Tuesday, June 17, 2014

lovely finnerty

if you don't mind browsing through endless pictures of gardens,
you are in for a treat... 

on father's day,  in between world cup soccer games (which ran ALL weekend), 
we took a stroll through finnerty gardens at the university of victoria
upon opening the gates that keep the deer away 
(fyi:  the over abundant deer population in victoria has become a big issue)
you will enter the most beautiful place to sit, to enjoy a cup of coffee or 
to ponder about life in between classes at uvic.

while i was working on my masters degree at uvic, 
it hadn't taken much convincing from ian 
to pull me out of the library to take a walk through this oasis.

that was almost 20 years ago...

we come back here often,  without pending essays or exams this time around.
originally known as the university gardens,  
the name was changed to finnerty gardens to recognize the finnerty farm, 
which became the home for the university, and the close proximity of the old finnerty road.
we had a really powerful wind storm a few years (maybe 5 or 6) ago 
that took down several trees in the garden,  
but as you can see lots of new growth has happened since.
harlow, sit.... look at this beautiful fern !!!!
finnerty gardens originated in 1974 when mrs. jean simpson of cowichan lake died 
and left her and her husband's 54 year old rhododendron collection to the university.  
it was at the time the largest collection in british columbia.  

the rhodos had already finished blooming when ian and i took our stroll 
but i promise to bring you here again, next spring, to see the flower show.
the original site was 1.5 acres in size and was inside the ring road.

as the gardens grew, dozens of nurseries and private owners began to donate plants  
and soon, an another 5 acres was added outside the ring road.
all the pictures taken for this blog post were in this 5 acre addition.

the gardens are lovingly maintained by many local plant enthusiasts know as

the 'friends of the university gardens'
we started our tour through the newest and sunniest portion of the garden...  
i was excited to see the irises and poppies blooming  
(because mine have already finished blooming)
check it out... 
there was a really interesting tree bowl in this corner of the garden...
the tree branched off into four trunks and they grew together to create a natural blow.
water collects there, making a perfect reflecting pool.
finally, we get to my favourite part of the gardens, 
complementing the diverse plant life are three tranquil ponds....
there are beautiful winding footpaths around and through these ponds...
and there are dozens of benches on which to sit, relax and take in the splendour.
the pond flora and fauna are spectacular, no matter what the season is.
the skunk cabbages and the devil's clubs grow to gargantuan proportions!!!
there is a pond that is framed by this giant bamboo grove.
shhhh...this is definitely the university of victoria's best kept secret.

i can't think of any other place in the city that have such 
an incredible WOW factor with so few people enjoying it.

the gardens boast more than 4,000 different trees and shrubs 
and it is easy to enjoy because there's hardly ever anyone there.
i hope that all the pictures weren't too much...
next time, i will blog and photograph the original garden site inside the ring road.
but that will be another day because we hurried home... 
to make it in time for the next world cup soccer game



  1. What a beautiful place to walk through! I can see how calming it would be. I will have to look for something similar in my area...

    1. you'll have to visit our island and check it out...

  2. Gorgeous!! I see so many familiar plants.. ones we have in our flower beds and woods here in WV. I found you at SouleMama's. Hope you come visit our garden!

    1. thanks hannah...i'm really bad with plant names so i couldn't post them...
      p.s. i checked out your visit to pappaw's.


thank you for your kind words... they really do make my day !!!