Spring comes early in the Gulf Islands when most of the rest of Canada is…
Combining traditional English sensibilities with the characteristic wildness of the west coast, the rose garden honours Hastings House’s history while offering an aromatic outdoor sanctuary.
In June, the roses bloom and the air is sweeter here.
Last summer, we transformed a section of our flower beds into a traditional rose garden and it has quickly become a leading feature of our grounds. Guests can often be seen taking morning strolls along its paths or taking deep breaths to draw in its delightful aroma. It’s not hard to understand why. Chosen for their fragrance, texture, and flavor, our English Tea Roses are a hybrid which combine the best characteristics of both its origins. The result is pure bliss.
Formally divided in four quadrants with a circular bed in the middle, the rose garden was intentionally designed to draw on heritage English garden layouts. Yet the spirit of our location was also an important factor in its creation. Roses are native to North America’s west coast after all, and the colours and arrangement reflect the creativity and originality of our culture.
Four colours, planted in circular patterns, adorn our beds. Yellow, for friendship, creates warm feelings of joy and happiness. White represents innocence, purity and charm. Pink symbolizes gentleness, grace, and admiration. And red, for love, embodies beauty and perfection. Together, they embody the essence of Hastings House.
And the strays? Those are a deliberate and whimsical reminder to think outside the box – in true Salt Spring Island style.
An authentic oasis, the semi-walled garden was meant to create an immersive experience where guests could be surrounded by the scent and the beauty. Indeed, roses are said to open the heart, lift the spirit, and relieve stress. It’s no wonder then, why one recent guest made a detour to the flowers upon her departure, saying “I just have to have one more sniff before I go”.