Wisteria in Italian Garden can be seen if you take a trip to Royal Roads Hatley Garden, now free to the public. (Photo supplied by Royal Roads)

Wisteria in Italian Garden can be seen if you take a trip to Royal Roads Hatley Garden, now free to the public. (Photo supplied by Royal Roads)

Hatley Gardens at Royal Roads, now free to public

1,500 plants recorded in garden, including 1,000-year-old Douglas Fir

A Greater Victoria attraction just got a little more affordable. Phillip Steenkamp, president of Royal Roads University, announced that the Hatley Park Gardens will be permanently open to the public for free.

The gardens attract tens of thousands of paid visitors year-round and frequently appear on lists of top places to visit in Victoria, British Columbia and Canada.

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According to Steenkamp, the vast majority of the 565 acres of oceanfront, walking trails and old-growth forest the comprise Hatley Park National Historic Site have always been free to neighbours and tourists but now the gates to Hatley Garden will be open as well.

Prior to this announcement adults were charged about $10, students between six and 17-years-old were charged $6.75 and a family pass for the day was $30.

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“It’s a magnificent setting for people who learn, teach and work here,” said Steenkamp in a press release. “I’m delighted that more of our community will now get to enjoy the artistry of the gardens and groundskeepers who care for our botanical and historical treasures.”

According to Barrie Agar, Royal Road’s head gardener, about 1,500 plants have been recorded in the garden including a Douglas fir believed to be 1,000 years old.

Guided tours of the gardens and castle continues to be available for a charge. For more information visit hatleypark.ca/hatley-park-gardens.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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Spring in the Japanese Gardens at Royal Roads Hatley Garden, which is now free to the public. (Photo supplied by Royal Roads)

Spring in the Japanese Gardens at Royal Roads Hatley Garden, which is now free to the public. (Photo supplied by Royal Roads)