Monday, June 20, 2011

Model T days

I like this shot of my best Dutch iris that is on the little rockery in the front garden.

Yesterday we were up early and over to the meeting spot for the model T Fords rally.  There was a good turn out of 15 cars.  While having coffee and doughnuts and visiting; Dennis mentioned to me that we are going to need a closed trailer to take our car to Pincher Creek.  Pat got seriously considering this idea.  He did some asking and phoning around.  By 5:00 o'clock he had purchased one at Duncan.  Our bank account will survive the hit.;  It is a great relief to me that we now have a covered trailer.  As Dennis said, we have a fairly big investment in our 1912 Torpedo Roadster Model T Ford.  Pat has it running beautifully with help from James.  It is looking great.  The rally was fun this year.  We had 4 checkpoints, that took us downtown.
I will eventually be making an album for each car event we go to, and load them to my web page.  I have a few photos ready for this album, but it is not likely to get made this year.  I hope to get at least the June album made for the gardening page... and more of the gardening if I ever get time. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

June in the Garden

The oriental poppies are almost finished blooming. 
These lovely Welsh poppies are delicate looking.  They self seed around very nicely.  They are growing in the woodland and under the deck.  They are not as messy as the Oriental poppies.
This is the special red columbine growing in the woodland.  Most of the columbines are a dark blue.  Today I noticed one in the front garden that is purple with white around the edges of the petals.  I let these plants self seed all around the garden too.
This is the woodland path beside the garage.  I have put a lot of the clippings from the renovation of the Virginia creeper along this path.  I hope they will eventually break up and make the path higher and better drained.  The plants beside the path are looking lush, almost tropical.

Today was sunny but it seemed a bit cool.  I mowed the lawn, using the new ramp to access the back bit of grass.  I clipped the perennials, including the bishops weed, the perennial geraniums and the lemon balm at the front.  Yesterday I move Irises to the front, from the edge of the vegetable garden.  I clipped back the wisteria some, after the tree terrorists had been chopping at it.  This is the stump of the wisteria that continues to grow sprouts.  I was trying to train it to a standard but that is not likely to happen now.  It has run along the ground and has twined up the douglas fir tree where it has a wonderful show this year.  It is fragrant too.  I used my hedge trimmer to take off some of the cedar hedge along the path behind the garage.  I have the yellow and the dark blue tall bearded iris in the house, as they were flopping over and getting beat up along the path and the driveway.  We are suppose to get rain, so I have not set up my new sprinkler for tomorrow.  But I should get out and water by hand as the sprinklers do not really do a great job of getting into all the little corners or under shrubs and trees.
I bought a little solar light for the garden... just one to see if it worked.  It works!!  It has a rechargeable battery, and little solar panels.  The panel is only about 3" x 3".  Amazing.  Why don't we have these things sitting on our windows to charge up and use for indoor lighting.  I must get a photo of it.  and get some more, too. 
I cleaned up the humming bird feeder and I now have hummers coming to it.  I see a rufous humming bird and the bigger anna's humming birds feeding.  My deck plants are doing great.  I hope to see the hummers feeding at the plants.  There are far too many squawking sparrows around.  There are robins, towhees, house finches... I haven't seen the wrens lately, or the big heron. 
The daisies are in bloom and the foxgloves.  I am waiting to see if I have any peloric ones.  A special moss I bought a year ago has survived and is spreading a bit in the moss garden.  All is looking pretty good.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More Iris in the June garden

These two photos are of the gorgeous water iris at Berwick House in the water feature.   
The yellow water iris in the woodland tub garden.  Apparently these iris are invasive.  I must go see if my contribution to the Colquitz river have survived.  They grow fairly vigorously in the garden, but not invasive. 
Another shot of my tall bearded all yellow iris that lives on the woodland.  Today, I added one of the wine colored tall ones to this iris bed at the beginning of the woodland garden.  This area has the ebony, the yellow, the dark blue varieties of the tall beareded irises.  I also moved some of the wine colored ones out to the front rectangles.  They should do ok, there.
This is the only Dutch iris I have growing.  I must get some more of these elegant iriises.
The siberian iris in the front garden.  You see the bench beyond the time circle.  The Siberian iris stand in front of the black bamboo.  I had a white one of these in the mix.  There is a nasty grass growing among these iris.  The leaves are quite similiar, so that is probably why this grass has got away on me, in this area.
It was another perfect day today.  Pat made me a ramp for pushing the lawn mover and wheel barrow up to the back over 2 steps, without having to go all around the garage on the woodland walk.  Its a very good ramp.  I am so pleased with it.  I removed an old cedar planter that was by these steps on the patio area, so that the ramp sits straight up the steps.  The first run up the ramp took my wheel barrow loaded with the plants and dirt from the old cedar planter.   I transplanted the plants to the area by the kiwi tree, at the top, next to the path that goes by the apple tree.  This area needs more good dirt added to it.  I will probably add some of the dirt that I rescued from under the St. John's Worte... its good woodland type of soil, and should beef up this clay soil.   I did a bit of pruning here and there.  I moved a few lily of the valley from Mrs. Pee's side to under the deck.... clipped down the bishops weed on that side too.  These ignorant tree terrorists have been chopping away at one of my evergreens again and throwing the debris in the pond.  I had a look at their side of this evergreen.  I hope they are happy with the ugly twiggy mess they have to look at.  Weird concept of landscaping, idiots.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Some of the Iris in June

The bottom two photos are Siberian Iris, the other ones are tall bearded Iris.
I have watered the house and deck plants today.  We have had a tiny bit of rain.  I could wish for more.
The Boston Bruins have won the Stanley cup winning the 7th game of the final series against the Vancouver Canucks 4 to 0.  The expected riots happened in Vancouver.  It does not matter if they win or lose, there are idiots who seem to be infected with this destructive crowd mentality.  Well, this should free up more of my time, now, although I really don't feel very motivated to do anything.  Disappointing to see our team lose.  They played good hockey over the whole series.  The last 7 games were very rough compared to the games played against the other teams.  One of the Canucks suffered a serious back injury.  They all must be covered in bruises.  They really looked tired and battered tonight.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Berwick House

Yesterday we took the old car over to Berwick House where a few of us were invited to show our cars.  I wandered around the gardens taking photos.  They have some wonderful water features... very little lawn, its mostly ground covers.  Berwick House is a retirement complex... very high end.  Some of us went on a tour of the complex and viewed a one bedroom with den unit, and a two bedroom two bath unit, as well as the dining room, spa, library, theatre, and all the other places in the complex. 

Their irises are in bloom.  Since I am, at the moment, on an iris kick, I have quite a lot of pictures of the irises from the garden there.  This one with variegated leaves is rather eye catching.  More irises later, perhaps.
Our car on display. Too bad about the busy background. We were at Beckwith house from 2 to 4.  After that we went to the first Saturday night of the gathering of the cars at Francelli's cafe in the Royal Oak mall.  There was a live band, hamburgers, hot dogs and lots of old cars.  Most of the cars were 50's and hot rods.  Some nice stuff!

I managed to pick up another book by Bernard Cornwell  and had to stay up until 3:30  reading last nite; despite being tired  from too much sun and exercise.  Was a good day, though.

Today I spent the afternoon weeding and pruning in the Japanese/ water / moss garden.  Then watering a bit at the back.  I found that Shauna had left a block of cement under the cedar hedge on her side.  It is exactly what I needed to put under my Japanese lantern to raise it up a bit. This block even has 4 little feet which now sit in the pea gravel of my dry stream.   This block looks exactly like it was made for this application.  Thank you Shauna.  I don't think she will miss it.    It is all looking good.   Except the vegetable garden.  Too many tree roots and not enough sun. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

June in the garden

The pots on the deck are something new this year.  I was inspired to plant a butterfly and humming bird planter and the pots just seemed to keep growing from there.  I have 4 larger pots and 2 smaller ones of a matching set I had purchased some years ago.  I have 2 taller black pots and the cedar box.  There is a tomatoe and basil in one, the butterfly perennials and annuals in one, the tulips, comsos, delphinium in another, the hollyhock with a whitle perennial, scaboisia, one of the smaller ones holds a willow from the VIRAGS plant sale, a black pot with another willow, a black pot with a Japanese quince, and the cedar box with a few annuals.

Two of the rhodos by the deck that are looking good this year.
This is a close up of a drop on the water lily leaf in the deck water tub.. a closely cropped drop.
This snail lives under the deck.  I usually find them to be darker green and living on the moss garden.  There are not very many of them, so I don't mind seeing them in the shade garden.
Yesterday I watered and fed the house plants and deck plants.  I needed to change 2 of the grow tubes on the light garden.  My African violets are all in bloom, and there are now 2 moth orchids blooming.
We have had overcast but warm weather for the last couple of days.  I was hoping it would rain, but it looks like I will need to water.
I have managed to get a few critiques done on Megashot and have been slowly catching up on the meet and greet for new members.  We seem to have some very active newer members which is great to see.    Version 2 is in the works and promises to be faster, sleeker, and even better than the present one; which, in my opinion is very very good.  Its a huge portal with many features as well as photo upload and storage. 

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Yesterday, after lunch, we went out to West Coast Tires to get our new tires for the Dodge Lodge.  It was going to take 45 minutes to have the tires put on the van, so I brought along my camera, of course.  The time seemed to fly by and the tires were on the van in no time, it seemed.  The above photo is the ferns and yellow, dandilion like flowers, nature's arrangement.
I don't know what this one is but it looks like a miniature foxglove.
A pretty, delicate little flower.  This one would be welcome in my garden anytime.
Miner's lettuce.  Something I thought grew best in shade, but it was on the mountain side and exposed to full sunshine.
Saxifragia and rock moss.  The saxifragia grows in my front garden and looks great under the dark foliage of the smoke bush.
More Saxifragia, ferns, moss, a big leaf maple, a slender elegant evergreen, grasses, and a part of the road.
I was trying to get a shot of the western bleeding heart that was in bloom, but tiny.  The wind was blowing, so the plants are out of focus.  But look to the top right.  OMG is that a snake?  I asked Pat, if he thought it was a snake or an old bungy cord.  He said it is definitely a snake.  While shooting, I never noticed the snake.  But there it is!
West Coast Tires is in a little cleared area, just off Sooke Road.  They were flooded out  and have since rebuilt their shop.  The area I was shooting in was newly exposed rocks from the excavations.  It is rich in all kinds of local plants.  There were wild strawberries, the western bleeding heart, the miner's lettuce and so many interesting things, once I took the time to look at it. 
We now have our new tires, newly done brakes, thanks to Ray, and we should be ready for our next road trip in the Dodge Lodge, towing the new old Model T, to Pincher Creek, Alta,

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The water garden and moss garden

It was a fine day to be out gardening.  I watered a bit in the morning.  After lunch I was out for about 3 hours.  I did weeding and a bit of pruning.  There are lots of little Saskatoon berries, there are little yellow plums, there are tiny apples, and the strawberries are still blooming and forming berries. 

This is a look at the dry stream that goes from next to the pond to under the deck, into heavy shade.  At the bottom of the photo is the little lace leaf maple and next to it is the lantern.  I am happy to see it is beginning to grow some moss and get a nice patina.  Across from the lantern is my best moss that is under the mountain laurel that is just coming into bloom. On the left there is a little cedar by the lantern and you see one bloom of the rhodo that is just over from the lantern.  At the curve in the dry stream there is a old stump and on the other side just before the curve is a large fern.  At the stump the dry stream curves and runs under the outer edge of the deck.
A close up of the moss.  I have at least four different kinds of moss growing. 

This is a look at the dry stream from both sides in the area of the 'posts'.  After the posts, the stream takes another turn and disappears under the ferns.  I have moss on the outer side of the deck of the dry stream. I cut the ferns off that try to grow in the moss, but leave the Welsh poppies grow.  They are a bright yellow, delicate flower and look great with the moss.  Just up from where the dry stream takes its second curve there are helebores an azalea, more ferns and another rhodo by the deck support post.  When cleaning up this area I was surprised at how few violets there actually were.  I thought this was going to be a 2 day job, but it actually took very little time.  The moss is coming along really very well.  I must try to keep it all moist.   I saw only one slug and one of those little green snails.  On the side of the dry stream that is farther under the deck, I have solemons seal, a variegated evergreen little shrub that I clip, and I let the violets grow on this side.  On the other side of the ferns there is a bleeding heart plant that is surviving.
This is a view of the whole pond.  The marsh marigold on one side and the little lebanon cedar on the other.  There are campanula and saxifragia on the side that is at the bottom of the photo, with iris to the right and the water hawthorn in middle in bloom.  If you look closely you can see the frog.
This is the frog.  I think it is one of those big ones that is taking over the habitat of our indigenous species of frogs.  It is about half the size of the big one I had in my pond before.  I don't know how I can catch it.  When it leaps and dives into the water when it hears me coming it makes this weird squeaking noise.   I don't think it ate the fish, as the new ones I purchased are still in the pond. 
The water fall is now running a bit too fast, but better fast than too slow.  You see the marsh marigold and the sweet flag.  The sides of the water fall are slowly growing moss.  I must get some moss growing on the bottom of the mermaid or find a better place for her to sit.