Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Garden day

Sunday was all about gardens. I know it was about Mother's Day for some of you, but I can only call my mom since she lives so far away. Seeing as I'm not a mom myself (unless you count the cats, which I do), I didn't really want to go to a popular Mother's Day destination, but it was the Geranium and Pelargonium Club's sale and it was being held at Van Dusen Botanical Gardens.

We didn't go into the gardens itself. Mother's Day was not the time for that.

This photo is near the entrance in the parking lot. It looks very enticing and now I know I'll have to go back to Van Dusen for a tour.

All entrances to major attractions have totems and Van Dusen is no exception.

It does look relatively quiet, but believe me it was teeming with moms and their families.

There wasn't much left at the sale in the afternoon of its last day. If I hadn't worked Saturday I would have gone earlier for more selection. However, I found some beautiful geraniums (hardy geraniums that include a white double, called Double Jewel, and a phaeum, called Samobor) and a scented geranium that smells of nutmeg.

After I'd made my choices, we had planned to go to the Sustainable Expo, but because it was such a beautiful day, we decided to spend the time in our new garden that needs a lot of work.

This isn't our garden. This is one of the pathways leading away from the Van Dusen parking lot. The rhodos lined the whole path.

Okay so here's part of our garden. There are several raised beds as you enter the garden that leads to our door. Each bed has a rose in it (varieties unknown since they were already here).

Here db has joined in to help me weed the dandelions out of the area. They were abundant, but I had two tools to try out from LV tools. The Dandelion Digger and the Grandpa's Weeder were the two tools. I preferred the digger because it was less cumbersome to use than the weeder. Also, the weeder took out large chunks of earth so it left more of a hole that looked a lot nastier on the lawn.
I found that the digger did equally as good a job and it was light and easy to use.

Into the earth it goes.

It's hard to tell here, but the plant is being lifted out easily. The cup part of the tool presses against the earth and the plant lifts out.

Here's the result. It's hard to tell because of the out of focus foreground, but there is a significant amount of the taproot removed from the soil. Yay!

And so it went dandelion after dandelion until the trug was overflowing, and then I had to stash the rest of them alongside the house until I get some yardwaste bags.

Here's the view from our kitchen looking west.

Here's another view looking in the other direction (south).

db took the Christmas lights down that were left up by the last tenant.

As you can see from these last two photos, we do border the forest. One of the really nice aspects of this position is that we get to hear lots of birdsong.
While out in the garden we heard this very loud crazy sounding call that neither of us had ever heard before. I looked up to see a sizeable bird and it looked like he had a red head. It was definitely a woodpecker, and not just any woodpecker, but a Pileated Woodpecker. They are about the size of a large crow and have a striking red tuft on top.

Fortunately, I had unpacked the binoculars and left them near the door. The binoculars gave us a good view of him (I later confirmed it was a him since only the males have the red streak on the face). It was the largest woodpecker I've ever seen.

Here's an image to give you an idea of what they look like. I don't have a telephoto lens so I did not take this picture.

Amazing looking aren't they?


Wandering Coyote said...

I am so jealous of all your lush greenery! It's so gorgeous.

word verification = kings

SME said...

Nice! I don't blame you for not braving public gardens on Mom's Day...that would be scary. Hopefully you can go back when it's much quieter.

mister anchovy said...

It looks very pretty where you are with the forest right there. We also have lots of birds because there are many mature trees on or about our property.

We spent hours on Sunday pulling dandelions from our front lawn. Neverending. There are some in the back, but not so many.

Anonymous said...

When I lived in New Brunswick, I sometimes was lucky enough to see the elusive pileated woodpecker as
he flew across the opening back of our house, which cut through the forest. I would hear his unusual call and dash to the deck to catch a glimpse. In flight, he has a teradactyl quality. That long flexible neck and the huge wing span, are impressive. Lucky you. md

Anonymous said...

It looks gorgeous!! Wow, I'm so happy for you guys.
Love, Sis.