Exotic Gardening with Rare and Strange Plants

Spring has sprung and life has become busy. It’s a strange feeling
when it overwhelms all of a sudden. It was only a couple months ago
that I lazed on a beach and life wisped by slowly to the rattle of a
Mexican mariachi band. The greenhouse is in full swing now, the day’s
expectations exponentially grow and I often find myself overbooked in
work and play. Yet another week of looking at the clock reading 9pm
and I’m only just showered and fed, what next?

Sometimes when life is at it’s busiest, circumstance permits, and a
moment’s breath is taken. This weekend my girlfriend and I visited
Thetis Island for a surprise dose of relaxation and romance. It was my
girlfriend’s birthday weekend and her mother treated us to two nights
at a bed and breakfast. It takes about two hours to drive from
Victoria to Chemainus, and a 25-45 minute ferry boat ride to Thetis.
Upon arriving it’s pretty easy to navigate as it’s a relatively small
destination, what with it’s two main roads to the left or to the
right. We stayed at a B & B called Cufra Cliffs, and was pleasantly

Situated on a cliff as it’s name describes, you’re welcomed to the B &
B by your hosts Veronica and Graeme. They lead you to your home for
the weekend which is a small 1 bedroom villa, kitchenette, BBQ, super
comfortable bed and the icing a deck-side hot-tub. They also have an
outdoor pool for those who want to have a swim although we didn’t take
part in it as it’s still March in British Columbia. For those of you
who have closet exhibitionist within you clothing is optional and you
can feel comfortable in your birthday suit, outdoor shower included.

We lazed about, drank wine and beer, and soaked in the tub until we
were entirely loopy from the heat and dehydration. The accommodation is
absent of Internet and television and in turn promotes conversation
and wholesome relaxation. I found myself reading and blankly thinking,
and oddly forgetting my all to busy life at home. Going to a bed and
breakfast with your partner brings up ideas of romance and escape and
this definitely rings true to visiting Cufra Cliffs on Thetis Island.
Where we’re often filled with so many distractions at home, we were
able to escape all of that and  whole-heartidly enjoy each others
company. As if drugged you can’t help but get lost in each other at a
destination like this, lazing in a hot tub minimally dressed under an
arbutus tree is an incredible place to appreciate each others company.
In the morning look forward to freshly baked bread at whatever time
you desire, multiple spreads included.

Thetis island has a population under 500 and because of this lacks
many of the modern conveniences a city might offer. Come to the island
well stocked, a cooler full of snacks and food, and wine and/or booze
will definitely enhance your experience. Thetis island is a forested
island covered in mosses and lichen. While driving we encountered a
couple interesting ecosystems, and were in awe of it’s seemingly
untouched appearance. Any naturalist would enjoy roaming the beaches
and forests of this small island, it gives you a glimpse at what this
coast might have looked like before it was so overrun with people.

I know this is somewhat beyond garden talk but after such a relaxing
weekend I only felt it fitting that I mention my experience. Spring is
a busy for gardeners and even more busy for people in the horticulture
industry. Sometimes even at our busiest we need to take a break and
push the reset button on our minds. Cufra Cliffs made this process
very easy. Give them a try if you find yourself needing the same

3 Responses to Weekend Escape: Thetis Island B & B – Cufra Cliffs

  • The Victoria Gardener says:

    To Vireviews: Yea I’ve been to the gulf islands before, many of them. I grew up on Saltspring, and have frequented Thetis, Pender, and Saturna over the years. The gulf islands are incredible!

    To Mark & Gaz: The photo in the last post is of the garden at the B & B I just stayed at, which was admirable to say the least. They live in the middle of the forest so deers are a major pest, having their vegi garden integrated into their deck helps discourage them from snacking.

  • Mark and Gaz says:

    Is the first photo in your garden Nat?

    Sounds like a fantastic place, my sort of place for a weekend solitude. That breakfast photo doesn’t help, I’m feeling hungry now, hehe!

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Mr Nat. Gardener, Plant Nerd
Tips and tales about gardening in one of the most mild climates in Canada. Specializing in rare and strange plants from far out destinations, this is the story of an obsessed young gardener in Victoria B.C. Let's create more tropical gardens in the garden city on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.