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The Butchart Chronicles : January 7, 2018

Flower and Garden Report January 7th - 14th

Garden Report for the period of January 7th -14th 2018

By Thea Hegland, Horticultural Assistant


All is quiet in the New Year Garden. Or at least it seems that way on the garden front. Another year gone by, the Christmas display is once again being dismantled and the fervor is on for the incredible metamorphosis of the Blue Poppy Restaurant to the ever-enchanting Spring Prelude indoor garden.

Rock by rock, the garden beds are laid out. Fountains and ponds are carefully made, while bridges, fences and patios are assembled. Hundreds of trees, shrubs and essential ferns are put in their place. Tropical plants create a jungle; truckloads of bark mulch are brought in by wheelbarrow before the bounty of spring flowers are planted in mass. This is The Spring Prelude. And it is all installed in one week.

Truth be told, work is done on this project months in advance. Masterly planned and implemented, the preparation of props and plants streamline the entire installation making for a successful show of Eden. Spring bulbs are potted up and urged into bloom in warmer greenhouses, trees and shrubs are brought in from the outdoors to acclimatize slowly beforehand in carefully controlled heat. Plants are cleaned and props are mocked up for a dry run.

Meanwhile in the great outdoors, new signs of flowering action can be found in The Gardens. Galanthus nivalis, (Snowdrop) brighten up little spots here and there. Crocus magically appears in a colourful blanket in the Rose Garden. Garrya elliptica (Silk-tassel bush) is interesting with its pendent gray-green catkins, many which are found in containers as well as flower beds in the garden.

It won’t be long now. The garden is set to ignite…all we have to do is watch.

Plants, trees and shrubs that are blooming or of interest:

  • Anthurium (Flamingo flower)
  • Aucuba japonica (Spotted laurel)
  • Bellis (English daisy)
  • Bergenia (Elephant’s ears)
  • Callicarpa (Beautyberry)
  • Camellia
  • Catalpa (Indian bean tree)
  • Cotoneaster
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Davidia (Dove tree)
  • Erica (Heather)
  • Euphorbia pulcherrina (Poinsettia)
  • Galanthus nivalis (Snowdrop)
  • Garrya elliptica (Silk- tassel bush)
  • Hamamelis (Witch hazel)
  • Helleborus (Christmas rose)
  • Hydrangea
  • Ilex verticillata (Winterberry)
  • Kalanchoe
  • Jasminium nudiflorum (Winter jasmine)
  • Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ (Oregon grape)
  • Medinilla magnifica
  • Nandina domestica (Heavenly bamboo)
  • Ophiopogon planiscapus (Black mondo grass)
  • Orchid
  • Pansy
  • Pieris (Lily -of - the valley shrub)
  • Polyanthus (Primula)
  • Pyracantha
  • Sarcococca (Christmas box)
  • Skimmia japonica
  • Viburnum x bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus
  • Viola