Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Out and About with the Thursday Walking Group

When we do the seawall walk at West Vancouver we always meet at the Ferry Building Gallery seen above. Before the opening of the Lion's Gate Bridge in 1938, the only means of transport between West Vancouver, on the north shore, and Vancouver downtown, on the south shore of the harbour, was a ferry service which was finally discontinued in 1947.

Constructed in 1913, this building was the headquarters and ticket centre of the West Vancouver Ferry Company. Now beautifully restored it serves the community as a centre for Arts and Culture with art exhibits, art lectures and tours, art classes and programs, and artist's demos. We often pop into the gallery after our walk for there is always something of interest on display.

In a flower bed near the Ferry Building these tiny iris, not much taller than the nearby crocuses, made a carpet of brilliant blue.

In between some homes near the Ferry Building is a little plot of land which serves as a communal garden. Argyle Village Gardens. The property is owned by the District of West Vancouver and the lucky gardeners who have plots there are able to garden in one of the most idyllic settings, with a wonderful view of the harbour. This small group of homes is known as Argyle Village and the owners have a lifetime only interest in the properties which will ultimately revert to the District.

Looking over the fence you can see the raised beds, empty now save for the odd evergreen herb, waiting for the gardeners to come in Spring and plant them up. It's just the size of a small suburban lot.

Here we find two dogs enjoying a frolic at the water's edge. Naturally the Labrador is chasing sticks in the water, with the Westie looking on. Sensible dog, it was only 8 degrees Celsius.

Of course I had to speak to the Westie and her owner and swap Westie stories. Miss Rhyllie is her name and she is just four months old. She's the spitting image of Miss Cleo at that age. You know when I went to pick up Cleo from the doggie wash it was just as well she knew me because all the Westies looked alike after their spruce-up and I doubt I could have picked her from a line-up.

Spring is almost here with an early ornamental cherry showing pink in this little seating area off the seawall walkway where you can rest awhile and look out over the water and watch the boats and the birds and today we even saw a harbour seal, diving and surfacing leisurely near the shore. No photo, a bit too far away.

Lastly, this euphorbia is showing a lot of colour and will probably be out in full splendour soon. There are many different types of euphorbia and this is not one whose name I know but it is a very fine specimen.

UPDATE: Thanks to Janice Thomson for the information that the plant is Euphorbia dendroides L, or tree spurge, a small beautiful tree/shrub.


Dreaming again said...

how beautiful! it does look like spring is begining to sprout a bit!

Az said...

Beautiful pictures! They make me long for warmer weather even more.

Tai said...

Euphorbia is certainly a plant of choice these days...Spidergirl just bought three for her garden and my neighbours have a beautiful one in theirs.
(Lovely little westie!)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Great photos. I would have enjoyed the walk.

Janice Thomson said...

Wonderful photos Jmb and cute little Westie too. That is a "Euphorbia Dendroides L" otherwise known as 'tree spurge' - a very handsome evergreen shrub/tree. I've had the smaller ones but never the tree type.
Chartreuse seems to be a popular color in the garden these days.

Carver said...

Beautiful place for a walk. You took some lovely photographs. I think community gardens are such a great idea and I always love to read about different ones at different places.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

You have a lot of little Museums and arts centres round there.

It reminds me very much of parts of Devon, very picturesque. You wouldn't think it was one of the largest cities of the Pacific seaboard.

Ellee Seymour said...

The miniature iris is one of my favourite flowers, along with hellabores. I recognise the euphorbia too, a lovely evergreen. what fun we would have walking together.

sally in norfolk said...

love the iris too.....

mutleythedog said...

I have a allotment plot in a communal area - similar to those you picture. It really helps keep me sane. Great shots - spring is nearly here - we have had crocuses flowering since the firstweek in January...

Ian Lidster said...

Creeping spurge, on the other hand, is a devil to get rid of and you must wear gloves to pull it out because the sap is hugely caustic. Thanks for the walk, though.

jmb said...

Hi PK,
I'm afraid Spring comes and goes although it is looking more certain now.

Hi Az,
welcome here and I'm sure we all can't wait for spring, especially in the East where the snowfalls are record breaking.

Hi Tai,
I don't have this Euphorbia but I do have several polychromas which are lovely when they bloom.

Thanks to taking it with me, it is always a pleasant place with something interesting to see.

Hi Janice,
Thanks for the identification and I have updated the post. I too have polychromas plus another type which I've forgotten momentarily. It has white flowers.

Hi Carver,
It is a wonderful walk and all paved underfoot which is nice when it rains. The community garden is so tiny but what a view.

Hi Crushed,
We do have lots of little places like this and they are of great interest to me. A large city but also a beautiful one.

Hi Ellee,
These iris were everywhere, the starkest blue. Please join us anytime Elle for our walk. A bit far to come for you however.

Hi Sally,
I love the bright blue but unfortunately if you pick them they don't last.

Hi Mutley,
So you are a gardener. Communal gardebs are a great idea and I bet you can hardly wait to get planting.

Hi Ian,
Oh I did not know that. Fortunately I don't have it. Thanks for joining the walk.

Thanks to everyone for visiting and commenting.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Oh, jmb, what beautiful pics! The building in the first one is so pretty and the irises have cheered me. But of course I like the Westie best and what a lovely name she has!

leslie said...

I've wandered through those garden plots - marvelous idea for those who don't have big yards. And the views there are phenomenal. We'd walk along the seawall on Saturdays and/or Sundays and stay until we could watch the cruise ships going out. And at that end of the seawall, there is a garden that has the most beautiful wisteria!

jmb said...

Hi Welshcakes,
The owner told me the Rhyllie was a gaelic name which you no doubt knew but I did not. The iris are lovely aren't they, but fleeting.

Hi Leslie,
I don't know how you get an allotment there, there are only about 8 or so beds. I know the wisteria you are talking about. A bunch of sticks now of course.
regards to you both