Monday, April 16, 2018

A Garden Visit

This is not the first time I've visited the Van Deusen Gardens, nor do I suspect it will be my last. During my visit in November, the fall leaves were nearing the end of their life cycle. Then too, we returned in December, and it was utterly freezing, as you may recall from this account during Matt and Tom's visit. Because we've had nothing but rain, or so it seems, on the one day it was not meant to rain, I took the #10 bus to see what I could see. Oh my! What a difference a season makes.
Wendy, my "friend" from the liquor store, urged me to go now while the trees are still blooming. Furthermore, according to her, I'll need to return in mid-May when all of the Rhododendron are in full color. From what I saw, I can't imagine how they can get any better, however, I'll take her word for it.

Friends, I can't tell you how magnificent it is to be able to see all of the new flowers and plants. I am dying over it! And I thought snow was the pinnacle. Our time here, while I thought it would be wonderful, has exceeded all of my expectations for a multitude of reasons, including, but not limited to, the seasonal changes. Although there are some days when the weather makes you feel as if you never want to get out of bed, having something to look forward to makes life very interesting indeed. I do have to wonder though, had the weather, during my two day visit to Vancouver three years ago, been anything like this April, if I would have been as keen to move?

Without further ado, let's walk around the gardens, shall we?  This time I exited the bus at Granville and 37th street, walking East on 37th until I got to Oak Street, rounded the corner leading me to the entrance. It is too bad I did not cut through the parking lot because, had I done so, I would have walked by this display.
Actually three boards, similar to this one, were lined up along the walkway, showcasing some of what was in bloom that day. Out of the fifteen highlighted plants, I recognized TWO of them from previous experience. What fun to see so many beautiful unknown flowers.
At least now I know for certain what a Cherry tree looks like, although, not all 40 types planted around Vancouver. Before I left the house, checking the website for times and admission cost, I saw that there would be filming in the gardens during my visit, and sure enough, on the lawn not pictured above, all manner of film equipment was being set up.
Speaking of flowering trees, the pictured women give you a little perspective on how tall the trees are.
I'd heard a lot about the beauty of Rhododendrons before coming here, and actually I'd seen some in England one time that were fabulous, but there is just something about being able to see them come into bloom that is nothing short of amazing. And there are just so darn many blooms!
It was chillier than I'd hoped, with intermittent sunshine. I'd counted on full sunshine; alas, that was not to be. In fact, walking home, I finally looked at my phone, discovering it was but 45 degrees. No wonder I was chilly! Do you prefer to see the Camellias up close,
or a whole bunch at once?
More rhodies!
From the looks of this post so far, it seems as if it is the season for pink, doesn't it? Well, here's more pink for you.
There is a large garden devoted to Heath, the above pictured plant, although I'd thought it was Heather before this visit. Seriously, it is very captivating, coming in a grand scale of colors. As a bonus, it seems as if it attracts hummingbirds.
I roamed all over the place, coming across the maze which I nearly skipped until such time as some youngsters, say aged 8-11 came along, who agreed to let me follow them through, as they'd done it before.
Long time readers can well imagine how excited I was when I came across this sight.
By golly, another cute bird in a Cherry tree!
Coming across the flower below, what I was calling a plaid, turns out is a snakeskin pattern, having learned this from Jane who sent me a photo of one blooming in her English garden. Doing so, she had no idea I'd seen one here just two days prior.
Should you be wondering, I'd be making more of an effort to learn the names of all of the flowers if I were to actually live where I'd see them again. As it is, I'm merely enjoying the beautiful unknown. That said, I should have known by now, having seen hundreds of them, that this flower is a Hellebore, although with the drooping head, I wasn't quite sure. A couple happened to be walking by and I couldn't help but point out how cool the flowers are up close. They agreed with me, although they are hard to photograph in their natural state. Suggesting he hold one for me to photograph, I agreed. I find it very difficult not to be enthralled with the intricacies of a flower in bloom.
Then I noticed a perfect white one on the ground.
They moved on and still not content with leaving the area, I looked around, noticing this tranquil spot.
Hmmm....what is in that bowl next to the bench? Here's what:
Problem solved! Now all the pretty little faces could shine, in the above case, floating in water. I'm not sure which one I preferred, the water version, or this one where they are set on stones.
I've been known before to point stuff out to folks, can't really help myself if the truth be told, and the above sighting warranted that. A young woman with a child in a stroller nearly missed her Instagram moment until I insisted she have a look. Fortunately none of my children were accompanying me as, no doubt, they would have been highly embarrassed by their Mother. :)
Before long now, or so I suspect, the yellow of the tree will be a beautiful deep green.

I also suspect, one of the reasons Cherry trees are so beloved is because they add such a lightness to the landscape that still contains a fair amount of brown.
The above just had to be included as a reminder that behind all that gray, there really is some blue sky. Although I did not cover all 55 acres, I saw a lot, showing you but a fraction of the place. Perhaps I will join as the cost per visit is $11 and a membership is only $45. Makes sense to me.

Which was not the case the next day. In fact, Friday was so ugly, I stayed home sewing all day, leaving only during a brief respite to meet Bruce for dinner. During the day, however, one thing of note happened. I saw a flock of birds land on the building in front of ours and could not figure out what they were. Searching the internet, using all sorts of descriptors, I finally discovered that they are Pelagic Cormorants in breeding colors.
Not that I suspect you care, however, should you, it is the white belly band that denotes breeding.

Unfortunately, today it looks like this again. Boo hoo! I told you it could get very ugly, didn't I?
Bruce is on his way to Whistler where it is snowing today, however,  he is leaving the driving to another as they check on the restaurant there for some repairs. And unless I get really gutsy, it will be another sewing day for me.

yours truly,

Gail

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