The Butchart Chronicles : February 11, 2016

Flower and Garden Report for February 11, 2016

Northwest Flower and Garden Show 2016

We’re off to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle next week to set up a display, promote the Gardens and to connect with past and future visitors. We never take our popularity for granted and take every possible opportunity to reach out and encourage people to come and experience our hospitality and most importantly, the beauty of our garden. If you happen to be in Seattle, please stop by and visit us at this fabulous show.

Over the past week we welcomed the first cherry blossoms of the season, which is a little earlier than usual. The temperatures have been above average for us and have helped to advance the early spring display ahead of schedule. This is a benefit to the visitors who come to see us at this time of year, but is always a little unsettling for us as we try to plan and time the display based on average weather conditions. With the way weather patterns have changed and continue to change, we may have to re-evaluate what we have always considered to be average - or better yet, maybe it’s just best to toss our old idea of ‘average’ out the window and develop a new standard for ‘average’!                

Enough on weather…..the gardens are lovely at this time of year and we are beginning to see blankets of colourful crocus appear. The very first Anemone blanda (Wind flower) blossoms have come out along with the beautifully fragrant Abeliophyllum (White forsythia). This a great time to visit as each week we get to experience the gradual procession of spring blossoms as they make their appearance in the garden.           

The Spring Prelude continues to provide our visitors with a dazzling display of spring blossoms as well as many tropical delights. It is our hope that you are able to visit us at this time of year so that you can experience the delightful outdoor gardens as well as this extraordinary indoor garden display.  

- Rick Los, director of horticulture

Witch hazel flowering at The Butchart Gardens


Special interest plants and plants that are blooming or coming into bloom

  • Abeliophyllum (White forsythia)
  • Anemone blanda
  • Bergenia
  • Camellia sasanqua (flowers)
  • Correa (Australian fuchsia – in containers at Carousel – beautiful flowers!)    
  • Crocus
  • Daphne (flowers/fragrance)
  • Eranthis (Winter aconite – flowers)
  • Erica (Heather – blooming profusely!)
  • Galanthus (flowers)
  • Garrya (amazing catkins)
  • Hamamelis (flowers/fragrance)
  • Helleborus (flowers) 
  • Iris reticulata (flowers just starting to show)
  • Jasminium (Winter Jasmine – yellow flowers)
  • Mahonia
  • Narcissus (early bloomers!)
  • Polyanthus (flowers)
  • Prunus (flowering cherry – first cherry tree in bloom!)
  • Pulmonaria
  • Sacococca (Sweet Box – flowers/fragrance)
  • Salix caprea ‘pendula’ (catkins!)
  • Scilla
  • Viburnum tinus (berries/flowers)  


What’s blooming in the Spring Prelude

  • Anthurium
  • Azalea
  • Begonia - Rieger
  • Bromeliad
  • Camellia
  • Cercis
  • Cornus mas (Cornelian cherry)
  • Corylopsis
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Edgeworthia
  • Forsythia
  • Hamamelis
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris (reticulata)
  • Jasminium polyanthum (White or Pink Jasmine)
  • Loropetalum (Chinese fringe plant)
  • Magnolia
  • Narcissus
  • Orchid (Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium, Paphiopedilum)
  • Pieris
  • Polyanthus
  • Prunus (Flowering Plum and Cherry trees)
  • Rechsteineria
  • Ribes
  • Sarcococca
  • Spathiphyllum
  • Spirea
  • Tulip
  • Velthemia
  • Viburnum tinus

Prunus flowering inside the Spring Prelude at The Butchart Gardens