With real-estate prices stuck at crazy-high on the Lower Mainland, the Sunshine Coast is beckoning more and more of our acquaintances. At 40 minutes, the ferry trip there is a blink of an eye compared to the trek to Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands. Sunshine Coast real-estate prices have climbed, thanks to all the Lower Mainland refugees, but a spacious house with a big garden is still do-able for many.
This week we visited our latest friend to find a haven up the coast. Antonia, the daughter of our late Saltspring Island neighbour Kathy, has a new house full of light, a garden with lots of established plants and trees, and a bear that likes sleeping in it. Luckily, the bear had stepped out for the afternoon, so Antonia and I could explore while John took photos.
|It's not uncommon these days for people to commute from the Sunshine Coast into Vancouver every day for work. A fairly short ferry ride and beautiful scenery makes it feasible, and perhaps even enjoyable -- for awhile.|
|Antonia on the deck of her new house, which feels a lot like her mother's beautiful home on Saltspring. Antonia previously lived in North Vancouver.|
|Antonia and I enjoy exploring her garden on a perfect August afternoon.|
|The garden has well-established pear, plum and crab apple trees, plus what we think is an ornamental cherry.|
|I couldn't identify all her plants, but I did spot roses, photinia, weigela and crocosmia.|
|Most of the plants appear to be drought-tolerant and hardy, a good thing since we seem to get so many dry summers now, and water on the Sunshine Coast is expensive.|
|This is a malva zebrina, one of those tough little plants that reseed and come back year after year. A great plant to have scattered through the garden.|
|I've known Antonia for 17 years now, as she often visited her mother Kathy, our all-time favourite neighbour, on Saltspring. Kathy, a talented artist, died in 2014.|
|In her living room, Antonia gets reacquainted with some of her mother's paintings. We've been storing them, and brought them back to Antonia on this trip, now that she's settled.|
|The paintings are covered in plastic, so it's hard to see them, but Antonia was particularly drawn to this one, of red leaves over a grey fence.|
|On our way back to the ferry, we stopped to visit another friend, Rhonda. She made us an excellent coffee with her stunningly beautiful (and expensive) machine.|
|And, the trip home. When there's no ferry lineups or delays, it seems pretty idyllic.|