|My friend Linda, with one of the few rhodos still in bloom at VanDusen Garden.|
|Water lilies and all colours and shapes of foliage are the big attractions at the garden now.|
|Off a wooden walkway, a close-up look at a thick carpet of lily pads and some blooms.|
|My favourite discovery of the day -- a snake-branch spruce whose vertical lines made me think of driving rain.|
|We had the waterfall all to ourselves.|
|Linda and the delphinium beds. Like many of the spring blooms, the delphiniums are on their way out.|
The golden-chain trees have lost all their links, the rhodos all their colour. Even the first blush of the multi-hued roses is fading. Exuberant spring is over at VanDusen Garden, and the serenity of summer is setting in. It's a perfect time to enjoy the garden with my long-time friend Linda, who like me, is happy with silence, shade and any view that includes a bit of water.
On a pre-long-weekend Thursday, the garden is quiet, giving us vast stretches to ourselves. We focus mostly on the water courses, which are bursting with water lilies. They carpet the surface with their thick green leaves -- so solid you can imagine walking on them -- and throw out bursts of white and pink blooms. With most of the trees finished blossoming, their foliage comes to the forefront, and what you notice is shapes and shades of green and plum, all reflected in the water.
Our search for shade leads to the best discovery of the day -- a snake-branch spruce, with downward-spiralling branches and needles reminiscent of the lines of rain in a heavy downpour. I ask Linda to walk through the "downpour" for a photo.
Keeping to the water theme, we visit the waterfall -- we don't have to wait our turn for photos, as happens in busy times. Nearby is the blue of the delphinium beds, where the flower spikes are leaning a bit, looking tired from the spring's exertions. We follow their lead and spend half an hour on a sheltered bench, catching up after a busy spring. The view we're looking at is cool, green and serene -- just the kind of summer we're hoping for.