Oceanside Nature Retreat Habitat B&B Courtenay BC
"It's like being on an Island of Serenity - an ideal park like retreat just minutes from Courtenay."
Eco Tourism Bed Breakfast Accommodation in the Comox Valley
Acquired in 2001, the Royston House B&B property encompasses approximately two acres. Originally the orchard for the "Hilton Manor" next door, it is mostly undisturbed or regenerated land. Large Douglas fir trees anchor the south border alongside the magnificent Garry Oak. Mature stands of Ninebark, Red-osier Dogwood, Alder and Wild Cherry can be found throughout the property.
Our mostly native plant gardens were designed to respect the natural environment, which attracts a widely diverse group of wildlife throughout the year. More than 25 species of birds, Blacktail deer and rabbits feed on the native plants, seeds and bugs.
Mason Bees are encouraged and used extensively as fruit and tree polinators. We currently have over 2000 Orchard Mason Bees at Royston House in 12 blocks that we have created using dry fir, alder and cedar including one old alder stump. We add 2-3 new blocks each year to handle our expanding Mason Bee population. Our plants begin to flower in February so they are ready when the Bees come out.
One of our unique birds is a species at risk in BC, Western Purple Martins, have nesting boxes on pilings by the Royston Wrecks and in 2010 this colony produced 43 young.
Royston House Habitat:
- Heritage King apple trees that were planted more than 80 years ago.
- Oceanside walking trails (previous deer trails), interplanted with
Rhododendrons and additional native plants.
- Pocket gardens on the outer edge of woodlands and meadows.
- A bog pond and adjoining trails.
- A series of ponds to assist in controlling water runoff
- An artificial pond at the house entrance.
- A berry patch.
Naturalized berry areas include:
- Oregon Grape
Cultivated Fruit grown Organically for Guests :
- Heritage King Apples - delicious apple juice
"What a treat to stay in your Carriage House, tour your amazing gardens and sample your fruits. I loved being able to take a sauna too. I look forward to our next visit." G ~ Vancouver
A variety of Mini-ecosystems exist in Royston House Habitat:
The North/Northeast Oceanside is largely shaded and dry in the summer. Winters benefit from the moist and warmer S-SE winds. Understory plants are mostly mosses, Oregon Grapes, False Lily of the Valley, ferns, Trillium and Fawn Lily. Overstory includes Ninebark, Oceanspray, Hawthorn, Snowberry, Salmonberry, Red-osier Dogwood plus alder, wild cherry, fir and Big Leaf maple trees. This is the favourite bird habitat for nesting and feeding.
The South Meadowside is largely open area. It is hotter in the summer and colder in the winter than the Oceanside, but benefits from sunny winter days. The canopy-which is limited to the outer edges-includes Red-osier Dogwood, alder and apple trees near the house. Meadow edges have lots of Nootka Rose, which blooms in May and June.
The South Southwoods is dominated by fir trees. Wet areas are home to many kinds of native plants. Trees provide a summer cooling and winter storm protection that benefits more sensitive Rhododendrons. This area is home to a bog pond and associated gardens.
Our park-like vision for our Royston Vancouver Island Habitat includes:
- Gardening guided in harmony with nature.
- Limited use of structured orderliness.
- Eco-sensitivity, maximizing carbon storage.
- Respect for existing natural systems and wildlife.
- Pocket gardens of Rhododendrons and ferns.
What may seem to some to be untidy is a natural organic process. This encourages small to micro beings to flourish in a natural wildlife habitat full of the best of bugs, birds, beasts and native plants.
At Royston House and in the Comox Valley, we believe in making the most of our natural surroundings. To that end, we offer visitors the freshest in mountain water, oceanside air and food from the Comox Valley.
Drinking Water: Our water is naturally soft. It originates in the Beaufort Mountains, flowing to the fresh water lakes of Cumberland. We multiple filter and re-inject Biophoton energy that is lost in the piping process back into the water, making it smooth and easy to drink.
Air: Our location next to the ocean gives us the great fresh evening breezes. Even on the hottest days of the year, the clean Island air cools in the early evening to make sleeping comfortable and refreshing.
Food: Known by the K'ómox First Nation as the land of plenty, the Comox Valley offers amazing local restaurants and an abundance of farm produce and farmers markets, wine producers and fresh seafood harvest. Click here to visit some of our local producers.
Canadian Wildlife Federation - Certified Backyard Habitat