Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pictures of my store...for Mark

Store Christmas window
Greeting cards
Front of the store, with Christmas things!

Only in Sidney...someone walking miniature horses in
front of the store.

Looking to the back of the store.
I hope you enjoyed the little tour of my store Dragon Horse. If you would like to see more pictures Mark, just go to http://www.dragonhorse.com/ and click on the photos page or just look around the site. I am very visual, so there are lots of photos.

"Farmers are the only indispensable people on the face of the earth." Li Zhaoxing    

Every little bit counts.
"Farmers are the only indispensable people on the face of the earth."
Li Zhaoxing   

Monday, November 28, 2011

Planting future salads in the greenhouse

It is sunny and beautiful. There is a coolness in the breeze. I spread another five gallon bucket of coffee grounds under the blueberries. While I was doing this, I noticed little buds on the end of the branches. I then noticed that both the carrots and parsley are sending up new green sprigs. Everything seems to think it is spring!
I planted a row of spinach and a row of deer tongue lettuce in the greenhouse bed. Thank you for the seeds Joan.
It felt quite wonderful to put some seeds in soil.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Forgive me if the postings are 'thin' for the next month. Retail gets a bit nutty.

I am going to do my best to keep up with the posting during the next month. I own a store in Sidney BC called Dragon Horse. The store is a passion for all of us who work in there. I have the most wonderful staff that anyone could have. We are truly a family.
We will be very busy between now and Christmas. So if I don't have time to do as many postings, please forgive me!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Just when you thought blogging couldn't get any better

There is a very private blogger out there who has done the most wonderful thing for me. Delivered to me at the store, in the middle of a regular work day, by her soaking wet husband...was a lovely bag, with a stamped wheel barrow on it. Inside were seeds. White patty pan seeds. I LOVE white patty pan squash. There was also a bag of her own saved seeds. Okay...that would have been enough. More than enough. But, in the bottom of the bag was an adorable short canning jar with a jute cord and label identifying it as Tomato Jam. I mean really, how often in your life, does something like that happen? I cracked open the jam right after supper. Allan and I each took a spoon and had about half a teaspoon each. Just to try it of course. It is sweet and after the sweet, comes a spicy/hot whisper of flavor. I have never understood what people meant when the describe a flavor as complex. Now I know. I have no idea how it's made, but I'll probably spend many an autumn trying to create something akin to this epicurean delight.
I can certainly see how foodies get addicted to the search for new tastes.
Thank you B, more appreciated than you will ever know.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I worked on the compost and spread bunny poo. We processed a lot of organic apples.

I really did not expect to get out in the yard today. I was pleasantly surprised by the weather. It was cold, but not raining. I put on my usual garden garb. Red plaid flannel shirt, pink flowered rubber boots and an old plush lined denim jacket. I wanted to get my elephant into the greenhouse for the winter and you know how one thing leads to another.
Allan had placed the two bags of bunny hay and poo into the greenhouse. I realized they weren't open so I opened one and saw that what I had been told was true. It was starting to decompose. So I poured it out of the bags and spread it on the gardens. I put some in the compost as I've heard that it really gets the compost going!! I love my compost.
I then heard the distinct sound of raking. Raking can only mean one thing. LEAVES!!! Next door neighbor Barb was raking her leaves. I went over and helped and carried back garbage cans of leaves to throw in bin 2 which is holding the leaves I've been collecting. It is really full. I am going to Slegg this week to pick up the wire to make the wire ring for leaves.
I can't even be reasonable about compost and mulch. I am in LOVE with it. Today Allan and I used our really cool peeler to peel another batch of organic apples given to me by Karen. I ended up with three big bowls of peels and cores. What is it about taking pails of peels outside to put in a compost bin, that feels so good?
Do you know what else feels really good. The smell of a wonderfully easy Apple Brown Betty cooking for dessert. Does this house ever smell wonderful right now.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What a score...a discontinued book of Fruit Trees


I found one of these wonderful Harrowsmith Fruit Trees books on Amazon. It has been out of print for a long time. It has a ton of information, that I, a gardening newbie, am really happy to have. I am a HUGE fan of the old Harrowsmith magazines and books. I have a lot of cookbooks and my very favorite 'go to' cookbook is the first Harrowsmith Cookbook. Everything I've made from that book has turned out perfectly and all the recipes are short and simple. Harrowsmithhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I miss you so much.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Here are the photo's of my infamous 'Ugly Chair'

Isn't it a beauty?!

The very well balanced books, cup, camera case......
Cats artistry

Cats again...the back of the chair
My beloved ipad...thank you Allan
So here it is in all it's glory. Isn't it special?! After my day is done, or just beginning, I sit here and read, surf, watch TV, blog and search for new products for the store. Note the ipad opening on the Blotanical site. And see the little wee sunflower. That's my blog!! Anyhooo, isn't it all I said and more. Note the precariously perched piles of gardening books, and the Bird ID book. Also, my favorite coffee cup à la Tim Horton's. And why isn't there a Timmy's in Sidney. Man, when I win the lottery, I am so opening one here!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Something I didn't know about bunny poop. Added bonus, my old chair.

My friend Bunslove gifted me two huge bags of bunny poop recently. You can see the two bags in the picture below. Buns love contacted me and told me I needed to open the bags or the contents would rot rather than compost. Who knew!! I wonder, is it that way with all poop, or are bunnies special? I'm such a newbie and I have so much to learn.

I have a very tattered old wingback chair that I sit in to blog, or watch TV or just sit and read. It's ugly but so comfortable it's ridiculous. I'll take a photo for you. This chair sits by the bay window that looks into my front yard. Right outside is the rhododendron that is flowering and a birch tree. All the leaves are bright yellow right now. It's beautiful. A little flock of Bush Tits (oh stop...for heavens sake, they're tiny little birds) just descended into the rhodo along with a Junco. What a beautiful sight.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More autumn cleanup and planning for spring...and a Blotanical milestone

The compost bins had been put to bed. I had to wake them up, get out my super cool pitchfork and toss the contents, sprinkle with water and put them back to bed. While tossing the contents I observed something amazing. It smelled wonderful. Like dirt. Not rotting anything. Just dirt. So I know I'm making my first compost!!!
Then gardeners assistant Al, helped me put straw around my clay pot and wrap it in burlap. I moved the Guava and Fig to the south side of the greenhouse and tucked straw around the pots so the heat radiating through the glass with keep warmth in the straw blanket. It will help them get through the winter. We are having a La Niña winter which means colder, wetter and even...gulp...snow.
I took the Toro Blueberry to the garden and planned to put it in the blueberry border, but there isn't enough room. I wandered aimlessly with it...came to the conclusion that I didn't have a clue where to put it...it's back on the deck, sheltered from the wind. It'll stay there until spring. When I can carry it around aimlessly again, but in warmer weather.

This morning my dear readers made my blog the Number 1 favorited blog on Blotanical!!! I am very excited and flattered. Thank you.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fig leaves dropping and lots of pictures of the garden and greenhouse

Peter's Honey Fig...losing leaves
Peter's Honey Fig is dropping its leaves. I have mixed feelings. I am sad to see it wrapping up for the season, but happy to think that when it breaks dormancy it will grow like crazy. Such is the cycle of life.
I noticed that one of my azaleas has turned red.
Azalea with fall coat of red
I have had azaleas for over thirty years and have never had one turn red. Interesting. And while we're on the topic, for the third year in a row my rhododendron has some flowers in November. I planted the rhodo 32 years ago and never had a flower until spring. Something has definitely happened with our weather. Last year during this freak flowering, little chickadees were collecting white seeds from the cones on neighbor Barb's fir tree, and tucking them deep into the pink flowers, I assume to retrieve later in the winter. I hope they do it again this year.

Chilean Guava

Lettuce in greenhouse
Greenhouse bench, primroses, Christmas cactus budding, catnip and various others
Fuchsia's still blooming
Neighbor Lance's new leaf mulching facility...oooooooo, I love leaf mulch
SALAD BOWL LETTUCE...ARE THOSE FLOWER BUDS!!!!!!????????
Yes, I'm yelling!
Bunny poop percolating under the deck
And finally...only in Sidney...a rose bud

Friday, November 11, 2011

An afternoon of coffee and Practical Magic

Have you ever watched the movie Practical Magic? It is a feast for the eyes. The old Victorian house that the aunts live in. The beautiful conservatory with the old panes of wavy glass full of plants and old glass bell jars. Can you imagine a garden full of those beautiful bell jars as cloches. There are flower gardens and raised herb beds. Hanging bunches of garlic in the old Victorian kitchen. I am going to make a wind chime like the one in the movie. It is made of forks and spoons. The costumes are fabulous. The Aunts clothes are amazing. Lots of botanical prints, linens and wonderful straw hats. Filmed in Washington State, the scenery looks very much like the area I live in.

11:11 and 11/11/11 and New Age thought

Today is the day to set your intentions into the universe and believe. See clearly what you want for your life. 11 is the number of manifestation. I chose 11:11 this morning to set my intentions. 11:11 tonight will work just as well!!! It becomes 11/11/11 and 11:11. Wow. I will say that my intentions involve a tractor (yes I've really become an obsessed gardener) and a farm. Enjoy today and may all your intentions come true!!!
Ahhhh, nirvana

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The sun is so bright it looks like summer. And yet...

I find myself pining for summer. The sun today makes me want to run into the garden, but it's over for now. And then...
Bright Lights
I stroll. All there really is to do in the garden is walk, stop, breathe and admire. The beauty of Bright Lights Chard in the sun takes my breath away. Then look at the cauliflower and see the little holes slugs have eaten, that give the leaves a lacy look. And I'm not mad at the slugs. I can see that the Salad Bowl lettuce is still not flowering, but I have hopes of seeds. The lettuce I've put in the greenhouse bed looks about three weeks to actual salads! The garden beds look wonderful covered in straw with little vegetables and berries peaking through. I marvel at how much we accomplished in six months. My heart didn't know there was an empty spot, but now that it's filled I feel very complete.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Wow, post #100 already!!! The sun is out...I see gardening in my future.

I have reached the 100 post milestone. Wow, it went by very quickly. Thank you to all of you who have found me and read my blog. It means the world to me.

I received a package of seeds from Joan at My Mountain Garden Gleanings. Thank you Joan. Deer Tongue Lettuce and a package of mixed greens. Joan did a post about collecting seeds so it made it very special to me that she had grown the plants and collected the seeds. I am too new to have very many collected seeds, but I am letting my lettuce bolt. It still hasn't formed anything that looks like a flower. It's only about a foot tall. So I'm not sure I'll get any seeds other than my and my sisters marigolds. I'll be more on the seed part of things next year.

It is a beautiful sunny day in Sidney by-the-sea today. It's cool but sunny. And we had a time change last night, so I'll have some extra gardening time this morning. I forgot my camera at the store, so today's pictures will have to wait. Too bad, it is a golden and sunny, beautiful day. We will have more of those, right? Today two big bags of straw and bunny poop arrived at my house. Thank you Caroline and your bunnies.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Just in case you haven't 'got' what a huge leaf mulch geek I am

I got home from the store and asked Allan if he had a good day. Without pausing he said "I raked up the maple leaves next door and piled them by the bin so the wind won't blow them away." That made my whole day.

And he had dinner ready. Wow.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Two more pallets, lucky me

My gardening assistant Allan, aka my husband, snagged a couple more pallets. I have piled enough leaf mulch into the compost bins, that I needed another pallet to keep the contents from pouring out all over the lawn. I will post pictures on the weekend. I LOVE compost and mulch!!! Can you tell?