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When visiting Parksville Qualicum Beach, it’s hard to miss the manicured flower displays, colourful flower baskets hanging in the town of Qualicum Beach, and rows of trees lining our streets and walkways.
For years, Parksville Qualicum Beach has been a Communities in Bloom award-winner, and if you walk or drive around, it’s easy to see why.
More than just parks and beaches, the beautiful gardens created and kept by our residents are one of our region’s best-kept secrets. The local gardens here range from wild woodland yards, rambling English country gardens, or wildflower pollinator plots. All are beautiful in their own way. And with more people spending time at home and tending to their gardens over the last two years, there couldn’t be a better time (or place) to celebrate spring!
To mark the occasion, we’ve put together a list of estates and gardens that you can admire across Parksville Qualicum Beach.
Here are several public gardens that we highly recommend visiting during your stay in Parksville Qualicum Beach. Some of them have a small entrance fee, while some of them are free to visit.
Voted one of the top ten best public gardens in Canada by Canadian Geographic Travel, Milner Gardens & Woodland is the crown jewel of Qualicum Beach. Escape into a botanical oasis where you will find over 500 varieties of rhododendrons, trees and shrubs, along with walking trails and an English-style tea house fit for a queen! No, really? Milner Gardens has hosted royal guests, including Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Princess Diana!
This 28-hectare historic estate is tucked away from the rest of the world and located right along Qualicum Beach’s shoreline and amongst an old-growth Coastal Douglas Fir forest. If you didn’t know it was here, you would easily drive right by! They also have a garden centre and nursery where you can buy plants and flowers to plant in your own garden.
The Parksville Community Park is one of Parksville’s many treasures. It draws in thousands of visitors each year, partly because of its sandy beach and renowned Parksville Beach Festival but also because of its incredible parkland landscape beside the sea.
Unique to this park is the arboretum, which was created in 1994 and continues to provide residents and visitors educational opportunities by demonstrating the benefits and beauty of trees in our growing urban landscape. It is the only arboretum in the province and in Canada outside of southern Ontario.
The City of Parksville says “its primary mission is to promote an understanding and appreciation of trees and nature by providing well-documented plant collections arranged aesthetically and ecologically in an exhibition designed for professional and public study and quiet enjoyment. Over the years, operations staff in consultation with City arborists chose uncommon trees to our local ecosystem, providing a wide variety of different species and ages in the arboretum, both native and exotic.” We hope you come to visit it for yourself!
If you are driving along Island Highway, you will notice a beautiful display of flowers with season-inspired displays at the Pym Street intersection. This is put on by the City of Parksville’s Parks department.
Is there anything better than enjoying tea and a pastry while admiring a beautiful garden? Stop by Wild Culture Artisan Bakery in Qualicum Beach, Wednesday through Friday, to pick up a tasty treat and admire Jean’s tranquil garden patio between her bakery and home.
Butterfly World in Coombs is a seasonal attraction that is known for its beautiful butterflies and fascinating reptiles. But what many people don’t know is that it also has a beautiful outdoor space, complete with a Koi fish pond and bridge. And while inside hosts the butterfly sanctuary, it is also a tropical oasis complete with palm trees, orchids and birds of paradise.
As you drive into the village of Qualicum Beach, you are automatically welcomed by tree-lined streets, flower baskets, and perfectly manicured hedges. Visitors commonly describe Uptown Qualicum Beach as charming, picturesque, and quaint, partly due to the blooming flowers and thoughtful landscaping.
As local residents, one of our favourite things to do in our neighbourhood is to walk around residential streets and admire the beautiful gardens sprinkled with colourful flowers and whimsical ornaments. Here are a few private gardens recommended and loved by our community.
Note: When visiting these gardens, please remember to be respectful as they are private property.
Have we missed your favourite garden in the area? Be sure to send us a message on Instagram or Facebook (tag #myPQB) and tell us or send us photos of your favourite, and we’ll be sure to add it to this list!
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