|Centuries ago, a massive mountain slide swept over the fertile lands of the eastern Fraser Valley. The rock fall pushed north across the Fraser River and ended its westerly flow at the area which is now Minter Gardens. The unique land formations left the area unsuitable for crop farming, but early settlers found it ideal for raising cattle and other animals. Tall native specimen trees added to the charm of the location, and thousands of wild geraniums, columbine, roses and bleeding hearts added a finishing touch.
It was this site that Brian and Faye Minter first saw on Christmas Day, 1977. The landscape was so unique, and the setting against 7,000 foot Mt. Cheam so picturesque, that a once-in-a-lifetime dream was born. To create one of the most beautiful gardens in the world! Their dream became reality in May of 1980. Minter Gardens is a 32-acre floral masterpiece that dazzles the senses through 11 themed gardens, including Alpine, Japanese, Fern and Lake Gardens. A detailed map is provided for a self guided tour of the garden. As we strolled through the gardens, one breathtaking vista after another appeared, displayed as artistically as anything we've ever seen. I can barely do it justice with words, the pictures (and videos) will have to tell the story.
Larry enjoyed chatting with one of the gardeners working today and learned that Minter Gardens is ever evolving, and each season offers a different dramatic view. For instance, close to 100,000 tulips, imported from Holland, welcome visitors each spring. We were a bit disappointed that there weren't more informational signs. He explained that the beds are constantly changing and it would be a daunting task to keep them up-to-date. And the owner really wants an uncluttered showcase. We can understand that and agree that he has succeeded!
As we moved along, the rhododendrons were colorful amid the huge cedar trees and the rock wall terraces. A breathtaking display of traditional English country gardens and other botanical wonders provided an excellent place to 'stop and smell the roses'. Summer brought masses of annual color adorning topiary features and beds, along with the blooms of the Rose Garden. Beautiful! The gardens close in mid-October (this year October 12th) as many of the flowers are gone by then. But because of the warmer than usual weather we are experiencing, the garden is still open and in wonderful condition for us to enjoy today.
Perhaps my favorite stop was the 'Water Wall'. What a cool place it was, to sit, close our eyes, and just listen. To reflect on how blessed we are to be sharing this wonderful place together. To be in good health, looking forward to each new experience around the corner. Wow, getting a bit sappy now, ehhh?
Well, that's it for now. My last comment is that the Gardens are at once a kaleidoscope of color, a place of serene beauty, and a gardener’s source of inspiration. Set among the cool, quiet woodlands that surround gurgling brooks and water falls, it truly provides a wonderful day of respite. Enjoy...
PS I took over 250 pics today and I had one heck of a time choosing what to share. I kept in under 50...I know that is a lot, but hopefully, you'll find them worth the time it takes to look. Otherwise, just check out the few short videos also attached...