I grew up in a gardening family. My paternal grandfather had an amazing garden full of flowers, vegetables, fruit trees and berry bushes. He had a goldfish pond (and threatened the grandchildren with unpleasant things if we dared harm those fish). The very back of his property was a favourite spot because it contained Salmonberry bushes and he didn’t care how many we picked and ate, whereas he did limit us when it came to his other crops. If you’ve not heard of Salmonberries you probably don’t live on the west coast of North America. The fruit is almost raspberry like in appearance, but the colour is a deep golden yellow to a deep orange-red. They are luscious, sweet, juicy and the very best kind of berry to offer up to hungry grandchildren!
My childhood home contained a good-size vegetable garden that Mom tended diligently. That space harboured a plentiful supply of peas, beans, beets, spinach, potatoes and peas that were picked and preserved, as well as strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes and a big ol’ cherry tree. She grew the food crops out of necessity; her real love was her flowers, and that remains true even today.
When I moved out on my own it was apartment living for a lot of years and I sorely missed digging in the dirt. This was before the days of community gardens. For several years I lived not too far from my paternal grandpa and would occasionally stop by after work for a cold glass of lemonade on the back deck and a tour of the garden. My Grandmother had passed away, he was remarried and his new wife (my step-grandma) was as funny and kind as my grandma had been. I adored them both.
I love going to plant nurseries and gardens just to walk around and take it all in. A couple of years ago my hubby and I went to Vancouver Island with his sister and her husband, who were visiting us from Ontario. One of the things we did was tour Butchart Gardens. What an amazing place! This was one of B.C.’s rare “heat wave” summers and we went early enough in the day to be able to enjoy it all without dying from heat stroke.
I think I could have stayed all day, wandering around and taking photos but my companions weren’t quite as enthusiast. This is a favourite photo I took while they took a little break and I continued experimenting with my camera.