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April Showers

The good news is that we don't have to wait until May for flowers here in Vancouver as they are going full speed ahead. Perhaps it will get even more beautiful? Time will tell.

Let's not wait to see if it gets better, let's dive into what it looks like now. In one word--beautiful.

I take every opportunity I can to talk to folks when I'm out and about which I presume will not surprise you. Especially the workers  in Stanley Park, one of whom explained to me that a former head of gardening hybridized a pink Magnolia tree, such that there are now seven trees that are nearly 40 feet tall. Apparently, quite the feat. As you can imagine, the blooms reflect the fact that the tree is so tall. In a word, huge.
It was last Friday that I walked to the park, having spent so many days indoors with my sewing projects. Gloomy as all get out, I focused on whatever bright colors I could find. I took different neighborhood streets in the West End where there are many wonderful sights to behold.
That's right--here come the tulips!! Oh my sweet Lord, they are so great.

Having made this trek many times now, taking shortcuts is second nature, but what I did not know is that on this shortcut,  I would run into this pretty as a picture wonderland.
Taking the left turn, as indicated on the sign, one comes across this sign which could do with a good pressure washing, don't you think?
It is a mystery, probably soon to be solved, as to what those red buds are. Any day now, I suspect.

Making my way to the flower gardens, there was no disappointment on my part as to the scenery.
That giant mound with the plants emerging...what will that become? More trees to brighten the day!
As you can see, I was not sharing the park with too many others, unlike on the weekends when the place is jam packed with visitors. The beds are filling out nicely.
The early tulips I showed you a few weeks ago are gone now making me wonder how long Hyacinths last because there are hundreds of them in many colors. Maybe something else comes up next? Who knows?
I guess this is the first time in my married life when I've had no garden at all, making these trips mandatory for me, which may sound silly to some, but not to me. Being connected to growing things, even if they aren't your own, seems like a basic need to me. :)

Any time I run across purple flowers, my niece Laura comes to mind. Should she be reading this, I hope she likes these little cuties.
I made my way over to the Pavilion area and there was no disappointment there either.
From the looks of them, these variegated tulips may not be around much longer making me thrilled that I got to see them before they are no more.
I haven't the foggiest notion as to what these little flowers are, however, one thing I do know is that they are super cute.
It was time to find a washroom, however, the one near here was closed, so I was on a mission, heading under the street to Lost Lagoon. Walking along the path I heard bird song, something I'm hearing more and more of these days. Jane recently sent me an update on her garden in England, declaring much the same, although she added she hoped the cats would not find the birds and assume they are lunch. Standing still, I scanned the bushes, finally finding this little cutie who remained in place, singing his heart out. It made me want to sing too!
Mission accomplished, I continued on my way, visiting the places I am familiar with, before walking home. There is a huge Rhododendron garden that I've been monitoring on my walk,s and today I was treated with a few plants in bloom. Azaleas are great, don't get me wrong, but these guys are even better.
Speaking of azaleas, did anyone watch the Masters golf tournament and see the beautiful azaleas at that course? Astonishingly beautiful. Although Jordan did not win, he put on quite the Sunday show! I nearly skipped church in favor of watching him, however, good sense prevailed, and I missed a bunch of it, seeing as we are three hours behind. Still feels a bit weird to me should you be wondering.  So let's see a close up of the Rhodies, as the locals call them, and you'll see why I think they are so fantastic.
I believe I counted ten flowers from one bud! The Camellias are something else, as I mentioned before.
No doubt I'll be mentioning them again because this little path that I take as a shortcut is through, what is almost like, a tunnel lined with Camellia plants that are only now beginning to bloom.
I went to check on the Herons whose nests are still clearly visible.
Pictured above is but a fraction of the them. The barely visible building on the right side of the photograph is the park office that looks like this from the front.
This one is for Tom, a very knowledgable gardener in his own right, who was the first to teach me the term, Espalier, which the above is a fine example of.

Leaving the park, I walk along Beach Avenue where there is still plenty to marvel. Heather, the dense pink below, continues to impress.
Are you tiring of flowers yet? I promise, only a few more! This plant!! Honestly, how cool is this?
Some days I take the bus home, however, on this day I decided to just keep going, as the condo is only a little more than a mile from here.  As I stood to take a photo of the English Bay area, this bike riding fellow decided to wave for the picture.
The bus stop is behind the flags should you care to learn such things. I have most definitely been changed by this experience because in Florida, when it is gray and gloomy, I am more prone to hibernate than walk more than five miles. Well, heck, I don't think I can ever remember walking five miles before we came here!
The daffodils remain, for how much longer is another mystery. I've included the above photo for another reason though. the dark green peninsula jutting into the bay is Stanley Park itself. I am most definitely learning first hand why they call SP, "the jewel of Vancouver."

All that winter rain has produced flowers everywhere including along stone walls.
My goodness, what will come next to delight me? As if it is all for me---let's all snicker together at that notion, shall we?
yours truly,

Gail
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