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Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Butchart Gardens

One million bedding plants of seven hundred varieties are used in Vancouver's Victoria Island's Butchart Gardens to insure continuous bloom from March until October. Therefore, that Rob and I are wonderfully overwhelmed by our visit to this 55 acre, family-owned floral extravaganza is not in the least bit surprising.

Butchart Gardens is a National Historic Site of Canada. It was once offered to the government but it unwisely refused. Today, more than a century after their inception, a million people a year pay to visit the gardens, enjoying not only its floral beauty, but the sculpture, the exquisite lighting designs, and the weekly fireworks displays.topiary

Our visit to Butchart Gardens is a continuation of the tour to Victoria Island our Vancouver hotel's concierge arranged for us. As we enter the Gardens, we are greeted to a breath-taking panoramic view of rolling terrain and serpentine paths lined with vibrantly colored flowers: begonias, bleeding hearts, snapdragons to name but a few.flowersflowersflowersflowers These Gardens grew in stages, the conception of Jennie Butchart whose husband became rich making cement at the turn of the century. Around 1908 when he exhausted a limestone quarry near their house, Jennie turned that into the first of the Gardens, the magnificent Sunken Gardens.

By 1908, they added the Japanese Gardens and then the Italian Garden.Japanese GardensJapanese GardensItalian Gardens Meanwhile, Mr. Butchart, who collected exotic birds from all over the world, had elaborate birdhouses set up among the gardens. He kept ducks in the Star Pond. He trained pigeons in what is now the Begonia Bower.Rose Garden Entrance

By the 1920s, word of the beautiful Gardens spread. Fifty thousand people visited annually, and the Butcharts named the avenue leading to the Gardens "Benvenuto Ave." meaning "Welcome" in Italian. They lined the path with flowering cherry trees purchased from the Yokohama Nursery in Japan. The walk to the entrance is so beautiful that we are blown away when we realize we haven't even begun to experience Butchart Gardens.

You will love visiting their website where they detail the events, let visitors know which flowers will be blooming when they visit, and offer a wealth of other information.I can offer you some background, but photos cannot adequately capture the lush, vibrant colors or the serene atmosphere visitors experience as they wander through the Gardens and drink in the charm and beauty.animals of twigs If we thought this visit would be anti-climactic after the amazing natural sights we had experienced on this trip, we were mistaken. This is one more place on this earth that is too good to be missed.

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