April 29, 2014 / What to do in Vancouver
As the official gardener at the Manor Guest House in Vancouver, I often think of spring as holding the key to the treasure chest of nature’s floral abundance. It seems that overnight, the drab ground is suddenly alive with colours. So what’s in the garden now? The 100 tulip bulbs that I planted last fall have burst through the soil in great profusion, showing themselves off in red, blue, yellow and white. The squirrels haven’t allowed all of them to come up. They love to nibble – and destroy – the stalks which bear the gorgeous blooms. We have great balls of bright yellow, sweet smelling wallflowers, sensuous red anemones, bluebells, coral bells, periwinkle. For contrast there is the pale green of euphorbia and hellebore. Even the heather is calling attention to itself. The windmill palms have survived the winter – yes there are palm trees in Vancouver – and their branches spread out like protective wings over much of the garden.
Standing like a tall sentinel by the entrance to the Manor Guest House, is a huge camellia, which is probably as old as the house, which dates back to 1902. Every year, and this year is no exception, it produces thousands of rose like pink blooms, some of which fall on the stairs leading up to the house. I don’t hurry to sweep them up, because it looks so lovely to be greeted by these beautifully decadent flowers. It’s such a nice way to say, “welcome.”
The vegetable garden is already taking spring very seriously. There are great mounds of thyme, oregano and rosemary; the chives are up, as is the lavender, mint and lemon balm. Thick stalks of red kale have survived from last year and we’ve already had salads and soups from the leaves. The strawberry leaves already have tiny buds forming on – strawberries in the making. And this morning, in a gesture of optimism, I planted a couple of tomato plants. In a few days I will plant lots more tomatoes, and peppers, chard, and lettuce, all of which will be delivering their bounty by mid summer and will go into the makings of our famous buffet breakfasts. And I can’t forget to mention the fabulous pink cherry blossoms that are in full bloom all over the city of Vancouver, including in front of the Manor Guest House. When the wind comes up it blows the fragile blossoms onto the ground, often creating a light blanket of pink snow.
Have I inspired you to come to Vancouver and take in the gardens? We await you at the Manor Guest House. Book us now!