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Butchart Gardens

Adele and Al at the Ross Fountain Lookout at Butchart Gardens.
Italian Garden
Japanese Garden

Toward the end of June, Adele and I took a vacation to Victoria on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. We flew to Seattle and then drove several hours to Port Angelas, Washington—just a 90 minute ferry ride across a Pacific Ocean inlet from Vancouver Island.

Having come from desert-likeSacramento, it was refreshing to find a cold amp—somewhat rainy climate awaiting us in Victoria. But we checked the weather forecasts and planned a trip on the one day that rain was not forecast.

The highlight of the day was a visit to Butchart Gardens, a one hundred and fifteen year old, 55 acre former limestone quarry that was envisioned and repurposed as a world class botanical garden.

In 1904, Robert and Jennie Butchart moved to Vancouver Island to build a cement plant on a rich limestone deposit. By 1912, when the limestone deposits were exhausted,






Jennie envisioned a grand garden in its place and began transferring top soil by horse and cart. Little by little, the abandoned quarry morphed into a Sunken Garden.

Over the following 15 years, the Butcharts expanded the Gardens, designing a Japanese Garden, an Italian Garden, and a Rose Garden.

In 1939, grandson Ian Ross was gifted the garden on his 21st birthday and began attracting visitors with outdoor concerts.

Today, Butchart Gardens is a National Historic Site of Canada with millions of bedding plants in over 900 varieties.

The grounds contain a variety of sculpture by international artists.

~ Al Zagofsky





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