It’s becoming an annual tradition for my mom and I to make our way to the Art & Bloom Festival each May long weekend at Woodland Gardens in Merville, just minutes north of Courtenay. The festival features original works by local artists, potters, sculptors, glass blowers, original stained glass designers, garden art and other unique crafts.

Though I’ve always enjoyed the Filberg Festival each August, I am starting to really prefer the simple beauty at Woodland Gardens. The Art & Bloom Festival feels free of pretension in a setting that is “a feast for the senses … nature’s healing powers contained in this serene beauty bring a calmness and tranquility to the soul.”

I promise that I don’t carry Jordy around everywhere with me. All the people milling around had him a little bit overwhelmed at times.

I spent a lot of time admiring the various pieces for sale by carver Courtney Powell. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I settled on a wicked pair of crescent-shaped douglas fir earrings. I’m still somewhat regretting that I didn’t snag the burled red cedar pair also – they smelled heavenly.

See… overwhelmed. Well, either that or he’s just so much of a cuddlebug that loves his mommy too much to be apart from her.

Darrel Hancock had far too much that was far too beautiful, but since I couldn’t scoop it all up, I settled on one piece. I’m looking forward to visiting his Qualicum Beach studio (located just off the Alberni Highway) this summer to bring a butter dish and serving platter home with me.

The Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society was on hand with a live hawk, demonstrating the fruits of the hard work the society does in rescuing ill, injured, orphaned or oiled wildlife. Without this society, many of Vancouver Island’s wild birds wouldn’t otherwise have a chance for survival.

Aside from the Art & Bloom Festival, Woodland Gardens features many other events over the year – especially at Christmas with twinkling lights and nightly visits from Santa Claus in the barn. Be sure to visit Woodland Gardens’ website for more information and history on how the gardens were created.

Woodland Gardens are located at 6183 Whittaker Road, Courtenay, BC, Phone: (250) 338-6901. Admission is $8 for adults, $2 for children 5-12 and free for those under 5. The gardens are open each day from 9:00 a.m. until dusk.

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3 Comments on “ART & BLOOM FESTIVAL 2009

  1. Had a great time again…such amazing artisans. I especially loved the paintings by Jennifer Olsen and Autumn Skye.

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