Nancy and Bill Singer

Chilliwack Rotary Garden Tour invites the public into nine private oases

There are ten stops on this year’s Chilliwack Rotary Garden Tour — nine are privately owned gardens, and the 10th is Minter Gardens.

Imagine strolling through a vast garden, along curved, well-maintained trails, surrounded by more than 2,500 plants all imported from different locations around the world.

This isn’t a public garden. It’s one of the nine privately owned gardens open to the public next weekend during the 11th annual Chilliwack Rotary Garden Tour on Saturday.

The 2.5-acre imported-plant garden is owned by Chris and Jane Byra and has a stunning view atop Chilliwack Mountain, on Honeysuckle Drive, overlooking the mighty Fraser River.

“Virtually every plant is labelled with the Latin name, common name, and where it’s from,” says Dianne Darke, chairperson of the tour (pictured below).

Below the Byras are their neighbours, Nancy and Bill Singer, whose house is also one of the stops on the tour. The Singers, too, are on a 2.5-acre plot of land, and they’re surrounded by more than 1,000 rhododendrons, plus Japanese maples, azaleas, hydrangeas and more.

“It’s like a little utopia,” says Bill Singer.

Both the Byras and the Singers have spent thousands of hours over the years building and maintaining their gardens without hired help.

“We love being outside, we love exercise, and we love gardening,” says Singer.

There are ten stops on this year’s Chilliwack Rotary Garden Tour — nine are privately owned gardens, and the 10th is Minter Gardens.

The nine gardens range in size from 2.5 acres to small city-sized lots, like the Clarke garden on Wells Road. And they vary in shape, too. The Fox garden is a steep bowl shape on Sunrise Drive, and the Clouatres own a beautiful corner lot on Wiltshire Road.

Each year, the gardens featured on the tour are new. None of the gardens is featured more than once, which makes it new and exciting every year for the guests, says Darke.

The tour attracts three different types of visitors — the hardcore gardeners, those looking for ideas for their own garden, and people who are simply out for a nice day in Chilliwack.

“The function of the garden tour is to raise money for charity, to give people ideas as to what they can do in their own gardens, plus it’s a community project so that people can see the beauty of Chilliwack,” says Darke.

The tour is hosted by the Rotary Club of Chilliwack, and all of the money from ticket sales goes to local and international charities.

Every year, the Chilliwack Rotary Garden Tour brings people from all over the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley to Chilliwack. Many are first-time visitors.

“People often say, ‘I had no idea that Chilliwack was so beautiful,’” says Darke.

The Chilliwack Rotary Garden Tour runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 22. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at several different locations, including The Chilliwack Progress office. Tickets include a one-day entry to Minter Gardens for either June 22 or June 23.

For more info, including ticket locations and garden locations, go to www.chilliwackrotarygardentour.ca.

photo@theprogress.comtwitter.com/PhotoJennalism

Just Posted

Third storm in a week hits Chilliwack

Power knocked out to about 2,600 BC Hydro customers

Chilliwack Chiefs rally falls one short in loss to Langley

The Rivermen jumped out to a 4 goal lead then hung on for a 4-3 win at Prospera Centre.

UPDATED: Gunfire erupts in quiet Langley neighbourhood early this morning

Police have 79A Avenue cordoned off after reports of shots just before 5 a.m.

Search continues near Ashcroft for missing Prince George woman

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Prevailing in the face of adversity

Chilliwack pilot living life to fullest will speak at UFV Oct. 23

VIDEO: Daze of Derby hosts teams from around B.C. and Washington

Reformatted tourney squeezed all the action into a one-day event.

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Most Read