Have you been to the Gardens at HCP in December before? Of course, people think of coming to the Gardens in the spring and summer for the fresh colour, the scent of the roses, the shade of the Takata Japanese Garden, or to be inspired for their own home veggie gardens. But, in December, when it is dormant, it doesn’t always occur to locals to come for a walk in a natural garden, however we hope you change your mind.

I went for a walk last week and it was magical!. I could see swans in the distance on the lake and a mist resting on the many shades of green, from the gentle ferns to the waving Douglas ferns. The striking beauty though was in the details of the resting plants that are so easy to walk by without noticing. Buds of promise on the rhododendrons, hints of blue still left on the sleeping hydrangeas, cherry red rose hips and a few tenacious roses still in bloom. All of these little features encourage the wanderer to slow down and marvel. Holiday shopping, social engagements, increased traffic, and the commercialism of a special season can make even the most enthusiastic reveller feel overwhelmed. Our recommendation is a mindful walk in our Garden. Bring your camera and take the time to capture the beautiful angles and the glorious winter light or come with nothing in your pockets and leave the distractions at home – whatever helps YOU to slow down and notice the beauty of the quiet natural world.

I have worked at the Gardens for 3 years and I am always noticing something new when I have taken a walk through the Gardens. There are so many ways to get off the beaten path and the Garden is always changing, shifting and evolving. If you can, consider a membership to see how the Garden changes throughout the year – we have a promotion for gift memberships right now and the gift of an experience can be more meaningful (and environmentally friendly) than an object. If you are feeling financially stretched, December is by donation. We will be closed over the holidays to refresh and be with our families. The last open day is December 17th and we look forward to seeing you when we open for the new season on January 6th. Have a very safe and happy holiday season from all of us at the Gardens at HCP!