Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens is a flower park located 21 km north of the city of Victoria (Canada). This is a picturesque place on the Pacific coast with alpine nature, a description of which is known from the books of Jack London.

The story of the creation of the Butchart Garden is amazing and beautiful, like a fairy tale. Family hobby, thanks to incredible efforts and cares, over time has become the national pride of Canada.

In 1904, on the territory of a fully developed limestone quarry, which had brought good income to the family of businessman Robert Butchart for 16 years, the construction of the Sunken Garden began at the suggestion of his wife Jenny.

Jenny was initially fond of home gardening and already appreciated the mild climate of the area and the excellent fertility of the soil. The family traveled a lot, bringing rare seeds and seedlings of exotic trees from other countries.

But the upcoming difficulties were considerable: imagine that to begin with, a huge pit of the quarry had to be filled with tons of fertile land from neighboring agricultural land brought in an ordinary cart, and then careful work on improvement began. Jenny not only created the project herself and supervised the workers, but also selflessly planted flowers and shrubs. Gradually an unsightly place with boring landscapes turned into a beautiful floral oasis.

Thanks to the common efforts, a beautiful floral oasis has blossomed in place of a huge dull pit and boring industrial landscapes.

Fate turned out to be supportive of Butchart’s efforts, giving them a meeting with the famous landscape designer Isaburo Kishida, who arrived in Victoria in 1907 to build his Esquimalt Gorge Park tea garden. The garden he arranged was so beautiful that Jenny, next door, asked the master to help them create a Japanese garden in her possessions.

The designer tried to decorate the garden in the traditions of his country and bring an oriental note of unusual combinations of flowers, trees, shrubs, stones and water to the northern poverty of the surrounding nature. According to Japanese culture, this is a quiet and cozy corner of tranquility for inner contemplation and unity with nature, with a soft carpet of moss and ferns, and walls made of Japanese maples.

Initially, the couple called their garden Benvenuto, which translated from Italian meant the hospitable “Welcome,” but over time they gained worldwide popularity under the name Butchart Gardens, which conveyed more respect for the titanic work and the merits of their creators.

Jenny was a very friendly hostess, met and treated all visitors, even uninvited. Imagine that in 1915 at least 18 thousand people visited them, and since the beginning of the 1920s, about 50 thousand visitors visited the park annually. In 1930, in gratitude for her generosity, Mrs. Jenny received the honorary title of Victoria's Best Citizen.

The resulting Japanese garden became so popular that in 1926 the couple decided to supplement it with an Italian garden, reflecting the hospitality and sunny atmosphere of this country, giving them the territory of their tennis courts.

And in 1929, the Rose Garden with a rose garden was added to them, replacing a large family garden. Today it is a peculiar visiting card of Butchart Gardens, where 117 varieties of tea rose bushes, 64 varieties of floribunda roses and 400 varieties of grandiflora roses are grown on an area of 22 hectares. All kinds of roses are indicated by detailed plates. A sea of flowering begonias and fuchsias of different varieties also grows here.

Jenny's wife Robert also tried to help in the improvement of the gardens, collecting decorative birds from all over the world for them on family trips. Pigeons were brought to the gardens and birdhouses were attracted, which attracted songbirds, decorative ducks swam in the pond, guttural peacocks with luxurious tail feathers walked in the clearing, and heat-loving parrots were placed with honor in the Butchart's house.

In 1943, Robert died, this event influenced Jenny so much that the park was abandoned for several years. But in 1946, the grandson of the Ian Ross family with his wife Annie embarked on his rebirth. There were no special funds for the restoration, they had to introduce a fee for visiting. For visitors, they opened a cafe, a nursery, a seed and souvenir shop, which brought a good additional income.

In 1953, in honor of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the park, a spectacular underground lighting was made, and in 1954, summer garden lighting was organized.

In 1964, the famous garden was replenished with a new attraction - the magnificent Ross Fountain (a bewitching show with a variable rise in water to a height of 21 meters). The fountain was created by Jan Ross, the grandson of Robert and Jenny Butchart, and installed in honor of the 60th anniversary of the garden.

During travels to Europe, the Butchart family acquired sculptures, which were then exhibited in their gardens. In 1973, Italian bronze sculptures of a fountain of three sturgeons and a wild boar Tacca appeared here, which are especially popular with children visiting tourists in the garden. According to signs, it is believed that one can hope for the fulfillment of one's cherished desire by simply rubbing the stigma of Takka. No wonder it is polished to a shine.

Several snail figures with gushing trickles of horns adorn the Snail Pond. Inside the garden, between the two entrances framed by arches, is a bronze statue of Mercury.

Not far from the Japanese Garden is the Starry Pond, so named for its shape, in which the decorative ducks of Robert Butchart once swam. The pond is surrounded by flower beds, and in its center is an island with a fountain in the form of frogs sitting in a circle.

Since 2001, ownership of the park’s lands has been inherited by Butchart’s great-granddaughter Robin-Lee Clark, who works there as a managing director.

In 2004, to its 100th anniversary, the park received the status of a national historical monument of Canada. In this honor, 2 totem poles 9 meters high were installed there.

Today it is one of the most beautiful places in the world created by man, which is rightfully included in the global landscape design elite.

At least one million different plants grow here, which are looked after by 50 expert gardeners. Thanks to their efforts, the park is interesting and diverse at any time of the year. By tradition, in July and August, fireworks are launched every evening.

Gardens are visited annually by more than a million people, invariably admiring the indescribable magic of combinations of the fabulous beauty of flower beds, trees and shrubs, ponds of original shapes, noblely complemented by sculptures, garden paths, bridges and spiral staircases, filled with the fragrance of herbs, birdsong, the murmur of brooks and the soothing noise of multi-level Fountains with bewitching lighting.

At the same time, human creativity and work organically fit into the natural landscape, creating a complete sense of natural naturalness.


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2022-09-25 21:39:36

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