In June 2015, the Milner Gardens and Woodland Society, VIU, and the five Vancouver Island Chapters of the American Rhododendron Society signed an MOU with the goal of building a Rhododendron Species Garden at Milner Gardens.
The woodland garden already features an extensive collection of rhododendrons, many from the nursery of Ted and Mary Greig, noted rhododendron hybridizers who were jointly awarded the American Rhododendron Society Gold Medal in 1965.
The breadth of the collection is astounding. Clouds of orange, purple augustinii hybrids, red May Day, and shilsonii, form wave after wave of color, decorating an array of branch and leaf patterns. Petals spill on the ground to form an exotic carpet. Giant Himalayan are massed for high impact. Camellias cluster near the house, in pink, rose, and white. A Chinese dogwood (Corpus kousavar. chinensis) provides a spectacular show.
The garden includes specimens of stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia), a dove tree (Davidia involucrata), cultivars of beech (Fagus sylvatica), birch (Betula pendula), golden chain tree (Laburnum x watereri `Vossii), Katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum), dawn redwood (Metaseguoia glyptostroboides), and Spanish chestnut (Castanea saliva).
You might also be interested in The Inside Guide to Southern Vancouver Island’s Secret Gardens.
Digital strategist, destination marketer, and garden tourism enthusiast, Scott McDonald can be found searching out the next offering on the BC Ale Trail or discovering something unique about a garden or local hidden gem. Previously a digital marketer at The Butchart Gardens and Canada 150 Community Leader for the City of Colwood, he is a member of the GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators.