Emily Carr Tours
Victoria as seen through the eyes of Canada's leading painter and writer Emily Carr (1875-1945)
Experience the magic of the old growth forest and seaside vistas that inspired the enigmatic art of
Emily Carr. Continue on through the heritage community in which she grew up and explore the Art
Gallery of Greater Victoria. Here you will be provided with an interpretive viewing of Emily's paintings.
Throughout the day you will hear colourful stories about this unique woman and the independent path
through life that she chose.
*Emily Carr tours can be adapted from a half day format to a multi-day format
**Emily Carr tours can be designed to accommodate different levels of mobility
Below you'll find a small sample from some of our Spring / Summer Gardens. You'll also find a link to more information and lots of photos of the gardens featured here.
Because of the number of photos, those using dialup connections will need to wait a bit while pages load. We think the wait is worthwhile because you'll also find detailed commentary on many of the plants and plant combinations.
The "Four Seasons" Garden
The formality of a front path is emphasized by neatly clipped box and a weeping birch (Bentula pendula) that is meticulously maintained in a mushroom shape.
A variegated Hellebore argutifolius and a Hellebore foetidus (stinking hellebore) with its prolific bell shaped light green flowers are important foliage plants throughout the year. In the background is an early blooming pink rhododendron.
Enjoy exclusive access to a half-acre urban garden created by a dynamic lady who is an active member of Victoria’s gardening community. She designed and maintains this garden that has been designed for four-season interest (this garden placed first in a national competition for best year round garden design). Although there is a unity of the design in the garden, each of the mixed borders has its own distinct character ranging from woodland to Mediterranean to a rockery in full sun. Throughout there are harmonious colour combinations with an emphasis on foliage and texture as well as bloom. This garden is never static; the owner is constantly seeking out the best varieties, and incorporating newly introduced plants. Here you will find young choice trees that have been incorporated into the boarders with plans for the future.
Jewel Box Garden
Two one hundred year old apple trees anchor a border featuring a rainbow of hellebores combined with a collection of wonderful companion plants.
Surrounding a heritage cottage, under ancient apple trees is a garden that combines extensive collections of hellebores, cyclamens, snowdrops and euphorbias with other perennials, including wonderful foliage plants, and shrubs to create layered artistic borders of year round interest. Complimenting the ambiance of the home and garden are carefully selected containers and art.. The enthusiastic gardening couple that have created this exquisite garden still find time to volunteer at Government House and with an international seed exchange program.
"Chosin" Garden Pottery & Structures
Ceramic sculptures with rhodendrons, note the colour echo of the cinnamon brown felt or indumentum of the leaves of Rhododendron ‘Sir Charles Lemon.’
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At Government House there are, at the base of a majestic London Plane tree, drifts of Hellebore hybridius and Hellebore argutifolius. This planting of hellebores has been combined with Arum italicum ‘pictum’ and daffodils together with hostas for the summer and plantings of Cyclamen Hederafolium and Cyclamen Coum for continuing interest through the fall and winter.
Government House Gardens are part of the estate of the Queen’s representative to the people of British Columbia. These gardens are designed and maintained by volunteers from Victoria’s gardening community. Join us for an escourted tour through the lush and fragrant winter/early spring plantings that start to come into bloom as of mid-January. The exuberant perennial borders feature plantings have been designed to provide year-round colour and texture. An extensive rockery on a natural rock outcropping overlooks the ocean while the fragrance of a herb garden with it formal tapestry planting featuring Mediterranean herbs beckons you on. Walk through drought-tolerant plantings including native plants while viewing out over a native Gerry Oak meadow to the vista of the Streight of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountain range.
Hatley Castle & Gardens
The largest, intact Edwardian gardens in Canada are to be found on this historic, 565-acre estate now called home by Royal Roads University. Thanks to the efforts of the Friends of Hatley Park Society and the University the estate has now been named a National Historic Site.
Nestled in an old growth forest, the Hatley Castle is adjacent to the Esquimalt Lagoon and the Strait of Juan de Fuca with the Olympic Mountains of Washington State on the horizon. This majestic setting provides the perfect backdrop for a range of beautiful gardens including a four acre Japanese garden, designed by Isaburo Kishida, who also designed the original Butchart Japanese gardens, a formal, walled, Italian terrace garden featuring many of the original urns and statuary, a bog garden as well as an Edwardian roped and walled rose garden. Additionally, you will find expansive perennial borders.
Hatley Castle & Gardens - April / May
Original rhododendron - One of the original rhododendrons.in the Japanese garden. Soon the massed plantings of astilbe and Japanese iris will be in bloom.
As part of your spring garden tour join us for an intimate interpretive tour of Hatley with its spring colour and fragrance. In the Japanese garden the rhododendrons and azaleas combine with massed plantings of primulas and other spring perennials. There is the fragrance of the original trees including cherry trees, Carolina Allspice and the deciduous species azaleas (Knapp Hill and Exbury). Everywhere you hear the sound of water from the brooks, rills and waterfalls as water flows from springs to the man made ponds. Throughout the estate the deep perennial borders are bursting into bloom. Next to the castle, spring has arrived in the Italian Garden with its pergola, formal box enclosed plantings, and turn of the century urns and statues. The original wisteria is joined by delphiniums, peonies, iris and other spring perennials. May finds, enclosed by a stone wall, the fragrant roses in the Edwardian Rose Garden.
Doris Page Garden / Takata
Edgeworthia.chrysanthia - Edgeworthia.chrysanthia with its unique terminal rounded heads of tubular fragrant yellow flowers from Central China which was introduced to UK over 100 years ago (see heritage trend).
As part of your personalized winter tour join us for an interpretive introduction to the largest woodland winter in the Northwest. This wonderful garden sanctuary is situated on a treed slope through which paths wander and in which over 500 different plants, shrubs and trees selected for winter interest are planted. It provides a sense of tranquility, especially from December through April, when early fragrant blossoms and vividly coloured bark and berries are stunning.
The ever evolving Takata Japanese Garden and Zen Garden was designed and established by volunteers to honour the Takata Tea Garden, which existed in Victoria from 1907 to the 1930’s. This garden, under tall native conifers, features plantings on either side of a stream that runs between two large ponds. You can cross over the stream by arched, zigzag and rock bridges as you progress to the Zen Garden.