Cannor Nursery delivered my bags of sand, top soil, pea gravel and the few plants I had picked out to use. I have a six pack of small marigolds and a trailing yellow annual put into the strawberry jar that sits on the little rockery along the vegetable garden. I am going to replace the rosemary and the lavendar in the herb patch. I have a thrift and an iberis that I will probably use out in the front garden. I put a 20L bag of sand over the garden soil that I had over a few bits of broken pots in the new little area of the small rockery by the vegetable garden. I then positioned the small rocks and added the bag of top soil. I topped this off with a bag of compost. I might add another layer of sand as the plants that will go in here want good drainage. I shall let this settle for awhile before adding any plants and the final top dressing of pea gravel. I want to divide the mounding green plant, and the very nice cyclamen. I have a cyclamen coum and a daphne that will be added. The lewisias, a lovely campanula, a primula marginata, and a couple of other tiny plants are growing in the front part of this tiny rockery. I have not expanded the rockery into the vegtable garden, as I think it is a good size as it is now. I cleaned up along the lawn edge, dug over half of the vegtable garden and moved all these bags of dirt around today. I have some sore muscles, again.
The daffodils are mostly finished and should be dead headed. I was afraid I had lost tulips to the squirrels but they are showing now and starting to open. The primulas are doing great and the hellebores are still in full bloom. The magnolia is almost finished. The arabis and aubretias are going great! The strip along the driveway looks pretty nice. I must weed it and add compost along the front of that bed. Pat and Jim will be gone 5 days to the Red Deer Swapmeet, so I should be able to get a lot of my gardening done. It all looks so much better when trimmed and weeded.
The strawberries are weeded and have added compost around them. Dug over half of the vetable garden and added compost to the rhubard which is doing much better for having its annual feed of compost. The soil is quite dry, already. When I do the seeding, I shall try to keep the soil moist for the first few days and then start a good watering schedule once the plants are up.
All the newspapers and news sites and blogs are full of news about this swine flu that is jumping around the world quite quickly from its start somewhere in Mexico. The cases in Canada have been mild, as compared to some of the infected people in Mexico who have died from the worst cases. We have stock piled some medicines to combat this flu in B.C. The WHO has listed this as a 4 on the scale that goes to 6 as a pandemic.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
While the cars were lined up on the parking lot at the Golf Course, I was trying to get a few photos. This is one of the kneeling lady mascot using my cross screen filter for the flares. I took a few photos on the golf course, but they are just not that notable. We had lunch here after the games and judging.
on our way up to the Kingfisher Inn near Comox we took the scenic route, with our lunch stop at Cowichan Bay. This village is number 2 on my favourites list, after Genoa Bay. There are a few cottage industries with outlets in this town for the products. Any of the cheeses, breads, wines available in the small shops would be a perfect additon to any 100 mile diet. Its always nice to see more of our own products from our island available.
This is one of the fountains in the Kitty Coleman Woodland garden. There were many ponds, fountains, driftwood 'sculptures', rhodos, perennials, ferns, trees and bushes of all kinds. Its a marvelous garden created by Bryan and Bev Zimmerman in the Comox Area. I cannot find their website but do have the email: firstname.lastname@example.org My photos do not capture the magic of these gardens.
We stayed at the Kingfisher Inn a few km from Comox for our Spring Meet of the car club. This is a lovely setting that is situated along the beach. The place is expanding. The rooms were fine. The food is expensive in the only restaurant. We had the final banquet here in a very noisy room with bad acoustics. The best part was desert, made by Barb and Steve's son, Ian. He also made a fantastic chocolate cake that we shared in the registration room the evening before.
This little pink flower is on what I believe is an indigenous berry producing bush. It was in the Kitty Coleman Woodland garden that we visited on our last 'tea' stop of the day of the Spring Meet of the RROC and BDC. If anyone knows what this plant is, please let me know. I would love to get one for my little woodland area, in my garden.
We had excellent weather for this week end car club meet. It was another successfully arranged week end by Barb and Steve Harris. They always do a marvelous job. Thanks again for a most interesting week end.
Today, at home, I went to Cannor nursery. I am having some soil, sand and pea gravel delivered along with a few plant purchases. I bought the membership for $25.00, get 10% off all items, and have a coupon for the next purchase over $100.00. I get this mostly for the free delivery. So, my dirt and stones should be here in a day or two. I find that I do not have any sand in reserve, but seem to have 2 bags of pea gravel. I will use some of this gravel in a layer for drainage in my little newly made rockery. It will have top soil over that with sand and compost mixed into the top layer. I will let this settle for a few months, then add plants and the final pea gravel top dressing. I put fertilizer spikes around the front purple plum tree. It is too close to the road, and seldom gets water. I am determined to get it producing fruit again. So, this year it is going to get water and fertilizer. It is covered with bloosums, but I do not see many bees.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
It was a lovely day last Tuesday. We took the Dodge Lodge, picked up a couple of Nanwiches and went to the Gorge Park for lunch. The tulips, forsythia, currant bushes, and many other flowers and bushes are in bloom. The air is full of pollen! The Japanese Takata Gardens were once in this location, but went into decline during and after WWII and all that entailed. The Takata Gardens are now rebuilt out at Glendale Gardens and had the opening ceremonies last summer. At the Gorge Park they seem to be slowly restoring some of the ponds and plantings. Otherwise, the park has a long walkway along the Gorge waterway, lined with benches donated by people in memory of loved ones.
I have moved the perennials from the back of the little lewisia rockery and now have another 2 feet by about 10 feet of rockery space. I have found some rocks to add along with my new tufa rock. None of the rocks are big, I will partially bury them to make them look like a mountain range in minature, with all the angles running the same way. I need more sand to mix with topsoil to put over top of the layer of ordinary garden soil that covers a few bits of pot shards and small stones for proper drainage. I will also need more pea gravel for top dressing. The lewisias, a campanula (lost its name), a primula marginata, a small green hebe (bush like but minature), and one other tiny draba (from last year's planting) along with the strawberry jar, and the Jackie Cooper's faery plaque that has broken up and become an artifact; make up the little rockery now. I will add the cyclamen coum and perhaps the new daphe. The creeping phlox will go out in the front rockery. I will be renovating that front rockery too, just adding more grit and topsoil. There is room for a few tiny plants there as well. I want to try to transplant a piece of the best rockery plant in my garden that sits by the west coast planter, growing in clay and gravel, making an every bigger evergreen mound. It grows over rocks. Its a lovely thing. I hope I can get some of it to grow in the lewisia rockery at the back. I might get more thrifts for the front and for the area by the fig tree.
I have dill, cosmos, sunflowers, marigolds, and a few vegetabe seeds that I want to get planted in the vegtable garden next to the little rockery. I will want to get tomatoe plants for the other side and perhaps some peas and beans can go in that area.
I topped up the pond with water. It looks really quite good. I want to get the paving blocks raised a bit higher. The Japanese area needs the violets and dandilions removed and the moss encouraged to grow. Also need to clean the little dry stream and top up its pea gravel. I have no idea what happens to these little stones, but they seem to disappear. I saw three of the new little fish on the surface, so some of them are still in there. Hopefully, all of them.
The fawn lillies are spreading in the woodland area. The big trillium is in bloom and I see the small one showing, at last. I thought I may have lost it. There are sooo many of those blue bell things ... very invasive. I am not sure which is worse.. the violets, the bluebells or the dandilions. I see that the new fawn lilly (ethronium) in the new bed by the little spruce and curly hazelnut tree, is showing leaves. So, with the trilliums, the fawn little, the shooting star, and the anemone hepactica, I think that little area is going to be a success. It has top dressing of cedar duff. Also in that area the Sanguinaria Canadensis (double) is blooming and slowly spreading.
Yesterday was cold after the great hot day before. I went shopping and caught the bus there and back. I found the Tabi t-shirts! Now, I will need some good leather sandals and white dress shoes. I like all the open toed shoes this year! I need more gardening and less eating before I can feel comfortable shopping for clothes, now!
I am impossibly behind in commenting my friends and contacts on Flickr. The new site is looking so good that I like to check in there and see how much Cyrus and his guys have got finished. It is gonna be great! Flickr seems like such a chore to navigate recently. It is so slow and sooo glaring white!
Neil and Andrea who have been staying with Tara and Andy downstairs have both got jobs, and will be into their own suite in a house in a couple of weeks. We have offered them our hide a bed and they seem to think it will be ok to have. They have a few other donations from people to furnish their place. Its marvelous how they both are adapting in so little time. They are doing very well!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
This trillium is called 'wake robin'. It is red with these lovely spotted leaves. This one is a transplant from a year ago from the specialty nursery on Saltspring Island (sorry, I have forgotten the name of the place). I have 2 other trilliums from them planted in this newly created 'rock garden/woodland area. Last year I made this new little garden by turning over some grass and putting stepping stones through it to the vegetable garden / lewiisia rockery. There is a tiny 'trillium' garden with an lovely anemone hepactica just beneath the Harry Lauder's Walking Stick (twisted branches of a variety of hazelnut). I don't see the dodecathenon or the ethronium showing in this new area. Although, I have some ethroniums doing very well in the woodland area at the back. Our lovely little indiginous lillies. I have yellow and white varieties. I should transfer some seed to the new area, as I understand they are impossible to dig up and move.
This is a tall trillium with a large flower. It is in the woodland area of my back garden. I am always happy to see it showing among the invasive blue bells and the other large plant it is near. I don't recall the name of the plant, but these dark green leaves look very nice in the photo.
This little trillium now has 2 flowers. It is in the front garden, by its large round rock. Today, I weeded out the violets and other invasive plants from near it. It seems to like the soil created from using bark mulch, and from the leaf fall of the black bamboo. The violets are running rampant again. You can see one in the lower left corner of the photo. They are pretty plants but they just take over! So, I must get my soil to the point where I can easily just pull them out. In my basic clay soil they get a good grip and the roots just stay put to come up again. I need more bark mulch, I guess.
This is another very good Primula vulgaris. Outstanding color on this one. It makes a tight bunch with multiple flowers. I think I should divide this one after it is finished blooming.
The primula marginatas in the pot and in the lewisia rockery are both coming up, and showing blooms. They both look a bit stressed though. I wonder if they need more 'lime'.
Yesterday, I was at Cannor Nursery to get some fish. I have 6 new goldfish - 4 of the least expensive 'comets' and 2 sarasa. It was a nice sunny morning, but when I was at the nursery, the wind came up and was very cold and raw. I have wind burn on my face from being out in it. As well as the fish I bought a few seeds: marigolds, dill, sunflowers and cosmos.
Now my uploading seems to be fixed for the moment. I went to the help forums for Blogger and found some interesting info. It seems our photos are loaded to Picasa albums and then to the blogs. I never knew I had such a thing. Well, blogspot bloggers check you dashboard and to the bottom and look at your Picasa albums and the limits. Apparently I am using " You are currently using 397 MB (38.77%) of your 1024 MB. " Thereafter, we can upgrade our storage space! Interesting.
This morning, after Capiccino, Pat drove me over to the Rock and Alpine show and sale. The show seemed to me to be rather less than what it has been. I don't know what has happened as I have not been attending the meetings. Perhaps some people have moved or are traveling. Beaver Creek Nursery was there. This is a great source for special rock and alpine plants. The plant list on Roger Barlow's website is very helpful. I bought a $15.00 tufa rock and two little plants. One a salix repetans (spelling) and a tiny lupine with silvery leaves, as well as a creeping phlox from the club sale. The people in the sale room seemed very sparse compared to the usual numbers. Oh well, guess clubs go through these changes.
The purchase of my tufa rock inspired me to go out and look at where to put it. I want to add to the lewisia bed beside the vegetable garden area. So, I moved the heavenly scented daffodil. There were lots of bulbs!!! I now have this daffodil all over the gardens! After I got back from the show, I decided to walk over a couple of blocks to see what the rezoning notice was about. Seems they want to make a duplex on their large lot. Well, the exciting part for me was that on the way I found that someone had dumped some rocks in the deer pasture, just across the street from my place! Just what I need! I got my wheel barrow and collected these rocks to complete the new addition to the lewisia bed! Now how convenient is that? I needed a few little rocks and they just appeared! So, I have a few more perennials to remove from the area, and then I will have space for the tufa rock and a few choice rock plants. I will probably let the new little area settle until next year. I have room for a few plants in the front little rockeries.
A double light blue Primula. Its just lovely and it is very prolific. I have this one in the little primula bed, some in the woodland and some by the pond. An excellent plant.
Five of the six new little goldfish for the pond. When I put them in the pond, they managed to find each other. The circled the perimeter of the pond in a school. The water fall got them pretty excited.
I seem to be having trouble uploading photos to my blogspot account. more later if I can get this upload to work.
Apparently our blogspot account is associated somehow with Picasca. I have only used 38.71 percent of my space, so this should not be the problem> You are currently using 396 MB (38.71%) of your 1024 MB.<
Posted by Maggie at 4/18/2009 08:49:00 PM
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I have a boquet of daffodils in the house. They are heavenly fragrant. This bunch of daffodils grows in what has become my little rockery. Now that they are finished blooming, I am going to dig them out and move them to the perennial bed next to the garage. I hope I can get all of the bulbs out, intact and spread them around the garden. They are so very fragrant. They compete with the hyacinths for fragrance.
This is another photo that has benefited from the use of a filter that Ken has sent to me to add to my Paintshop Pro photo editor. This one is 'clouds'. It takes a bit of playing to figure out what it does, and it needs to be used on the right photo. This is not actually a forest fire, but a shot of the smoke coming out of a chimney from a house across the street. I cropped out the rooftop. The smoke has been enhanced by using the filter and a few other photo editor adjustments.
This is the deer that was eating apples in my back garden a month or so ago. I had been feeding the apples to the deer in the field across the street from our house. This is the area I call the deer pasture. The deer left my back garden and I managed to get a couple of photos of it in the deer pasture. I converted this one to black and white with a 'filter' that Ken Anderson (a Flickr buddy) sent to me to be added to my Paintshop Pro photo editor. Thanks Ken... this filter is fantastic! My conversions to black and white will be vastly improved.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Licens, mosses, grasses and red rock plants covering these rocks by the shore. I did not want to crawl around on the rocks as this appears to be a fairly fragile ecosytem, easily harmed by careless shoes or dogs.
Some of the picturesque driftwood and rocks with barnacles along the Songhees shoreline.
Another long shot of the painted dragon just a little bit along the walkway from Spinnakers Pub. I believe the little Harbour Ferry docks stops here. That arbutus tree is outstanding!
This is a telephoto view of West Bay Marina; taken from the walkway while shooting for the Victoria Grid Project.
Easter was a quiet day for us, with a duck for our Easter Sunday feast. It was a fine day.
Pat had a delivery of a door prize for the car club to make in the Brentwood Bay area. It was a lovely drive and we stopped at Brentwood Bay Nursery on our way home. This is my favourite nursery but I seldom get out here any more, as my garden is full. Also I get free delivery from Cannor with my membership (also 10% off all plants). Cannor is much closer also. But Brentwood Bay is a real treat to visit. They have many rare and specialty plants. I get alpine plants every year at the Club show and Sale, too, so have not had an urgent need to shop at Brentwood Bay. But, of course, I found a couple of little plants that I could not resist. A cyclamen coum (not really rare - but I could use one or two more of them) and a Daphne x rollsdorfi Wilhelm Schacht which had to come with me. The Daphne tag says: Dark green, thick foliage, dense growing evergreen shrub to 12". Very fragrant purple-pink flowers. A beautiful and choice selection. Zone 6. This time my Daphne is going in a pot, where I can take proper care of it and keep an eye on it. I must research its care, as I have managed to kill a few Daphnes already.
I found a good source of information on growing Daphnes. They need good drainage and yet do not let them dry out.
Just as I had found these two choice plants, the sleet and hail began bucketing down. It really got cold in a matter of minutes. The lady at the nursery was loading wagons with precious plants and getting them under cover in the green houses. This hail/sleet kept up until we were half way home and it turned to rain. We must have been a pocket of cold air. Freaky weather.
My big white phalenopsis is still in bloom. There are African violets in bloom also. Its all clean and looks good. I love my new room and the kitchen. Life is good! We are so very fortunate.
I read quite late last night, so am not very alive today. As well as reading 'Arminius" (which is pretty tough going at times) I am reading Lords of the Bow by Conn Iggulden. Its about Genghis Khan and the invasion of China. This history is not as old as I had thought it was. There is a date of 1211 AD on one of the chapters. It is a very good read. This author has done a Roman series of books as well as more of the Mongols.
I had some very exciting news from Cyrus about his new photo upload/sharing site. Two months, maybe!! I can hardly wait. All of the features and design look just terrific!
Friday, April 10, 2009
Not a flower but a lichen. They are always nice to have in the rock garden, though.
I do not know what this one is, but I believe it is one of our own indigenous rock plants.
These are a familiar site all year. I would like to get some of them growing in the grass strip along the front of my garden, where the crocuses grow. These could be blooming while the crocus leaves ripen to feed the bulbs. I cannot mow this area until the crocuses go dormant. Perhaps a few violets might look nice in here also.
These are a few of the plants found on the rocks and grass along the seawalk through Songhees. I was shooting for the Victoria Grid Project - a Flickr group. It was a very bright and sunny day. Since I was along the waterfront, I used my ND grad. filter to cut down the glare. I love that filter. It does wonders in keeping my photos from just washing out in all the light.
Friday - I felt like I accomplished a few things this day. I made a rhubarb and strawberry pie. Last year's rhubarb that I had frozen, and frozen strawberries. The pie is delicious. Pat rescued it from being incinerated as I had my head buried in my tax forms. Well, that wretched task is finished also. I really wish these tax forms were not so very convoluted. They are getting worse every year, it seems. We now have forms to attach to schedules that attach to the the main form.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
This robin was checking out the strawberry patch. I transplanted about a dozen new little plants last Spring. They might produce this year, but I should keep the fruit production to a minimum while the plants get established.
The colors and simplicity as well as the shadow and light of this photo intrigued me. If it was not a bug, I might print it and hang it in my new yellow kitchen. :-))
The fruit trees are coming into bloom, as well as all the camillias, azalyeas, rhodos, forsythias, winter jasmine and so many others. The streets of the city are beautiful and fragrant. The Spring blooming bulbs are livening up gardens and boulevards. The hum of lawn mowers and the screech of trimmers is much in evidence.
Yesterday was another sunny glorious day. We got a deli sandwich lunch and drove out to the Songhees area to have our picnic. After that I walked, shooting for this months Victoria Grid Project photo group on Flickr. .. more on this later.
Last August I signed up for a composting service that has made my gardening much easier. They drop off a big green compost bin. I add all clippings and tree trimmings to the bin. They pick up all the compostable material and leave me a 20L bag of compost, monthly for a fee of $20.00. During the first few months my bin was full to overflowing, as I loaded all the piles of shrub clippings and tree trimmings that were lying around the garden. The last few months I have had very little in the bin, except for the kitchen compost. I have six bags of compost to use in the reseeding of bits of lawn in my garden, in the vegetable garden and the flower beds. My old compost bin at the back will need to be emptied someday, also.
Monday, April 06, 2009
Yesterday was a lovely day with 16 degree temperatures. In looking around the garden I see things popping up quickly. They seem to be making up for lost time in our cold Spring, this year. The aubretia, arabis, anemones, polyanthus, daffodils, hyacinths, hellebores, camillias, and others are showing quite a lot of color. My little rockeries need attention, but things are not looking too bad. The marsh marigold will soon be a mass of gold and green along the edge of the pond.
The Vancouver Island Rock and Alpine Gardening Society is having their annual show and sale this month. This is an annual event on my calendar, even though I am not an active member in the club. It is a very interesting club. They have field trips, open gardens, workshops, monthly meetings with speakers, a show of plants and sale of plants by the expert growers of the group. Some of the members are Internationally known speakers. This month, I missed the workshop on making styrofoam planters.... and I have a perfect round form just sitting on my deck, waiting to be made into a planter. Now I shall have to research it on the net, I guess.
Rock and Alpine Show and Sale:
Cadboro Bay United Church
2625 Arbutus Road, Victoria, B.C. Canada
Admission by donation.
Friday - April 17th
1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday - April 18th
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
VIRAGS club members' plant sale: 11 a.m.
Specialty nurseries will sell plants during the entire show.
Seeds will be on sale throughout.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Since I discovered that I am an Author of the Gardening category on Metrocascade I will be trying to add some garden content to each of my posts. I don't know how or why they want my blog as an Author, but I am certainly pumped up about it. So, the photo of the Corsican Hellebore. The colors go nicely with the greens in the newly renovated decor of my home.
On Friday David Denis, who is under contract to Home Depot, was in to finish the trim and kick plates. He does very nice work. We have been fortunate in having a few very good workmen to make up for all the hassles of actually getting the products. David also shortened the vertical blinds on the patio door. They were dragging on the newly installed carpet with its underlay. I could not get ahold of Pacific Draperies who did all the draperies. I think they may have gone out of business. Why am I not surprised? I asked him to shorten them 1.5 inches. They look good, but would have been better at 1.25 inches. I have moved my boxers, bells and stones collections to the new cabinet. Its not a great display case, but I like it. All the mess we had sitting around is now behind doors. I love the carpet and the colors. I could have the yellow walls a bit more gold color but its not bad. This yellow is more to the greenish spectrum and goes well with the green in the rest of the house.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
This is the waterfall in my garden pond on March 17. I was fascinated by the bubbles formed by the falling water. The water comes out of its feed hose and falls 10 - 12 inches and runs about the same distance then falls another 12 inches into the pond. As it drops into the pond these bubbles form and travel across the surface. I must try this sometime when my neighbours have the wash out on the line.. I might get better reflections in the bubbles.
I now have carpet in my room. Its an wonderful gold and green color. Looks good with the yellow walls, grey/green patterned vertical blinds (on the patio door) and all the wood. Wally added under lay to the carpet and I now need to have the verticals shortened or raised by apx. 1.5 inches. So annoying. I tried to call Pacific Blinds who did the draperies... seems they are out of business. At least, the phone rings once and then there is a 'hang up' sound. David is to be here on Friday to finish the cabinetry. I will ask him if he will drill a few holes to put the screws in to raise the curtains :)) that 1.5 inches. I have my desk levelled, plants cleaned and ready for another watering tomorrow. I am slowly getting things cleaned and moved to where they will be sitting.
It is April 1 and I am on line... guess the worm is not going to be a problem. I have up dated anti virus and windows. I would feel safer if I was running linex right now.
Last evening I made a couple of soups from scratch. The califlower and broccoli stems we had today tasted pretty good. This cooking takes time. Time I might rather be spending in my kitchen than on my computer. In my kitchen and reading a good book. I am reading 'Arminius - Ceasar to Charlemange - a history of the German people. Its printed using the original pages and is sometimes difficult to read as it was written in 1850 or so, and they did not reset the typing... some of the pages might be missing. We finally found our atlas under the pictures in the guest room, so now I am a bit more familiar with where all these battles between the Romans and the German tribes are taking place. Really quite interesting considering the might of Rome and how it eroded. There are similarities in the erosion of our economy. The Roman people became used to receiving handouts, the army became used to 'ruling' and so the Republic deteriorated. Simplified in a sentence as there was more to it than that over a long time period. But if you look at how spoiled we are compared to ..... oh say ... India, not to mention the 3rd world countries ... you see the imbalance, and how it just cannot work with such inequity