Government House Gardens in Victoria

On our recent trip to Victoria, we stopped in to visit Government House which is the home of the lieutenant governor of British Columbia. The garden is open to the public and I had never seen it before. This garden covers acres and acres of land and has amazing views of the ocean. We were able to drive right up to the house and park out front.
Government House Gardens in Victoria

Mature trees stand tall throughout the garden. The Bruce Pavillion looks like it would entertain quite a crowd for afternoon tea. You can sit on one of the many benches inside to enjoy the vista beyond.

Government House Gardens in Victoria

Beyond the Bruce Pavillion is the formal Victorian rose garden. Most of the roses were pretty well finished for the season. I love the use of boxwood to enclose each rose garden. Famous rose breeder David Austin donated many of the roses to this garden. As you walk through the garden each rose has a name and the occasion of its donation.

Government House Gardens in Victoria

Many of the roses were finished blooming but this yellow one was still open and fragrant as well.

Government House Gardens in Victoria

Leaving the rose garden we came upon a large expanse of lawn. Which way should we go? The gardens were originally designed in 1911. Wheelchair accessible pathways make walking the gardens a breeze.

Government House Gardens in Victoria

Fall seems to bring out the best in the grasses as this border shows. We walked by this garden and then headed up behind the main house.

Government House gardens in Vicoria

It was suggested we take a small path up by the main house and garage. This is where it took us. This is the Terrace Garden. In the distance are acres of Garry Oaks which grow so well here on the southern tip of Vancouver island. We stood upon this rocky bluff to take in the view of the Pacific ocean on the horizon.

Government House Garden in Victoria

The view continued as we walked along the back of the house. The house was about thirty feet above us  and this is the view from the pathway below. I peeked over to check out the Verbena in bloom to see it was only about a foot high.

Government House Gardens in Victoria

This tiny white flower was blooming about ten feet away. It looks like a fall crocus or Colchicum but I am not sure. My fall crocuses are pink and this one is white. Any ideas? As you can see they bloom without leaves much like fall crocus.

Government House Gardens in Victoria

As we walked the path to the Rock and Alpine Garden I realized the gardens here get full sun all day and much of the garden is rocky. I was anxious to see what did well in this area. Grey leaved plants loved it. I have to wonder if this succulent has to come in for the winter. Victoria is known as being one of the mildest areas in BC. I think they are close to being a zone 9.

Government House Gardens in Victoria

This border had lots of colour and I noted that most of the plants had small leaves. Smaller leaves retain moisture better and are suited for hot dry gardens.

Government House Gardens in Victoria

The pathway led us up along the west side of the house where a planting of Heathers was being established. The vivid colours of this plant make it a good choice for Pacific Northwest gardens. Between the flowers and the foliage its an all season plant.

Government House Gardens in Victoria

I am on the lookout for a few more of the heather with chartreuse foliage but they are hard to find. A plant that was so common here for many years is not being produced by local growers any more.

Government House Gardens in Victoria

To the west of the house is the herb garden. I would love to see this in bloom in the summer. In the center is a sundial supported by a carving of an orca. Many of the herbs grown here are used in the kitchen at Government House.

Government House Gardens in Victoria

We ended our walk by strolling the perennial border. I like the pairing of the rose-coloured Coleus with Persicaria.

Government House Gardens in Victoria

Pink was the theme colour in this border with Nerine looking majestic behind a border of black Mondo grass.
Government House Gardens in Victoria

Lantana and a dark pink Coleus were paired together in the garden. I loved walking through the perennial gardens. It’s a good way to see plants you may want to add to your gardens. Garden tours are so inspiring.

Government House Gardens in Victoria

Callicarpa is at its peak now. This shrub was loaded with berries. I have to wonder how long it will be before the birds get to them. I wish we had seen the entire garden. There is a woodland trail below the Terrace garden and so much more to see. I think we did pretty good in the two days we stayed in Victoria. We saw Butchart Gardens, Government House, Abkhazi Gardens and Beacon Hill park plus many walks along the ocean walkways. Would I go back? You bet. I love seeing the heritage homes, gardens  and walkable communities.

 

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