My mom came down for a visit this weekend - we planned on going to the Royal Botanical Gardens since she's never been. Initially, my little brother or sister-in-law were going to go with her, but it didn't work out for either one of them to come - so she came alone.
Or so I thought. It was a great surprise when my dad walked off the elevator after my mom! Him and Pat didn't come to the Gardens with us (they went to a computer store instead) but it was still nice to visit with him too.
Mom and I had a great time at the RBG - and really great weather. Unfortunately, the lilacs weren't as nice as the previous weekend but there was still much to see.First we went to the Arboretum - where the lilac dell, dogwoods, rhododendrons & many nature trails are located. We started out strolling through the dell, savoring the scent of the lilacs.We were awed by the beauty of this Katsura tree:We hiked a trail through somes woods and along the waterfront (of Cootes Paradise). There were a ton of semi-tame chipmunks with full cheeks (it was a busy weekend & there were troops of girl guides camping). Naturally my mom spotted a garter snake sunning itself on a log after I reassured her I hadn't seen any last time I was there. She ran on while I tried to snap its picture - but he was too quick for me!
Near the end of the trail we came across a regular looking bush... but upon closer inspection we saw that a vine was intertwined within the bush - and these lovely tendrils of flowers were hanging in abundance behind the foliage. We felt like we were the first to discover something special. Once we came to the end of the trail, we headed back to the bus - and walked through a grove of pretty rhododendron:The bus took us to the Rock Gardens, where we had a quick bite to eat at the teahouse. Even though the tulips were dying and the annuals weren't yet planted, my mom found the Rock Gardens even more lovely than the lilac dell.There really is a nice serene quality to this garden, with trickling water and lots of levels to explore. I even saw a large groundhog run across the path and into the bushes!The peonies were just starting to bloom:I loved the sun on this fern:After we finished the Rock Garden, we realized it would be an hour before the next bus arrived to take us to another garden. So we decided to call it a day and go to IKEA instead. We called our chauffeurs and waited under this beautiful tree:It was a really great weekend! Saturday night we had hot oil fondue - with homemade spring rolls, marinated steaks, spicy chicken & vegetable tempura. And I made a yummy strawberry rhubarb cake for dessert.
They left this morning after stopping by again quickly. The weekend was too short, but it was a lot of fun. I'm really glad both my parents made the trip down!