Friday morning - following
registration – it is noted that Tourism British Columbia gave each one
of us a beautiful bag that will be a constant reminder of our visit.
…our meeting starts with Margaret bringing greetings and then telling us
about Milner Gardens and Woodland and the history surrounding it..
Margaret wrote the book called ‘In Veronica’s Garden’. I would urge you
to go and get this book and discover the gardens magic and history for
yourself. As you can see from the photo, the Milner’s had many guests
including Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Arthur Erickson, the
Westons. Veronica was 89 when she passed away and was quite the source
of information to Margaret when putting this book together. Those of
you in the Edmonton area may recall that Ray Milner was a prominent
lawyer here…that is who Veronica was married to.
Margaret and Jim Cadwaladr were the
hosts of this regional meeting and they have put together a great
showcase of gardens and sights for us to visit….as you will discover.
Jim spoke for a few minutes on the
new Vancouver Island Garden Association Member Gardens. These are
garden owners and nurseries who have made their gardens more accessible
by banding together to promote each other. There are 19 members in
total right now and growing every year. You can find out more about
them by visiting their site at
www.vancouverislandgardens.com This I think is a great idea and I
wish more provinces would do this…and have these available on line so
that when you are planning to take a trip you can find out what you want
to do before you even leave home!
After this, we boarded our coach to
head off to Milner Gardens (which was so close we could have walked) I
took a picture of our coach waiting outside the Inn along with some
pictures of the Inn itself…set on wonderful grounds with many large
trees and shrubs.
Milner Gardens starts out with us
listening to Jim and Jeff Ball giving us a bit of history on the gardens
before we walk through a wonderful little forest area to get to the main
gardens. Do you see where we are standing on this round walkway? Well
the picture just after the Eagle Tree is the actual nest and the walkway
is an approximate size of what this nest is up in the tree…so many
things to discover in an old growth forest…as you can see the house sits
in a perfect spot to capture the essence of the gardens and the view
beyond. We had a wonderful lunch put on by Milner and you could see why
so many people enjoyed coming here to visit the Milners. There is a
picture of most of us on the steps..some were out taking pictures! Do
you see that tree that has been burned..? I guess a huge fire swept
through here more than two hundred years ago and there are a few trees
that have this on their bark. That tree that we are standing by is the
second largest if you can imagine. The largest one is the one with the
sign in front of it…you cannot even see where it goes into the soil!
A beautiful garden to visit – do
make sure you put it on your list if you are out this way! They have
many things planned during the open garden season including a new area
where they can now teach children to garden on their own terms…