Archive for April, 2010

Victoria Rhododendrons

April 27, 2010

Victoria’s rhododendrons are magnificent at this time of the year.

I’m reminded daily as I drive by the displays in front of the Wellesley on Blanshard.  My other favourite spots for viewing include Playfair Park in Saanich, Abkhazi Garden and Finnerty Gardens at the University of Victoria.

Ucluelet and Tofino, where I grew up on Vancouver Island’s West Coast, have a connection to Victoria through rhododendrons, Beacon Hill Park, and George Fraser.

Fraser, a Scot and renowned plantsman, arrived in Victoria in 1885. He was hired by Blair Scott, landscape architect commissioned by the City of Victoria, as the project manager for Beacon Hill Park.  In 1894 he left Victoria for Ucluelet, and soon discovered the climate (rainy and cool) ideal for the cultivation and hybridization of rhododendrons.

Today there is a celebration in his name – George Fraser Day; this year – Saturday May 22. People come from all over the world to view the  displays in private and public gardens.

Another local rhododendron pioneer is Ken Gibson. His “Rhododendron Hill” at Fourth and Gibson in Tofino has over 1500 shrubs.

As I walk among Victoria’s rhododendrons, I’m reminded on long ago settlers who carved gardens out of the wilderness, creating their small patch of beauty amid coastal forests and bogs.

Do you have a favourite spot for viewing Victoria rhododendrons?

Quadra Village Day May 8th “Building & Celebrating Our Thriving Community”

April 19, 2010

Poster Quadra Village Day May 8th 2010

I’ve been involved in the Quadra Village Day planning committee since shortly after moving to my new neighbourhood. What a dynamic group of individuals representing the community, business, the city and local not for profits.

In these times of budgetary restraint, it’s wonderful to see a community pull together to produce an entirely FREE family friendly event.

Join us on Kings Road (between Quadra and Dowler) Saturday May 8th from 9:30 am to 1pm for breakfast, community displays, activities for kids and teens, music and dance demonstrations.

More information on our website.

The groups performing include:

9:30 am Ross Rossborough

10:15 am Chinese Seniors Dance Troupe

10:30 am Coco Jafro

11:15 am Sons of Norway Folk Dancers

11:30 am Dj Murge and guests

12:30 pm Acres of Lion

With grateful thanks to our sponsors and media partners.