Monday, August 24, 2015

Beamer the garden cat loves squirrels !!

I think Beamer would love to get up close and personal with this one....but I cleverly placed the bird {squirrel} feeder on the other side of the wire fence. Look how he is stalking it. He gets to behave like a true wild cat...without the killing part. Win, win.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Enjoying using what I have...reusing the trees we cut down

I am really enjoying using what I have to edge gardens. It feels natural to be using trees that we had to remove, both in the wood chips we spread and in this case to edge the new gardens. They should settle into the soil over the winter which will anchor them firmly in place. I cannot wait to see this garden next year. It is a hybrid. A Food Forest / Bee and Butterfly Garden and Cottage Garden.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wasp Trap Comparison

I saw a post recently about this trap. I bought one and found that it did not work for us using the included bait. Our Tanglefoot Trap {below} outperformed it spectacularly. Until we ran out of the Tanglefoot bait. Once we didn't have the Tanglefoot trap up, the Rescue trap worked well. If they have a choice the wasps will go into the Tanglefoot trap. If not they will go into the Rescue. Not quite as many, but quite a few. We have started using Near Beer in the top and every few days we just pour the beer with the dead wasps into the garden and refill with beer.

Tanglefoot, I have heard, has been purchased by Scott's. We cannot find any traps or refills, but I am sure it will be available again soon.

David Austin Rose...Abraham Darby

My first Abraham Darby Rose flower. It is so beautiful and the scent is heavenly.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Potato's potato day!!

The one job Allan loves is digging potatoes. Today was that day. Tonight, for supper, we ate mashed potatoes. That is all. Mashed potatoes, with butter, salt and pepper. Just like we did as kids. Honestly the best potatoes I've ever had. Next we will try our red potatoes, which my brother swears taste just like my grandparents. Stay tuned.

Here are pictures of our harvest. These potatoes are as big as about six inches long. These are the six piles we ended up with. The purple potatoes are regular size. Shows you how big these reds are.



Sunday, August 09, 2015

Goodbye dear little Ivy

Ivy came into our lives 16 1/2 years ago. We figured out later that she was the result of a disreputable breeder. A kitten mill if you will. We got Ivy home and a couple weeks later we found out the whole cattery where she came from had to be put down because of the disease FIP. So we didn't know if Ivy was going to live or not. After some testing and monitoring, my vet {Dr. Ellen Guttormson in Sidney} determined Ivy was most likely disease free. As Ivy grew, her Malocclusion became obvious. Her whole head was crooked causing a terribly off kilter bite and her jaw would lock open now and then. She was clumsy and had no balance so she would tumble or fall off things. She was not well socialized either {remember, kitten mill} but that was something we could take care of. We loved her and she blossomed. She was sweet. She was incontinent so she roamed around in a diaper. That was pretty cute too. Here she is in her diaper. She actually looks high on catnip to me. What do you think?

Now that we have her quirkiness out of the way...Ivy was so sweet you could hardly stand it. She loved to be held like a baby. She loved cuddles and kisses. She liked to play with toys and loved catnip. In the evening she would lie on Allan's chest and fall asleep there. She was the alpha female and loved everything about the role. She was adorable and I'm going to miss her more than I can say. There is a hole in our family.

Ivy, please say hi to Charas, Izzy, Dad and Grandma for me. They will take care of you baby girl.


Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Zucchini...holy crap!!

I have had a vegetable garden since 2011 which means this is my fifth season. In that time, I have been trying to grow zucchini every year. Yes...TRYING to grow zucchini. In August 2013 I got a large and a small zucchini. This is the big one.

This was it. The only zucchini in five years.

Fast forward to 2015 and the new Back to Eden garden. The largest zucchini in this picture is two feet long. Some of the cukes are about 10". I am stunned by this.

Monday, August 03, 2015

A couple days on Gabriola Island and then...a trip to Dinter Nursery.

We just spent two days with some wonderful friends on Gabriola Island. I really look forward to our visits to the Island. These are special friendships, some going back to the mid 70's. And as a bonus, I really love the island. It was a very hot day. I was slightly over dressed it turns out. At my beloved Dinter Nursery, I had sweat trickling all over in places I didn't even know could trickle with sweat. I was helped by a lovely, patient young woman named Tamara, who coincidentally was at the same Permaculture / Food Forest class I was last Easter. She was helping me with my food forest / bee friendly garden choices. We decided on a variety of perennials for the bees and butterflies.

Bee Balm...not that easy to find and not quite in bloom yet.


'Miss Ruby' Dwarf Butterfly Bush {Buddleia}...this is not an invasive variety.

This hybrid is sterile so it will not invade your whole garden!!


Gartenmeister Fuchsia (thank you Patty for introducing me to this lovely plant)


Allysum 'Crystal Mix'


Agastache 'Blue Fortune'


Yarrow 'Moonshine' {this is not my plant}


Saskatoon Berry {this is not my plant}


Papaya Tree {this is not my plant}


Summer Heather 'Allegro' {this is not my plant}


Sedum 'John Creech' {this is not my plant}