How to Get Inspiring Backyard Garden Ideas

victoria garden design ideas

Nothing is more inspiring than some quality time with the family in the back yard. Even if you don’t have a back yard, Victoria BC is full of many fabulous public gardens to spend time in, alone or with friends. For instance, we’re blessed with the elegant Butchart Gardens, one of the best kept paradises in all of Western Canada, where nature meets the order of human creativity to build a heavenly splendor that’s prettiness is impossible to deny. To get inspiring ideas for our own backyard, all we need to do is visit such wonderful places. And while the Butchart Gardens required a purchased ticket to enter, there are also free gardens in town, like the magnificent Beacon Hill Park.

By visiting these places, we can see what professional landscapers have done to create a beautiful landscape specifically designed for a wide public audience. Unlike private gardens which are designed to satisfy the owners of the property, the managers of public gardens must keep everyone in mind, and this allows for a diverse display of different flowers, bushes and trees.

back yard garden
backyard garden design

Public gardens are great, and can supply many ideas to the curious mind. However, that doesn’t mean private gardens aren’t a good source for inspiration as well. You don’t have to trespass on private property to glean ideas from their gardens. Just by walking down some of the older streets in Victoria BC, where there are many splendid restored historical buildings with well-maintained gardens, in areas like Fernwood and Oak Bay for instance, we can see what others have done with their own creative garden ideas. Although we can’t always see their backyard gardens, we can still get inspired by their front yard garden displays.

Perhaps my favorite way to get inspiring backyard garden ideas is by calling landscaping Victoria BC companies and asking them what kind of cool things they recommend. It may be inconsiderate to waste a company’s time if we don’t intend to hire their services, but some landscapers would be happy to oblige if we ask them kindly. When I last spoke with my favorite landscaping company in the area, they recommend rockeries and water features, but these kind of garden ideas can be expensive to install. Some more affordable options, they said, might be some custom paving and terraced garden walls that are easy for any one to install if you buy paving stones from a masonry supplier.

Lastly, if ideas are really hard to come by, try meandering through a store like Canadian Tire and check out their seasonal and garden sections for garden ideas. Sometimes all it takes is some flower seeds and gnomes to make things interesting. Every year we can make our gardens a little different by picking up some things from the store. To get inspired doesn’t have to be complicated.

If you’re still looking for the perfect garden idea for your back yard, I hope our blog post can help, and we hope you come back soon.

November, my favorite time of year!


November is my favorite time of year because its the transition from autumn to winter, and the colors in the sky shift with the colors in the trees. I gaze out my window in the morning and see every color in the spectrum, pink hues in the sky under grey clouds, with spots of yellow shining through between the brown trees, the luscious green grass, black crows cawing and the blue ocean waves. It’s all so magical that I almost think I’m living in augmented reality at times.

Autumn is amazing, and as an introvert I love reading by the window as the snow and rain falls in Canada. Living by the Pacific Ocean is a poet’s dream come true, as even the sounds are mesmerizing. The seagulls, the playing children, the dogs barking, the engines revving.

Thank you Canada for being so beautiful to this happy Italian immigrant! I wouldn’t change a thing.

Repairing Appliances in Canada After Growing Up in Italy

One of the first things I noticed about Canada when I moved here from Italy was the different popular brand names of appliances. Then, after living here a little while I was astonished at how all the electric plugs are different. Even the standards of wiring in electronics and measurement systems are all strange.

When I started to look for work as an appliance repair technician in Victoria BC, it was as if I had to relearn everything from the beginning. It was interesting to learn that after specializing in a trade you can move to another part of the world and become a beginner again, as customs vary wherever you go. I just assumed that working as an appliance repair technician would be the same everywhere, but I was wrong.

I didn’t even have a travel adapter let alone knew I needed one when I arrived in Canada. It was frustrating to learn that I needed to buy new phone chargers and a charger for my laptop. Now that I’ve been working for a while I’ve gotten used to the differences. I fear that when or if I ever work in Italy again that everything will once again need to be relearned.

Some of the major appliance brands here we also have in Italy, so I’m familiar with fixing those, but most of them are new to me and fixing a Samsung washer is a lot different than fixing a Maytag washer. It took months to become familiar with the appliance models here. In Victoria BC there are a lot of luxury homes with expensive appliances that take up a lot of space, a very different culture than the smaller and simpler appliances in households across rural Tuscany.

I have a feeling I still have a lot to learn, as almost every week I come across an appliance I’ve never seen before, and must learn how to repair it with nothing but the Internet to guide me. Sometimes it’s interesting to delve into a PDF version of an old appliance manual from 2002. Other times it’s beyond frustrating to spend half the day learning where a single wire is supposed to go.

Now that I’m a full fledged Italian-Canadian with a career, I’m grateful nonetheless that I get to work in such a beautiful place and I try to keep my complaining to a minimum. Still, it never amazes me how two places with shared history in the Western world can be so different from each other.

Why I’m Not Ashamed to be White and Proud of It

All we see in the news these days is black pride and all we see in social media is liberals attacking people who are white and proud of it. First of all, and this isn’t science, if an African-Canadian is aloud to wear traditional African toggery and march down the street screaming “Revolution” and “Black lives matter” then there shouldn’t be anything wrong with an Italian-Canadian marching down the street in traditional Italian toggery chanting “Long life the Doge of Venice” and “White lives matter.” It should be that simple, but if I really marched and said those things then I’d get attacked for being racist even though I lived my whole life in Canada without racism even being considered and now all of a sudden everything I do is racist just because I’m white.

Well, I would be sick and tired of this but honestly I find it hilarious and frankly a bit sad. I should not have to feel ashamed for being proud of my heritage. I’m so proud of where my family came from and what they had to do to survive. being proud of my race doesn’t mean I think less of any other races. In fact, I’m the opposite of racist, prefer to listen to black music, but no matter what I say they will always just look at me as white man trying to keep the black man down.

Well, I shouldn’t have to say anything more for you to realize how petty and ridiculous that is. I’m proud of being white and if that’s a problem for you then it’s not me who has the problem, it’s you, because I don’t have a racist vein in my body. In fact, if you have a problem with me being proud of my whiteness then YOU are the racist one, not me.

That’s the truth.