51. Arbutus

When we began to think about designing and siting our house we had to clear the lot.  It had been quite clear and accessible when we bought it, but 3 or 4 years later the BC coastal climate had had its effect, and growth had mushroomed.  So we removed almost all vegetation.arbutus

But we protected our Arbutus trees (arbutus menziesii, common name Pacific Madrona in the U.S.).  They are particular to Pacific coastal environments and hard to cultivate (they grow well from seed, but do not transplant easily.)  Best to protect the ones occurring naturally.  And it’s paid off.  We were blessed this week with Arbutus flowers.  Scented flowers, even.  If you’re not from BC I could tell you that the BC Arbutus flowers only once every 50 years and you might believe me.  But I’d be fibbing.  In fact, it flowers only briefly and if you’re not paying attention you might miss it.arbutus blooms

And: more peculiarity to commend the Arbutus: it’s BC’s only evergreen deciduous tree – there are always leaves on an Arbutus.  The tree also sheds portions of its bark periodically, leaving beautifully photogenic possibilities.arbutus bark

(Guest post by D)