July 18th 2012

The weather turned out to be ideal for our trip to the Gardens on Wednesday July 18th - milky clouds, intermittent sunshine and a soft breeze kept temperatures at a tolerable level. It was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, an opportunity to chat and socialize over a light lunch of soup and/or sandwiches at the Truffles Cafe. Jacquie Michael and I joined a walking tour group, while the others boarded a convenient cart tour (for Seniors and folks with disabilities) that ran on the half hour.

The Gardens are spread over 55 acres and tranquil pathways wind past ponds with floating waterlilies reminiscent of Monet paintings, water fountains, rock waterfalls and a profusion of summer blooms - roses, hollyhocks, primulas and trumpet lilies. We paused to breathe in the scent of flowering shrubs, of mint in the little herb garden and stopped to sample juicy purple mulberries off a large tree. Other delights included a dell of ferns, a collection of esoteric plants in the Sino-Himalayan section, and a flamboyant display of hydrangeas. And what could be more dignified in their beauty than ancient oaks and beeches, or the majesty of our Pacific North West Douglas firs soaring against the sky.

Our photographs don't even scratch the surface of the immense variety of plants and trees in the Van Dusen - but, along with shots of our small group, they serve as reminders of a pleasurable outing in the congenial company of friends.

Lunch at Truffles Cafe: Rita Watts, Jacqueline Michael, Trevor and Rosemary Wright, Thea and Ian Baxter

By the Waterlily Pond

Fab photography by Rita