Not only is today the official First Day of Spring, but the season has already arrived here in Victoria (the warmest place in all of Canada in the winter). We’ve had temps in the 50s, and the cherry blossoms in town are already past their prime. The daffodils have been up, and the adorable little water taxis have reappeared in the harbor in front of the Empress Hotel.
Bob and Cathryn from Washington came up to Victoria on their boat for a few days, and we hosted a dinner party with them and our Victoria friends Diana (my knitting buddy) and Perry. We used to have a lot of these kinds of parties, but we don’t know as many people out here… yet. We did Roxy’s Ribs in the pressure cooker, and had a very fun visit!
The days are getting longer by about 3 and a half minutes per day – it’s very noticeable. To celebrate the arrival of spring, we headed over to the famous Butchart Gardens to see what’s in bloom this week. I was afraid that I missed the cherry blossoms, but was happy to learn that the Gardens are a couple of weeks behind downtown. We’ll go back in a week or two to see how things are coming along, but in the meantime we enjoyed the crocus…
…and the little daffodils…
…and the look of the Sunken Garden with just the earliest hints of spring. It should be fun watching the Gardens come alive.
The amazing thing at Butchart Gardens was their “Spring Preview” display, where they took over the entire restaurant, emptied it completely, and installed an elaborate indoor garden complete with stones, meandering pathways, a pond, and an explosion of spring flowers. Incredible!! The amount of work that went into that display was staggering – all to make something fleetingly beautiful. Lilies, orchids, rhododendron, hyacinth… I can’t name most of the flowers, but it just blew us away. I can’t wait to see what will be next.
As winter departs, I’ll share a funny Canadian story. While waiting in line at the hardware store, the cashier told a story about her friend in northern Manitoba who left her purse in her car overnight. The new Canadian money is made of plastic instead of paper, and apparently it doesn’t do well in extreme cold – she found that all the new bills broke in half when she tried to use them. You can’t make this stuff up.