My partner and I decided to go for a drive a couple weeks ago since we are still new to this town, it’s a fun way for us to discover new places just by driving around. We hopped in the car destination unknown. And drove off into the evening. It was a pretty warm evening and we opted to drive up Stave Lake Road in Mission.
Stave Lake Road is a long windy road through the Mission Hills passing beautiful homes and lush vegetation. Not long after driving we saw some signs for “Open Garden”. We stopped to have a look as it is seems like a quaint little place from the road. There was a sign welcoming us to the garden and inviting us to take a tour. We walked for a bit looking to see if there was a guide or anyone but there wasn’t.
We walked pasted a house and through the forest, There are paths created for you with lovely messages as you meander your way through. We came across a tiny footbridge made of stone and overlooked the property from the height we were standing. That’s when I finally got a scope of how big this garden was. over TEN ACRES!
It was late in the season so not a lot of plants were in bloom but we were mesmerized by the sheer number of Rhododendron trees present. I remember thinking whom ever the gardener may be they sure love Rhododendrons.
The garden was designed in a way so you were going up, down, under and through small spaces. And on quite a few little paths. But then you would come out and find a nice bench to sit on, relax and take it all in. The gardener also had made some very lovely bird houses all unique in their own special way and hung up all over the garden trail.
As you are walking through, it’s hard to miss the fact that this garden is created for someone’s lover. The messages written on the trees read something like this,
“we were in love throughout any weather and so we had forty years together. She was my love, my wife, and my passion”
As you continue through you feel a sense of making sure you tell your love ones you love them. There are hearts and other symbology of love scattered throughout the path. Finally after much exhaustion and stopping to take photos of this beautiful garden you reached the house again.
At the outside of the house (which is shaped as a castle) is an outbuilding lined with paper and photographs in this building are poems and what seem to be photos of the same lady. Most taken in the 1970s she is blonde, beautiful with very kind eyes. In most of the photos she is alone or with whom i assume is her husband. After surveying the room, it starts to dawn on you that this lady has passed and this garden is a dedication to her by her love, her husband.
“no one can imagine just how much I miss her, I’d give up this whole world to once more hold her near It’s just beyond me why God took her from me.I bet the flowers in Heaven are looking better this year.”
I got chills thinking how lonesome it must be live without the ones we love and how deep a love they must’ve have. This garden is a beautiful homage to such a wonderful love stories and of these two lovers.
If you are in the Fraser Valley, I would strongly suggest you visit this beautiful place and have a walk on one of the several paths around. Take a moment to reflect and enjoy, love and nature.