Flowers are abloom on property at 1775 Connie Rd, part of the Sooke Secret Garden Tour on June 2. (Kevin Laird/Sooke News Mirror)

11th annual Sooke Secret Garden Tour offering eight locations

June 2 event a fundraiser for Sooke Philharmonic Society

The 11th annual Sooke Secret Garden Tour organized by the Sooke Philharmonic Society has eight locations this year.

Tickets are now available for this event which takes place Sunday, June 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“This year’s gardens offer magical surprises around every corner,” said Bonnie Sprinkling, tour committee chair.

Bill Trebish and Parri Ullrich are among those who have agreed to share their garden with others for the tour.

Located at 1775 Connie Rd., known as Markham House, the four-hectare English-style country estate features more than a hectare of terraced gardens transitioning into majestic fir-covered hillsides.

As visitors enter the garden they view a blend of landscapes and hear the soothing sound of a nearby creek.

The uniqueness of the garden is the Asian influences, statuary, a meditative rock circle, and a large natural pond near the Tudor-style house.

The gardens are a labour of love for Trebish and Ullrich, who had little gardening experience when they bought the property in 2014.

“This has been a learning process,” Trebish said.

Ullrich, who’s a practitioner of alternative healing, was first introduced to the garden at Markham House when she attended a seminar in 2011.

“What I feel here is that the grounds are very supportive of transformation and healing,” she said.

“It’s an amazing place to sit and reflect. Everything disappears when you are out in the gardens here.”

The other properties on the tour include gardens with unique layouts of trees and ponds, even a whimsical garden featuring old varieties of roses. Several offer visitors meandering paths beside streams and ponds, while others incredible oceanviews.

Most of the gardens are the results of decades of planning, planting, and nurturing.

Except for this one day of the year, all gardens remain private.

“Almost a full year of planning and organizing goes into each annual tour,” Sprinkling said.

The tour planning committee is made up of 11 members. Another 40 to 50 volunteers are needed on the day of the tour to direct traffic, hand out information, and then ensure the day is success.

“The fact that so many area residents want to help is just one measure of the community’s widespread support for the Sooke Philharmonic Society,” Sprinkling said.

The $25 tickets are available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Peoples Drug Mart, Stick in the Mud, Little Vienna Bakery and Sooke Region Museum in Sooke, several garden centre outlets in Victoria and Duncan, and online at Eventbrite.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

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