Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gardening in July

This is a photo of the white water lily that was in bloom in mid-June, just before we left on our 15 day camping trip.  We returned on July 8th to some very hot weather.  We have had hot weather since then with a few moderate days.  Yesterday I was to Cannor nursery and picked up 7 new perennials and 2 little comet goldfish.  The goldfish went into the half barrel tub.  The dragon flies did not seem to find the tub, and so there were mosquitoes.  I could not catch one of the little fish from the pond, so had to buy them.  While feeding the fish today, I see that all 6 of the big gold fish from 2 years ago, are surviving.    Two days ago a neighbor's dog had been in the pond and the waterfall slowed down to a trickle.  So, yesterday I cleaned the filter on the pump and now its running good again.   I have started to water after supper, by hand at the front and the sprinkler on the veggie garden at the back.  The potoatoes are a dead loss.  Not enough water.  The dill is about 5 inches high, but growing with the recent watering.

Today I transplanted the new perennials.  4 at the front by the plum tree.  I had the hose turned on to soak the new transplants, while I dug out the rest of the clump of lemon balm.  I still have some by the plum tree to remove, and more of the creeping little green thing, that gets into everything.  I put the delphinium, a pink daisy, and an anemone in front of the hedge by the bamboo.  Watered them in good and watered a bit around the rest of the front.  Got some dead heading done.  Things are not looking too bad considering we have had no rain and hot temperatures and the watering restrictions are a total pain.

I have no good photos from July, and it will soon be August.  The lacecap hydrangea responds wonderfully to watering and is looking very nice.  The big gold achillea has been in bloom for weeks and looks ok too.  The lily of the nile is in bloom and the campanulas of all kinds.  The dahlias that I put into tall black pots are blooming.  Not a great show, but they are improving with the watering too.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Around town

a couple of days ago, we took a lunch out to Beaver Lake in the Dodge Lodge and then walked part way around the lake and back, in search of the elusive Western Painted Turtles.  Benjamin Madison found one at Swan Lake earlier this year and posted it to his blog.  Now, I must find one!  This is an Island in Beaver Lake.
 As we sat out on the deck at Seahorses Cafe by the Brentwood Bay ferry dock, I could see this heron in the shallows, fishing.  The bird seemed to have a wound on its upper wing and so it did not fly away.  It may have become used to people pointing cameras at it. 
I have been getting a few things done around the house today.  I made a pot of soup with one of my jars of chicken stock and vegetables, and now have 2 jars ready for serving. 
We have a Food and Drink community on,  with an assignment running in that community.  I never thought to shoot my soup for it though.
I understand we have water restrictions in town!  Good grief that is so silly, with all the water we have had and now we can't water unless its in the dead of night.  These 'rules' are made by bureaucrats from the CRD who are not even elected officials.  I know NOT where they get the authorization to make these laws and enforce them.  Apparently, a lawyer was caught out watering his new lawn, by hand -- no less, outside of the time limits for watering.  He is taking this question to court for judgement!  This should bring the matter into the public view, and get some of these questions that I am sure we all have, answered.  I hope the press get on this and make a very big deal about it!  From coffee clatch scuttlebutt, I understand that we have been using so little water that the city had to raise the water rates for us to use the utility.  Now I sure would like to know if this is really true, too.  I hope this comes out in the trial of the lawyer doing his dire criminal act of watering his new lawn.  My garden is drying up because I don't dare go out and water and I cannot see to connect sprinklers, etc. in the dead of night! 
My garden needs watering and weeding and dead heading.  We have had lovely weather and I should be out there. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Green Festival at Glendale Gardens

On Sunday I spent a few hours at Glendale Gardens, in the afternoon.  Its was very hot with bright sun, so the time for photography was less than opportune.   The Green Festival was on, with a few kiosks to advertise alternate energy, and local foods, hemp clothing, and numerous other current eco friendly things.  I talked to a people at a booth with pictures of our western painted turtles and they said I might find some at Beaver Lake.  So, today, we will go out there in the camper van for lunch and to search for turtles.  I must look at the Victoria Daily blog ... I think he found some of these turtles and posted to his blog a few weeks ago.
Yesterday, I spent a few hours watering the garden by hand and looking over the plants.  When I was out at Glendale Gardens I was taking pictures and observing some of the paths, especially the woodland ones.  In my woodland the tall plants are looking pretty good...wild, but I like them.  The lace cap hydrangea  looks really good after it got a bit of water.  There are weeds, but not too bad.  The corsican mint is filling in beautifully around the round stepping stones in the back.  I shall need more delephiniums and maybe a veronica or two.  The lavatera is full of blooms. 
Megashot is getting very very busy!  We have a new Food and Drink community that should be a lot of fun.  Come join us.  Free accounts right now.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Home from our camping trip to Saskatchewan

On Thursday the 8th, late afternoon, we got back from our trip to Saskatchewan for Fran's 90th birthday, the Dierkers 50th wedding anniversary, and the 100th anniversary of St. Patrick's Parish in Cupar.  Saskatchewan is having some horrible weather.  Sheets of rain bucketing down, hail the size of golf balls, a tornado and when the sun came out it was blistering hot.  Add mosquitoes to this mix and it did not make for a great visit.  Nevertheless, it was good to see everyone. 
On our way out we the Alberta Icefields highway with many photo opportunity stops.  We stopped at the Columbia Icefields center and took the Ice Bus out onto the Athabasca Glacier.  Very nice part of the trip!  We stopped at the Athabasca Falls and other ones, too.  More photos later, if I get time.  On the way home we stopped at the Bridal Veil Falls in B.C.  There is also a Bridal Veil Falls in Alberta.
I managed to get the laundry done, and the house plants watered, on Friday.  The Pixie miniature cattalyea orchid has 3 blooms.
Saturday, I spent about 3 hours out in the garden.  Have the bits of grass mowed.  I clipped back the St.John's and Virginia creeper along the driveway... both sides.  I clipped down some of the plants that have bloomed along here also.   I then swept the mess of the driveways and put this all into my big green compost bin.  I also clipped off some of the holly tree so that it is not hanging over my perennials.  I will need to do more of this dead heading soon to get things looking good.   I put the sprinkler on the back veggie garden and apple tree area for a while and then moved it to the front later.  The grass strip at the front along the street is dry, so I imagine the purple plum tree there, needs more water.  Before we left on our trip I began digging over the area around the plum tree and have about half of it done.  I am going to remove all the lemon balm as it is very invasive.  It smells nice and is nice and freshly green color, though.  The potatoes and tomatoes in the veggie garden look rather sad and dry.  Hope this water got to them in time.  We are having a heat wave and it has got to be the worst time to be out gardening.   The little rockery plants at the front and back seem to have survived.  The only loss I have noticed so far is the little erodium in the sun dial circle.  I really like this plant and will keep getting them, until I manage to get a nice patch of them growing.  The montebresia, roses, achillia, lavatera, campanulas, daylilies, the lace cap hydrangea, and a few other plants are in bloom.  The water iris bloomed while we were away and with my watering it seems to have become damaged and all the lovely blooms are looking poorly.  Or, maybe it is just finished blooming. 
I spent quite a bit of time on Megashot, catching up on all the new things that have been done while I was away.  The Flower contest is over and the Nature photos contest is in full swing.  Lots of new members and lots of good participation in the Contests.