There’s nothing like a leisurely walk in a garden to remind you of the sheer beauty of nature and Tofino is a veritable festival of gardens.
The Tofino Botanical Gardens
The interconnected walkways that take you through 12 acres of the Tofino Botanical Gardens’ floral gardens, forest and shoreline illustrate the relationship between nature and civilization in a simply and beautiful way.
You’ll find the flower, herb & kitchen garden, as well as the duck pond, and Children’s Garden to start. As you move into the forest, you’ll discover that there are clearings, which have been cultivated into a series of pocket gardens, that exhibit plants that once flourished in other coastal temperate rainforests around the world; art installations, which have been designed to survive the natural elements; and garden buildings, comparing and contrasting culture with nature
A Non-profit Foundation, The Tofino Botanical Gardens mission is to inspire the conservation of the Temperate Coastal Rainforests around the world; Temperate rainforests are broadleaf or coniferous forests and occur only in a few regions worldwide with ocean-coastal climates like that of the Pacific North West. The Tofino Botanical Gardens found on Vancouver Island also offer Environmental Education and Student Field Trips.
For more information about the Tofino Botanical Gardens http://www.tbgf.org/
Ken Gibson’s Rhododendron Hill
Way up high on a hill looking over all of Tofino sits one of the most outstanding rhododendron gardens in the world. Ken Gibson has spent literally decades creating his garden with hundreds of the different varieties of the flowering shrubs. Don’t be surprised if you recognize the view from some of the local postcards; this garden is internationally known. Flowering starts in early spring and peaks in early summer. You may want to bring a camera, so all your friends can gaze in amazement when you show them where you went and what you did.
Clayoquot Island Gardens, Stubbs Island
You will find Clayoquot Island, otherwise known as “Stubbs Island” off the shore of Tofino. This 25 acre private island is set with beautiful gardens on a nature preserve. This was the original centre for the town of Tofino up until the early 1920’s.
Spend an afternoon walking the beaches, the forest boardwalks and the exquisite and extensive gardens: The island is a is a modern-day illustration of how people can continue to live simply off the sea and the land, without the bombardment and dependency of the overly electronic age, most of the rest of the us are plugged in to constantly.
Take a boat to the island, provided gratis, bring a picnic, explore, enjoy.
Catherine’s Floating Garden, Clayoquot Sound
This new and unique garden is one that floats, actually it’s a series of floating gardens and sculptures and is truly a ‘must see’!
A cruise takes you to a magic cove where you will find a floating home, a garden, and a new ‘Eco Lifestyle’, created by 2 local artists who have called this place home for the past 10 years. It’s a delightful surprise, and one that will help you relax and recharge.
Cougar Annie’s Garden, Hesquiat Peninsula
Named for the courageous and colorful pioneer woman who created and worked the garden for more than 40 years, visitors find Cougar Annie’s Garden captivating and mystically beautiful. Cougar Annie’s is surrounded by the tall trees of the West Coast rainforest. This was a working nursery and garden that the much-married Ada Annie Johnson Rae-Arthur Lawson ran, shipping numerous types and varieties of plants all across Canada. The 5 acre clearing (cleared by Annie herself) that makes up the garden is filled with criss-crossing pathways, adding interest to your walking garden viewing.
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Image Credit: TourismTofino.com