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Nature-Garden Property,
Ladner/Delta, Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Cdn. $1,299,000.

Unique half-acre naturescaped property for sale, adjacent to the Ladner Marsh Wildlife Management Area south of the Fraser River.  Ten minute walk along dyke to Ladner Village with its charming shops and artisan summer market.  Plenty of recreational opportunities available for kayaking and canoeing, with walking and cycling trails nearby.  A year-round mecca for birders, with Ladner often claiming top spot at the national Christmas Bird Count.  Golf courses, boat launch and yacht clubs also nearby. Skiing on North Shore Mountains less than a one hour commute, and Whistler a three hour drive.  Located 14 kms from Gulf Island ferries and 22 kms from YVR airport.

Slide show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il3xu1QOOQU 

Our Property

The property itself is a year-round nature-lover's paradise with a dozen mature trees and over 50 smaller ones making up several garden rooms. The trees create interesting shafts of sunlight.  Many songbirds make use of the layered landscape which provides food, water, shelter and places to raise young. Barred owls roost in the cedars much of the year, while bald eagles can be seen in the cottonwoods beyond. Bats are present during summer evenings, and it is dark enough to observe stars on a clear night. Anna Hummingbirds feed on winter-flowering shrubs, and have nested in the yard, as do wrens, chickadees, robins and bushtits.

The property's unusual 0.42 acre triangular shape allows for stunning long garden views. Two gurglers attract a variety of birds.  Native plants are part of the extensive woodland gardens and bog garden, which are artistically and professionally designed using nature-scaping principles. Organically maintained vegetable garden comes with apple trees, a grape vine and berry bushes. Frogs are heard in the waterway which is flanked by native riparian vegetation.  Taking gardened areas beyond the property line into consideration, past the sidewalk and up to the curb of the road, the maintained area comes to half an acre.

Our Home and Outbuildings:

This energy-efficient approx. 1500 sq. ft. rancher has 3 comfortable bedrooms, with the master bedroom offering an ensuite bathroom and French doors opening to a multi-level curved deck.  The home features a welcoming, open and bright living/dining room, a functional kitchen with birch cabinets, and an adjacent laundry/utility room, along with one main 4-piece bathroom.

The original home is of solid construction (1957), and is insulated to an R-2000+ standard and comes with a 97% efficiency furnace, resulting in low utility costs. Renovations were based on recommendations from an energy audit. Among extensive renovations: new thermal windows with 1 ft. deep wooden sills; country-stone gas fireplace centrally located (inside wall); much wood throughout (yellow Alaska cedar and Douglas fir) and pine wainscoting in hallway; widened outside walls (extra insulation) with cedar board & batten siding; new roof in 2011 with plywood underlay.

Much attention has been paid to detail with artistic/natural touches throughout, creating a Gulf Island ambience. The picture windows invite the gardens to become part of the inside living space. The house is naturally cooled in summer and feels cottage-cozy in the winter. The insulated clean crawl space comes with a sump. A covered back deck of earthen tiles runs along the back of the house, and showcases a woven wall with planter visible from the kitchen window.

Work from home in a 600 sq. ft. building which features a cozy 340 sq. ft. office/studio with 6" insulated walls and wooden ceiling with rafters for a cabin-feel. Triple panel patio doors open to stone patio with a wonderful view on one of the garden rooms. The other half of the building features a 260 sq. ft. workshop with workbench and storage shelves.

Another 100 sq. ft. hobby/cabin outbuilding, nestled among Western red cedars beside the curved deck, features a loft, skylights and windows, and is insulated with electrical service.

Plenty of covered storage space with two sheds and extended overhang storage for kayaks/canoes. Large composting bins in operation.

Surrounding Area:

Delta is Metro Vancouver's green heart and offers numerous natural attractions. It is situated at the end of the Fraser delta and enjoys a mild maritime climate with significantly less rainfall compared to adjacent municipalities.

The village of Ladner is surrounded by diked farmland within B.C.'s Agricultural Land Reserve, next to marshes with islands such as Westham Island (Reifel Bird Sanctuary), and a major preserved bog (Burns Bog). The entire river delta with its foreshores and uplands with farmland is a globally important stop-over for migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway. In fact, it is known as Canada’s #1 Most Important Bird Area (IBA). See:  http://www.ibacanada.ca/site.jsp?siteID=BC017 .

Along Boundary Bay, snowy owls can be seen most winters, while tens of thousands of snow geese from Wrangle Island (Russia) over-winter in the delta. The area is also known for raptors, from barn owls to harriers, hawks and bald eagles. The web-site of the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust offers more insight into the many birds of our region: www.deltafarmland.ca .

The Delta Naturalists’ Society has created a brochure on Delta Birds which can be found on its website: http://www.bcnature.ca/clubs-and-notices/regions/lower-mainland/delta-naturalists-society/ .

Have a look at this slideshow of Ladner's surroundings, our home and (mostly) the gardens throughout the seasons as this will provide an extensive overview of this park-like nature-garden property: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il3xu1QOOQU 

What we are looking for . . .

. . . are folks who love nature and gardening and who will enjoy and continue to steward this special place, which has not only be home to our family, but also to a large number of creatures. The extensive gardens do require work, but of all garden styles, naturescaping is relatively low maintenance. If desired, naturescape garden services and/or coaching can be provided free of charge for the first year. Living on this property, close-up to nature, is a fascinating, ever-changing experience.

Because of set-backs and its unusual shape, the property is difficult to sub-divide, in which case some of the landbase would be lost to the municipality. There may be a possibility for a coach house over time (check with Delta). A second storey can be added to the main house which is of solid construction. 

The 300 feet long sidewalk host many types of pedestrians and passers-by frequently compliment on the extensive gardens which intrigue many. People detour to see what's new in the gardens, as do nature photographers.

This is nature at your doorstep, while being close to all the attractions big city life offers: the best of both worlds!


For more information on this landmark property featuring a "cottage in the woods" with separate studio, 30 km south from downtown Vancouver, please contact:

Gardens by Nature Landscape Services

Front view:

Living room with fireplace:

Bog garden:

Winter view:

Bird's eye view:

Floor plan:

Ladner, Delta BC:  (Google map)

  • This community of 20,000 offers a village feel with clear boundaries as it is surrounded by farmland (Agricultural Land Reserve)
  • Delta is Metro Vancouver’s green heart with diverse natural areas: delta of the Fraser River, marshes with islands (Reifel Bird Sanctuary on nearby Westham Island), Burns Bog, while Boundary Bay is Canada’s most Important Bird Area (IBA), and the Salish Sea nearby.
  • Recreation: cycling on dykes, canoeing / kayaking in the adjacent Ladner marsh, walking trails, yacht club and boat launches - all directly accessible from home
  • Summer open air farmer / artisan market
  • Many shops in old village centre: health food store, car repairs, hardware stores, bicycle and small engine repairs, credit unions and banks, legal advice, restaurants. No big box stores. London Drugs the only large store besides grocery chains.
  • Historic waterfront soon to be re-developed as a tourist destination
  • 30 km from the big city attractions that Vancouver has to offer
  • Golf course nearby, North Shore mountains 45 minutes away for hiking or skiing
  • Fresh / pure air from the ocean and marsh
  • Close to ferries that offer recreational opportunities on the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island (by car, or walk-on with bicycle)
  • Situated in Sunny South Delta: less rain than YVR or Vancouver city; considerably less rain compared to North Vancouver/North Shore Mountains.


  • One of the best known gardens in Ladner: land-mark half acre + property along the dyke adjacent to Ladner Marsh Wildlife Management Area
  • Actual property size .42 of an acre, but considerably more land is gardened
  • Property is triangular in shape and hard to sub-divide; potential for a future coach-house
  • Spacious, green setting, without a sense of being fenced-in
  • Naturescaped gardens offering amazing ambience in every season
  • Mature trees and younger trees – over 60 in total
  • Several garden rooms each with extensive plant collections: woodland gardens, bog garden, xeriscaped garden, vegetable garden, riparian vegetation along waterway
  • Deep, long garden views with ever-changing dappled sunlight creating interest all day long
  • Incorporation of native plants with garden (exotic) plants
  • Free of English ivy, broom, black berry and Japanese knotweed; no gouts weed, periwinkle or silver nettle (lamium)
  • Property is well drained towards River Road drainage ditch
  • River Road ditch is home to the green frog (Rana clamitans)
  • Pesticide free garden maintenance
  • Summer sightings of bats
  • The night sky can be observed when it's a clear night
  • Healing fragrance of balm of Gilead in early Spring as nearby cotton woods along the edge of the Ladner Marsh open up their buds
  • Much of the year, barred owls reside during the day in the cedar trees; flocks of robins have found shelter from winter storms under the large trees; bald eagles can be viewed in the cotton wood trees along the dyke
  • Some of the other birds that visit the garden: house wren, robin and varied thrush, bushtit, humming bird, chickadee, redwing black bird, stellar jay, king fisher, towhee, cedar waxwing, gold and house finch, Wilson warbler, brown creeper and nuthatch, junco, fox and crown sparrow; flicker, downy and (on occasion) pileated wood peckers; eagles and great blue herons nearby along dyke and marsh
  • Almost every year humming birds, bushtits and wrens make their nests on the property
  • Parts of the gardens are sheltered from major wind
  • Haven for native orchard mason bees (192 cocoons in 2011)
  • Apple trees (3), red currants (2), rhubarb (2), blueberries (4), grape vine (“Interlaken” - white dessert grape)
  • No hydro lines along the 300 foot frontage with the road interfering with tree growth
  • All trees professionally pruned according to ISA standards
  • Bus stop on sidewalk providing easy connection with Ladner Bus Exchange and connections to Richmond / Vancouver and Surrey
  • Two elementary schools nearby, as well as three private schools
  • Ladner Leisure Centre has swimming pool and work out stations
  • Ladner features the Delta Hospital, and also has a hospice facility.

Plant Collections:

  • Native trees: 55-year old multi-trunked Western red cedars (9); Western hemlock (3) and mountain hemlock (2); weeping Alaska yellow cedar (3); vine maples (numerous throughout); Saskatoon berries; Cascara; Trembling aspen (3); Douglas fir (young); dogwood.
  • Exotic/ornamental trees: Three ancient trees known from fossil record: monkey puzzle tree, dawn redwood and ginkgo; mature hazelnut trees (4) are remnants of the original 1930's farm; 3 yellow-variegated varieties of cedar; upright willow (4); deodor cedar; Japanese larch; ornamental pear; Oriental spruce; Hinoki false cypress; English hawthorn (2); upright mountain ash; maple tree varieties: red (5 as a climp), half-moon, Amur and English hedge; Himalayan and rivers birch (clump); Swedish aspen; pin oak (2); Chinese empress tree (Paulownia); dove or handkerchief tree (Davidia); star and sieboldii magnolia; Kousa, February and Eddie’s White Wonder dogwoods; Portuguese laurel; weeping blue Atlas cedar; Carolina silverbell (Halesia); Japanese snowball (Styrax); sumac.
  • Woodland gardens:
    • native plants: ferns (sword, maiden hair, bracken, spiny wood, deer, creeping oak and lady); twisted stalk; trillium; Pacific bleeding heart; piggy back plant; fringe cup; miner’s lettuce; false Solomon’s seal; chocolate lily; goats beard; false lily of the valley; salal; dull Oregon grape; huckleberry; high-bush cranberry; red flowering currants; Devil’s club; Indian plum; snow berry
    • non-native plants: ferns (Japanese painted and Japanese autumn, Alaskan soft shield; and several other exotic ferns); over 12 varieties of hostas; varieties of viola and primula; European ginger; hardy cyclamen; woodruff; Solomon’s seal; rhododendrons; hellebores (3 varieties); foxglove and silver dollar as self-sowing bi-ennials; Japanese anemone.
  • Bog garden: skunk cabbage; yellow monkey flower; yellow sedge; Joe Pye weed; Fillipendula; Rodgersia; Royal Fern; Brunnera and many others
  • Sunny garden spots: tree peony; winter flowering heathers; Doronicum with tulips; hydrangeas; campanula varieties; carpet roses; Oregon grape; chokeberry (Aronia); summer sweet (Clethra)
  • Winter interest: Viburnum bodnatense; Mahonia “Charity”; Himalayan sweet box fragrant at front door in January; English, Corsican and bears’ foot hellebore; Jalena witchhazel; Lonicera fragrantissima; lung wort varieties; silver dollar; paperbark maple clump; catkins on hazelnut trees; drifts of snow drops; Daphne odora; Rhododendron “Rosamund”; crocus; Pieris.  These fragrant winter flowers are the reason for presence of the over-wintering Anna's hummingbird on the property
  • Vegetable gardens have been covered in winter with plastic to allow for winter greens to be harvested
  • River Road ditch riparian plantings: salmon berry, red Osier dogwood; alder; red elderberry; thimble berry; hardhack; beaked hazelnut
  • Vines: clematis (4); trumpet vine; climbing hydrangea; Virginia creeper; Arctic kiwi; winter flowering and common white Jasmine; honey suckle (2)
  • Gardens are virtually weed-free as they are chock-full of plants and heavily mulched with woodchips and leaves; professionally maintained in naturescape style
  • No deer nor rabbit problems
  • No hedges to shear
  • No dogs have roamed the gardens; outdoor cats are discouraged in this haven for birds.

Relatively low-maintenance for the size of the gardens due to the application of naturescape principles, which feature

  • a layered landscape with trees - shrubs - ground covers
  • leaf-litter left on the ground as this provides fodder for myriads of small organisms that form the bottom of the food chain
  • diversity of plant choices with the incorporation of locally native plants
  • seed pods left for food
  • less lawn and many flowers throughout the year for pollinators
  • shrubs arranged as thickets to provide shelter
  • gardening without pesticides
  • snags placed for cavity nesting birds; rock piles; stumps placed to let deteriorate and add to the soil over time; brush piles for safety
  • birds are fed only during the dormant season.


Gardens by Nature Landscape Services

Brackets of handkerchief tree:

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: May 1 2019    ID: 17725