A Visit to Butchart Gardens
At Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada, plants are arranged for maximum Wow factor – what must be miles of borders of vividly contrasting colored and textured bedding plants were packed among perennials and evergreens. It was most effectively viewed, I thought, when we looked down and over several acres and could discern patterns as if Oriental rugs were laid out over the contours of this former limestone pit. At the end of our visit, we entered the Japanese Garden, were serenity finally prevailed. Japanese maples that nearly towered after a century of growing in this pocket of moisture and moderation were mixed with sculptured yews, and glades of fatsia. Here we were in Canada – at a latitude of 48 degrees (as opposed to 34 degrees back home) and gordonia and mimosa were blooming in an 8b hardiness zone.