The mild West Coast weather makes gardening a breeze, but the cool mists which blow in from the Strait of Juan de Fuca make the region a special climate requiring extra attention. The Sooke area has many gardeners who have found the secret to success and they are ready to show off their gardens.
The Sooke Secret Garden Tour is an open secret but you need to have a ticket to gain entry to each of the 10 gardens.
“What makes it so secret is that so many places have gardens no one knows about unless they are invited in,” said Sue Hyslop, chair of the Secret Garden Tour and Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra board director.
This very popular event takes place on Sunday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when Sooke gardens are at their greenest and most colourful best.
“It’s an incredible array of gardens,” said Hyslop. “From waterfront gardens professionally landscaped with owner input to smaller city garden and private havens to big country gardens.”
The $20 ticket allows the holder to view 10 very different private gardens from Saseenos to Otter Point Road. As usual, the tour features a plant sale, classic car display, arts and craft stands, as well as refreshments.
“One even has llamas,” said Hyslop.
As a volunteer-run fundraiser for the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra it is only open to ticket holders. There will be the opportunity to bid on conducting the orchestra in the final number at the Philharmonic Fling which takes place at Ed Macgregor Park on July 15 with conductor Christopher Taber.
New this year, is the Garden Boutique, a tent-full of garden-related cards, gifts, planters, books, and more. (Cash or cheque only, please.)
The Children’s Garden Club will be presenting garden-related activities for and demonstrations by kids. Children 10 and under are free but must bring an adult.
Several Sunriver gardens will be displayed this year, for the first time.
The Secret Garden Tour is in its fourth year. The tour is a spin off from the original tour which was started by Women in Tune.
Sooke ticket outlets are Double D Gardens, People’s Drugs, Shoppers Drug Mart. Same day ticket sales will be held at Saseenos School and Shoppers Drug Mart.
For more information go to www.sookesecretgardens.com or phone Sue Hyslop at 250-642-1397.