Posts tagged ‘spring’

Instead of snow

I am very happy to see online that my friends to the east are embracing the crazy dump of snow that just happened. Snow men, snow angels, snow pants are all a lot of fun. I am almost envious, except that I am too busy gardening and gloating among the flowers here in Victoria.

Not to say there hasn’t been rain, because there has, and lots of it, especially yesterday when it poured all day yesterday. We got drenched in the best sort of way when I had the dog and baby out for a (very) early morning walk. It’s impossible to grumble about the dark and the cold and the wet when there is a bright-eyed little boy in awe of it all helping to hold the umbrella with one hand, pointing out all the street lights with the other, frantically doing his sign for tree every time we go past one (often!). This is my favourite thing about being a mom: experiencing the world anew through fresh eyes every day. It’s a cliche, I guess, but a true and joyful one.

Seeing the world with wonder is particularly lovely when paired with spring. Rhododendrons, hellebores, crocuses, snowdrops and are all blooming now, and the first daffodils and cherry blossoms are out, too.  As soon as we have some warm weather I know the plant life will start to explode, so I have been trying to get an hour of gardening in every day while I can still see the ground. Last year we were parenting a newborn and in no position to be gardening, so our yard quickly became a jungle. I learned from our neighbours that the people who lived here before us had a regular gardener, which made me feel a little better, but reinforced that something needs to be done! This year I am trying to tame the beast, at least a little, and also trying to reclaim some areas overgrown with invasive perennials (free daylilies, buttercups or Queen Anne’s Lace anyone?) so we can have more space for fruit and veggie growing.

I need to take some “before” pictures this week so we can marvel later this summer at what is sure to be an improvement! For now, I am very content to be digging and dividing and enjoying the relative simplicity and smallness of the garden – delicate patches of purple crocuses, hardy edibles, the first daffodils opening, nodding hellebores, and strawberry runners starting to make their move. 





February 16, 2016 at 9:33 pm Leave a comment

Arranging spring

spring flower vase

This sweet brown vase was a gift earlier this month: it’s the latest addition to a collection of tiny vases that are perfect for my small garden.

Once again these vessels are filled with spring flowers. I’ve been enjoying the zen-like art of flower arranging once or twice a week lately and it’s a reminder that few things make me happier than walking outside to my own garden and cutting flowers for a bouquet.

I love photographing them, too, and the small arrangements are the perfect size for my teeny studio.

vase with periwinkles 2

tiny vases

daffodil and hyacinth

white narcissus

April 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm Leave a comment

Island time

sooke sign

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.

plum and heathers

sooke primula

signs at wittys lagoon

wittys lagoon

blackberry flower

sooke camelias

englishman river

rathtrevor beach

rathtrevor seashells

sooke fog

April 2, 2013 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Spring garden

lime clematis2

Here are a few photos of my garden as it welcomes the spring. I love living on the West Coast all times of year, but early spring is when I appreciate it most. Nothing made me more crazy living in Calgary than seeing spring on the calendar and snow on the ground, and each year spent in Vancouver (this is my fourth spring) reminds me how glad I am to be here.

I know many of you are still struggling with the dregs of winter, so I hope these images feel encouraging and hopeful – something to tide you over until things warm up all over the country. I promise I don’t mean to gloat!

primula in metal pot

sping garden 2013

one purple crocus

cinnamon hellebores

pink and white primulas in the sun

March 23, 2013 at 11:00 am 1 comment

Fall turns to winter and spring

magnolia buds_november

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.

November 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment


Spring’s delicious smell is wafting through Vancouver right now and magnolias like the ones pictured here deserve a great deal of the credit. When their large, leaf-like petals fold open they fill the streets with fragrance and beauty – I especially love seeing them against a blue sky or littered on the ground beneath a towering tree.

When we first moved to Vancouver just over two years ago I remember being enchanted by the smell of it every time I stepped outside. I still am.

We have a star magnolia planted in a large container on one corner of our patio. It came into our lives via the sale section at the garden shop. A clearance section pot became its keeper and it is blooming beautifully in its second season in our little garden.

April 30, 2012 at 9:11 pm 1 comment

Flowers from the garden

All winter long I’ve been buying cut flowers from the store. No longer. Now I just need scissors. My container garden is full of spring blooms: tulips are opening up, pale daffodils that came up late are just starting to fade away alongside the long, variegated leaves of the crocuses, which are quite beautiful all on their own even though the flowers are long gone. My hanging baskets are filled with a mix of primulas and the pink and orange ranunculus and purple periwinkles you see here. All are plentiful enough that I’ve filled a little vase with them.

For those of you who are counting, there are 25 flowers and leaves in this little vase, picked in honour of a sad but special day. Life is a strange place, and hard to deal with at times. Somehow everything feels a bit lighter with flowers brightening a space, especially when you’ve been outside carefully plucking them from your own garden. It’s easier to find a sense of meaning and calm when you’re surrounded by beauty. It’s a simple thing, maybe silly, but there’s a little voice in things like flowers from the garden that calls at you and pushes you to try to make the rest of your world just as right – whether it’s indoors, outdoors, or like these flowers on a windowsill, somewhere in between.

April 25, 2012 at 11:14 pm 3 comments

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