I had a mid-week birthday last week. It was a lovely day, with cards, best wishes, and phone calls. Tim and I celebrated on Saturday by going out for breakfast together followed by a wander around Butchart Gardens. I had expressed a wish for another annual pass.
The Gardens were not very busy in the morning and it was lovely to stroll, backtrack, and to stop and gaze as we wished. Although the leaves are thinning on the trees, there is is plenty of colour left.
Although the sun burned through the morning mist quickly, it was cool in the shade and we were glad for jackets and scarves. A few summer blooms remain, framed by the golds and reds of autumn.
Flowers bloomed mostly in sheltered spaces, overhung by other plants that protected them from the recent frosts we've had. The fuschias look like jewels - crisp and glowing in the autumn light.
We looked up, way up at the Sequoia tree, one of a pair guarding a pathway. The seedling was planted in 1934, the year my father was born. They are both going strong!
One of my favourite spots in the garden is the stone path across a pond in the Japanese Garden. I love how it curves so beautifully. Of course, I have to step across it each time, even if the path we take doesn't require it.
There is a large cedar hedge with a "window" cut into it, with a beautiful view of a cove and the inlet beyond.
Preparations for Christmas are beginning, with garlands adorning some of the pathway rails, and a series of large decorated balls hanging from a roof overhang. A friend of mine used to work at the Gardens and she said that the staff work hard all of November to prepare for December's festivities.
These Three French Hens are enjoying tea in front of a wire Eiffel Tower. The Tower is a bit hard to see in the daylight, but at night, in December, it's well lit. The theme throughout the garden is the Twelve Days of Christmas and it's fun to look for all the characters.
And so begins another month. We're enjoying mostly clear skies, dry days, and stunning sunsets. I worked in my own garden after returning from our outing. Dahlias have been lifted and I tidied some of the pots, pulling the old summer flowers, planting bulbs deep in the soil and winter pansies on top.
How is your month starting out?