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The Butchart Chronicles : February 24, 2017

Flower and Garden Report for February 24 - March 2nd

Flower and Garden Report February 24th – March 2nd, 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

early rhododendrons have started showing colour

In spite of the cooler than average temperatures the garden continues to (slowly) push out colour and this week the first crocuses began to appear; albeit a little reluctantly. The first of the early rhododendrons have started showing colour, but they also don’t seem to be in much of a hurry to come into full bloom – this is in complete contrast to last year when they were in bloom a full month earlier! This is a humbling business as we are continually reminded that despite our best efforts, we are completely subject to the whims of nature. 

The damage the garden sustained from the major snowfall couple of weeks ago has been completely cleaned up and once again I have to take my hat off to our amazing team of gardeners who work so hard to keep this garden in pristine shape. I would challenge anyone to try and find anything that looks even remotely out of place in the garden – I am humbled (a humbling week for me!) by our gardeners persistence and dedication to their work – they truly take a great deal of pride in this special place.   

Speaking of special places……we are heading into the last month of our fabulous indoor Spring Prelude garden display, so please come and check it out if you haven’t already done so – I guarantee that you will be impressed and inspired.   

One final note - this weekend we will be welcoming thousands of our local residents as they become ‘Tourists in their own Home Town’. We look forward to sharing the beauty of our early spring season with all of them as well as with every other visitor who happens to stop by.  

Outside in the Garden:

In Bloom (or reluctantly 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   

 Early blooming snowdrops

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)
  • Loropetalum (Chinese Fringe plant)
  • Malus
  • Kerria
  • Magnolia
  • Narcissus
  • Orchid (Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium, Paphiopedilum)
  • Pieris
  • Polyanthus
  • Prunus (Plum)
  • Ribes (Currant)
  • Sarcococca 
  • Spathiphyllum
  • Syringa (Lilac)
  • Tulip
  • Viburnum bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus

Spring Prelude 2017

 
The Butchart Chronicles : February 17, 2017

Flower and Garden Report February 16th to 22nd

Flower and Garden Report February 16 – February 22, 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

We are done with snow, but unfortunately the snow is not quite done with us! There are still patches and piles of snow lingering from last week’s major snowstorm – especially in the shadier areas.  

This week, as the snow began to melt, we noticed that the stubborn patches of Narcissus that decided to start blooming in November just carried on like nothing happened at all. We also noticed a few patches of brilliant blue Scilla which hadn’t been in bloom before the snow started falling. The plants you see blooming in the garden at this time of year are tenacious and they naturally have the desire to persist in even the least desirable weather conditions.

There’s not much more that I can say about our indoor Spring Prelude garden display that hasn’t already been said, but I will add that the colour and fragrance has been particularly cherished over the past week as the outdoor garden was covered under a blanket of snow.    

In the coming week will be in Seattle with a small and colourful display to promote our garden at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. If you happen to be in Seattle between the 22nd and the  26th  of February, please come and stop by for a visit with us at our booth.     

Outside in the Garden:

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)
  • Cornus (shrub dogwoods, brilliant bark colours)
  • Cornus kousa (Kousa dogwood – bark)  
  • Corylus avellana ‘contorta’ (Henry Lauder’s walking stick – unique form) 
  • Cotoneaster (berries)
  • Erica (flowers)
  • Galanthus (flowers)
  • Garrya (catkins)
  • Hamamelis (flowers/fragrance)
  • Helleborus (flowers)  
  • Jasminium (Winter Jasmine – yellow flowers)
  • Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ (flowers)
  • Nandina (berries)
  • Pyracantha  (berries)
  • Scilla (flowers)
  • Stewartia psuedocamellia (bark)  
  • Ulmus glabra ‘Camperdownii’ (Camperdown Elm – unique form)
  • Viburnum bodnantense (flowers)
  • Viburnum tinus (flowers/berries)  

Inside:

What’s blooming in Spring Prelude

  • Anthurium
  • Azalea
  • Begonia - Rieger
  • Bromeliad
  • Cercis
  • Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry)
  • Corylopsis
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Edgeworthia
  • Forsythia
  • Fuchsia
  • Hamamelis
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris (reticulata)
  • Jasminium polyanthum (White or Pink Jasmine)
  • Kerria
  • Magnolia
  • Narcissus
  • Orchid (Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium, Paphiopedilum)
  • Polyanthus
  • Prunus (Plum)
  • Ribes (Currant)
  • Sarcococca
  • Spathiphyllum
  • Tulip
  • Viburnum bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus
 
The Butchart Chronicles : February 16, 2017

6 Ways to Enjoy February with The Butchart Gardens

Enjoy February with The Butchart Gardens

Before spring graces us with warmer weather, beautiful flowers and longer days, let's enjoy what February has to offer. The Gardens has a lot of exciting experiences happening for the remainder of February. Here are six ways to make the most of the month.

1. Attend the Northwest Flower & Garden Show​


This show takes place February 22 - 26. We are attending and you can too. Victoria Clipper​ can set you up with a discounted transportation, hotel and admission package.

2. Dine Around Victoria

Launching February 16th, treat your taste buds at restaurants throughout Victoria from February 17 - March 5. The Dining Room Restaurant at The Gardens has select dates available for Dine Around but they are filling up fast! 250-652-4422 for reservations.

3. Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown

Attractions Victoria​ organized another great year of 'Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown'. Take advantage of great deals around town. Use your pass for free admission to The Butchart Gardens on February 25th and 26th. Please note: February 25th and 26th only

4. Enjoy the Spring Prelude Garden

The Gardening Department has created the stunning Spring Prelude Garden. They continue to ensure the beautiful flowers showcased here are fragrant and blooming throughout the display. Did you know weddings are hosted in this garden until March 31?

5. Experience History

The Historical Display continues to inform and 'wow' visitors as they learn about the vibrant history of The Gardens. For more information on the historical display, please visit the 2017 display information page.

6. Relax with the High Tea and Admission Special

'A Taste of Spring' offers great value to enjoy The Gardens and have a signature high tea experience all in one visit. This promotion continues until February 28th.

Spring is right around the corner, but there's still so much to do this winter. Enjoy it while it lasts!

 
The Butchart Chronicles : February 10, 2017

Flower and Garden Report February 9th to 15th

Flower and Garden Report: February 9 – February 15, 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

We have received over 30 cm of snow during the past few days, but as I’m writing this, rain is falling and the snow is melting quickly. Our snow is typically wet and heavy and with the additional rain the load can be too much for many plants to bear. Through the course of these adverse conditions we have lost a couple of trees (nothing that is irreplaceable) and many plants have been damaged throughout the gardens.

With that being said, I would challenge any visitor to find any kind of damage remaining in the garden within the next week or so as our highly skilled gardeners work their magic through pruning and replanting any plants that have been impacted. We actually like to look at situations like this as opportunities where we can make improvements and perhaps even replant with plants that add more beauty to the garden than their predecessors provided.

The weather indoors has been much more conducive to gardening and the Spring Prelude display is in fine form with its dazzling array of colourful and fragrant plants. The contrast from the wintry outdoor garden to the warm and spring-like indoor garden is striking – perhaps even shocking! This garden will inspire you in many ways and we welcome you to come in and satisfy your cravings for spring as we patiently wait for the blanket of snow to disappear.

Outside in the Garden:

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

Inside:

What’s blooming in Spring Prelude

  • Anthurium
  • Azalea
  • Begonia - Rieger
  • Bromeliad
  • Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry)
  • Corylopsis
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Edgeworthia
  • Forsythia
  • Fuchsia
  • Hamamelis
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris (reticulata)
  • Jasminium polyanthum (White or Pink Jasmine)
  • Kerria
  • Magnolia
  • Narcissus
  • Orchid (Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium, Paphiopedilum)
  • Polyanthus
  • Prunus (Plum)
  • Ribes (Currant)
  • Sarcococca
  • Spathiphyllum
  • Tulip
  • Viburnum bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus
 
The Butchart Chronicles : February 3, 2017

Flower and Garden Report February 2nd - February 8th

Flower and Garden Report:  February 2 – February 8, 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

The weather has been gloriously sunny for the past few days and along with the bright sunshine comes crisp, frosty mornings and cooler than average daytime temperatures. The gardens take this weather all in stride, but it does chill the desire for some of the plants to show off their early spring blossoms. There is still plenty to see, but as I’ve said before, you have to look for the blossoms at this time of year as they don’t necessarily come looking for you.             

Even though we are famous for our flowers, this is the time of year that we need to look a little deeper and take the time to appreciate the structure of the garden which reveals the depths of the genius of Jennie Butchart.  The landscape in winter is unique in its beauty and simplicity and this is a time to truly appreciate many features that would typically go unnoticed during the rest of the year. 

In sharp contrast to this is our indoor Spring Prelude display where you will find an inspiring collection of colourful and fragrant plants. This garden will fill the need for any early season cravings for colour and fragrance as an abundance of floral beauty envelops you as soon as you enter. Even though this is a temporary installation, our gardeners have gone to great lengths to produce a garden masterpiece with more depth than first meets the eye.            

Outside in the Garden:

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


Inside:

What’s blooming in Spring Prelude

  • Anthurium
  • Azalea
  • Begonia - Rieger
  • Bromeliad
  • Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry)
  • Corylopsis
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Edgeworthia
  • Forsythia
  • Hamamelis
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris (reticulata)
  • Jasminium polyanthum (White or Pink Jasmine)
  • Magnolia
  • Narcissus
  • Orchid (Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium, Paphiopedilum)
  • Polyanthus
  • Prunus (Plum)
  • Rechsteineria
  • Sarcococca
  • Spathiphyllum
  • Tulip
  • Viburnum bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus

 

 
The Butchart Chronicles : January 26, 2017

Flower and Garden Report January 26th to February 1st

Flower and Garden Report: January 26 - February 1, 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

I had a visitor ask me the other day if the roses were in bloom – unfortunately I had to tell them that “no, we are still a few months away from any of our roses coming into bloom”. I did feel a little uncomfortable as I could tell that the answer didn’t satisfy the individual and of course, we always want to exceed the expectations of our visitors. The funny thing was that I felt even more awkward as we were standing in the middle of the Rose Garden during this conversation!    

Being a gardener can be humbling at times because whether we like it or not, we are always at the mercy of the cards that nature deals us. With any of our flowering plants in the garden, there are no guarantees as to when any plant will come into bloom and we can only provide our best guess based on personal and historical experience.

That being said, things are quite different when we move indoors into our fabulous Spring Prelude display. Here we have ‘forced’ plants to come into bloom at precisely the times when we want them to, as we have the ability to manipulate plants to do as we wish when we take them into a climate controlled indoor environment.      

If you are looking for some early season garden inspiration, our Spring Prelude display will provide you with an abundance of colour and fragrance to fill this need. Our gardeners have used their abundance of skill and creativity to once again produce an exquisite garden masterpiece – one day you may even find some roses blooming!   


Outside in the Garden

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



Inside in the garden

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
 
The Butchart Chronicles : January 26, 2017

Video: Winter at The Butchart Gardens

Winter offers a unique experience at The Butchart Gardens. Get a taste of spring in the Spring Prelude Indoor Garden. Take in the scents and sights of spring while strolling over a boardwalk and through pathways bordered with spring flowers and lush green foliage.

From there, visit the Historical Display, located in Mr. and Mrs. Butchart's former residence. Let our knowledgeable hosts paint a picture of the past as while viewing letters, photos and memorabilia from the early 1900's.

To top off a historical and garden-centered visit, take the time to enjoy high tea in the Dining Room Restaurant.

We are offering a special called "A Taste of Spring" that combines all of these experiences into one discounted price.

We look forward to seeing you during our winter season.

 
The Butchart Chronicles : January 19, 2017

Flower and Garden Report January 19th to 25th

Flower and Garden Report: January 19 - 25, 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

The gardens are slowly beginning to wake up after an extended period of unseasonably cold weather. Interestingly enough, the daffodils that were blooming for us in November have survived the cold and continue to bloom as though they haven’t skipped a beat and simply were frozen in time for a short spell. These are probably the longest blooming daffodils that we have ever witnessed! Other early bloomers in the garden include the first of the Snowdrops (Galanthus), Hellebores and some of the Witch Hazels (Hamamelis).        

Indoors the story is completely different as the Spring Prelude display is bursting with colour and intoxicating fragrance. This garden masterpiece is certain to inspire as our gardeners have once again outdone themselves in the creation of this unique indoor paradise.

Outside in the Garden

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

Inside in the garden

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
 
The Butchart Chronicles : January 13, 2017

*Exclusive to 12 Month Pass Holders: Special Valentine's Day Dinner

When:  Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Cost:  $89/person, tables for 2 only
wine pairings available

(Excludes taxes and gratuities)

Where: Spring Prelude indoor garden

RESERVATIONS: 250.652.4422
Extension 320
(beginning Monday, Jan 16th @ 9am)

blog_Spring_in_the_Spring_Prelude.JPG

This event is fully booked however a wait list is being taken.

Love is in the air at The Butchart Gardens - and especially so on Tuesday, February 14th when we offer a special Valentine's Dinner exclusively* to 12 month pass holders (* person reserving must have a valid 12 month pass at time of booking and for the event ).

You'll understand when you see the beautiful tables set for two in the Spring Prelude Indoor Garden, why this adult-only special event sells out fast. 

Valentine's Day
To make a reservation for this limited prepaid event please call 250-652-4422 (ext 320) beginning Monday, January 16th from 9am.  Only 29 tables available.

  •  This is a set menu dinner (only a gluten-free version can be substituted, please request at time of reservation) Please note: the menu is in the process of being finalized and is subject to change.

  • Cost:  $89/person (taxes & gratuity not included) wine pairings available
  • Reservations are available from 6:00 - 6:45pm (tables for two only)
  • At least one person at the table must present a valid 12 Month Pass to the admission gate upon arrival
  • Plan to arrive to The Gardens no more than 15 minutes prior to your reservation time. The Gardens and The Seed & Gift Store are closed at 4:30pm and will not be open for viewing or shopping
  • The admission gate will be available for arrivals starting at 5:45pm for this special event
  • If you are planning on arranging a taxi or dial a driver service, please do so in advance and provide the company with your contact number so they are able to notify you upon their arrival

Please note:  The Gardens are 100% smoke (and vapour) free. 

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day

 

Cruise on the Clipper to Seattle for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Join us as the Pacific Northwest prepares for Spring!

 

The Butchart Gardens will be at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle, February 22nd – 26th.

Clipper Navigation is partnering with The Gardens to provide our 12 month pass holders with a discount on their 3 day / 2 night package. Quote promo code 'FGSHOW' to recieve a 10% discount at time of booking.

Here is what is included in this special travel package.

  • Round trip Clipper cruise between Victoria and Seattle
  • Two nights in a Seattle hotel
  • Admission to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show for one day. Two day admission tickets also available.
  • All applicable taxes

Let Clipper Vacations take care of your travel logistics while joining garden enthusiasts from the region as they unite at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. Celebrate the start of spring with an acre of beautiful show gardens, be inspired by the beauty and see what the industry has to offer for the season to come.

Visit the Clipper Vacations website for more details and to book your trip.

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