Fun first week of retirement


Moving tender plants

Moving such tender plants as pelargoniums, aeonium, fuchsia and cold-sensitive sedums out of their protected winter quarters into the garden for summer.

Birthday bounty

This lovely wateringcan from Ikea was my grandson Jake's gift to me on my birthday on April 25. Funny enough, it is also my brother, Raymond's birthday.

Dog's tooth violet
Purple aeonium

It's been a fun first week

This was my first week not working at The Vancouver Sun. How was it? Fantastic.

No bosses calling to give me daft assignments. No deadlines. No emails from public relations agents who think I'm the real estate reporter.

In the garden without bosses calling. Bliss.

The best part was that I had more time for things I love to do, especially working in the garden.


My grandson Jake and I did a gardening project, went shopping at the supermarket (fun because Jake is always clear about what he likes and doesn't like) and we had time to go to a restaurant (fun because Jake is very insistent that he only ever wants mac and cheese).

Jake ordering in restaurant

One afternoon, I also went to Jake's daycare and read all his class a story - Sylvester’s Magic Pebble.

Not everyone thinks dandelions are weeds

I handed out "magic" pebbles to all the kids and told them this gorgeous story of loss and recovery and the true meaning of what is valuable.

Jake loved it.

He was thrilled to have his grandad in the class, sitting next to him on a little chair, telling his favourite bedtime story.

Brunnera looks good in the garden

My next task was to move tender plants out from their protected winter quarters in the solarium - fuchsias, pelargoniums, aeonium, abutilon and tender sedums.

A few shrubs also had to be moved around, including a few dwarf ninebarks that were never really dwarf.

With Jake's help, I  repotted some new Hydrangea paniculata.

And he picked some dandelions as a bouquet for his Mom since not everyone sees them as annoying weeds. A lesson in seeing things generously for all of us.

In the garden with my dog, Roxy, a miniature beagle

What else? Well, I need to watch my nandinas closely because they don’t look as if they have made it through winter, but there are signs of life, so I’m erring on the side of caution and resisting chopping them down just yet.

Birthday boy

It was my birthday Wednesday and my children and grandchildren overwhelmed me with an avalanche of lovely gifts. How kind.

Double narcissus in bloom in the garden

I also received  a fantastic outpouring of goodwill on Facebook from loyal readers responding to the news that I had left the paper after 38 years, 26 writing garden stories.

There were literally dozens of extremely kind and generous messages of support and encouragement. Astonishing. 

I could not possibly reply to them all. But I read every one - some carefully and love them all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who took the time and effort to write.

Awesome message

It was awesome. I was deeply touched by all these sweet messages. 

This website caused me a headache midweek. I ran into a technical snag with some coding that caused things to go wonky.

But my expert helpers at MojoMarketplace sorted it out.

MojoMarketplace, by the way, is an excellent place to go if you want a website or have a website and want first-class tech help to sort stuff out. Very impressive. (No, they did not pay me to say that.)

This website is now my new platform for garden stories and travel pieces, videos and photos.

First week of retirement was fun


Well, yes, I am, technically retired, but what does retirement really mean. Life doesn’t just stop. There is still so much I haven’t even started to do. I love communicating, so I can't see me stopping.

But, yes, I agree, I'm technically and officially retired. And very glad to be here doing what I love.

Finally this week, I planted quite a few summer plants because I won’t be here to do it in May.

It is always a bit tricky putting out annuals and tender perennials when the weather is still chilly but if you have no choice, that is what you have to do.


  1. Happy belated birthday my friend! Really enjoyed all the videos on your new web page and look forward to many more! May I and your other readers also post on this site? Would b great to share with you my gardens and baskets at Northview this year?
    Gerry Van Huizen
    Ps. Great photo of you and your pint 😊


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