Saturday 26 September 2009
Well, today Nancy and Don took me to Butchart Gardens! I think photos I had seen before I came to Canada led me to believe it was just a large park, maybe round a large rectangular area of paving or grass, with a very symmetrical building behind, and planted very formally, but was I in for a surprise! The Gardens are indeed just that – gardens, a series of them, begun in 1905 by Jennie Butchart. They cover Italian and Japanese gardens, the rose garden, a sunken garden built in a worked out quarry, lakes and ponds with fountains, and flowerbed after flowerbed of beautiful flowers in many colours – dahlias, Japanese anemones, chrysanthemums, roses….. to name but a few. There are sculptures, and totem poles, a concert shell…… it was all so gorgeous! The house where Jennie lived is beautiful too. I think I’ll just show you pictures, and if any need explanation I’ll add a line or two. Suffice to say at the moment that any strange people are likely to be Don and Nancy if they are not me!
and don’t ask me the names of all the plants because I may not have a clue what they are. These, however, are fuchsias, though what variety I have no idea. There is a plant identification hut at the end of the garden tour but the idea is to enjoy the gardens as they are rather than have everything labelled like in a botanic garden. I could live with that!
These remind me of Margaret’s garden in Auckland, NZ, though Margaret’s are white. I love them! The flowers are about 10-12 inches long – about 25-30 cm.
I think these are begonias. Whoppers, they were!
The sunken garden was built out of an old limestone quarry that had given up production. The chimney is still there in the background. There’s a high rock in the centre that you can climb up for good views over the garden but I passed on that! Over to the left upper part of this photo is a lake –
with a dancing fountain!
two strange people with the anemones
the sturgeon fountain
The preferred expression these days for the native Canadian Indians is First Nation people, and these are two of their totem poles, depicting the thunderbird and the raven, or I could be wrong there, it may be the eagle.
I love these – the colour, the shape of the petals… wish I could remember their name!!!
In the Japanese garden
the frog fountain in the rose gardens! – there were several more in the Italian garden, and a snail fountain that I just can’t find, though I am sure I had a photo!
I could go on and on, but I must just show you the souvenir I should have bought from the gift shop when I saw it! I debated with myself and decided no, but later I thought I really would like to have him in my new living room! However Nancy has said she will get him instead and ship him over to me!
He’s about ten inches high – 25cm - a grizzly bear with a salmon –and he’s very Canadian!
Talk again soon.