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Thursday, April 18, 2013 | announcements & events

Victoria Native Plant Garden Tour

Louise Goulet's native plant garden

Louise Goulet’s Garry Oak garden in Oak Bay the first spring it bloomed, May 2009

SUNDAY May 5, 2013
All five gardens open 1 PM-5:30 PM

Download pdf version (PDF 130KB)

See Garry oak ecosystems and native plants in five very different gardens or properties around Victoria. Some gardens are small, others are large; some are young, others are much older. Native plants can be in containers or mingled with ornamental plants. Some gardens only contain native plants and at least one property is natural Garry Oak habitat.

Meet garden owners and professional native plant experts to get information and tips on restoration or gardening with native plants. But most of all, feel our enthusiasm and sense of fun and wonder. This will be a Sunday afternoon like no other! Bring your friends and family.

Saanich W, 1717 Woodsend Drive – Dr. Hans Roemer (view map)
This 5-acre property has valuable remnants of natural Garry Oak vegetation, where plant conservation and ecosystem restoration, rather than native plant gardening, were the imperatives when Hans took up residence there 24 years ago. Two areas will be shown: a smaller one near the residence where management includes mowing, and a larger one where broom removal is the only treatment. The property holds 171 non-cultivated vascular plants of which 55 belong to the Garry Oak community. Hans completed his Ph.D. in 1972 on the forest ecosystems of the Saanich Peninsula, including Garry Oak ecosystems. He has since been involved in the study, documentation and conservation of plant communities and rare species throughout BC, being recognized as one of BC’s ‘senior’ botanists. One of his interests is native grasses. Roemer’s fescue (Festuca roemeri), an important species of the Garry Oak vegetation, has been named after him. If you catch one of Hans’ tours you will have a chance to see it! Hans will conduct a show-and-tell tour on the hour between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm (last tour). *** Please do not park in the driveway.

• Brentwood Bay, 90 Durrance Road – James and Kristen Miskelly, M.Sc. (view map)
A series of small gardens and containers include over 100 native species. The oldest sections were started about four years ago; most plantings are much newer. Some gardens mimic natural areas, including woodland, meadow, and temporary wetland. Other plantings are purely decorative or are geared toward production of native seed. James completed a butterfly-related MSc at UVic in 2004. Since then he has worked as a biologist on projects related to Garry Oak ecosystems, especially those involving rare plants. He has been growing native plants since 1999. Kristen completed her MSc at UVic in 2012 on the ancient vegetation of southern Vancouver Island. She worked as a plant identification lab instructor and manager of the UVic herbarium. She has been growing native plants since 2005. James and Kristen will soon be opening a new native plant nursery, ‘Saanich Native Plants’. James or Kristen will conduct a tour every hour on the hour from 1 PM to 4 PM (last tour) ***Their house is the first one on the driveway. Park alongside the driveway in front of or above the house.

• Victoria, 1041 Queens Ave (just west of Cook St) – Todd Carnahan (view map)
See what 300 wheelbarrows of mulch, salvaged plants, and a dumpster of cardboard did for a formerly neglected back yard in the City. If you have a new property or want to transform a weed patch into a hummingbird haven, this tour stop will give you plenty of practical ideas. Native flowering shrubs and forbs are used extensively to create privacy while attracting many songbirds and insect pollinators. Special features include an edible hedge, cross-border lily beds, weird propagation experiments, and a variety of creepy groundcovers. Plantings beginning in 2006 are labeled by species and date established. Todd, who works for the Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT), is the author of Gardening with Native Plants and has created an urban garden full of native plants at his home. As part of his work, Todd has visited over 500 landowners in the region through the land trust’s outreach program for conservation, providing recommendations for naturescaping and habitat management. Todd at HAT | tel 250.995.2428 | cell 250.893.6099 . ***Park on the street, look for balloons, and enter backyard through the side gate.

• Oak Bay, 2646 Cranmore Road- Dr. Louise Goulet/Michael McIlvaney
(with guests Dr. Adolf Ceska and Oluna Ceska, M.Sc. from 2–4 PM) (view map)
A Landscaped 4-year old native garden with 1000s of salvaged native plants at the front and side of the house. About 1700 square feet of different habitats including meadow, woodland and artificial pond/stream with ~150 labeled plant species. Ornamental garden in the back yard is also open to visitors. The Gardening with Native Plants brochure (HAT), Garry Oak Gardeners’ Handbook (GOERT) and the Native Plant Study Group pamphlet will be available for free (donations are appreciated). Louise, wildlife biologist/park planning manager, was Executive Director for the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT) for almost 3 years. Since then, she has been learning about plants, salvaging with the help of her husband and son, and planting thousands of native plants at her home. She also provides native plants and seeds for restoration projects. Adolf and Oluna Ceska will be on hand to talk with visitors who want to meet them and to answer questions about their work and native plants. Both of them are among our foremost botanists in BC, being responsible for discovering several new plant and mushroom species and for completing numerous plant surveys which contribute significantly to our knowledge of BC’s vegetation and in particular of rare plants.

• Ten Mile Point, 3913 Woodhaven Terrace, Agnes and Dave Lynn (view map)
This ¾ acre garden is open for friends and neighbours but Native Plant Garden Tour visitors are also welcome to visit. The garden, developed over 25 years, is mostly planted with exotics but tucked in are about 100 plants native to this area so you might want to see how you can merge the two. The aim is to have a low maintenance garden with year-round interest. Many rhododendrons with several unusual companion trees and shrubs are under-planted with spring bulbs. Also many small treasures kept in pots. Agnes, a keen naturalist, would rather be out in the wilds enjoying birds and wildflowers than gardening. You are welcome to join her on any of the Victoria Natural History Society outings. Husband Dave gardens under protest.

Download pdf version (PDF 130KB)


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