Category Archives: attracting birds

Apple Blossom Camellia

Camellia japonica apple blossom, Joy Sander, Camellia sasanqua,, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Here’s a darling fall & winter flower that caught our Christmas guest’s attention as they came to the door.

Camellia japonica apple blossom, Joy Sander, Camellia sasanqua,, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Camellia ‘Apple Blossom’ is just beginning to bloom at Haloween.  It continues through November and December if the weather is right.

I treasure every new bloom.  But the shrub doesn’t garner our guests’ compliments until the winter solstice has passed.

Camellia japonica apple blossom, Joy Sander, Camellia sasanqua,, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

When protected from the brunt of the wind, this camellia happily goes about its business.  Even our resident blacktail deer seem to let it be.  🙂

Camellia japonica apple blossom, Joy Sander, Camellia sasanqua,, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

My morning coffee is that much more of a treat when I’m also watching the overwintering Anna’s hummingbirds investigating the Camellia blossoms.

When each flower opens, its pink petals fade to white.
Plain.
Hummingbirds typically look for more dramatic blooms.
I reckon it’s the heavy yellow pollen that is drawing them near.

Camellia japonica apple blossom, Joy Sander, Camellia sasanqua,, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

In mid-January, the Pacific Northwest suffered a snowstorm.  Now that’s drama!

Camellia japonica apple blossom, Joy Sander, Camellia sasanqua,, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

The delicate buds & blooms froze – then turned brown & mushy.
So sad.
If it had stayed sunny with only light rain, the flowers would have lasted.  Alas, that’s just not often our January weather.

Fortunately for me, this camellia is listed as zone 5 – – and we don’t get that kind of cold in Victoria.  Our shrub should survive to bloom another day…
maybe not this winter…
but perhaps next fall.    🙂

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PS.  Here are some more pink fall friends:

 

 

Suet Bird Feed Recipe

suet bird feed ingredients garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Oh, Snap!
My treasured garden magazine has gone out of business!
Which means their website is gone too!  Therefore my link is broken.

So much for always having access to that excellent suet bird feed recipe…

bird feeder garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Fortunately, David Suzuki’s website has a very similar recipe

cheers!

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Belief In Magic

It was one morning in September 2006 when I realized fairies are real.  Dancing in the autumn chill beneath the birdbath was a flurry of naked ladies.

colchicum in bloom
photo by SVSeekins

I found them enchanting…
surely elves & pixies would pop up any minute.

Only a month had passed since we’d purchased our home.  I’d done nothing in the yard, besides delivering a few pots from our old home.  This magic just ‘happened‘…  unprompted.

birdbath 2006 09
photo by SVSeekins

We were crazy-busy, making the house our own.  It would be a long while before much time could be spared for gardens…
yet I knew, then & there, this circle of fairy dancers had to be incorporated into our landscape plans… Somehow.

Given the birdbath & tiny flower bed was awkwardly adrift in a sea of lawn, I needed imagination.  It took me a while to figure out what to do with it.

birdbath bed 2008 01
photo by SVSeekins

Finally, we moved forward, creating a corner border. Rock edging started at the forsythia & gate (to the right / east)…
encompassed the birdbath,  & cherry tree at the end of the driveway (center-right)…
then followed the northern fence line to the rhododendron (far left).  (photo: Xmas 2007)

birdbath bed 2009 08
photo by SVSeekins

Early on, it felt like a giant, near-empty space that would take forever to turn into a real garden.  The new shrubs seemed tiny & lost. The local deer nibbled the Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo).  They nearly destroyed the Bottlebrush (Callistemon) with their antlers. Happily, the fairies came back every autumn to dance in the shivery sunshine.  The deer gave them peace. 🙂     (photo: August 2009)

birdbath bed 2013 09
photo by SVSeekins

Five years in, it was starting to look like something more.   The Rhodo (far left) loved the company – growing almost as much as the newer shrubs.  Those shrubs were now large enough to stand up against the deer a little better, so I removed their cages.  The birds & fairies were enjoying the extra privacy as the garden grew up around the birdbath.   (photo: Sept. 2013)

birdbath bed 2019 09
photo by SVSeekins

After a dozen years, the party continues.  The shrubs have matured into small trees.  The border has grown into a mini-woodland.  The birdbath almost disappears in the dappled understory! I reckon it’s even more magical than before. And each September, the fairies come to dance.     (photo: Sept. 2019)

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