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The Butchart Chronicles : March 24, 2017

Flower and Garden Report March 24 - 31, 2017

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Flower/Colour Report for the period of  March 23 – March 29, 2017

The first week of spring has arrived and it looks like we’ve turned a corner in the garden as masses of colour are starting to appear in many areas. The Rose garden is in full bloom with a spectacular carpet of Crocuses that may even be more colourful than the roses themselves when they come into bloom in the summer!  

The Daffodils still seem a little hesitant as they are just starting to make their appearance, but when they do decide to get with the program they will make an incredible impact. The earliest Cherries are blossoming along with the bravest of the Camellias and Rhododendrons and we should see many more varieties exhibiting their colours out in the near future.

This is the last full week for the Spring Prelude display and it continues to inspire our visitors with its exquisite design features and its abundance of colour and fragrance. You may regret not seeing this delightful display, so please make sure you take the opportunity to see it before the end of next week……….of course there is always next year!  

In Bloom - Outside in the Garden:

  • Abeliophylum – (White Forsythia)
  • Anemone blanda (Windflower)
  • Arbutus unedo
  • Bellis
  • Bergenia
  • Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry)
  • Crocus
  • Daphne
  • Eranthis (Winter aconite)
  • Erica (Heather)
  • Forsythia
  • Galanthus (Snowdrop)
  • Hamamelis
  • Helleborus   
  • Iris reticulata
  • Jasminium (Winter Jasmine)
  • Lysichiton (Skunk cabbage)
  • Mahonia x media ‘Charity’
  • Myosotis
  • Pansy (hanging baskets are out!)
  • Pieris
  • Polyanthus
  • Pulmonaria
  • Pulsatilla
  • Puschkinia
  • Rhododendron
  • Sarcococca (Sweet Box)
  • Scilla     
  • Viburnum bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus   

 

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What’s blooming in Spring Prelude

  • Anthurium
  • Azalea
  • Begonia - Rieger
  • Bromeliad
  • Cercis
  • Chaenomeles
  • Convallaria (Lily-of-the-Valley)
  • Corylopsis
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Daphne
  • Edgeworthia
  • Forsythia
  • Fuchsia
  • Gerbera
  • Hamamelis
  • Helleborus
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris (reticulata)
  • Jasminium polyanthum (White or Pink Jasmine)
  • Justicia (Shrimp plant)
  • Loropetalum (Chinese Fringe plant)
  • Malus
  • Kerria
  • Magnolia
  • Narcissus
  • Orchid (Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium, Paphiopedilum)
  • Pieris
  • Pittosporum
  • Polyanthus
  • Prunus (Plum)
  • Ribes (Currant)
  • Sarcococca
  • Scilla 
  • Spiraea
  • Spathiphyllum
  • Syringa (Lilac)
  • Tulip
  • Velthemia
  • Viburnum bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus
  • Wisteria
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The Butchart Chronicles : March 24, 2017

Garden Notebook Spring 2017

Garden Notebook – Spring 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

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There has never been a year where we have so eagerly anticipated the arrival of spring in our garden. With all the talk of global warming we were expecting and planning for another early spring, but in a humbling change of events, Mother Nature decided to cool our region off significantly during the past few months. That being what it was, the garden itself did not suffer any unexpected physical damage. However, in comparison to last year, our floral calendar is almost a full month behind and because of this we are anticipating one of the most dynamic spring seasons ever.     

I personally like to think that the delay of the spring display is a blessing in disguise as once the weather warms up the garden should literally erupt with a magnificent explosion of colour. Nature has never set any boundaries as to what colours can and should bloom together so we won’t make any excuses if our carefully planned colour schemes don’t quite harmonize as we feel they should.


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You may be wondering how we actually plan our spring bulb display, so here are a few basic guidelines that we use every year. Typically the first bulbs to emerge out of the ground are the Snowdrops (Galanthus) which are quickly followed by Scilla, Crocus, Muscari and Chionodoxa – there are many others, but these are the main varieties. These bulbs are all primarily used for naturalizing so some see them as playing a secondary role in the overall display. The earliest Daffodils are the next to arrive and we mix these into many of our borders to provide colour before the Tulips appear. The earliest of the Tulips can be found in pockets throughout the garden followed by Hyacinths and these are also typically planted along with Tulips to provide our first sequence of colour. Among the groups of Tulips, Daffodils and even the Hyacinths, certain varieties will bloom at different times throughout the spring. We do our best to arrange the hundreds of varieties we use so that we have a continual flow of endless colour throughout the garden. Our goal is to have the colours blending harmoniously together in the sweeping borders as well as with the surrounding landscape. All of our display borders are under-planted with biennials, which bloom according to their own timing with a range of individual colours that are also critical for the overall presentation.  I like to think of our spring garden as a symphony of colour with various movements coming together to form a remarkably brilliant composition. However, as much as we feel that we are the conductors of this orchestra, there is a greater power who is waving the baton and determining the tempo of each piece!    

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Whatever the final outcome, this truly is the most exciting time in the garden as each day brings new life and a vibrancy that simply isn’t as tangible at any other time of the year. There is no other season when you can feel completely immersed in colour as every layer of the landscape – from the flowing borders to the cascading canopies of the trees  participate in the magnificent floral display that surrounds you.


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While this is taking place in the garden, the greenhouses are a hive of activity as many staff work tirelessly to produce the tens of thousands of plants required for our summer floral display. There is a continuous ebb and flow of plants pouring in and out of greenhouses as they move through the various stages of their growth. This process requires a great deal of organization, planning and (most of all!) patience. Our greenhouse staff are also responsible for the production of hundreds of awe-inspiring hanging baskets as well as the exquisite collection of fabulous container plantings that provide added inspiration throughout the landscape. We are extremely proud of our staff and I have to say that they produce some of the finest hanging baskets and container plantings that can be found anywhere in the world!

There is so much more that could be written, but words simply can’t convey the intrinsic beauty of the season or the efforts taken by our staff to create and maintain this brilliant masterpiece.  

 
The Butchart Chronicles : March 24, 2017

Easter Weekend - Can You Find All 12 Bunnies?

When: April 14-17, 2017

Time: 9:00am-5:00pm

What: Easter Bunny Hunt

Easter Bunny Hunt

Easter weekend is coming soon and many of you are already planning your annual Easter Egg or Easter Bunny hunts for your kids and grandkids. Let us help. Our staff enjoy hiding 12 Easter Bunnies throughout The Gardens every year.  We provide the map and children 17 and under can have fun marking the location of all 12 bunnies scattered through The Gardens.

Completed maps can be turned in at the Visitor Centre for a special Easter treat. Children may also enter a draw for an Easter basket filled with Butchart Gardens goodies.

Our Easter Bunny Hunt*  happens over the four days of Easter Weekend – April 14th - 17th from 9:00 am to closing at 5:00 pm (open for viewing until 6pm).  Come out for some family fun. 

We invite you to stay for Afternoon Tea or a Spring Lunch in the Dining Room Restaurant - please call 250-652-8222 or reserve online at:  OPEN TABLE.  (children's menu available).  Or enjoy lunch in The Blue Poppy Restaurant from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm.

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*No rabbits are harmed during these fun festivities – they are ceramic after all! 

 
The Butchart Chronicles : March 24, 2017

Mother's Day, May 14th 2017

The 50 member Greater Victoria Concert Band will perform on the west side of Water Wheel Square between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm; weather permitting.

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The gardens are bursting with colour and scent. May is the perfect month to see spectacular spring, bring mom or grandmother for a visit that is sure to impress.

Come enjoy special time together with family and friends on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14, 2017. Relax and savour our sumptuous Mother’s Day Lunch Buffet in the Blue Poppy Restaurant or indulge in our delightful Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea in the Dining Room Restaurant.

Annabelle's Café and the Coffee Shop will be open for refreshments and light lunches. Also, enjoy a fresh-made gelato at the Gelateria in the Italian Garden.

*Please note:  Admission to The Gardens is required for all Mother's Day events.

Mother's Day Lunch Buffet 

(Sunday, May 14th only)
In The Blue Poppy Restaurant

  • 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • $36.50 per person, + tax
  • Child 5 to 12 - $18.25 + tax
  • Children under 5 years of age - Free

View the menu: Mother’s Day Lunch Buffet

Reservations accepted on or after Monday,  March 27th at 8:30 am

Make a reservations: 250-652-4422 ext 320 (8:30am-5:00pm)
Valid 12 month passholders may reserve beginning Monday, March 20th at 8:30am


Mother's Day Afternoon Tea 

(Sunday, May 14th only)
Location:  The Dining Room Restaurant

  • 11:00 am - 4 pm for just $40.75 per person, plus tax
  • 48 hours' notice is required to accommodate a gluten free or vegetarian tea

View the menu: Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea


Make reservations now: 250-652-8222 or reserve online with Open Table

 
*Please note:  Admission to The Gardens is required for all Mother's Day events.

 
The Butchart Chronicles : March 24, 2017

2017 Gallery Opening

Opening:

April 1st
9:00 am

Demonstrations:

April 1 & 2nd
Noon - 3:00pm

Gallery Opening April 1, 2017

Featured Artist:  Alanna Sparanese

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Vancouver Island is a constant source of inspiration for our featured artist during opening weekend at The Gallery.  Alanna is a self-taught artist inspired by the inherent beauty of the natural world, Alanna is drawn to the extraordinary in the ordinary.  “My artwork aims to reveal the beautiful in the everyday, the strength in the fragile, the perfection in the imperfection, and the connection between the human spirit and the natural world”.

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Working with the encaustic medium and incorporating mixed media, she captures feeling and emotion on canvas, reflected in luminous layers and enticing textures.  Finding the medium both exciting and versatile to work with, Alanna uses various elements of interest; collage, transfer, photographs, drawings and written material.  Oil paints, dry pigments and oils sticks are used to create the desired colour palette of choice and from there her vision is transformed with molten layers of pigmented wax to give a luscious depth and transparent luminosity to her pieces. 
See Alanna at work during her demonstrations at The Gallery on opening weekend.

Alanna Sparanese demonstrations from 12-3pm on April 1st & 2nd.

 

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The Butchart Chronicles : March 24, 2017

Newsletter - Upcoming Media & Trade Shows

Have you visited our website? There's a dedicated section for Media.

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Canada Media Marketplace 2017

 April 3-5, 2017; New York, NY

In April,  Daphne Gardner, Manager of Public Relations is attending Canada Media Marketplace which is the annual show presented by Destination Canada.  The event brings together the best in U.S. travel media with Canadian tourism organizations.  CMM is a great place to gather new story ideas about The Gardens.

TMAC 2017: 

May 24 – 27th - Québec City, QC. 

The Travel Media Association of Canada brings together the country’s most highly respected professional travel writers, bloggers, photographers, videographers and tourism industry experts.  Their mission is to foster excellence through programs such as the TMAC Awards, to uphold ethical standards, to promote professional development and to encourage the exchange of ideas and information about travel.  Daphne Gardner is attending this year’s conference.  


Some of the ways we promote Victoria and The Gardens.

For consumers:

San Francisco Flower & Garden Show
San Mateo CA; April 5 – 9, 2017

The San Francisco Flower & Garden Show  is one of the top exhibitions of its kind in the United States. Visitors to the show will stroll through beautifully designed gardens complete with trees, shrubs and flowers in full bloom. Demonstrations and seminars by world-class floral designers will educate and inspire the home gardener to create their own garden space.  Professional gardeners and nursery owners will be on hand to answer gardening questions and offer solutions for those nagging garden problems. Browse a wide selection of specialty shops featuring flowers, plants, gifts and tools.

Calgary Horticultural Society 2017 Garden Show
Calgary, AB; April 29 - 30, 2017

The Garden Show is THE event of the year for Alberta's gardening community and is a 2-day celebration of gardening and gardening lifestyle.  The show shines a spotlight on dozens of high-profile, informative local speakers.  It showcases hundreds of exhibitors, has hands-on fun family activities, and honours the skills of top gardeners through fun and inspiring competitions.

For Travel Trade:

Cruise360
Fort Lauderdale, Florida; April 20 – 21

As the largest and only official conference of the cruise industry, Cruise360 brings together travel professionals, cruise line representatives, ports & destinations, industry suppliers of the cruise industry.

Active America China
Portland, Oregon; April 23 – 25, 2017

China is the fastest growing inbound tourism market to North America and Active America China and is the only show in North America that is 100% dedicated to building inbound Chinese tourism. Tour operators who attend Active America China are from companies responsible for over 40% of all tourism to North America. Presentations provide the most up to date information on the state of the current inbound market as well as providing best-practice tips on marketing to the Chinese traveler.

Rendezvous Canada
Calgary, AB. May 8 – 12, 2017

Tour operators and travel trade media from around the globe gather as the 4 day event showcases the rich diversity of Canada and contributes to the prosperity and growth of our tourism industry.   Josh Bickerton and Alison Lindsay from Public Relations are attending.



Reminder:
  Please contact us for more facts and information -  find more here.

 
The Butchart Chronicles : March 24, 2017

Travel Trade News

Have you visited our website? There's a dedicated section for Local Industry and Travel Trade partners.

Ways we promote Victoria and The Gardens...


Our Group Sales team is always on the go! Here are the shows that we will be attending over the next few months.

In addition to the tradeshows, we also have planned Sales Missions and calls to the Port Angeles area, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary as well as several cities on Vancouver island.

On the local scene, we will be conducting sales calls to industry partners and area concierge. Let us know if you have new staff that we can meet with or if you need any collateral to share with your guests.

Been too long since your last visit to The Gardens? Contact us and we would be happy to set up a visit for you. FAMs for your staff can also be arranged.

Some of the ways we promote Victoria and The Gardens.

For consumers:

San Francisco Flower & Garden Show
San Mateo CA; April 5 – 9, 2017

Details: The San Francisco Flower & Garden Show  is one of the top exhibitions of its kind in the United States. Visitors to the show will stroll through beautifully designed gardens complete with trees, shrubs and flowers in full bloom. Demonstrations and seminars by world-class floral designers will educate and inspire the home gardener to create their own garden space.  Professional gardeners and nursery owners will be on hand to answer all your gardening questions and offer solutions for those nagging garden problems. Browse a wide selection of specialty shops featuring flowers, plants, gifts and tools.

Calgary Horticultural Society 2017 Garden Show
Calgary, AB; April 29 - 30, 2017

Details:  The Garden Show is THE event of the year for Alberta's gardening community and is a 2-day celebration of gardening and gardening lifestyle.  The show shines a spotlight on dozens of high-profile, informative, local speakers.  It showcases hundreds of exhibitors, has hands-on fun family activities, and honours the skills of top gardeners through fun and inspiring competitions.

For Travel Trade:

Cruise360
Fort Lauderdale, Florida; April 20 – 21

As the largest and only official conference of the cruise industry, Cruise360 brings together travel professionals, cruise line representatives, ports & destinations, industry suppliers of the cruise industry.

Active America China
Portland, Oregon; April 23 – 25, 2017

China is the fastest growing inbound tourism market to North America and Active America China, now in its ninth year,  is the only show in North America that is 100% dedicated to building inbound Chinese tourism. Tour operators who attended Active America China were from companies that were responsible for over 40% of all tourism to North America. Presentations provide the most up to date information on the state of the current inbound market as well as providing best-practice tips on marketing to the Chinese traveler.

Rendezvous Canada
Calgary, AB. May 8 – 12, 2017
Tour Operators and travel trade media from around the globe gather as the 4 day event showcases the rich diversity of Canada and contributes to the prosperity and growth of our tourism industry.   Josh Bickerton and Alison Lindsay from Public Relations are attending.



Reminder:
  Please contact us for collateral, 2017 rates and group menus or find more information here.


 


 
The Butchart Chronicles : March 21, 2017

The Butchart Gardens 'Bans the Bottle'

NEWS RELEASE

FOR RELEASE MARCH 22ND, 2017 

THE BUTCHART GARDENS ‘BANS THE BOTTLE’
Move will eliminate 80,000 single-use plastic water bottles each year from the environment 

March 22nd, 2017 Victoria, B. C. – In recognition of World Water Day, The Butchart Gardens has removed the sale of all single-use plastic water bottles as an extension of their existing environmental practices. Instead, The Gardens is encouraging visitors to bring their own water bottles to fill at one of four double-filtered water stations located around The Gardens. Each water station boasts a drinking fountain, bottle filler and a doggy water dish.

“With this initiative we aim to drive awareness of the serious threat plastic poses to our environment, in particular single-use plastic water bottles,” said Bob Parrotta, Director of Food Services for The Butchart Gardens. “We have chosen today to announce our new direction in an effort to bring attention to World Water Day which is marked on 22nd of March every year. It’s a day to celebrate water and to prepare for how we manage water in the future.”

According to Ottawa’s Polaris Institute, bottled water is 240 – 10,000 times more expensive than tap water and the amount of oil used for the production of bottled water in 2010 was the equivalent to putting 1 million cars on the road.

Forgot your water bottle? The Butchart Gardens will have reusable ‘keepsake’ water bottles for sale for $3.95, the cost of purchasing a single-use serving.

The Butchart Gardens is an internationally renowned 55-acre (22 hectare) display garden located near Victoria, British Columbia. Created in 1904 by Jennie Butchart, and still privately owned and operated by family descendants, The Gardens has been designated a National Historic Site of Canada and welcomes over one million visitors a year.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
 
Bob Parrotta
Director, Food Services, The Butchart Gardens 
250-652-4422

 
The Butchart Chronicles : March 17, 2017

Flower and Garden Report March 16th to March 22nd

Flower and Garden Report March 16 - March 22, 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

I’m quite happy to be home after a week in Toronto promoting our garden at Canada Blooms which is Canada’s largest indoor flower and garden show. I won’t mention the weather, because up until the time we visited they were experiencing a milder winter than what we were dealing with here at the Gardens.

That being said, the garden has sprung to life in the past week and there are signs of spring blossoming throughout the garden. We are truly blessed to be gardening in a climate where the diversity and abundance of floral beauty provides you with a unique experience every single week of the year. The Rose Garden is particularly spectacular right now as tens of thousands of colourful crocuses blanket an area which only a week ago was barren ground.

The Spring Prelude display continues to inspire our visitors with its plethora of exotic plant material that accentuates the artistry of the plantings and garden features. The colourful plants on display in this indoor garden change on a weekly basis so you’re guaranteed to see something different if you happen to visit regularly. There are only two weeks remaining for this year’s Spring Prelude display so please come out soon so that you don’t miss it. 

In Bloom - Outside in the Garden:

  • Abeliophylum – (White Forsythia)
  • Arbutus unedo
  • Bellis
  • Bergenia
  • Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry)
  • Crocus
  • Daphne
  • Eranthis (Winter aconite)
  • Erica (Heather)
  • Forsythia
  • Galanthus (Snowdrop)
  • Hamamelis
  • Helleborus   
  • Iris reticulata
  • Jasminium (Winter Jasmine)
  • Mahonia x media ‘Charity’
  • Myosotis
  • Pansy (hanging baskets are out!)
  • Polyanthus
  • Pulmonaria
  • Puschkinia
  • Rhododendron
  • Sarcococca (Sweet Box)
  • Scilla     
  • Viburnum bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus 

What’s blooming in Spring Prelude

  • Anthurium
  • Azalea
  • Begonia - Rieger
  • Bromeliad
  • Chaenomeles
  • Convallaria (Lily-of-the-Valley)
  • Corylopsis
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Daphne
  • Edgeworthia
  • Forsythia
  • Fuchsia
  • Gerbera
  • Hamamelis
  • Helleborus
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris (reticulata)
  • Jasminium polyanthum (White or Pink Jasmine)
  • Justicia (Shrimp plant)
  • Loropetalum (Chinese Fringe plant)
  • Malus
  • Kerria
  • Magnolia
  • Narcissus
  • Orchid (Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium, Paphiopedilum)
  • Pieris
  • Pittosporum
  • Polyanthus
  • Prunus (Plum)
  • Ribes (Currant)
  • Sarcococca
  • Scilla 
  • Spathiphyllum
  • Syringa (Lilac)
  • Tulip
  • Velthemia
  • Viburnum bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus
  • Wisteria
 
The Butchart Chronicles : March 6, 2017

Flower and Garden Report March 2nd to March 15th

Flower and Garden Report March 2 - March 15, 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

If we have learned one thing this year, it’s patience! In all my years (almost 30) at the Gardens I do not recall such a reluctant start to spring. It certainly doesn’t help matters that last year at this time we were enjoying the blooms of the earliest tulips and the fragrance from the first Hyacinths!

Conditions this year have caused some of our gardeners to experience mild anxiety from early season floral depravation syndrome (ESFDS). There is hope however, as when you stroll around the gardens you will see the emerging foliage from tens of thousands of bulbs as they hesitantly expose themselves to the unseasonably cool temperatures.

All that being said, the garden is always inspiring and beautiful no matter what the season or the level of the floral display. At this time of the year the garden evokes a certain tranquil beauty that simply cannot be experienced during any other season. To be clear, there are many floral delights to be found, but you may have to look for them as they don’t necessarily come looking for you! 

Inside our Spring Prelude display it’s a completely different story as colour and fragrance abound. You will find everything from tropical delights to naturalized plantings that mirror what will (or should) be taking place in the garden when spring finally arrives. If the garden outdoors doesn’t provide enough inspiration – I promise that you will be inspired by what you find inside.   

Outside in the Garden:

In Bloom (or coming into bloom):

  • Abeliophylum – (White Forsythia)
  • Arbutus unedo
  • Bergenia
  • Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry)
  • Eranthis (Winter aconite)
  • Erica (Heather)
  • Galanthus (Snowdrop)
  • Hamamelis
  • Helleborus   
  • Iris reticulata
  • Jasminium (Winter Jasmine)
  • Mahonia x media ‘Charity’
  • Pansy (hanging baskets are out!)
  • Polyanthus
  • Rhododendron ‘Christmas Cheer’
  • Sarcococca (Sweet Box)
  • Scilla     
  • Viburnum bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus   

Inside:

What’s blooming in Spring Prelude

  • Anthurium
  • Azalea
  • Begonia - Rieger
  • Bromeliad
  • Cercis
  • Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry)
  • Convallaria (Lily-of-the-Valley)
  • Corokia
  • Corylopsis
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Edgeworthia
  • Forsythia
  • Fuchsia
  • Hamamelis
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris (reticulata)
  • Jasminium polyanthum (White or Pink Jasmine)
  • Justicia (Shrimp plant)
  • Loropetalum (Chinese Fringe plant)
  • Malus
  • Kerria
  • Magnolia
  • Narcissus
  • Orchid (Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium, Paphiopedilum)
  • Pieris
  • Polyanthus
  • Prunus (Plum)
  • Ribes (Currant)
  • Sarcococca 
  • Spathiphyllum
  • Syringa (Lilac)
  • Tulip
  • Velthemia
  • Viburnum bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus

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