The best of Canada Garden Route tour

Lorraine Flanigan

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I made it from Victoria to St. John's!
I made it from Victoria to St. John's!
I made it from Victoria to St. John’s!

Garden Making’s coast-to-coast tour of the Canada Garden Route began in mid-May on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island and ended a month and a half later in St. John’s, Newfoundland. And what an exciting, whirlwind trip it was! People ask me, “What was the best part of the trip?” And honestly, there were so many “bests” I thought the only way to answer the question was to jot them down here. I hope you enjoy my reminiscences as much as I loved the experience.

Best display of art in the garden

Best display of peonies

 Best display of rhododendrons

 Best gardens along bicycling routes

Best hands-on experience

Best media coverage

Best online conversation

Best rainy day experiences

Best teaching gardens

Best gardening tips

Exhibition that most took my breath away

Garden most worthy of reaching by a midnight ferry ride

Moment of greatest zonal envy

Most breathtaking display of blue poppies

Are you serious? They all were!

Most breathtaking natural landscape

Most breathtaking native plantscape

Most breathtaking trees

Most heartwarming welcome

Most impressive rock gardens

Most interesting garden design element

Most interesting research project

Most childlike experience

Most exciting new projects

Most forward-thinking landscape

Most spiritual sites

Most surprising experience

Most unusual (and fun!) experience

What I most regret not having a chance to do

What I want to learn more about

What I most wanted to bring home with me that wouldn’t fit into my suitcase

What I was most thrilled at receiving

What I’ll never forget

The many wonderful people I met along Canada’s Garden Route.


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6 thoughts on “The best of Canada Garden Route tour”

  1. Hi Lorraine,
    I love your list of “Bests”. What an outstanding series and wonderful collection of stories and images of Canadian gardens. Thank you for all your hard work. From Victoria to St.John’s, we have a magnificent country.

    • Hi Ruby,

      Yes, we certainly have some wonderful public gardens in Canada. I hope the stories about my visits prompt many others to explore the innovative programs and events that these gardens have to offer.

  2. Thank you for sharing your experiences at so many of Canada’s wonderful public gardens. We just loved meeting you at the University of Alberta Devonian Botanic Garden and have enjoyed following the stories of your trip.

  3. Hi Donna,

    Yes, I’m disappointed too, but due to scheduling limitations, I wasn’t able to visit Reford Gardens on this trip. However, I’ve been several times and know how wonderful it is, especially the international garden festival.


  4. I am so disappointed that you didn’t get a chance to visit/comment on the Reford Gardens in Quebec. I had a chance to visit last August and it is a very special garden. Having lived in the UK for 15 years, I have seen a lot of superb gardens and Reford Garden is right up there with the best.


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