Four of us went to visit one of the lesser known public gardens in Victoria BC: Finnerty Gardens. Summer was very slow coming and Spring had been so cool that flowers in Victoria were about three weeks behind. So when the sun came out on a late May Sunday afternoon off we set.
Since Finnerty Gardens is in the University of Victoria campus they benefit from publicly funded care (I’m not sure if that is an appreciative or cynical comment). They are known for the hundreds of rhodendrons in the woodland setting of over 3,000 trees so this was a good time of year for a visit. Many were transported here from other collections on Vancouver Island in the last century so they are well-established. Not all parts were evergreen, there are deciduous areas too through which a maze of paths wind.
Entry is free to Finnerty Gardens at any time, you just pay for parking (free on Sundays) so it has to be worth checking out.
We then drove to the even less well-known Playfair Park, only ten minutes from the bed and breakfast. Only the locals seem aware of this hidden gem. Its reputation is also based on the mature rhododendrons but it has natural grasses and an impressive long border which the municipality of Saanich care for very well.
Two gardens in one afternoon all for free followed by a glass of wine on the terrace in the Gazebo B&B gardens. Now that’s what I call gardening!