VANCOUVER (CityNews) — While work crews were clearing bushes along near the Arbutus Corridor on Vancouver’s West Side, they had no idea they’d come upon a secret garden. Since then, the events have been a roller coaster of emotions for the man who started working on it 15 years ago.
The garden that belongs to Cree Binkley has stayed a secret for so long the area was covered in a thick and thorny layer of blackberries.
“It was a substantial amount of work to put together. A lot of the stuff I’ve salvaged from around the Lower Mainland and West side of Vancouver — especially when it’s done all off-grid in the middle of a blackberry patch,” he tells CityNews.
Binkley works in Vancouver’s film industry and lives with his family near the garden.
“It’s a pretty special place for me and my family and friends,” he says.
“We would cook garden dinners and have wine and the sunset and yeah, it’s a pretty special place to sit and enjoy time and get away from the city life.”
And once he got the clue that crews had started uncovering what had remained hidden so long — he rushed out as soon as he could.
Binkley left a note pleading with them not to destroy it when they returned the next morning.
“Thank you very much for having the heart to not destroy my garden,” the note reads.
“If your intention is to destroy this area please contact me first and allow me to remove some items.”
And when Binkley returned to the garden the crew responded with another note which made him feel relieved.
“Keep doing your thing. We are doing everything we can to ensure your (and everyone’s) gardens will be kept safe,” a note from the crew reads.
But the relief has been short-lived. Binkley made a heartbreaking discovery this week. The garden had been vandalized and all his personal belongings have been stolen.
“It’s a pretty horrible feeling. I’ve had the garden over 15 years and even though it’s not my land I still feel pretty violated.”
Without the Blackberry bushes covering the garden, Binkley says it might be a problem.
CityNews has reached out to the City of Vancouver for comment on the future Binkley’s secret garden.