Celebrate National Garden Days and Father’s Day with free admission to the Hatley Park National Historic Site gardens on Sunday, June 15.
Hatley Park’s 565 acres boast wooded glens, wild places, and spectacular formal gardens stewarded with care by Royal Roads University. The site’s evolving cultural landscape supports a unique ecosystem with mature conifer forests, Garry Oak meadows and wetlands.
Formal garden showpieces designed for the Dunsmuir family, Hatley Park’s original owners, include the Italian Garden, which features a 90-year-old Chinese wisteria and statuary representing the four seasons. The Rose Garden’s spectacular blooms are sheltered by a newly-restored 525-metre long wall, made possible by generous private donations in partnership with Royal Roads University. Many of the Japanese Garden’s structural elements and trees date from its creation in 1910, including a tortoise-shaped island in a pond that symbolizes 10,000 years of longevity.
Garden Days (June 13 to 15) is a nationwide celebration of public and private gardens, the values of home gardening and the promotion of environmental stewardship.
Free public access to Hatley Park gardens also coincides with the annual Do it For Dads walk/run event in support of the Prostate Centre, which provides prostate cancer support and awareness on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Walkers and runners will set out on three- and eight-kilometre courses around Royal Roads University at 10 a.m.
Parking is free for all visitors on the day of the event. One hour guided estate tours are available for a fee at 10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.
What: Free public access to Hatley Park National Historic Site gardens
Where: Royal Roads University and Hatley Park National Historic Site, 2005 Sooke Rd.
When: Sunday, June 15 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.