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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Museum visits and the Bewick Wren is singing away

A few days ago, my DH & I went to a water features shop and admired the koi in the pool .. this one was quite chubby, and he was trying his best to get us to throw him some food!  The clerk told us that this fish was the chocolate lab of koi!  Always looking for food, even when just fed!

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We went to the Victoria Museum, really to see the amazing Viking show .. and as photos weren’t allowed .. I clicked away at other areas of the museum.  Here is the mighty mammoth!31

And I am so glad that this huge lion no longer roams our area ..look at those teeth!

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This cougar looks real .. so sad that their habitat is slowly being taken away from them.  There was a large cougar habitat up-island where families were raised for many years .. was … because it was destroyed, how sad .. where can the cougars go now ..

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This looks so like a forest ..except in this one, the animals don’t move an inch!

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This was beautiful .. full of sea life and we stood there for awhile, like kids, pointing out the movements of the various little creatures .. lots of fun.

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Now if there wasn’t a sign there, this would really seem to be a photo taken at the ocean.

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I don’t imagine that I’ll ever be this close to a sea lion .. but that is ok!40

Very realistic .. so much so that I had dreams about bears chasing me .. argh..

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This is really the survival of the fittest, if 3,000,000 seeds are scattered and only 1 survives …

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Many of these artifacts came from North Saanich and surrounding areas, here on Vancouver island …huge tusks!  I wonder if they were found on someone’s farm, were they found during road construction .. or … ?????  Quite an impressive collection for all to see.

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And we ventured into Old Town .. it has been quite a few years since I’d visited this area and I’d quite forgotten about the upper level.

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There were few people around so I could click away and take lots of photos.

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I wonder if this would be a Drawing Room, Front Room or guest area?  In any respect, it would have been quite a cosy setting in the cold weather, with a lovely fire going in that old fireplace.46

This is a rather formal section of the upstairs …

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A nice comfortable bedroom, well appointed ..

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Beautiful sideboard …in the upper hallway.

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Ye ole saloon … it was fun looking inside, seeing glasses and mugs half full of pretend whiskey and beer.

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This dressmakers shop was wonderful with lots of storage inside, well appointed.

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Back home .. I heard, then saw the Bewick Wren .. atop the wild and crazy tree (pear trellis stock gone awry)

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They are definitely nesting somewhere in the yard …I’ve heard the parents training the youngster(s) throughout the summer.  The father teaches the songs .. quite interesting, see:   http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birding/bewicks-wren/

53And here he dives down into the air .. off on a mission

54So much going on lately .. and we quite enjoyed the Museum visit (it was on my Birthday wish list!)  Lots of activity going on in the yard.

Today I picked up 2 organic bales of straw for the garden’s winter cover.  And lots of bird feeders (that weren’t intended as bird feeders!)  I’m taking them outside for a which wash and will fill with sunflowers .. looking forward to some happy pictures to share!

And the fall weather is a mix, here in Victoria!  Yesterday pouring rain with brilliant sunshine in the late afternoon.  Today started out as sunny with some rain showers and now it is back to sun .. so outside I go!

 

 


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Sunflowers make me smile ..

Most of the sunflowers in our yard are the result of the seeds from the bird feeders!  Thanks to the antics of the birds, the yard is a much happier place.

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And .. well .. llamas make me smile also!

7Smiles are contagious!  Energizing … mood changing .. uplifting.. fun!!

And remember .. it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown.  (although, an upside-down frown is really a smile!)

🙂

 


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Enjoying the beauty of Cherokee Trail of Tears beans … and other beautiful growing plants in my little garden

My pals, R & D & I went seaweed collecting last week … we carefully chose the seaweed that was battered and torn up … nothing fresh and growing.  Anyway, part of our ritual is to stop for lunch at the Little Vienna Cafe in Sooke!  Delicious food .. happy atmosphere.  We sat outside and there is the most marvellous water feature there …

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And if you happen to have an old wooden boat handy on your property and are at a loss as to what to do with it .. here is an idea!  Plant a garden!   Hmmm … wouldn’t it be lovely to see garlic growing away in this? (I love garlic!)

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Such magnificent blue skies.  I love blue skies and take a zillion (seriously!) photos .. so many, in fact, that D suggests that I create a “Cloud” blog .. well, that is certainly food for thought.

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A crow flying overhead … just one crow!  Where are his buddies?

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Definitely eye candy overhead on a sunny day …

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And here is eye candy of another sort .. out in the garden …

06There is always one in every crowd .. you know .. the one that stands out and seems to say “it’s me .. see me” .. in a nice way, though!

07Lovely Clematis flower … soon it will be time to sleep and rest during the fall and winter months.  Ready to spring forward and bloom anew in the warmer seasons.  Thank you for adding to the magnificent beauty in my backyard oasis.

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How lucky am I .. strawberries are still growing away and it is the end of September.

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With the promise of more berries to come.  Way to go, strawberries!

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More of Nature’s garden art .. how delicate and sweet ..

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Doesn’t this make you smile?  I don’t cut the sunflowers down .. just let them grow away and provide food for the birds when it is time.

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I love these Cherokee Trail of Tears beans .. they are a very vigorous plant and the vines are super tough ..and talk about fast growing!  I had put out a few tall stakes, however, their rapid growth caught my by surprise.  I was concerned that perhaps their intertwining might mean not so many beans, but as you can see, that is not the case!

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Their diminutive flowers are so gentle and calming .. funny thing for me to say about a flower, but that is the sense I have when I’m outside, admiring them.

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So I’ve learned yet another thing about planting beans!  Planting these Tiger Eyes bush beans next to the Cherokee Trail of Tears was not such a great idea as they quickly became shadowed out.  However, a few pods have grown so I will save them for seed for next year.  When I’ll plant them in their own area!

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See how the Cherokee beans grow right up through the trees!

016Yesterday was a most beautiful sunny Sunday.  And I was able to spend the complete day outdoors!   I spent so much time wandering around .. soaking up the beauty of the flowers, beans, vines, plants.  It was just such a wonderful day.

And I finally spread around the seaweed that my friends and I gathered last week .. it was getting to the stinky stage and I put lots in the compost containers and dug in the rest into the garden soil .. with lots around the pear stock tree!

I dug up a brick path that I’d installed last fall .. to create a pathway in the veggie bed.  Time for change.  My gardens are all about change and moving things about.

Anyway .. time is speeding up and I have my exercise group to join .. so more later!

🙂


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I felt like a country mouse in the city .. happy to be back in my lovely little yard ..

I love Nasturtiums and it is a good thing for they have been growing like crazy all summer.  Something else that loves them also are aphids. I hose off what I can and depend on the Ladybugs to feast on the rest.

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Some late season raspberries .. they were a surprise!  I love garden surprises and I am going to mark this plant with a ribbon so I can differentiate it from the hundreds of others that surround our yard.

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Lots of insects in the yard .. this was a strange one and I was able to take a few photos before it flew away.  Wonder what it is??

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Spider basking in the sun .. enjoying a break in the daily routine of living in the garden.04

We went to Vancouver a few times recently … I felt like a little country mouse in the big city

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I was so happy to be back home .. in our yard .. admiring the beauty of the Crown Peas (Heirloom).  To dissuade the hungry sparrows, I tied some cd’s to sparkle in the sunshine  This seems to have worked .. since they have stopped dining on the shoots.

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Dainty sprigs of Sweet Annie growing softly … graceful plants.  This year I’d started them, ever so carefully, in single cell plant pots.  Next year I will just throw little amounts of the tiny seeds throughout the sunny parts of the year.  They will grow taller I think.

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Mmmmmmmmmm … blue skies, wispy clouds .. still seems like summer .. I like it!

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Little baby squash growing randomly in the yard … I learned another lesson the hard way this year.  It is very important to rinse the soil off the squash, once picked.  And rinse in a very light bath of water and some bleach or peroxide to avoid mould growing.  I’d picked a sweet little orange squash a week ago.  Enjoyed how lovely it looked.  Of course, I hadn’t rinsed it.  And DH went to move it from the tea towel it was resting on and noticed that it had seriously started deteriorating.  Sigh.  But not this one, though.

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Sweet darling little Bush-tit .. I think this is a female, can just barely see the yellow outline in the eye.

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The yellow is more evident in this photo.  This is a bird that would not live in a cage.   Freedom in the wild (as wild as can be in urban areas).  They are the most joyous little birds, singing as they whirl into the yard .. never fail to make me smile.  Thank you …

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Teasel .. the seed that keeps on growing now matter how much the plants are pulled.  Pretty plants although the bracts along the stem are a trifle sharp!  ;l believe they were used to comb wool in long ago days.

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Loving the light shining through the eucalyptus tree …I think this was mid-afternoon.

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A close up of those lovely Crown Peas .. I love their delicate beauty.

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Cheerful sunflowers all throughout the yard .. brightening up all the corners .. lovely!

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Hearing the raucous cries of the crows flying overhead ..  stopped to look up.  They are so brave in a group and here they are chasing a hawk.  This continues for a while and then they slowly disappear from sight.

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A short while later, the hawk has eluded the crows and now soars quietly overhead.

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These are the reason why the hawk often flies nearby … Passenger Pigeons are kept nearby.  The hawks are swift.  The pigeons .. not so much.

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More wispy clouds ….

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Now it is time to go back outside .. into the sunshine while it lasts .. a marvellous day to look up at the sky … harvest beans, tomatoes, the odd strawberry.  Dig around .. and think of ways to change the layout of the garden.

Oh, and another year of learning things in the vegetable garden .. but more about that tomorrow.  I just had to come inside and post a few pics.

Time now to fill my mug with a fresh brew of Yorkshire Tea.

🙂


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Oh my where has the time gone and I’ve been having fun and now it is the eve of my 65th Birthday!!

Well .. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and will repeat “where does the time fly to anyway”?

Back in March I thought I’d take a few days away from blogging and then things started happening, days passed, I missed my blogging terribly.

This is really my precious time .. when I can let my fingers fly across the keyboard and let my mind wander and dream and think and reminisce over the day and weeks gone by.  Decadent time .. akin to indulging in a sinfully rich chocolate cake.

I really do miss this .. and so I will continue.

And share that today is my eve of my 65th birthday!  Every birthday is wonderful and I think of each celebration as a new year in my life.  I am so lucky I know.  And I am so happy .. so I thought I would share some photos of things that bring me joy in my garden!    This is a tiny little tomato .. how sweet ….

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More tomatoes ripening on the vine … I usually don’t have great success with tomatoes but with the heat of the summer plus some organic molasses mixed into the EM that I watered the veggies with .. I seem to have been having a decent crop of tomatoes.P1070553

 

 

One of the many things I’ve been involved in doing this summer is creating glass garden totems . .here is one, beside the “sump pump” fountain (to drown out construction noise) .. I’ll blog more about my totems with lots of pics .. at a later date.

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Scarlet Red Runner Beans.  Now, being a gardener and loving things that grow and attract  bees and hummingbirds .. why on earth did I only clue into these lovely beans this year?  I vow to always plant these beans for these most exquisite beings .. the happiness from seeing them visiting the flowers knows no bounds!  I’ll post pics later on, for I do have them.P1070571

The power of EM (effective microorganisms) knows no bounds.  Here is a potted up Bay tree .. I’d dug it up from one area of the yard and then just left it in a pot for a few months.  And so it seemed to have not survived .. until I watered it liberally with EM and look at this vigorous new growth.  Oh, I am so happy.   I’ll have to cut away the part that isn’t thriving but that is for another day.

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Baby Scarlet Red Runner Beans .. along with the joy and excitement of veggies growing in my garden is the fact that I now have a marvellous new camera!  I bought it in the early summer .. the Swallowtail butterflies were visiting the Buddleia and I so wanted to get some good photos (I’ll share them later).  I splurged on a Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS40 30X Super Zoom camera … love learning about it as I go along.P1070586

Squash growing in the garden … from the compost!  Outgrowing the beans I planted in this section.  The random beauty of the squash, the squash flower and the clematis caught my eye ..P1070595

ahhhh … sometimes I’ve been forgetting to look up .. at the sky art ….what I would have missed!

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I’ve been growing tri-coloured beans in pots, they have been growing quite well.  As my pal D notes … the purple beans turn green when cooked.  Eye candy to a gardener, eh?P1070610

 

Clever birds know where the food source is .. as I discovered when I noticed the empty sunflower seed heads!

 

 

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Oh the delight of the Bush-tits as they joyfully swarm around the yard … cheerfully chatting away as they nibble at the suet …P1080362

 

This smartly capped Chickadee was nestled onto a bamboo length and I discovered too late that he was chatting away to another Chickadee which was only about a foot away from me when I clicked this photo!  Oh, they must have chuckled over that, when I realized this too late and missed the close up photo.P1080399

 

Oh, the magic of a garden .. to witness up close the amazing power of a plant to grow from a single seed …into the rampant elegance of, say, this squash plant.
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The scarlett red runner beans were growing merrily up the tripod of stakes and the sunchokes were just as tall .. they tower above me and I’m guessing they are about 15 + feet in height!  What wonderful privacy plants they are, don’t you think???P1080426

 

Scarlet flowers and tiny beans .. oh, Red Runner Beans you are so amazing!  Alongside this Peppermint stick grass (I love this plant too!!)

 

 

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Buddleia still flowering away .. butterflies and the Anna’s love them.

 

 

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A circle of sunflowers .. thanks to the birds who scattered the seeds …

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Up close …

 

 

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Some of the peas that the sparrows had been feasting on .. I dug them up and planted them in containers .. see how strongly they grow?  Peas are not fragile little plants, bless ’em!

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Surprise red strawberries .. these caught my eye when I was looking at the little squash.

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Well .. there you have it!

I’ve re-entered the world of blogging and have so very much to share and talk about.

For now though .. I just wanted to share some of the very many things that bring me joy.

And to share that I’m celebrating another Happy Birthday!

🙂