The Denman Island Home & Garden Tour was held June 10 and 11, 2017. This unique and inspiring Tour has long been considered one of BC’s top horticultural events. Every two years our tranquil island throws open its garden gates, inviting the public for a rare up-close look at the creativity, skill and passion Denman residents pour into their properties. The gardens are lush, imaginative and bountiful; the houses offer exquisite craftsmanship, with unique island touches. On the tour you can wander through profusions of blooms, stroll past quiet ponds and marvel at mature production gardens.
Homes & Gardens were open 9:30 am to 5 pm both days.
All proceeds go to the Denman Conservancy Association, a Registered Charity which, with the support of this Tour, has protected over 700 acres of Denman Island.
Tour the Gardens by bicycle? An excellent choice. More information about cycling the Tour
Homes and Gardens on the 2017 Tour:
Anne deCosson and Larry Berg, East Cider Apple Orchard
Welcome to East Cider Apple Orchard and the home of Anne and Larry.
Wander through the orchard which has 80 different apple varieties, have a look at the trusted and true yet brand new Austrian apple press and try some delicious juice!
Anne and Larry came to the land 38 years ago and found a forest that engulfed some old apple trees. Inspired by these old giants they set out on their own orchard mission.
The orchard, home and vegetable garden are all open for visitors.
Ann and Hamish Kimmins
Surrounded by arbutus trees this stunning open-concept home was designed and built by Denman Islanders. Featuring reclaimed timber from an old logging bridge, and posts from telegraph poles, the home melds in to the sloping landscape and offers spectacular views over Baynes Sound. The garden is full of heather, ferns, rhodos, bamboo and lavender and as well features a unique Japanese Maple variety selection project.
Linda and Glen Pollit
Meander down through the old growth forest, past the dried up creek bed and find yourself in a meticulous yet magical garden. The flowing contours of the low box hedges, the huge variety of plants, the lilies, the roses and the view North across the beach to the Coast Mountains make this garden a jaw dropper. The driftwood gazebo, the shady seating area, the vegetable garden and the sun drenched centre are all distinct rooms created with an eye for elegance.
The back yard has a dense and mature garden that transitions beautifully in to the dark forest beyond it.
Featuring fruit trees, a small pond, a guest cottage and irregular terraced beds there is something to see at every turn.
Charming ornaments in the garden reflect the tasteful design details found inside this bright home.
Sam and Emily, Two Roads Farm
In just a few years this dynamic couple have established a productive farm with gardens, greenhouses, pigs and chickens. Learn about their model of organic intensive market gardening and their smart greenhouse construction and tomato trellis system. Visit the farm animals, check out the walk-behind tractor and buy vegetables and sausage rolls at the farm stand. The house is not on display but there will be a model of its unique construction, a technique primarily used in industrial buildings.
Serendipity brought Tim to Denman Island 6 years ago and within a month he was in love with the place. With the luck of the open hearted he found somewhere to create a tiny home and enact his permaculture experiments. He has created an exuberant garden with a flourishing self-seeding perennial polyculture full of edible flowers, greens and vegetables. Chickens, pigs and geese help him fertilize and prepare the soil and they play an important part in his garden’s succession from pasture to food forest.
Tim’s tiny home is a co-creation with a local cabinet maker and it features rounded shapes, big windows and an open floor plan. An inspiration for simple living, this tiny house is off grid, has a small footprint and is an automatic generosity accelerator – you just keep on giving things away.
Rick and Ann Paisley
When the property next to an old school friend on Denman Island became available, Rick and Ann knew their escape from the city was there. Lifetime lovers of all things ocean and garden, they had their home beautifully designed to focus on the Baynes Sound out the front and the whimsical garden out back. This beautiful West Cosast timber home brings the beach indoors with all sorts of interesting treasures from years of kayaking trips. The full and wild looking courtyard garden is especially impressive considering it is unfenced, on a slope, sits on rocks and clay and is only four years old. Not to be missed is a small but very productive vegetable garden, the only fenced garden on the property.
Sandy and Des Kennedy
This rustic house and garden have been featured in numerous TV programs, books, magazines and calendars. Surrounded by towering woodlands, the mature ornamental garden cascades into a small valley, extensively terraced with local sandstone. Clipped boxwood and other evergreen shrubs provide all-season interest. Combined with many exuberant roses, drought-tolerant grasses, perennials and ground-covers, they create a big but low-maintenance garden that requires little watering. The whimsical small house within the garden is owner-built from largely recycled and hand-hewn materials. A large vegetable garden and fruit trees give a year-round supply of organic produce.
For Des Kennedy’s personal invitation to the 2013 Tour:
You will also see Homes and Gardens by:
Carol and John Ralston
In this woodland garden you will find a wide selection of plants that thrive in the dappled shade of the mature trees surrounding the property. Carol and John have propagated a lot of their own plants using seeds as well as cuttings. Their garden seems to be ever expanding. The hand crafted greenhouse and potting shed is an inspiration for anyone who is dreaming of a warm shelter for their plants. Make sure to venture round the house to see the semi wild garden cascading down the cliff and the solar heated swimming pool.
This property was a forest ten years ago when Pat and Selwyn bought it with true pioneering spirit. Now it is Denman’s only certified organic farm and vineyard. They are most passionate about the grapes as they are ever changing, through pruning in winter to bud break to fruiting. The grapes are also the reason for their ‘picking parties’ in the fall, an excuse to put on a big harvest meal to thank their hard working friends and neighbours. Although the grapes take the starring role the couple also produces an abundance of food and sell their seedlings at the local farmers market. They have heritage Clun Forest Sheep which provide organic manure and a very picturesque scene. The buildings were all built from lumber harvested from the land and milled by the owners. Be sure to visit the winery and tasting room… for obvious reasons.
Vivian Mc Millan and Keith Boutcher
Inside a large Victorian style house is a welcoming open space decorated with pottery and objects from around the world that looks out over a porch to a beautiful view of Hornby Island and the Mainland mountains beyond.
Deer are free to share the majority of the garden space, which Vivian has created with a palette of deer resistant, drought-tolerant plants. Extensive gravel gardens keep down weeding and include a stunning grass bed as well as areas featuring a wide selection of euphorbias, alliums and hellebores. A large fenced area protects vegetables and flowers from the deer, and is resplendent with a frog pond and grand arbor.
100 year old Anglican Church
The church garden, encircled by towering horse chestnut and cedar has the church nestled in a bed of native sword ferns. This welcoming garden invites bees to forage, deer to ramble through and human visitors to enjoy the native plants and bulbs from a calm bench perch. Plants tolerant of summer drought and winter wet have been used and roof water is saved for irrigation. Inside the beautiful wooden church you will find rustic island inspired decor. Come visit a piece of Denman Island history and culture!
Checkerspot Butterfly Reserve
On Denman you can, if you are lucky, spot the rare and beautiful Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly. This butterfly was thought to be extirpated in Canada until it was spotted on the Settlement Lands property in 2005.
To aid in the recovery of wild Checkerspots, a 3.6ha Butterfly Reserve was established in 2014 on the Settlement lands, Central Road, a parcel owned and managed by Denman Conservancy Association.
At the butterfly reserve you will see the habitat that provides shelter and food not only for our endangered butterfly but also for rare dragonflies as well as other pollinators. You will see plants that are critical for their survival like the dainty marsh speedwell and the thyme-leaved speedwell that the larvae use for food.
Map of the Tour
A collection of Home and Garden pictures from the 2015 Tour
Click on a picture to see a larger version
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