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Gardens Worth Visiting

September 21, 2009

One of the ways that I “recharge my batteries” as a gardener is by visiting other people’s gardens. For me, a garden worth visiting is any garden that wows me with its beauty, introduces me to plants Butchart Gardens, Victoria B.C.  Photo credit: Jean PotuchekI wasn’t previously acquainted with or gives me new ideas about garden design. The gardens of acquaintances and friends, gardens featured on local garden tours, display gardens at nurseries, and public gardens can all be gardens worth visiting. Wherever I go, I try to visit gardens. When I’m in London, I set aside a day to spend at Kew Gardens; and a trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without a daytrip to Monet’s gardens at Giverny.

English cottage-style garden, Emily Carr House, Victoria B.C.  Photo credit: Jean PotuchekI’ve just returned from a vacation in Victoria, British Columbia. Since Victoria bills itself as the “city of flowers,” just about every property – government, business, or residential – has some kind of flower garden. The provincial museum has a garden of native plants; one apartment building had water lilies blooming in a shallow moat around the base of the building; and for private residences, the English cottage garden seems to be the most popular style. For a flower gardener, just walking around in Victoria is a delight.

But the garden to visit in Victoria is Butchart Gardens, 55 acres of manicured plantings on the former estate of Robert and Jennie Butchart. I had been to Butchart Gardens before, but not at this time of year, and I wondered what would be in bloom in mid-September in this temperate Pacific northwest garden. The answer is an artful combination of late-summer perennials, shrubs and flowering annuals. Big drifts of salvia, snapdragons, begonias, geranium and ageratum blended with sedum, rudbeckia, helenium, asters, canna, lobelia, obedient plant, goldenrod and Joe Pye weed. The September blooms included displays of an extraordinary variety of dahlias, and the rose gardens were also a treat. In addition, I saw more colors of fuchsia and hydrangea than I knew existed. Here is a small sample of what I saw at Butchart Gardens:

Visitors explore the Sunken Garden. Photo credit: Jean Potuchek

Fuchsia. Photo credit: Jean Potuchek

Entrance to the Japanese Garden. Photo credit: Jean Potuchek

Display of dahlias on a hillside. Photo credit: Jean Potuchek

For more images of Butchart Gardens in September, go to my Butchart Gardens photo album in Flickr.

In the coming week, I will write more about what makes Butchart Gardens a garden worth visiting. During the winter season of garden dreaming, watch for more about some of my favorite gardens to visit.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 22, 2009 9:39 am

    I’m so pleased you enjoyed your visit to The Gardens. Any of your blog readers who plan to visit in the next week will be pleased to know the weather forecast is for contnued sunshine.

    Fall colours are now starting to show which adds to the displays.

    Graham Bell
    Public Relations
    The Butchart Gardens

  2. October 13, 2009 7:27 pm

    How love Butchart Gardens are. A few years ago we were able to visit in September. It is one of my favorite vacations

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