Thursday, July 29, 2010

On Tour

I'm up in Vancouver B.C. visiting family but also taking in the local public gardens. People here also love gardening in a big way and the mild West coast climate allows for a long growing season. Yesterday I made the trek to the famous Butchart Gardens outside Victoria, on Vancouver Island. It's more of a large park-like garden than a botanical garden, with lots of instant color achieved through mass plantings of annuals, but the foundations are there, especially a great number of magnificent Japanese maples. The Sunken Garden was lovely, with great views from multiple angles and the Japanese gardens were peaceful and inviting. There is a large rose garden and a wild planted Mediterranean garden as well. For some reason those in charge of the flower selection really like heliotropes and calceolarias, as there were tons of them planted everywhere. I'll post photos on my return.
Today my nephew and I head up to the University of British Columbia to take in two gardens there, the UBC botanical garden (which I have seen in a previous visit) and a Japanese garden next door. It should be quite stimulating.
Everything in Vancouver is so lush, given the 60 inches of rain the city normally gets. And clean. It's a beautiful city, one I enjoyed living in for two years many a moon ago.
By the time I return it will be August, which I know is disconcerting for many of us gardeners, as it seemed like we never quite had a spring and summer is just now starting it seems. Our local nurseries are already beginning to stock some early fall plants like rudbeckias and toad lilies and there are many salvias available. Going on vacation is always invigorating but there will be so much work to do when I return. For now, though, the bliss of amnesia.

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