The Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens are a 24 acre feast for the senses. Located in Courtenay BC on the eastern part of Vancouver Island. The Gardens has some 3,000 varieties of rhododendrons – the largest in Western Canada as well as wildflowers, birds, forest and native plants.
Wear comfortable shoes and enjoy a walk through a well managed garden in a wilderness forest. You are right in nature so you can expect to see wild deer (seem to be everywhere on the Island) as well as varieties of birds. Bring your own food and water – there are picnic areas but no food services.
The best viewing is from March to June when the rhododendrons are in full bloom. The gardens are also an ideal location for a wedding.
History of Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens
The gardens are indeed a labour of love – amazingly the efforts of one man, Bryan Zimmerman. Bryan’s Santa’s Barn and Christmas Tree Farm are well known to the locals in the Comox Valley. The garden developed over time as Bryan cleared out the thick brush and created a mile of paths. He insisted on using no large machinery to protect the forest and plants.
While leaving the natural forest areas intact, he then began to create a beautiful woodland garden. The 3,000 varieties of rhododendrons integrated into the neighboring rain forest areas and ponds is a sight to behold.
Festivals at the Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens
- Victoria Day (Canadian holiday on the Monday preceding May 25) – Art & Bloom Festival
- On the Labour Day long weekend the Gardens hosts the annual Artisans’ Festival features high quality original creations from furniture, to weaving to ceramics, to fine art and more.
- The Garden has Carol Walks and Garden Lights during the month of December. Check their website for details.
Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens
6183 Whittaker Road, Courtenay, V9J 1V7
Hours: 9 a.m. to dusk daily
Getting to Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens
The gardens are just a 15 minute north of Courtenay in the beautiful Comox Valley. It is about an hours drive from the ferry terminal at Departure Bay in Nanaimo and about 3 hours drive from Victoria. Just follow the tourist attraction signs “Woodland Gardens”.
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