While chilling out in Ucluelet (which is here for you out-of-towners), I read most of Cougar Annie’s Garden. By Margaret Horsfield, it tells the story of Ada Annie Arthur, later know as Cougar Annie. She settled in the wilderness of Clayoquot Sound in 1915, went through four husbands and had at least eleven children. She rarely left her tiny house and sprawling garden until she was carried out, dying and near blind, in the late eighties. She lived a long and fascinating life in some of Canada’s most unforgiving wilderness. To this day, you can only reach her property by boat or seaplane.
One guy, Peter Buckland, single-handedly revived her 7 acres of garden. Since then, the Boat Basin Foundation was established to manage the garden and run the Temperate Rainforest Field Study Centre. From Tofino, you can tour Cougar Annie’s garden and visit the Centre. That’s definitely a to-do for 2006.
Cougar Annie deserves a Wikipedia entry. So, I started one.