Visiting the glorious Butchart Gardens has been on my travel bucket list for over ten years.
Sometimes when you build up something so fabulous in your mind it can be disappointing when it actually happens.
This however was not the case when I finally viewed the sunken garden for the first time.
We arrived right when the garden opened at 9 am.
I was so overcome by the beauty that my eyes filled with tears.
Even Mr. Decor, who is not easily impressed, was mesmerized by the glorious fall colors.
Over 100 years ago Robert Butchart created a quarry and cement plant. His wife, Jennie, was the company chemist.
Once the limestone was exhausted Jennie decided to transform the pit into a beautiful sunken garden.
I just kept thinking “One woman and a dream created this!”
Between 1906 and 1926 the Butcharts would go on to create a Japanese garden, an Italian garden and a rose garden.
Their grandson, Ian Ross, transformed the gardens into the spectacular showplace it is today.
In 2004 the gardens were designated a National Historical Site in Canada.
It is easy to see why over one million people visit the garden each year.
Because of the rain we once again enjoyed most of the gardens free from such crowds.
We walked the 22 hectar (55 acre) garden twice just to make sure we didn’t miss a moment of beauty.
While most of the the roses were now dormant for the winter there was still seasonal color in the rose garden.
The manicured Italian garden was a sight to behold as well.
The zinna beds were a riot of spectacular color.
I picked up several packets of seeds in the garden shop and can’t wait for planting season.
Do you want to see my favorite part of the gardens?
Perhaps my point of view would change with the seasons but I was enraptured with the autumnal beauty found in the Japanese garden.
Garden designer Isaburo Kishida of Yokohama helped the Butcharts design their garden.
It was completed in 1906.
I hope you have enjoyed the tour. I would like to go back someday in the spring.
We left the gardens shortly before lunch. Since we didn’t have to return on the ferry until 7 pm in the evening we decided to drive the Pacific Marine Circle Route.
We stopped in at the Sooke visitors center and was told it was the perfect time of year to watch the salmon migration at the Sooke Potholes Provincial Park.
The salmon were attempting to jump these series of falls.
It was an incredible sight to see. Just look at all those fish in the lovely, clear water.
We watched as several salmon repeatedly made the jump against the small falls.
I wish my camera had captured the action shots better but there is a blurry fish in the center of the image below.
The surrounding area had beautiful walking trails.
We opted not to venture too far as we had been warned there were bears in the area and saw evidence that they had indeed been hunting.
There are several larger falls and naturally made pools all along the river.
This is Maryvine Falls.
Tomorrow the magic of Whistler and Lynn Canyon.