Saturday, November 6, 2010

Triumphs and Tragedies

I wasn't going to post a T&T this week, blaming the weather for my laziness.  But after laying about on the couch for far too long this morning I finally committed to going outside for at least a half hour just to get my spirits up and energy going again.  Despite the wind and the rain I found a multitude of things to keep me busy and that half hour turned into 4 hours (although I was pretty soaked when I finally came in).  Here's what I found.


The straw that I mulched my vegetable garden beds with is sprouting!  One of the downsides I have heard about with using items like hay and straw for mulch is that they often carry seeds with them.  Well here's the proof.


Looks like I might have to weed my vegetable beds in the spring before planting.

I decided to take a last walk through the meadow before it becomes inaccessible due to snow and noticed numerous holes in the grass.


The mice have built their homes for the winter to keep them warm and cozy.


Also in the meadow the yarrow is still blooming despite frost and snow earlier this week.  Although I can't blame it.  I'd be confused too since the snowfall was followed by a high temperature of 18 degrees celcius.  That could almost be classified as a beach day! (except for all the rain that came with it of course)


The hydrangea however dried out long ago and has been left to sway in the wind.


An exciting find was this spirea.  I have yet to definitively identify this variety but I'm liking it more and more as I discovered today that it is full of fall colour.  Showing everything from yellow and blue green to a bright red.  I'm thinking about possibly moving this shrub to a better location next year where I can more fully enjoy it.

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend wherever they are.  If you're starting to feel a little cooped up might I suggest a walk in the rain.

18 comments:

  1. See, if you just get up off the couch and go outside, there are such wonders to behold! A lovely post to remind me to do just that : )

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  2. I keep Charlottetown's weather on my desktop and saw the high temperatures - it's like an extra little treat before whammo - winter hits and stays! I've heard that our weather next week is supposed to be nice and mild - definitely weather to get out into for wimpy people like me:)

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  3. Great post to show when you least expect it, you find some hidden little treasures. Maybe not the mice and weeds, but the spirea sure makes a nice fall show.

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  4. I nice walk it always good for what ails you. I love how hydrangeas keep on giving.

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  5. Hi, Marguerite;
    I'm always thankful to whatever drags me off the couch and forces me outdoors, no matter what the weather. That pic of the veggie garden weeds has me worried! I tried a similar approach with straw in a part of my garden this year. Yikes.

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  6. Laurrie - It certainly turned what would have been a rather dreary day into a good one.

    Jane - It's been awfully funny around here. The weather has been very warm but also incredibly wet. 65 mm of rain on Saturday and another 20 today. The ground has gone spongy and there's pools of water everywhere. Just glad it's not snow.

    GardenWalk - Mice and weeds aren't always appreciated but nevertheless there's always something for me to learn which is what I love about nature.

    LifesHighway - Sometimes its hard to remember that activity will make you feel better, even when the weather isn't sun shiny. I'll need to keep that in mind when the mid-winter doldrums set in.

    Kate - The seeds were growing in the top layer of straw so hopefully the seeds at the bottom won't see sun enough to sprout. We'll have to wait until spring to find out though!

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  7. This time of year has its own sublime beauty, which you've captured here (love the mouse hole in the meadow!). I also love being out in a mild misty day. I do pine for a little maritime moisture some days. :)

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  8. It's like that for me too when it comes to spending time in the garden. There is just so much to do and 30 minutes is just not sufficient. Clifford would have loved to check out that hole.

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  9. Ms.S - I suppose the photos make it look misty but the fact was we received 3 or 4 inches of rain this weekend! I am trying to not be such a fusspot about weather though. It'll be an awfully long winter if I only go outside when it's sunny. and just think what I would have missed sitting around on the couch.

    One - I thought I would be wet and miserable after 30 minutes outside but once I got moving I found I was enjoying myself. I'm surprised my cats haven't found that hole yet, mice have awfully short lives on our property.

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  10. I have never mulched with straw and based on your experience I would now hesitate to do so. What an annoyance that you now have to weed your vegetable garden next spring!
    Though many people think they are common, I am a huge fan of spirea and have a number of varieties. I love the leaf colors in spring and fall.

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  11. Love these pictures. I don't know whether those are mice or voles making nest's. Apparently we have over 6 different types of voles that inhabit this region and can do some real damage to your trees. We have started to put wire mess up the base and higher to protect the fruit trees.
    The hardy native tree's like Pin Cherries can have huge damage but still survive.

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  12. I love the little mouse hole. It reminds us that our own spaces are always bigger than just us! I've heard that mulching with straw is safe but not hay. At least if you weed the beds before planting next spring, you'll have a crop of nitrogen ready to be worked into the soil!

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  13. Sorry to hear the straw mulch has sprouted. Yikes!

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  14. Jennifer - I have my fingers crossed it won't be too bad. Because it's just in the raised beds I should be able remove any weeds before I plant my vegetables. But I would hesitate to put straw in my perennial beds now.

    The Witch - That's pretty cool to hear about all the vole species. Certainly something to keep an eye on with my young trees. Although I'm not terribly worried as we have a master rodent killer on patrol (Priscilla the cat).

    TS - I was happy to see the mouse hole too. While they can cause some damage they are part of the natural cycle as well. I thought straw was safe as well but I guess not.

    Melanie - hopefully the seeds will all sprout now and then be killed off over the winter. Time will tell I suppose.

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  15. Thanks for the post, I love the little mouse hole. So cute! Have you thought of drying the hydrangea inside and spraying it gold? I heard that it can be a nice decoration for Christmas time.

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  16. Seablush - I have to admit I've been pretty lax in the decorating department lately. Living in the midst of renovations will do that to you. I'm thinking about collecting some greens for the house this month and I like the idea of dried hydrangeas for this.

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  17. Thanks so much, Marguerite, for your comment re books and for following my blog )))). Now, as a person who has mulched with straw...very possibly, the germinating seeds are oat seeds..and I think these are.. (or even barley etc) and so I don't consider that a weed. And in my experience,..yes those seeds will germinate this year but they generally don't get through the winter. If some germinate in the spring, a little hoe and they are soon dispatched. I am all for straw mulching when I can get it.

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  18. GardeningBren - thanks for the helpful response! I'm glad to hear you've had good results with straw mulch. I wondered whether those little sprouts would really be able to make it through the winter. and if they do it shouldn't be too much of a problem to hoe the beds before planting my vegetables.

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