Sunday, October 27, 2013

Gardening and other things in October

 This is the Verbena bonariensis that has self seeded in the strip along between the hedge and the crocus field in the front.  The plants are in the area where I had let the daisies grow a couple of years ago.  The daisies just took over, so for the past two years I have been digging out daisies all over the garden.  These verbena have a long bloom period.  The skipper butterflies love them and so do the bees.  So, I shall let them grow for another year, or until they become too much.   I have cleaned up this whole area and put down some compost from the community compost guys.  I will probably do one more raking of leaves in this area.  The liquid amber tree is slowly turning glorious colors.  The leaves will be on it for some time yet.   I have given up on a peony that was struggling in the rectangle bed next to the Pee's driveway.  I shall want to get the blue bells out of that bed before I plant anything.  I hope to have space for a milkweed plant or two in there.  Dave is sending me some seeds and plants.  If his package does not make it across the border, I have found a place in Ontario that supplies 3 or 4 kinds of milkweed seeds.  I hope to spend next year getting the plants established and if it works I will see if I can get some monarchs for release from our butterfly gardens people.  The new park area is right across the road.  I was looking at the Saanich website to see if milkweed is a no no and it is good to go.  They even have it marked as a butterfly flower.  So, if some of my milkweed escapes across the street into the park, it will be ok.  There are a few other plants that are 'wild flowers' that might need some help in establishing themselves. The black eyed susans that I now have a nice patch of them growing in this front area, are one of those wild flowers.   The fawn lilies by the blue bridge area off Gerda have been over run by ivy.  If ever I get time, I will ask the Parks people how I could help to eradicate that stuff, and revive the habitat for the fawn lilies.
 This photo of the Virginia creeper was taken some time ago, but it is still red.  I have cut it back off the cement and off the top of the St. John's worte.  We are having the drive way power washed and the cracks filled with a type of fill to match the little stones in the driveway.  All this will add 'curb appeal' to the place should we want to sell it and downsize.  I still enjoy my gardening and Pat does his cars and bikes so the condo is still sometime away, for us.  We are fortunate to have our health.  I put the twiggy parts of the creeper into the green bin and had a bag full of nice compost type dirt from under the leaves that I cut off.  I put this good stuff down over the bleeding heart that is along by the old garage.  The plants in that little bed beside the woodland path are doing good since I have been feeding them compost and keeping them weeded.
 The Autumn Joy Sedum is still looking too too.  It is just up from the Virginia creeper in that bed between Shawna and our place.  I am trying to establish a few new plants of this, but I think I have put them in too much shade.  I just do not have room for one anywhere suitable.  I am slowly getting more 'mounding' plants established and the garden is becoming more low maintenance.  It took a few hours to clean up the front, but it is not too bad.  When the leaves fall there will be lawn mover mulched and either put on the vegetable patch or in the old compost bin... maybe on the woodland area.  So the front is cleaned up and I have started cleaning up the back.  I have the stone path weeded and weeded the bed around it, and edged the lawn.  There are still leaves to fall at the back, too.  My English oak is still green, with the leaves just starting to turn.  We have had some gorgeous color this Fall.  I had cleaned the roses up at the front, and now they have been putting out more blooms.  The burning bush that was cut back to the ground earlier has sprouted a few shoots and is now about 2 feet high.  I have it protected from the Pee's sidewalk by a jerry rigged fence.  Hopefully this will make the shrub grow straight, instead of leaning over the sidewalk.  That little bed had a fine show of Japanese anemones and the purple jackamani clematis. 
 I was looking back at some photos from our 2011 trip to death valley, etc.  I can see where that is going to be a long photo album if ever I get to doing it up for the travel page of my old web page.
 This is another thing I was playing with in photoshop.  It is a photo of the bridge in North Vancouver I think, as we came into the station on the Rocky Mountaineer Train last August.  I though it looked rather impressionistic, so I tried to add a bit more blur and other stuff in photoshop to make it more impressionist like.  I am not sure if it works, though.
And this is another photo from an old trip to Malta in 2003.  I have that album done up since 2006.  Since them I have learned a few more photoshop things, but I won't be redoing the album.  It is good how it is. 
I now have the house thoroughly cleaned, have the front garden cleaned up and have my freezer space full of soups and some prepared vegetables.  This makes getting meals to the table much faster and is especially good when I have been out gardening.  But I am usually ready to come in from the garden in the afternoon, after 2 or 3 hours, with time to get cleaned up and make a good supper, now.  Next week there will be no garden time because of other commitments, and then the prediction is for rain on Thursday night.  Just in time to drench the poor little halloween kids. Perhaps the following week be sunny again.  I took moss off the back patio and put it under the deck.  It is still green and lush looking.  If it takes hold this should double the size of my moss garden.  As soon as the rains start the moss garden comes into its own.  It is going to need the leaves swept off it regularly, now, too. 
The light garden in the house is repaying me handsomely for the cleanup I gave it and the repotting and feeding of some of the plants.  I have 2 cattalyas in bloom, 4 phalenopsis, the hae marie has tall spikes of blooms, and the African Violets are blooming and look good nice and clean too. 
I have not had a lot of time for Megashot, but don't much care, at the moment.  I want to get at least one album done on my old web page before the year is out, so hopefully I can get at it soon.  Life is good on the West Coast. 

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