The party in the garden is over for another year. The blooms have faded and the bees are gone. The fairies are all hibernating now, safely curled up and tucked deep inside the fern fronds. And, although there are no great choirs of birds, you can still hear a soloist every now and then if you’re still and very quiet…Past what the eye sees, there is much happening beneath the soil to ready for next season’s show of flowering splendour; for the garden, too, needs to retreat and store energy in order to survive and thrive.
Even though, I am already dreaming of warmer days ahead. Very recently, at a lovely awards ceremony and reception at our city hall, hubby and I were presented with our city’s Award of Excellence for Gardens!!! A beautiful etched crystal plaque sits, for the moment, on our kitchen table catching the light.
This has certainly been a good year for our garden! In August, our provincial landscape association and our university’s botanical garden asked that our garden be on their Mystery Garden Tour fundraiser next summer! Hubby and I, along with some friends, bought tickets for their inaugural tour this past summer held over a weekend in August and got a chance to tour a dozen private residential gardens. We enjoyed every single moment of it! I can’t wait to go again! There are so many wonderful gardens and each one is uniquely beautiful!
It’s so humbling to be recognized for our accidental greenish thumbs! Lol When you plant a garden, the least you can hope for is that something will manage to bloom where you planted! And, the most you can hope for is that someone else will enjoy it and want to share it, too! Points of merit listed on the framed award certificate include:
– “Even more beautiful than the garden, is the hope it has inspired. “Pink Days In Bloom” is a national fundraiser that began in this garden to raise funds to fight breast cancer.”
– Featured in an upcoming spring issue of Victoria magazine, this lovely garden is bringing communities together.”
Did you catch that last ‘bit’???? 🙂 As I know many of you share a love for gardens, I am, for now, sharing just a few photos of one section of our garden in bloom earlier this year. Stay tuned for holiday planters…Thanks for visiting!
Wishing you a beautiful day!
The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. ~Hanna Rion
Welcome! The teapot’s on! I’m thrilled you’re visiting with me today. It has been awhile. I haven’t had much time for blogging lately. I find that for me, it does seem to take a lot of time, and there are so many other demands of life at the moment, but that’s for another day. For now, I am glad to be here in the present, slowing a little and enjoying spending time with you.
Can it be that Spring is really just around the corner? We still have much snow, although it is beginning to warm here. To see sunshine and hear birdsong will make things alright.
Since everyone is sharing garden dreams these days, I assembled a photo collage to share with you of beautiful Hatley Park, a National Historic Site nestled on the Southern tip of Vancouver Island in Colford, a mere 25 minutes from downtown Victoria, British Columbia. I was at The Empress Hotel in Victoria for a work conference last May and stayed an extra week to enjoy some touring. Living on Canada’s East Coast, on the island of Newfoundland in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, I could not imagine flying clear across the country for 7 hours, plus 4 hours of stopovers each way, from the East Coast to the West Coast, without seeing some of the glorious B.C. gardens that I had been reading about in my favourite magazines for so many years.
PHOTO: The celebrated Empress Hotel in Victoria on Vancouver Island is famous for its turn-of-the century architecture and supreme harbour location. Built between 1904 and 1908, The Empress is an icon in its own right and has been designated a National Historic Site. Perhaps one of its most captivating features is the veil of ivy that covers the face of this old hotel.
My hubby joined me on the trip and we set out on the renowned Garden Trail to see as many gardens as possible in the brief time we were there. Hatley Park was one of those magnificent gardens. The gardens surround B.C.’s Royal Roads University. The park grounds are open daily to the public for a modest fee but students of the University enjoy free access to the gardens. Can you imagine a more inspiring setting in which to study?
It’s time for another walk in the park! Won’t you come along?
A footbridge within the quiet beauty of the Japanese garden leads us into a magical setting of perfect quietude. I could have just stayed here for hours and not have ventured any further along the trail…(If you’d prefer a winter’s walk, take a side trip here in my home city).
The 565 acres of gardens of Royal Roads University include a Japanese Garden (photos above), Rose Garden and Italian Garden (photos below). The Italian garden is my favourite with frothy wisteria dripping over the garden’s ornate structures and entryways.
I love the pretty statuary of the Italian garden and the glorious pink roses that scramble wildly upwards over the castle walls. I do love pink!
The castle is named Hatley Castle built by The Honourable James Dunsmuir who was a coal baron and prominent businessman in British Columbia in the late 1800’s. He was elected Premier in 1900. After just two short years, he realized that he had no desire for public life and resigned in 1902. In later years, he served as Lieutenant Governor of the province. In 1908, Dunsmuir built impressive Hatley Castle set amidst spectacular formal landscapes and embraced by B.C. forest and expansive Pacific Ocean views.
Hatley Castle is now a classified Federal Heritage Building and is a popular site for weddings, special events, conferences, even motion picture filming and the buzz of late – experiential travel. Have you heard of it? Experiential travel is based more on real-life experiences than star-rated amenities and popular tourist attractions. Volunteering, immersing in cultural activities, trying new or exotic foods, even harvesting and cooking your own food – connecting with people where they live and experiencing everyday life – are what makes experiential travel so compelling and unique.
What struck me most about Hatley Park is the abundance, diversity and significance of the trees, including 250-year old Douglas firs that are said to be among the largest in the area. We had never seen anything like them and were awestruck by their lush beauty and colossal size. I stood under the enormous cedars letting their branches sweep over my face! I felt like a wee girl enchanted in a fairytale wonderland, dwarfed by their sheer majesty.
A picture is worth a thousand words. An entire photo album follows; you can do the math! 🙂 I hope you will get a feel for the grandeur, tranquil and reverent spirit of these winsome gardens. And, won’t you have some Japanese Cherry tea while you’re browsing? As you probably already know, it’s my favourite. My niece Janell gave me these sweet china cups many years ago. I love to sip from them while I dream of faraway places and their masterpiece gardens…
Online tea source: The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
Thank you for taking time to stop by and for leaving such lovely comments. I always look forward to hearing from you and am like a kid at Christmastime when I see your notes in my Inbox! Lol You just make my day. I hope to see you again soon. EnJOY your garden dreams! And, since there is so much green in this post, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Wishing you a beautiful day,
“When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Thank you for dropping by. I hope you can spare a little time to come for a walk in the park with me. It is a bright and invigorating day and so I am bringing my camera along to capture some of the winter beauty…
“After a day’s walk everything has twice its usual value.” ~George Macauley Trevelyan
Our small city of St. John’s, Newfoundland of about 100,000 people is touted to be the oldest city in North America (I’m not sure how factual the claim because I once visited St. Augustine, Florida and I believe this, too, is their claim). I do know that St. John’s is steeped in history with a colourful culture and a warm, fun-loving people. Here’s an introduction to some of the flavour of our city:
Bowring Park is a well-loved destination here and is synonymous with the beloved literary figure Peter Pan! Are you curious to know more while we walk? It’s a bit of a story…
The Bowring family has had a long history with Newfoundland since the early 1800’s when first Benjamin Bowring came from England with his family to set up shop as a watchmaker and jeweller. His wife later set up a small dry goods shop which evolved into a general department store. Five generations of the Bowring family would branch out, very successfully, and build a global empire of trade and shipping including oil tankers, cargo fleets, passenger liners as well as a coastal mail service. In 1911, to commemorate their 100 years of successful business in Newfoundland, the Bowring family dedicated 50 acres of parkland to the City; today Bowring Park encompasses over 200 acres.
Two world wars wiped out much of the Bowring fleet. Following the Second World War, the main business of the company in Newfoundland became retailing. For many years, the company operated its famous department store on Water Street in St. John’s (I remember it well – my husband and I still have many of the Christmas ornaments we bought there when we were first married). The stylish downtown store was later expanded into a chain of “little shops”. These were the basis for the nation-wide chain of 50 plus beautiful Bowring stores that exist today. Interestingly, the company logo “Terra Nova” was a Bowring ship that was chartered by the British Navy for Admiral Scott’s famous journey to the Antarctic in 1911, although the stores are no longer connected with the Bowring family. The chain is currently celebrating 200 years of business in Newfoundland and Bowring remains one my favourite places to shop.
Replicas of Frampton’s Peter Pan statue, cast from the original mold, can be found around the world including: Liverpool’s Sefton Park, the Gardens of Egmont Palace in Brussels, Toronto’s Glenn Gould Park, Queen’s Gardens in Perth, Australia and Rutgers University’s Johnson Park in Camden, New Jersey. Frampton commented that his Bowring Park version of Peter was superior in location to his statue in London’s Kensington Gardens due to “the wholly natural surroundings and flowing river being more in keeping with the spirit of Peter and particularly animals and faeries…” If you have seen the other statues of Peter Pan, I would love for you to share them with us…
The enormous resplendent linden tree located in the park near Peter Pan fell during Hurricane Igor on September 21, 2010. It had been planted nearly a century earlier by England’s Duke of Connaught when Bowring Park was opened on July 15, 1914. Since Igor, a class of local elementary school students helped our Mayor plant a new linden tree in its place.
Russell further wrote, “Pan, the boy who never grew up, could be used as a metaphor for the people of Newfoundland. They are, in the best possible way, an innocent people. Newfoundlanders have a reputation the world over for their warmth and friendliness…” I love this!
DID YOU KNOW? Sir Edgar Frampton’s original sculpture of Peter Pan ‘magically appeared’ in London’s Kensington Gardens on May 1, 1912. The statue was erected in secret overnight at the expense of J. M. Barrie, the author and creator of Peter Pan. The next day, an advert by Barrie appeared in the British newspaper The Times: “There is a surprise in store for the children who go to Kensington Gardens to feed the ducks in the Serpentine this morning. Down by the little bay on the south-western side of the tail of the Serpentine, they will find a May-day gift by Mr J.M. Barrie, a figure of Peter Pan blowing his pipe on the stump of a tree, with fairies and mice and squirrels all around…”
Barrie chose the exact location of the statue in Kensington Gardens. It was lovingly placed there because Peter made his first appearance in literature in Barrie’s novel “The Little White Bird” which is set in Kensington Gardens. It was also in the Gardens where Barrie spent cherished time with the children who inspired his creation of Peter Pan.
The network of serene walking trails and attractive bridges feature magnificent views complete with flower beds, a rose garden, waterfalls, duck families and graceful swans. Indeed, countless children have had their picture taken by the Duck Pond feeding the ducks. Through the years, the park as become deeply rooted in the lives of those who live here.
I hope you enjoy seeing the details of the statue. A collection of faeries, mice, squirrels, rabbits, birds, frogs and salamanders climb their way up the tree trunk to Peter Pan listening to the notes of his magical flute…
DID YOU KNOW? It is recommended that you not feed bread to the ducks and birds. Bread has little nutritional value and its high salt content dehydrates the birds. It also promotes bacterial growth in the ponds and rivers. By purchasing healthy duck food, you will be doing the birds and their environment a favour. Duck food is available at various Marie’s MinMarts around the city for just $1.00 a bag; 100% of the proceeds from the feed sales is forwarded to the Bowring Park Foundation in support of the park. 🙂
DID YOU KNOW? The statue of Peter Pan is probably about 10-feet high. The widespread popular appeal of his Peter Pan statue led Frampton to produce a 18.5″ bronze reduction of the main figure expected to bring at auction £50k. Bowring Park will proudly celebrate its centennial birthday next year. Wouldn’t you love to have your very own miniature of Peter Pan to commemorate the anniversary? Hmmm….Special celebrations are being planned by the Bowring Park Foundation for the park and its patrons. We will all look forward to the party!
Bowring Park is a gift to all who visit, the crown jewel of our city. If you live near a beautiful park, I hope you will enjoy a walk there very soon. Oh, and remember to bring your camera and share the beauty…
An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. ~Henry David Thoreau.
Wasn’t that a beautiful walk? Shall we go inside where it’s cozy? I hope you have a little more time to join me in a hot cuppa. I am using some of my prized teacups in your honour today. This stunning tea set was a ‘surprise gift’ to me by a dear friend. I’d be delighted to share that story with you on another day, if you wish…Now, how would you like your tea?
I am thrilled to be sharing at Mop It Up Monday, Tea Time Tuesday, Teacup Tuesday, Tuesday Cuppa Tea, What’s It Wednesday, What We Accomplished Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesday, Pearls and Lace Thursday, Treasure Hunt Thursday, Feathered Nest Friday, Fabulously Creative Friday, Show and Tell Friday, Saturday Show Off, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Sunny Simple Sunday, Seasonal Sunday, Sunlit Sunday, Home Sweet Home, Open House, Be Inspired, You’re Going to Love It!
Sources: Bowring Park Foundation, Newfoundland Tourism, The Telegraph, Bowring.com