Dart’s Hill Garden

Dart's Hill Garden

Last weekend a friend and I headed out to visit Dart’s Hill in Surrey, BC. The last time I visited this seven acre garden the pond was a large hole in the ground. Look at it now. This is a scene not to be missed at Dart’s Hill.

Dart's Hill Garden

Most of the Peonies were finished. This one didn’t disappoint with its large white blooms.

Dart's Hill Garden

I couldn’t figure out what this plant was when I saw it. You see, Francisca Dart was a plant collector. Every plant on the seven acre property was grown by her. She loved the unusual plants the most. Above is Phlomis chrysophylla or golden-leaved Jerusalem sage. I like the way the flowers appear at different levels on this plant. It is a member of the Lamiaceae family so it may be a bit of a vigorous plant in the garden. When you have a large property like Dart’s Hill plants that fill spaces quickly are your best friend.

Dart's Hill Garden

Just to give you some idea of how large this garden is, this is part of the lower area of the garden near the orchard. Now I am wondering how long it takes to mow the lawn. The Dart family left the property as their legacy and it will continue to be a public park. City staff and volunteers make this a very unique garden. Saturday morning walks are held each weekend at the garden. Plant sales happen on open days at the garden. I was lucky enough to get myself a Primula called ‘Francisca’ named after the owner. It turns out she saw an unusual sport of Primula growing on a city boulevard and decided to bring it home for her garden. Its blooms are a mix of green and yellow.

Dart's Hill Garden

Talk about amazing flowers at the garden. When I saw this one I was in awe. The bloom is about 12″ across and the leaves on this big leaf Magnolia are huge.

Dart's Hill Garden

Now I want this tree in my garden. Its stunning! Its called Magnolia ashei  and grows to about 30′ tall and wide.

Dart's Hill Garden

Later I read this sign by the Magnolia tree telling about its history. I love plants that come with a story. Imagine waiting ten years for the tree to bloom. We gardeners are a patient bunch.

Dart's Hill Garden

As we walked the garden I spotted this bluish-green rose and realized I hadn’t had one in my garden for many years. Rosa glauca  bears single pink flowers in the summer followed by bright red hips. It’s the only rose I know of that will take light shade. Its the perfect plant for the foliage garden.

Dart's Hil Garden

It was hard narrowing down this post from all the photos I took. Above the dogwood tree is a show stopper.

Dart's Hill Garden

I must remember to find some of this Primula for next spring. It was still blooming at the end of May well after most were done.

For more information about Dart’s Hill check out the site for details on open days. Remember not to miss the plant sale. All the plants come from Dart’s Hill. There are even Rhododendron seedlings from this garden for sale. Hint, the next plant sale is June 18. I may see you there.

 

2 thoughts on “Dart’s Hill Garden

  1. Kristen, this wonderful post resonated with me in many ways! I work for the City of Surrey. When I was the heritage garden coordinator I organized a tour of Darts Hill for the volunteers and I, led by Francisca herself. So special to learn about her garden through her eyes! She and her husband used to save up all their gas rations to travel out to the new property each weekend to clear and plant. She had a special love for trees, and many of the trees in the garden were started from seed she received from all over the world. And I also had the Francisca primula in my garden for a time, as well as one named for her husband – Edwin, I think. I’d love to repost this on my blog http://www.yesterdaysgarden.wordpress.com

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