Canada #4 Butchart Gardens
I wonder if, when Jennie Butchart first began designing her garden in 1906, she imagined how many people would come to visit in the future. Her work was the start of what would become the famous Butchart Gardens, 22 hectares of floral beauty visited by one million people every year.
Jennie’s first project was the Japanese Garden, complete with a red torii gate and traditional stone lanterns. Arched bridges span a series of ornamental lakes, and Japanese maples provide shade for beds of delicate Himalayan blue poppies.
The Sunken Garden was designed to fill the abandoned quarry which had once provided limestone to the family’s cement factory. A switchback path leads down into the garden, continuing on between raised beds of seasonal blooms, flowering trees and neatly manicured lawns.
At the furthest end of the Sunken Garden, the Ross Fountain performs a dazzling display of dancing water, at times reaching a height of 21 metres.
In contrast to the order of the Sunken Garden, the Rose Garden is almost riotous in its abundance. Fragrant blooms in every colour fill archways and spill out onto the paths. Arbors draped with climbing roses and oversized hanging baskets beckon visitors, who stop time and again to take more photos.
The Italian Garden and Star Pond are more formal in style, with trimmed hedges, waterlily ponds and ornamental fountains. Fuschias, clustered like ballerinas waiting in the wings, dangle from more hanging baskets.
Shaded seats with beautiful views are provided here for those enjoying a treat from the Gelataria.
In any season, the gardens are busy with people who’ve come to marvel at the beauty created by Jennie Butchart.
I think she’d be pleased to know how much joy her vision still brings, more than 100 years after she planted her first roses.
Join Jo for Monday Walks