Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Mom-Day Adventure: Government House

My friends, it's another Mom-Day Adventure! Pull up a chair, grab whatever libation takes your fancy, and settle in. 

First up, my outfit! 
We are getting down to the wire, with only 2 weeks of summer to go (but 3 weeks of closet time) - I still have a few more pieces to be worn, but now I can tick this dress off the list. 

  • Jacket - InWear; last worn here in July over my dark floral jumpsuit
  • Dress - Sacony Ciella, vintage 60s, thrifted; last seen here (2nd outfit; Flashback there also) in July with pops of white
  • Shoes - Karl Lagerfeld; last worn here in June with a sailor striped dress

This is a one-and-done jammy dress. You just add shoes and BAM, you're done.
The bottom half is perma-pleated - it's a very silky acetate jersey.
The top half is fully-lined. 
I walked over to Government House and met Mom there. 

Several areas of town are in full construction season - it's just silly how snarled the traffic is. It was just as easy for me to walk. 
All geared up for sun coverage - it was lovely and warm in the low 20s today. 

Vizzini seems to think Mom is coming over. 
"I think I heard her voice, where is she?"

She called and we timed it so neither of us would have to wait.
I have a mask, and I'm ready to roll. 

The stuff: 
My bag had just enough room for everything. Easy shoes for a short walk and a long slow ramble on the grounds of Government House. 

Yellow and orange bling: 
Most of these items will be packed away for fall/winter - I have a lot of jewelry, too much to keep it all out! 

  • Purse - Street Level, thrifted
  • Yellow cuff - thrifted
  • Orange cuff/ring - Italian, vintage 60s, vintage mall
  • Steel/Lucite ring - Calvin Klein, thrifted
  • Bee brooch - gift from Megan Mae
  • S brooch - Dodds, vintage 60s, vintage fair
  • Bakelite earrings - vintage fair

I'd spotted Vizzini snoozing on the deck earlier.
"Ah, the Woman has left me alone..."

But he always knows I'm there. 
"...but she never stays away for long."

Okay, back to our Adventure! I walked up the hill past Craigdarroch Castle. 
Looking lovely. I'm very lucky to live in this neighbourhood. 

I strolled over to Rockland Avenue, admiring the giant houses. 
I'm a fan of this big bank of arched windows. So 1970s! I'd swan about in my Halston gown here. 

Right next door, I was being checked out. 
Note all the protective netting on the plants in this garden... and that the deer has a mouthful of plants. 

And here we are, at the gates to Government House. 
That's Canada's official crest on the gate on the right. 

And this is where the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia resides. FYI, we pronounce it "leff-tenant" and British Columbia (aka BC) is my province. The LG is the provincial representative of the Crown (aka the Queen); there is a Governor General in Ottawa (capital of Canada), back east in Ontario. 

Or read this handy plaque. 
Mom grew up in this neighbourhood, about 3 blocks away - she remembered when the fire burnt down the previous Government House. She and her siblings would bring chairs down when the Royal Family was in town, to catch a glimpse of them leaving Gov't House. She saw Princess Margaret. 

The actual residence is under heavy restoration/construction, so I only took a picture of the port-cochere, which remains from the previous building. 
"We used to go trick or treating here," Mom said, "We got candy AND ten cents." That's like $1.25 now, very generous.

This plaque is to commemorate the new building. 
You can click on any of the pictures to embiggen them.

Mom, let's see what you have on. Oh, sorry about the sunspots! It was so bright out. 
Mom's wearing the trousers she bought with me in Sidney, a pale turquoise top, and a white waterfall cardigan with a cutout detail along the shoulders (gift from me). Also a fab necklace. 

You can read about Government House here (all links 'cause I love, of course), and about the garden here.
The below map is linked here - that link is interactive with pictures if you really want to go down the rabbit hole! 
We parked near E and went counterclockwise to the duck pond (Q) and then down to the wide lookout trail over the Garry oak meadow and then over to the Mews (M) on the lower right. 
There's Liz in the 90s, admiring the place. 

I loved this wrought iron arch made of twined iron oak leaves.
The size of the trees is boggling - look at how tiny the people look under there. 

The garden is at the end of the summer blooming season, and leaves are just starting to turn for fall. 
There are lovely paths throughout and lots of benches to sit on. 

A huge Garry oak. 
Again, people for comparison. 

Tuesday is one of the days that volunteer gardeners descend and help keep the grounds looking beautiful. 
A rose garden! Mom, out of the way! I need to smell roses! 
I nearly fell into this manicured hedge (poor garden etiquette, tsk) trying to smell those yellow roses. 

Ooh, so pretty! 
While I prefer wild, unmanicured gardens, there is something also very pretty about a knot garden. 

I can still smell them. 

What an amazing gazebo! Oh, excuse me, this is the Bruce Pavilion. 
There were two different groups in there, so we went around it. We also saw many painters and a lady doing Tai Chi. 

Ah, the duck pond! 
It has two fountains. 

But we did not see any ducks. 
Nor any turtles. 
Mom, you promised there would be turtles! 

Again, the scale of everything...
Ginormous cedars and firs. 

Another glimpse of the fountains as we walked around the pond. 
Mom was standing next to a massive stand of bamboo. 
I'm fond of Japanese maples. 
I love how their leaves turn red. 

We are right beside Rockland Avenue, a major road. 

This is one of the taller cedars in the neighbourhood. 
I have been in two wedding parties at Government House, taking pictures after the weddings on the lawns here. It's free, and is open from sunrise to sunset. 

I liked these dark red plants. 
Not the fuchsias (I know what those are), the ones with the red leaves. Anyone? 

If you look in the distance, you can just see the Olympic Mountains in Washington State, USA. 
But I was more occupied with the dahlias and the daisies. This is the English Country Garden.
So pretty. Nice and overgrown.
This flower matched my outfit: orange and yellow. Way to go, flower! We match! 

This is the Sunken Rose Garden.
All the iron gates are necessary and have to be closed behind you. Why? Because the freakin' deer would destroy the garden. 

I like this dog statue thing. 
It's quite odd. 

We walked under this giant cedar. 
Past stairs leading to the Alpine Rock Garden. 
A volunteer is working up there. 

We went to the Woodlands Viewpoint. 
The acorns are falling from the Garry oaks - you can see a few of them on the rock beside the plaque. They've been falling on our deck roof and startling Vizzini. 

See the mountains through the trees?
How about now? 
How about NOW? You can even see a bit of the ocean there.

Looking back up at Government House. 
We had some spectacular cloud displays. 

I like all this wildness. 
This is the natural vegetation of this area.

This twisted piece of dead tree looked like a creature to us.
See its eye? 

Looking over the Fairfield neighbourhood. 
Lots of very expensive houses down there. 
This little house below is where the washrooms are. 
Such skies! 
These are the Cary Castle Mews. 
They are a series of restored outbuildings. 
We would have had lunch here, except Rudi's Tea House is under renovation. 
The Costume Gallery should have been open (the days and times were posted), but all we could see were these shrouded costumes through the window. 
I see my chin and my yellow earrings! 

This is the Government House my mom remembered from when she was a girl. 
We had such a lovely time, wandering and chatting about Mom's memories of coming here.

Thank you for another wonderful day, Mom! I love you! 
We went to the Ross Bay Pub for lunch afterwards. 

And we both ate our vegetables. 
"Please." That's so Canadian. 

When I got home, I was photographing the Stuff, when I felt a nudge on my ankle. 
"Oh hey, I'm ready for attention now, Woman. Rub my tum!"

And a good tummy rub was had by all. Like I was going to say no! 

I hope you all had a peaceful and joy-filled day. Sending you sunshine, ocean breezes and soft kitty fur.


  1. The dress and the jacket is a perfect pair! I absolutely love this look and your day out with your mom sounds wonderful!

  2. I think the plant with red leaves is a coleus. Your mom looks like she’s great fun.

    1. Yay for gardeners like you, STAshworth! Thank you! Mom is a hoot - I get my wackiness from her. ;)

  3. I think the Victoria travel bureau should hire you as their wandering guide! Very much enjoy your Mom Adventures and your travelogues. Your Mom’s necklace is interesting, so much so that I enlarged the photo to get a closer look; it’s the perfect “finisher” to her outfit. And of course, I smiled at not just your jammy dress (you already know I’m a huge fan of your jammy collection!) but also at the bright colors of your entire ensemble. It is another smile producing outfit. :)

    Whenever you include a photo that has Washington State it takes me back to the ferry crossing. :)

    1. I love showing off Victoria, as you know, Laurie! I'm really happy you are enjoying visiting all these new-to-you places - wait till you see what we have planned for next week!

      Isn't it lovely? She has good taste in jewelry (which is why I "liberated" so much from her back in the day). Orange is a happy colour for me - I loved wearing this dress again, thank you.

      Nice! I love being able to see another country from our doorstep!

  4. The garden looks so beautiful and those trees so huge! What an incredible place to be able to stroll through and enjoy :) I love your orange outfit too - I was just thinking the other day I should hurry up and wear my orange blazer again before it gets too warm here, we have had a strange mix of summer like spring days but wintery spring days too - very random!

    I'm not a gardener at all but the red plants you were unsure of the name of remind me of poinsettia - I don't know enough to know if they are but you see them around a lot here at Christmas time :)

    1. Isn't it amazing, Mica? I know, we have massive trees here! Yay, you must wear your orange blazer too - we need to be matchy! :) Oh, these shoulder seasons are the worst - I always wear too much or too little!

      I know poinsettias - they grow in Mexico and ship them up here for Christmas too. Other gardeners have chimed in. :)

  5. First let me say that I positively love that dress. It is simple and elegant and just has great appeal for me. Second, what a fantastic garden (another one!!). When all is realtively back to normal and we travel, Victoria is on our list for sure.

    1. I love it too, Nana - it reminds me of a tennis dress or a flapper-ish style. We have the most amazing gardens here - that's why Victoria is known as "The Garden City"!

      Wonderful - please make sure you let me know when you come, as I would love to meet up, have lunch, show you around, go shopping...whatever you would like. :) I promise I'm not scary in person!

    2. I would be delighted to meet up! You have far too nice a smile to be scary!

    3. Hooray! My email is in my profile, so drop me a line when/if you plan to visit and we'll set it up!

      I've met many bloggers and readers - it's always such a treat. :)

  6. I'm going to second the belief that the red leaves are coleus. This particular specimen is a brilliant color!

  7. Orange paisley-I may never have seen that combination before but I like it. I love your mom's Halloween/Trick or Treating memory. The things that stya with us for a long time.

    1. Thank you, Sam! It's orange, with purple, lilac, pink and yellow - so unusual. I know, I love hearing about her memories of these places - I didn't know it!

  8. Wow, what a great day you had. Fantastic photos, you visited some beautiful places, that looked like a lovely walk. It was nice to 'meet' your mum.

    1. Thank you so much, Polly! I'm glad you enjoyed our adventure day ramble. :)

  9. I love that dress! Those colors and paisley? Perfect! I love how you and your mom have these spectacular dates. What wonderful memories you are making. Wouldn’t it be fun to live in a tree house in one of those huge trees? Hmmm…wonder what one would wear living in a tree house? Lots of green to blend in? Or red to stand out? And, I agree you could definitely be a wandering guide for Victoria!


    1. Isn't it cool, Marsha? I'm always attracted to unusual patterns and colours. Yes, I really want to build up some memories and spend as much time with Mom as I can before I have to go back to work full-time (possibly soon).

      Oh, that would be fun! I would not be able to wear gowns or dresses or heels, that's for sure! Thank you so much, Marsha!

  10. Yes indeed - coleus! It's an annual but very easy to propogate and over winter here in BC. I just nabbed a few pieces from a planter from where we had lunch today as the colour was incredibly stunning! I asked permission of course. A lovely post, beautiful photos. Looks like a must visit when we next are on the Island.

    1. Thank you, Robin! Ha ha, what a great way to get plants you like! :)

      Thanks so much - don't forget to drop me a line if you come here!

  11. Heh, I see other people have got here before me on the coleus. That's my guess too. Those gardens are spectacular.

    Your outfit is fab - a jammy dress is a thing of joy.

    1. Lots of gardeners out there, right, Mim? I knew someone would know! Thank you so much! I love my jammy dresses.

  12. What is there not to love about this entire post? A happy vacation for my eyes and mind. Thank you!

    1. I love that I have had this time with Mom, Rita. Thank you!

  13. Sylvester always lays stretched out like that on the floor when he wants his tummy stroked. Government House is another lovely place for a stroll - you have so many beautiful places in Victoria to explore.

    The orange print jammy dress is definitely a keeper - without the jacket it's a perfect casual summer dress, but with the jacket it could be office appropriate.

    1. It's the cutest thing, isn't it, Shelley? I can't resist that tum!

      We really do - we're so lucky here.

      Thank you - I've waffled on it in the past, but it's such a neat dress.

  14. Super love the citrus meets fall colour palette of your beautiful ensemble - and may have just swooned for a good five minutes straight over that stellar pumpkin hued blazer. What a gem of a jacket.

    Autumn Zenith �� Witchcrafted Life

    1. Thank you, Autumn! That jacket was a sample find at Dots last year - it's a nice modern piece that updates some of my more vintage-y items.

  15. What a splendid outfit, Sheila, I am definitely getting some Autumn vibes here! I loved tagging along with you and your Mum to Government House and its gardens, which are a joy to behold. You really do live in a most beautiful part of the world. Thank you for sharing! xxx P.S. We just got back today, so I'm trying to catch up with comments ...

    1. I'm definitely veering into my autumnal hues now, Ann! Thank you so much - I'm so happy you are enjoying my adventures with my mom. We are so lucky to live here.

      Welcome back - I know that feeling!


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