Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Two Views: Cultivated and Wild

 


Many people have heard of Butchart Gardens, created from the lands surrounding the home of Robert and Jenny Butchart. Robert manufactured cement and there were large deposits of limestone on the site. In 1909, after the quarry was exhausted, Jenny expanded her vision to add the Sunken Garden to the property. Millions of people from all over the world come to see the gardens and marvel at its beauty. 

One highlight is the dancing water fountain, seen above through the tulips. What most people don't realize is that on the other side of that deep pond lies another park - the Gowlland Tod Provincial Park. Both Butchart Gardens and this park lie along Tod Inlet. 


Tod Inlet is a popular place for boaters, dog-walkers, and people wanting an easy stroll close to nature. Here one can see the crumbling foundations of the industry that provided the funding for Butchart Gardens. Old cement pilings, dock ramps, hydro-dam remains, and the outlines of the homes of the workers who lived and laboured on the site. One crumbling chimney stack is visible, both from the gardens and the inlet.

Now the inlet is quiet. People throw sticks for their dogs to catch. Boaters lounge on the water. And all around are tall trees reflecting in the water and casting green light along the forested shore. Herons pick their way along the mud flat at the end of the inlet at low tide. Kingfishers call and dart from water to tree. Gulls soar, bank, and land on the water. There are a couple of spots in the park where one can catch glimpses of the dancing fountain, but it's a natural place once again.


On Saturday we met our children and grandchildren at the entrance to the park for a socially distanced, outdoor walk. It was lovely, but we were all chilled after a couple of hours. Above is the first photo of all of our grandchildren together. They had such fun together; exploring and playing.


The next day, Sunday, Tim and I visited Butchart Gardens. The tulips are astounding! Huge swaths of colour fill the beds. In a few places the tulips were finished, in others they were at their peak, and in others they had yet to fully open. I love the underplantings of the clouds of blue forget-me-nots, and in some places the interplanting of white narcissi. So very lovely. 


Butchart Gardens is a National Historic Site of Canada, and is still owned by descendants (a great granddaughter) of the Butcharts. We received a letter from her last week, with complimentary passes to the gardens, because we are year-long pass holders and the gardens were closed for part of the pandemic. Such a lovely gesture. We, and I hope, many others, will be renewing our passes so as to help this lovely place survive. 

Two views, two visits. I'm glad we can enjoy both the wild and the cultivated. 


24 comments:

Catherine said...

The yellow tulips are beautiful.
Nice background with the forget me not and tulips.
We can’t visit gardens on here they are closed. I usually goes to see a big park with rhododendrons, huge ones which is beautiful.
Nice to have your family with you. I have not seen my daughter since February and my son last September.

Ruth Hiebert said...

I am pretty sure that if I lived there, i would have a yearly pass to the Gardens. I have only seen it once and that is about 48 years ago.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

So very beautiful! I would have a yearly pass if I lived there! Here we have Naples Botanical Garden and I have a yearly pass for it.

Elizabethd said...

Tulips en masse are so beautiful. i especially love yellow tulips with their background of blue.

riitta k said...

Stunning tulip plantings, the underplantings with forget-me-nots add to their charm. Your grandchildren are such a beautiful & jolly bunch <3

ellen b. said...

Beautiful views. What a sweet photo of all your grandchildren together. A treasure!

Marie Smith said...

Blooms and grandchildren go so perfectly together! Your little sweeties are adorable.

Coastal Ripples said...

So lovely that the quarry has now reverted to a wildlife area once again. Those tulips are stunning and I can imagine the fun you had with all your family. Have a good week. B x

Granny Marigold said...

Those tulips are so lovely! We've seen Butchart Gardens in Summer and also at Christmas but never in early Spring. It certainly is a delightful place to visit.
Wonderful that all of your grands could be together.

Angie said...

Lorrie - so glad you could have a walk with your grands! And the picture with the yellow tulips took my breath away!

Rosemary said...

Butchart must be a really special garden to visit with its magnificent combination of both the wild and the cultivated. The tulips are stunning.
Lovely to see your grandchildren altogether, four girls and one boy is exactly the same mix of grandchildren that we have too.

Margie said...

What a great shot of the grandkids!

Thanks for sharing the beautiful tulip photos. This is the first time I've seen the dark red tulips--they have strong gothic vibes!

The outdoors is one of the few safe places during the pandemic so let's hope that people will continue to renew their passes!

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Lovely photos
The arrangement of tulips along the walkway is gorgeous.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh how I'd love to come back to see Butchart Gardens again -- and in the Spring!! so lovely. I didn't even know about the adjoining park. Another good reason. Wonderful to have the time with all the grands (and their parents ;>).

kathy b said...

Thank you for the share of those gorgeous flowers! I needed it!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Your grandchildren are adorable! We were supposed to see Buchart Gardens around this time of the year at the end of a scheduled Hawaiian Cruise. Because of Covid, we had to cancel. Maybe someday in the future, we'll be able to visit. It always looks so lovely in photos.

Vee said...

What a fantastic photo of the grands!

Deanna Rabe said...

Darling grands!

Those tulips are amazing!

Mereknits said...

Amazing photos my friend, I can only imagine how beautiful it was in person. Stay safe.

gretchenjoanna said...

The grandchildren are the dearest and most glorious flowers.

(But I appreciate the others as well.)

Kit said...

What a wonderful place! Glad you got to visit with your grandchildren. They look lovely. 😊 Kit

Marilyn Miller said...

How I long to come for another visit to those beautiful gardens. I love that you were able to meet up with all of your grandchildren outdoors. I didn't know about the inlet gardens.

Tom said...

...I planted rhubarb last fall it seems to be doing well, but I will have to wait for a nice crop next year. Butchart Gardens is on my to see list!

Maude said...

I never heard of Butchart Gardens of Canada. It is the first time and thank you for writing such post. It was wonderful to read. I love to discover this kind of wanders. Isn't it fantastic. It was great to read about it. The Tulips are wonderful and very pretty. It is a Hopes for lots of us - I wish I could visit this place. But hence I love far away in Europe. Maybe one day, who knows. As I love travelling it can happen one day. Have a great weekend!

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