Octavian Lacatusu/Sooke News Mirror                                Wendy Sahlstrom and her garden, which will be featured in this year’s Secret Garden Tour.

Octavian Lacatusu/Sooke News Mirror Wendy Sahlstrom and her garden, which will be featured in this year’s Secret Garden Tour.

Sooke garden tour blooms with secrets

The ninth annual event runs on June 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.

The summery weather is here: the wind’s blowing warm, the greenery is blooming and the birds are chirping loud and clear.

It’s also time for the ninth annual Sooke Secret Garden Tour, featuring eight unique gardens to wander through and relax in.

The event, which also serves as a fundraiser for the Sooke Philharmonic Society, runs Sunday (June 4) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.

Among the first is the Medberry Close, a heritage garden developed in the late 1960s by Lillian Money, its previous owner. This unique “oasis” is where wildlife can co-exist peacefully with a domestic lifestyle, featuring a rhododendron garden, a heritage orchard and perennial flower beds.

Further up, on Sooke Road is Maison Mazel, an all-season garden with a tropical greenhouse and an English-style cut flower garden perfect for wandering eyes.

“It’s been a really good showcase for Sooke and for people who come from Victoria and beyond,” said Sue Hyslop of the Sooke Secret Garden Tour committee. “This is a great opportunity to see some truly great gardens and some unique areas of Sooke.”

Featured garden this year is the Artisans Garden on Goodmere Road, along with several others, such as Wendy Sahlstrom’s, which took six years to complete. The Sahlstorms’ garden features a pond, a casetta (small house), greenhouse, and a suspended walkway that give visitors a vista view of the entire garden, as well as the rest of Sooke and East Sooke in the distant horizon.

“We’re excited to be a part of this,” Wendy said.

Others include an award-winning garden on Driftwood Drive, featuring a mini orchard and a forest backdrop sure to create one seriously tranquil environment, and on Brutus Ridge, two acres of mixed gardens featuring a year-round casita and concrete patio, along with more than 100 rhododendrons, an arboteum and alpine garden to wet the eyes.

Some will come from afar to partake in the event. Hyslop said one lady flies over from London, England every year to come down for the Sooke Garden Tour as part of her summer holiday.

The garden tour also features various artisans and artwork, as well as musical performances by musicians, in addition to light refreshments. A shuttle bus is provided where access is difficult.

Tickets can be bought at Shoppers Drug, Pharmasave, Stick in the Mud, Little Vienna Bakery, Sooke Region Museum, Shirley Delicious Cafe and online through eventbrite.com.

For more info, go online to sookesecretgardens.com.

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