More Wonders of Butchart Gardens
With new passports in hand, husband Edward and I crossed into Canada to visit Butchart Gardens – it was actually worth going through customs. My favorite thing (other than the Japanese garden) was meeting big leaf maples – Acer macrophyllum. This tree is native from dry southern California to the temperature moisture-laden Victoria Island, home of Butchart Gardens. The leaves were huge --- some a foot across – and - deeply lobed and there were large clusters of asaryas – those two-winged seed capsules. These trees also serve as a substrate for other plant growth -- In the moisture rich atmosphere of Victoria Island, some big leaf maples support epiphytes and lichens that can weigh four times more than the total mass of leaves – quite a load to carry, and can cause limbs to break off in rainy, windy storms.