Natural fantasies lining the wooded trails

Forest Fantasies are on display at Milner Garden and Woodland until Oct. 14

Mid Island Floral Art Club member Margaret Leeuw stands with one of the forest creations she worked on called Forest Grotto at Forest Fantasies currently running at Milner Gardens.

LISSA ALEXANDER

reporter@pqbnews.com

When you go out in the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise.

That’s because The Mid Island Floral Arts Club (MIFAC) has placed 25 delightful designs using flowers, plants and natural materials along the wooded trails of Milner Gardens and Woodland in Qualicum Beach.

It’s called Forest Fantasies and the project began two years ago when MIFAC created Forest Faces along the same trails.  MIFAC member Margaret Leeuw said the group decided to broaden the scope this year and have created a host of interesting creations that all ages will enjoy.

“We hope people enjoy the creativity and the unusual designs,” she said.

Some of the installations include a bird made out of a wasp’s nest and leaves, Sleeping Beauty resting in a moss bed with succulent plants, and a Forest Grotto complete with hand-made flowers, garden prunings, ferns, flowers and lichen balls.

Leeuw said 21 of the MIFAC’s members created the designs. Their ideas hatched from the garden materials they had available, the space they were using (one design has owls in a hollow tree trunk) and from their own creativity.

The group worked individually as well as in teams and there was a lot of trial and error, she explained, in order to put the pieces together, have them stand up to the weather and last throughout the 5-week event. But they thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, she said.

“We just love to share our love of plant designs and materials,” she said.

Forest Fantasies runs until Oct 14 at Milner Gardens from Thursday through Sunday and Thanksgiving Monday.

Garden admission is $8.25 for adults and $4.25 for students. Entry is free to Milner Gardens members and children 12 and under accompanied by an adult.

On September 28 and 29 there is also a Fall Plant Sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with discounts on heritage tress, shrubs and perennials propagated on site. Master Gardeners will be on hand to offer advice. For more information visit www.viu.ca/milnergardens or call 250-752-8573.