Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Butchart Gardens

This was a very fun day! Both Mom and I were really looking forward to seeing the "world famous" Butchart Gardens. It was our main sight to see on the entire trip...and we weren't disappointed! The gardens are simply amazing. Literally millions of tulips of every color imaginable. It was DisneyWorld for garden lovers!

The first stop was a delightful brick entrance square that had a nice gift shop, restaurant, and other facilities.

Then, it was on to see the garden. Here was the first flower bed we saw:

We decided to buy the combination "garden and lunch" package. The dining room was housed in part of the Butcharts' old mansion and the waitress told us that the room we were seated in used to be Jenny Butchart's breakfast tea room. There were even flowers to match the wallpaper!

This is the exterior of the Butchart mansion where the dining room is housed.

After lunch, it was on to the gardens! First, a few more tulip beds to see:

Then, the famous "sunken garden". This picture doesn't begin to convey the scale and size of this garden! Jenny Butchart's husband was in the stone business in the nineteenth century, and this land was originally his stone quary. Once it had been exhausted and operations moved to another quary, Jenny decided to beautify it a bit so she wouldn't have to look at an ugly dug out stone quary in her backyard every day. Well, she got carried away a little with the beautification project!

This was the second quary behind the sunken garden. Again, the picture doesn't do justice to the scale and size of the's huge! The fountain is a more recent addition and is computerized to do all kinds of different water patterns. We sat and watched it for quite a while.

The next garden paid hommage to the Pacific Northwest and it's people. Here's mom by one of their totems.

The next stop was the Japanese garden. Also quite beautiful:

The final stop was the Italian garden. It had a lovely courtyard with a gelato stand. Perfect, sweet end to a delightful tour.

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