The BC wine valley

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This is kind of a follow up to the posting about Ohme Gardens in Washington, as our trip led us northerly along the lovely apple orchard, vineyard planted, lake strewn landscape, to the Border Patrol, and back into Canada…..first stop: Osoyoos!IMG_3681

If you have never traveled through this wonderful area, do so. It is amazing all the way from northern Washington to southern BC, in this heat infested, growing mecca! I LOVED the farm stands along the highway, stopping at several as we traveled. We had to eat anything we bought in the USA, of course, but really? How difficult is it to consume amazing fresh produce? Once we hit the Canadian side, though, no holds barred…….we shopped ’til we dropped, and, as a natural consequence, had to bring fresh produce back home! IMG_3677

IMG_3760So now on to our BC travels…..Starting in Osoyoos, we worked our way northward to Vernon during our stay. We were one week in this area, and, just the week prior to the Okanagan wine festival celebrations, so we had a few less people, but ample opportunity for sampling. IMG_3676

As a gardener, the appreciation of the vineyards was my greatest reward. Walking around this amazing area, sitting in among the vines, and then enjoying the product gained from all of this….amazing! I am an advocate of good wine….sorry…..(also good beer, but that is another page) and while we are not large drinkers, I do enjoy a good beverage with Hubby!!! or friends. IMG_3707

One of the things I love about traveling in any wine region, is seeing the variety of wines that are not available at my local stores. The ‘unknowns’ that we discover, or the varietals we did not know were grown in Canada, or the US….it is pretty cool, and a great learning. IMG_3685

So, I could yammer on about the amazing wines we sipped, and attempt to dazzle you with my (non-existent) knowledge, or I can just post some photos of this area……..hmmmmm…….photos it is! Enjoy! IMG_3699

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Ohme Garden, Wanatchee

Hubby and I did a fall holiday in late September, to Washington, and to British Columbia. It was a test run for our new little car, purchased in August….a convertible for Hubby…his dream car. As it turns out, I am IMG_3441100% in love with it too!! I had only been into Washington on 2 other occasions, and as short day trips , so we were looking forward to this adventure. We stayed at Leavenworth, a little Bavarian themed town in the Cascade mountains, really IMG_3664sweet, albeit only Bavarian in appearance. We enjoyed the AMAZING floral displays there. I am not sure if I have ever seen container IMG_3665plantings quite as lush in a northern growing region.

 

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One of the days, we did a bit of touring around Wanatchee. I had read about Ohme Gardens, and really wanted to see it. We set the GPS and ventured our way there….soooooo worth the time! This garden is not for the flower lover, but it is for those who appreciate the amazing Aviary Photo_130883886932039095landscaping that has gone into this mountain garden. Set up high, the creators originally began moving rocks, plants and soil to create an oasis for themselves, before they built their house…..and over years, they created the most amazing rock gardens. It is worth the visit if you are in that area!

 

 

 

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As we strolled through, my being was filled with a calmness and I am certain that my blood pressure dropped as I drank in the serenity IMG_3609of the nature surrounding me. Waterfalls hide in crevices, ponds and rock benches provide the perfect place to stop and just breathe. And, for both of us, this garden was a part of the healing we needed to experience! Aviary Photo_130883886487906765

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love flowers and their beauty, but I think I love the beauty of foliage, rocks, and greenery just as much.IMG_3605

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Waiting for snow

Sounds a little nuts….most people are NOT actively waiting for it to snow, but I find myself looking out the window each morning to see if there is any snow on the ground yet! It is still early-ish, but I have an ulterior motive….Besides knowing that my babies in the garden need to have good snow cover to protect them from our winter harshness, I am ready to put on my ice skates and go for a whirl. The problem is, here in my sleepy town, our rink is an outdoor one, and the volunteer fire department floods the rink once temps have dropped below freezing…..BUT they need a base of snow to flood on, so that the water stays within the confines of the rink!

So, any day, I hope to see it snow….for the roots that need protection under the ground, and for the ice rink, so that we can get out and enjoy the joys of winter outdoor activity!

From the heart

Not sure how to begin after so long a hiatus!! I have had writers block before but this time it was more like a major survival block….so here’s my story.

In May I wrote a post about experiencing tragedy when Hubby’s brother suddenly passed away. I’m sure I didn’t give much detail because this is a gardening blog….but I can say now that we both were reeling for quite some time. Death is not something we ever ‘get prepared’ for…..I wish we did…..even today we are shocked all over again at the enormity of that loss. So when, 3 months later, I received word that my brother , who had been in hospital but not terminal, had signed a no treatment order, I was thrown for one serious loop. In a very short amount of time, an illness that should have gone away turned fully against him……short version is, there was no time to mentally prepare for such news.

Hubby and I traveled to spend time with Bro, gathering another sister along the way…..this is a 750 km trek but worth every inch. We spent good times with Sis, being confined to a moving space for 7 hours each way….talked out our hurts and left open our hearts. On arrival, we gathered with yet more family and showered as much love and comfort on our brother as was humanly possible! We took turns massaging his failing body, hugging warmth into his thin frame, singing hymns with him and holding his hands while he slept. Hard, sad and wonderful all at once.

I need to say that my brother was not old…older than me, but not yet in the ‘golden years’. I have had one heck of a time getting my feet back under me. His passing in August has had a major impact on my life….and I know many, many understand. It has just been 3 months, and will be tender for some time yet…..

But, I felt that transparent  honesty is needed……I love to write, I love to garden…..this fall, that garden was my confidante through many tears! Many little miracles happened in my heart as I have struggled through this grief in my garden…..and I am so grateful…..but it’s been a journey.

So, now I hope to take my place again at my computer, and share my gardening world…..and a little of my ‘other’ world….thanks for listening!! And to those with a similar story, God  bless!