledgling member of the Cirque du Soleil, perhaps?

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There are always unexpected surprises in the garden.  Whether these be unexpected flowers, playful encounters with my feathered friends .. or something like this:

IMGP3603Honest to Pete, I had tried my best EM treatment with this Mexican Orange tree.  It was one that I had neglected and it was really nothing but a stick with a few branches, nothing green whatsoever.   I applied a liberal dose of EM about a month ago, but nothing happened.  I was going to chop it up for composting, but, just hadn’t gotten around to it.

Yesterday, moving things around in the back yard, I happened to see this strong new growth.

It was one of those magical gardening moments and I just felt again the impact of the forcefulness of nature, the resilience of plants (and the power of EM).     This was awesome and in so many ways it was a sign of encouragement and of not giving up.  Truly an inspirational moment and humbling at the same time.

A mini-miracle that gave me such joy.   And affirmed once again the positive power that we all discover in the garden.

🙂

 


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Friday, July 12, 2013

Busy times for everyone at this time of the year.  Watering our gardens, ensuring that all of our veggie plants are growing well.

Me .. well .. I’ve harvested my garlic crop.  I think that I dug them up a few weeks early, but that’s where the impatient side of my personality kicked in!  The garlic cloves that I’d planted so carefully last October, in neat little rows had fun moving around during the fall, winter and spring.  Sometimes there were 3 garlic bulbs growing together.  There was a variety of sizes, from small to medium to huge .. so that was all right!

Well .. look here .. what is this strange object in the midst of my garlic beds??

017Ok, I was having fun with the timer on our camera … hadn’t used it before and wanted to see what I looked like in my lovely garlic bed.  Don’t ask how many times I had to reset the camera and run back and quickly look relaxed .. oh, it was fun.

Our Mr. Duncan is the epitome of cool and I recently watched him as he sauntered up the back stairs. .. note the flaring ears as I called to him .. hey, Mr. D ….

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whaaaaat …… I’m busy .. lady.

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I’m babysitting some plants for a friend and was quite upset a few weeks ago, when this lovely specimen was nearly a goner.  You can’t tell by this photo .. but I’d not watered this plant for a while and was sickened to see that most of the leaves were brown and crinkly.  I watered with a liberal dose of EM and look here .. magic!

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My lovely garlic crop, nearly all dug up …21

Garlic placed on makeshift work tables (2 work tables with framed lattice in between …resulting in a lot of space to work with.  And I found an easy braiding recipe and will share those photos next time.  They look rustic and I’m quite proud of them.

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Random beauty . .a surprise flowering rocky rose

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A surprise little beetle .. looks like a ladybug .. alights on a garlic ..

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It was walking for miles on its tiny little legs .. quickly scurrying up garlic stems ..

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I watched as it travelled endlessly … and finally  it went to the ground.  A huge universe open for adventures … one that is hidden from my eyes ..

11And then … far far away …

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I had set the sprinkler on at the back of the yard .. left it and later on heard the joyous chirps of the Bush-tits and Chickadees …  quietly went over and tried to see what was going on, what were they doing?  So difficult to see them in all this greenery.

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Look .. the tiny little darlings were having a fantastic time .. showering in the tiny drops of water .. grooming themselves .. I was able to take a few photos …what a wonderful time they were having …made me smile and feel happy too!

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Lovely little darlings, aren’t they …its moments like this that adds a big sparkle to the magic of gardening …

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Well .. that is just a tiny bit of what has been going on in my life … and so I am donning my gardening costume, brewing another cup of tea and racing outside, to make some bamboo climbers for my Cannelloni beans to grow up against.

Out into the sunshine …

🙂


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Friday, July 5, 2013

Life is just a busy fun place to be and sometimes I speed up when I really should slow down.   And that is where friends come in!

I have been busy working on the little garden at the Dakota Cafe for the past 3 mornings.   One day spent weeding and digging through the plants with my pal D to help me out.  The next day was intensive weeding and planting.  And this morning, a frenzied time of cutting back Rex Rosemary which had grown to be too high for the windows of the cafe .. it was getting difficult for customers to spot planes through the windows.. so a massive cutback was done (sob).  I’ve taken most of the cuttings home and will try to propagate them.   No photos really, but once the little flowers start blooming, I’ll be clicking away.

It sure felt good to work intensively for 3 hours or so at a time … and I was spoiled and given tea by lovely Jess .. so I happily drank my tea and gazed upwards at the blue skies.  Lots of planes, eagles, turkey vultures and other birds.  Sheer heaven.

Then time for a visit with D and her son … she gave me some great clay pots and I plan to make a crooked planting, arranging them on a section of rebar in the garden.  Then she showed me a little ladybird dragon that was morphing into a ladybug on the nasturtium leaf… how very magical!  Also, she has a Garry Oak growing in her hop plant ….I forgot to take a photo, but believe me .. it is there and very healthy.  How exciting!!

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Then D wanted me to go to see the amazing boulevards in the Haultain area and here is one that is just spectacular .. I think that the homeowners were advocating boulevard gardens years ago, they were very hardworking.    And from the look of their boulevard gardens and their private gardens they haven’t slowed down a bit!  Very impressive and inspirational.

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And they have provided a  lovely rustic area for passersby to relax …

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Colourful nasturtium flower peeking out from the feverfew ..

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Along another boulevard … labelling helps identify the plants, such as this one:

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and here is the California Tree Poppy (listed above):

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I love this “secret” front door …. well done!

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Then it was time for refreshments … at a lovely little table outside the coffee shop … see the darling dog in the background?  His doggy parents were making sure he was in the shade, had access to water and he was one happy little guy!

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Yea .. coffee grounds for the garden .. happy to see ..

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I’m betting that the coffee grounds/compost material doesn’t stay around for long, there are many gardeners in the area so I counted myself very fortunate to have this bag.  Oh, see the red/white polka dot bag behind this?  It’s my special surprise purchase from today.

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There is so much to see and do here in Victoria .. here are some posters showing some of the activities, music, dance, drumming ….
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Ok .. this is where my special unexpected purchase took place.   As D and I walked down the street, past little shops, I noticed some clothing on a rack outside of a high-end hair dressing establishment.  Couldn’t see anything in particular .. and as I know that normally clothes that are displayed outside these types of shops tend to be expensive, I wasn’t expecting to be interested in anything.  However, something compelled me to move closer.  This shopping bag is quite interesting, thousands of cut pieces of fabric knotted onto soft burlap.  Nope, I wasn’t interested …

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But then I fell in love with this very funky dress .. it is from Italy!  The owners of the shop had taken a trip there and brought back some clothes to sell.  Not sure if this photo does the dress justice, but this dress is me!  It’s raggedy,  swirling, colourful and I love the uneven hem.     See the round circles on the front, showing the colourful fabric beneath . .these aren’t pockets, just design circles.  This is my new sunshine dress and I plan to wear it a lot this summer!  I’ve been looking for a nifty dress and so happy now I found it!  This wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gone for this walk with D!!!  I can’t imagine not having this lovely fun item of clothing!  See the pea flowers along the right of the dress … they match!

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And here is my sparkly hat (gold threads woven through that just shine in the sun!):   So now I am all set for the summer!

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Then it was time to check out a lovely new little grocery shop and they have a machine that will grind up grains …. well done.

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Back at home, there was just a little more garlic to harvest.  Time passes so quickly, it just seems like yesterday when I was planting the cloves in October.  Now we have gone full circle.

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The garlic is now outside, curing in the sunshine .. and I plan to try to braid the soft necked garlic.

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Well, it’s been a busy day.   D and I parted ways .. I went shopping for groceries and beer .. promised myself a wee glass of wine when I got home!

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And now I must go outside to see if the sage cuttings (from Dakota) are doing well and to put them in a bucket of water .. tomorrow I will taking cuttings of them, the Rex Rosemary and some Wormwood cuttings also.

Also, lately I’ve been buying more plants.  I know, I promised months ago that I wouldn’t and I have not yet kept that promise.  However, a few days ago, when D and I were returning from gardening at the Dakota Cafe .. the traffic was quite heavy on the highway.  So she suggested that it might be a good time to turn left and go visit the Art Knapp garden centre at Mattick’s Farm.

What the hey, I thought, so my car dutifully turned left and .. drum roll … once again I did not keep my plant promise.   Due to the heat .. there were a lot of plants for sale.  I should mention that we’ve been undergoing a heat wave and plants are just going crazy.

Anyway, there were a lot of deals and I bought all sorts of veggies, 3 different squash plants, a tomato, and many others.  Besides some interesting berries, a purple raspberry and I just can’t remember the others.  Oh, red onion sets, white onions, a dill .. countless others.  They have been soaking in EM and water since yesterday and tomorrow I can plant them in the areas now vacated by the garlic.

Speaking of which, I harvested the last of the garlic .. kind of a nostalgic moment .. and it was a very satisfying feeling to think back to last fall, culling the largest cloves for planting.  Then the process of preparing the beds, planting them.  Covering with the seaweed that D helped me collect last summer.   And then I watered with EM at various times.

Well .. it’s been a day .. just really wanted to share my fantastic dress, really, I just love it!

🙂