July 17, 2013

Lakeside Gardens Resort at St Mary Lake on Salt Spring

Four years ago I began to visit a place on Salt Spring Island called Lakeside Gardens. Sherry has been coming here for ten years and she introduced me to its charm and beauty.

Lakeside Gardens Resort sits on a narrow property on the east side of St Mary Lake about 6 km from Ganges. To call it a resort conjures up all sorts of images, at least it did for me before I arrived four years ago. In fact, it is rustic and one-step above camping. If camping isn't your thing, and if going up to the big house to use the facilities isn't a lifestyle choice you care to make, this probably isn't for you, and that would be unfortunate because you will be missing out on something truly wonderful.

There are two self-contained cabins each featuring facilities and a fire place, but they are removed from the lakefront. The dozen or so cabanas are mostly at the water's edge and offer a loft type of bed (a mattress on boards would be a better description), outdoor cooking, lights and power, and apart from your own food and towels, most everything you will need (sheets, dishes, cutlery, pots and pans, etc.).

Some of the cabanas are fairly private, secluded behind trees and tall grasses. Our favourite cabana, number seven, is literally on the lake and the view offered at sunrise is breathtaking. In fact the changing views through the entire day are fantastic, as are the sounds of the lake.

Through the day the light dances on the lake in a myriad different ways, eagles soar overhead, ducks and geese glide past. Early in the morning the song birds delight and in the cool of the evening the frogs celebrate the first stars.

The resort offers several grassy knolls, fishing, boating and swimming. It is the kind of place where a kid can be a kid. It is also a place for quiet and peace, to get lost in a book or in yourself.

St Mary Lake on Salt Spring Island, and Lakeside Gardens. I love it here.

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