Hatley Gardens

The largest, intact Edwardian gardens in Canada are to be found on this historic, 565-acre estate now called home by Royal Roads University. Thanks to the efforts of the Friends of Hatley Park Society and the University the estate has now been named a National Historic Site.

Nestled in an old growth forest, the Hatley Castle is adjacent to the Esquimalt Lagoon and the Strait of Juan de Fuca with the Olympic Mountains of Washington State on the horizon. This majestic setting provides the perfect backdrop for a range of beautiful gardens including a four acre Japanese garden, designed by Isaburo Kishida, who also designed the original Butchart Japanese gardens, a formal, walled, Italian terrace garden featuring many of the original urns and statuary, a bog garden as well as an Edwardian roped and walled rose garden. Additionally, you will find expansive perennial borders.

 

A Testimonial

From Martin Kovar
As a graduate of two Master of Landscape Architecture programs and a practicing residential garden designer in Canada, I was truly pleased with the high standard or guided tours offered by Joan Looy of Victorian Garden Tours. Having participated in several escorted visits to gardens in Europe, Joan surprised me with a customized itinerary of sites tailored to satisfy my individual interests, based on a telephone discussion Joan initiated in advance of our tour.

Paying careful attention to each garden location and exposure, Joan lined up our visits so as to show each site in the optimal light and time of day. Her intimate knowledge of Victoria gardens and access privileges to a vast array of sites, allowed me, an out of province visitor, to start my day experiencing the quiet wonder of treading on a grassy path shimmering with silver dew, hemmed by cushy mounds of textural perennials. Similarly, the study of shadow play and rich colours of pealing bark displayed by an aged rhododendron grouping, were offered in the afternoon.

Like a chef, Joan took me through the day serving the exact right dishes at the most appropriate times, with heavy emphasis on desert items. Delight yourself, and sample some of the sites Victorian Garden Tours gained access to over many years in business. Let Joan know about your taste preferences, and she will do her best to satisfy your appetite for the art of gardening.

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