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Posts Tagged ‘garlic’


Monday, June 3, 2013

A brilliantly beautiful sunshiny day!  Birds are chirping away (I replenished the feeders yesterday!)  And I am facing a full day of playing away in the garden.  Massive amounts of potting up with my many seedlings!  This year I’ve put squash plants in containers .. as I’ve used most of my veggie garden for garlic!!

And there is one section left in the sunny area for veggies.  There I’ve planted some squash, shallots and there is still room for squash there.

This year I’d purchased Mason Bees with nesting trays … and I’d placed their little home on the trunk of an old apple tree.  How exciting it has been to check throughout the spring to see the cocoons open up and know that nature is taking its course and the bees are out in the world.   Although I wondered where they were .. I’d seen a variety of bees buzzing away in the yard but hadn’t noticed any of the little black bees.  So yesterday I ventured to their home and saw that the two lower sections were sealed shut!

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This led me to search for more information on these industrious creatures and I found this very informative site:  http://www.crownbees.com/life-cycle-of-the-mason-bee/   and sure enough, as the site notes, the bottom 2 left openings are filled in.   This site lists absolutely everything I need to know about raising my little winged family .. how exciting!

Lovely blue skies again … how cheerful and uplifting to have this overhead!   My umbrella has the same scenery on the inside .. more incentive to go for long walks in the rain with a view like this!

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One of the many other busy bees in the yard …. lots of pollinators for all growing plants and trees throughout the yard.20

 Found this broken egg shell when D and I were out walking at Sooke last week.  We were in an area that normally was inaccessible unless we were ducks, however, the tides were way out.   She has a good knack for finding things that are  just not really evident .. perhaps this is a Heron’s egg?  It is very large, bigger than any I’ve ever seen … so I took it home for a souvenir.  I’ve placed it beside some squash shoots for a comparison.

03

Look .. I have Garry Oak growing in my garlic forest! Actually there are a number of them and I’ve potted up quite a few.  When I harvest the garlic, I’ll pot up the oaks growing in the garlic .. don’t want to disturb them unnecessarily.

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Well .. time to go for a walk in the sun and then, oh joy, to work in my garden!

🙂

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

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  The winds returned yesterday .. .I spent a bit of time moving the bird feeding stations onto branches that were a little more sheltered so that the little winged darlings could feed!  

The hummingbird feeder in the backyard had been buffeted so much that all the nectar was gone .. so I put some in and hung it on a tree branch.  Then changed the location again, as I saw the little Anna zipping about .. looking for it. So I placed it a bit lower in the little archway.

Glad to see my garlic growing away.   I’m just waiting for a nice day to spend outside and I can start chopping up some kelp around the new green growth.  Still have a fair amount of garlic from last year.  Enough for us and some to share with friends.  I wonder if I’ll actually take the time to properly braid some strands this year? 

I’d started out doing that last year, with the best of intentions.   My desire to do so had diminished, as I dug up more and more small garlic bulbs.  I’d bought 4 lovely garlic types from Richters, so the problem wasn’t the quality of the bulbs.  Discovered that garlic likes sun … I’d planted them in relative shade.  Even though the soil was lovely, rich in mulch, it still needed that sun!  So this year, they are in the sun. 

And everywhere else also, it seems.  I can see garlic greens popping up everywhere in the side garden .. and I was so positive that I’d dug them all up!    More of the magic of gardening.

I’m so glad that I’ve continued on with this blog.  I’d started it after I retired, someone suggested it would be a good way to keep in touch former coworkers who also loved gardening.

I have discovered other gardening type blogs over the past year and it is so fun to find out how others are gardening, from all over the place.  Very interesting people.

There is Bridget, in Ireland, they live in the country and have the most lovely goats: http://arignagardener.wordpress.com/author/arignagardener/

and Claire – a creative chef  and intrepid gardener .. her fascinating blog:  http://promenadeplantings.com/

and Paul, who is a creative gardener and is sharing the gardening adventure with his children at:  http://seedtosalad.wordpress.com/

and Malou, who gardens in Holland: http://malouprestado.wordpress.com/author/malouprestado/

and Susanne, who currently is living in Australia: http://theemeraldgarden.wordpress.com/author/yomtoto/

It is such a joy to read their blogs and find out what is happening in the gardens where they live.  I take a little time travel each time I visit their blogs.

I feel as if we have become such good gardening buddies and I find so many interesting ways to do things and wonderful new foods!   Claire has lovely recipes for pumpkin biscotti (beautiful pumpkins from France, I haven’t seen any here). 

And they all have links to other blogs too!

Well, time is running out .. tonight is our last Organic Master Gardening Course (Gaia College) at Royal Roads and I will have to leave shortly.  Wah .. it’s been a huge adventure, this course.  A complete departure from the normal ways of gardening.  So I’ve begun this adventure and am very happy.

The most amazing instructors and a great group of learners we are.

So I’ll say nighty night till tomorrow.  When I will come back and talk about more gardening and the exciting things that happened today!  Yes, I met more gardening people… what a wonderful day this has been  … and I’ll share more pictures!

It’s been a lovely day.

🙂

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

OMG .. it is just after 8 am on this morning and I see the sun is shining brilliantly …

I was all set to write about my gardening day yesterday (which was totally wonderful, btw).   But.. rain is predicted .. so I am choosing to go outside and dig and plant and sort my gardening pots.  Rake Leaves. (trying not to think about the lovely piles of leaves on the roadway ….)

So I will post my pics of yesterday and yak .. later on!  And if it doesn’t rain (as is predicted) .. well, I’ll be outside all the live long day!

And so.. va va vooom .. on my most lovely daily life!

🙂  Happy days are here again, the sky is clear again .. happy days are here again!

Oh, and I saw a Spotted Towhee outside the kitchen window, grooming itself for the upcoming day!

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Yesterday, Wednesday, was quite a change from bright and sunny Tuesday!  It started off overcast and very windy at times.

Nonetheless, on went my gardening outfit and outside I went!   Finished potting up the balance of the Boxwood cuttings . .I think there were about 40 .. a few didn’t root, leaves were glossy & green . … so they are being given another chance over the winter.

So I think that I now have a total of 120 boxwood plants started.  And … no .. I don’t plan to start a nursery.   I would like to try little garden borders, though.  I like the boxwood plantings at the Royal Bank on Burnside.  Every time I visit the bank, my eyes are drawn to the two tidy Boxwood framed squares outside.  Yes, I think I’ll have lots of fun with these plants.  They are quite sturdy little plants, I love plants that aren’t delicate.

Then, oh my .. I’m looking at the temporary winter holding areas that I’ve created with the landscape ties.  I’d started out with the “L” shape.  These soon filled up.  Now I have double “L” shapes.  And rapidly running out of room.

I think that our next place will just have to have a bit more property so that I can expand my propagating area.  I do seem to get carried away.  But then, I think, a lot of gardeners are like that.  I’ll just clip a “few” branches.  I’ll just start a “few” more plants.  On and on.  Oh, wait, I was planning to clip the Bay laurel tree.  Maybe tomorrow.

I’d already shaped shifted the veggie garden area.   I love changing the shapes of the garden ..  the soil there is just so rich from last years  wonderful mulch.    I can easily change the shape by moving the bricks that I’ve used to outline the beds and reshape away to my hearts content.

Anyway, this fall, I created a strip berry garden, a quarter moon shaped garlic bed and an oval bed in the middle (part of this is already planted in garlic).

I’m determined to have large heads of garlic this year.  I’d purchased 4 types of garlic for last years crop.  Somehow the names of each type didn’t make it through the winter so I now have a mix of unnamed garlic.  Including some elephant garlic.  Humongous cloves.  So they are all planted in the sunny part of the yard.  Patiently waiting till it’s time to grow.

I’d potted up all the cuttings, and then it was time to play with the garlic cloves.   I had had a large crop of garlic this year, however, having not planted them in the full sun, the results were not impressive, size wise.  And, I had thought that by not clipping the greens, the energy that would have gone into the garlic bulb went into the greens instead.  However, I’ve been searching garlic growing sites and I can see where someone actually did a comparison and concluded that it doesn’t make any difference.

So I plopped quite a few garlic bulbs into the amazing Styrofoam root tray and covered up with soil  I’m just curious to see how these will sprout.   Then I plan to make some kind of a narrow garlic strip in planters and let them grow, grow, grow.

Early afternoon, the skies brightened up and there was a little touch of sun .. ah that was great!  I spent a fair chunk of time just looking at the antics of the birds.  At one point there seemed to be quite an influx of sparrows .. they’d discovered the bird seed!  Several times I just waved them away, shoo .. fly away .. leave some for the Dark Eyed Juncos‘s, the Chickadees, the Red Breasted Nuthatch.  Speaking of which, I’d noticed that I hadn’t seen this spritely little guy .. when up he zoomed, straight for the raw suet.

Several sparrows were having quite a little “discussion” and at one point I had to duck out-of-the-way! (no pun intended!)

I have always loved being in the garden.  Time stops.  Reality is held at bay.  All that exists is the wonderment of being in a private place where I can simply enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.  Simply stop and look at the birds.  Stomp on my three-foot high pile of leaves (partly just for fun and partly to break them down faster).  I can just travel all around and see how all the plants and trees are doing.   Look at the lovely bits of lichen and moss, tiny universes.

Play around with re-using bricks, stones.   Dig away.   Dream and envision how I’ll plant things.   I really do want a little arbour .. I have the bench and the pond.  Just have to sweet talk my lovely DH into “helping” me create the area.

I’ve recently read that creativity just needs lots of time and this is my time to delve into this creativity.  All my life I’ve wanted “creative” time .. but there was always something not allowing me the luxury of this gift.  Well .. I now have the time and wow am I happy!   It’s almost decadent to have the time to play and experiment with the garden, and for that I am very grateful.

I then collected the windfall apples .. sorted them into several piles, one for the house and one for the birdies.  Then I took a handful and placed them in the nooks and crannies of trees in the yard .. so they could peck away at their leisure.

Speaking of apples, my walking pal tells me that this year is a bumper crop for apples and that next year there won’t be so many.   I’ve certainly gained new respect for apples, thanks to her explanations of the benefits of eating these crunchy fruits.   And I’m learning about more varieties.

As I gathered up my gardening tools, working in different areas of the yard, I couldn’t help but admire the large wooden handled metal scoop that I’d purchased recently at Lee Valley.  This thing is worth it’s weight in gold!  I think that it actually might be a flour scoop, but I find it so invaluable in the garden.  It is strong and I can easily dig in the yard and create a planting space.  It’s great for hacking away at stubborn dandelions and it’s wonderful for scooping up the soil mixture for potting up plants.

I cut down dead branches of deciduous plantings at the side of the house .. and discovered lots of raspberry canes that I need to dig up .. it’s getting a little crowded.   And the Costmary plants need to be split up, also.  I love the minty perfume of these shovel shaped leaves.  The diminutive yellow button flowers at the top of these tall plants are just too darling for words.

Next spring I plan to trim the tops of the cedar trees, to encourage more bush growth.   And I’m happy to see such a variety of plants that I’ve placed throughout this side of the yard .. the bed is quite wide, about 4 feet in width .. and I can see that I’ll have to reposition some of the plants.

I’d just about decided where I was going to plant my two Pyracantha plants .. when the rains started again!  Darn!

Just as I was collecting my garden gear, camera etc., my attention was caught by the yard of Miracle Mulch.  Beautiful material.  It’s been there for (ahem) a while, since I’d moved it, bit by bit, from the front yard.  I really do have to move this and distribute around the yard.

Well, there is always tomorrow, right?

 

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Looks like we’ll have a lovely sunny day here ….weather is inviting .. quite a change from what was predicted!

Yesterday afternoon I’d watered the back garden area . .moving my twirling sprinkler to a few areas of the yard.  Looking out this morning I see that everything looks happy.  The wind has rearranged the yard a little .. moving pots and containers here and there.  Quite artistic, really, think I’ll let the display last till tomorrow and I’ll get out there and do some rearranging.

Happy to see that some tiny ears of corn are developing, the tassels are so pretty and I feel quite proud of my gardening prowess and happy that I’d wandered into Cannor’s a few months ago and purchased some cells of seedlings.

This gives me hope for the eternal “next year” garden.  I’m sure that I have some corn seedlings in my collection … in the spring I’ll test them for growth and I’ll start my own seedlings.

In the fall I’ll move some raspberry canes …and think that I’ll create a berry garden.  I have red currants, raspberries (several types) thornless blackberry & salmon-berries.

Was watching one of my very favourite cooking shows this morning “It’s Just Food” with Ned & Julia:  http://itsjustfood.net/  I just adore this show.  Today was a re-run on making pasta (yum) and using won-tons for ravioli etc.  Watching them make a spinach/garlic/cheese mixture for recipe made me hungry.  Think I’ll wander down to Capital Iron this week to look at the pasta makers.   I’ve seen them there and they are not expensive.

Decided to follow one of the recipes, so I removed one of the frozen packages of spinach to defrost .. and perhaps I’ll make some later on.  The ingredients are simple:  garlic, spinach, parmesan cheese.  And I still have some delicious parmesan from the Mediterranean store on Quadra!   Love that store!

But first .. we are flying out up-island .. so dh can take some more sailplane lessons!   How exciting .. look  forward to the day when we’ll have a dual plane and can pack a picnic lunch and go flying from mountaintop to mountaintop.

We have the picnic tablecloth and just need to look for the perfect sailplane!

On with this most lovely sunny day!

🙂

Well, the weather deemed it not suitable for the sailplane flying .. .but we did go flying .. and that was fun!   And we had fun discussing weather formations, plane handling and other flying information!

Ice-cream at the McTavish store .. and thus a lovely end to a summer day.

Looking forward to working outside tomorrow .. attacking the gravel area.  The joy never ends.

🙂

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