Sunday, March 23, 2008

Trip into the city.

Well, with the LONG weekend here we decided to take a trip into Victoria to get some shopping done. We are on the lookout for patio furniture for our deck but can't seem to find a higher set so that we can see over the railing. I suppose it isn't that big of a deal, seeing that the panels in the rail are GLASS and we can see right through them, but we were looking for higher perches from which to enjoy food, drink and the view. We were told to try Sears but alas all they had were the standard height tables and chairs. I've now started researching possibilities that are locally manufactured and will let you know what we find.

We also checked out the Sears Garden Center, something that I have NEVER seen in the States, and their selection wasn't too bad but of course they were still ramping up for the season so there was a lot of empty space yet to be filled with goodies of green. We wandered about in Hillside Mall, looking for info on cell phone service, and as usual were overwhelmed with the myriad of choices from the different providers. YIKES, it is as bad as in the States, but one thing I noticed is that usually voicemail tends to be in an extra cost package, not standard. We are leaning to Rogers due to our rural location and their larger number of towers out our way.

We were then off to Finest at Sea seafood emporium in Victoria. It is run by a local fisherman and he sells in the shop what his eight boats catch every day at sea. We heard they had BC sashimi-grade albacore tuna and they certainly do. A recent article in the local paper stated that the flavor of this local tuna is supposed to be fantastic so we splurged and picked up a pound to try for a special dinner tonight. We love our tuna seasoned and seared on the George Foreman indoor grill - just a bit of olive oil on each side and some chipotle and we are good to go!

After the fish store, which did NOT burn down by the way, just an out building behind did, we were off to Chinatown and Silk Road Tea Company on Government Street to try to find Dixon some Cinnamon Tea. He really enjoyed a particular blend back in the States that came from Mrs. Kelly's tea company in Minneapolis but we have not been able to find a similar product since our arrival in BC. Silk Road has a fantastic selection of teas but alas no Cinnamon tea so our search continues.

The trip into Victoria was a delight for the visual senses as there are blooming trees EVERYWHERE, more than I have ever seen in a city before. No matter what street or neighborhood we found ourselves there were trees in bloom, sometimes as far down the road as they eye could see! It truly is a fantastic sight and I would urge you to not miss it if possible. Sorry to say my camera was at home. Spring seems to come a bit earlier in Victoria than out in the hills of Sooke so there are not too many trees abloom out in our area, yet. We have 2-300 daffodils in bloom in the yard and some Hyacinth and I noticed the same blooms all over Victoria. The sunny weather seemed to have the populace out in full force also as there were loads of people everywhere we went. Douglas St. was a madhouse of traffic, something I usually see during the work week, and there were mobs of people in downtown Victoria, particularly around the Empress Hotel and the inner harbor.

Today, if the weather stays clear, we are off to Whiffen Spit with the dog for a romp along the sea.

I hope this finds you all well and stay tuned......

Monday, March 17, 2008

More of the garden...


Unknown in the rock garden.

Sedum emerging.

Not sure what this is but I like it.

Grass left from last year but still looks nice.

Lenten Rose. (Hellebore)

Lenten Rose (Hellebore)

Cool color!

Mass of Creeping Thyme on the rock wall.

Sedum in the rock garden.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Some Daffodils in a pot that the previous owners left for us.

Huge Pink Magnolia just about ready to bloom.

Fatsia Japonica!

Lenten Rose.

Spring has arrived on Vancouver Island. At least I think it has. We are still getting used to the season schedule here but it sure is nice to be able to get out into the garden and start exploring. I've stared at it all Winter and cleaned up a bit but I didn't really want to get into anything until I see what comes up this year. THEN I'll start reorganizing things and adding to the selection. We have about 200 Daffodils just about bursting into bloom (yes, I counted them) with colors ranging from bright yellow to a soft cream color. There are some strange looking blooms that appear to be some type of Hyacinth, just a short version, but they sure do smell good! I've counted about 20 rose bushes and most are bursting with new leaf growth. A couple look like they have seen better days. There are maybe a half dozen Rhododendrons, Hen and Chicks in the rock garden, Creeping Thyme, Rosemary, Holly, Fatsia Japonica (GORGEOUS!!), assorted Pine, Spruce and Cedar, a few Maple trees, 6 HUGE Butterfly bushes, two Magnolias and loads of others that I have yet to identify. All I know is that by moving to Zone 7 or 8 it sure has expanded the selection of things that I can put in the garden!! I've not seen any Peonies or Lilac so we are thinking of adding them. Enjoy the pictures!!