Monday, July 04, 2022

A Rose Garden Visit


Tiffany Rose - USA 1954

One afternoon last week I took myself on a spur-of-the-moment jaunt to Butchart Gardens to see the roses. They are later than normal due to our cool spring and early summer, but nearing peak bloom. About 250 varieties of roses fill the garden beds, with over 2500 individual plants. 

The Poet's Wife - England 2014

I wandered back and forth along the paths, stopping to admire and photograph, and to bend down and take a dedicated whiff of fragrance. Ahh, the delight! 

Rose varieties from the late 1800s through the 20th century grace the garden, with a grand selection of colours, shapes, and fragrances. Roses do not all smell alike, and some, like the hybrid teas, have almost no scent. How sad, for what is a rose without a delightful fragrance? 

Savoy Hotel - England 1989

I confess that it's the pink roses that appeal most to my camera. Pinks of all shades - from dark fuschia and wine to delicate pale blush pink. I love reading the names of roses and often wonder who chose the name and why. 

In my own garden I like to research the names of the roses and the history behind the name. For example, Boscobel is named for the house in England near where Charles II hid in an oak tree during the English Civil War (1642-1651). 

Parade Day - USA 2018

The Rose Garden is the only place where plants are labelled. A photo guide provides clues to other plants situated throughout the other garden areas. I take a photo of the label after taking one of the rose so I can refer to it later. 

Some names I find quite unromantic and unsuitable for a rose, in my own opinion, of course. There is one, a pretty pink rose, called Sexy Rexy that seems utterly incongruent to me. Do names of things matter to you? I confess that when I choose a paint colour for the house I fold the paint chips back so I cannot see the names of the colours for fear of being swayed in one direction or the other by the words. 

A small arbor and a now-locked gate once led from the rose garden to the Butchart family home. I find the tangle of vines and roses against the ironwork immensely appealing. 

Here is a view from above the Rose Garden to the house beyond, now a restaurant where they serve a delicious afternoon tea and other meals. The wing to the left of the main building once housed a bowling alley for children, and is now offices. The white roses along the main allee are just beginning to fill out.

Other gardens are filled with flowers, too. In the little wood cabin above the Sunken Garden, a clematis trails down from the roof. 

Colourful stocks fill the middle area of this bed, with bright zinnias beginning to bloom behind. The plantings are so masterful and I learn something every time I visit. 

I'll leave you with a view of the sweet peas that line one of the walkways along the rose garden with tall obelisks of sweetly-scented, multi-hued blooms. 

In my own garden the roses are lovely with blooms, although today they are hanging heavily after yesterday's steady rain. The sweet peas are growing madly, but no blooms there yet. After a few sunny days we're back to clouds and rain, and chilly temperatures. 


  1. Such a feast for the eyes. Exquisite!

  2. Thank you for sharing these gorgeous flowers. I love roses, in all shapes and colors. A visit to Butchardt Gardens at this time would be a dream come true.

  3. Lorrie, it has been far too long, decades, since I visited Butchart Gardens! I so enjoyed going there today through your brilliant photos. I used to have a "hedge" of pink roses along the curved driveway, but when I got too busy to keep up with it, it had to come out. I've missed it ever since. I love that you pointed out that roses have different fragrances.

  4. How beautiful a garden! I love the pink rose. The garden is very romantic and how nice to have a meal in this garden, you are lucky to be near such a garden! I love all the colours. Here the gardens are having hard time to survive because of the high heat we had and hardly any rain, we are watering it but it’s not enough. The rose bushes are not as usual.

  5. How I would love to have been with you on your tour of the rose garden Lorrie. There was a similar one in Brittany, where once a year they would hold an open day, with musicians tucked in amongst the rose bowers, flute players, was magical. And towards the evening we would be offered a glass of rose petal wine.
    I feel like you about names of things, plants paint etc. I might possible reject a rose if it had a silly name, or maybe I would just re christen it while it was in my garden! One of my favourites is 'Ghislaine de Feligonde' and i can imagine a beautifully clothed lady sweeping by with her fan and feathers in her hair!

  6. If I was ever in your area then Butchart Garden would be top of the list for the garden to visit. A rose without a smell does not appeal to me half as much one with a delicious scent. What do we do when we see a beautiful rose? we immediately smell it, and if there is no smell, then sadly, it disapoints.

  7. I love strolling through public gardens. The pictures you took are so beautiful, I could almost smell the roses!

  8. I like seeing how beds are planted as well. That one with the stocks, and the zinnia behind is very interesting!

    What a lovely day you had at the gardens.

  9. Your visit to Butchart Gardens is just stunning. I do love rose season. Sadly our roses are waning right now, but some will revive for yet another bloom. Your pictures entice me to come again. I love having tea in the home too. They do a wonderful tea time there.

  10. That garden is like a DREAM of roses! Amazing! Lovely post and so much inspiration...
    Have a beautiful week and take care :)

  11. The roses are stunning. Thank you for taking us along on your walk through the gardens. I'm always curious about the names they come up with, too. And, yes, I'm very much influenced by the names when choosing paint colors! lol

  12. Thank you for taking us along to Butchart Gardens so we can enjoy the beautiful roses with you. I'm also partial to the purple florals!

  13. Beautiful Flowers. Not only the roses ( which are wonderful) but the Sweet Peas and stocks and so much more to enjoy. It's been years since the last time we visited Butchart Gardens but I remember being almost overwhelmed by all the beauty.

  14. I am never disappointed in reading about your visits to Butchart or your own garden.
    You’ve had that “new” camera for three or four years, now, haven’t you? It’s serving
    you well!
    Cheryl McBride
    Salida, Co

  15. I agree, a rose should have a good rosy scent!

  16. A beautiful garden... yes, the variety of roses can hardly be surpassed :-)))
    For me, the names are also very important... in all things in life, so I can understand that you leave the names out when choosing the color.
    Have a happy day
    ... p.s. my roses in the garden are also in full bloom. I bought all the scented varieties :-))) This is also very important for me ;-)

  17. What a lovely place, Lorrie, gorgeous gardens and a charming restaurant for an afternoon tea. Roses are beautiful but I enjoyed especially the last two photos, with more dramatic colours and combinations.
    Names of plants are interesting. This year I have some new roses, for example two 'Tove Janssons',named after a Finnish writer and also known as Moomin Roses. They have single, cherry-red flowers. The weather conditions haven't been the best, first cold and rainy, then hot and dry, now cold and rainy again.
    Thank you for the beautiful post! Stay well!

  18. Magnificent!!!!!

    Gentle hug,

  19. Beautiful roses, your photos show them well.

  20. Glorious. Glad you took the time to visit and share the lovely photos with us!

  21. The roses are lovely. Well actually all the flowers were just so pretty.

  22. Hi Lorrie,

    I'm so glad you've shared these pictures from Butchart Gardens! When I was in my late 20's, I had a friend who traveled to Canada; she sent me a postcard of the Butchart Gardens. I had never heard of the gardens at that time, but I've always remembered that beautiful postcard and wished to visit the gardens myself someday. I agree with you; "Sexy Rexy" is a ridiculous name for a rose. :/ I, too, pay attention to the names of things, especially flowers. I also love your pictures of the colorful sweet peas -- another favorite flower, but one I have never tried to grow. What a nice outing you had to Butchart Gardens, and I'm glad you live close enough to visit there often.

    Have a wonderful week, Lorrie!



  23. Dear Lorrie, these flowers are glorious. Oh, how I love the sweet peas, I can just smell them. Your climate must be ideal for blooms, they all look to lush and healthy. Thank you for this lovely treat.


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