Rosa and Mr. Costa preparing the land to plant potatoes.
I was invited to stay at my son's future in-laws home in Vancouver, British Colombia. Laura and Alfred Yeung live in the city, right across from Trout Lake. Vancouver is blessed with many beautiful gardens and parks. During my visit, the Yeungs took me to the maginificent gardens of Van Dusen Botanical Gardens
and the Nitobe Japanese Garden of the University of British Colombia.
But what also inspired me while staying there was the garden of the Portuguse couple, the Costas, who live just next door to the Yeungs. I was so fascinated, I couldn't keep my eyes off of their
When the Yeungs moved to Trout Lake ten years ago, Rosa, Mr. Costa's wife, hardly spoke any English. But being the friendly person that she is, she introduced herself to Laura. "Hi, I am sexy and my husband is sexy, too," she said. Laura later figured out what Rosa really meant, which was "I am sixty and my husband is sixty two." A bit of interpreting is always needed when they talk to each other but they became good neighbors.
The Yeungs get so many vegetables and fruit from them, they hardly have to go shopping. Laura bakes bread and makes jams from the Costa's apple and fig tree and brings them over to the Costas.
The tilling is all done all by hand. "Look at the color of their soil," a neighbor commented. Laura tried to introduce me to the Costas but Mr. Costa was having lunch when Laura went inside their house to look for them. They never lock their doors. "This is Vancouver," Laura said to me for the reason. Mr. Costa was eating his lunch upstairs. facing the garden and park. Rosa was busy serving him. Noone disturbs Mr. Costa when he is eating so we decided to visit them later.
Homemade Bacalao hanging in the garage.
Mr. Costa's fishing boat and his wine making shed. It looks shabby but it's organized. Laura said, "They waste nothing." Feathers found at the park are tied to the poles to scare the birds. Mr. Costa goes around the park collecting firewood.
The grape vines are just beginning to leaf. Mr. Costa reaches out from the second story to prune the vines. I tasted Mr. Costa's red wine. It was really delicious. Plums, berries, mellow on the tongue.
I was hoping to say hello to him on Sunday but the Costas were at church. They get all dressed up and look like different people. Later in the afternoon, I saw Mr. Costa riding his bicycle. I was afraid he might loose his balance but he was actually a good rider.