Monday, March 14, 2016

History in the Garden




In the summertime, Butchart Garden is awash with locals and tourists alike, beetling along the paths, oohing and aahing at the landscape. It can get crowded.

The winter months tell a different story. The gardens are open and there is lots to see, but those walking the paths are mostly locals. In the Butchart's home, where visitors can have tea, lunch, or dinner, part of the restaurant area is closed and history comes to life in a sun porch, billiards room, and other displays. 


On this raw March day, I wandered through the old home and gazed down on the Italian garden, seen above, from the sun room in the top photo, much as earlier inhabitants did.


 Jenny Butchart had a comprehensive vision for the gardens and worked hard to achieve her goals. Jenny is seen above, in London, in the early 1900s. Her outfit brings to mind the earlier seasons of Downton Abbey.


A sheet of paper, behind glass, lists "Arranging Artistic Flower Combinations." I wonder if Jenny Butchart followed these lists, or if she just enjoyed thinking them up and then put together whatever flower arrangement she felt like? I can imagine that number 14 would be so pretty - "pink rambler roses and Queen Anne's lace in a cream and green jardiniere." Perhaps she composed the list on a rainy, windy day when going out into the garden wasn't appealing. 


A china cabinet with interior lighting displays a few pieces of Spode china, named "Butchart" and dedicated to Jenny Butchart in the 1930s. 


After wandering through the rooms, I went outdoors, put up my umbrella, and walked (rather briskly) along the paths that Jenny Butchart had envisioned. This camellia bush caught my eye, with its creamy pink ruffled blossoms. 

Linking with Mosaic Monday, hosted by Judith of Lavender Cottage Garden.

32 comments:

Pondside said...

Haven't the camellias been exceptionally beautiful this spring? I am particularly fond of the pink ones and don't like the red at all. There was a stump at the side of the new-old cottage when we moved in and last spring it began to sprout. This year it's clear that it is a camellia.
I love to visit Butchart Gardens out of the big season. It's fun to see its 'bones'.

20 North Ora said...

What a lovely place in both seasons! Beautiful gardens.

Judy

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Those camellia blossoms must have perfumed the air! I hope to see Butchart Gardens one day in all its loveliness.

mamasmercantile said...

Such a beautiful place to visit. Loved the list of flower arrangements, some wonderful combinations.

Elizabethd said...

I love the visits to Butchart gardens. This was particularly interesting, especially to learn a bit about the founder/planner. What a lovely lady. Her flower arrangements must have been very beautiful, though like you, I wonder if she stuck rigidly to her plans!

Julie H said...

Hello Lorrie, I have not commented on your post before this, but I subscribe to your lovely blog. Thank you for sharing these pictures of Butchart Gardens. What a lovely porch. I also enjoyed the picture of the list she made of her flower arranging. My mother-in-law has done that for her flower beds. I would love to eat and drink from that china! Some day I will visit Butchart Gardens but for now I visit through pictures! Have a wonderful day!

podso said...

I too would enjoy an off season visit. See how much you had time to absorb, think about, and enjoy. Oh the camellias are beauties!

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Beautiful gardens and your photos certainly capture the history and charm.

Debby Ray said...

Such a beautiful place so full of history! I was thinking the same thing about that photo of Jenny...she looked like she stopped right out of the scene of Downton...and that dress! How fun it would be to have lunch or tea there :)

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Oh my! That sunroom is really beautiful! What a lovely place to visit.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Thanks for sharing that bit of history with us. We have fond memories of times spent in those lovely gardens.

Amy at love made my home said...

Such a beautiful garden, I can see why it is so popular. The flowers are all magnificent aren't they. xx

Nora said...

We did the same posting! We went there a few days before you did I guess!

happywonderer.com said...

It's great that you take advantage of the gardens being so easy for you to visit. It really is special in all the seasons...

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

What a fun post ; love that photo of her..how lovely she was!

Vee said...

How blessed to have such a beautiful place in your own corner. We must travel quite aways to arrive at a garden of such reknown. I certainly enjoy our public cottage gardens because they inspire me and help me believe that beautiful combinations are very possible. I love Mrs. Butchart's list! Sounds like great fun to dream up bouquets and their vases/containers. She was not too high falutin' as I see that she considers a jar an appropriate vessel. So do I!

Margie said...

Thank you for the lovely tour, Lorrie! It's fun getting toured by a local!

September Violets said...

I've been to Butchart Gardens a few times while visiting my brother in your lovely city. Even though it was crowded, I still loved it and was fascinated by the size of this project. Beautiful photos Lorrie :)
Wendy

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

The gardens at Butchart are obviously grand at any time of year. We were there in September once and I found the structure and designs were one thing to appreciate.

newenglandgardenandthread said...

Here in historic New England, the locals use the off season to visit locations and avoid the crowds, and it sounds like you had a wonderful day in a beautiful garden without the tourists. :-)

ann said...

You do wonder what garden inspirations Jenny had, drams or plans. I have heard tell that my own grandmother had her hand in establishing the Denver Botqmical Gardens, but have never found proof. I do know that her lists iof plants were plans, and I would imagine so was Jenny's. The camellias are stunning, aren't they? I would imagine that you came home spirit refreshed.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I would so love to visit Butchart Gardens again, Lorrie. When we visited it, after coming off the cruise ship, it was our chosen stop. However, while perusing the gardens, dusk was upon us, and I'm sure we missed so much.
Isn't the China pattern a gorgeous one? Also, the camellias must've been a welcomed sight for you on your rainy day.

handmade by amalia said...

It is so much nicer to hear a bit of the history behind the place. I enjoyed the post, Lorrie.
Amalia
xo

Sylvia said...

Lorrie, Thanks for sharing a bit of history on Butchart Gardens. It's been years since I visited. It's great to see a bit of background in her thinking and vision she had. Sylvia D.

Connie said...

What a lovely and very interesting post. I've never been, but think that I will put it on my list.

Anneliese said...

What a different perspective from Butchart Gardens! I love hearing some of this history
and how one can wonder about Lady Butchart's love of flowers and gardens. Those camelia
bushes are a bit ahead of mine, but the buds should be opening soon.

Deanna Rabe said...

Every time you post about this garden, I tell myself to renew my membership at Longwood Gardens! I really want to go walking in this beautiful place again!

Thank you for sharing the history, the lists, the beautiful flowers!

Madelief said...

What a delightful place! Those gardens....

Have a lovely day!

Madelief x

Linda Jo said...

What a beautiful place! And I love Jenny's list of flower arrangement ideas, including the vases! We should do that!!!! And..... Downton Abbey...... gosh I'll miss that. Sunday I suggested to Frank we rewatch the last episode. He wasn't into it, so we didn't. ha! I will rewatch on my own! (soon)

Pamela Gordon said...

So lovely. I would love to tour those gardens again some day.

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Love the simplicity of that beautiful Italian garden. I've always wanted to go to Butchart Gardens but have never made it there. It's a wonderful idea to go in the off season to avoid the crowds. The flower arranging list is inspiring. I think I'll copy those! It would be fun to search for the vases. The china named in her honor is lovely. x Karen

Marilyn Miller said...

What a gorgeous visit to the gardens. I didn't know you could enter the home. I wish I was close enough to visit in the different seasons. Each season has such beauty.