Something you should know about me before I start talking about the Butchart Gardens, is that although I love nature, I am not really a fan of gardens. Perhaps if they were growing carrots I would be... there is nothing tastier than a carrot fresh pulled from the ground. But... walking through rows and rows of roses and tulips, and whatever other flowers exist, oohing and aahing over their beauty... is not my cup of tea. So when my sister-in-law suggested a trip to the Butchart Gardens and proceeded to get to the level of excitement normally only reserved for Christmas morning, I was hesitant at best.
But everything is what you make of it right? It was a beautiful day, and I was with a group of amazing... and rather silly... women. We took pictures among the roses, in the Japanese gardens with cool trees, on the rocks through a pond as frogs, in the majestic lawns pretending to be fancy statues.... I was surprised when I realized I was having fun.
What is really cool about the Butchart Gardens is the fact that the whole area used to be a limestone quarry. Robert Pim Butchart and his wife Jennie moved to the Victoria area in the early 1900s specifically for the limestone deposits - limestone was (or is? I don't know much about this) used to make cement. When all the limestone had been removed, Jennie had the idea of making the ugly pit into a "Sunken Garden." The rest of the gardens came later reflecting the couple's world travels - A Japenese garden, an Italian garden and a rose garden. Now the question is, what country is the Rose garden reflecting? England? My knowledge of flowers and the like is startlingly low. Anyways, Mr. Butchart also had an interest in collecting birds and had an interesting array of ducks, peacocks, pigeons and parrots. People started hearing about these gardens and by the 1920s over 50,000 people would come visit each year. This number today approaches 1 million.
And now I feel complete, I am one of those million for the year. Living in Victoria and not having been to the Butchart Gardens is like living in Vancouver and not having been to Stanley Park - just not acceptable.
History thanks to the Butchart Gardens website