Sunday, September 12, 2010

Flowers in September

This lovely mauve achillia is in bloom along the front garden strip by the street.  We have had about an inch or more of light rain over the paste two weeks and the flowers are responding very well to the moisture.  There are roses, Michaelmas daisies and  Japanese Anemones in bloom, that I have no photos for, but they are a fine addition to the Autumn garden.
The autumn crocus on a background of little perennial geranium leaves.  This particular autumn crocus grows beneath the grape by a rock retaining wall beside the steps that go up to the old sidewalk along beside the back garage.    I have these autumn crocuses in a few places around the garden.  They are a welcome spot of color in Autumn. 
These are new flowers in the front garden.  I hope they survive the winter and bloom again next year.  They are next to a helenium and a lavender plant.  The colors should look good in the Fall blooming period when they all grow and  become established.  This area holds pussy toes and other silver leaved plants with pink flowers plants, as well as a lovely veronica rock plant in blue and some dutch iris, that are in front of one of the rectangular beds in front of the hedge.  The rectangular bed holds peonies, a blue babies breath, and other self seeding plants.  This area needs more water in summer to look good.  When the leaves fall it shall get its leaf mulch for the winter.
This Arctic daisy is slowly expanding in the Sun Dial circle in the front garden.  It has burst into bloom with the recent rainfall.  Its a gorgeous low growing plant with a long blooming period.
  This is the Irish heather that is in front of the ugly water meter area.  Behind the water meter you see another heather in bloom.  These are very good plants with a long bloom period.  They can be pruned and shaped into evergreen mounds when they are not in bloom.    The water meter area is surrounded by cement blocks and now looks really awful.  I hope the blind meter maid is now happy with the mess.  The meter reader needs to be able to find the water meter.  The thing is only 2 ft x 2.5 feet long, with a stone path leading into it.  Why would that be a problem for this idiot????  And we live in the garden city, right?
This hosta is in the back garden, with the rhodoa by the deck steps. 
A lovely scaboisia.  These plants are very reliable and have evergreen foliage.  An excellent garden rockery or perennial plant. 

Pots and things in the back garden in September

These are the marguerites in a pink pot in front of the back garage. In the Spring, this pot holds tulips.. 
The fuschias are in a cedar box on the deck and are looking pretty good now.  I hope I can over-winter them.  I have another one beside the garage that is a perennial, that I hope grows into a small bush.
This is a shot of the dry stream that is in the shade garden under the deck.  The moss and ferns are looking very good in this area.  The moss garden needs to weeded, though. 
These are the stepping stones that lead into the back garden area from the patio area.  The sicilian mint is filling in nicely around the cement stepping stones.  It has a wonderful fragrance when stepped on.  You can see the large leaves of the fig tree and the fine seed heads of the fennel at the top opf the photo.  There are other little rockery plants growing beside the stones. 

 The gaillardia is growing in the strawberry jar that sits in the small rockery beside the vegetable garden at the back.  The stepping stones from above lead to this area in the back garden.  This stone path also branches off to the right to the Japanese garden area and the pond.

Creatures in the garden in September

This squirrel was stripping the nuts off the curley filbert bush (Harry Lauder's walking stick) in my back garden.  This squirrel had the longest tail I have ever seen!  The best shot I managed to get was when the squirrel was in the plum tree.  All the photos of it gathering nuts are blurry because this was a very busy critter and in motion.   See its extremely long tail.  I did not see it with its tail curled over its back.
When I look at my pond from on the deck, there is a spider web between my view of the pond and the deck.  These are a few photos of the spider web and a rather abstract shot of the pond with the fish and the 'orbs' of light.
The European wall lizards seem to be multiplying in the garden and crossing the road, into the park.  I like to see them in the garden.  There are less slugs and other bugs since the little lizards have moved in.
This little bird hit the patio window and fell on the deck.  It sat there, gasping for about half and hour and then disappeared.  I guess it flew away and is ok now.   I think it is a yellow warbler.

Windows in suburban areas seem to be a hazard to many song birds.  I don't know how to avoid this situation for the birds.  So far, I have seen only one dead robin; the rest of them have flown away after a while.   If anyone knows what I should do about this problem please let me know.

The Light garden

The miniature violets that are in bloom in my light garden at the moment.  The regular size African violets are blooming also.  I found these pots for the mini violets in China town, but have not been able to fine any since.
The regular size African violets are doing well, also.  I have no orchids in bloom at the moment.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Panama Hill Park

Yesterday I walked an extra half mile to the Pond in Panama Hill Park.  As the sign says this is an environmentally sensitive area.  The evergreen trees they planted are getting taller and the grasses are filling in around the pond edges.  It has been awhile since I walked here.  The meadows in the park look very nice at this time of the year.   There were very few ducks and I saw only two dragon flies. There is a well used path that goes right along side of the pond, so I cannot see this pond getting very many water birds in it. 
This is the stone path in the front garden now.  The Irish heather looks very good, and the ornamental oregano on the path edge has been performing beautifully for the last month or two, with its lovely delicate pink blossoms. 

This morning I did a bit more work on the cement blocks that I have put around the water meter .. I dug out the plants that were growing up between the blocks and moved them to other areas around the garden.  These plants are tough, and floppy.  They have fuzzy grey green leaves and blue flowers.  They look good when there is a big clump of them.  I shall try to grow them with the montebresias that are a bright red.  We are having a nice soft rain now, and the garden is looking better already for having received some moisture.
I noticed that I now have 3 lilies up in the little rockery in the front garden.  They should be very nice next year.  The path is quite clean and free of weeds.  I would like to get that sicilian mint growing between the stones, now that they are free of clover and other weeds.  The violets are still popping up everywhere and I shall have to keep after them to get rid of them.  With the improvement of the clay soil the violets are much easier to pull out and get the whole root out now.  The moss garden needs weeding.  I managed to get a bit of weeding and deadheading done in the woodland garden and it looks not too bad.  The irises will need more weeding and a mulch of compost added.  Hopefully, they will bloom next year.  When they bloom I should thin them out so I get bigger plants growing.
Last night I made up 3 kinds of soup - cabbage/ham cream soup, borscht and carrot/ginger.  I have some of each for our lunches and one of each frozen for future lunches.  We are no longer buying canned soup, as it is just too salty.  Most of my soups are made with chicken stock.  I made up some fish stock a few days ago and did up a big pot of seafood chowder with it.  We have about 3 meals of that frozen.  So, I now have a good supply of frozen soups and a few other things I can just take out of the freezer and heat for a good meal. 

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The deer pasture

In the block across the street from us, the Colquitz River and the high density power lines create a Park area that is rather wild but belongs to B.C. Hydro and Sannich parks.    When I was returning from my walk yesterday this doe was in the area I call the deer pasture.  This is directly across the street from my house.  Finally, the deer are back. I have not seen a deer here for a long time. The black berries are almost ready and are being picked over by people.  One of the neighbors has been taking his dog here and not cleaning up after it.  He has since stopped this ill conceived practice.   We did not talk to him or mention it to Saanich Parks people.  Another neighbor may have done this, as I don't see the dog stinking up the place any longer.  Maybe that is why the deer are back!  The deer do not eat my plants, at all, so I love to see them.  My apple tree is loaded with apples and I think the deer may be getting some of them later this winter.  I take them across the street and drop them off... a few dozen a day and they disappear. 
A couple of days ago, when returning from my walk, I noticed a couple of people on bicycles with backpacks.  They were not riding, but standing still when I came out of the trees along the trail.  Next to them was a feral rabbit, the kind that are over-running the University grounds and are being 'taken to a good home on the farm' .  There are protests, of all silly things, about the rabbit population being controlled.  They are totally destroying the grounds at the University!  Now, its seems these bunny huggers have dropped off a breeder in our area.  We have the indigenous little brown bunnies.  I do NOT want to see these feral rabbits take over the habitat of the brown bunnies.  We also have Eagles in our park, so hopefully the feral rabbits will be controlled by the eagles.  They should be easy pickin'.

Friday, September 03, 2010

A new season

These blue perennial geraniums are very good garden plants.  The one with the felt-like textured dark green leaves has found its way into a few spots around the garden.  It is not invasive, I moved transplants of it to available spots.  There are some other, tougher perennial geraniums growing in the strip along beside the driveway.  Very good plants for beneath the cedar hedge.  They never need watering and fussing over.
The malva are good perennial plants that I think are in the hollyhock family.  You can see that the leaves get rust like the hollyhocks in my garden do.  They seed themselves around a bit and I don't mind seeing them come up where ever they may be.  Last year I planted a lavatera that has flowers like the malvas. It gets quite big, like a bush and will be covered with the pink flowers.  It needed water this year to get established.  Hopefully I will have pictures of it in bloom, next year.  It is deciduous, so adds nothing to the garden in wintertime.
This is the fleeting flower of the unknown plant with the blue-green thin leaves and seed heads that the finches like.  This is plant seeds its self everywhere.  I have to keep after it to keep ahead of all the seedlings growing everywhere.  It does not seem to spread across the road into the park though. 
I managed to get a photo of one of the little European wall lizards.  They are usually too fast to catch and disappear in a flash.  Upon examination of the photo of this one, I find that the lizard is molting and so that is why it could not run away.  These little creatures are great in the garden.  I am sure they eat bugs of all kinds.  I still see lady bugs in the garden, so they are not eating them.
These photos are from July.  August has gone zipping past, with just the bare minimum of maintenance in the garden this year.  We had a good half inch of rain a few days ago.  The Autumn rains are starting, hopefully.
We had no yellow plums this year because the blooms froze.  There does not seem to be any purple plums either.  The apple tree, though, is loaded with apples.  One of the branches is leaning way over and touching the ground.  My vegetable garden was a bust, again.
On the other hand, our new photo upload /networking site is growing steadily.  Our alexa ranking will be breaking the 100,000 mark soon.  In this ranking system, the lower the number, the better the rank.  I have added Google ads to my communities, on the site.  I set up Adsense for google ads on my blog and can ad the ads to my communities on  This is my referral code.  You can use it to see the site and register. You can see the ads and the communities I have built on the site:  In the Garden, The Honest Fox, Whimsies, Flares and Echoes, Playtime, and Abstract Art.  The ads are text ads and unobstrusive.  I actually like their appearance. I set up my adsense account on August 10th.  Since then I have actually earned $50.00.  It was interesting learning how to do this, and actually user friendly and easy to do.  I have trouble not clicking on my own ads, which is a definite no-no. Of course, the ads are gardening oriented and in my own area.    I suppose I could take URLs on the ad and put them into my browser to look at the advertising sites.  That would not be clicking on my own ads!  I will need some chipped rock for my woodland path.  The delivery charges for the bit of stuff I need are expensive.  I don't have a truck to haul dirt or rocks.   I would like to compare the delivery prices on some of the ads I see.  Well, I guess I will need to use Google's search.  It works very well too.