VIU Milner Gardens and Woodland

Live the Garden Life

Did you know that 2022 is the Year of the Garden in Canada?

Year of the Garden 2022 logo

Whether you are planning your first garden, an experienced Master Gardener, or somewhere in between,
VIU's Milner Gardens & Woodland invites you to

'Live the Garden Life'

To  support our mid-Island community getting out in the garden throughout the year, we have created a guide to local resources to get you started.  Whether you visit our beautiful gardens for inspiration, join a garden club to meet other gardeners and share knowledge, are planning your first garden and want to gain knowledge, or take courses to learn more about gardening, celebrate everything gardens do for us at a local garden event, or check out our trusted web resources, ... see the listings in each category below for more information.

The VIU community acknowledges and thanks the Qualicum, Snuneymuxw, Quw’utsun and Tla’amin, on whose traditional lands we teach, learn, research, live, share knowledge, and garden! 

Visit a Garden

Filberg Heritage Lodge & Park logo

Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park 

Filberg Heritage Park is a beautiful 9-acre waterfront estate located in the heart of Comox. The Park is open from dawn to dusk daily, and admission is free. Filberg Park has a remarkable selection of rare species trees planted on the property by the Filberg family. The rhododendron gardens contain specimens from the renowned Royston rhodo breeders Ted and Mary Greig. Amongst the lovely Arts and Crafts lodge and outbuildings are perennial and shrub borders, an oriental-inspired shade garden, a cutting garden, a demonstration herb garden, a pollinator garden, an insectarium and a rocket style bat house. A resident deer population also calls Filberg Park home. 

Filberg Park is a proud participant in Canada’s Garden Route and will be hosting special Year of the Garden events throughout July and August, and please go to our website for all event details.

Innisfree Farm logo

Innisfree Farm and Botanic Garden

Innisfree is an internationally registered Botanical Garden and a herbal farm located on Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley. The farm has an extensive collection of medicinal plants, a dispensary and shop, plus gardens featuring culinary herbs, vegetables and berries. Visitors can also enjoy some meditative time in the island’s largest labyrinth made with seashells from the Sailsh sea or partake in some Shinrin Yoku. Innisfree offers a number of special events and activities throughout the season and in honour of the 2022 Year of the Garden, Innisfree will be hosting a Summer Solstice and Plant Sale Celebration on National Garden Day, June 18. Please follow our Facebook page at @InnisfreeFarmBC for more details. The Green Dream Café, Garden Shop and the Botanical Garden at Innisfree are open from July 1 to September 16. Hours are Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, and on Sundays from Noon to 4pm – no admission for regular exploration visits. For more information, visit our website at or call 250 336 8768.

VIU Milner Gardens & Woodland logo

Milner Gardens & Woodland - Vancouver Island University

Welcome to 'An Ancient Forest and Garden Oasis by the Sea' in Qualicum Beach!

Visit during our seasonal openings:

See 'Celebrate Gardens at Local Events' section for Milner Gardens special events.

Watch the Shaw Spotlight video:  'A Walk Through the Rhodos - The Greig Rhododendron Species Garden'

The Gardens on Anderton logo
It comes as a surprise to many living in Comox Valley – even some who have lived here for years – to learn that our community resources include a wonderful therapeutic garden which is available to people of all ages. Located on Anderton Road, directly behind Anderton Nursery, the Anderton Therapeutic Garden (ATGS) experience is a result of Bill and Joy Georgesons’ dream back in 1996 when they aspired to create a garden where people’s physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing could be enhanced in a tranquil and aesthetic setting. The garden opened in 1998, after securing use of the 2-acre land parcel. Today, it sits as a testament to the thousands of hours of volunteer time expended over a quarter of a century.

Visit from Mother's Day to September, 7 days a week, 10am - 4pm.

Watch the Shaw Spotlight video: 'Gardening is Therapy for the Soul'

Learn More About Gardening

Gardening Advice Line

VIU's Milner Gardens & Woodland in partnership with the Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association (VIMGA) offers the Gardening Advice Line free service to our community.  

Email your gardening questions along with photos to:
and the Master Gardener volunteers will answer by email the following Tuesday.

The VIMGA volunteers have written articles on frequent questions to the Gardening Advice Line.  See the online library of Frequently Asked Gardening Questions.

Plant Picks are detailed articles featuring the plants at Milner Gardens & Woodland written by the VIMGA volunteers.  See the online listing of Milner Gardens Plant Picks

Make lighter work of your gardening work with articles by VIMGA volunteers.  See the online library of Monthly Garden Tips 2022 and the Garden Tasks 2021 archive.

Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute (MABRRI) project:

MABRRI Coastal Forest Plant Phenology Research Monitoring Project     MABRRI Coastal Forest Plant Phenology Research Monitoring Project

Coastal Forest Plant Phenology Research and Monitoring

In partnership with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and Milner Gardens & Woodland, MABRRI is working to assess and monitor climate change effects on local plant phenology – the timing of seasonally reoccurring events such as bud break, leaf size, flower development, and ripe fruit. By monitoring the growing seasons of different coastal plants, and by comparing these growing seasons to microclimate data, we can work to identify any potential changing trends in the growing seasons of Vancouver Island’s ecosystems.

Since 2017, we have been monitoring phenological changes in native plant species at Milner Gardens & Woodland, Thetis Lake Regional Park, and on Mount Arrowsmith. In 2020, we established two more sites at Bowser Ecological Reserve and Koksilah River Provincial Park. Microclimate stations and a series of trail cameras have been installed at all sites to link phenological records to local climate. MABRRI, student researchers, and citizen scientists also collect in-person data weekly during the summer and biweekly during the spring and fall at Milner Gardens & Woodland. Data collection will continue for a number of years in order to see how growing seasons may be shifting with changing climate patterns.

We depend on our volunteers to help with in-person data collection throughout the growing season. If you are interested in joining us in the field to observe and record phenological changes in our species, please contact Jessica Pyett, MABRRI’s Research & Community Engagement Coordinator at

Traditional Plant Workshop 2022 MABRRI

Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute (MABRRI)

Traditional Plant Workshop summary:

"On March 15th, MABRRI’s third Traditional Plant Workshop was held at the Qualicum Beach Community Hall. The workshop brought together over 50 participants, including community members, Elders, and Vancouver Island University faculty and students.

The afternoon was jam packed, including presentations from four knowledge holders: Geraldine Manson, Dr. Nancy Turner, Kim Recalma, and Les Malbon. Participants learned about traditional plant names, techniques and tools for harvesting, as well as the cultural, nutritional, and medicinal properties of native plants and how they are prepared. All guests were also able to take home a Devil’s club salve, used to treat deep tissue inflammations and skin issues.

Participants also had the opportunity to attend a Garden Café event held during a break at the workshop. The Garden Café was hosted by Chef Sean Wiens to demonstrate how to make simple, healthy recipes – and offer a snack to anyone interested.

Thank you to our event sponsors, NutritionLink Services Society, Mosaic Forest Management, Vancouver Island University, and the Town of Qualicum Beach for making this workshop possible, and to everyone who participated!"

NALT Pollinator Paradise Project signage

Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT) is excited to announce the launch of their

Pollinator Paradise Project!

The goal of this project is to encourage property owners to create pollinator habitat. While it might be difficult for us to create habitat on our properties for other threatened native species like Western Bluebirds, Vesper Sparrows or Western Painted Turtles, often it only takes a few simple changes to your garden or yard to create pollinator habitat. And, sadly, there is great need for this as many native bee and butterfly species are known to be in decline. Aside from other threats such as pesticide use, disease transfer from non-native honey bees and climate change, the primary threat for our native pollinators is habitat loss. 

NALT’s pollinator toolkit outlines the steps we can take to turn our gardens, yards, and patios into pollinator habitat. Once you have made these small changes to your property – or if you already have prime pollinator habitat on your property – please visit the interactive mapping application and add your pollinator paradise to NALT's map! Adding your property to the map may make your property a NALT certified Pollinator Paradise. Certified properties can receive a garden sign that will let your neighbours know that you are helping with habitat, which is a great way to expand the conversation on pollinator decline and habitat enhancement. For more information about certification email or call 250-714-1990.

Adding your property to the map will also allow NALT to track pollinator habitat connectivity, which can be vital for pollinator species, as many only have a range of 500 metres or less. It is hoped that over time we can see the areas of our region that have great habitat connectivity, and the areas that might need more work. In future, this data may guide in developing projects where public lands or commercial or institutional properties can be turned into pollinator paradises, or where NALT can focus on specific communities to remove participation barriers and encourage pollinator habitat enhancement.

Visit the project website here, where you can: 

  • View the toolkit and learn how to create habitat on your property (even if it’s just a patio!);
  • Apply for certification and get on the map;
  • Learn which plants are best as forage (I.e. food) and as host plants, and where to get them;
  • Find out how to participate in a pollinator census; and 
  • Learn more about different pollinators in our region and how to identify them.

NALT is hosting pollinator paradise events such as garden and habitat workshops, a family-friendly pollinator event, and public talks on native bees and butterflies this coming Spring. Make sure to follow them on social media for updates on these events!

Article courtesy Biosphere Times | Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region | April 2022.

The Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association (VIMGA) is the home for Master Gardeners living on Vancouver Island from north of the Malahat to the top of Vancouver Island. 

VIMGA exists to provide education to the public on environmentally responsible and effective gardening practices by developing and delivering public workshops, seminars and volunteer clinics, and by publishing information on these topics. 

See more information how to become a Master Gardener and VIMGA activities at

VIU's Master Gardener Program, part-time non-credit certificate program is a collaboration between Vancouver Island University and VIMGA.  See program info.

The Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) in partnership with the Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association (VIMGA) presents the Virtual Gardening Seminars for 2022:

Click on the course title for a description and to register:

March 7 - 6:30-8pm:  Climate Change - What it Means & How to Cope
*May 2 - 6:30-8pm:  The World of Alliums  * Rescheduled from April.
June 6 - 6:30-8pm:  Fire Smart Gardening
July 11 - 6:30-8pm:  Container Gardening - From Asters to Zucchini *CANCELLED*
August 8 -  6:30-8pm:  Growing Culinary Herbs
September - 12 - 6:30-8pm:  Dahlias
October 3 - 6:30-8pm: Houseplants - The Inside Jungle
November 7 - 6:30-8pm:  My Favourite Vegetables & How to Grow Them

See the VIRL VIMGA Seminars for 2021 and 2022.

Watch the Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association 

 See the 'Spring Education Day' Event Videos

from Sunday March 6, 2022 featuring:

The Value of a Tree:  Douglas Justice

"A personal, selective examination of the intrinsic, ecological and cultural importance of trees."

Small Fruits - The Under-Utilized Edible:  Bernie Dinter

"Perennial food plants growing on shrubs and vines can be a major component of an edible garden. From blueberries to grapes there is a wide range of familiar edible plants to cultivate in your garden. Bernie will give an overview on what is available and their cultural requirements."

VIMGA Spring Education Day 2022 poster

Welcome to Vancouver Island University's ElderCollege presents:

The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region: Balancing Competing Interest in a Finite Space
April 9
10am to Noon
Admission Fee: $13.00
Online via Zoom
Presenter: Pam Shaw, PhD, RPP, FCIP, FRCGS
About The Talk:
Ongoing growth pressures on Vancouver Island have impacts for all life in the region. The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (MABR) is one of UNESCO's 727 biosphere reserves, now found in 131 nations. As with all Canadian sites, the MABR focuses on conservation, sustainable development, climate action, reconciliation, and research/education. This presentation examines the importance of maintaining a long-range focus when addressing complex issues within a finite space.
Register Today to Reserve Your Spot!

Web: Register Online
Telephone registration: 1.866.734.6252

"All of us at VIU ElderCollege hope this will become your portal to stimulating life long learning experience. Moving forward VIU ElderCollege will be offering a wide array of courses both in-person and online. Choose the format that best suits you by means of a virtual classroom or a local VIU campus (Parksville & Nanaimo) classroom. The course description and your registration statement will indicate where your course will take place."

See the Elder College program info.

See the calendar and register for the Saturday Speaker Series - Spring 2022.

VIU Horticulture students sewing onion and chard seeds

VIU Horticulture students sowing onion and chard seeds by Christine Quist.

For the past few years Nanaimo Food Share 'Growing Opportunities' program has been sharing greenhouse space at Vancouver Island University’s Horticulture Centre in Nanaimo. 

The Nanaimo Food Share is a registered charity and their mission is to connect the local community to the resources, skills and knowledge base needed to improve access to healthy food, and to support sustainable community food systems.

The seedlings that they start at VIU’s Horticulture facility are a part of this vision. 

Together VIU and Growing Opportunities have started onion and chard plants from seed and VIU is growing on their pepper plants.  Once these seedlings are large enough Growing Opportunities will take them and plant them out at their nearby urban farm location. 

These seedlings will eventually grow into vegetables to be part of the Good Food Box program. 

For more information about Growing Opportunities.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please email:

VIU Horticulture pepper seedlings.

Photo of pepper seedlings at VIU Horticulture Centre by Ina Powell.

VIU Horticulture onion seedlings

Photo of onion seedlings at VIU Horticulture Centre by Ina Powell.

VIU Horticulture Students and City of Nanaimo Staff at Pipers Lagoon March 2, 2022

Photo:  VIU Horticulture Students and City of Nanaimo Staff at Pipers Lagoon, March 02 2022.

Pipers Lagoon Restoration Project

March 2, 2022

Students and staff from the Horticulture Technician Foundation Certificate Program) at Vancouver Island University (VIU) worked together with Horticulturalists and staff from the City of Nanaimo at the Pipers Lagoon Park in Nanaimo B.C.

The project took place on Wednesday, March 02 and aimed to increase educational communication on Garry Oak Ecosystems (GOE) including the cultural and environmental importance in the Nanaimo area and provide exposure to landscape restoration practices specific to GOE. The project was also an opportunity for students to practice horticulture skills such as native plant ID, weed ID, invasive species removal transplanting techniques and installment of shading/protective plant structures. Students gained exposure to horticulture tools used in restorative and maintenance practices. Finally, the project day created a networking opportunity for students through the mentorship of experienced landscape horticulturalists while practicing and applying landscape horticulture skills and practices.

For information on the VIU Horticulture Technician Foundation Program

VIU Horticulture Students preparing Rhodo cuttings at G.R. Paine Centre 2022

Photo of VIU Horticulture Students preparing Rhododendron cuttings at the G.R Paine Centre.

Rhododendron Revival Project

March, 2022

The Rhododendron Revival project aims to support the current initiatives under way at Vancouver Island University (VIU) Milner Gardens & Woodland Gardens (Milner Gardens) that sustains rare and endangered Rhododendron species in the Greig Rhododendron Species Garden (Species Garden). Some of the Rhododendron species at Milner Gardens have been growing there since 1960, which is a significant lifespan for a woody shrub.  Over time these rare and unique Rhododendron species have experienced adverse environmental and biological pressures such as drought, winter storms and disease leading to a decline in health. 

Together, horticulture students in the Horticulture Technician Foundation Certificate Program at VIU, Milner Gardens staff and the local Rhododendron Societies work together to share knowledge and experience and contribute to the success of the project.

Goals for this project include to revive the Rhododendron species at risk in the garden through propagation of plants that require replacement and/or population expansion and to identify and propagate Rhododendron species from Milner Gardens that aren’t commonly propagated or are difficult to propagate in commercial production settings.  The project also creates a networking opportunity between the three groups involved and has proven to be valuable in building relationships that continue to strengthen the VIU and wider community.

Celebrate Gardens - Current Events

Milner Gardens Fall Plant Sale 2022

VIU's Milner Gardens & Woodland presents:

Our Annual Fall Plant Sale offers great discounts on heritage plants from the Milner Gardens collection!

Fall is a perfect time to plant for a beautiful garden in spring: As air temperatures drop, the soil is still quite warm - a perfect combination for good root development.
Saturday September 17 & Sunday September 18, 2022
11:00 am - 4:00 pm each day
Special Fall Plant Sale winter admission: $6.00 adult & $4 youth.
Milner Gardens & Woodland, 2179 Island Hwy West, Qualicum Beach BC
Master Gardeners (VIMGA) & Mount Arrowsmith Rhododendron Society (MARS) will be on hand to answer your gardening questions.
Shuttle Cart service available to transport your purchases.
Cardboard boxes are available,... or bring your own boxes to fill with Milner Gardens' plants propagated by our volunteers!
Bring your membership card to the Milner Gardens Members Early Access Plant Sale is on Friday September 16, 2022 from 5pm – 6:30pm. Memberships may be purchased and renewed at the Welcome & Interpretive Centre (WIC) at this event.
Photo of Hydrangea macrophylla (Hortensia) - Hydrangea Pink/Blue.

VIRL VIMGA Virtual Seminar Houseplants 2022

Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) & Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association (VIMGA) present:

Virtual Gardening Series:  Houseplants - The Inside Jungle

Monday October 3, 2022

6:30 - 8:00pm

Free course on Zoom

REGISTER in advance or email

Mid Island Floral Art Club meeting:

Thursday October 13, 2022


St Stephen's Church Hall, 150 Village Way, Qualicum Beach

"Members Demonstration"

New members welcome, Guest $6.00.

For more info Joanne 250-757-8969 or

MARS (Mount Arrowsmith Rhododendron Society), NRS (Nanaimo Rhododendron Society), and VIMGA (Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association) are pleased to offer a day of education and enjoyment with internationally recognized gardening experts:

2022 Fall into Gardening (FIG) - Coping with Climate Instability in your Garden

Sunday October 23, 2022

10:00am - 3:30pm

Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, 747 Jones Street, Qualicum Beach

Tickets: $25 in advance or $30 at the door

See NRS website to register:

Refreshments:  coffee, tea, and treats will be provided.  Please bring your own bag lunch.

FIG agenda:

10:00 – 10:05am

Introductory Remarks

10:05 – 11:00am

Douglas Justice:  UBC Botanical Garden Associate Director and Curator
“Planting Trees for a Drier and Hotter Future”

11:00 – 11:20am


11:20am – 12:15pm

Caroline Josefsson: Vancouver Island University Biology Department
“Gardening with less water – learning from the Garry Oak Ecosystem”

12:15 – 1:15pm


1:15 – 2:10pm

Des Kennedy: writer, activist, celebrated speaker
“Weather or Not” a light hearted romp through the triumphs and travails of the weather-beaten gardener

2:10 – 2:30pm


2:30 – 3:25pm

Bonnie Zand: Entomologist and owner of Bonnie’s Bugs IPM
“Gardening for pollinators: supporting BC's diverse native bees

3:25 – 3:30pm

Closing Remarks

Click on the FIG poster or speaker abstracts to view and click your browser back-button to return to the Live the Garden Life webpage:

2022 Fall into Gardening poster2022 Fall into Gardening Speakers 1

2022 Fall into Gardening Speakers 22022 Fall into Gardening Speakers

Celebrate Gardens - Past Events

Help Parksville Qualicum Beach celebrate the #YearoftheGarden2022
by adding to the list of #myPQB best gardens on social media!

#myPQB Gardens    #myPQB Gardens

 #myPQB Gardens   #myPQB Gardens

Tag someone who has a perfectly manicured yard in the area,
or better yet share a photo with hashtag #myPQB 💐👇🌷

If you have a passion for gardening, learn more about the #LivetheGardenLife
celebration and local events 👉
📷 Instagram@zooms_by_ooms

MABRRI Traditional Plant Workshop

Registration is Full

The Traditional Plant Workshop welcomes Elders and community members, faculty, students, and the general public to join us at the Qualicum Beach Community Hall on March 15, 2022 from 1:00 - 4:00pm.

The workshop will feature presentations from four local experts, including Snuneymuxw Elder Geraldine Manson, Dr. Nancy Turner, Kim Recalma, and Les Malbon. Experts will present on plant names, known locations for gathering, and techniques and tools for harvesting, as well as the cultural, nutritional, and medicinal properties of native plants and how they are prepared. Guests will also have the opportunity to create and sample different native plant foods and medicines.

The workshop will also feature a special Garden Café event; hosted by a local chef, who will offer cooking demonstrations, healthy recipes, and a tasty snack for all guests.

Entry to the workshop is by donation at the door. Tickets can only be reserved on Eventbrite. All participants must adhere to the COVID-19 safety guidelines. Proof of vaccination is required for entry.

For questions, please contact MABRRI's Research and Community Engagement Coordinator at

Thank you to our event sponsors!

For more info on MABR/MABRRI events, go to MABR Upcoming Events

Annual Heather Sale 2022

Vancouver Island Heather Society presents:
Annual Heather Sale
Saturday April 2
Fisher Road, Cobble Hill

VIRAGS Spring Show & Sale poster

Vancouver Island Rock & Alpine Garden Society (VIRAGS) presents:

Annual Spring Show & Sale  ‘100 Years of Vancouver Island Rock & Alpine Garden Society’ 
Friday April 1 - 1:00pm - 8:00pm
Saturday April 2 - 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Mary Winspear Center, Sidney

Campbell River Garden Club features:

Peonies with Malcolm Ho-Yu

Wednesday April 6
Campbell River Seniors Centre
Club members free, guests $5.00.

Biosphere Blitz 2022 poster

Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (MABR) Biosphere Blitz

April 8-10, 2022

Join in on the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region’s (MABR’s) annual BioBlitz! This event will span across three days from April 8th through 10th, 2022. The event is free and open to everyone at all ages and levels of knowledge.

We will be issuing a 1st place prize at the end of each of the three days for those who submit the highest number of observations. Observations must be logged under the iNaturalist project, 2022 MABR BioBlitz, to be eligible to win a prize. Win an identification book on birds, flora and fauna, or edible and medicinal flora of the West Coast!

Watch the 'MABR BioBlitz iNaturalist Tutorial' video on how to use the iNaturalist application to take part in the MABR BioBlitz.

The BioBlitz will take place within the boundaries of the MABR, which ranges from Nanoose Bay to Qualicum Bay. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the MABR has restructured this event to allow for social distancing and a broader view of the biodiversity in our region. Observations will be accepted from any location within the MABR’s boundaries from April 8th through 10th.

It is expected that participants will follow provincial regulations and maintain social distancing while taking part in this event. A tutorial on how to use iNaturalist to upload an observation will be shared here in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions, please contact the MABR Coordinator, Mandy Hobkirk, at

Mill Bay Plantaholics Annual Plant Sale

Mill Bay Plantaholics presents: Annual Plant Sale

Proceeds from the sale supports Somenos Transition House – a program of the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society

  • On-line Sales at excellent prices
  • Over 1500 good quality, healthy plants (mainly ornamental)
  • Wooden garden objects
  • Contact Elaine Scott at to be added to the Customer List

Sales Items List will be emailed to the Customer List on Sunday April 10, 2022
Requests made then, will be processed in the order they are receivedSaturday, April 23 to Pick-up orders:  2836 Oceanside Lane, Mill Bay
(East off TransCanada Hwy at Kilmalu, South on Church Way,
East on Welch Road, then South on Oceanside Lane)

  • Remaining Plants will be For Sale on Pick-up Day
  • Master Gardeners on hand to answer General Gardening Questions.

The Bunny Trail poster April 14-17 2022 Spot bunnies for an Easter treat

Milner Gardens & Woodland presents:

The Bunny Trail
April 14 - 17:  Thursday - Sunday
11:00am - 4:30pm with viewing until 5:00pm

Spot the bunnies for an Easter treat:
Pick up a map at the Welcome Centre with clues for the children to spot the bunnies.
Return the completed map to the Pool House Gift Shop for an Easter treat!

Shoulder season admission: $9 adult, $5 youth (13-18 yrs)
Free entry: Children 12 yrs and under, current Milner Gardens Members*, and current VIU Students*
* Milner Gardens Members & VIU Students, please show your card to the volunteers at the Welcome & Interpretive Centre.

Cowichan Valley Rhodo Society Annual Spring Plant Sale 2022     Cowichan Valley Rhodo Society Spring Plant Sale 2022

Cowichan Valley Rhododendron Society presents:
Annual Spring Plant Sale

Saturday, May 14
10am – 2pm
Gibbons Road, Duncan

  • Hundreds of special Rhododendrons
  • Hundreds of companion plants
  • Free books and journals (former Weesjes’s library collection)
  • Knowledgeable plant specialists for questions
  • Suitable parking available.

Campbell River Garden Club presents:
Plant Sale
May 14
9am - 2pm (or until plants are sold)
Campbell River Community Centre, 401 - 11 Avenue, Campbell River, BC

Easter at Filberg Park poster

The Filberg Heritage Lodge & Park presents:

Easter at Filberg Park
Saturday April 16
10am - 3pm
Annual Easter Bunny Trail
Children's Crafts
Children's Games
Hot Dogs
PopcornAll activities/food by Donation (no ATM onsite).

Lionel de Rothschild MARS 21Apr22 poster

Mount Arrowsmith Rhododendron Society (MARS) welcomes guest speaker:

Lionel de Rothschild - Exbury Garden Past and Present

Thursday, April 21
Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, 747 Jones Street, Qualicum Beach.  Guests welcome.

"It is just over 100 years since Lionel de Rothschild started work on one of the best-known woodland gardens in the world, one devoted above all to his favourite plant, the rhododendron.  In just twenty years he created one of the largest gardens of its kind, as well as funding a number of the plant hunters of the day and creating many beautiful hybrids.

His work was continued by his sons and is now looked after by the two generations after that.  His grandson Lionel will talk about the history and about the plants in this iconic garden.

Lionel de Rothschild is the grandson and namesake of the creator of Exbury Gardens.  He has written and lectured on Exbury Garden, rhododendrons, and other Rothschild gardens. He is also a trustee of The Rothschild Archive in London and sits on the Garden Council of Borde Hill Gardens in West Sussex."

NRS Lionel de Rothschild of Exbury Garden poster

Nanaimo Rhododendron Society (NRS) welcomes guest speaker:

Lionel de Rothschild - Exbury Garden Past and Present

Friday, April 22
In-person meeting at Beban Park Recreation Centre, 2300 Bowen Road, Nanaimo.  Guests welcome.

"It is just over 100 years since Lionel de Rothschild started work on one of the best-known woodland gardens in the world, one devoted above all to his favourite plant, the rhododendron.  In just twenty years he created one of the largest gardens of its kind, as well as funding a number of the plant hunters of the day and creating many beautiful hybrids.

His work was continued by his sons and is now looked after by the two generations after that.  His grandson Lionel will talk about the history and about the plants in this iconic garden.

Lionel de Rothschild is the grandson and namesake of the creator of Exbury Gardens.  He has written and lectured on Exbury Garden, rhododendrons, and other Rothschild gardens. He is also a trustee of The Rothschild Archive in London and sits on the Garden Council of Borde Hill Gardens in West Sussex."

VIU's Milner Gardens & Woodland presents:
Rhododendron Bloom

April 23 - May 20
Thursday - Sunday openings 11:00am - 4:30pm with viewing until 5:00pm

The Rhododendrons at Milner Gardens & Woodland are one of the Gardens' most significant collections!
Enjoy your walk through the Greig Rhododendron Species Garden and heritage Rhododendron Grove while the Rhododendrons put on their best display of the season.Watch the Shaw Spotlight 2021 video:
'A Walk Through the Rhodos - The Greig Rhododendron Species Garden'
Summer season admission starts April 28: $12 adult, $7 youth (13-18 yrs)
Free entry: Children 12 yrs and under, current Milner Gardens Members*, and current VIU Students** Milner Gardens Members & VIU Students, please show your card to the volunteers at the Welcome & Interpretive Centre.

MARS Rhodo Show & Plant Sale 2022 poster
Rhodo Show & Plant Sale
Saturday, April 23
10am - 2pm
Qualicum Beach Curling Club (Please note NEW Venue)

North Island Rhododendron Society (NIRS) presents:

Annual Rhododendron Sale & Show

Sunday April 24

10am to 1pm

 Komox First Nations Hall, 3330 Comox Road, Courtenay

With Covid restrictions easing, the NIRS executive has decided it is time to get back to our major fundraising event by holding a sale and show. As in previous years, the event will be held at the Komox First Nations Hall at 3330 Comox Rd. in Courtenay. There will be hundreds of Rhododendrons of varying colours and sizes available for purchase, along with our usual companion plants. Plus we will have a colourful display of Rhodo trusses for you to enjoy. 

Dahlia Tuber Sale April 30 2022 poster
Annual Sale of member-raised Dahlia tubers
Saturday April 30
10:00am - 2:00pm
Country Club Centre, 3200 North Island Highway, Nanaimo, BC
"Stock up at the annual SALE of member-raised Dahlia tubers.  Hundreds of healthy tubers available from a wide variety of show-quality dahlias. 
Buy yours now for beautiful deer-resistant flowers this summer and fall."
For more information, visit

NRS Annual Plant Sale and Flower Show Apr 30 2022

Nanaimo Rhododendron Society (NRS) presents:

Annual Plant Sale and Flower Show
Saturday April 30
10am - 2pm
Centennial Hall at Beban Park, Nanaimo
Free entrance. 

Cairnsmore Place Plant Sale

Cairnsmore Place 11th Annual Plant Sale
Hosted by the Cairnsmore Hospice Volunteer Gardeners
250 Cairnsmore Street, DuncanOnline sale again this year
Email to be placed on the Customer List: 
Plant pickups Saturday, April 30 at Cairnsmore Place plus:
- Plant Pick-ups
- Garden tours
- Plant Book Sales
- Woodwork
- Plants not sold in the online sale
- Master Gardeners on site to answer General Garden Questions.

VIU's Milner Gardens Annual Spring Plant Sale 11am-4pm April 30 - May 1 2022

Milner Gardens & Woodland

Spring Plant Sale
Saturday April 30 11:00am-4:00pm, and

Sunday May 1 - 11:00am-4:00pm
The Nursery, Milner Gardens & Woodland, 2179 Island Hwy West, Qualicum Beach

Great discounts on heritage plants from the Milner Gardens collection!
Special Spring Plant Sale Admission: $6 Adult, $4 Youth
Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association (VIMGA) & Mount Arrowsmith Rhododendron Society (MARS) will be at this event to answer your gardening & rhododendron questions!

Campbell River Garden Club presents:
Dahlias with Connie Thompson
May 4
Campbell River Seniors Centre, 1426 Ironwood Road, Campbell River, BC
Members free, guests $5.

MARS Garden Tour poster

Mount Arrowsmith Rhododendron Society (MARS) presents:

Mother's Day Garden Tour

The annual MARS Mother’s Day Weekend Garden Tour lets you peek into beautiful private gardens in the Qualicum Beach – Parksville area! 

(11 private gardens)
Saturday May 7 & Sunday May 8
10:00am to 4:00pm

Ticket price is $15

Tickets will be available beginning on April 15/22 at:

  • Arrowsmith Greenhouse at 2880 Alberni Highway, Qualicum Beach
  • Ken-Dor Garden Centre at 845 Qualicum Road, Qualicum Beach
  • Milner Gardens and Woodland at 2179 W Island Highway West, Qualicum Beach (limited hours)
  • The Mulberry Bush Bookstore at 130 West 2nd Avenue, Qualicum Beach
  • Buckerfield’s at 587 Alberni Highway, Parksville
  • Cultivate Garden & Gift at 609 Island Highway East, Parksville
  • Fireside Books at 114 Middleton Avenue, Parksville

Looking for more information?  Call 250-752-3694 or contact us

Learn more about the:  Garden Tour

Nanaimo Rhododendron Society (NRS) presents:

Public Garden Tour
Self-guided tour of Nanaimo's best private gardens:
Saturday May 14 & Sunday May 15
Tickets $15 covers both days
Map will be available with tickets.

Mid Island Floral Art Club meetings have resumed!

Saturday May 14
St Stephen's United Church, 150 Village Way, Qualicum Beach BCWe will be making a design at the meeting, for more info contact Joanne 250-757-8969
Guests welcome $6.00.

QBGC All About the Garden Sale 2022
Qualicum Beach Garden Club presents:
"All About the Garden Sale"
(plants, veggie starts and garden-related items)
VI Master Gardeners will be on site to provide gardening advice
Saturday, May 14
8:30am - 12:00pm/noon
701 Larch Drive, Qualicum Beach.

Comox Valley Horticultural Society welcomes guest speaker: 

Linda Gilkeson – The Good, the Bad and the [Merely] Ugly - Do you Know the Difference?Monday May 16

Check back closer to the event for further details:

How to Attend: All current CVHS members will receive a Zoom invitation prior to this meeting.

Not a Member?
If you are not a CVHS member and would like to join us, please purchase a guest pass by Friday, May 13 for $5.50 
Please join us! 

No Mow May poster

In 2021, the Arrowsmith Naturalists ran an informal project to raise awareness of the decline in our insect and bee populations, and encouraged the planting of pollinator-friendly, pesticide and herbicide free flowers and shrubs that support insects and bees throughout the year. This year we are extending this to support No Mow May.

Declining insect populations need a continual food source year round, some of which is provided by the first spring flowers such as daisies, dandelions and clover.

No Mow May is a growing movement in Europe, UK and other countries which encourages leaving grass lawns and green spaces to grow until the end of May, so wildflowers can bloom and provide food, shelter and habitat for bees and insects emerging in late winter and early spring.  Infrequent moving can continue after the end of May and by raising the mower height, grass can grow longer between mowings.

No Mow May assists the declining insect population and enhances biodiversity.

Go to Arrowsmith Naturalists page for a No Mow May poster and press release

Read more in The Guardian: 'Went to mow ... but stopped: how UK cities embraced the meadows revolution' by Phoebe Weston 10July2021.

Annual Cowichan Family Life Garden Charity Fundraiser 2022

26th Annual Cowichan Family Life Garden Tour Charity Fundraiser
Sunday May 29
10am – 4:30pm
A Self-Guided Tour o 6 Beautiful Gardens
Tickets $25
Available after April 1, 2022
Garden locations are provided only on the tickets.
More information at: 250-748-8281 or CowichanFamilyLife

Plant Sale May 28-29 2022

Plant Sale 
Hosted by: Mark and Pauline
Formerly of Scent-Sational Plants
- Canadian Carnivorous Plants
- As It Grows
- Bryans Specialty Plants
Saturday & Sunday May 28-29
830 Sayward Rd, Victoria
Overflow Parking - Fowler Park

Mill Bay Garden Club Flower & Garden Show May 28, 2022

The Mill Bay Garden Club presents:

Flower & Garden Show

Saturday May 28
9am - 2pm
Cobble Hill Hall, 3550 Watson Avenue, Cobble Hill
Adults $2 / Children free.

Mid Island Floral Art Club meeting:

Thursday June 9
St Stephen's Church, 150 Village Way, Qualicum Beach
"Ikebana demonstration and workshop." 
Guests $6.00 
For more info Joanne 250-757-8969 or

Fairy Houses 2022 poster

Milner Gardens & Woodland presents:
Fairy Houses
Thursday - Sunday June 9 - 12
11:00am - 4:30pm with viewing until 5:00pm

Every year, Fairy Houses magically appear in the Gardens in honour of Veronica Milner’s belief in fairies.

Summer season admission:  $12 adult, $7 youth (13-18 yrs)
Free entry:  Children 12 yrs and under, current Milner Gardens Members*, and current VIU Students*
*Milner Gardens Members & VIU Students: Please show your card to our volunteers at the Welcome & Interpretive Centre.

Sorry, ... no Afternoon Full High Tea or reservations are available while the fairies are in the Gardens.

Denman Island Home & Garden Tour

Saturday June 11 & Sunday June 12

Info and Earlybird Tickets $20 – On sale starting March 15 at:
Denman Conservancy Garden Tour

Don't miss this incredible Tour, long considered one of BC's top horticultural events. This year features the renowned home and garden of award-winning broadcaster and writer Des Kennedy, as well as a dozen other glorious rural properties. The Globe and Mail has called Denman Island "a 5-by-10 kilometer swath of horticultural gems." After a four-year hiatus, ‘Denmanites’ are ready to throw open their garden gates, inviting the public for a rare up-close look at the creativity, skill and passion they pour into their properties. The Gardens The gardens are accomplished, imaginative, and full of variety — lush blooms; tranquil ponds; artisanal stonework; hand-crafted arbours; permaculture practices; and stunning ocean views. The Houses The houses offer exquisite craftsmanship, innovative design, inspired use of local materials, and unique island touches. This weekend event provides an unforgettable experience for lovers of gardens, homes and rural living. Many people return year after year from all over Canada and around the world and are never disappointed.

The Canadian Garden Council presents Garden Days 2022!

Garden Days 2022

Time to Celebrate our Garden Culture!
Celebrate Garden Days June 11 to 19 and National Garden Day June 18, 2022.
Sign up your garden as a 2022 Celebration Garden and get your certificate of celebration.
Share your gardens on social media with #yearofthegarden2022

Volunteer Opportunity Day June 16, 2022 1-3pm at Milner Gardens & Woodland

Join our dedicated team of volunteers at Milner Gardens & Woodland!

You are invited to come learn about all the different ways you can be involved in our daily operations, special events and more on:

Thursday June 16

1:00 - 3:00pm

Sign in upon your arrival at the Welcome Centre, 2179 Island Hwy West, Qualicum Beach,
for your free garden admission and join us at Milner House for an afternoon of treats, refreshments and meeting the team!
Email any questions to:

Father's Day

VIU"s Milner Gardens & Woodland invites you to celebrate Father's Day together with Garden Days 2022!

Bring your Father or Father-figure through for free admission to the Gardens
Saturday June 18 and Sunday June 19, 2022 
11:00am - 4:30pm daily with viewing until 5:00pm.
Celebrate The Canadian Garden Council's Garden Days June 11 - 19 and National Garden Day June 18, 2022. Take part in garden and gardening festivals, events and activities organized by members of the Garden-Family across the country.
For more info on Year of the Garden 2022 - Live the Garden Life:
Summer season admission: Adult: $12.00 Youth: $7.00
Free entry to:
- Children 12 yrs & under accompanied by an adult,
- Milner Gardens Members*
- Current VIU Students*
* Milner Gardens Members & VIU Students - please show your card to the Volunteers at the Welcome & Interpretive Centre.
Memberships allow unlimited entry to the Gardens on open days. Become a Milner Gardens Member:
Parking is free in the lot adjacent to the Welcome & Interpretive Centre. Please prominently display your parking sticker for 4 Accessible Parking stalls.
Shuttle Cart service operates along the service road between the Welcome & Interpretive Centre, Pool House Gift Shop & Milner House. Shuttle Carts are prioritized for those with accessibility needs for anyone able to move unassisted to/from the cart. Shuttle Carts can accommodate foldable wheelchairs, walkers & strollers. Please ask a volunteer on-site to page for a Shuttle Cart.
Accessible washroom facilities are located at the Welcome & Interpretive Centre, Pool House Gift Shop & Milner House.
Certified guide & service dogs only permitted in the Gardens.
We love our pets but please do not leave them unattended in vehicles in hot weather.
Questions? Please ask any of our amazing Volunteers!
Get Involved! Become a Milner Gardens Volunteer:
Milner Gardens & Woodland - Vancouver Island University
2179 Island Hwy West, Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 1G1
General Info: 250-752-6153 (during open hours)
Admin & Tours: 

Innisfree Farm presents:

Innisfree Farm June 18, 2022 event poster

Plant Sale - 10am to 4pm
In celebration of the Year of the Garden, everyone is invited to come explore Innisfree from 10 am 4pm
Saturday June 18
3636 Trent Road, Royston, BC
No charge, but donations to support the Botanic Garden are welcomed.
Special Solstice Labyrinth Event takes place from 5:30pm-8:30pm with local entertainer, Joanne Finch.
More information:

National Garden Day Event at Filberg Park June 18 2022

Filberg Park presents:

National Garden Day

Saturday June 18

  • Liz Stubbs Cutting Garden
  • Master Gardeners
  • Comox Valley Horticulture Society
  • Demos, Education, Sales, and more
  • Community Yard Sale.