–from Margaret Lintern and Eleanor Kulin
Have you ever explored a stumpery? That’s just one of the many amazing features of the eight fabulous gardens chosen for the 2017 Annual Sooke Secret Garden Tour, June 4 from 10 to 4.
This year’s gardens range from small to large, manicured to wild, some designed and maintained by their owners, others with professional help. Some are hidden city-like gems in newer Sooke developments, others are expansive acreages carved out over many years from the west-coast rainforest.
Except for this one day in the year, all remain private, for the exclusive enjoyment of their owners, their families and friends. The Sooke Secret Garden tour gives regional gardeners and the curious a rare opportunity to walk through these spaces, discover new ideas for plantings and arrangements and meet the dedicated gardener-owners, willing to share the fruits of their hard work.
The tour also offers those who are not familiar with Sooke, a seaside community near Victoria, a chance to enjoy its downtown charms, visit its museum, galleries and eateries and to discover its beautiful backroads and spectacular views of the sea.
Added to the tour this year is a “destination point — garden,” the Artisan’s Garden, that is not to be missed. Featured are a variety of island-grown vegetables, flowers, shrubs and fruit trees
“Almost a full year of planning and organizing goes into each annual tour,” said Margaret Lintern, Committee Chair, which includes 12 other members. Another 30-40 volunteers are needed on the day of the tour, to direct traffic, hand out information and ensure the day is a great success.
“The fact that so many area residents want to help is just one measure of the community’s widespread support for the Sooke Philharmonic Society,” added Lintern.
2017 marks the ninth annual garden tour, a major annual fundraiser for the Society
Members of the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra will be providing music in some of the gardens. Bev Petow (metal arts) and Michel DesRochers (painting) will demonstrate their artistic skills in other gardens and there will be opportunities to purchase garden-themed artwork. A plant sale is also included. Classic cars will be on view and refreshments available.
So, what is a stumpery? Its a rarely seen garden feature made up of large tree stumps arranged upside down to show their root structure and intertwined with logs, pieces of bark and timber. The stumpery encourages the growth of ferns, mosses and lichens and becomes a habitat for several wildlife species. One garden on the 2017 tour features a very large and amazing stumpery.
Tickets are available for sale in various regional locations and through Eventbrite. The “secret” map of gardens to be toured is revealed on your pre-purchased ticket. Or, if you buy through Eventbrite, the printed voucher can be turned in at the first garden which is listed on the voucher for a map/ticket which you will need to complete the tour.
Tickets $20 per person, Children 10 and under free, must be accompanied by an adult.
Tickets may be purchased in Sooke at:
- Shoppers Drug Mart,
- Pharmacare (formerly Peoples Drug Mart),
- Stick in the Mud,
- Little Vienna Bakery,
- Sooke Region Museum & Visitor Centre,
- Artisan’s Garden,
- Shirley Delicious
- And several outlets (most garden centers) in Greater Victoria/Duncan.
Check www.sookesecretgardens.com for more information