What’s in Bloom Now? Garden Updates April 12 – 26


By Thea Hegland

Every fall, the Tulip bulbs are shipped in from Holland and Prince Edward Island and by spring, The Butchart Gardens are ablaze with a colourful display. I think it is now safe to say that finally,  after patiently waiting for so long, it is the start of Tulip time at The Gardens. Beginning to bloom much later than the average year due to the slow start of spring, these incredible beauties are worth the wait . Over 185 opulent varieties of are amongst the 160, 000 Tulip bulbs that are now poised and ready to stun us all with their elegant beauty.

Layers upon layers of Hyancinths and Tulips grace the garden beds as we enter spring

These classic blooms that have become symbolic of spring have a somewhat surprising history. Famously associated with Holland for hundreds of years, the Tulip flower at one time grew wild in Persia. Cultivation began over 1000 years ago and were introduced to western Europe when back in 1556, an Austrian ambassador delivered these treasured bulbs to a renowned botanist in Vienna.

Eventually, the Tulip was introduced to Holland circa 1593 and the rest is history. The name Tulipa derives from the Turkish tulipam or turband, perhaps most likely from its turban shape. According to ancient legend, the Tulipa is a declaration of perfect love.

Flowering Plum trees in the Sunken Garden

Other highlights in the garden right now include the daze of Cherry blossoms that drift through the grounds, the peaceful Japanese Garden where pretty pink Erythronium revolutum dance amongst the ferns and native Trillium ovatum (Coast trillium) can only be found by the observant visitor.

Plants that are currently blooming
  • Acacia
  • Amelanchier (Juneberry)
  • Anemone blanda (Grecian windflower)
  • Arabis
  • Aubrieta
  • Aucuba japonica (Spotted laurel)
  • Azara
  • Bellis (English daisy)
  • Bergenia (Elephant’s ears)
  • Brunnera macrophylla (Siberian bugloss)
  • Caltha
  • Camellia
  • Cercis
  • Chaenomeles (Flowering quince)
  • Chionodoxa (Glory of the snow)
  • Corydalis
  • Corylopsis
  • Daphne collina
  • Erica (Heather)
  • Erythronium (Trout lily)
  • Fritillaria imperialis (Crown imperial)
  • Fritillaria michailovsky
  • Kerria japonica
  • Helleborus (Christmas rose)
  • Hyacinthus (Hyacinth)
  • Heptacia nobilis
  • Iberis (Candytuft)
  • Iris reticula
  • Lysichiton (Skunk cabbage)
  • Magnolia
  • Muscari
  • Myosotis (Forget-me -not)
  • Nandina domestica (Heavenly bamboo)
  • Narcissus (Daffodil)
  • Ornithogalum (Star–of–Bethlehem)
  • Pieris (Lily-of-the-valley shrub)
  • Polyanthus (Primula)
  • Pulmonaria (Lungwort)
  • Pulsatilla vulgaris (Pasque flower)
  • Primula marginata
  • Prunus (Flowering plum)
  • Rhododendron
  • Rosmarinus (Rosemary)
  • Ribes (Flowering currant)
  • Scilla (Squill)
  • Trillium
  • Tulipa (Tulip)
  • Viburnum
  • Viola
  • Vinca

Spring calm in the Japanese Garden