Lorraine Weldrick sits with a the vision for the Eliza Kilby Rose Garden, which outlines where patio furniture and new plants could go. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Fundraiser to support new rose garden at Kilby

The Harrison Mills historic site is hoping to update a new garden space

Volunteers at Kilby are hoping to turn an overgrown jungle into a new attraction for the historic site: the Eliza Kilby Rose Garden.

“It’s a farm property, so we’re not going to make it super fussy, not really high Victorian,” volunteer Lorraine Weldrick explained. But, “rose gardens have been around for eons so (it will be) something that sort of gives people a feeling of stepping into the past, which they definitely do when the come to the site.”

Weldrick is a member of the garden committee at Kilby, a group of seven volunteers who come together to weed, prune, mow and water the gardens around the Harrison Mills heritage property.

RELATED: Paintings return to Kilby for fifth annual festival

It takes a lot of time to manage the plant life around the historic site — the volunteers come together each Thursday for “work bees” — and some areas take more effort than most. One of these was the garden in behind the restaurant.

An artist paints the flowers in what volunteers hope will become the Eliza Kilby Rose Garden during the fifth annual Plein Air Festival in August. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

“It had so much potential,” Weldrick said about the garden, which is filled with annuals, a few shrubs, some perennials and a good portion of blackberries.

“When you sit in the restaurant and you look out the windows, and you see this lovely little enclosed courtyard — it just looked like it was crying for some love.”

That’s how the garden committee came up with a plan for the Eliza Kilby Rose Garden.

Named after general store owner Thomas Kilby’s English wife, the garden will feature a number of rose plants that will bloom throughout the summer, as well as a few tall perennials and a smattering of seasonal annuals. The interior of the courtyard will be seeded with grass, and vintage patio tables and chairs will create a quiet atmosphere.

“We want to make it pretty, and easy maintenance as well,” Weldrick said.

Right now, the garden committee is busy preparing the gardens for the winter ahead, so they can get to work planting, replanting and tending when the spring comes. (The plan is to have the rose garden ready for a grand opening around Easter next year.)

SEE ALSO: Mother’s Day at Kilby

The volunteers also busy preparing for a fundraiser that will help the historic site with the two most expensive parts of the Eliza Kilby Rose Garden project: building a ramp for access into the restaurant and purchasing the rose plants.

On Saturday, Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m., the Sasquatch Inn will be hosting a fundraiser for the rose garden project. Tickets to the fundraiser at $20, and will provide attendees with a burger and their choice of drink, as well as the opportunity to participate in raffles, a 50/50 draw and a silent auction.

(Tickets are available through the Kilby Historic Site by calling 604-796-9576.)

“This entire project is based on whatever we can raise and volunteers,” Weldrick said. “Some things may have to be done in stages if we can’t hit our goals, but we’re working at it.”

“We love it, and we’re putting our hearts and souls into it,” she added. “And our backs. And our garden gloves.”



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Mount Woodside bike trail planning underway

With this week’s Council approval, planning can begin

PHOTOS: Sts’Ailes students scale glaciers as part of mountain skills and wilderness program

‘It’s not just about taking kids hiking, it’s actually about connecting them to the land’

Chilliwack man who sexually assaulted young boys released from prison

Statutory release for Don Putt who Parole Board calls an ‘untreated sex offender’

Fraser Cascade superintendent announces retirement

Dr. Karen Nelson has worked for School District 78 for 29 years

Not over yet: Mixture of snow, freezing rain on way as winter storm tapers in Lower Mainland

Environment Canada releases weather alert for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Should winter tires be mandatory in the Lower Mainland?

ICBC dial-a-claims go up as winter storm takes toll

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

Abbotsford bank ATM robbery thwarted by woman standing her ground

Police arrest alleged known robber running down South Fraser wearing balaclava

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Fire truck, police car hit in chain of crashes on Hwy. 99

‘People weren’t paying attention,’ says Surrey assistant fire chief

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Most Read