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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Oh I Wonder Where the Bewick Wrens Will Build Their New Nest? And .. Loving the Spring Flowers in the Garden!! Also, Speaking With a Friend is Very Helpful At Times, Don’t You Think???

The darling little Bewick Wrens .. their beautiful nest has been blown out of the hangglider bag twice already … so now they are building another nest somewhere in the yard.

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Last week I walked down to the Compost Center for a workshop .. loved the long walk and enjoyed the blossoms along the way .. here they are on Blanshard Street.  Spring is definitely here.

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And I’d just finished crossing at the lights, passed this and had to walk back and take a photo ..love these graphics!

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Back at home .. wandering around the yard, re-discovering some beautiful plants that I’d purchased last fall .. I’d always wanted a Hellebore and had forgotten this one!   Darling little plant .. I will put this one in a colourful pottery container!

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Muscari flowers .. tiny little bulbs that I’d placed in some pots last year .. flowering away like mad.  Diminutive but powerful in their graceful beauty.

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And the Salmonberry plants are bursting forth in bud and flower!

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Another of the many things that I love in this life .. is imagining that tiny little beings, faeries, dwell in the garden.  If this were so, then these Salmonberry flowers would be perfect for them to use as tiny hats, don’t you think?  Imagination is a fun thing.

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Lovely blue skies with dreamy white clouds gently painted over.  We’ve had some massive skies recently .. gigantic cloud streets of enormous white cumulus entities soaring overhead.  This photo isn’t from one of those days.   I could only look at those skies .. my camera lens isn’t big enough to do justice to those skies.    These I can handle!  🙂P1320071

Tenacity of growing things!  These little plants rested all winter and now are growing up through the burlap-lined pathways in the veggie patch!  The burlap will disintegrate and I have more to place on top of them for this year.

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The rose bush at the side of the house is sporting new growth .. this is a tenacious and lovely rose!

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I’ve been a bit reluctant to get back into my gardening – spending time on practicing my fiddle – it has become my new focus, temporarily replacing my love of gardening, beading, sewing, drumming!   After all .. there are only so many hours in the day.

Time passes so quickly .. I looked at my little music notebook recently .. I’d begun taking lessons in 1996!    Then my violin stayed hidden in its case for many years until I dusted it off last July and began again with a new teacher!

And I’ve been changing a few things about my violin accoutrements.. but more on that tomorrow.

Today I am happy because:

  • procrastination overcome and I’ve blogged again!
  • I’ve just spent a huge chunk of time talking with a friend about priorities so have set some for myself.  It’s a good exercise and I feel energized already.   Have you ever noticed that, sometimes, when things are weighing a bit on your mind and you could really use a friend to talk it over .. that friend appears in your life?
  • Because of this I’ve decided to “step back” a bit and spend more time on what really fills me with joy.  And tomorrow I will blog about that!
  • It is still Saturday morning and I’ve realized that Camosun College is hosting a plant sale at Royal Rhodes so why am I still in my jammies and not in my jeans, in the car, racing to the plant sale?  Just give me 5 minutes and I’m on my happy little way!
  • and finally .. I am happy .. just because  (cause ya don’t really need a reason!)

🙂


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Fall has arrived but I still think it is summer in the garden …

Lucky us with lots of sun happening .. JaneE Kat doing her due diligence by the wash tub water fountain.  She just loves having her showers here …and patrols this area quite often. And then she sits in the sun to dry off.th07

Here is me and my shadow …taking a photo of me!  Another me in another dimension coincidentally occurring in the same timeline?th01And I had planted my potatoes late also .. these are supposed to be purple potatoes.  I’d planted them in a huge oversize container in the back of the yard and they didn’t get much sun at all.  Still, a respectable amount of potatoes despite all that.  And that green thing that looks like a lime is totally strange.  It grew along with the potatoes and is a strange vegetable .. one which I will not eat!th02This is the rose that I’d planted many years ago.  It survives on nothing, I swear.  I don’t water it or feed it and it keeps growing on.  The root system must be very deep.   Anyway, I’d given it a very hard pruning months ago and was surprised to see the new growth.  That’s my kind of plant.  Tough and independent and at the same time, so very beautiful.th03I know that there are many ladybugs in the yard but I really hadn’t seen many until I saw this shiny new one, resting on a bucket lid.  Did it prefer the red colouring?  Seems so.th04The pigmentation is starting to change in the bean plants ..quite pretty, I think.th06Despite this .. all of the pole beans are growing like mad and there are so many flowers and beans growing!th05A morning photo .. dew on the bean leaves .. I like the effect.th10Sweet little Gold Crowned Sparrow .. doing the shuffle shuffle dance, looking for food amongst the fallen leaves of the wild and crazy tree (pear stock).th11

One morning, I saw the White Crowned Sparrow, perched high atop a telephone wire, quite the handsome bird.  http://www.birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/white-crowned_sparrowth12

In the backyard, a diminutive Anna perched on a branch of the wild and crazy tree …there are quite a few around the front, sides and back yard ..adding a speedy sparkle to the atmosphere.th14

Oh, la la .. the French Marigold has blossomed, adding a spice of red and gold to the garden.   I’d sowed the seeds after I planted the beans and was surprise to see them (but happy at the same time!)th13-2And the tiny tomatoes keep on growing ..there are quite a few.   I don’t give them any special care and they just flourish.  See the tiny one growing on the left?  Is it a tomato or is it a tiny garden sprite, camouflaging itself so that I wouldn’t notice?  The top part does really look like the kind of headgear that a little sprite would wear during the summer, to blend in and no one could notice. th13There are sunflowers in all stages of growth near the bird feeder.   This one is at the seed forming stage …th08

And this one is at the smorgasbord stage …the birds are feasting on the seeds which are still growing .th09

I know that summer is over and fall has begun.  But when the sun shines so warmly as it has done for the past while .. it’s easy for me to pretend that it is still summer.    With a mug of strong Yorkshire tea in hand, I walk around my bean forest and bask in the joy that a garden brings.  Reliving the steps that I took to prepare the soil, plant the seed, build up the structures for the beans to grow along.

Planning what to do for next year.  Soon enough it will be time to undo all that I have done and stow equipment away for the winter.  Still have another month for that, though.  So I will just continue to wander around and enjoy what is there.

Watching the dancing blue skies above … with the achingly beautiful cloud designs that are constantly changing and adding so much design and texture.

Loving the sight and sounds of the birds as they perch in the trees, fly about the yard and surprise me with their sudden chirps.  The Chickadees, in particular, love to settle on a branch by any one of the bird feeders and demand more food.

JaneE, with her wash tub showers and imperious demands for treats makes me laugh.

The pyracantha berries are nearly all dry .. I spread the orange berries outside in the sun to dry and take them inside for the night.  I hope that the birds will enjoy them during the winter months.

The garden is a busy, happy and magical place to be!

There is much to be learned and there is a lot of wisdom there if one looks closely enough.

🙂


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Seeking Positivity in a garden space – it is there – you just have to look.

In today’s world, it seems that quite often, due to massive construction in quiet little neighbourhoods .. that privacy and quiet becomes like a long lost dream.  It’s happened in our little area and speaking with visitors from Sweden a few years ago .. it happens over there also.   What to do?  And why does this happen?  ($$$) And how to deal with this?

Where once we had a view of mountains in the distance – there is now a multi-story care facility.   There went the skyline, I thought.  Cringing from the mountain of cement that now loomed, 7 stories high.

Then in the same time frame – another multi story set of condos went in down the street.

During the past number of years, we have had to endure the mess, noise and infringement that all this construction brought in.  It was not a happy time.    It was a struggle to even want to be outside in the garden.    And so I didn’t continue with a number of projects that I’d started and my yard was no longer my creative haven.  I went outside with a heck of a positive attitude and creative energy – only to be driven back inside, frustrated with the ugly sounds of all the construction activity that just couldn’t be avoided.  Even with my sump pump water fountain and my IPod at its loudest volume.

I sought solace elsewhere, going for walks, joining an exercise group – just to experience some peace and quiet.  Frustrated that I had to leave home to find it as it wasn’t available anymore in our yard.  My heaven.

Now the noise is nearly over – hopefully will soon disappear.   And I can again seek joy and solitude in my garden.

Myself .. I’m thankful that I let our fruit trees and bamboo grow to their heart’s content and that affords us a lot of privacy.  I can almost pretend that my garden is my paradise.

For now, after 3 years of horrific noise I can now find the energy to continue with garden projects long neglected.  Noise has such negative energy that my creative soul went away for a holiday and I’ve been inviting it back.   It’s been returning in little bits.  I’m imploring it to stay awhile.

I do this by focusing on the beauty and positivity that exists in little pockets in the yard.

Here is a tiny little beneficial  hover fly in a bird-planted flower.

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friday-03This hardy rose continues to flower and will continue till the fall.  Lovely scented roses.  It demands absolutely nothing – I don’t water it and don’t add fertilizer and it flowers away madly!friday-05An actual photo of the squash, steadily growing away.  I quite liked the play of shadow on the surface ..very art nouveau, I thought.

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Here is one little area.   Years ago there was just grass here.  I  had gradually planted some cedars, Nandia bamboo, Crocsomia, Southernwood .. and mulched it quite heavily.  Yesterday I returned to this long-neglected area (one of many in the yard) and tidied it up a bit, forming a temporary little brick wall and when it was all done, I stood back to admire it.  And quite like the friendly look of this little corner.  There is a section of oak tree in there that I keep moving around the yard.  Eventually I’ll use it in a small hugulkultur – but for now am trying to grow moss in the openings.   And I’ll pour a glass of white wine and set myself down at the little bistro table to relax a bit, one of these evenings.   Or, just a mug of Yorkshire Tea .. if I decide to relax during a sunny afternoon.  Whatever.  A place to relax – hidden by the branches of the old apple tree and tall bamboo at the side.friday-10Flowers of the Nandia bamboo – diminutive little flowers that grace this section of the yard with their beauty and elegance.friday-12Nearby is a sturdy little Southernwood … love the perfume from the feathery leaves.friday-12-2

My dear Lady JaneE .. sitting on the little bench ..majestically awaiting her treats.

friday-18Although I have bought pricier treats for her .. she insists on Temptations.  At nearly 21 years of age – who am I to argue.   A Cat always rules the house and yard.  We mere humans bend to their rules!   She is a happy little girl.Friday 19.JPGThe Bush-Tits swirl into the yard … I think that I’ve been seen .. but they ignore me and nibble daintily at the suet.   I place small amounts of the suet in feeders throughout the yard as little treats for my feathered friends.

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Then one of these little darlings perches on a section of nearby bamboo – looking for the rest of the flock:

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He travels to the nearby “first Christmas tree”for a few seconds and then flies away to join his family.friday-08

 

Serene blue skies above ..friday-04

A hollyhock flower catches my eye … another bird planted beauty?  It grows quite tall and if I hadn’t been looking at the Bush-tits, I wouldn’t have noticed this at all!

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Growing  higher than I can reach, even standing on a step ladder – are my “favourite beans” which I will let dry and save them for seed.  Some for me, some for friends and family.  Sharing is what gardening is all about.

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One of two Pyracanthus bushes in the yard, this one is huge.   The full 8 foot height is bent over due to the heavily laden branches which are covered with the orange berries.  I’ve tried various methods of staking this plant and tired of being attacked by the sharp thorns had decided to prune it back.  But first, I checked with Ann Nightingale (a Birding Expert in British Columbia and far beyond!)   When I am stymied with a bird question, I send her an e-mail inquiry and she always responds with the answer!   Yesterday I was trying to find out if the Pyracanthus berries are favourites for birds.  Not finding an answer to my question online, I e-mailed Ann.    And her swift response helped me make the decision to prune!  I can then either dry or freeze the berries for the winter time.  And then I can add these berries to the feeders when the cold weather arrives.  As our freezer is full to bursting with fruits and veggies from the garden, I’ve decided to dry them.   So I’ll clip the branches and leave them hanging over a tarp and when they are dry .. I will shake the berries off.  http://vibigyear.ca/

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Towering pole beans – like this Scarlet Red Runner Beans – add pockets of privacy throughout the yard.  I have more growing in the yard!!

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So I do feel a bit of my creative energy coming back in my garden.    And I dream of our next place which will definitely have more yard than house.   An opportunity to create another paradise where no buildings will be seen and I’ll have the space to create lovely outdoor rooms for dreaming in.

🙂

 

 

 


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Music in the garden, rain on my plants …

Yesterday (Sunday) the weather was overcast and I was so sure the sun would come out as it usually does when I want a cloudy day.   So it didn’t and the rains came down instead.  I needed to go outside to pick some more beans and at the same time I wanted to listen, yet again, to the most beautiful music in the world – Adam Sutherland’s Squall!  Here is how I did that!   The sound was a teensy bit muffled but my ipod and speaker stayed nice and dry & I could hear the music so that was fine!   Plus, a lid to keep my mug of Yorkshire tea  from being diluted by the rain worked well.  And .. lately .. I’ve been finding things lost and thought I’d never see again.  The most recent is the packet of Irish Shamrock seeds.  I’d located the packet of  Irish soil a few days ago and sort of lamented that I’d misplaced the seeds .. et voila!
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Speaking of finding lost things .. lately I’ve been either finding things or else the things that I want to have are right there for me.   Having written that, I might better explain this by giving some examples.  When I was working on tidying up the stony area beside the house a few days ago, I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I had some more landscape fabric.  I went beneath the sundeck and there is a folded section of the same that I’d bought last year and hadn’t used!   Right there, waiting for me!  I didn’t have to go searching, it was just there.  Other similarities, wanting string ..oh, there it is.  Looking for a certain container .. oh, there it is. On and on .. other examples don’t spring to mind, but it has been happening quite a bit – enough for me to notice.

Now, what is happening?  Are all these things that I “need” noticed by my unconscious and when my conscious mind thinks ” oh .. I must have this .. or that .. and where is it …?” then my unconscious kicks in and I am able to locate them?  Whatever is happening, I’m quite happy that the end result is that I am able to find what I need.

Out in the rain with little JaneE Kat .. she is having her outdoor shower via the skies above.

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The rain was soft at first and then changed into a steady pour ..

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Loving how the raindrops bejewel the petals of the sunflower ..023

I’m rooting for this squash to grow so I can see what type it is.  It is nearing the end of August and there should be a month plus of growing weather.  I didn’t plant the seeds till July and am not sure if that was late or not.  One more thing to check next year – the fun of gardening.   030

The graceful tendrils of the squash tumble down, lending an aura of decadent beauty.  Utterly beautiful, by Mother Nature!

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Rain droplets on a blueberry plant .. a diverse array of shapes and designs ..

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Cherokee Trail of Tears … the beans turn green when cooked .. they are delicious and crunchy when eaten fresh off the vine.  Yum.

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Beneath the protection of my umbrella, I checked the vines of some Scarlet Red Runner beans.   Yesterday I’d noticed that they had grown back on themselves, seeking a structure to cling to and they were so intertwined that I knew the vines would break if I tried to untangle them.   They were also in the way as they hung down about  5 feet from the ground – I had to move them aside to get anywhere.   I fetched my ladder and simply tied them to a branch of the apple tree and they seem to be settling in quite well.

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Never cease to be amazed by the vigour of this old rose plant .. it just keeps on flowering and reaching up to the sun.  Now, should I use the descriptive “old” or just “mature”?? Either way this plant has grown for many years (I’m guessing 30 when I planted it).  I was younger and so was the plant.  Now .. I’m still “young”in my heart and will stay so.  Maybe we are both “older and wiser” .. tough and durable and still pretty !!

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Red lupins .. love how the rain paints a dainty trim of watery lace around each leaf and then gently drifts down to the centre, creating a silvery pool of water .. very ethereal.

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Spanish Musica, Cherokee Trail of Tears and Blue Bush beans.  I vowed I wouldn’t freeze beans this year, but with such a bounty, have changed my mind.   Found an easy way to treat them .. rinse, dry, chop, freeze.  No water bath.  That’s my kind of winter prep.  Although now that I’ve learned the proper way to prepare beans (big pot of slightly salted water, add beans, cook for 3 minutes) I think all the beans will be happily eaten before winter!  My lovely plants are so generous.

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A few years ago I began my little garden note book and in it I wrote what I planted and when.  This serves as a good reference for me.  However, this year I couldn’t find that little book until I’d planted everything and of course this year I didn’t write down when I planted what.  And later on I found that little book!! I know that I planted the beans in July, and the squash seeds after that.   There is always next year to keep notes so I’ll just relax this year and enjoy the generous bounty of my lovely garden.  We were lucky to have hot sunny summer weather which enabled all the plants (properly watered!) to grow well.

Sunny day today .. time to get on with my daily life …

🙂

 


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Musical Spanish Musica Beans, tasty tomatoes and inspiration from the garden (yet again!)

So here is a photo of one section of the area beside the house that I recently renovated – neat and tidy when I first did this area and over the years overgrown with bluebells, morning glory and fallen leaves & rose petals.   Refreshing, really, to see it tidy once again.   A lot more to go before it is finished, but inspirational to have tidied it up thus far!  And again, motivational and meditational.  05

And you know that good ole saying “stop and smell the roses” .. well I did!  This rose bush is old, I planted it about 30 years ago.  Don’t remember the type, but it does have a faint scent.     Bonus, it grows like crazy and doesn’t need much water at all …. I suppose because the roots are so deep.

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Love surprises in the garden .. yesterday it was this delicious little tomato!

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Kale growing all over the yard and letting the seeds go to ground for more plants for the winter!01

Spanish Musica seeds growing like crazy.  Kinda funny that this one resembles a musical note and I’m learning how to read music!

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I thought these were dry beans until I read what type they are.  Turns out that they will be delicious when harvested young like this.   And, as it is never too late to learn and undo a cooking habit .. yesterday I discovered (online) that beans are best  when placed in a large pot of boiling, slightly salted water and cooked for only 3 minutes, then tossed with butter.

And there are many other ways to finish off the beans but this suits us fine.  Nice and simple.  Although I may toss them with tiny tomatoes & slices of garlic from the garden.  Quite a change from the insipid way I had been preparing them – placing beans in a small pot with cold water which I then brought to a boil .. resulting in all the goodness being cooked out of them.  Never again!

DH loves them the new way which is great as I do not plan on freezing my crops of beans ..just plan to enjoy them every day!

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Tenacity of the squash .. quite pretty and very strong.   I look forward to seeing the squash when they start to appear on the plants!

Absolutely stunning are these plants in the light of the sun .. all from a little seed .. fascinating and humbling …nature has it all ..

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This year has been a bumper crop of fruit.  Here, one of the plum tree’s branches was so heavily laden that it cracked and broke .. I cut away most of the wood but this branch remains and will be removed later.  See the new growth from the branch?   Resilience, strength, renewal.

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Another surprise squash .. seems to be many of them in the garden .. nice one!12

And of course .. the tendrils are reaching out for support, beginning with the surprise sunflower.

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Some flowers on “my favourite bean” .. these grow in a group of four, and each one takes their turn to commence on the next step to create a bean.  A bean a day!

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And finally, the Spanish Musica bean .. online, the length of the vine is purported to be 6 to 7 feet.  These are at least 15 feet and still growing .. reaching out for support.  I’ll climb the ladder this morning to try and train them to grow on a neighbouring tree.  Inspirational?  You betcha!

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Time to finish household stuff, practise my violin, and then will literally run outside to enjoy the day.  It is a bit overcast today so it will be fun to get things done!