Wednesday, June 24, 2015

2015 Canada West: Butchart Gardens (6/24/2015)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Up early for breakfast and to wait for the Westcoast Sightseeing tour bus to arrive at 7:30. We were on the Victoria + Butchart Gardens Tour. I had found that ferry bookings were full, and decided on a tour company to get us to Vancouver Island.
First the bus drove us the 45 minutes to Tsawwassen Terminal for the BC Ferries.
Container facility at Point Robert,
the tip of the peninsula that belongs to the USA
The bus boarded the Coastal Celebration ferry, and the passengers were let off to take advantage of the ship's amenities.
Brynne and Tamiko on the ferry (KSS)
Other BC Ferries
We had a 90-minute ferry ride across the Strait of Georgia towards Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island.
Traveling through the Gulf Islands
Portlock Point Lighthouse (1895, rebuilt 1987)
on Prevost Island
Getting ready to board the bus again
Once we arrived in Swartz Bay, the bus drove about 30 minutes to Brentwood Bay, and the Butchart Gardens. Since they were serving only breakfast on the ferry, we waited to have lunch at the Gardens.
Brynne and Kent at the Blue Poppy Restaurant
Robert Pim Butchart developed a quarry and cement plant at Tod Inlet on Vancouver Island. His wife, Jennie, was the company's chemist. When the limestone deposits were exhausted, a gigantic pit was left. Jennie decided to create a garden in the pit, bringing in loads of top soil to create the Sunken Garden. From 1906 until 1929, the gardens continued to grow. They are still under the management of family.
Rambling rose trellises
Hanging baskets in the pavilion where
Mr Butchart once kept ornate houses for his
collection of exotic birds
Fuchsia (KSS)
Path to the Sunken Garden (KSS)
Open-air log cabin
View of Sunken Garden with a kiln stack,
which is all that remains from the cement plant
Photo of the quarry pit before the garden (KSS)
Looking back at the stairs into the Sunken Garden
The walls of the quarry are pretty well covered with plantings (KSS)
The rock mound
Quarry Lake as seen from the rock mound
Mahonia or Berberis aquifolium/Oregon-grape (KSS)
Kent descending from the rock mound
Brynne and Tamiko at the base of the rock mound 
Dragonwing Begonia and Angelonia (KSS)
Water lilies on Quarry Lake
Lantana and black petunias
Limestone quarry equipment
Heliotrope and marigolds (KSS)
Ross Fountain (1964, designed by grandson Ian Ross)
Bog Garden 
Artemisia stelleriana and Verbascum (KSS)
Annabelle, the bronze carousel horse,
with the Rose Carousel in the background
Hand-carved animals on the Rose Carousel
Totems created for the Garden's 100th anniversary
by artists of the Tsartlip and Tsawout First Nations
Organ Pavilion for the Aeolian Pipe Organ
Araucaria araucana/Monkey Puzzle Tree (KSS)
Araucaria araucana/Monkey Puzzle Tree cones (KSS)
Concert Lawn and Stage (KSS)
Sequoia sempervirens/Sequoia
Primula bulleyana (KSS)
Italian "wishing well" in the Rose Garden
Rose Garden and specimen trees (KSS)
Rose Garden arbor
Rose Garden arbor
Sturgeon Fountain (purchased in Florence, Italy in 1973)
Japanese Garden bamboo fence
Japanese Garden mossy stone lantern and trees
Kent and Brynne under the bamboo "arch"
Japanese Garden curly tree (KSS) 
Japanese Garden fountain (KSS)
Dock in Tod Inlet
Pruned tree
Cement stair rails resembling Garry Oak branches
Star Pond, originally for
Mr Butchart's ornamental ducks
Brynne and Kent at the Cupressus × leylandii/
Leyland Cypress hedge
Italian Garden, formerly
the concrete-surfaced tennis court
Geraniums, Heliotrope, and Silver Leaf (KSS)
Angelonia, Lantan,a and Iochroma cyaneum (KSS)
Replica of The Boar by Pietro Tacca (purchased in Florence, Italy in 1973) 
The Butchart House
Dragonwing Begonia with unknown plant
Looking into the Blue Poppy Restaurant
The Show Greenhouse
Waterwheel Square sign
Sidewalk chess
Dragon Fountain (2015 gift from Sister City of Suzhou)
The Fisher statue and waterwheel
Passiflora sp/Passionflower (KSS)
We had a couple light showers while touring the Gardens, but it was still an outstanding garden experience.

Next: Victoria.

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