Posts Tagged ‘Back garden’

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

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So the week started out full of promise.  Some frost in the early morning .. noticed some flakes of snow on the mulch in the back yard.  Brrr.

Monday was a day totally spent in the yard.  Sheer bliss.   I’d been spending a fair bit of time at the kitchen table, little old Toshiba connected, going through the study materials of the gardening course I’m taking.  I’ve stayed there through some sunny days and thought to myself, well, it’s good to spend the time now so I’ll have the knowledge later.

But, my goodness, how much can a gardener take .. staying indoors all this time, anyway!  So, Monday was my decadent day .. to spend completely outside.   Except for some quick trips inside to make more Yorkshire Tea and a quick-lunch, Monday was devoted to outside things.

I had a mission .. to tidy up the yard so that my gardening class could freely move around the yard.  Thus I moved hundreds of cuttings & potted plants to one area, so nice and tidy, I impressed myself.  Then, time to address the mountain of leaf mulch.  I filled tarp after tarp load with the leafy stuff and dragged them over to the perimeter of the yard, nicely topping up the side gardens, being careful not to cover the emerging bulbs.

This time of the year is such a delight .. so many surprise flowers popping up, awakening from their winter sleep.  Perfuming the air with their scent and delighting the senses with their delicate beauty.

I accomplished quite a lot on Monday .. so on Tuesday, I decided to continue.  Morning was chilly and then the sun fought to come out.  Clouds 1.  Sun 0.   But, a lovely warm mug or two of Yorkshire Tea kept me warmed up.

Our backyard is actually quite large.  Now that I’ve moved the potted cuttings, reduced the size of the leaf mulch pile, removed part of the homemade bamboo/twig fence that encircled it,  bundled the support twigs that comprised the fencing .. the yard is looking quite spacious.

Normally I’m the only person playing out here, so I’ve allowed myself to have some lazy habits.  And now that I’ve been organizing the space, I’ve quite impressed myself with my activity.

Next I moved the loose rocks and boulders to encase some island beds.  Dug in some broken bricks in the back pathway, adding to the rustic charm of a relaxed garden.  Mended some loose boards in the fence.

Stood back, admiring my work from the past few days.  I can feel the lovely fresh energy that now emanates from my garden .. my real living space.

And although the work was for naught, as the location has now been changed for the pruning demonstration and will not take place at our yard .. I feel that all was not done in vain.  For, if not for the push of the upcoming Saturday’s pruning event, I would have dillied and dallied and wouldn’t have been so active.   Much like preparing for an upcoming visit of someone and plans changed at the last-minute.  The result is a tidy space.   And the feeling of pride and joy of discovering that my organizational skills are smoking hot!    Chalk one up for me .. I’ve proved to myself how hard I can work.  Had forgotten that skill .. so this was a good reminder.

Funny .. during the last few days, when I’ve been busy doing something or the other in the yard, suddenly I’d heard some sharp rap-tap-tap noises .. looked up and some (variably) a little Chickadee or Nuthatch.  Nicely settled on an acrylic sided bird feeder.  Noisily tapping away at the clear sides … the bird version of a slot machine.  Expecting the seeds to fall into the trough?  Or, trying to catch my attention?  Either way, I complied to their needs and put some sunflower seeds into the feeder.

The idea that wild birds can communicate to us mere humans was reinforced this winter.   The front Hummingbird feeder had frozen solid, so I took it inside, thawed it out, refilled it .. and placed it by the front door.  Then DH & I would look out the front window and observe the little Anna fly around, checking it out and then settle in for a feed.  After, of course, flying up to the window, flying horizontally and vertically, thoroughly checking us out.  She knew we were there and that I had “fixed” her food source.

One morning, looking out .. I saw that the feeder was again frozen.  This time, little Anna tried to get some nectar.  No joy.  she turned her little head in my direction, looked back at the feeder, then back at me, then back to the feeder.  She acknowledged that I was the “fixer” .. the nectar was frozen .. so  .. “fix it”!  Body language was clear.

So I did fix it … and soon she was happily feeding away.

Yesterday the winds were so wild that the backyard hummingbird feeder went crashing to the ground.  Finally, I picked it up, took it inside, cleaned & added some nectar and then hung it from a little branch at a side cedar tree.  I knew the backyard Anna would find it.   She’s smart.

Well, nature and all of the beauty have been inspiring me with a wonderful gardening energy and today I will return again to the garden.

A brand new lovely day ….

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Thursday, November 4, 2011

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Thursday was a day fresh full of sunshine!   No rain, just sun .. some clouds .. followed by more sun.

What did I do yesterday .. it seems so very far away!

Basic household things .. and time spent outdoors.

I started working with my last yard of Miracle Mulch.  I’d moved this from the front driveway well over a month ago and it’s been sitting on a tarp ever since.   That sentence seems to make everything sound like it was an easy thing to transport the mulch from the front to the back.   Like, I just snapped my fingers and voila .. it was transported through the air, effortlessly.

In reality, it was a lot of work.  Filling the containers, marching them to the back yard.   Emptying the containers onto the tarp that I’d laid down on the ground.

Repeated maybe 50 times or so .. until finally there was a lovely heap of the mulch ready to be used in the yard.

It’s funny.  I’d lament and cry over doing housework, say, scrubbing walls or washing floors.  Yet, to put endless energy into moving yard materials from A to B is just a given.

In between working, time well spent just relaxing, watching the great varieties of birds that visit our yard.

I love them all, and am surprised at the variety of sparrows.   I’ve noticed the White-crowned Sparrow, and am very sure that there are some Rufous-winged sparrows, but not exactly sure on that.    The Chestnut-backed Chickadees are so very sweet .. with their little nasal chirp chirps.  The Downey Woodpecker seems to love calling out before he lands on the suet.   And the Red-breasted Nuthatch .. my oh my .. he is such a darling!

And there are others that I need to identify, also.  I’ve started paying attention to the guidelines for taking care of backyard birds, one of them is having a supply of water.  Tsk Tsk Tsk .. how did I not pay attention to that before?  So I’ve been filling up flat containers for them .. high enough so the cats can’t reach them.  Enough water for them to bathe and drink.

The Downey Woodpecker ventured over to a container yesterday afternoon to have a little drink of water.   Sweet.

Then I made a point of climbing up my pile of mulch and stomped over the surface quite thoroughly.   To compact the pile and hopefully start the heating process.   I’ve decided to make a circle of stones to the left of the pile .. and I’ll shovel the leaves into this space in a few weeks or so.  Then back and forth, all winter.

Time to start working on the far side of the fenced area .. where I had planted some bushes, vines and ground covers.   It’s funny, I’d saved newspaper and cardboard to start a week barrier at this side.  However, this isn’t needed!  As last year, I’d layered on quite a thick layer of mulch and hay .. with the result that there were very few weeds there.

Yesterday also .. I finished the front section of the yard .. ready enough and feng shui’d enough till next spring!

I’m so thankful for all this lovely warm sunshine (after the morning frost has been melted away) .. and pretend that summer is still here!

There is no end to the duties of the yard .. and I am so happy for that.   I don’t think the yard will ever be finished .. there will always be something to do or change.    And there is a lot of organizing that can take place beneath the sundeck.

But, the most important thing of all .. is to just sit quietly and observe the antics of the birds.  They are so funny.   Watching them fly to the feeders, sometimes they bump into each other.  They do scold one another.  Overall, I do not see any animosity.   All the varieties co-exist peacefully with each other and all feed from the same feeders.

I only wish I could translate the variety of chirps that I hear .. I can only wonder at the conversations that are taking place.

Well, it’s been a day!

And up early tomorrow!  Placing signs along Saanich .. hoping that people will get out and vote .. for a fresh new voice for our municipality.  Out with the tired and in with the energized!!!  I’ll do my part to get things going!


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