We spent a lovely weekend staying with dear friends in Victoria on Vancouver Island. It was the first time I saw their recently completed beautiful new home on the seashore. Much talking, catching up with each other's and our families' lives, good food and drink, walks on the beach and a huge garden, a birthday lunch, and more meant the time just flew.
I forgot to take photos but thankfully my husband took a few. My favourites are these, taken on our walk around the gardens of Government House, on a high hill overlooking the city. In the distance to the south are the waters of Juan de Fuca Strait and the Olympic Mountains of Washington State.
The extensive lands include a large woodland area with the endangered Garry Oaks, unique to southern Vancouver Island and many of the Gulf Islands, such as on Hornby where I've seen them. Their gnarled appearance is most noticeable this time of year without their leaves.
It was too early to see the gardens at their best but we were delighted to see many spring flowering bulbs tucked into sheltered spots throughout. I loved the masses of puffy seed-heads on this clematis. Sadly there was a lot of frost damage to some plants from the extremely cold winter we've had, even in this balmiest area of Canada.