Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Hydrangeas are Finally Happy

With the milder winter (not so frosty) and all the rain we've had up to now the Hydrangeas are finally flowering with large, growing heads of flowers. We planted them about 5 years ago. We bought them for potted plants, as decoration at out daughter's wedding on the farm just before we moved her. Each year they have looked promising but then been cooked or frosted so badly that they didn't really flower.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pink Wisterias

I love wisterias and last week I had 2 mauve standard wisterias in full bloom. This week the pink ones are just beginning to flower. They are a soft shade of pink with long flower bracts. The colour is so subtle that the photos do not indicate the true pink. My mother has a white and a double white one as well, something I'll be looking out for when we are in the nurseries or at the markets.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Camelot Garden Oct 2010

Some highlights of the garden in Oct. The gum trees provide a beautiful backdrop with their shiny new red leaves. It has been very wet and the garden is just beginning to burst into flower. The wisterias and viburnums have been particularly beautiful this year.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Butchart Gardens

Our last big day out in Canada was spent at the Butchart Gardens. It is quite an excursion because you have to take a ferry ride to Victoria Island. To get to the ferry station and the ride across to the island takes well over 2 hours but our tour guide made it quite interesting. All the tour guides have a well rehearsed narrative to inform you and keep you amused on your travels.

The Butchart Gardens were a spectacular mix of traditional flower beds all perfectly in bloom and magnificent old trees that have been part of the garden since the beginning. We both agreed that our favourite gardens were the Sunken Garden and the Japanese Garden.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Glacier Bay - Alaska

The final part of our amazing Canada holiday was to take a cruise to Alaska. We stopped in 3 towns, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan but the highlight of the cruise was to sail around Glacier Bay. The ship sails, as sensitively as a cruise ship can, into Glacier Bay and has park rangers on board to explain the amazing sites that are revealed as the ship rounds each point in the bay.
The bears feeding on the beached whale were a perfect example of nature in action. There were a number of bears tolerating each other and taking turns to feed because of the abundance of food. The whale would provide enough food for the bear families for a number of weeks.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Grand Pre Winery and The Tangled Garden

We had a beautiful meal at the Grand Pre Winery and tasted the "Ice Wines". The Ice Wines are made with grapes picked and crushed when they are frozen. The grapes are even picked during the night (in the snow) to make sure they are cold enough.
After lunch we wandered through the Tangled Garden just a short drive down the road. The area is rich in history and the story of the English settlement and Arcadian expulsion.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

River Runners

We went with Albie and Gill to a near-by adventure called the River Runners. As the highest tides in the world start to come up the Shubenacadie River, rubber boats with outboard motors ride the tidal bore. Sand banks and the narrowing of the river cause turbulence creating waves and “rapids”. The boat drivers take full advantage of the waves to get you as wet as they can making repeat runs through the rapids to add to the fun.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Bears at Lake Kennisis

The black bears can be found at the rubbish dump. People deliver their rubbish very carefully but the bears are so well fed and busy foraging that they are ignore most of the goings on. The mother bear above was guarding her two babies which she had sent up a tree. There seemed to be another bear wandering around that she was protecting them from.

Niagara Falls - July 1st

Niagara Falls was everything we expected. They were impressive!
We left early and raced all the traffic, spending a good part of the day viewing The Falls from all the different positions in the park like surrounds. Of course we spent time going on the "Maid of the Mist" and "Behind the Falls". The gardens and township surrounding the Falls is beautifully maintained and many families enjoyed the lawns with picnic lunches or just as a place to take time out.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rocky Mountaineer Day 2

Today was an early start with a 6:15 pickup. We got to the big mountains today and saw alien type rock forms near Kamloops. People living right on the edge of the river with huge mountains behind them. They seem quite remote or secluded.

The lakes were beautiful and over 500 m deep.

The Rocky Mountains shrouded in clouds loomed above us, still layered with snow

We were wined and dined with gourmet food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The service was indulgent and company was great. We arrived in Calgary at 9:30 and unfortunately will be leaving for Toronto early in the morning so we only get a sneak peak at the cowboy city.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Rocky Mountaineer Day 1

From Vancouver to Kamloops

The Rocky Mountaineer follows the Fraser and Thompson Rivers along trails carved through the "foothills" of the Rocky Mountains. The journey is slow and surprisingly flat which often is an indicator of the amount of work that went into building the railway track. Our day was filled with being spoilt in the dinning car and spotting wildlife along the edges of the railway line or in the river. We saw a number of eagles, osprey, mountain sheep, a bear (well maybe), a deer and otters in the river.
We were amused by the number of Aussies on the trip from Victoria and the couple who sat next to us were from Gippsland. A teacher and ex-dairy farmer! What are the chances of that? We had great company for the trip and the evening out.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

VanDusen Botanical Garden.

Click on the photo to see the rest of VanDusen's Garden

Canada Day 2 - Vancouver
We slept in! Talk about putting some sleep in the bank. We ate breakfast at the hotel and then headed off to try out the public transport system. We caught the train and then walked the rest of the way to the VanDusen Botanical Garden. It would have been quite a short walk if we hadn't got lost. Never mind the mild weather means it is very pleasant for walking and the exercise isn't going to hurt.
VanDusen Gardens were stunning. The Dogwoods lined the entrance in the electric pink flowers. The trees, lakes and plantings were all beautiful.

Day 1: Vancouver

8:00 am - arrived at the Fairmont and had a small spell.
Walked to the waterfront, where the cruise ships are docked.

Walked across town to the Chinese Garden.

In the afternoon we went to the Vancouver Art Gallery just opposite our hotel to the "The Modern Woman: Drawings by Degas, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec and Other Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris exhibition"

Dinner at the Hotel Resturant and early to bed. Jetlag is overwhelming.

The streets are full of gardens in pots or hanging baskets. Trees everywhere and the dogwoods are stunning.