Apple, pear and plum trees as well as goose berry bushes form part of the Orchard on the eastern side of the St. Ann’s Academy Gardens. This property that has three different gardens that were planted by and for the sisters and students of the old academy. The Novitiate Garden, where the novices could enjoy some solitude, lies on the southern side of the building. This area has some symbolic and practical plants like rosemary, basil was well as veronica and daisies. The Formal Garden contains an amazing collection of plants that surround the Academy Green. Swedish birch, blue Atlantic cedar, tulip and copper beech trees are seen in this area that was designed by Missionaries Father Adrian Vullinghs and Sister Mary Collette in the mid eighteen hundreds. The two and half hectare property is contained with a tall rock wall and wrought iron entrance gates off of Humbolt Street. Now a footpath, the original driveway allee is bordered by hedges that lead to the five story convent, school and medical building, rebuilt to currently house provincial government staff. As the pathway diverges around the building, take a look for the two large sierra redwood, also known as giant sequoia or Sequioadendron giganteum, trees. They, as seedlings, were gifts to the school in eighteen seventy by the McQuade family, ship chandlers. This Canadian national historical site is found at 835 Humbolt Street in near the downtown of Victoria, B.C. Beacon Hill Park borders on this garden to the south. Thunderbird Park, Cridge Park, Collinson Street Green space, Mt. St. Mary Hospital Green Space and McClure Street Green Space are nearby.
Geographic coordinates N48° 25′ 09” W123° 21′ 48″
St Ann’s Academy Garden can be reached from Blanchard Street. Turn right onto Humbolt Street where the northwestern edge of the gardens can be seen and accessed. This parkland is surrounded by Humbolt Street, Quadra Street, Southgate Street and Blanchard Streets. There is roadside parking along these streets and a small paid parking area off of Blanchard Street. This parking area is best accessed when headed north. City buses travel past the park from downtown Victoria.
Further information and maps are available from St Ann’s Academy website.