Main House at Alders Plantation

Vacation Rental & Water Gardens on
beautiful Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

Executive 3-Bdrm, 2-Bath Home & Guest Cabin
Water View of Ganges Harbour & Goat Island
5-min walk to the main town, Ganges Village
Spectacular Gardens with Ponds & Waterfalls

The Spectacular Gardens at Alders Plantation


The Gardens And Water Features at Alders Plantation
Hanging Wisteria at the Gardens

Alders Plantation is well known as a "must-stop" for gardening enthusiasts. Described as the "mini-Butchart Gardens on Salt Spring", the gardens have evolved over the 22-year life of the Plantation and now feature over 570 different species of trees and flowering shrubs with 2200 plants that surround vibrant water features with four ponds, five waterfalls and a babbling brook that runs through the property..

Because of Salt Spring's moderate climate, there is tremendous differentiation in colour, texture, size and variety. There are eleven evergreen and deciduous conifers and twelve different jams canned from fruit and berries on the property. Because Salt Spring is in the rain shadow of Vancouver Island, there is always something in bloom, year-round.

The most-talked-about feature is the spring display of 1200 tulips, which can be seen the second and third weeks of April. Other spring highlights include over 1000 narcissus and daffodils, snowdrops, blue bells and crocus.

Saucer Magnolia Tree and view of Haroud

In March, a 16-ft Saucer Magnolia makes its entrance, along with forsythia, red currants, various plum trees, viburnum and early camellias. April welcomes the two types of Chinese wisteria on the back arbors and front verandah, early clematis, pink dogwood, apple and cherry tree blossoms, the start of 14 red, green and yellow Japanese Acers, as well as several varieties of lilac and heather.

The seven bird boxes begin to see activity at this time. Nesting begins for families of chickadees, nuthatch, swallow, robins, varied thrush, wrens, Stellar jays, pileated woodpecker, dark-eyed juncos, Rufus-sided towhees, common finch and hummingbird as they begin to frequent the property.

The summer displays various annuals, plus delphinium, lupine, liatris, gladiolus, day lilies, hydrangea, peonies and freesia. But the display for which Alders Plantation is best known is its 100+ specimen gardens of giant dahlias and show chrysanthemums, first-place prize winners for Best Bloom and Grand Prize in Salt Spring's annual Fall Fair. There is also an ample harvest of rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries throughout the summer months.

Autumn brings the harvest of fruit from the orchard, eating and wine-making grapes, and kiwifruit. The orchard includes cherry, plum, pear and seven varieties of apple trees (crowd favourite: Red Gravenstein; proprietor's choice: Mutsu).


Throughout the year, the woodlands and shade gardens near Alders Cabin exhibit striking colours and contrasts. 20 Astilbe, 35 hosta, 22 fern including cinnamon and maiden hair, 12 rhododendrons and five azaleas are flanked by Indian grasses, sweet flag, viburnum, camellia, hydrangea and brown yew. The woodlands garden features diadora cypress and deciduous larch, along with arbutus, western red cedar and giant Douglas and balsam fir trees.


The water gardens include four ponds, five waterfalls and a 65-ft streambed that support fauna including ducks, fish, turtles and frogs. 'Through an intricate system of underground pipes and drains, a water encatchment system provides rainwater to the ponds and recycles it to the house and gardens. The large-rock waterfalls are all made from local glacial and river rock that was left behind during the last ice age. In the summer months, the ponds offer 23 varieties of grasses, marigolds, iris and water lilies.

Are you an avid gardener? Be sure to check out these garden clubs while in the pacific northwest area:

Pacific Northwest Dahlia Conference
The Victoria Horticultural Society and Glendale Gardens

Puget Sound Dahlia Society
Washington State Dahlia Society
National Chrysanthemum Society - Washington Chapter

If visiting the Victoria area during your stay, be sure to see The Butchart Gardens and Victoria's Horticultural Centre of the Pacific.


Are you a garden club member? If so, show your card and receive a 10% discount on the first night of your Bed & Breakfast stay at Alders Plantation!

Your hosts are also gardening specialists. There will be several half-hour seminars (typically 1:00-1:30 pm) on aspects of gardening and caring for plants offered two to three times a week during the summer. Check the schedule of these events when you check-in. Seminars are free to guests of the Plantation.

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