Summer in Paradise

Everyone has an idea about what Paradise would look like, and this summer we have had a number of cottage guests tell us that we live in their idea of Paradise. I am not always satisfied with the way things look. The private areas of my house can be messy, but the outside needs to be cared for in a certain way. Grass cut, garden beds well tended, no weeds on the gravel parking area. In the process we forget how magnificent it really all is. Sometimes I need a cottage guest to remind me how fortunate we are to live here and to be able to really enjoy the land and what it gives us.

Living right above forested crown lands is a gift. The forested trails on our property connect with crown land allowing us the illusion of owning more than what we do. There are mature trees on our property, lovely gardens that just do what they are supposed to do from early spring through to late fall. The colours go from purple to pink and then white.

This season the vegetable gardens produced the most abundant harvests since we first began this experience almost nine years ago. The garlic heads are the largest ever, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, basil, kale, potatoes are sufficient enough to eat and keep us well stocked for the winter. I can see the tiny brussel sprouts appearing on the stalks. Even my tomato crop is more abundant this year, and the cucumbers and zucchini just keep coming. It is canning season and the ever growing shelves of full jars give me such pleasure. Does anyone else arrange their jars by colour ?

Our guests have come from Italy, the U.K. California and of course close to home. They have all brought something of themselves and we enjoyed sharing this lovely experience with all of them.


Time or the lack thereof.

Why is it that I always think I have more time – and then never do.  When I plan a day in the city there is always at least one stop that doesn’t get done, one person I didn’t have enough time to visit.  With the arrival of Fall and the inevitable rain, how to plan the tidy up of the property and greenhouses.  All the tools, and anything that can be blown around needs to be secured. For the last two years Fall arrived suddenly and with a flourish, leaving not enough time to get the gardens beds ready for rain, gather up all the tools, hoses and other paraphernalia, clean and store for the next season, and most importantly plant next years garlic.  On goes the rain gear, and out we go in the damp to do it anyway.  Garlic is the priority especially since for the very first time after seven years of growing my own garlic, I don’t need to buy any garlic for planting – this years crop was sufficient to supply us with what we need, as well as to plant for the next year. 



The Smart Meter Controversy in British Columbia

For those who are concerned about BC Hydro’ Smart Meter program – read this:

Smart meter Urgent-1

We are one of the Smart Meter resisters – we don’t trust that the radio wave technology has been studied long enough and do not want to add any more radio waves to our environment.  I am posting this information for wider distribution.

Summer 2013 Guest Photos

One of our recent guests posted their photos on our Facebook page. These photos are really terrific so here they are to share with others. And, thank you Hava ! CottageAlSoleTrail2013











Cottage Al Sole is a Fragrance and Chemical Free Environment

We are very pleased to enhance the possibilities for our guests by providing a fragrance and chemical free environment. Please read about it here : CottageAlSoleFragranceChemicalFreeAnnouncement

Cottage Al Sole Gardens – August 2013

Here are a few photos of our garden taken the week of August 10th.

Creating a Chemical and Fragrance Free Environment

Since opening our B & B nearly seven years ago, our goal has been to create a healthy environment not only for ourselves, but also for our B & B guests. Seven years ago it was challenging to find organic cleaning products that were free of additives and fragrances. The solution at the time was to purchase from a certified organic company – but the downside was it was made in Australia. Things have changed and what I call “clean” cleaning and laundry products are locally available.

As with everything else, maintaining a healthy environment continues to be a learning experience.  Improving what we do and how we do it starts with understanding what impact chemicals and other types of additives can have on people’s health.  So, we are enthusiastically taking the next steps toward a chemical and fragrance free Bed & Breakfast.  We already do most of what is required and have been for a few years.  In a couple of weeks I will be able to report on how we are doing.