The Butchart Chronicles : January 22, 2016

Flower and Garden Report for January 21, 2016

Well, I wish I could report dramatic changes in the garden over the past week, but at this time of year the garden moves and changes at a slow pace – only moving forward within the boundaries or constraints that nature provides.

That being said, the garden is beginning to provide us with early glimpses of colour and fragrance, giving us a sense of hope in knowing that spring can’t be that far away. Snowdrops are appearing in larger numbers and the daffodils that teased us with some colour in December are still trying to make up their minds whether or not they want to come into full bloom! Hellebores, Hamamelis and some of the Viburnums continue blooming without any fanfare and the first of the Daphne’s are also beginning to open up providing splashes of colour and waves of wonderful fragrance.

This past week we opened up our spectacular Spring Prelude display where we have moved well beyond the constraints of nature. Thousands of colourful bulbs, shrubs, trees have been forced into bloom and along with tropical plants adorn this cleverly crafted indoor garden display.   

- Rick Los, director of horticulture

Daffodils and windmills at The Butchart Gardens


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)
  • Daphne (flowers/fragrance)
  • Euonymous europaeus (berries)
  • Galanthus (flowers)
  • Garrya (catkins)
  • Hamamelis (flowers/fragrance)
  • Helleborus (flowers) 
  • Jasminium (Winter Jasmine – yellow flowers)
  • Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ (flowers)
  • Nandina (berries)
  • Polyanthus (flowers)
  • Pyracantha  (berries)
  • Sacococca (Sweet Box – flowers/fragrance)
  • Stewartia psuedocamellia (bark)   
  • Ulmus glabra ‘Camperdownii’ (Camperdown Elm – unique form)
  • Viburnum bodnantense (flowers) 
  • Viburnum davidii (berries) 
  • Viburnum tinus (berries/flowers)  

Pink hellebores at The Butchart Gardens


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

Spring Prelude entrance 2016 at The Butchart Gardens