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Margaret Horsfield and her book Cougar Annie's Garden won the Haig-Brown Prize at the 2000 BC Book Awards. This prize is awarded annually to the book contributing most to the understanding and appreciation of British Columbia.

The writing and the photography in this full-colour book are of the highest quality. The book appeals to a wide audience, including gardeners, local history buffs, and anyone interested in the West Coast and its tall tales.

Some 16,000 copies of the book have been sold. Now in its third printing, Cougar Annie's Garden continues to cast its spell.

Along with Peter Buckland, who single-handedly restored the garden, Margaret Horsfield is in demand as a speaker. Together and separately, they have presented many slideshows about the book, the garden and the Boat Basin Foundation. Should you or your group be interested Contact Us.

To order the book, scroll down or click here.

The book

Margaret with daughter, Emma

Cougar Annie's Garden
: An Overview

A remote garden blooms at the head of Hesquiat Harbour on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Surrounded by rainforest and mountains, this garden has endured for over eighty years. It is powerful with story.

In 1915, Ada Annie Rae-Arthur came to this part of the coast as a pioneer settler. She set to work clearing the land. A garden of strange, meandering beauty slowly emerged from the deep forest. Cougars prowled nearby, and Ada Annie shot dozens of them. She became known as Cougar Annie.

Wily and stubborn, she operated a nursery garden, a store and a post office from her home. She bore eight of her children here, and she outlived four husbands. Until her mid-nineties, she remained in her beloved garden.

Many strands of history and lore combine in this book to weave together Cougar Annie’s story. Many tales are told of the grim courage, blind hope and bitter losses that have shaped history here.

In this book, Cougar Annie' s Garden is set in context; the history of the surrounding coast is explored in detail, and many of the extraordinary ventures in this area are examined.

Cougar Annie’s Garden tells of a dream that lives on. Against all odds, this remarkable garden has survived and it now enters a new era, thriving with fresh energy and beauty. It will be preserved and maintained by the Boat Basin Foundation. The Foundation welcomes groups interested in the ecology of Clayoquot Sound to study at our new Temperate Rainforest Field Study Centre.

Cougar Annie's Garden, by Margaret Horsfield, offers an intriguing perspective on West Coast history. A must for anyone who knows, or wants to know, the coast. A perfect gift. This book is available by direct order.

To order Cougar Annie's Garden contact Salal Books:
Phone: 1-888-858-5455

Salal Books
PO Box 1021
Nanaimo  BC
V9R 5Z2

The slideshow is here...