Posts Tagged ‘Gardens’

April 30, 2012

Apparently, leaving wildlife alone is not on the agenda for some rich people. 

An elephant is killed.  http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/trump-elephant-hunt.html#cr

Sand dunes are flattened to make way for a golf course in Scotland.  Habitat for endangered birds are destroyed.  http://www.usatoday.com/sports/golf/2007-10-10-2052550731_x.htm

See those dunes now flattened down:  http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/02/10/422677/digging-up-golf-course-donald-trump-wind-farms-are-destroying-scotland/?mobile=nc

On the other hand, there are many people worldwide who are the opposite of this type of user.  There are people who truly care for the delicate beings who try to exist and live their little lives as best they can.

See the man who planted 16,000 trees on his island:  http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/good-news/british-man-buys-island-whim-40-years-ago-191547211.html

I’ve been told that in order to overpower a negative, one must recount 10 positives.  I truly believe that for every horrendous act against nature, where someone wantonly destroys an innocent life or a habitat, there are 10 acts of good that are also taking place.

How else could there be a balance on this earth?

And I also believe that our young people are the impetus for the good that is happening.   I see more and more young men and women working hard to improve the soil for growing healthy (no pesticides) vegetables.   There are so many blogs where people are generously sharing how to repurpose things … to not just throw things away.

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!  Humbug!  I’m an “old dog” and I’m learning new things every single day.  Every day is an adventure.  Still studying all the “new” information on improving the soil .. and learning about what is happening in the ground beneath my feet.  Wish this information had been taught in school .. and happy that I’m able to learn now.

Reading my “Living Earth” by Peter Farb (printed in 1950!) about the “fascinating world of life within the soil beneath us”.

I’m also slowly entering the world of native plants and will attend a workshop on salvaging native plants.   Meeting people who are active in restoring natural habitat.  And I’ve been learning about the varieties of mosses and will be attending a workshop on seaweed soon.

oh, hmmm .. I’d planned to discontinue blogging during the summer, as I wanted to devote my time to the garden, but here I am, drawn back to tap on the keyboard.

Just for a few minutes.   Then, time to go check on my latest batch of EM (effective microorganisms) … the latest batch is nearly ready to use in the garden.

I’d started off making 1 litre batches and now have moved up to a 4 Litre (milk jug) and a 2 Litre (juice bottle).   I’ve prepared a diluted mixture for a friend to use on her house plants, looking forward to hearing the results.

The dilution of the mix varies depending on the usage and I’ve been using quite a bit on my garden, the trees, garlic plantings, on berry bushes that I’ve moved around the yard.   And the blueberries, salmon berries and raspberries are in full bloom.  I’ve heard that it isn’t good to disturb blueberries, but the plants that I’ve dug up and replanted are very healthy.  Could this be due to the wonderful qualities of the EM?  I think so!

Healthy soil = healthy plants = less insect damage (insects aren’t drawn to “sick” plants).

Here is the most wonderful website to visit, to learn lots more about EM and organic fertilizers, and so very much more:  http://www.gardenerspantry.ca/  Christina is so very knowledgeable and very sharing of information … a joy to talk with. 

Well .. .away with this day .. lots to do.


Read Full Post »

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  Well, for some strange reason, I had just about finished my blog and suddenly, I magically deleted absolutely everything that I’d written from this afternoon.  It happened so quickly ..one moment I was tidying up the sentences and the next, somehow I hit the crazy combination of key strokes that blocked and deleted absolutely everything that I’d written.

And no matter what action I followed thereafter, those words were gone.


To recap what I’d written:  Yesterday started out overcast .. then the rains came.

Followed by the sun.  I was going to go for a walk .. and then the winds came.

So I stayed inside.

Went outside later, with newly awakened eyes (recent outdoor pruning session) I noticed the mis-shaped tree pruning that had been done years ago.  A co-worker’s father loved pruning, so I hired him. Turns out that he had the killer instinct.  And actually caused our lovely peach tree, carefully trimmed and wired at the side of the house .. to die .. a slow death .. how sad.

And as I walked around the trees in the yard, I saw the results of the destruction that he’d caused so many years ago.  Some very bad branch butchering.  sigh.

Costly lesson that was.

Anyway, on to better subjects.  In our gardening course, class participants mixed up our first ever EM (effective microorganisms) a few weeks ago.  We all waited patiently for the mixture to mature, carefully nurturing our bottles, burping them when necessary.

And yesterday was the time for me to start using my bottle.  Carefully added the EM with water and applied to the household plants.  And added some to kitty kats water bowls.

How exciting is this.

I’ll be mixing up another batch, this time adding glacial rock powder, kelp liquid, along with some of the mother EM and some organic molasses.  I plan to treat our trees, bushes, plants, lawn .. with the EM.  I’ll take some before and after pictures to show the results and will post them.

Oh, yes.

Anyway .. .short and sweet and nighty night to all!


Read Full Post »

Thursday, February 9, 2011

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Wednesday .. started out with a terrific list of things to do .. the first which was to seek out some kelp or seaweed.  So I headed out to Island View ….. many years ago I’d gathered this material from there … so I drove to the beach and set out for a look.

However, no joy in finding quantities of this lovely material.   I did enjoy walking along the beach … breathing in the fresh air and looking out to the water.  Suddenly I noticed something bobbing along in the water.  Was it a seal?  Kelp?  Nope .. it was the little face of a sea otter, one of a couple who were relaxing in the water.

Very curious they were too … twisting and turning in the water and always ending up staring shoreward .. in our direction.  I had a conversation with a dog-mom about the otters . . she had seen them for a few days and wondered if they had babies somewhere along the shore.  I don’t know anything about the life habits of otters, so was left wonder if what she guessed was true.

The rains started so I made for the car and left.   Along the way, I noticed a plant nursery, thought this was as good a time as any.   Parked, entered the office and stayed there for quite a length of time.   Enjoyed an interesting discussion on gardening practises, quite interesting.  Then another person entered the office and soon we were all talking as if we’d known each other for years.  It was quite an energizing experience and one I look forward to again as my gardening life unfolds.

Next step, I was able to visit a local farm that is only open for a set few hours during the week.   Again, I met with cheerful fellow customers and the farm owner.  What a fun day this is turning out to be.  I also learned some basics about nematodes.  As it turns out, farmland (and I don’t know at this point if this is just applicable on the island or not) is rated A, B or C for nematodes.  A is the highest, B is lower and C is none.  However, C’s are tested every two years.

Time to go so I head out to a garden supply centre, to seek out rock dust.   I’m told that they usually have the volcanic variety, but are currently out of stock for a few more weeks.  Wah.

What to do now .. well, why not swing out to the Esquimalt Lagoon to see if there is a supply of kelp & seaweed.   By this time, it is early afternoon and the “parking lot” highway movement hasn’t yet started, so I arrived at my destination in a very short time.

Parked and then started looking.  Again, no joy.  Spoke with a local couple about the scarcity of the kelp .. and learned that recent storms had brought many logs to shore and most likely drew back the kelp.  Besides, high tide was rapidly encroaching, so no point looking any further.  They gave me the names of more beaches to search .. so I’ll do that on another day.

Went walking on side of the roadway and suddenly there was a crowd of Geese, pigeons, a variety of ducks .. and a few Swans were looking interested .. and realized that again I hadn’t brought any flatted oats with me.  And these birds looked as if they were used to being well fed.  Oh, well, another day.

As I made my way home I realized that I hadn’t really accomplished a lot during my time away, but I certainly had a lot of fun and had laughed quite a bit.   Met a number of people.  Went to places I hadn’t formerly known about.  Quite a positive day.  Glad I decided to go out .. imagine, if I’d stayed home to study, none of this would have happened.

Besides, I did spend a few hours reading, searching, making notes.


Read Full Post »

Saturday, January 7, 2012

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And I read this cliché in a gardening book (that stated “all rights reserved, a ban of copying any information” …. well, they used a Robert Louis Stevenson quote to describe the attractiveness of gardening “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.”   .. so .. hmmmmmm?? They can copy, but we can’t??


This phrase is a Robert Louis Stevenson quotation, from Virginibus Puerisque, 1881:

“Little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour.”

Stevenson was expressing the same idea as the earlier Taoist saying – “The journey is the reward.”

Well, that is gardening .. in a nutshell!

here’s another one .. I had purchased a placard with the words “the secret to success is sincerity .. once you can fake that, you have it made.”  I was working in a fairly negative atmosphere and having this to look at every once in a while helped me to retain my sanity.   I see that the originator, Jean Giraudoux was the creator of this quote.

And here is another one of his witty quips:  “Only the mediocre are always at their best.”

Anyway … the rains continued yesterday … and so I kept busy with a number of activities.

One was to travel out to Dakota Cafe, for a delicious bowl of Dak’s authentic won ton soup .. yum yum yum.

Another activity was keying in more gardening titles and additional information for my gardening book list.  Finding out so much information .. what a lovely journey.   And fired up by thinking about the start of the Organic MG Course starting this week!!   The costs are not in my budget, but I’ve decided to take the first step of faith in my new gardening life .. so  .. gumboots and all, I’m proceeding.

Along with the titles of my gardening books and their authors, I’ve been listing the publishing houses.  Interesting to see the supply of publishers change from Canada et al to Singapore, Australia .. cheaper and cheaper.  I remember a post card producer, he finally decided to have the prints done in Australia as this would enable him to have a yearly holiday in warmer climates .. hmmm… he was definitely on to something there.

Perhaps I’ll come up with a product that needs to be originated in France and so I can travel back and forth.  Not soap, though .. that’s been way done already.

Anyway, this latest book was printed in a number of countries.  In Canada, it was printed by D.W. Friesen & Sons Ltd., Altona, Manitoba.  So, I had to search this one out (using dogpile as the engine) and lo and behold, just like Gaylord Bros. (still operating, bigger and better in Syracuse, NY) this company has also been growing:http://www.friesens.com/corporate/history.asp

What a great learning curve I’m going through!  Finding out about more than gardening, the more I travel through my books.

A wise decision on my part! 

So I continue to type, as the rains fall down outside, watching the birds playing in the yard, happily munching on bird seed and I’m inside, with  my feet happily tapping to the strings of “Up in Chapman’s Hollow”  and other world music .. including Itzhak Perlman‘s “Live in the Fiddler’s House” 🙂


Read Full Post »

Sunday, October 9, 2011

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A slightly overcast morning quickly turned into a hot sunny day!  We travelled to Dakota Cafe for a late Sunday breakfast.   Arrived at a perfect time, between the crowds.

Noticed the plants are all doing well right now … no trimming needs to be done.  I’ll bring out some lavender paint to colour the cement circles .. one of these days!

Dac was a busy guy today .. not only did he cook the meals, but he brought them to our table .. what a great guy he is!  Not to mention, one terrific chef!   He is offering authentic Vietnamese meals on Tuesdays!!

Wah, DH is working days so we won’t be able to take advantage of these dishes for a while.   We both look forward to trying his authentic meals.

Anyway, homeward bound .. DH and I each start our chosen chores and work away.

I’m so enjoying changing the shape of the veggie / berry / garlic garden.   Spent a few hours in the (lovely) hot sun .. digging away.  Shovelling out some more grassy clay soil .. reclaiming this for the garlic portion of the garden.

Then .. time for me to join DH in shopping for items, renovations being done to the house .. so out we go.   And along the way, I find a good deal on Clematis plants (so I purchase 2) and another perennial hedging plant … name escapes me . .so I’ll have to note this tomorrow.   Anyway, it’s been fun.

Awhile later . .. back home, items unloaded .. we carried them upstairs … DH begins work and I rush to my garden.  Where I spend some time digging, sifting, sorting stones from weeds and lovely free soil to spread around the garden.

I play around with edging the garden bed with my surplus bricks .. and it looks great.  I just need to work on straightening the row .. that will happen.  Rain is predicted for tomorrow, but that won’t stop me from playing outside.

I’m digging up the 10 blueberry plants .. heh heh heh .. I have plans for them.  They will be ( I think) the featured centre of the berry garden.

I hadn’t seen the birds feeding on the sunflower seed heads that I’d left hanging from the tree branches, so I gathered up most of them and interwoven them in the sides of the garden arch.   And noticed that the Anna’s weren’t going to the h/bird feeder that I’d hung from the tree branches, so I moved the feeder to the arch.  Delighted to look out the window this morning and see the Anna’s at the feeder, the chickadees busily picking away at the sunflower seeds.

Kept looking up at the sky … today, couldn’t see any eagles soaring or Turkey Vultures (from yesterday).   Did see some seagulls.

Too soon .. dusk is approaching.  The little Anna buzzes around .. I don’t look up .. I know that he is checking out the territory before approaching the h/bird feeder.  Carefully I lift my head .. and see that he is quietly feeding away.    I’ve mixed up a 3:1 ratio of sugar/water today .. saving this for the cold fall days.  Currently there is a 4:1 ratio mixture in both the front and back feeders.

Time to end my playtime outside.   I’ve made progress.   Digging away at the clay soil, playing around with using bricks as edges for the veggie garden.   Putting the old strawberry planter (belong to my DH’s grandfather!) on a circle of cement that DH had poured for a long-ago garden fence.    Perfect.

I gather all my toys and head inside ..time to start our Thanksgiving supper .. spaghetti!

Soon the water is boiling, the spaghetti is placed in the pot.  Butter is being melted.    Cheese (especially Mazithra) is being shredded.   My lovely (purchased) pesto is awaiting.

And so we plate up our spag .. no turkey or ham for us on this day.   Lovely supper.

A quiet night.

Look forward to tomorrow .. rain .. or ..shine!


Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: