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
SPRING / SUMMER GARDENS
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.
Sculptor Birgit Piskor Garden
Edwardian 1908 home tucked in on a street of other heritage houses. The owner has expanded her gardening passion onto the bulevard surrounding her red alder fencing.
Enjoy exclusive access to this trend-setting garden, which offers you wonderful mixed borders incorporating new plant introductions including some from New Zealand and Australia. Plantings inspired by the Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf surround a 1920’s patio. A lush boulevard planting designed for year round interest surrounds this turn of the century Edwardian home tucked in on a street of other heritage homes. Throughout there is vibrant bloom and interplay of colour and foliage texture, which has been enhanced through a great use of grasses. Accenting these plantings are fences, trellises and arbours out of local red alder; concrete columns, planters and sculptures; pebble mosaics and water features. All of the plantings and garden architecture were designed and created by the creative young woman who has created this beautiful garden which speaks to its history.
Unique Urban Garden
The blue and white clematis are (Guernsey Cream and Maidwall Hall Macropetala). These clematis, which have thickly textured seed heads following bloom, are being grown upon an Edwardian rondel that has been adapted to provide vertical interest in the small yard of the Unique Urban Garden.
White is another colour that emerged as a trend at Chelsea. It can be a subtle theme in a Romantic interpretation featuring white foxgloves and a variegated hosta surrounding a ceramic statue of a young girl that sits under a silver pear.
This garden maker allows Victorian Garden Tours exclusive access to the garden she designed and built with unique garden rooms and her own trellises, fences, gates, arbours, and paving materials. She utilized recycled materials to create much of this garden which she designed repeating the classical landscape theme of the circle in a square throughout the garden. This garden has been featured in national and regional gardening magazines.
There are wonderful perennial boarders created by this knowledgeable plants woman who has written for one of western Canada’s gardening magazines. There is the Edwardian style ‘rondel’ covered with a magnificent collection of roses and clematis while tucked behind a twiggery screen supporting roses, clematis and red leaf grape is a meditative sanctuary garden.
Uplands Hidden Garden
Trimmed symmetrical boxwood hedges and balls mirror formal front entrance of this 1935 English cottage style home.
The home looks out onto Garry Oaks and a key-hole shaped lawn surrounded by deep luxuriant mixed borders.
This hidden half-acre urban garden on a country lane is located in the Uplands neighbourhood of Oak Bay (a municipality adjoining Victoria). This is a half-acre organic garden which features wonderful deeply layered mixed boarders under the sinuous branching of the ancient (one to four hundred year old) Garry oaks. This gardener is a true artist utilizing a broad pallet of exotic and unusual plants, including many new plant introductions, which she has placed in her own imaginative combinations. Surrounded by exquisitely planted garden rooms are a Mediterranean patio and a naturalistic Koi pond. This is a welcoming manicured garden that is full of dramatic botanical surprises.
Saltspring Island Garden
Looking up at Salt Spring home with luxuriant plantings designed for year round interest these plantings have been created within a glacial rock outcropping.
Join us on a short scenic voyage through the Gulf Islands to visit this wonderful garden on Salt Spring Island. The owners of this 10 acre property have created in a glacial rock outcropping drought tolerant plantings, ponds and even a tropical section! There is the organic Potager garden with its vegetables, fruits, flowers and a small orchard. Under the limbed up Douglas Firs there are lush woodland plantings, while along the fence lines there are clambering vines and mixed perennial beds.
You will admire the creative design of the outbuildings, gates, fencing and rock terraces. After visiting this garden we can tour this scenic island and visit some of the artist studios that have contributed to the naming of Salt Spring as one of the top artistic communities in North America.
Rhododendron praevernum - Pink heritage rhododendron, Rhododendron praevernum, white birch and dwarf variegated bamboo reflected in pond.
Join us for an interpretive tour of this wonderful woodland garden. Surrounding naturalistic ponds, under the canopy of native firs and cedars, there are over 1600 trees and shrubs, which have been under planted with a range of exotic and native shade loving plants. The genesis of this woodland garden was the extensive rhododendron collection left to the University of Victoria by rhododendron enthusiasts over 30 years ago. This collection included many specimens (now over 70 years old) that had been started from seed obtained either directly or indirectly from the plant explorers who had discovered them. There are now over 200 rhododendron species and azaleas along with an extensive planting of hybrids, most of them of early origin.
Thanks in no small part to the vision, expertise and continued support from the Friends of Finnerty, other gardeners and nurseries have continued to donate trees, shrubs and perennials including many new plant introductions. Interesting plantings have been created utilizing a range of plants, including grasses, selected for year round interest.
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.