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The Butchart Chronicles : June 30, 2017

Flower and Garden Report June 29th - July 5th

Flower and Garden Report June 29th – July 5th, 2017

By Thea Hegland, Horticultural Assistant

Walking around today I feel so fortunate to be here. The weather has been wonderful and the garden is responding rapidly. The annuals have all been planted and the perennial borders are bringing pleasant surprises daily. Fragrance is everywhere and flowers are coming fast and furious. I am excited to see what’s around the next corner down the meandering paths today.

Descending into the Sunken Garden I am mesmerized by the sweet smell of Spartium junceum, Spanish broom. The bright yellow blooms are up on the top of the old Quarry, on the left-hand side, as you look down. Not to be confused with the ever invasive Scotch broom (Cystisus coparius), the Spanish broom is a true garden delight.

The Rose Garden is coming into its glory right on time in spite of our long, cold winter and spring. Entering the Rose Garden you will pass fragrant Sweet peas. Gorgeous Rose blossoms spilling over arbors seem endless. Delphiniums grace the background in shades of blue. Sweet alyssum borders the Rose Garden adding to the wonderful summer fragrance.

After the delights of the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden never disappoints. It offers the quietest surprises. Amongst the canopy of Japanese maples, lush Bamboo and delicate Ferns you will find some exquisite blossoms on the Podophyllum, ‘Spotty Dotty” (Mayapple). See if you can spot it.

Take your time and enjoy the many wonders of The Butchart Gardens this week.

Plants that are blooming or coming into bloom

  • Abutilon ‘Red Tiger’(Flowering maple)
  • Acanthus spinosus ( Bear’s breeches)
  • Achillea
  • Aconitum  (Monkshood)
  • Alchemilla (Lady’s mantle)
  • Aruncus (Goat’s beard)
  • Astilbe
  • Astrantia (Masterwort)
  • Baptisia
  • Centaurea macrocephala (Giant knapweed)
  • Clematis
  • Cornus kousa (Kousa dogwood)
  • Cosmos
  • Delphinium
  • Dianthus (Pinks)
  • Helianthemum (Rock rose)
  • Hemerocallis (Daylily)
  • Hydrangea
  • Inula
  • Kalmia (Mountain laurel)
  • Kolkwitzia (Beauty bush)
  • Lathyrus (Sweet pea)
  • Lavendula
  • Leptospermum (Tea tree)
  • Lysimachia
  • Philadelphus (Mock orange)
  • Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ (Mayapple)
  • Polemonium
  • Primula pulverulenta (Candelabra primula)
  • Romneya coulteri (Tree poppy)
  • Rosa (Rose)
  • Salpiglossis sinuata (Painted tongue)
  • Sambucus
  • Spartium junceum (Spanish broom)
  • Stachys
  • Stewartia
  • Streptocarpus (Cape primrose)
  • Styrax
  • Thalictrum (Meadow rue)
  • Thermopsis
  • Thunbergia
  • Tradescantia

 
The Butchart Chronicles : June 23, 2017

Canada Day 2017 at The Butchart Gardens

Celebrate Canada Day at The Gardens

Join us as we celebrate Canada's 150th Anniversary this Canada Day

What better way to ring in July 1st than with beautiful gardens, live music and fireworks?

We look forward to welcoming locals and visitors from around the world on this special day.

To help plan your visit, we have answered a few frequented asked questions below.

Do I need to reserve tickets?

No. You have the option of buying tickets ahead of time on our website or when you arrive at the admission gate. Fireworks and the concert are included with your admission price.

What time does the concert start and who is performing?
7:15pm, Tropic Mayhem

What time do the fireworks start?
10:15pm

Is it family friendly?

Absolutely! Plus, if you're bringing a stroller, utilize any of the accessible pathways throughout The Gardens


Can I bring a picnic?
Yes. Feel free to bring your own picnic and picnic blanket. Please do not bring your own alcohol. We would be pleased to serve you at one of our licensed venues.

Can I purchase food there?
Yes. Choose from a quick grab-and-go snack in the Coffee Shop, a meal at the family friendly cafeteria-style Blue Poppy Restaurant or reserve in advance for fine dining in the Dining Room Restaurant. There's also pre-packaged picnics available on Firework Saturdays.

What else is there to do?
- Rose Carousel for children and adults (complimentary on Canda Day)
- Boat Tours, a 45-minute scenic tour of Butchart Cove and beyond
- Play a game of chess on a giant chess board
- Treat yourself to house-made gelato at the Gelateria
- Shop for garden gadgets, seeds, gifts and much more at the Seed and Gift Store

Friendly reminder
Selfie sticks and smoking/vaping is not permitted anywhere on property.

 
The Butchart Chronicles : June 23, 2017

Flower and Garden Report June 22nd - 28th, 2017

Flower and Garden Report June 22nd - 28th, 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

Summer has arrived and we are so thankful that the beautiful weather that is synonymous with summer has also arrived! We have had to deal with cool, cloudy and inclement weather over the past few weeks so this is a welcome relief.  

In spite of the weather, I have been very impressed with our Rose Garden this year as it’s just exploding with colour! As an added bonus, the delightful fragrances that emanate from these flowers is much more prevalent as the temperatures rise. Something to watch for in the coming week are the dozens of arches and fence lines that are draped with climbing roses of all types – these displays are simply spectacular.          

Throughout the gardens the bountiful borders of beddings plants are providing an abundance of early summer colour. Many of these borders have been cleverly designed so that the colour scheme will evolve throughout the summer – if you visit often, you will probably have noticed this.   

Some features that I would like to draw your attention to this week are the topiary figures that we have on display in various areas of the garden. We have a collection of both moss and living plant topiaries that you can find singularly or in small groupings. The most impressive display of topiaries that you will find here at the Gardens is featured on top of the roof of the Carousel building. Please take the time to check this out when you are in this area or you will miss this little bit of creative genius that our staff have put together for you to enjoy, 

As I mentioned last week, I encourage every visitor to take their time as they wander through the garden as there are many gems such as these that often get overlooked.

Plants that are blooming or coming into bloom

  • Abutilon
  • Achillea
  • Alchemilla
  • Anthriscus
  • Aruncus
  • Astilbe
  • Astrantia
  • Baptisia
  • Clematis
  • Cornus kousa
  • Cosmos
  • Delphinium
  • Dianthus
  • Helianthemum
  • Hemerocallis (Daylily)
  • Hydrangea
  • Inula
  • Kalmia
  • Kolkwitzia (Beauty bush)
  • Lathyrus (Sweet pea)
  • Lavendula
  • Leptospermum (containers)
  • Lysimachia
  • Philadelphus
  • Polemonium
  • Primula pulverulenta – Candelabra primula
  • Sambucus
  • Stachys
  • Stewartia
  • Styrax
  • Thalictrum
  • Thermopsis
  • Thunbergia
  • Tradescantia

 
The Butchart Chronicles : June 15, 2017

Flower and Garden Report June 15th - 21st

Flower and Garden Report June 15th - 21st, 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

We have one week until summer officially arrives and the stage is set for another sensational season of colour in the garden. Although the weather hasn’t been too warm lately, the roses have still decided to begin blooming right on schedule and within the next couple of weeks we should be in full bloom in this special garden area. 

Throughout the garden we are still waiting patiently for the newly planted borders to completely fill in, but they are already starting to produce some great colour. In the meantime, the perennial borders continue to impress our visitors with a unique beauty that often gets overlooked. Highlights in the garden this week continue to be our collections of Peonies and Iris and as of this week the stately Delphiniums around the Rose garden are also starting to bloom.

One corner of the garden that I would like to draw your attention to this week is located at the junction of paths just before the washroom facilities near the Carousel. Here you will find a terraced bed loaded up with Fuchsias of all shapes, sizes and colours. The display is simply spectacular, but often gets overlooked as many visitors are on their way to someplace else! That being said, I encourage every visitor to take their time as they wander through the gardens as there are many gems such as this that often get overlooked.

Plants that are blooming or coming into bloom

  • Abutilon
  • Alchemilla
  • Anthriscus
  • Aruncus
  • Astrantia
  • Baptisia
  • Clematis
  • Cornus kousa
  • Cosmos
  • Delphinium
  • Deutzia
  • Dianthus
  • Digitalis
  • Eschscholzia (don’t try pronouncing this one!)   California Poppy
  • Helianthemum
  • Hemerocallis (Daylily)
  • Hydrangea petiolaris (Climbing Hydrangea)
  • Iris
  • Lathyrus (Sweet pea)
  • Lavendula
  • Lupin
  • Lysimachia
  • Meconopsis betonicifolia (Blue Poppy)
  • Nectaroscordium (Sicilian Honey garlic)
  • Paeonia  (Peony – including the Tree peonies)
  • Philadelphus
  • Podophyllum (May Apple)
  • Polemonium
  • Primula pulverulenta – Candelabra primula
  • Sambucus
  • Stachys
  • Thalictrum
  • Thermopsis
  • Thunbergia
  • Tradescantia
  • Viburnum
  • Weigela

 
The Butchart Chronicles : June 9, 2017

Flower and Garden Report June 8th - 14th 2017

Flower and Garden Report June 8th - 14th, 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture

 

Our gardeners are completing the last stages of the summer planting and as usual, they have done an amazing job keeping the gardens in pristine condition throughout this demanding process.

Although they are providing some colour, we will now be waiting patiently for the newly planted borders to fill in. In the meantime, the perennial borders continue to delight our visitors with a unique beauty that often gets overlooked. Our extensive collection of sensational Peonies and Iris are literally stopping visitors in their tracks - sometimes causing such excitement that traffic gets blocked for hours! Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but I dare anyone to try walking by these beauties without stopping at least once.

The rhododendrons and azaleas are winding down as summer winds up. Their glorious displays of colourful blooms will be cleaned up for the year as our staff meticulously deadhead/remove every single spent flower.

As you can see from the list below, there is plenty to see as the garden continues the transition into the fullness of its summer beauty!        

Plants that are blooming or coming into bloom

  • Abutilon
  • Anthriscus
  • Aruncus
  • Azalea
  • Baptisia
  • Campanula
  • Ceanothus
  • Centaurea montana
  • Cerastium (Snow-in-Summer)
  • Choisya
  • Clematis
  • Cornus kousa
  • Cosmos
  • Deutzia
  • Dianthus
  • Dicentra
  • Digitalis
  • Eschscholzia (don’t try pronouncing this one!)   California Poppy
  • Helianthemum
  • Hemerocallis (Daylily)
  • Hydrangea petiolaris (Climbing Hydrangea)
  • Iris
  • Lathyrus (Sweet pea)
  • Lavendula
  • Leptospermum
  • Lupin
  • Meconopsis betonicifolia (Blue Poppy)
  • Nectaroscordium (Sicilian Honey garlic)
  • Paeonia  (Peony – including the Tree peonies)
  • Philadelphus
  • Podophyllum (May Apple)
  • Polemonium
  • Rhododendron
  • Saxifrage
  • Stachys
  • Thalictrum
  • Thermopsis
  • Thunbergia
  • Tradescantia
  • Viburnum
  • Weigela

 
The Butchart Chronicles : June 8, 2017

The 2017 Gallery

The Gallery adjoined to the Visitors Centre features locally-made artisan products for the home and garden


The Gallery

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The Gallery adjacent to the Visitors Centre features locally-made artisan products for the home and garden.  Everything is a hand-crafted work of art.


Come see the wide variety of The Gallery's featured artists who each add different dimensions to this year's display.  We are proud to offer something for every taste including pieces from glass art, recycled metal jewelry, fused glass, and sculptures. The Gallery staff is also pleased to tell you about each artist's unique story.


We continue to carry many favourites like Jack Willoughby who finds inspiration from the ocean and local beaches. Wendy Pierson Diamond from Island Rain Studio in Sidney, George and Kluane Bickerton from Sandscript Designs in Sooke, and Adam Straub from Makers Acres who grew up in the area close to The Gardens to name but a few. The works from these artists continue to evolve, providing The Gallery with many new and original pieces. Our outstanding local artists continue to be inspired by the sights, smells and textures of Vancouver Island and we are proud to support them. 

 

Do come and visit us at The Gallery. Enjoy both our favourites and our new products; shop for additions to your own home and garden, and for gifts for those special people in your life.  Remember, we ship worldwide and if you have a 12 month pass, you will receive a 10% discount in both The Gallery and The Seed and Gift Store. (details on your 12 month pass)

The Gallery

* Due to the unique nature of each piece, items pictured may not be available exactly as shown.



 
The Butchart Chronicles : June 8, 2017

The Butchart Gardens Visits Japan

19th International Roses & Gardening Show  

May 12th - 16th, 2017 | Tokyo, Japan

A couple of years ago a young man named Shimpei Oishi suggested to NHK Television (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) that a garden should be built at the International Roses and Garden Show in Japan to recognize Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017.

Shimpei’s desire was to have a garden built to honour and showcase the beauty of The Butchart Gardens as he felt that this was, by far, the best garden in Canada.

Both NHK and The Butchart Gardens agreed to his proposal and a partnership was formed. Garden designer Mark Chapman consulted with The Butchart Gardens on the design of the garden and Mark actually came to personally visit us to get a better feel of what he was to be representing as well as what he might be able to create in a small-scale, indoor garden.

In the end, Mark was very successful in creating a show garden that embodied the essence of The Butchart Gardens.   

Ross McKay and I (pictured below) were honored to be sent to Japan to supervise the installation of this display as well as to participate in the opening ceremony which was officially opened by Princess Tomohito of Mikasa. 

We are delighted that nearly 200,000 visitors attending the show were greeted by this 'Welcome Garden'. We hope the garden provided them with a small taste of The Butchart Gardens experience, and will ultimately entice them to come for the full garden experience here in Victoria.

Quick facts about the 19th International Roses and Garden Show

  • Welcome Garden: The Butchart Gardens
  • Opening Ceremony: May 11, 2017
  • In attendance: Princess Tomohito of Mikasa (also known as Princess Nobuko)
  • Estimated show attendance: 200,000
  • Show Producer and Major Sponsor: NHK, Japan’s National Public Broadcasting Corporation
  • Garden Sponsor: NHK Educational Corporation
  • Garden Designer: Mark Chapman
  • Garden Promoter: Shimpei Oishi (Executive Director - FG Musashi Co. Ltd.)

 
The Butchart Chronicles : June 8, 2017

Supporting a Space for Giants

The Butchart Gardens Supports 'Space for Giants'


Space for Giants is an organization that supports the longevity and safety of elephants in Africa. Their mission:

"To secure a future for the largest mammals on Earth forever, to be enjoyed by humanity forever, by ensuring that they have the space and security to live and move freely in the wild, forever. Our vision is to develop new models for conservation that enable people to support and sustain populations of large wild animals and the natural landscapes they depend on."

An Elephant is killed every 25 minutes. In the last seven years, a third of all elephants have been wiped out. It will take 100 years for the numbers to recover.

The Butchart Gardens' donation will protect one elephant in the wild for the duration of its life and assist the Space for Giants organization in their work to recruit and train anti-poaching rapid response teams, secure protected landscapes, mitigate human-elephant conflict and work with Africa's judiciary system to strengthen prosecutions for poachers; all with the mission of protecting half of Africa’s elephants by 2020.

Photo courtesy of Space for Giants

As part of the #MarchForGiants campaign, we created a digital elephant bearing our logo.

#MarchForGiants was the world's first campaign to link digital Billboards globally. It's a socially-driven initiative to mobilize both brands and individuals. Over four days (March 23rd - 26th), a herd of digital elephants continuously marched across key digital billboards around the globe, including Times Square, Hong Kong and London.

 
The Butchart Chronicles : June 8, 2017

Garden Notebook - Summer 2017

Garden Notebook - Summer 2017

Written by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture


It’s funny that sometimes when you actually take the time to reflect on certain things that impact the garden you come to realize very quickly how limited we are in our capacity to understand nature. Last year I was pondering whether or not the rotational axis of the earth had shifted slightly as we experienced our warmest spring weather on record. This year I am pondering if the shift overcorrected itself as we have had one of the coolest springs and most definitely the latest start to our spring garden display that we have ever experienced! Once again, I am filled with awe by natures overwhelming ability to shock and surprise us and I look forward to seeing how she will humble us in the coming year.       

You may have missed it, but for the spring bulb display this year we produced a special planting of Tulips to honour Canada’s 150 years of Confederation. This display was quite a success so we decided to provide our visitors with an encore of sorts for the summer and have replanted the area with thousands of beautiful and durable Begonias. This unique planting, best viewed from the single jet fountain lookout, is in the form of a stylized infinity symbol with the number ‘150’ emblazoned in the larger loop. The infinity symbol can have many meanings, but by stylizing it our intention was for it to represent the desire for infinite harmony between the many cultures in our country. The points represent the abundance that we have been blessed with in our past (pointing backwards) and the hope that we have moving forward into the future (pointing forward toward the fountain). 

A selection of red and white Begonias were chosen to create this planting as red and white are the national colours of Canada. On our flag, red symbolizes the Canadian lives sacrificed during world wars and the flag’s white denoting Canada’s peace and tranquility, as well as its neutrality and impartiality among nations. There is obviously a little more history to the national colours than this, but I’ve kept it simple as our primary goal is for you enjoy this display. 

On a much larger scale, our goal as a garden is to create an experience that our visitors will never forget. For some of our visitors our outstanding seasonal plantings are the gauge by which they measure their experience, but to most, the beauty of our garden lies much deeper than this. As impressive as the massive displays of colour are, any good or great garden (including ours) needs to offer so much more than temporary displays of seasonal colour. To that end (and I know that I’m being totally unrealistic here!) I truly wish that all of our visitors could come and see us in every season to fully appreciate the context of the day and of the season when they are visiting.   

However, we do have garden areas that don't rely on seasonal plantings and these gardens are truly the highlights for many of our visitors during different seasons of the year. The two areas I will focus on are the exquisite and tranquil Japanese Garden as well as the colourful and exuberant Rose Garden.

I’ll start with the Japanese Garden as it seems to be the one place where visitors experience something extremely unique and gratifying no matter what the season. During the spring and summer months this garden almost acts like a decompression zone as it provides a peaceful interlude or refuge from the dazzling colours found elsewhere in the garden. The Japanese Garden is refreshing in that it intentionally causes you to slow down and reflect as you are immersed in a landscape consisting of interesting shapes, textures and the soothing shades of green. If you take the time to closely observe the plant material in this garden, you will truly appreciate the intricacy and precision of the work that our gardeners perform here. By the way, the supervisor of this garden area has been with us for over 55 years!

Not so far away, in the geographical center of the garden and in complete contrast to the Japanese Garden, is our formal Rose Garden.  Many visitors seem to have the expectation that we should be able to have roses in bloom year round, but unfortunately this is not a possibility in our climate. However, when the Roses do finally come into bloom it is very difficult for any other garden area to compete with its intoxicating fragrances and enticing beauty.

Early in the summer, just before the Roses appear, magnificent “Pacific Giant’ Delphiniums come into bloom creating an impressive and stately backdrop throughout the entire garden. This particular variety of Delphiniums has been a traditional planting for as long as our records go back. It is truly fitting that our Rose Garden is located in the middle of the property because when the Roses finally do come out in bloom, they come out with such bravado that they literally take center stage, stealing the hearts of many and regaining any attention that they have missed out on for the eight months of the year when they were patiently waiting in the wings.

I know that I have written a lot, but I would also love to draw your attention to our magnificent perennial plant borders as they seem to play a secondary role to their more flashy annual cousins. We have done so much work to improve our perennial borders that I encourage you to look beyond the beguiling foregrounds to find an extraordinary collection of plants that will satisfy any plant connoisseurs desires.    

Other highlights at this time of year include:

  • Our famous displays of Tuberous begonias.
  • The Mediterranean Garden with its unique and diverse planting scheme.
  • Our expansive Dahlia border which contains over 600 of these magnificent plants.
  • Hundreds of luxuriant hanging baskets and fabulous container plantings that can be found throughout The Gardens  
  • The recently renovated and rejuvenated Show Greenhouse

So even though we are challenged by nature and sometimes even humbled by it, we sincerely hope that you will come out and visit Jennie Butchart’s garden as she has provided us with one of the world’s most magnificent horticultural theatres to perform in. I guarantee you that there will be some surprises and perhaps it will be us who are able to shock you!   

 
The Butchart Chronicles : June 7, 2017

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder - August 16


Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
Wednesday, August 16 at 8:00pm



The concert is included with general admission.

Tickets are available at the admission gate upon arrival.


His passion for music has won the hearts of audiences across the country and around the world. 

The open air concert will take place on the Concert Lawn stage at 8pm. Arrive early to avoid disappointment. There is limited bench seating, or bring a chair or blanket and sit on the lawn for this Butchart Gardens Special Event.

Admission to The Gardens on August 16th includes The Ricky Skaggs concert. (rain or shine)

Ricky Skaggs Mandolin

  • 15-time Grammy Award winner,
  • Inductee into the Musicians Hall of Fame and 63 more prestigious awards

... A life full of music.  That's the story of Ricky Skaggs.  By age 21, he was already considered a "recognized master" of one of America's most demanding art forms, but his career took him in other directions, catapulting him to popularity and success in the mainstream of country music.  His life's path has taken him to various musical genres, from where it all began in bluegrass music, to striking out on new musical journeys, while still leaving his musical roots intact...Read more about Ricky Skaggs

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

For more information on our Spectacular Summer Evenings click here.

Things you should know before arriving:

  • Admission to The Gardens on August 16th includes the Ricky Skaggs concert. Concert goes rain or shine, no rainchecks.
  • For those who have purchased advance tickets to the Ricky Skaggs Special Event, your parking is guaranteed only if you arrive prior to 6:30 pm. Check #butcharttraffic on twitter for information on delays.
  • 12 Month Pass Holders with a valid pass purchased prior to August 16th, receive a 25% discount off the price of their own admission for this Special Event (the Bring a Friend promotion is not available). NOTE: 12 Month Pass renewals or pass purchases are not available on August 16th.
  • 12 Month Passes are not valid for complimentary admission after 2:30pm.  Admission will be charged for entry up until 2:30pm and refunded if Pass Holders depart by 4:00pm 
  • To prevent fraud, if you pre-purchased your ticket from our website, you must present the credit card at the admission gate which was used to purchase the ticket. 
  • If you are purchasing your admission ticket on August 16th, the concert is for general admission/festival seating. We highly recommend you COME EARLY to avoid disappointment if we close due to reaching capacity.  Bring a blanket or lawn chair. Tents and pop-up shelters are not permitted.
  • No outside alcohol is permitted; our restaurants will be pleased to serve you.
  • The Gardens offers a wide variety of dining options, including gourmet picnics. To book a picnic or make reservations in The Dining Room, please call 250-652-8222. The Blue Poppy will feature a full-carvery on a first come, first served basis. Casual food options include The Coffee Shop, Hot Dog Cart, Gelateria and Annabelle's Café which is adjacent to the Concert Lawn.

Enjoy our smoke/vapour free environment (entire property) and please leave your selfie sticks at home as they are not permitted to be used in The Gardens.

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