About a half hour drive north of Victoria, Canada are the famous Butchart Gardens. Since so many of my blogging buddies are surrounded by snow and ice at the moment, I thought these photos might help thaw their bones.
The Butchart Gardens are formal gardens that were once lovingly created and maintained by Jennie Butchart. In 1904 her husband Robert Pim Butchart extracted the natural limestone in this area for his cement company; while Jennie became the company’s chemist. They built a home and estate near the limestone quarry. Eventually their land was exhausted of the limestone and a large empty quarry pit remained. Jennie had the pit lined with top soil and over the years developed formal gardens. In later years their grandson and other family members turned the Gardens into a popular international destination.
Among the formal gardens are: The Sunken Gardens (pictured here), Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, and Italian Garden. There are also many other flower-lined areas for public events such as the Concert Lawn and Stage, a Fireworks Lawn, and the Carousel Room.
Today it is one of the biggest tourist attractions for visitors and residents on Vancouver Island. It is also a National Historic Site of Canada, and National Geographic named it one of the Top 10 Magnificent Gardens. In it’s over 100 years of showmanship, the Butchart Gardens have received many prestigious awards.
If you ever visit the charming city of Victoria, it is an easy bus ride to The Gardens, and a wonderful place to soak in the sunshine on your back as you stroll along the paths of riotous colors and thriving plants.
Photo credit: Athena Alexander