Home
 
The Butchart Chronicles : February 17, 2017

Flower and Garden Report February 16th to 22nd

Flower and Garden Report February 16 – February 22, 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

We are done with snow, but unfortunately the snow is not quite done with us! There are still patches and piles of snow lingering from last week’s major snowstorm – especially in the shadier areas.  

This week, as the snow began to melt, we noticed that the stubborn patches of Narcissus that decided to start blooming in November just carried on like nothing happened at all. We also noticed a few patches of brilliant blue Scilla which hadn’t been in bloom before the snow started falling. The plants you see blooming in the garden at this time of year are tenacious and they naturally have the desire to persist in even the least desirable weather conditions.

There’s not much more that I can say about our indoor Spring Prelude garden display that hasn’t already been said, but I will add that the colour and fragrance has been particularly cherished over the past week as the outdoor garden was covered under a blanket of snow.    

In the coming week will be in Seattle with a small and colourful display to promote our garden at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. If you happen to be in Seattle between the 22nd and the  26th  of February, please come and stop by for a visit with us at our booth.     

Outside in the Garden:

Special Interest/Berries/Flowers/Fruit/Bark

  • Acer capillipes (Snake bark maple - bark)
  • Acer palmatum (Japanese maples – unique form)
  • Acer griseum (Paper bark maple – bark)
  • Arbutus unedo (flowers)
  • Betula (birch - bark)
  • Cornus (shrub dogwoods, brilliant bark colours)
  • Cornus kousa (Kousa dogwood – bark)  
  • Corylus avellana ‘contorta’ (Henry Lauder’s walking stick – unique form) 
  • Cotoneaster (berries)
  • Erica (flowers)
  • Galanthus (flowers)
  • Garrya (catkins)
  • Hamamelis (flowers/fragrance)
  • Helleborus (flowers)  
  • Jasminium (Winter Jasmine – yellow flowers)
  • Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ (flowers)
  • Nandina (berries)
  • Pyracantha  (berries)
  • Scilla (flowers)
  • Stewartia psuedocamellia (bark)  
  • Ulmus glabra ‘Camperdownii’ (Camperdown Elm – unique form)
  • Viburnum bodnantense (flowers)
  • Viburnum tinus (flowers/berries)  

Inside:

What’s blooming in Spring Prelude

  • Anthurium
  • Azalea
  • Begonia - Rieger
  • Bromeliad
  • Cercis
  • Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry)
  • Corylopsis
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Edgeworthia
  • Forsythia
  • Fuchsia
  • Hamamelis
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris (reticulata)
  • Jasminium polyanthum (White or Pink Jasmine)
  • Kerria
  • Magnolia
  • Narcissus
  • Orchid (Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium, Paphiopedilum)
  • Polyanthus
  • Prunus (Plum)
  • Ribes (Currant)
  • Sarcococca
  • Spathiphyllum
  • Tulip
  • Viburnum bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus
 
The Butchart Chronicles : February 16, 2017

6 Ways to Enjoy February with The Butchart Gardens

Enjoy February with The Butchart Gardens

Before spring graces us with warmer weather, beautiful flowers and longer days, let's enjoy what February has to offer. The Gardens has a lot of exciting experiences happening for the remainder of February. Here are six ways to make the most of the month.

1. Attend the Northwest Flower & Garden Show​


This show takes place February 22 - 26. We are attending and you can too. Victoria Clipper​ can set you up with a discounted transportation, hotel and admission package.

2. Dine Around Victoria

Launching February 16th, treat your taste buds at restaurants throughout Victoria from February 17 - March 5. The Dining Room Restaurant at The Gardens has select dates available for Dine Around but they are filling up fast! 250-652-4422 for reservations.

3. Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown

Attractions Victoria​ organized another great year of 'Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown'. Take advantage of great deals around town. Use your pass for free admission to The Butchart Gardens on February 25th and 26th. Please note: February 25th and 26th only

4. Enjoy the Spring Prelude Garden

The Gardening Department has created the stunning Spring Prelude Garden. They continue to ensure the beautiful flowers showcased here are fragrant and blooming throughout the display. Did you know weddings are hosted in this garden until March 31?

5. Experience History

The Historical Display continues to inform and 'wow' visitors as they learn about the vibrant history of The Gardens. For more information on the historical display, please visit the 2017 display information page.

6. Relax with the High Tea and Admission Special

'A Taste of Spring' offers great value to enjoy The Gardens and have a signature high tea experience all in one visit. This promotion continues until February 28th.

Spring is right around the corner, but there's still so much to do this winter. Enjoy it while it lasts!

 
The Butchart Chronicles : February 10, 2017

Flower and Garden Report February 9th to 15th

Flower and Garden Report: February 9 – February 15, 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

We have received over 30 cm of snow during the past few days, but as I’m writing this, rain is falling and the snow is melting quickly. Our snow is typically wet and heavy and with the additional rain the load can be too much for many plants to bear. Through the course of these adverse conditions we have lost a couple of trees (nothing that is irreplaceable) and many plants have been damaged throughout the gardens.

With that being said, I would challenge any visitor to find any kind of damage remaining in the garden within the next week or so as our highly skilled gardeners work their magic through pruning and replanting any plants that have been impacted. We actually like to look at situations like this as opportunities where we can make improvements and perhaps even replant with plants that add more beauty to the garden than their predecessors provided.

The weather indoors has been much more conducive to gardening and the Spring Prelude display is in fine form with its dazzling array of colourful and fragrant plants. The contrast from the wintry outdoor garden to the warm and spring-like indoor garden is striking – perhaps even shocking! This garden will inspire you in many ways and we welcome you to come in and satisfy your cravings for spring as we patiently wait for the blanket of snow to disappear.

Outside in the Garden:

Special Interest/Berries/Flowers/Fruit/Bark

  • Acer capillipes (Snake bark maple - bark)
  • Acer palmatum (Japanese maples – unique form)
  • Acer griseum (Paper bark maple – bark)
  • Arbutus unedo (flowers)
  • Betula (birch - bark)
  • Callicarpa (berries)
  • Cornus (shrub dogwoods, brilliant bark colours)
  • Cornus kousa (Kousa dogwood – bark)  
  • Corylus avellana ‘contorta’ (Henry Lauder’s walking stick – unique form)
  • Cotoneaster (berries)
  • Euonymous europaeus (berries)
  • Galanthus (flowers)
  • Garrya (catkins)
  • Hamamelis (flowers/fragrance)
  • Helleborus (flowers) 
  • Jasminium (Winter Jasmine – yellow flowers)
  • Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ (flowers)
  • Nandina (berries)
  • Pyracantha  (berries)
  • Stewartia psuedocamellia (bark)  
  • Ulmus glabra ‘Camperdownii’ (Camperdown Elm – unique form)
  • Viburnum davidii (berries)
  • Viburnum tinus (berries)

Inside:

What’s blooming in Spring Prelude

  • Anthurium
  • Azalea
  • Begonia - Rieger
  • Bromeliad
  • Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry)
  • Corylopsis
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Edgeworthia
  • Forsythia
  • Fuchsia
  • Hamamelis
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris (reticulata)
  • Jasminium polyanthum (White or Pink Jasmine)
  • Kerria
  • Magnolia
  • Narcissus
  • Orchid (Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium, Paphiopedilum)
  • Polyanthus
  • Prunus (Plum)
  • Ribes (Currant)
  • Sarcococca
  • Spathiphyllum
  • Tulip
  • Viburnum bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus
 
The Butchart Chronicles : February 3, 2017

Flower and Garden Report February 2nd - February 8th

Flower and Garden Report:  February 2 – February 8, 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

The weather has been gloriously sunny for the past few days and along with the bright sunshine comes crisp, frosty mornings and cooler than average daytime temperatures. The gardens take this weather all in stride, but it does chill the desire for some of the plants to show off their early spring blossoms. There is still plenty to see, but as I’ve said before, you have to look for the blossoms at this time of year as they don’t necessarily come looking for you.             

Even though we are famous for our flowers, this is the time of year that we need to look a little deeper and take the time to appreciate the structure of the garden which reveals the depths of the genius of Jennie Butchart.  The landscape in winter is unique in its beauty and simplicity and this is a time to truly appreciate many features that would typically go unnoticed during the rest of the year. 

In sharp contrast to this is our indoor Spring Prelude display where you will find an inspiring collection of colourful and fragrant plants. This garden will fill the need for any early season cravings for colour and fragrance as an abundance of floral beauty envelops you as soon as you enter. Even though this is a temporary installation, our gardeners have gone to great lengths to produce a garden masterpiece with more depth than first meets the eye.            

Outside in the Garden:

Special Interest/Berries/Flowers/Fruit/Bark

  • Acer capillipes (Snake bark maple - bark)
  • Acer palmatum (Japanese maples – unique form)
  • Acer griseum (Paper bark maple – bark)
  • Arbutus unedo (flowers)
  • Betula (birch - bark)
  • Callicarpa (berries)
  • Cornus (shrub dogwoods, brilliant bark colours)
  • Cornus kousa (Kousa dogwood – bark)  
  • Corylus avellana ‘contorta’ (Henry Lauder’s walking stick – unique form)
    • Cotoneaster (berries)
    • Euonymous europaeus (berries)
    • Galanthus (flowers)
    • Garrya (catkins)
    • Hamamelis (flowers/fragrance)
    • Helleborus (flowers) 
    • Jasminium (Winter Jasmine – yellow flowers)
    • Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ (flowers)
    • Nandina (berries)
    • Pyracantha  (berries)
    • Stewartia psuedocamellia (bark)   
    • Ulmus glabra ‘Camperdownii’ (Camperdown Elm – unique form)
    • Viburnum davidii (berries) 
    • Viburnum tinus (berries)  


Inside:

What’s blooming in Spring Prelude

  • Anthurium
  • Azalea
  • Begonia - Rieger
  • Bromeliad
  • Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry)
  • Corylopsis
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Edgeworthia
  • Forsythia
  • Hamamelis
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris (reticulata)
  • Jasminium polyanthum (White or Pink Jasmine)
  • Magnolia
  • Narcissus
  • Orchid (Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium, Paphiopedilum)
  • Polyanthus
  • Prunus (Plum)
  • Rechsteineria
  • Sarcococca
  • Spathiphyllum
  • Tulip
  • Viburnum bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus

 

 
The Butchart Chronicles : January 26, 2017

Flower and Garden Report January 26th to February 1st

Flower and Garden Report: January 26 - February 1, 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

I had a visitor ask me the other day if the roses were in bloom – unfortunately I had to tell them that “no, we are still a few months away from any of our roses coming into bloom”. I did feel a little uncomfortable as I could tell that the answer didn’t satisfy the individual and of course, we always want to exceed the expectations of our visitors. The funny thing was that I felt even more awkward as we were standing in the middle of the Rose Garden during this conversation!    

Being a gardener can be humbling at times because whether we like it or not, we are always at the mercy of the cards that nature deals us. With any of our flowering plants in the garden, there are no guarantees as to when any plant will come into bloom and we can only provide our best guess based on personal and historical experience.

That being said, things are quite different when we move indoors into our fabulous Spring Prelude display. Here we have ‘forced’ plants to come into bloom at precisely the times when we want them to, as we have the ability to manipulate plants to do as we wish when we take them into a climate controlled indoor environment.      

If you are looking for some early season garden inspiration, our Spring Prelude display will provide you with an abundance of colour and fragrance to fill this need. Our gardeners have used their abundance of skill and creativity to once again produce an exquisite garden masterpiece – one day you may even find some roses blooming!   


Outside in the Garden

Special Interest/Berries/Flowers/Fruit/Bark

  • Acer capillipes (Snake bark maple - bark)
  • Acer palmatum (Japanese maples – unique form)
  • Acer griseum (Paper bark maple – bark)
  • Arbutus unedo (flowers)
  • Betula (birch - bark)
  • Callicarpa (berries)
  • Cornus (shrub dogwoods, brilliant bark colours)
  • Cornus kousa (Kousa dogwood – bark)  
  • Corylus avellana ‘contorta’ (Henry Lauder’s walking stick – unique form)
  • Cotoneaster (berries)
  • Euonymous europaeus (berries)
  • Galanthus (flowers)
  • Garrya (catkins)
  • Hamamelis (flowers/fragrance)
  • Helleborus (flowers)
  • Jasminium (Winter Jasmine – yellow flowers)
  • Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ (flowers)
  • Nandina (berries)
  • Pyracantha  (berries)
  • Ulmus glabra ‘Camperdownii’ (Camperdown Elm – unique form)
  • Stewartia psuedocamellia (bark)
  • Viburnum davidii (berries)
  • Viburnum tinus (berries)



Inside in the garden

What’s blooming in Spring Prelude

  • Anthurium
  • Azalea
  • Begonia - Rieger
  • Bromeliad
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Edgeworthia
  • Hamamelis
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris (reticulata)
  • Jasminium polyanthum (White or Pink Jasmine)
  • Narcissus
  • Orchid (Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium, Paphiopedilum)
  • Polyanthus
  • Rechsteineria
  • Sarcococca
  • Spathiphyllum
  • Tulip
  • Viburnum bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus
 
The Butchart Chronicles : January 26, 2017

Video: Winter at The Butchart Gardens

Winter offers a unique experience at The Butchart Gardens. Get a taste of spring in the Spring Prelude Indoor Garden. Take in the scents and sights of spring while strolling over a boardwalk and through pathways bordered with spring flowers and lush green foliage.

From there, visit the Historical Display, located in Mr. and Mrs. Butchart's former residence. Let our knowledgeable hosts paint a picture of the past as while viewing letters, photos and memorabilia from the early 1900's.

To top off a historical and garden-centered visit, take the time to enjoy high tea in the Dining Room Restaurant.

We are offering a special called "A Taste of Spring" that combines all of these experiences into one discounted price.

We look forward to seeing you during our winter season.

 
The Butchart Chronicles : January 19, 2017

Flower and Garden Report January 19th to 25th

Flower and Garden Report: January 19 - 25, 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

The gardens are slowly beginning to wake up after an extended period of unseasonably cold weather. Interestingly enough, the daffodils that were blooming for us in November have survived the cold and continue to bloom as though they haven’t skipped a beat and simply were frozen in time for a short spell. These are probably the longest blooming daffodils that we have ever witnessed! Other early bloomers in the garden include the first of the Snowdrops (Galanthus), Hellebores and some of the Witch Hazels (Hamamelis).        

Indoors the story is completely different as the Spring Prelude display is bursting with colour and intoxicating fragrance. This garden masterpiece is certain to inspire as our gardeners have once again outdone themselves in the creation of this unique indoor paradise.

Outside in the Garden

Special Interest/Berries/Flowers/Fruit/Bark

  • Acer capillipes (Snake bark maple - bark)
  • Acer palmatum (Japanese maples – unique form)
  • Acer griseum (Paper bark maple – bark)
  • Arbutus unedo (flowers)
  • Betula (birch - bark)
  • Callicarpa (berries)
  • Cornus (shrub dogwoods, brilliant bark colours)
  • Cornus kousa (Kousa dogwood – bark)  
  • Corylus avellana ‘contorta’ (Henry Lauder’s walking stick – unique form)
  • Cotoneaster (berries)
  • Euonymous europaeus (berries)
  • Galanthus (flowers)
  • Garrya (catkins)
  • Hamamelis (flowers/fragrance)
  • Helleborus (flowers) 
  • Jasminium (Winter Jasmine – yellow flowers)
  • Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ (flowers)
  • Nandina (berries)
  • Pyracantha  (berries)
  • Stewartia psuedocamellia (bark)  
  • Ulmus glabra ‘Camperdownii’ (Camperdown Elm – unique form)
  • Viburnum davidii (berries)
  • Viburnum tinus (berries)

Inside in the garden

What’s blooming in Spring Prelude

  • Anthurium
  • Azalea
  • Begonia - Rieger
  • Bromeliad
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Edgeworthia
  • Hamamelis
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris (reticulata)
  • Jasminium polyanthum (White or Pink Jasmine)
  • Narcissus
  • Orchid (Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium, Paphiopedilum)
  • Polyanthus
  • Rechsteineria
  • Sarcococca
  • Spathiphyllum
  • Tulip
  • Viburnum bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus
 
The Butchart Chronicles : January 13, 2017

*Exclusive to 12 Month Pass Holders: Special Valentine's Day Dinner

When:  Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Cost:  $89/person, tables for 2 only
wine pairings available

(Excludes taxes and gratuities)

Where: Spring Prelude indoor garden

RESERVATIONS: 250.652.4422
Extension 320
(beginning Monday, Jan 16th @ 9am)

blog_Spring_in_the_Spring_Prelude.JPG

This event is fully booked however a wait list is being taken.

Love is in the air at The Butchart Gardens - and especially so on Tuesday, February 14th when we offer a special Valentine's Dinner exclusively* to 12 month pass holders (* person reserving must have a valid 12 month pass at time of booking and for the event ).

You'll understand when you see the beautiful tables set for two in the Spring Prelude Indoor Garden, why this adult-only special event sells out fast. 

Valentine's Day
To make a reservation for this limited prepaid event please call 250-652-4422 (ext 320) beginning Monday, January 16th from 9am.  Only 29 tables available.

  •  This is a set menu dinner (only a gluten-free version can be substituted, please request at time of reservation) Please note: the menu is in the process of being finalized and is subject to change.

  • Cost:  $89/person (taxes & gratuity not included) wine pairings available
  • Reservations are available from 6:00 - 6:45pm (tables for two only)
  • At least one person at the table must present a valid 12 Month Pass to the admission gate upon arrival
  • Plan to arrive to The Gardens no more than 15 minutes prior to your reservation time. The Gardens and The Seed & Gift Store are closed at 4:30pm and will not be open for viewing or shopping
  • The admission gate will be available for arrivals starting at 5:45pm for this special event
  • If you are planning on arranging a taxi or dial a driver service, please do so in advance and provide the company with your contact number so they are able to notify you upon their arrival

Please note:  The Gardens are 100% smoke (and vapour) free. 

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day

 

Cruise on the Clipper to Seattle for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Join us as the Pacific Northwest prepares for Spring!

 

The Butchart Gardens will be at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle, February 22nd – 26th.

Clipper Navigation is partnering with The Gardens to provide our 12 month pass holders with a discount on their 3 day / 2 night package. Quote promo code 'FGSHOW' to recieve a 10% discount at time of booking.

Here is what is included in this special travel package.

  • Round trip Clipper cruise between Victoria and Seattle
  • Two nights in a Seattle hotel
  • Admission to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show for one day. Two day admission tickets also available.
  • All applicable taxes

Let Clipper Vacations take care of your travel logistics while joining garden enthusiasts from the region as they unite at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. Celebrate the start of spring with an acre of beautiful show gardens, be inspired by the beauty and see what the industry has to offer for the season to come.

Visit the Clipper Vacations website for more details and to book your trip.

 
The Butchart Chronicles : January 11, 2017

2016: A Year in Review

There is never a dull moment at The Butchart Gardens. Read some of the highlights from 2016.

11 Highlights from The Butchart Gardens in 2016

Happy New Year from The Butchart Gardens!

As we welcomed visitors from around the world and celebrated the five seasons at The Gardens, a lot happened. Here are eleven highlights from 2016.

1. 100% Smoke Free Property

Effective January 7, 2016, The Butchart Gardens became a property-wide smoke-free environment. This policy ensures a healthy and clean environment for everyone to enjoy. Not only do fellow visitors appreciate it, the plants do too.

2. Never-Before-Seen Memorabilia Showcased in the Historical Display

As part of the 16th annual Historical Display, the family archives team brought out some special items from the Butchart Family history. This trend will continue in the 2017 display as more unique items will be introduced into the showcase. The Historical Display takes place annually from January 15th to March 15th.

3. New Tour Boat Introduced


In spring 2016, a fourth vessel was added to our fleet of electric tour boats. Visitors are now welcome aboard the Jennie B., R.P., as Robert Pim Butchart was known, the R.I. Ross and Mary C. Todd for history and nature tours of Butchart Cove and Tod Inlet. Boat tours operate annually from mid-May to mid-September. For more information on boat tours, visit our Experiences page.

4. Wharf Upgrade

With all the water traffic visiting The Gardens via Butchart Cove, it's important that the infrastructure can accommodate each visitor. A new wharf was completed in spring 2016 to accommodate traffic from seaplanes, whale watching boats and personal pleasure crafts, and The Gardens' fleet of electric boats.

5. Dragon Fountain Moved to Permanent Location

The Dragon Fountain was a gift from the People's Republic of China in 2015. In 2016 it was relocated to its permanent location, a beautifully designed setting near the dahlia border. During the Magic of Christmas, The Fountain and surrounding area were decorated for the season.

6. Renowned Musical Performers Take the Stage


2016's summer entertainment schedule was nothing short of amazing. Every performance drew in a captive audience on the Concert Lawn. Highlight performances included The Mavericks and Jesse Roper. Stay tuned for the 2017 summer entertainment schedule.

7. Extended Summer


With summer weather conditions lasting longer than expected, boat tours and the gelateria were able to stay open for visitors until the end of September.

8. Communities in Bloom

The Butchart Gardens is a proud supporter of Canada's Communities in Bloom program and for the past eight years have sponsored the 'Best Land Reclamation Award'. This award is a tribute to a community that has had the vision and spirit to reclaim and beautify a neglected and unatrractive site. The Gardens sponsors this award as our Sunken Garden is one of the most recognized reclamation sites in the world.

9. Greenhouse Tours Grow in Popularity


Greenhouse Tours offer an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how the gardeners grow and maintain the health of many of the plants found throughout the gardens. Offered only on weekends in November, these tours are popular with horticulture groups and 12 month pass holders. 2016 tours sold out immediately. For more information on Greenhouse Tours, visit our Experiences page.

10. Enchanted Tree Brings Visitors Together

The Arts and Entertainment Department introduced the Enchanted Tree to the Magic of Christmas display in 2016. Singing, speaking or clapping in front of the tree make the lights on the branches change as voice and sound tone changes. Visitors came together to sing Christmas carols, bringing the tree to life.

11. Rare December Snowfall Creates a Stunning Winter Wonderland

December 9th marked the first snowfall in a long time at The Gardens. The photo above was taken before sunrise that day. Photographers, 12 month pass holders walking their dogs and visitors coming from the surrounding area enjoyed strolling through this winter wonderland. For more photos of snow at The Gardens, visit our Facebook page.

Here is a peek at what is new in 2017.

  • Effective January 2017, selfie sticks are not permitted at The Gardens for the safety and enjoyment of all visitors.

  • To celebrate Canada's 150th, a floral display will be set up showcasing the official 150th tulip.

See you in 2017.

Load more posts