Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gardening in February on the Left Coast

The Spring Bulbs are looking very good.  It is so early.  The snowdrops, crocus, daffodils, hellebores, and camillias are all out in my garden.  Around town there are rhodos and azalias out too.  The flower count is going to be amazing this year.    
I managed to get the firethorn debris chopped up and put into the green bin.  The guys will be around tomorrow to do the pick up and leave the bag of compost.  The firethorn is taken down to about 10 feet with some large cut stems showing.  Hopefully, this will all fill in with new growth in a few years.  I hope I can keep it trimmed to size.  I can just reach the top with my long handled pruners now.   The holly tree is growing up in the same area to screen the view from the neighbors front window.  

The pond seems to have a slow leak.  I have the water fall turned off, and am letting the water drain from this slow leak, until it stops.  I will then know at what level the hole occurs.   Once the water level stops dropping, I will top it up again slightly, pour a cup of milk on the surface... around the edges but not right at the edge.  The leakage should draw the milk out and I should be able to see where the hole might be.   If I can find the tiny hole, I can patch it.  If I cannot find it, I will drop another liner inside the existing one and redo the edges while I am at it.    Maybe I could get a plastic waterfall tub at the same time and get my waterfall looking better.  I would be able to add the mossy rocks I have now, as well as any sedums and grasses.   All of this to do after our trip. ... maybe.  If I do not get to it this year, I will just keep topping up the pond every few days.    The fish were on the surface today.  A couple of them are growing bigger and I know there are numerous babies in the pond that are still black.

I was dreading pruning back the firethorn and it was not all that bad of a chore.  So, the pond, will be much the same.  Easy enough, once I get at it.  Last year I managed to get quite a bit done, after having let things get a bit wild.  

The woodland is full of  bluebells.  They look nice but they just take over everything.  Very invasive.  I might have to use chemical control on them soon.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Garden in February

The Anna's hummingbirds have over wintered.   They seem to have survived.
The view of the drystream meandering under the deck.  The moss is luxuriant under the steps and up to outter post that holds up the deck.  The rest of the moss garden needs more encouragement.  It is coming along nicely, considering I just started it last summer.    This is a view of the water garden from deck.  Photos from the 15 of February.

Today when I went to throw fish food over the deck railing into the pond I was dismayed to see that the pond was about one quarter empty.  I had just topped it up two days ago.  So, this required immediate action to rectify the situation.  Some of the stones from under the little Lebanon cedar had slid into the pond.  They were on the pot ledge, so I could reach them and drag them out.  I examined the area around the pond and found no other damage.  I can only assume that the water fall was running too  fast and I was losing water out the side of it.  Either that or there was a great pink elephant drinking and I missed it!  I cleaned the filter on the pump and reset it to run at a lower feed of water to the fall.  And topped up the pond again.  I shut off the pump to the waterfall.  If I lose water again, I will have to consider that I have a serious pond leak in the pond.  I have no idea what I would do if that is the case.  Perhaps get the pond done professionally.  Later in the afternoon I went out to see if the water level had changed.  The water level seemed to be topped up.  AND.. I saw the fish... I could count at least 6 of them.  So, if there was a creature in the pond, it had not been after the fish.  I have some black plastic pipe where the fish can hide from predators, too.  My fish are very wary and do not even come up to feed.

I have most of my clothes ready to pack for our trip.  I need to have the legs of one pair of pants  shortened.  Tomorrow I shop again.  I would like to get a couple or three blouse tops and some very comfy black pants for traveling.  

James and Bruce have finished the restoration of Pat's 1912 Ford Torpedo Roadster.  It looks great.  I hope to get photos of it tomorrow, or soon, too.  They say it will be slower than the Speedster, but it has a roof, doors and glory be! a windshield.  Not nearly as wild as the Speedster but far more comfortable!  Excitement abounds at our house!

Cyrus has got Megashot moved to the new cloud servers.  They are having a few little delays in sorting it all out but today it was great, fast and more and more people joining and building their pages.  No new communities yet.  We are over 100 registered now.  It is going to mushroom, fast.  People seem very impressed with the quality of photography and photo art on the site and are very protective of the site.  We have soooo many great features... not all totally finished yet... but they are in the works.  One that really rocks is the ability to make a slideshow with music on our profile presentation.  In fact, when they are finished building this feature, we will be able to make up to 20 of these slideshows, and save each of them in a playlist.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The garden in February

The crocuses of all kinds are putting on a show in the garden now.  We have had a few warm, sunny days.

Harry Lauder's Walking Stick  showing its catkins.  Its a lovely little tree at this time of the year.  Its curly branches can be seen holding the long catkins of gold.
closer view of the catkins on the Filbert - Corylus avellana 'contorta'
I took quite a few photos of the paths for future reference.  I am also considering making an album on my old web page under gardening.. a page for each year, once I get the monthly albums finished..  This is the finished rock path that goes through the inner garden at the front of the house.

This is the view of the woodland path (old mossy sidewalk) that goes from the side of the garage or from the grassy area under the apple tree; into the woodland and around the  garage on the bark chip trail.

Along the right side of this photo you see the leaves of the firethorn.  This bush has become large and unshapely.  This afternoon, I spent a couple of hours trimming it down to manageable height and width.  I have taken it down with a bow saw and a long handled pruner.  I have most of the branches cut up and put into the compost bin.  I just ran out of energy before I finished the job.  

I went out to feed the fish.  I throw fish food into the pond from the deck.  While doing this after lunch today, I noticed a few dandilions in the  pond area.  So, I went down to dig them out.  I also topped up the pond and cleaned up some of the leaves and debris off the little dry stream.  The moss garden along the dry stream is looking really quite nice, especially under the deck.

After I finished cleaning in the pond area, I decided to get on with the clean up of the firethorn... out there in my sandals, no goggles, no gloves.  I managed to get most of the job done with only a few thorn pricks in my fingers and some sore muscles.   All this took me about 3 hours.  It was about 13 degrees and a fine sunny day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

White Phalenopsis

The $12 orchid that I got at the grocery store is in bloom again.  It has five big blossoms on the spray.  The yellow phal. with pink center is just finishing up.  
I am reading Stephen King's new release of his old book The Stand.   This book now has 1000 plus pages in paperback.  Since all my creativity has left me for the moment. . . I shall go enjoy someone else's work.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Front Garden over view

This is an over view of the front "inner" garden bones.  I am shooting through the living room window and so have some glare.  In the summer when the leaves are out on the liquid amber tree I see nothing but lucious green leaves.  The design of the garden appears roughly heart shaped.  If I go downstairs and look out the front window I get a view of the roses and plants.  In the summer the tree lends shade and makes the house much cooler.  In the winter we have the sun.  

I will be finished the Garden Paths and Art album on my page soon and will be linking this photo as I did not include it in the album. 

Yesterday we went out to Sidney to get our tickets for our next trip.  We had lunch at the Fish on Fifth street cafe.  Funky little place and good seafood.  We went to see Maria after lunch and got the tickets.  This is going to be a marvelous trip to the Galapagos and to Machu Pichu.  We have a booklet to read that has information about all aspects of the trip.  We have our travel shots and medications arranged for, except for a trip to the Royal Jubilee for me, for a phobotomy.  Dr. C., says I should have my blood in the best condition we can manage for the trip. 

They are getting more things finished on the new site.  Its looking really good..  Come have a look around.. its a huge, fun site.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

B. C. Rail scandal

No pictures ... no notes... just a hot link to BC MARY's blog:


A photo from a few days ago, with good bright light.  The ruins of Victoria.  

The reflections were amusing, despite the dull gray sky, today.

I took this and when I got home I found that it fit perfectly into Lotus' Flickr group for the Challenge of this week - transportation in Victoria.

I found this view and a few others on Hearld Street.  I won't be putting them all on my blog, though.  They, might, someday find their way into my old web page, under my town.  I have a few sets on Flickr with this page in mind.  This could be views from Hearld street.  
I went downtown with Pat this morning and wandered around a couple of blocks taking photos while he was at his meeting.  We then went to the Travel Doctors at Gateway Village to see what immunizations we might need for our trip.  We each got to shots, and other advice about what kind of medications to get for any potential problems.  Tomorrow we go see Dr. Donna and see if these medications are in line with her advice about what I might need to take as percautions for altitude sickness or anything else.  We went for lunch at the Lemon Grass cafe and had Vietnamese soups.  Just ok.  

Its been rainy and coolish so I have been on my computer quite a bit lately.  I am slowly getting the Garden Paths and Art album finished.  This is for the Gardening page of my old web site.  

I noticed that the buttons I  created for my web page, my blog, my you tube and my megashot do not all work with Chrome browser.  I have no idea why and spent far too much time trying to figure it out yesterday. is getting more stable on the new servers and Cyrus is getting more stuff finished...  Come have a look around... be prepared to spend some time at it, as it is a huge portal.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Early Spring flowers

The rabbits were gone the day after I had been shooting them!  :-)  I had to say it!   This is a zoomed shot of one of the bunnies sitting under the cedar tree.

One of the yellow croci with the background burned a bit.

close up of the red hellebore.  The flowers seldom show their tops but are always bowed down.

The white hellebore, close up.  The white ones show up far better than the red ones.
Today is a grey day..  I have not been walking or gardening for a couple of days. 

We were out to lunch at the Sour Pickle Cafe.  Cute little place with daily homemade soup.  Was delicious.  So now we have another place on our list of good lunch spots. the new site is looking terrific.  Our photos really look good there.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Rabbits in the Garden, favicons

 Yesterday, I saw one of these rabbits in my garden, chowing down on one of my little shrubs.  I was amused by this rabbit hanging out with the cement rabbit.  Today, there were 2 rabbits!  OMG  they are multiplying!

I made another foccaccia bread today.  It was a tossup as to who got to the rosemary first... the rabbit or me.  Seriously, I don't know what I am going to do about this.  These cute rodents can be quite destructive in a garden.   I might need to get a trap, and see that they go to a happy home somewhere where the eagles roam.  People are so irresponsible with their pets!!  I would hate to have to throw the cement rabbit at them.

Yesterday I decided to make a favicon (the name supplied by Cyrus)  Its the tiny picture of a website that appears in your URL window or location bar.    So, I googled how to make this... followed instructions... and finally got one added to my old web site.  See the side panel for a link.  I now have the free program for changing bmp to ico files.  That program does some other interesting things, too.  So, I am happy to have it, rather than just another photoshop plugin.   oh man, I need several lives to do the things I want to do.  But check out my new favicon!        This little favicon works on all the pages!  Fun!   Otherwise, I am still working on getting the Garden Paths and Garden Art album finished.  Its coming along.  Further to that, I have made a button for my page which you can see in the side panel, also.  

Besides the rabbits in the garden I have hellebores, yellow and light blue crocus, snowdrops, jasmine in bloom.   Photos to follow.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Ogden Point, Gardening,


On Sunday we walked from Ogden point, Pier A and B along the waterfront up to the pond and back.  In all about 2 miles.  The photo of the boat is a rusting old hulk called the Ocean Lady.  It arrived in our waters with a few Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka.  I believe we have them all in Canada now.  I have not followed the story.
The next photo is the painted side of a pier that goes out quite a long way into the ocean.  There were scuba divers, an ocean otter, a helicopter landing,  a guitar player, and many more things happening along our walk.  I was using an ND filter on my camera and it worked well to get the water and sky colors. There were some great clouds and bits of sun.

The last photo is the greeting photo on The Honest Fox community, along with part of the front page of   We are just in the process of moving the site to the new servers. It is soooo exciting.  Hopefully, we will be able to invite people soon.  But it is still in Beta.    It is the best place to spend time.  No eyeball searing white glare.  Unless, of course, you want that, then you may customize it on your page.  :-)

Yesterday I got some work done on a photo album for my old web page.  As soon as I am finished the album I will link it here.  It is garden paths and art.  I seem to be getting quite a few hits on my garden path posts on this blog, so I hope it might be of interest.  I make my photo albums with adobe photoshop and have many fiddly changes to make the album appear the way I want it to look.  If ever I get the gardening page albums done, I want to do an annual album of the garden for each year.  Things change over time... new beds, new plants, etc.

Today I spent about 3 hours in the garden and have the sore muscles to prove it.  I got quite a bit of spring cleaning done.  I raked the leaves off the back grass.  I put down grass seed on all the back and front grass paths.  Then I put down top dressing of compost on all the grass areas.  I used up 5 bags of compost and a bit of sand.   I clipped back the jackamani clematis, the simplicity rose, the minature rose at the back, and the Iceberg rose by the front door.   This does not take long to do, when I have the garden cleaning kept up to date.  Some of the perennials were cleaned up and a couple of the heathers, also.   I should get an overview photo of the front before the leaves fill out and the 'bones' of the garden disappear.