Garden’s blooms returning to life

Oak Bay completes major overhaul of rose garden at Windsor Park

Municipal gardener Helen Strohschein plants some new roses at the rose garden in Windsor Park.

Municipal gardener Helen Strohschein plants some new roses at the rose garden in Windsor Park.

Like a phoenix, Oak Bay’s most fragrant garden is coming up roses – again.

“The rose garden had reached its age a bit. The roses weren’t as prolific anymore,”  said municipal gardener Helen Strohschein. “Since the garden’s been built, we’ve come across issues with drainage.”

Faced with age, soil-borne disease and improper drainage, the rose garden adjacent to Windsor Park just wasn’t thriving.

Several tonnes of new soil and new plants later, they expect to have the garden restored even beyond its former glory.

“It’s something that we’ve discussed over quite a few years. The roses have been replaced, some have been there longer periods of time,” said Strohschein. “It’s a heritage site so a top-priority garden. We decided to take an opportunity … Let’s just rethink the whole garden.”

As a longtime employee working in the area, she’s seen the patronage, so when given the opportunity to redesign, she thought about the people she’d seen using the space.

“My biggest focus was, being there over multiple years, it’s a place that people seem to walk into but they leave very quickly. I wanted to create more of a green space within the garden,” Strohschein said. “I wanted to create spaces people could come in and spread a blanket and sit and eat and not feel like they had to get up and go.”

Parks expects the complete redesign to finish this week, featuring new bed locations, soil irrigation and 187 new roses all in a new layout.

“We’ve dialled down the beds, there will be half the beds there were prior,” said Strohschein. “”We’re trying to keep the same amount (of roses).”

Beds will feature tree roses, and the only original remaining rose will return, a Ruth Alexander climbing rose.

They expect loads of blooms by June.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
School bus driver laments motorists who pass while red lights are flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

Victoria police are seeking home surveillance video and witnesses following a prowling incident in Esquimalt Jan. 20. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prowler removes air conditioner, peers into person’s home

VicPD is seeking video footage, witnesses following Jan. 20 incident

A cyclist navigates the shoulder in traffic along Oak Bay Avenue in Victoria. (John Luton Photo)
Oak Bay council supports Fort Street bike lanes

Victoria bike lanes would connect to Cadboro Bay Road

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Victoria police are warning people of a continued rise in cybercrime. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)
Victoria police warn of rising cybercrime called spear phishing

Fraudsters continue to trick people out of large sums of money

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

Most Read