It is spring in my part of the world.  What better time to fill the well with a visit to Butchart Gardens?

The stars of the garden, tulips, blossoming trees, daffodils, are so brilliant it would be easy to just stand and stare at them and then go home.

But I was on a mission.  I wanted to note details, I wanted to find the hidden gem.  Like this camellia leaning over a stream, or the white mayflower at right or this pink dog tooth violet hiding under a rhododendron.

I wanted to use all my senses.  Sight is a no brainer and the scent of hyacinth was  heavy as honey in the air.

Other perfumes were more subtle.  This heather, for example, has a faint peppery smell, and the star magnolia was reminiscent of vanilla.

I used my sense of hearing too.  This natural waterfall,  mostly hidden, played sweet music over the whole of the sunken garden.

In this secret pond a bullfrog croaked loud and long and in the Japanese garden a cultivated stream provided a soft sh..sh..sh to the shady bowers

I heard a bird chirp and found this little fellow preening himself.

Children’s  delighted squeals punctuated the silence.  They were hunting Easter rabbits.

I used touch, too.  Not on the flowers, thousands of fingers would soon crush the blossoms, but I stroked the soft, fibrous bark of this giant cedar and rubbed the smooth, polished snout of the garden boar.  Rubbing his nose is said to bring good luck.

I couldn’t taste the flowers “Please don’t eat the daisies” and all that, but taste and smell are so closely linked, you’ll note I described the scents in terms of taste — pepper, vanilla, honey.

My senses sated, my well filled to overflowing, I finished off my afternoon with one of my favourite tastes, café mocha in the coffee shop.  There I overheard this lovely snippet of conversation.

She:  When do the roses bloom?

He:  When love is in the air.