When a garden has this kind of backstory….
“In 1915, the pioneer settler known as Cougar Annie arrived on the west coast in Hesquiat Harbour and homesteaded on this wilderness property. She bore 8 of her 11 children here, outlasted 4 husbands and carved a magnificent, magical garden out of a thick and foreboding rainforest. The remoteness of the area brought inherent risks to Annie and her family; cougars prowled endlessly nearby, sensing easy prey. Ada Annie Rae-Arthur shot and trapped dozens of the animals and thus emerged the legend of Cougar Annie.
and it involves a water landing bi-plane to access…..I am all in.
Janis from Pinecone Camp wrote about visiting and photographing this garden over at poppytalk a couple weeks ago — and though I am headed out on my own nature adventure, I have Cougar Annies Garden in mind for my next big event.
This magical place is located on the wild west side of Vancouver Island near Tofino BC.
You can read more here.
It is surrounded by the tall trees of the West Coast rainforest. From this remote location, Annie ran a nursery garden and shipped countless varieties of plants across Canada. For decades she advertised her wares (and occasionally for husbands) in the Western Producer and in the Winnipeg Free Press. The garden consists of a five-acre clearing, criss-crossed with more than two kilometers of meandering pathways and dotted with outbuildings that once housed goats and chickens. Resurrected from a tangle of salal, Scotch broom, and salmonberry, this garden has endured for nearly 100 years. The survival and the continuity of the garden make it an important heritage site. No other pioneer homestead in Clayoquot Sound remains in private hands and no other garden of this scope exists on the West Coast.
Have you been there? I am obsessed with going…..
images via poppytalk.