What to do now - Garden-Inspired Travel

Great Fall Escapes - Western Canada

Marni Andrews
Photography by
Tracey Cox

Discover inns, B&Bs and restaurants with gorgeous gardens in Western Canada!

Sooke Harbour House

(1528 Whiffen Spit Rd., Sooke, BC V0S 1N0; 800/889-9668; http://www.sookeharbourhouse.com/)

Type of establishment: hotel, restaurant, spa
The garden: herbs, edible flowers and vegetables are grown for the restaurant
Zone 8b
Growing conditions: cool, dry summers; wet winters (140 cm of rain per year). Breezy waterfront location with mostly sunny, southeastern exposure; heavy clay soil
Key plants: dozens of salad ingredients, including more than 100 culinary herbs and 125 edible flowers, such as salvias, pot marigolds, nasturtiums, pinks, daylilies, roses, violas and tuberous begonias. An area for growing lemons and olives is in the works
Gardening secrets: edible plants are grown organically; soil is amended with compost and seaweed
Best time to visit: summer is the most colourful, but the garden is enjoyable year-round

The Ranche Restaurant

900–600 6th Ave. SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0S5; 403/225-3939; http://www.theranche.com/)

Type of establishment: restaurant
The garden 2.5 acres with types of native plants and grasses from late 1800s; quiet pathways with pine benches, a period gazebo and historic gas lampposts
Zone 3a
Growing conditions: very dry, long, cold winters; short, hot summers; warm chinook winds in winter
Key plants: trembling aspen, white spruce, saskatoon and chokecherry bushes, native roses and shrubs, snowberries, junipers, wildflowers, bunch wheat, needle grass
Gardening secrets: regular irrigation; indigenous plant varieties are grown to discourage feasting by deer, rabbits and gophers
Best time to visit: late June through early August

Il Giardino Restaurant

(1382 Hornby St., Vancouver, BC V6Z 1W5; 604/669-2422; http://www.umberto.com/)

Type of establishment: restaurant
The garden: walled, Tuscan-style courtyard
Zone 8
Growing conditions: large, enclosed courtyard with planters in full sun, hanging baskets under the roof and small, narrow beds; soil tends to be dry
Key plants: ivy covers shady walls, Virginia creeper cloaks sunny walls. In summer, annuals such as begonias, coleus and impatiens are grown in terra-cotta pots, set off by a scattering of Italian statuary
Gardening secrets: constant fertilizing for the ivy and diligent maintenance for the rest
Best time to visit: summer

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