Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Vacation, Part 2

After leaving Vancouver, we went to Victoria, Canada where we visited The Butchart Gardens.

Now, you probably know by now that we are not “garden people,” but everyone we talked to about going to Victoria said we had, just had to go to The Butchart Gardens.

We could’ve gone whale-watching, but with the chilly weather and no guarantee of seeing any whales, we opted for the flowers since they couldn’t run away from us. And we wouldn’t have to worry about losing our noses to frostbite.

When we got on the bus to head to the Gardens, there were approximately three other people there under 65. I guess they were more adventurous and went whale watching.

First of all, the proper pronunciation for the place is, “BOOCH-art.” But of course, Husband called it “BUTT-chart.” Would you expect anything less?

This, at one time, was an old limestone quarry. The wife of the man who owned the quarry was upset that he’d left such an ugly hole in the ground right outside her kitchen window. He told her to do something about it, and she did. She built a garden. It’s still a family affair, now owned by their great-granddaughter.DSC04952They had the biggest Begonias I’ve ever seen, nearly as big as my fist. DSC04960A quick pause for a self-portrait. We didn’t once ask a stranger to take our picture. I’m always freaked out that they’ll take off with the camera. Plus, they always become instant professional photographers, worried about landscape and lighting. I just want a picture, thankyouverymuch. So I did it myself.DSC04964This is a view of the sunken garden from the top.  DSC04969More of the sunken garden. DSC04974More of the sunken garden. There’s a huge hill in the middle, that tree is not just sticking up there all by itself.DSC04976I couldn’t believe how still and serene the ponds were. DSC04986You can see rabbit tracks in the wet grass below. Quite a few years back, somehow a bunch of domesticated rabbits got loose in the Victoria area. They bred like, well, rabbits, and now they are everywhere. We saw those cute, fat rabbits all over the place – black, brown, white, etc. It was pretty funny to see those big lop-eared bunnies hanging out in random places.DSC04990This was a bed of roses & baby’s breath, one of my favorite combinations. I kept thinking about the song lyrics, “I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses….” DSC05001This is the tree on top of the hill in the middle of the sunken garden. DSC05002Another serene pond. They were so cool. DSC05007A view of the sunken garden from the side. DSC05020I love Zinnias. DSC05039And the bee, well, he’s ok as long as he leaves me alone. DSC05047Standing underneath a Redwood, looking straight up. It was magnificent. DSC05064This was the archway between the rose garden and the Japanese garden. DSC05079Looking over toward the Italian garden. I’m glad I don’t have to mow that lawn. DSC05088A Bonsai-looking tree in the Japanese garden. DSC05095The floor of the Japanese garden was covered in moss. It was very quiet – the moss absorbed a lot of sound, I suppose, DSC05104Some Japanese mushrooms. We didn’t try them, although I’m sure Dad might’ve been interested. DSC05111A pond in the Japanese garden. DSC05128The Italian garden. DSC05135I’m not sure what these are called, but they were pretty cool. They were in the hanging garden. DSC05161This is the famous Empress Hotel in Victoria. It was built on a saltwater swamp, and is being held up by a few hundred Douglas Fir trees that were driven down into the swamp. They won’t rot because of the saltwater. So go figure.  DSC05175The rest of The Empress. We could’ve gone there for “high tea”, but I think a trip to The Butchart Gardens was enough culture for us for one day. DSC05177 Next, we get into some real culture…The Goonies!

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  1. Curly9:37 AM

    I wonder if he had any idea how much $$ he was giving her permission to spend when she started this project?

  2. I'm the tightwad, so I don't think he was overly concerned!

  3. The sunken garden pictures are amazing. They are like a postcard. beautiful place.

  4. I've been to one of those fancy gardens. We're not very cultured either - sorry, that's probably a family trait. Anyway...I couldn't get over how much WORK all those beautiful flowers equaled!

  5. Can we say I'm freakin' jealous!!! Beautiful photos! It was like I was there, but sadly I wasn't! I miss you!!!

  6. Anonymous8:34 AM

    Even Chris said he was impressed by the gardens. That's like Joe Wilson saying, "I couldn't agree more, Mr. President."