Sunday, April 15, 2012

Government House


My parents are visiting and this afternoon we strolled around the grounds of Government House, home to our province's Lieutenant-Governor - the representative of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in British Columbia. You can read more about the role of the office here. This is the third house to serve as Government House, the first two were destroyed by fire. This house was built in 1959 and although the exterior was contemporary, the interior was designed around the plan of the second building.



Today, early rhododendrons bloomed pink, red and white. The grounds are open to the public from sunrise to sundown.
 

Native plants such as this Camas Lily (camassia quamash) grace the gardens. For the First Nations peoples who lived here, the plant's bulbs were an important source of food. Harvested after the plant flowered, the bulbs were roasted and apparently taste similar to a sweet potato. The bulbs were also dried and pounded into flour.





The magnolia trees open into achingly beautiful drifts of pink and white blooms. Lily of the Valley nods on its stem, and Hellebores add their subtle tints to a garden that fits well into the landscape.

In the distance, sailboats danced to and fro on the water and so it was fitting to end our little excursion with a stop at the Oak Bay Marina for hot chocolate. Spring is fully here in all her glory!

Joining in with Mosaic Monday, hosted by Mary at the Little Red House, and with Sunlit Sunday, hosted by Karen at My Little Home and Garden.

23 comments:

Vee said...

A perfectly scrumptious day. We are so far behind... I'm glad to see that you are catching up nicely in your corner. Do they have tours of the home, too?

Jojo said...

Love the flowers. Beautiful photographs.

My Little Home and Garden said...

That would be a fabulous place for an afternoon stroll. It's hard to imagine that you still have snowdrops in bloom. Mine have been finished for some time and the magnolia is yet to bloom. We certainly have a variety of growing seasons in this country of ours. Thank you for linking your beautiful post to Sunlit Sunday, Lorrie.

Ima Weed said...

You have such a nice way with words and your photography is really wonderful. I haven't traveled in some time but thanks to you I know I want to visit your part of the world.

ellen b. said...

Oh what beautiful images you captured! Looks like Spring in your world...

Andrea Dawn said...

Such beauty has caught your camera's eye. Sounds like a lovely place to visit.

Snap said...

A lovely day. I love seeing the native flowers of an area. The rhododendrons are gorgeous. Thank you, Lorrie!

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

What a gorgeous place. Loved the rocks and the rockery plants. Great photos. V

NatureStop said...

Beautiful place and well captured images.

Shantana

Linda said...

Well, that was beautiful! Gorgeous grounds. Enjoy your visit with your parents... I know you will!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Beautiful gardens...I love the lily of the valley particularly because we had them in our garden when I was a child.

Filip Demuinck said...

The second picture is perfect.

Greetings,
Filip

Carole said...

Comme c'est beau ! Et le magnolia... tous ceux de la région ici ont pris un grand coup de froid pendant le gel de janvier et n'ont que quelques fleurs par ci par là - alors que d'habitude en cette saison, on les compte et on les admire sur la route pour aller à l'école.

Schotzy said...

Gorgeous and beyond!

Friko said...

How is it possible that you are so far ahead? Canada is cold, damn it! My camassias are nowhere near flowering

Carole said...

One of the prettiest spots in Victoria!

PrairieJill said...

What a beautiful place! Lovely images.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Those blossoms are so, so pretty, and your images allow them to linger just a little longer~

Pondside said...

Aren't we lucky to live near such a beautiful place? I try to walk there once a month. When Iona Campagnola was LG I'd often see her working with the volunteers in the garden on Thursday mornings.

Kentish Keg-Meg said...

What a wonderful place for an outing. The gardens look so beautiful.

Gabriela Delworth said...

Hello Lorrie,

This is such a beautiful place!


Gabriela

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

All such exquisite flowers. Lorrie! My duaghter wanted Lily of the Valley flowers in her bridal bouquet, as it is her favorite flower, but it will be out of season by then.

Barbara said...

Lovely photos and interesting post.