The McLoughlin Gardens are located at the Brian and Sarah McLoughlin Regional Park, a short drive from Courtenay, at 814 Tasman Road, off Williams Beach Road in Merville. Visit the Comox Valley Regional District site for information about the park.
The Gardens are open to the public year-round, during daylight hours. When artists or writers are in residence, some parts of the grounds may be closed to visitors.
The creative residencies at the McLoughlin Gardens currently include one six-week to two-month period for visual artists and one six-week to two-month period for poets or writers. This year there will be two visual artists and one writer.
Please visit our Literary Arts page to find out about consulting with this year’s writer-in-residence, Maleea Acker.
Visit our blog page (News) to learn about the workshops Maleea will be giving on field journaling and the relationship between poetry and place.
A garden with a cottage…
becomes a place to dream and create.
When Brian and Sarah McLoughlin decided to transfer their eleven-acre seaside property to the Comox Valley Regional District, there was some discussion about what would happen to the cottage, designed by Sarah McLoughlin and furnished with treasures from junk stores in the Lower Mainland. With the support of many local organizations, the McLoughlin Gardens Society was formed to run an artist-in-residence program in the cottage.
Launched in 2016, the creative residency at the McLoughlin Gardens invites working artists to pursue their artistic practice while building community engagement in the arts in the Comox Valley.
We had a wonderful turnout for the screening of “The Gardener,” the documentary about Frank Cabot and his remarkable garden in Quebec, Quatre Vents. We raised close to $1,500 (after expenses) for the Society’s various projects, including the repair of the front porch at the cottage, the installation of an information box, and the upcoming residencies this summer.
Tucked away on a rocky beach at the end of Tasman Road in Merville, the McLoughlin Gardens provides the perfect setting for quiet reflection and creative work.
Seals bask on the rocks at low tide. Ravens, herons and eagles are frequent visitors, along with deer, mink, and otter.
Extra pairs of gumboots were always on hand for visitors to the "farm," as it was called in those days. Proper footwear was needed for gathering seaweed on the beach, bringing in the firewood, weeding, mulching, and pruning the nut trees, and for going out for a stroll in the rain!