Sunday, February 28, 2016

February 14 - the new dirt on the boulevard and something old

 The snowdrops next to the steps up to the front door.  These are double snowdrops.  I did not clean up around them before I took the photo.  I need to divide them and put some out in the crocus field.
 This is the soil added to the boulevard by the Hydro guys.  The traffic was directed around their turcks and so made a few ruts in the outside edge of the boulevard.  The crocuses were not touched.  I raked some of the soil up over the crocus field, tamped the rest down with the garden rake and threw some grass seed on it.  We have had a few days of light rain since I did that.  I don't think the birds have found the grass seed yet.  Hope it germinates soon.
 This end of the crocus field had more soil available to rake up over the crocuses, so hopefully the grass will grow in this corner.  There are crocuses there, but they seem to be later than the rest.  This is next to the plum tree where the neighbors were putting their garbage bins on pick up day. I made a point of asking her not to put her bins on the flowers, this evening and helped her position her bin off the new soil and seed.
 This bright orange fungus grows on the log across the street from our home.  It dies back in the summer.  Beautiful thing.

 Last evening, after dinner, we were discussing a camping trip we had done where the campground was next to the town water resevoir.  After searching through my travel journals I finally found that it was the Trail Campground at Kindersley, Sask.  Pat went golfing with his buddy, Al and I too my camera up along the path that bordered the water.  These marvelous cactus were in full bloom.
 these photos were from July 2004.  I was using my Canon Powershot A50.  Pat had given it to me for Christmas in 1999.  A very sharp lens on this compact camera and it shot in RAW also.  When I processed these photos in Photoshop, I only had the jpegs available as I knew nothing about RAW at that time.  The processed photos are far bigger than the jpegs.  Amazing.  This never happens with my Canon SX60, now.  I must get out the old A50 and use it again.  I wonder if it still works.
There were old rusty barbeque stands at each campsite at Kindersley.  I really like this Abstract of the rust.  I call it double jeopardy.  I think it may make a good 8 x 10 print.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Valentime's Day VCCC tour

 The Buick
 The Bentley
 The Monarch
 Liz and Bill
 Driftwood Lodge at Island View Beach
Buick and Bently
A fine Valentine's day tour for the VCCC was arranged by Don and Delorous.  We had a stop at Island View Beach before our coffee stop at the end of the tour.  We could not stay for the coffee stop as I was making the roasted duck for our Valentine's day dinner.  Too bad the weather was dull, so I did not get good photos.   Perhaps I should have used my ND filter.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Orchid Show, February 13

The orchid show was rather spectacular.  Too bad my photos are not.  I had to bring 4 new ones home with me, of course.
I am repotting the old ones, as some of them are throwing out arial roots.  The last repotting was the beginning of 2014, so it is time they had new media.  I hope they survive the operation.  The cat. Pixie has a new bigger magenta pot that should give it some room to run.  The baby Pixie that I potted up in 2014 is growing.  It will probably be 3 or 4 more years before it is big enough to bloom.

I have the perennials in the front garden clipped back.  They are showing little shoots.  The tree peony and the others should be good this year.  I must feed them!.  The strawberry plants and the rhubarb are looking fairly healthy too.  We have had a very warm winter, so everything is early this year.

I put more top soil on the crocus field and raked the soil that the hydro guys left up over the crocuses, and tamped it down.  I then added grass seed and hope to see it germinate.  We have been having warmish weather and light rain.  The birds have not discovered the seed, yet.  

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Some of the Garden on February 9th

 the golden crocuses were the first ones up this year.  I need more of them.  They are so bright,
 Daffodils along the driveway have buds.  We had a few sunny, warm days since then and the daffodils are in flower.
 February 9th was one of the warmer days.  There were bees!  I was looking at Canadian Wildlife Federation page and discovered other pollinators that look a lot like bees.  And there are the mason bees, too.  Everyone knows the bumble bee, of course.  It is a solitary bee, no hive.  I made a discussion thread about this on Megashot, in the "in the garden' community.  Hope you can get this link:
 the flying bee.
yet another bee.
 When the Hydro workers finished with the work on the new pole, they had a landscaping company fill in the ruts where the traffic had run over the boulevard that I keep in grass.  Just up from the new soil is the crocus field.  More photos of it in full bloom as of today... later.
there was a outstanding sunset on Feb 9th too.

I started the repotting of the house plants today.  It took me 2 hours to do 4 of the orchids.  They were in need of new media.  I had last done them 2 years ago.  They had arial roots shooting out of the pots, so maybe I will need to repot every year.  I have the Pixie Cat. in a huge pink pot.  For the size of the plant, it is actually not that big of a pot.  Hope it blooms again in a few months.  The pot is almost the same color as the blooms.  It is now too tall to fit on the light garden.  I think it will be fine beside the lights.  

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Garden on February 6

 The first crocuses were up in the crocus field
 The lovely mauve crocuses are in the bed just next to the crocus field.
 Both of the camillias were in full bloom.  This is the one at the back of the house.
 Snowdrops are popping up all over the garden at this time.

 I dragged the irises out of the pond and out of the pots to thin them out and revitalize them.  I renovated the edge of the pond and weeded out any blue bells that were coming up.
 A shot of the Japanese garden from the window of the suite.
Another shot of the moss garden.  The moss is plump and green, but needs to have the leaves and debris cleaned off of it.  Lately we have had a lot of rain, so the ground is soggy.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Hydro Posts No.3

The Hydro team worked two days with long hours.They were finished and the landscaping truck had put soil on the ruts where traffic had run just a couple of feet on the grassy, soggy boulevard that I keep in grass.  They did come back to put up a number on the post, and add the street lamp to the other post.  Yesterday they were busy up the street adding another post with things on it, including a lamp and a number.

Yesterday the rain was bucketing down all day.  The river is running high  Another foot of to the level and it will be as high as the bed of the bridge and maybe up to the level of the road in front of our home.  We did not have rain today, but we are to have more rain tomorrow.  Hopefully not enough rain to flood our street and wash away the new soil.

The crocuses are looking good in the crocus field and in the garden.  More photos  of them soon.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hydro Posts No.2

The show continued into the second day.  Sure wish Ken was still here to see this.  Apparently all these gadgets they added to the pole will allow them to restart the power from Langley, if it should ever go out.  We haven't had a power outage on our line for years.  Along with the people actually working on the installation they had a couple of people who were traffic control.  As the traffic went around the trucks on our narrow street, some of them had to drive on the grassy boulevard where I have the crocus field.  Due to the rainy season, the cars where making ruts in the outer edge of the crocus field which is about 3 - 4 feet of grass.  On the second day of the installation, they had a landscaping truck arrive with soil in it.  They guy spread this dirt into the ruts the traffic had made in front of our place and along Shawna's place as well.  I think he spread grass seed on it also, although I never noticed any birds feasting.  Yesterday when I was out gardening, I raked some of this dirt higher up onto the crocus field.  It is not packed down into the ruts, so I may have to refill the ruts.  We have had rain, so it should be packing down somewhat.  There was a bit of mud running into the storm drain.  My daffodil is coming up across the street where there is now a strip of grass along the edge.  This used to be all blackberries and tall wild grasses.  I have been known to mow this area myself, when the Saanich people do not get around to it in a timely manner.  It is nice to have that little strip along the edge of street for anyone walking along there.

We had great rain shower in the morning, yesterday; and in the afternoon the sun came out and it was 14 degrees.  So, I was out gardening for 3 hours.  Pat pruned the fig tree and the apple tree, too.  I cleaned up the perennials around the middle part of the back and cleaned up the little rockery.  While cleaning up around the stepping stones, I noticed an old planting of hycinths trying to grow up through the rocks in the path.  I removed the rocks and added more top soil to the holes.  I should dig these plants out of the path once they are finished blooming and put them further up in the michaelmas daisy bed.  I transplanted the new little ice plant into the little rockery, and the new lovely blooming primula into the primula bed next to the cyclamen and little hosta.  The primulas are starting to come into bloom.  The dark hellebore is in full bloom.  Since it is so dark it is hardly noticeable.  I clipped back the Japanese anemones and the Jackamani clematis.  I find the little sprout of the burning bush has been broken down, as have the honeysuckle pillea hedge along that side of my garden.  I put in some boxwood clippings into both places.  The ones where the burning bush was are in front of the 2 cedars I have there to screen off the site of their garbage bins from our front door.  Hopefully this will keep them off my trees and shrubs.  The clematis is in full bloom along there and dropping blossoms on their sidewalk.  These seems to bother them a lot.  Pathetic! 

Friday, February 12, 2016

new Hydro Posts No.1

Last week the Hydro trucks arrived and put two poles in the ground.  The pole in the photos is just across the street from our home and next to the trail in the park.  There were four trucks and at least four men working to install things on these poles.  It was interesting to watch, and since I will never see this happening again I took photos of almost all of the operations.  My camera battery needed changing and my spare battery was not charged up, either.  So, I took out my old S3 IS and relearned how to shoot with it.   More photos to follow . . . guess you just can't wait to see them?

We  have been having some very warm days, but I have not been out to garden  due to this nasty cold I have.  But I did get out to take a few photos.  There were bees on the crocuses that are now in bloom!  The pump had stopped, so I got it restarted again.  The filter part has fallen off the pump.  I will probably have to drain the pond to find it.