Art abounds at Hastings House! The property is a veritable art gallery honouring local artists.…
Spring comes early in the Gulf Islands when most of the rest of Canada is under the cover of snow. Salt Spring and the other Gulf Islands are said to be in a unique micro-climate that is often described as cool Mediterranean. The proof? There are three wineries on Salt Spring, and even an olive grove on a south-facing slope in the Fulford Valley! To help you plan a spring stay at Hastings House, we offer this rough guide to bloom times so that you have an idea of the flowers and flowering trees that you may enjoy on our 22-acre property and around the island.
By mid-February, daffodils and crocuses can be spotted along the reception pathway and by the seaside terrace, as if preparing us to welcome guests back for our seasonal opening in March. Other soft touches of colour that begin in late February and early March are grape hyacinths, hellebore (winter rose) and flowering heather. These flowers and shrubs give us a sense of spring coming to the land. And, as this is a long season on the Pacific Coast, they bloom through March and April offering a lasting yellow and purple brilliance.
Late March is also a time when the early flowering trees start to blossom. Plum trees are the first to come out. With their delicate pale petals, these are gorgeous blossoms, similar to cherry blossoms, which are the next to bloom. Do look out for the stupendous Kanzan cherry with a double row of petals–up to 50 on each blossom!
While April showers bring May flowers to other regions, in Victoria and the Gulf Islands, April is the peak month for the most show-stopping flowers.
Flowering trees reach their peak this month with apple, magnolia and dogwood joining the cherry and plum. The terrace at Manor Dining will have a canopy of blossoms. Hastings House also has a picture-perfect star magnolia right outside the living room window of the Greenhouse suite near the Post Cottage. And on the hillside, just by the entrance to the Laurel and Hawthorne suites, the dogwood, British Columbia’s provincial flower, produces abundant large white blossoms. You may have to wander up to the hillside to capture an image of this beauty.
Mid-April is also the time for tulips. The stunning reds and yellows that line our walkways and lawns are the perfect complement to lush West Coast greenery.
To cap off the month, in late April the rhododendrons are in their prime. At Hastings House, there is a magical white rhododendron by the entrance to the Barn suites and a number of red and fuchsia rhodos on the path to Manor Dining. Even the simple stroll to breakfast is a delight in spring.
For aromatic flowers, May cannot be topped. Lilacs, roses and lobelia come into bloom in early May. The large lilac by the Farmhouse suites brings a burst of sweetness for those seated on the Farmhouse porches or the Adirondack chairs on the Farmhouse lawn. The white lobelia decorates a trellis in the reception garden between the Woodland Room and the Post Cottage. In May, deep purple iris also grace the property.
We welcome you to stay with us this spring and share in nature’s gifts of beauty.