Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Butchart Gardens

Our first day activity on the island was to visit Butchart Gardens. These gardens had been the personal project of a wealthy Victorian lady to cover up an ugly quarry that was the family's business. Over the years, the gardens grew to become the new family's business.

April is still early spring in Canada, so few of the mid-summer type flowers were blooming, but there were lots and lots of tulips and other bulb-type flowers. Red, of course is a popular color, here matched with white bachelor buttons.

I also found these black tulips to be interesting. As you are probably aware, black flowers do not occur naturally (that I know of). Most "black" flowers are a very dark blue, red or purple. Either way, they catch the attention.

Something you find in a lot of formal gardens are fountains and statuary. Butchart Gardens is no exception. I particularly liked this statue of a boar. It is considered good luck to rub the boar's snout -- that's why it's remained so shiny.

Fish always make a good match of statuary with a fountain. Though I must admit, the boar is still my favorite.

I took this next picture in the original garden designed to cover the quarries. I love the juxtaposition of nature and technology. I call this photo: "Nightshade Unplugged".

Here's a shot of the "Rose Garden". I was a little sad that we were too soon to see all the roses in bloom. The fences around the garden were all "rose fences" with the rose canes trained to follow the fence wires. I'll bet this garden is spectacular in mid-summer.

Here's an overall shot of another of the gardens at Butchart. Hmmm..., I don't remember exactly which garden this is -- it's lovely, though!

Finally, as we were finishing our garden tour, we looked back at the last garden (the Japanese Garden, if I recall correctly) and could see the harbor through a break in the trees. This sudden jolt of real life in the midst of the idyllic gardens really struck me. It seemed to bring about a completeness. I think it also reminded me that the next day we would go whale watching -- something I was really looking forward to! But that's for the next post...

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