SixOnSaturday November 14th Little Brown Treasures.

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  1. The first treasure, this perfect little song sparrow nest was abandoned early in Spring and has since been curated by a family of house wrens. It is one of several nests they have used all summer. Tucked into the angled branches of a skyrocket juniper, it is only 3 feet from the ground and in perfect condition. The wrens also had 2 nests in birdhouses and one under my shed, that I know of. As far as I can tell, eggs were laid and hatched in only one nest.

2. Another abandoned nest, this time from a pair of cardinals. This nest was little more than a scruffy wuzzle of grass balanced precariously in a star magnolia tree. Three chicks were raised, followed by at least one mockingbird baby, before the whole apparatus fell to earth. Both cardinals and mockingbirds are much larger than the tiny wrens with the perfectly groomed, spacious nest.

3. This is half of a shagbark hickory nut I think. The squirrels plant these all over. The saplings are fast growing and usually turn up in the middle of a precious specimen that I don’t want to disturb.

4. Fungus is something I don’t know much about but enjoy and admire. This is on a rotting willow log.

5. A fishing creel / foraging basket found today by the river. No sign of the owner. I of course imagined a night fisherman creeping around my back yard in the dark.

6. Not at the bottom of my garden but here’s a fairy ring. This is one of the outdoor classrooms at our local elementary school. No school today. I’m planning to make my own fairy ring next time I have a fallen tree. I’m sure the night fisherman will appreciate having a place to sit.

These are my six for this week. In the comments section of the host’s blog http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com may be found many other sixes from near and far, as well as the rules if you’d like to participate.

Following snow at Halloween we had ten beautiful warm sunny days, but now its definitely drizzly, unmistakably autumn. There’s still plenty to do outside though so that’s where I’ll be.

SixOnSaturday September 26th Beginning Autumn.

Its time for another SixOnSaturday. From the garden, six things. In the comments section of the host http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com you will find other Sixes to make you smile. In the featured picture you will see my favourite sign of the changing season. The pre-migratory feeding frenzy begins.

 1. The garden is showing signs of the seasonal change. A couple of chilly nights is all it takes. The Magnolia Stellata (which may be on its final season if we have a tough winter) is turning to gold with bright red berries. Caryopteris Blue Knight, all a-buzz, lights up the understory.

2. The Blueberries are starting to show their colours.

3. Gleaming beads of Callicarpa or Beautyberry. Apparently you can make jelly from them. I never have.

4. The very last squash is hanging on to the Ilex Verticilata, whose red berries will have been eaten by blue jays long before the squash is ripe.

a nice trailing of Virginia creeper and a wild rose are also in residence.

5. Goldenrod is just amazing this year.

6. and it is time to start picking the winter vegetables. Here are some leeks, Bleu Solaise. There’ll be lots of soup on our winter menus.

The tomato plants have been pulled, the compost and ground cover crops have been planned and discussed. All that is needed now is to get on with it! I did break out the chipper today to make material for next year’s paths so that’s a start. These dog days are so beautiful, it is hard not to just stand and watch them go by.

Have a wonderful week in the garden!

SixOnSaturday May 4th. Surprise!

Sometimes the best laid plans go wrong. Despite one’s best efforts and intentions there are surprises,  and not always nice ones. Here are some of mine.

IMG_20190503_1449311. 15 year old Crabapple. Planted to encourage cross pollination and good fruit set on my apple trees.  Here is the first ever flower cluster. Just the one.. . . (The apples have been doing just fine for years).

IMG_20190503_1449032. The Peach tree that wasn’t. It appears that the rootstock Prunus Americanus has beaten the peach into submission. Back to the drawing board on the peach cobbler.

IMG_20190503_1453473. Two lonely tulips. These from a huge bag planted years ago that I’ve never been able to find again. They are so beautiful and the planned ‘drift’ would have been breathtaking.

IMG_20190503_1455074. The twice killed Lemon Verbena  – update. It is fully recovered as usual and ready to be planted in the herb garden.

155691289910613795666795. Too many Chillis and Peppers… And tomatoes. And so on. Why this counts as a surprise I’m not sure.  It happens every year.

IMG_20190503_1452326. A wet weekend. Yes, I have today off and no obligations. Great,  I’ll get more peas in, do some preventative weeding,  start a new compost pile,  mow….

But no,  pouring rain and cold weather forecast for the foreseeable future. Everything is growing at a mile a minute.  Looks like my weekend will be spent reading about everyone else’s gardening wins over on the propagator’s website . Take a look at what’s going on in gardens everywhere: Thepropogatorblog.wordpress.com

Have a great week!

SixOnSaturday February 23rd. Sow It Begins…

It is a funny thing, Winter drags on and I’m dying for Spring but I can’t get motivated to start sowing seeds. The basement, where I keep my supplies is cold, with a concrete floor. Cleaning and setup takes forever.

Today the sun is shining, the temp is above freezing, the birds have started singing their songs of love…and as happens every year, I just got on with it!

IMG_20190222_1145461. It begins. Every available surface. This week I started assorted annual flower seeds and peppers. Plus a few herbs and some lettuce….

img_20190222_114604.jpg2 . This little onion propagator was once a catering pack of oatmeal raisin cookies.

IMG_20190222_1146373. As if it knew it was destined to be dumped back in the heap tomorrow,  a bud finally appeared on last year’s red amaryllis .

IMG_20190222_1151014. Speaking of red, geraniums on the porch,  with a backdrop of snow.

IMG_20190222_1150475. Tete a tete daffodils,  also indoors. From a 3 dollar pack of 16 bulbs there are 3 flowers. Not very economical after all.

IMG_20190212_0633086. Sunrise, preceding one of 3 snowfalls this week. Just a few inches each time,  to remind me that it’s still mid winter here. February can be a ‘tretorus’ month, as they say around here. Actually, so can  March!

I’ll very quickly get sick and tired of having seed trays all over the house, but for now I’ll take it as a sign of Spring.

Take a visit to gardens and gardeners all over the world by visiting my inspiration in blog writing and seed sowing, the Propagator and his many Twitter friends.

http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

 

 

SixOnSaturday January 5th. Happy New Year

The first week of January has been wonderfully kind, with blue skies, mild temps, no precipitation or winds to speak of. I should probably get out and dig the last of the leeks.

The garden is still waiting for winter, which will come as we all know….but it was easy to find 6 pleasing things this week.

  1. Winter Savory. One of my favourite herbs. A blend of rosemary and thyme flavours, it seems to enhance all kinds of kitchen ‘doings’. I even put it in cranberry sauce! It is a tidy and beautiful little plant (unlike some herbs I could mention….) and can be picked through the winter as long as it is not under a blanket of snow.img_20190104_101919

 

2. Red Osier Dogwood “Arctic Fire” I think. I planted 2 as a windbreak on a bank of desperate soil facing due south. They have flourished, providing me with cutting materials though the winter and many plants to give away as they increase very easily by layering.img_20190104_101810img_20190104_101752.jpg

 

3. Gangs of sparrows. I finally got around to putting up the birdfeeders, at which point my birds arrived. The funniest is the gang of house sparrows, which lies in wait in a hazelnut tree before mobbing the feeders en masse. Lots of hazel catkins this year. Could be a bumper crop.img_20190104_101716img_20190104_101602

 

4. Passing lobster boat, nice to see they can still get out to tend the traps in this nice weather.img_20190104_101640.jpg

 

5. Hamamelis Virginiana, common native witch hazel, always the first to flower. Not a spectacular shrub but highly scented attracting whatever insects are out and about.img_20190104_101428

 

6. Heath “Vivelli”. Pretty dark purple foliage and magenta flowers just starting to open.img_20190104_101306.jpg

 

I’m taking advantage of this ‘January Thaw’ even though we haven’t had any snow yet. We all know winter is coming, but in the mean time I have a good dog that needs a walk!

Pop on over to the Propagator to see what else is going on in the gardens of the world.

http://www.thepropagator.wordpress.com