Posts filed under ‘Other People’s Gardens’
17, 18, 19 degrees Celsius, with glorious sunshine: this is how long weekends should be. We spent three days on Vancouver Island in Sooke and Nanoose Bay, all of them peaceful, restful, and slow. I spent time in the garden, on the deck, the dock, the beach and I started an inspiring new book. We went to the My-Chosen Cafe on Happy Valley Road in Metchosin and then did a quick walk through the trails at Witty’s Lagoon. During our time in Nanoose we went cycling around Parksville and enjoyed Rathtrevor Beach at low tide, which is one of my favourite places to be, beach-wise. And, of course, we ate like kings and queens during family meals.
All in all a wonderful sojourn and a reminder of how refreshing a few days of Island time can be.
It is pouring down rain today. Pouring! The rain is hitting the roof of our apartment hard enough that the plink plink plink sound is echoing in the hood fan of the stove. It’s beautiful to listen to, lovely to write about, and in a few minutes I’ll be walking downtown and getting soaked by it.
The other day, when I was out for a walk in the sun, I saw that holiday decorations are going up all over the place: lights, wreaths, acrylic snowflakes and oversized Christmas ornaments hung on the almost-bare branches of trees. Along with these vestiges of winter, I noticed that spring has already started. Furry buds on magnolia trees, green clusters holding spring’s rhododendrons, and even a few spring bulb tips peeking out of the ground just as the final leaves fall from the trees. This is the thing I missed when I lived in Calgary: the continuous cycle of plant life, the constancy of new beginnings, things forever growing and green. I will take the rain.
Vancouver’s sunny days glisten like jewels this time of year. We had a gorgeous stretch of weather last week, four or five days of sunlight that made morning strolls with the dog and walks around the city oh-so-pleasant.
I found myself at the entrance to Sun Yat-Sen Park, a free public garden adjacent to the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden on one of the sunny days last week when I was early for a movie. Few things match the joy and decadence of going to the movies on a weekday afternoon, but sitting in the sun for half an hour watching ducks glide around a pond and then going to the movies in the afternoon, well, try to top that.
Weeping birch trees still full of golden leaves hung over sun-dappled water, a few people milled around the paths near the pagoda, and I thought, This is why I live in Vancouver. Because the gardens are open all year.
The movie was also amazing.
Here’s my tribute to the start of the long weekend – fresh cut flowers from the garden and a post on my neglected blog.
We’re spending this last weekend of summer on Vancouver Island. I’ve got nothing to do but putter and garden and write. I hope you have something wonderful planned, too.
Do not think that you can just throw a pile of freshly picked plums into a plate pressed with pastry along with a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon and imagine that a perfect pie will emerge on the other side. It will look beautiful, yes, and it will smell divine. But it will be SOUR! Your dinner guests – in laws, no less – will take a bite and then look at you with an expression that your husband helpfully calls “bitter beer face.” Your dreams of domestic bliss will be shot down once again.
Instead, use a recipe that calls for lots and lots of sugar. Or pour honey on top of each slice of the failed pie, along with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, to help drown out the taste.
Luckily I have about 10 pounds of these beautiful golden plums sliced up and packed away in my freezer thanks to the fruit-laden tree just outside the front door of my parents’ new place on Vancouver Island. I will try the pie again. You are all invited.