Archives for posts with tag: gardening

My birthday was a couple weeks ago and I was overwhelmed with beautiful local gifts. Here are a few pics –

Our dear Annie made me a beautiful wrap top from gorgeous Indian print cotton. There was also a beautiful stitched small placemat and some other fabric gifts (plus some candy, which didn't last long enough to make it into the photo!).

Our dear Annie made me a beautiful wrap top from gorgeous Indian print cotton. There was also a beautiful stitched small placemat and some other fabric gifts (plus some candy, which didn’t last long enough to make it into the photo!).

Annie makes most of her own clothes, a talent which is awe-inspiring to me!

Annie makes most of her own clothes, a talent which is awe-inspiring to me!

And, she made us a lovely meal and delicious gin and rosewater cocktails!

And, she made us a lovely meal and delicious gin and rosewater cocktails!

Oh yummy! Preserves by our dear friend Rebecca. She sells from the Moss Street Market on Saturdays. The apple pear mince is amazing on ice cream.

Oh yummy! Preserves by our dear friend Rebecca. She sells from the Moss Street Market on Saturdays. The apple pear mince is amazing on ice cream.

Friends J and M gave me a beautiful wooden box, lovingly adorned with raffia and rosemary.  It was emanating a delicate smell.

Friends J and M gave me a beautiful wooden box, lovingly adorned with raffia and rosemary. It was emanating a delicate smell.

When I peeked inside…

When I peeked inside…

Ta da! No, not a box of fruit, but hand-carved soaps made to look like fruit. The maker, Laura-Victoria Handmilled Soaps, has been making beautiful soap for more than 30 years. The scents are gentle – like lemon and herbs – not necessarily the fruit they represent.

Ta da! No, not a box of fruit, but hand-carved soaps made to look like fruit. The maker, Laura-Victoria Handmilled Soaps, has been making beautiful soap for more than 30 years. The scents are gentle – like lemon and herbs – not necessarily the fruit they represent.

And the second layer – vegetables – also in the same lovely scents as the fruits.

And the second layer – vegetables – also in the same lovely scents as the fruits.

Haven't been able to use them yet; they are just too pretty!

Haven’t been able to use them yet; they are just too pretty!

Abundance from friends who grow and raise much of their own food. Eggs, vegetables, herbs and jam – yum, yum, yum!

Abundance from friends who grow and raise much of their own food. Eggs, vegetables, herbs and jam – yum, yum, yum!

Had a wonderful walk yesterday with our friend M. She lives very close to our beautiful city park. We walked all around the gardens admiring the plantings this year, saw some turtles and baby ducks, and ended our visit over delicious beverages at Heist Coffee Co. on Courtney Street.

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This annual event is close to my heart. GJ and I rode our bikes, as we usually do, getting to 11 of the 14 gardens. The weather was just perfect. Here are some highlights:

Our first stop, a perfect little garden in Fairfield very near the ocean.

Our first stop, a perfect little garden in Fairfield very near the ocean.

Happy bee.

Happy bee.

A lovely water garden in Fairfield.

A lovely water garden in Fairfield.

Mirrors create depth and highlight a lovely collection of blue and white pottery.

Mirrors create depth and highlight a pretty collection of blue and white pottery.

Such fun! An outdoor train set, all decorated for the Garden Tour.

Such fun! An outdoor train set, all decorated for the Garden Tour.

Obligatory perfect rose. This garden in Fairfield was full of them, so many varieties.

Obligatory perfect rose. This garden in Fairfield was full of them, so many varieties.

Several gardens on the tour this year had prominent potato vine. So pretty.

Several gardens on the tour this year had prominent potato vine. So pretty.

One garden in Oak Bay had an amazing bed of lavender, probably at least 12x5 feet.

One garden in Oak Bay had an amazing bed of lavender, probably at least 12×5 feet.

A garden in Oak Bay with a steep slope allows for layers of plantings and many beautiful vantage points.

A garden in Oak Bay with a steep slope allows for layers of plantings and many beautiful vantage points.

Keeping bees in a  beautiful garden in the Oaklands neighbourhood.

Keeping bees in a beautiful garden in the Oaklands neighbourhood.

Foxgloves and mock orange blossoms; some to the food for those Oaklands bees.

Foxgloves and mock orange blossoms; some to the food for those Oaklands bees.

A little secret path to nowhere.

A little secret path to nowhere.

A magnificent eucalyptus tree.

A magnificent eucalyptus tree.

Sunlight makes these poppies glow.

Sunlight makes these poppies glow.

I love to see this: the public boulevard being used as vegetable garden. There is one example, very close to downtown, which we admire often. The gardener is usually out tending his creation when we pass. He’s very proud of the quality and flavour of his produce and loves to share the bounty with his neighbours. Proof that we certainly don’t need a lot of space to grow our own food; a little land can go a long way when approached thoughtfully and with passion.

Boulevard gardens are become more and more prevalent in our city. Hooray!

A favor to the neighbourhood school children who, when asked what the gardener should grow, without hesitation agreed “Pumpkin!”

Sunflowers of every size and colour.

These are fragrant beauties.

Lots of bees working their magic on the sunflowers.