Looking out the window this Arbor Day morning, after an overnight rain storm, I see I’m a little bit late with this post. The “pom-pom” cherry blossoms illustrated above have all but fallen, leaving the streets (and my garden water feature) strewn with pink confetti.
These ostentatious blossoms, lining streets adjacent to the capital city’s parliament buildings, are really some of the last entrants into the Victoria Flower Count extravaganza, devised by The Butchart Gardens and Tourism Victoria, no doubt, to remind the rest of Canada that we are not buried under snow, but rather drifting petals. The first awakening of spring buds and blossoms occurred this year at the end of January!
By February, the precocious white flowers of indian plum had decorated local wilderness and park, followed not long after by other native plants, like skunk cabbage, flowering currant, trillium, fawn lily, camas, and Pacific dogwood, British Columbia’s floral emblem.
At the city’s famous Beacon Hill Park, these beauties are mixed with colonial interlopers, like daffodils, while the park’s tended gardens erupt with countless flowers and shrubs. Nearby ponds abound with ducks, while tall cedars host the spring nesting phenomenon of the great blue heron.
I’m not really a floral photographer, but an occasional romp amongst the blooms does my senses good. I believe that inhaling the scents of field and forest is a kind of free aromatherapy … allergy sufferers aside.
Victoria, as Canada’s mildest corner (some think smuggest extremity) is blessed with some of the most wondrous early-rising plant life, even without the hand of the gardener. It’s time for a visit to nearby Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary, where the birds are courting, and the exotic chocolate lilies are putting on a show.