Friday, April 29, 2016

March 26th water garden area

 The blossoms of the lily of the valley shrub.  This shrub is at the entrance to the water garden
 In the spring the new leaves of this variegated lily of the valley shrub are a bright red.  Now, a month later these new leaves are a pale yellow color.
 This little rock plant is in the little rockery across the stone path into the water garden.
 A view of the pond.  We can see the petal from the plum tree above it, covering the whole area. The water hawthorn is in bloom.  It seems to be constantly blooming.  A very good water plant.  The marsh marigold is also in bloom.
 This daphne in the little rockery.  Fragrant nicely behaved plant.
 Close up of the marsh marigold flowers.
This is a tuft of the clematis spent blossoms.  The clematis is at the corner of the deck next to the pond.  It now has buds, that will soon be opening.  It climbs up to the deck and some years blooms around the water feature on the deck.  This  is the bad hair day much like my day yesterday.
The less than impressive B.C. transit service:
This place according to the says that the management and the drivers are constantly at loggerheads about how they should do their jobs.

I find I tend to agree with these drivers.  This tension between management and workers should never effect the passengers, as it seems to have done to me.  Sure hope they are not building up to going on strike.

The bus stop by the Hudson on Douglas Street heading out of downtown  is impossible.  Its a total nightmare for schedules.  Buses pile up along that block and there is no way one could guess where in the line up the bus you want to catch is going to arrive.   This is what happened to me:  The first bus was #30, bus number 9371,  which went to its designated position at the front of the line up, almost right up to Herald Street.  By the time I discovered where I should have been waiting for this bus.. I was running to get on it and was at the back of the bus, where I thumped the back window to get the driver's attention, he continued driving away.  There was a man sitting right by the bus on a bench, who saw the whole thing.  He signaled the driver that I was coming running.  He said the driver looked in his mirror and saw me, but continued to leave the stop.  When I got up to the front door and signalled the driver to let me in, he shook his head.  He had to stop for the red light at Herald St.  and was sitting there with the door of the bus slightly off the curb; so it seemed he could not then open the door and let me on.  At which time I called him a bastard and said I would report him.  This happened at apx 11:20, on Thursday, April 28, 2016.
The next #30 bus (bus number 9356) to arrive was at the end of the long line of buses.  From my previous experience I was waiting at the Herald Street end of the bus stop, expecting the next #30 bus to come up to that spot to pick up any passengers.  But, he stopped at the end of the bus stop in front of The Hudson, and then carried on out into the traffic.  He could not get past the buses that were in line in front of his bus.  So, there he sat with the nose of the bus in the traffic lane and the back of the bus at the curb.  I was unable to get on this bus either.   He could have carried on up the curbside until he got to the front of the line of buses where his bus is scheduled to pick up.  But of course, that would have probably put his bus off the schedule.  It was off the schedule, anyway, because he could NOT get past the other buses in front of him that were trying to get on their way, but were jammed one behind the other with the noses of the buses part-way into the street and back ends closer to the curbside.  The scheduled stops for all these buses at that particular stop needs some serious rescheduling, in my opinion.

I finally figured out that this was not the best bus stop to wait at to catch my bus #30.  I walked another few blocks down Douglas Street and waited at the first bus stop I came to, and had no trouble getting on the next #30 bus.

So, for as often as I use this shoddy transit system, it is not worth the trouble to send a complaint.  The complaint would not do a thing to improve conditions if the whole staff and management cannot seem to make this system work, properly.

Changed my mind and made a complaint.  Hopefully they can use passenger complaints to help them improve the service.
Made a complaint on April 29, at 12:50 on the form:*/contact - kept a print of it.
More contact info:  (1-844-482-6161) or visit BC Transit at 520 Gorge Road East, Victoria, BC V8W 2P3.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

March 26 - Primula bed, No. 2

 a couple of the newer plants that are starting to grow and bloom.  The bed has leaf mulch on it and I have added compost from the old compost bin to each of the plants.  This old compost bin is half empty now.  So, I am starting to add grass and garden clippings to it again to build a supply of this very good compost.  Last Fall I added the mulched leaves and grass to the woodland, where it has turned into some very good soil, so this year I should add this leaf mulch to the primula bed around the plants where I do not want moss to grow.
 The drumstick primula, is beginning to expand.  The little solar garden lights are now lighting up at night as they get more sunshine during the day.

 A new primula with a lovely color.
 The epimedium in bloom.  It is a fine plant that is now established in the shade under the Harry Lauders walking stick bush, in the primula bed.  I have a few other plants in this new bed.  There is a maiden hair fern, and a licorice fern, newly transplanted, also a chocolate lily, and another epimedium, that is smaller and just getting established.  The chocolate lily had a volunteer little tree in it.  I will let the tree grow.  I hope it is an indigenous tree.  There are a couple of shooting stars in the bed also, but I did not see the blooms this year.  There is two hepaticas that like to grow in moss and are also just getting established now.  Next year this bed should be outstanding.  
 The lovely double mauve primula that is by the water garden.  I can divide one or two plants to put into the primula bed.
 This is a new primula from Matticks Farm earlier this year. It is actually by the water garden.  I should move it to the primula bed where it will get more sun.
This is a view of the new part of the primula bed from the stone path around the garden pond.  At his point in time I was removing the blue spruce that had become too big for its spot in the garden.  The moss and the little Japanese maple are in the foreground and the stone path around the primula bed is in the background.  I like how this opens up a view to the water garden 'room' from the patio area.  I hope to get the moss spreading as a ground cover up to the primulas.  

Sunday, April 24, 2016

March 26 - Primula bed No.1

 This is the new view to the Pond.  I have now finished taking out the blue spruce that had become too large for the space.  This gives another vista from the patio area to the pond.  This photo was before I cleaned the leaves and debris off of the moss garden and the primula bed.  Everything is covered with the fallen plum blossom petals.  I have rearranged the pink pots, also, but they still need to have the tulips removed from the big pot.
 This is a view of the stepping stones that go to the fern/moss garden under the deck.  The white flowers are the white hellebore that I have removed as it was crowding out the little white azalea and everything in that spot.  This will open up this area and allow more moss as ground cover to balance  the flat surface area with the taller foliage.
 This is a gorgeous color in the primula.  It is spreading like crazy.
 This pink double primula is spreading nicely also.
 The two primulas, above, are  next to each other and make a good contrast in color.  I have since cleaned up the old leaves and weeds and added compost to the primula bed   I dug the compost out of the old compost bin.  I will need more compost for the back garden in all of the 'rooms' except the woodland.
 This is the dark maroon hellebore.  These plants are in bloom for a long period of time.  They are one of the first plants to bloom in the spring and they are still in bloom now.  This one sits between the two rhodos next to the back step.  I will need to dig it out too as it is getting too big for its space also.  I will move pieces of it to the woodland and to moss/fern garden under the deck, as I did with the white hellebore.
 This yellow primula is a newer one and needs some time to get established.
While cleaning up the primula bed, I accidentally dug this one out.  I hope it survives.  It is a lovely dark blue double.  I have not saved the names of any of the primulas.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

March 26 in the Garden

 The hyacinth fragrance was all of the garden.  This is the  back garden with several colors of them.
 This is a new lupine in the back garden.  I hope it blooms this year.  It is looking quite healthy.
 A mix of the hyacinths and the wind flowers (anemones) next to the stepping stones at the back.
 Some of the daffodils were still in bloom on March 26th.  All the plants were early this year due to our mild weather.

 Overlooking the grass that surrounds the apple tree towards the little rockery that borders the veggie/cutting garden.
 We see the pots... one of which contains the only milkweed plant that I know of, that survived the great transplant of the ones that germinated.  This one was actually a plant from the stuff Dave sent to me.  These milkweeds look a lot like foxgloves.  We will see if there are more of them actually surviving.
The rhubarb.  It is the most pathetic rhubarb I have ever seen.  The stocks are spindly and thin and are dying.  I have no idea what is wrong with it.  The strawberries surrounding it are doing great.

In the garden today I finished trimming the two boxwood hedges and the long honeysuckle hedge.  Then cleaned up under the hedges and mowed the grass borders, including the neighbors, 5 feet that is the border on the east side of my front garden.  :)  Now .. about 8:00 pm we are having a light rain.  Just in time to revive the trimmed plants and the new bits of boxwood I set into the honeysuckle hedge to repair it.  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The woodland on March 26th

 The perennial geraniums at the end of the driveway strip, in front of the cedars.  The woodland path begins where the geraniums end.
 After going along the woodland path beside the garage we come to the back corner of the woodland area.  It is wider in this back corner, and the cedar hedge ends. There is a small Douglas Fir, a large Japanese cedar, and a few Sumacs on one side of the path. There is a mock orange shrub and a butterfly bush, with Saskatoon trees behind the water feature.  There is a wild voluteered tree that I think is a plum tree.  Next, at the back of this border there is a yew tree, a few hedging cedars and the fire thorn at the end of the woodland area.   On the other side of the path that is next to the back of the garage there is a rhododendron and a pin oak.  This side of the woodland goes along the back of the old garage and contains the old compost bin, a lily of the valley shrub, and a tall sword fern.  The rest of this bed is a work in progress.  The chip path becomes the old sidewalk at the point where the butterfly bush is planted.  There are other perennials in the back corner and self seeding honesty and dames rockets. The fawn lilies are slowly multiplying at the front of the bed beneath the sumacs.  This area is infested with blue bells that I am trying to get rid of.  They are extremely invasive.
 The white fawn lilies seem to be holding their own against the blue bells.
 The yellow fawn lilies seem more robust than the white ones.  I do hope they both keep on spreading in the woodland; and that I can keep the blue bells from taking over.
 The fawn lilies.  I hope to find a pink fawn lily to buy to add to my collection.
 This is the water tub with the mock orange on the left.  The mock orange is in full bloom now and adds its fragrance to the spring garden.  There is one gold fish in the tub and some water iris.
 After the water feature the Irises begin at the front of the bed.  The irises have primulas planted with them.  As long as I keep this area weeded the primulas and iris put on a good show from early spring to mid summer.
The wind flower (anemones) self seed in this area as well.  Very pretty addition to the mixture of spring flowering plants.  They are spreading all over the garden, but are not hard to control, so I am letting them proliferate in the garden.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

a busy mid March

 This mini cattleya orchid was open with 2 blossoms on March 22.  Today it just dropped the last of the blooms.  This is the name on the tag:  Pot.Lisa Taylor Gallis 'Nora" (Blc.California Girl x Sc. Beautort).  I had just repotted it before the buds opened, on March 8.
 This was a long reach for my Canon SX60, on March 23rd.  Since then I think I have managed to get the zoom to focus better.  The flickers are staying in our little woods and I hear them almost every day.  There must be a nest somewhere.
 Freyja and her Mom visited us on March 24 for a few hours.  She is a very active young lady of 3 years.  She is totally amazing.  She speaks in full sentences.  Chooses her own clothes and dresses herself.  She showed me all of her new teeth, too.  :)))
 Full moon of March 25th
 The anomemorella in bloom in the woodland beside the old garage.  Beautiful delicate flowers.
 Also along the woodland by the old garage, is the perennial forget me nots.  Lovely foliage.
 A view down the path between the old garage and the cedar hedge.  The bleeding heart is just beginning to bloom.  These plants are just now finishing there bloom period.  The path is covered with evergreen clippings and dried leaves, now.
 This is a plant combination for early Spring, being March 26 this year.  The arabis in white has a few blue scilla showing. When the arabis and scilla are finished blooming the iris will bloom and later in the autumn the shrub, Rose of Sharon, will be in flower.
The bulbs in bloom in front of the cedar hedge along our driveway, on March 26th.

March 14th to 18th in the garden

 The apple tree in full bloom.  The tree is in full bloom now.  As we are having mid summer like weather there should be good pollination for a bountiful crop this Autumn.  We have eaten all of our apple sauce and need to buy apples from the grocery store to make sauce.  I like the selective focus to pick out the blooms in sharp focus.
 Using the long zoom of my Canon SX60 I could get a close look at the neighbors Easter Egg tree.  What a wonderful display with the tree in bloom, too.  This is the world's best Grampa.  He and Gramma constantly have things happening in their yard to entertain the grand children.  Soon it will be time for the water slides.
 The magnolia put on a good show.  It is now finished the show and is growing out its leaves.
 Closer magnolia blossoms
 this is a roof moss, out our dinning room window.
 More roof moss with mushrooms out this same window.  The mushrooms only lasted a couple of days.  I do not know what kind they are.  They look a bit like portobellos.
 We had a light frost over night on the 15th and the evidence shows on the water on top of the patio table.
 More ice art from March 16th.  Now a mere month later we are having record breaking hot temperatures of 24 and higher.
 A white hyacinth.  These flowers perfumed all around the garden where they were planted for about a month.  They are finished now.
 The daffodils did yeoman's duty around the garden and in bouquets for the past month and a half.
 The light pink hyacinths along the stepping stone path in the back garden.
Our view of the trail across the street from us is becoming screened off by the leaves on our front tree.  This sweet gum tree is late to open its leaves.  It turns to gorgeous colors in the autumn and holds its colors for a long time.  It shades the house in the heat of summer and lets the sun in while its winter.  The leaves add mulch to the woodland and around the front garden.  When I planted it about 23 or 24 years ago, I understood that the branch spread would be 10 feet.  They have spread to double that length.  So we have had to take off the branches that faced the house, but it still gives a good shady canopy and lots of color.  Trees are a precious commodity in our city gardens.  Some information on carbon dioxide absorbing capabilities of trees.  They beautify the neighborhood and improve the air quality.