The Woodlands is one of the last untouched Garry Oak meadows on southern Vanocuver Island. The gardens, approximately 22 acres, or 2/3 of the property, lie behind and below the House. The Woodlanders (as the volunteers call themselves) consider themselves stewards of this unique ecosystem. They have worked since 1991 to create a habitat for plants, birds, bees, and butterflies.
To restore the native habitat, they remove invasive species and encourage native plants such as salal, sword ferns, Nootka rose, and Oregon grape. Spring blooms range from satin-flowers, spring-gold and Indian plum’s dangling blossoms, followed by oak buds, white fawn lilies, purple-blue camas, shooting star, western buttercups, to ground orchids and delicate harvest broadiaea. Fall rains bring mosses and licorice ferns.
The best time to view the Woodlands is in the spring, from March to early June. An interpretive board at the trailhead provides restoration information, flora illustrations, and nine numbered trailside viewpoints, which include a rare trembling aspen grove.