The richness of spring meadows

Spring is a flashy time here on the islands of the Salish Sea. It is a long and lush season of blooms, from daffodils in February through the magnolias of March with their bright candles of colour, to the wild bursts of rhododendrons in April. All of which thrills those of us who are fortunate enough to live here.

Many of those blooms are, of course, imported species. What is less abundant, now that we have carved up the islands with streets and housing developments and formal gardens, is the calm richness of our unique ecosystem – the Garry Oak meadow.

Camas bloom under the Garry Oaks in Playfair Park, Saaanich, BC.

Camas bloom under the Garry Oaks in Playfair Park, Saaanich, BC.

Here, in April, the oaks are leafing out (among the last of the island trees to do so) and in the meadows below their long but sparse branches, bright fields of camas bloom. If you’re not close enough to enjoy the meadows in person, check out Malea Acker’s Gardens Aflame

I find the natural ‘organization’ of these meadows soul-restoring: the rolling swells of the island rock below beds of moss, grass, and camas with the ancient arches of Garry Oaks overhead. 



  1. Lovely!

  2. And if you’re lucky, some shooting stars… (daughter sent me a photograph of them the other day, in bloom on Christmas Hill).

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