The Drs. Blythe and Violet Eagles Estate is a one hectare property located within Deer Lake Park in Burnaby. The property encompasses a carefully conceived garden of local, non-conventional, and exotic plantings. Conceived as a series of rockeries and terraces, the garden cascades from the house do…
The Drs. Blythe and Violet Eagles Estate is a one hectare property located within Deer Lake Park in Burnaby. The property encompasses a carefully conceived garden of local, non-conventional, and exotic plantings. Conceived as a series of rockeries and terraces, the garden cascades from the house down towards the waterfront, divided by paths and strips of plantings.
The Eagles Estate is significant because of its unique character within Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park heritage precinct, and the people who were its creators and residents. The garden is a unique expression of the talents and tastes of both the Eagles and Frank Ebenezer Buck (1875-1970). Buck served as the Assistant Dominion Horticulturist in charge of landscape horticulture and floriculture in Ottawa from 1912. In 1920, he was head of the Horticultural Department and the Campus Landscape Architect at the University of British Columbia. He established the plan for the Eagles garden while Dr. Blythe Alfred Eagles (1902-1990), the long-time Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at UBC, selected many of the plantings. The Eagles themselves designed the house as a romantic cottage inspired by the British Arts and Crafts style. Trained in enzyme chemistry, Dr. Violet Evelyn (Dunbar) Eagles (1899-1994) was an enthusiastic amateur gardener, and was perhaps the driving force behind the maintenance and continued development of the garden.
The Eagles were also well known in Burnaby for their active volunteerism in the local community as well as at UBC. When Simon Fraser University opened in Burnaby as the Greater Vancouver’s second university, the Eagles, in particular Violet, became well-known for entertaining dignitaries and special guests of the university in their lavish garden. Drs. Blythe and Violet Eagles were recognized for their good citizenship and the ongoing use of their garden for charitable Burnaby-based functions and celebrations.
Due to the extensive and varied nature of the garden, the character-defining elements of the Eagles Estate are many and complex. The elements that encompass the character of the site include its:
- British Arts and Crafts-inspired house with original exterior features such as a picturesque roofline, stucco cladding and six- and eight-paned steel-frame casement windows, and original interior features such as the central fireplace, wood floors and kitchen cabinetry
- formal staircase leading to the north (formal entry) side of the house
- carefully planned yet informal garden design, with 'garden rooms' used to create intimacy
- terraced landscape cascading from the house down to the garden
- incorporation of local, exotic, flowering and non-flowering plants.
- contrast of manicured versus freely growing landscape elements
- use of wood lattice fencing gates, arbors and trellis