Virginia creeper-clad Fairmont Empress Hotel

30 09 2008

Located front and center in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, The Fairmont Empress is an imposing, Virginia creeper-clad thing of beauty! This year the Fairmont Empress, known for its world-famous afternoon tea, turns 100 years old. The Empress is one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Over 130,000 visitors come here each year.

The Edwardian, chateau-style 477-room hotel was designed by Francis Rattenbury (whose biography rivals modern day soap operas). It was built between 1904 and 1908. Rattenbury also designed the Legislative Buildings in Victoria.

Read Robert Fulford’s column from the Globe and Mail: “Rattenbury: The Case of the Murdered Victoria Architect,” for details about Rattenbury’s rather interesting personal life. And click here for the UK census bureau information on the Rattenbury family.

From http://www.encyclopedia.com: “The walls of Ivy League colleges are not covered with ivy; they’re covered with Virginia creeper. Still, the name “Creeper League” colleges wouldn’t conjure up visions of institutions for higher learning.” © Lee Reich, Telegraph-Herald, Dubuque

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Boats in Victoria Harbour

30 09 2008

I photographed these boats in the Victoria Harbour as we were heading back to the ferry to return to Port Angeles, Washington, on Thursday, September 18.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

NOTE: Be sure to click on “PREVIOUS ENTRIES” at the very bottom of the screen to see more posts in September and more photos from our recent vacation to the Pacific Northwest.





Never too many flowers

30 09 2008

So much for that “give plants room to breathe” rule! They seem to be doing just fine, don’t they? This was a spectacular flower bed we saw en route from the ferry toward the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia.

The plaque reads:

The Peace Tulip Garden: A lasting commemoration in honour of the Canadian troops who liberated the Netherlands. Individually, each flower represents a memory; collectively, they represent the effort of all Canadians and the resulting friendship with the Dutch. October 14, 1995. City of Victoria, Vancouver Island

I especially liked the orange Lantana “tree” in the center. I’ve been seeing more of these available in our local garden centers (and they’re not cheap!). This border contained daisies, sweet potato vine, ageratum, salvias, dusty miller, coleus, cannas, petunias, and many other flowers.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






Dahlias as far as the eye can see…

28 09 2008

I spent well over an hour photographing the rather long “Dahlia Border” at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia. I estimate the border is about a half block long. The images below are just some of my images from just this one area. Because of their overwhelming diversity, Dahlias have moved up the list to become my new favorite flower!

According to www.dahliaguide.com/, the Dahlia is named in honor of a Swedish botanist named Anders Dahl. The Dahlia originated in Mexico and was brought to Europe during the 18th century by Spanish explorers. There are tens of thousands of different types of Dahlias. This is possible because the Dahlia has eight genes that control its appearance while most other flowers have just two. They have some of the most diverse shapes and colors of any flower in the garden! Dahlias are grown from rhizomes, although they can be grown from seed as well (though not as easily).

The top photo shows just one small section of this meandering perennial border.

Below are some online sources for Dahlias:

Corralitos Gardens

Dan’s Dahlias

The site below is a particularly good one with lots of information on growing and caring for Dahlias, as well as the “twelve official divisions” of Dahlias, which will show you just how diverse this flower is!

American Meadows

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

NOTE: Be sure to click on “PREVIOUS ENTRIES” at the very bottom of the screen to see more posts in September!





In the pink

26 09 2008

Here are just a few more shots of Osteospermum ecklonis I photographed at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia last Thursday. Speaking of “in the pink” —click here to learn where that phrase originated.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





My few minutes of fame…

25 09 2008

on Kim’s Head of the Table blog…check out the rest of her site and glean inspiration for great party and entertaining ideas. Thanks for featuring my table setting, Kim!





Shine on, shine on harvest moon…

23 09 2008

En route to visit Barb and Dean in Spokane on Saturday, September 13, we drove past miles and miles of wheat fields and as the land became more golden in the late afternoon light, we noticed the makings of a harvest moon.

Whenever I hear the words, “harvest moon,” I always remember a very old Ruth Etting album (heaven only knows where I found it) that I eventually gave to a friend’s husband to add to his large music collection. I just did a search and I actually found the recording! The only words I could remember were “shine on, shine on harvest moon…for me and my guy.” (I sing it true to her old-fashioned vibrato, of course).

Etting revived the song in Ziegfield Follies in 1931. Click here to find it on youtube.com. And if you’re a Liza Minnelli fan, click here for her rendition of the song.

Click on “PREVIOUS ENTRIES” at the very bottom of the screen to see more posts in September!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.








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