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   


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