Milner Gardens and Woodland in charming Qualicum Beach is rated as one of the best public guardens in Canada by Canadian geographic travel magazine. It is both a beautiful garden as well as a well-preserved rain forest.
Milner Gardens and Woodland
The Milner Gardens and Woodlands are like a well-kept English estate. It has some 28 hectares (70 acres) of lush gardens and of untouched woodlands. As you wonder down the path from the entrance you encounter a gate with a sign requesting that you close the gate after you to keep the deer out.
Milner Gardens Gift Shop
The path continues to an area where you can buy plants grown on the property. A few steps further is the gift shop which looks like it was fashioned out of a doll house. The gift shop offers a variety of gift items from local artisans as well as light refreshments. Behind the gift shop is the pool and behind that is the plant nursery.
The Old Milner House
Following on down the path you come to the old Milner House which is situated atop an oceanside bluff overlooking Georgia straight and the coastal mountains of the mainland. That view alone is worth the trip.
Just as Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Princess Diana did, you can delight in English tea at the house. Imagine looking out over an amazing garden with the view of the sea while relaxing over tea and scones with clotted cream. You can also mill memorabilia from the Milner family.
Milner Gardens Special Events
The Milner Gardens offers many special events including music, horticultural courses, workshops and a hands-on educational program called “Shoots with Roots”. While we were there in the late afternoon, the staff were setting up for an outdoor evening concert.
Milner Gardens Inspiration
The gardens were an inspiration of one woman, Veronica Milner, who gathered plants from various areas around the world with special emphasis on rhododendrons. Be sure to check with the garden to determine when the bulk of the flowers are in bloom. We visited in June which was great but the major blooms were in May. It truly is a garden oasis by the sea.
Vancouver Island University
Milner Garden was gifted to Vancouver Island University in 1996 and is currently operated by the Milner Gardens Woodland society along with Vancouver Island University.
Milner Garden Directions
Address: 2179 West Island Highway, Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 1G1
Tell: 250-752-6153 http://www.viu.ca/MilnerGardens/
Hours 10 AM to 4 PM with seasonal openings – check the website for specific times.
The Milner Gardens is a short drive from Nanaimo just south of Qualicum Beach on the eastern side of Vancouver Island which you can easily reach by a car via Highway 19.
Come visit the Milner Gardens and Woodland to enjoy an afternoon stroll through the beautiful gardens, an ancient forest and English tea with an ocean view.
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