Thursday, August 19, 2010

Gardening in Summer

The thyme circle in bloom on July 21, 2010
The little rockery in the front garden on July 21, 2010.  You see the white perennial snapdragon beside the iberis in the front.  The snapdragon is an excellent little rockery plant.  The blue poppy just behind them has died.  No idea why. This area has had some attention this year and should be looking good next year.   There is an orange lily that was given to me and there is another lily that is just now coming up.  It is an oriental lily and should be taller and fragrant.  I have a daphne that is going to become a small shrub over time, and fragrant too.  It is new this year from the Rock and Alpine show and sale.  I am happy to say it is doing fine, now too.  The smaller daphne on the back garden rockery is in bloom now.  It is going to be another good rock garden plant.
This is a close up of the holes that some little wasps are building in between the stones of the stone path.  There do not seem to be as many of them now.  I have been seeing little wall lizards around the back and the front garden.  There has been garden snakes across the street in the wild park.  Hopefully they will migrate into my garden.
The last two photos are also from July 21st.  They are the decorative seed heads from the pasque flower and from the unknown plant that seeds itself every where.  I think I will call it the lovely nuisance.  I think it arrived in the bird seed, as I have seen finches feeding on the seeds.

This morning I watered around the front a bit.  I moved some of the Lady's mantle to a few new spots.  Its a very hardy plant.  It was growing over the path to the water meter.  I now have the path cleared, and some cement blocks and  flat stones put in place for the water meter reader, who seems to be quite helpless and blind.  This spot is ugly, but I am becoming accustomed to it.  I think my best heather did not survive  the move.  It looks like its dying.  I watered at the back a bit and did a bit of deadheading and topped up the pond.  The apple tree is loaded with fruit and is leaning way over.  There are no gold plums, as the late frost killed the blooms.    On Monday, I walked from the mall and brought home an erodium and another little rockery plant for the front garden.  I think our heat wave is over now, so I should be able to put them out in the ground now.  We have had some very hot days but today is cooler and cloudy.  Hoping for rain.

We went for lunch to the Gorge Vale golf course and we were to Matticks Farm at that golf course this week.  I had a spinach salad both places, both very good.
On Tuesday I found I had won $1000.00 on the extra of a lottery ticket.  We now have to go out to the casino to collect any winnings over $200.00.  If you win over $9,999.99 you must go to Richmond to collect.  We got out to the casino and found that I needed picture ID, which I did not have, to cash this winning ticket.  The whole process was extremely annoying.  I missed seeing this winning ticket on the lottery website.  This website is also a very annoying set up.
Last nite I set up a new 'Abstracts" community on Megashot.  It seems to be well attended for a new community.  My Adsense Ads  are not going to make me rich!  I have earned about $27.00 so far.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I made a very delicious dish from Quinoa today. Then I went out to the garden and found a few flowers for a boquet.  I set them uip and took a shot for the Still Life with flowers community on Megashot.  It also works in the Food and Drink community. 
We have had two very hot days and are due for a few more before it cools off again.  There are not many flowers in the garden.  I watered a lot last nite at the front and the night before at the back.  It is already looking dry again.  Hopefully some of the little transplants will survive.  
I have added custom channels to my Google Adsense and put them on my communities .  Whimsies, Flares and Echoes, and Playtime The honest fox has just an URL channel with the same ad unit code that is on this blog.  I will do one for the community In the Garden tomorrow, perhaps.

How to cook Quinoa: 
 1. For every one cup of quinoa, bring two cups of water to a boil (just like rice). If you prefer a more al dente texture, then use just 1.5 cups of water.
       2. Cover when boiling and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the germ separates from the seed. The cooked germ looks like a tiny curl (see photograph above comparing cooked quinoa (right side) to uncooked quinoa (left side)).
       3. Let stand for about 3 minutes to become fully fluffy.

In the food processor I finely chopped a half a bell pepper, a half a big onion, a celery stick and pan fried them lightly in butter.  I added this and a tomato processed in the machine, as well as about a quarter teaspoon of mild curry powder, to the quinoa.  We had about one third of this mix with our dinner. It is delicious.  I have some frozen for a quick addition to a meal some time and have another third of the mix to have another night soon for our dinner. 

It was so very hot today.  My computer temperature got up to 43 degrees celcius, so I shut it down.  It was about 33 degrees outside.   There is a forest fire on the Island but they seem to have it under control.  They are, of course, worried about more fires as everything is very very dry. 

There is a boat load of about 500 people who have been 'escorted' into the Esquimalt harbor.  These people are Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka.  The authorities will be holding them all until they are processed  as to health issues, political issues and whatever else they need to do.  The authorities are looking for the people smugglers and terrorists.  This is not the first boat load of these people we have had, and it probably will not be the last.  Canada is a big country and we have lots of space.  But how can we be expected to support all the world's over grown populations without destroying this country?  The world  needs our forests and our agricultural land.  We do not need more breeders.  But this is the way the world is going to go into a slow decline. It has started already.  Wait until we begin to see the water wars!  I hope to be long gone before it gets to that point.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gardening in Summer

This photo shows the little campanula on the little rockery by the vegetable garden. 
All the photos from last post and this one are from July 21st.
These are the white foxgloves growing under the plum tree in the Japanese Garden area.  They were not peloric this year!
This is a view down the old sidewalk behind the garage in the woodland garden.
This is the chip trail along the side of the garage and is part of the woodland garden.

Since these photos were taken approximately a month ago the garden has under gone some very dry and hot temperatures.  Most of the perennials are finished and need dead heading.  The new transplants are doing ok, but not great.   Everything needs more water. 

We had about half an inch of rain last week, but it seems to have not had much of an affect on our very dry conditions.  I am watering with the sprinkler on the vegetable garden.  Nothing in the woodland.  I topped up the pond and it over-flowed into the moss garden.  The moss garden needs weeding as does the front garden. 

I am trying to come up with a good design for the little area by the water meter, but it mostly just looks ugly.

My Adsense account is approved.  I await my PIN and the tracking of my bank account for payment by electronic transfer.  I set up a new custom channel for Playtime which is a community I have made on Megashot   My custom channel from Playtime does not report earnings on the blog monitize tab, but I guess that makes sense, because the Playtime is a new code and new channel.  It does report on my adsense account.

Megashot is growing like crazy and is getting more and more busy.  There are so many things to do.  The new critique forum is doing very well.  Explore and the contests are very active, too.   Our contest for this month with prizes is in 'Mixed Categories", so anything goes!  Come join us!  Its fun.

Today, we sold the 1915 Model T Speedster.  There are years of memories attached to that antique car.  But it is good to have the 1912 Model T Torpedo Roaster to take its place.  The 1912 Torpedo Roadster has a top, a windscreen and doors!  imagine!  The Speedster has gone to a good home. We hope to see it out  at events, as the guy who bought it is a member of the Vancouver Chapter of the VCCC.  I hope he finds the Can-Am and the Malahat Challenge events, too.  The Can-Am is in the US this year, but we regret we cannot make it.  The Malahat Challenge is out of the Victoria Chapter of the VCCC this year and we hope to be part of that with the new old 1912 Torpedo Roadster; all happening in September.  September will be here before we know!!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Gardening in Summer

These are the little creeping campanulas that I have planted along the edge of the pond hoping that they will grow over the rock 'necklace' in this area.  They are probably 'carpactica'.
This is a few tall campanulas in the front rectangle bed by Parmar's driveway with the cedar hedge behind, the plum tree over top, and the small honeysuckle pilea hedge in front of them.  I have been cleaning the lemon balm out of the area in front of the little hedge and have now transplanted a couple of heleniums, a galardia and an agastache in there, just behind the lavender. The red current bush, some pussy toes (antennaria) and rose campion (lychnis) are also growing in the front of the little hedge by the plum tree. Both of these plants have silver fuzzy leaves and magenta flowers.  pussy toes are low growing and the rose campion is taller ... a nice combination. In the spring there are some very nice dutch iris here.  These plants should be 'butterfly' plants.  This rectangle area has peonies that are not doing well, a few montebretias, the limonium (sea lavender), self seeding malvas and the glustered bell flower (campanula glomerata), and the talll ones with wider flat bell flowers. I also have a day lily in this triangle. 
This is the clustered bell flower and the other tall one that grow in the triangle in the front street side of the hedge bed.
 This is a lovely little rock plant that I have had for years.  It is evergreen and has huge flat bell flowers.  It has a very long tap root, but I have moved it a couple of times and it still thrives.  I have added this piece of it to the little rockery by the vegetable garden and it is doing great.  I have another piece growing near the deck by the primula bed.  I have lost the name of it.  I should pot up a piece of it for the rock and alpine show and sale.. one year.
This is a closer shot of the tall bell flower.  I have more tall ones at the back, but their blooms are more narrow and definitely bell shaped.  No photos of them.  I think they are persicifolia.  2 days ago I cut back these campanuals as they had finished blooming..  They make a nice show in the bed  along the old sidewalk in the back garden..
Two days ago I received my water bill with a note on it to cut back the foliage around the water meter.  I was extremely annoyed.  This ugly water meter is in the front garden.  I have heathers growing around it.   The perennial bachelor buttons had spread all around it and were flopping over it.  I guess the meter reader does not know that they can set the top of the ugly cement box on these plants.  The heather are in bloom just now, so I did not have them cut back.  So, I went out and gardened for 4 hours.  I got my best heather moved closer to the little rock path.  I doubt if it will survive.  I did a lot of dead heading of perennials in the front and at the back.  I moved some of the Michaelmas daisies from the meter area to the back border under the holly tree.  I doubt if they will survive either.  I have been thinking about turning this area into a little gravel garden, leaving the two heathers in place and the birds nest spruce in place also.  I already have a little stone path into the meter but it has violets growing in it.  I guess the meter maid did not realize it could walk on these invasive plants.  I have rock roses and iberis and wall flowers between the little rock path and the driveway.  A heavy mulch of gravel might look good here.  There are many crocuses in the area that could be thinned out. I could dig out the path and the violets and reset the stones in a better formation around the meter box.  I might even have room  for one of my cement colored plastic planters.  So, maybe this is not such a big disaster.  I can always get a new heather of the one that I moved if it dies.  It is my favourite heather with golden foliage and mauve blooms.

Yesterday we had about half an inch of rain which is great for the garden.  I had watered around a bit the day before when I was transplanting things.
 I am waiting for my Google account to be approved and then I can start up the ads.  Hope it happens soon.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Google Ads

On July 31 we took a McDonald's ceasar salad with chicken, each, out to Swan Lake for our lunch.  These salads were not exactly diet salads, but I ate all of mine anyway.  Bacon, crispy chicken, fat dressing.. it was yummy.  So, my weight loss has reached a slight plateau but have not gained anymore either.
We did not find any turtles at Swan Lake, except the one that they have in the Nature house in an aquarium.  They claim to have them at the lake though.
I have made borscht using the chicken stock for base and have 2 jars ready for heating and eating.  Yesterday I made a casserole with Quinoa and many other vegetables in it.  I have two dinners of this frozen for use in a pinch or camping.  I really liked it.
I spent most of this day reading about google ads.  I signed up for an Adsense account.  I will now wait for the Google bot to crawl my account and then I confirm my account when I hear back from them.  Once I have my adsense account I can go ahead and set up the ads on this blog.  Wow, I might even make ten cents a day if I am lucky.  I think I can change the way the ads appear at any time, so will experiment with the formatting.  Lots to learn about it yet.  I agreed to not click on my own ads.  Well, how can I see how they look, if I don't click them?  I was thinking of putting on just link ads, but maybe if I can do it I will add the Skyrocket picture ones down the left side.  I might have room along there.    I will be checking the account to see if they are effective every minute, no doubt.  :-))

We have quite a lot of new members on Megashot recently!  I wonder if its due to the Contests.  On August 1st we started the new 'mixed categories' contest

We have had a couple of cooler days.  The sky seems to be covered in a haze. They say its due to the smoke from the forest fires.