Garden Design

Regular GPOD contributor Cherry Ong has been sharing some incredible gardens she visited this year.

I had a chance to visit some gardens on Vancouver Island this August. One of them was Milner Gardens, an impressive natural estate garden.

This garden has a different flavor from the usual floriferous gardens that we see, and I think all you avid gardeners would enjoy and appreciate its personality.

The garden’s history

According to the garden’s website, this garden started as the estate of the Milner family, purchased by Ray Milner in 1939 as an escape from his work in Alberta. His second wife, Veronica Milner, was a British aristocrat related to such figures as Winston Churchill and Diana, Princess of Wales. She was also an artist and a passionate gardener. Veronica helped to shape the gardens on the estate, and added many rare and unusual trees she collected on trips abroad with her husband. The Milners called their estate “Long Distance.” After it was acquired by Vancouver Island University in 1996, the name was changed to the Milner Gardens.

building covered in ivy and surrounded by greeneryThis building is nearly completely covered with Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata, Zones 4–8).

pergola and garden statueA garden structure and a bench provide a spot to sit and enjoy a sculpture and the trees beyond.

garden fence with hole in front of treesI love the hints of the garden just visible through this opening in the structure and vine.

shady garden full of lush greeneryGreen, green, and more green. No need for flowers here—this is a profoundly soothing space.

garden bench looking out on the oceanAnd there are some pretty incredible views. I love that this garden is now open to the public so everyone can enjoy it.

heron garden statue tucked between plantsA statue of a heron in the lush greenery

building with lots of hydrangeas in frontThis building is nearly swallowed up in blooming hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zones 5–9).

greenhouse surrounded by potted plantsEven a back corner with greenhouses is beautiful with pots of flowers.

garden pool next to steps leading to garden pathBroad steps invite you up to explore the garden beyond.

garden pool with trees and shrubs aroundPerfectly still, mirrorlike water reflects a mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin, Zones 6–9) in full bloom.

Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

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