Patio Gardens

“Earth laughs in flowers.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, in search of Earth’s laughter, we visited Patio Gardens on West Saanich Road and we found it in spades!
The vibrant colours of flowers and greenery can uplift any spirits, particularly as daylight hours shrink.

patio-gardens13The owner, Yvonne, has been gardening for more than a couple of decades.  In earlier days the business was mostly cut flowers.  Now the specialty is hanging baskets and container gardening, suitable for patios and decks, indoor containers and anywhere you’d want to have live greenery or a garden feature.
And in our moderate west coast climate, water garden features can run year-round!patio-gardens15                   patio-gardens1

Patio Gardens features Christmas plantings right now, so there are lots of poinsettias and greenery. patio-gardens14In a spacious classroom setting, floral and gardening workshops are offered, and wreath-making is a popular one right now.patio-gardens4


The store offers plenty of decorating and gift ideas as well.
patio-gardens11     patio-gardens8

It’s a delight to visit Patio Gardens during this cheerful Christmas season.
And I can only imagine how Patio Gardens will remake itself in the springtime!


Patio Gardens
6536 West Saanich Road, Victoria

Mon – Sat  9 – 5:30 pm,  Sun & holidays 10 – 4 pm

Carnivore Meats & More

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”  ~  Hippocrates

Stopping at Carnivore Meats & More has likely effected more changes in my lifestyle than any other “shopping” stop has ever done!
Carnivore Mar 24I had not previously been too aware of the acute differences between “clean”, truly fresh and healthy meats versus mass-produced and mass-packaged meat products which we’re all used to seeing and buying in even the “good” grocery stores.

Carnivore’s owner, Ian, is uncompromising in his dedication to sourcing healthy, clean, local meat.
For example, the animals he buys for his beef supply are not only grass-fed, but also grass-finished so that the protein remains lean and healthy.

Ian can take you through his cooler cases displaying beef, lamb and pork and knows the specific farm from which the animals are sourced.  The poultry comes from about twelve farms.  The sources for the meats are local to the Island and Ian visits them regularly, so he can personally attest to the “clean” aspect of the products.

Meat case 2

The sausage made in-house is free from gluten, nitrates, MSG and sulphates.  The sausage casings are true animal gut collagen.

Frozen meats such as Cornish hen, quail and rabbit are available, as are eggs (white and brown).

Joshua, Ian’s Assistant Manager, uses Carnivore’s meats to prepare baked offerings such as their tourtiere and spinach & feta pie which is the best definition of “deep-dish” I’ve ever seen!


Ian’s striving, through Carnivore, to create and maintain a vertically integrated food chain is abundantly clear.  I am impressed;   I’ve learned a few things!
And I’m a now a loyal returning customer!

Carnivore Meats & More
7103 W Saanich Rd, Brentwood Bay

Mon – Sat 9:30 am–6:30 pm, Sun noon – 5 pm




Hence various trees their various fruits produce,
Some for delightful taste, and some for use.
Hence sprouting plants enrich the plain and wood,
For physic some, and some design’d for food.
~Richard Blackmore, “Wisdom of God in the Vegetable Creation,” 1712

Even though Lil and I have each resided in North Saanich for 4.5 years neither of us had dined at Cafe Zanzibar…until now. Zanzibar is a family run restaurant with “an emphasis on local & global ingredients”. As we perused the menu, oohing and ahhing over the choices, we noticed that many of the dishes (if not all) had unique combinations of fruits and vegetables . After consulting with our helpful server ……we chose….

the Sahbi Lamb Burger with Apricot & Mango relish and Edam cheese accompanied with Pan Fries

Lamb Burger

…and the Chicken & Avocado Melt: Brie cheese & tomato on an English Muffin, topped with Cranberry Sauce with a salad on the side….or underneath it! Both meals were delicious and satisfying.

Zanzibar Cranberry, Brie, English Muffin


Cafe Zanzibar
1164 Stelly’s Cross Road
Brentwood Bay, BC

250-544-1475 or 250-652-1228

T-Sat: 7:30 am-3:00 pm
Th-Sat: Dinner from 5:30 pm
Sunday Brunch: 9:00-3:00 pm

Pages Used Books

“A Room without books is like a body without a soul”


Pages- Used Books Mar 24

Located in Trafalgar Square which is on the corner of W. Saanich Road and Wallace Drive, Pages Used Books is an impressive bookstore. Though the square footage is small the bookcases are tidy, clean, well ordered and labelled. It is a pleasure (as it always should be in a store devoted to books) to browse amongst the many titles that are on the shelves.

Pages- Used Books Mar 24

There are occasional chairs placed throughout the store, inviting one to sit, open the book and read.

Book lovers never go to bed alone. (Amen)


Pages Used Books
7103 W. Saanich Rd
Brentwood Bay, BC