Friday, April 25, 2014

Victoria, B.C.: Visiting Butchart Gardens: An Experience Not To Be Missed

Have you ever planned to go somewhere for fun and ended up loving it so much you couldn't believe it wasn't the sole purpose of your trip?  That's how I feel about my visit to Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia.

For years I have heard about High Tea at the Fairmont Empress in Victoria.  It was featured in Victoria magazine once and I have been thinking about it ever since.  When I got this opportunity to visit Seattle with my husband, we both looked at the map and realized that Victoria, British Columbia was finally within reach.
Then when I started planning our Easter weekend getaway, several friends mentioned Butchart Gardens as a great addition to our trip.  Great, I thought to myself. Fresh air, a chance to walk around, maybe a few things will be in bloom.
I was not prepared for:

  • the size of this garden, which felt as large as a grand estate in England and contains many gardens (bog, Japanese, Sunken)  
  • the quality of the plantings, which included unusual varieties of bulbs (not the primary color swath that often happens in gardens for the public), gorgeous specimens of plants and blooms I'd never seen
  • the quantity of the plantings, the planners have considered every inch. The open spaces, the smaller sweet gardens, the larger focal piece gardens. Everything felt beautiful and well-planned, not layered or phony like Disney World.

I actually need more time to think about my visit and expound a little more. I will write more in a day or so. For now, I will show you some of my favorite photos.
(near the rose garden)

(I loved these "floral dictionary" display where visitors could identify their favorite plants that were in bloom that day.)
(We sat on a bench and enjoyed this fountain display - the water pattern changed every once it a while and it was fun to hear the visitors react - "Oooh, look!")

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