One of the most threatened ecosystems in Canada is the Garry Oak meadow. So it’s no small feat that a small pocket still exists in the midst of Victoria’s urban sprawl.
Playfair Park is a tiny city park tucked away in Saanich. It’s about 15 minutes by car from downtown and somewhat tricky to find.
Although it’s a lovely park at any time of the year, the best time to see it is when the purple camas lilies burst into bloom in late April/early May. There are thousands of lilies which create a sea of purple around the old Garry Oak trees. There are a few other varieties of wildflower mixed in, but this really is about the lilies.
The park is one of Victoria’s best kept secrets
Around the same time as the camas bloom, the rhododendrons and azaleas in another part of the park are also reaching their peak. The shrubs have been pruned so that the wandering the meandering paths through the grove is like walking through tunnels of flowers. The bluebells carpet the garden beds while overhead rhodos and azaleas are ablaze with colour. Absolute magic.
If you happen to be here in April, you’ll also get to see the mass blooming of fawn lilies. These delicate flowers grow here in abundance.
This park is well worth finding and checking out, especially during spring.
How to find it:
The park is located at 1198 Rock St, Victoria
You can access this secluded park from Rock Street and at the end of Cumberland Road. The main parking lot is located off Rock Street.