The Retreat in Progress

Friday, January 29, 2016

Pathways and Entryways into a Mysterious, Magical Island

On the Garden Bloggers' Fling in June of 2015, one of the excursions the Flingers flung to was to Ward's Island, a 15 minute ferry ride from the big city of Toronto. 

Prior to the Fling, I had no preconceived ideas or expectations of the gardens or excursions I would experience as I didn't research the area like I usually do when I go on vacation.  The Fling was pre-planned, transportation to the gardens and other excursions was taken care of, and the itinerary was planned.  I was in heaven.  I didn't have to do anything other than eat my breakfast, get my coffee, and hop on the bus!

One of the excursions was to Ward's Island.  I had no clue what to expect or what sights I would see.  Ward's Island reminded me of something out of a movie scene.  Charming yet mysterious.  Cottagey yet woodland. The homes nestled within the island all had their own style and vibe, but one thing they all seemed to have in common was that this was the place to enjoy home and garden, not be rushed, and relax.

I could have taken hundreds of photos, but knew that would overwhelm me, so I tried to focus on a few themes such as pathways and entryways. 

Come experience Ward's Island with me.


What a beautiful view from your front yard to the city of Toronto.

Charming cottage garden pathway that leads your eye and your curiosity to what's around the corner.

The path leads to a lending library and other sundries of Ward's Island residents.

Poppies that remind me of crepe paper flowers from San Antonio flank the pathways.

A unique shaped treehouse provides a focal point in this resident's front yard.

The calm of the water and sailboats is picturesque.

A small pathway that leads to a relaxing sitting area on the left or a cottage on the right.  You decide.

Beautiful Bleeding Heart.

Beautiful Pale Pink Peony. I wish we could grow these in the Austin area.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Toronto Skyline

On the first full day of the Garden Bloggers' Fling, we took a ferry from Toronto to Ward's Island.  This island was mysteriously charming.  I took many photos while on Ward's Island and still need to sift through them so I can post them.

The first stop on the island was a spot overlooking the Toronto Skyline.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Niagara Parks' Botanical Garden

Touring the beautifully landscaped and maintained gardens at the Niagara Parks' Botanical Garden provided many photography opportunities.  So as to not get overwhelmed by taking more photos than I could post, I developed a strategy to focus on seating areas and focal points. 


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Niagara Falls

In the Austin area we have many rivers, Lake Austin, and Lake Travis.  These bodies of water are beautiful in their own right and people flock to be one with the water in central Texas.  We have all kinds of activities from fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and boating to just sitting on a deck or patio admiring the calm and reflection of the water. Although the Austin area has some great water spots, nothing beats the magnificence of Niagara Falls.

Day two of the #challengeonnaturephotography I am posting photos I took at Niagara Falls in June of 2015.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Look Back at Toronto

In June 2015, I was lucky enough to be included in a trip to Toronto, Canada with a great group of garden bloggers from all parts of the world.  It was a whirlwind of a trip, and I'm not sure I remember all the names of the places I went and which photos were taken where. 

One of the lovely ladies I met on the trip, Beth Stetenfeld from Wisconsin who blogs at nominated me to post a nature photo on Facebook for the next seven days.  I figured this would be a good motivator for me to finally post some of the photos of the beautiful surroundings in Toronto that I experienced this past summer.

Today is day one of the seven day challenge.  Below is a photo of a garden maze at Niagara Parks Botanical Garden.