Friday, December 4, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Gardens in Victoria
Several gardens in Victoria are open for viewing. You can find them on the Gardens page of our website including the Butchart Gardens and Glendale Gardens. Do look at the gardens webpages to see the different displays you might expect according to the season of your visit.
Further, when driving around the Saanich Peninsula (the part of southern Vancouver Island on which our B&B and the city of Victoria are situated) you soon become aware that gardening is a popular and natural way of life for many. The higher percentage of retirees here also accounts for this.
Our own bed and breakfast gardens are typical of these, featuring native and suitable imported trees, shrubs, plants and flowers to create a lovely year-round setting. You can see some in this collage of images taken within our acre. The gardens were first established nearly 40 years ago so there is a good mix of mature and new growth. We hope you will be able to enjoy them and the other gardens in Victoria when you next visit Vancouver Island.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Victoria tourism 2009
Victoria tourism in 2009 not surprisingly suffered from the recession, new USA passport requirements and the dollar exchange rate. Our spring was good but then July and August were significantly down.
Since this theoretically afforded us some spare time I took four partial days off to enjoy some aspects of tourism in Victoria. The highlight was three hours sailing in Victoria with two family members - do read about it. Here you see us on the bowsprit of the tall ship Thane. It was wonderful and something to do again next year.
The other days deserve a post apiece but should be mentioned briefly as further recommendations for your planning of a visit here.
A) Flying through the upper canopy of a forest may not appeal to everyone but ziplining is fabulous. Ten of us from Victoria hotels and bed and breakfasts went west towards Sooke for an exhilarating afternoon.
B) Down to earth, the other two trips were to local regional parks to enjoy superb hiking. Gowlland Tod and East Sooke parks both offer a variety of terrain with paths for a casual stroll through to a stiff climb. The hiking part of our website has to be developped so more will follow in the future. When here do ask for recommendations and we will suggest routes meeting your requirements.
Clearly we hope that Victoria tourism will bounce back in 2010. We will take a break for some of the winter and re-open before the Winter Olympics. We hope to see you next year!
Martin and Linda.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
The Butchart Gardens
The Butchart Gardens are clearly the leading attraction to visitors to Victoria, British Columbia. We are fortunate in being located so near the Gardens so nearly all our guests visit them during their stay.
To help visitors plan their time their we have recently added new Butchart Gardens pages to our website. These include three pages devoted solely to certain areas:
There is the famed Sunken Garden whose carefully staged entrance always creates oohs and aaahs with its dramatic view over the former limestone quarry.
Our favourite is the Japanese Garden, especially in the late summer evenings when it is illuminated. After over one hundred years it is both mature and fresh. If you enjoy Japanese Gardens then also visit the very different Takata Garden at nearby Glendale Gardens.
Then there is a page combining two areas, the Rose Garden and the Italian Garden with the nearby Star Pond.
You will see why a lengthy visit is necessary, especially if you plan to enjoy afternoon tea there - the Butchart Gardens is one of the best two venues for a Victoria high tea in our view (along with the White Heather Tea Room in Oak Bay).
During the summer months you really should see the gardens lit at night after listening to the concert on the lawns. (Fireworks are only on summer Saturday nights). So there's much to do there.
Incidentally, and we think this is very important, please do not visit Victoria for just one night in order to only visit the Butchart Gardens. There is SO much more to do: see itineraries suggestions.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Bed and breakfast gardens
With the help of Linda's sister Pam and her husband George much has been accomplished. Guests' comments have been just part of the reward.
The pavers laid two years ago have been cleaned and sealed in the main areas. That sentence does not do justice to the task since we laid 15,00 - 18,000 of them. Container pots have new annuals so that the bed and breakfast gardens have lovely little displays. Moss has been cleaned off four roofs and weeds are in the constant process of being removed in that constant battle.
Another big project was to take up all of a moss-grown lawn which never received enough sun for the grass, dig up the sprinkler system (you wouldn't believe the directions the pipes took underground: a baffling invisible maze) and replace it with an environmental drip system. Then 12 yards of soil was moved into place before planting could begin for what promises to be a charming garden through which a bark mulch path winds. Ah, yes, and then there were the other paths which needed bark mulch, 12 yards of it. Finally, a leaning retaining wall was taken up and re-built vertically.
Phew, that's exhausting just to write about! Come and see our Victoria gardens if you can. Everything is bursting into bloom. The photo above shows the pristine path under the wisteria looking towards the front entrance.