Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunshine Coast haven

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.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad the bear didn't make a visit while you were in the garden! The paintings look very interesting. Perhaps Antonio will send you photos when she gets the plastic off and you can post them on your blog.