Celebrate Mother’s Day and spring with a virtual musical garden tour

Celebrate Mother's Day and spring with a virtual musical garden tour

For Bryan Emery, who’s been growing and cultivating flowers for 26 years, gardening is truly a labour of love.

“I’ve always had a bit of a passion for plants,” Bryan says. “I love interesting and unique plants, the diversity in the plant world.”

Looking at it now, it’s hard to believe there was no garden to speak of when Bryan moved into his Saanich home 11 years ago.

He’s spent the last decade filling it with plants — thousands of plants — and now has close to 10,000 specimens.

“If you start hoarding plants, you have to do something pretty with them,” laughs Bryan.

Most of his plants, including many rare and unusual ones, are from the Southern Hemisphere. And a special high-elevation greenhouse in Bryan’s backyard is home to one of the largest orchid collections on Vancouver Island.

“I try not to count because then people judge but I probably have over a thousand,” Bryan quips. “But small ones so they all fit!”

Bryan’s eclectic and unusual garden is one of eight hidden gems on the Victoria Conservatory of Music Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour — which is virtual this year due to COVID.

“Just like you would experience them in person, these are the same types of tours,” explains Tereza Anderson of the Victoria Conservatory of Music. “You meet the homeowner and they take you on a guided tour of the backyards.”

Students’ music will play in the background and you can also make an online tribute to your mom or someone special.

Thanks to some generous donors, all donations made between April 25th and May 16th will be matched, up to $20,000, for this important fundraiser.

“It’s critical for us to stay open,” Tereza says. “We have seen a dip (in enrollment) and ensuring we have this funding to keep the conservatory going is key to keeping us afloat.”

For Bryan, the chance to share his eclectic and unique space is a great way to give back.

“If someone comes to you and says, by doing that thing you love doing you can help people, why wouldn’t you?” Bryan says.

Click on this link to make a donation.

Gardening is truly a labour of love for Bryan Emery, who’s been growing and cultivating flowers for 26 years. (CHEK News)

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