Thursday, November 17, 2016

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 273

The Sunken Gardens, Butchart Gardens, Victoria, B.C., Canada, ca 1971

In 1904 Robert Pim Butchart and his wife, Jennie moved from eastern Canada to western Canada where they settled on Vancouver Island.  Mr. Butchart manufactured Portland cement using the rich limestone deposits he found in his quarry on Tod Inlet on the island.  By 1909 the limestone quarry was no longer producing and Jennie decided to turn it into a sunken garden.  She saw potential in ordinary work objects and used the mine carts as planter boxes.   The Sunken Garden was completed in 1921 and they began receiving visitors to their gardens about the same time.  About this same time the Butcharts named their home “Benvenuto” or Welcome.  Approximately one million people visit the gardens each year.

As the postcard, one of a set of 12 cards, above shows the Sunken Garden.  Her beautification efforts were very successful.  The cards were published as a "postcard pack" by DAD-SON Trading Ltd., Vancouver, B.C. and printed in the United States.  The number on the reverse of this card is found at the lower center, ICS-106369.  Mrs. Butchart didn’t stop with a sunken garden, however, and moved on expanding the gardens to include different themes in the various sections.  In among the plants and pathways visitors also find streams, fountains, statues, a vintage carousel, birds and birdhouses.  There are also places to eat, a gift shop, an information center, and a conservatory with windows that open to allow visitors to see orchids and other more tropical plants in bloom.  The gardens have continued to remain in the family and are now owned by a great grand daughter.  These gardens are a National Historic Site of Canada.  

We visited the gardens recently and were amazed at how large and beautiful they are.  Even at this time of year when many flowers are through blooming for the season the gardens have been arranged and planted with things that bloom throughout the year.  In the autumn there are mostly asters, begonias, chrysanthemums, a few roses, cyclamen, dahlias, hydrangeas and several others things we could not identify.  The gardens are lit at night and during July and August there are fireworks displays on weekends.  During the Christmas season the gardens are decorated with colored lights.  Perhaps these photos below will be a temptation to visit?

Originally part of the Butchart's home this building now houses the conservatory, eating places, an art gallery, and an information center.  

We never did find out what some of the flowers were including these large yellow hanging blossoms Bob is examining above or the blue and white ones below.

 Begonias in hanging baskets

Two-toned Hydrangea

Bed of Begonias

 Two views looking down into the Sunken Gardens, 2016


 The Ross Fountain developed for the 60th anniversary of the gardens

The Rose Carousel and Children's Pavilion

 Dragon fountain



 Star Pond

 Italian Garden

Border plants in the Italian Garden

The Butchart Boar, Tacca, is a replica of a boar at the Straw Market in Florence, Italy. 

The entrance/exit gates with flags from around the world

For additional information, see:
"The Butchart Gardens" published by the Butchart Gardens, 2015

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