A Walk on the Wild Side

Hi everyone! Janis here, from Pinecone Camp. With a few long weekends coming up in the next couple of months, I thought I'd share a magical place with you, located on the wild west side of Vancouver Island. Cougar Annie's Garden, near Tofino BC. Have you been to this part of Canada? It's a pretty spectacular place. I had the opportunity to shoot Cougar Annie's garden, with Erin Mclaughlin (editor of Style at Home and Canadian Gardening), and a writer, Masa Takei, a while back. I have to admit, I'm a city girl, but I absolutely loved hanging out here. The story of Cougar Annie is fantastic too. She settled here in 1915, had 11 kids, many husbands, and had to kill several cougars. A fascinating woman. You can read more here, but I'll fill in a few bits through the post.

This was our float plane that would take us to Hesquiat Penisula Provinical Park, where Cougar Annie's garden is located. It was just before 5am, best light of the day for shooting a garden. Only a 12 minute flight to our destination so all was looking good.

Looking down on Cougar Annie's garden from the plane. Incredible view.

No one was there to meet us, so we had to find the garden ourselves. I have no sense of direction, so I was happy that Erin is a human compass. After a 3 km walk, and noticing some large animal tracks, we finally found it! Erin is the one in awe, on the right.

The entire place is one huge moss carpet. Looks and smells beautiful and it's fantastic to walk on.

Beautiful lupin, and some remnants from the past.

The original house is crumbling. Cougar Annie operated a general store and a post office out of her home. Her main business was her nursery, and she shipped plants all over Canada.

Natural paths, moss all over the trees, and a stunning variety of plant life. If anyone knows what the plant is, bottom right, I'd love to know. I had been told it was something like a "venus flytrap". Really?

I know many of you have heard of, or been to, Tofino, maybe even did a little surfing, but if you get the chance, you really should check this place out. I think a visit to Tofino, and a trip to Cougar Annie's would make a perfect long weekend!


An interiors and lifestyle photographer (and closet baker by night), Janis Nicolay hails from Vancouver and adores travel, airports, road trips, camping and mid-century style.

Blog: pineconecamp.blogspot.com
Site: janisnicolay.com

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