Milner Gardens and Woodland is marking some pretty important anniversaries over the next week, and executive director Geoff Ball wants people to join the celebrations.
“We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of our opening on Sunday,” he said. “During the day we will open the gates free of charge so if you want to check out the gardens and help celebrate, feel free. We will have speeches by myself, Vancouver Island University president Ralph Nilson and Lee Teal, the president of the Milner Gardens Society. We will also have music performed by one of the VIU jazz quartets.”
Although he conceded the cool, wet spring has resulted in many of the blooms being slow to show, there shouldn’t be any shortage of colour for those who attend.
“We are a little bit behind, but some of the flowers and shrubs are coming on now,” Ball said. “The magnolias are coming on now and should put on a good show, as well as forget-me-nots and camelias. As well, the rhodos are starting to pick up speed now.”
Along with the flowers and music, he said volunteers with the Shoots with Roots program will be on hand for the kids and rhodo fans will be able to pick up some future bloom superstars at the Milner plant sale.
Ball said there’s much to celebrate.
“It’s 10 years since we opened officially and 15 since it was handed over to what was then Malaspina,” he said. “As well, on May 5 it will have been 25 years ago Prince Charles and Lady Di came to visit, and now their son is getting married.”
As well, he noted, the celebration will mark the significant work done by the cadre of volunteers over the years.
“There has been an awful lot of work done on the site thanks to volunteers,” he said. The fence has been rebuilt, the gardens revised, children’s program started, forest trails installed, a gift shop built and the house built up with a new roof, all thanks to an amazing team of volunteers in the community.”