Tag Archives: Vancouver Island

Island of dreams


Cox Bay – Tofino

Our annual trip to the west coast was once again spectacular. Beautiful weather, great boogie boarding, wonderful food and an overabundance of plants. And the smell… the smell of Tofino is a richness like nothing else. Rainforest, open coast and fog. The few pictures here hardly sum up what is one of my favourite weeks of the year, but that’s fair when most of the pleasure comes from spending time with my parents, aunt and uncle, and assorted friends.

My aunt spoiled me and filled our days together in Comox with plants and her friends’ gardens. The things they can grow out there are enough to make an Albertan gardener cry. I spent most of the nursery trips trying to convince her to buy all the things I’m desperate for: meadow rues, stewartia, every japanese maple, camellias, more epimediums, etc. While our views sometimes clash, we agree wholeheartedly on the important things, namely that gunnera should be eradicated. The only place I appreciate it is in a ditch between the highway into Tofino and a gas station where it manages to flourish where little else would.





Trent River



Union Bay Studio and Gallery




Outback Nursery – amazing collection of Japanese maples and other trees and shrubs. Worth a trip.



My aunt’s garden



A dahlia from Sharon’s cutting garden at Filberg Lodge

Deb's fabulous deck and garden

Deb’s fabulous deck and garden


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Is ‘Green with Envy’ too tacky a title?

Visiting Vancouver Island is always an exercise in plant lust. Extreme plant lust. Oh, those Japanese anemones are just so invasive, my Aunt will say airily. Her friend has more Japanese maples in her yard than I can count. The dahlias are as tall as me with seemingly minimal care. And what’s that over there in the corner? Aw, an adorable, self-seeded baby cyclamen to bloom next to the fall crocuses. It’s painful seeing what others take for granted. Don’t get me wrong, winter can be nice and I really dislike the West Coast propensity towards heavy cloud cover, but sometimes all I want is some tender trees and a spectacular spring showing of ephemerals.

Never mind, I just ordered a bunch of bulbs for forcing so hopefully my fridge doesn’t kill them and I see some results in a few months. I got an amaryllis called ‘Zombie’ and some adorable little narcissi! I’ll let you know if I have any success. If not all you’ll get will be pictures of mom’s.

Aunty Shelley’s garden

Sharon’s cutting garden by the beach

Deb’s garden (with acers galore)

Crocrosmia at Pacific Sands

Shelley’s anemones (with sage underplanted)


Filed under Amy, Flowers