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IMG_5699Arriving in Victoria, Canada. Crispy but not as cold as Alaska.  We spent our time ashore at the Butchart Gardens in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, located near Victoria on Vancouver Island. I had heard about the Gardens long ago and I am so pleased we got to see it on a sunny day.  It was crowded which only tickled me more.  What could be nicer than enjoying a garden with many, many others intent on taking in such a glorious site.

I enjoyed learning a little bit of the garden’s history.  Robert Butchart, a cement manufacturer, and his wife Jennie, established their home near the Butchart quarry on Tod Inlet, Vancouver Island. They named their home “Benvenuto” (“welcome” in Italian), and when the limestone quarry was exhausted, Jennie set about turning it into the Sunken Garden. She commissioned a Japanese garden from a visiting garden designer from Yokohama, Isaburo Kishida. Later she replaced their tennis courts with an Italian garden and in their kitchen vegetable garden with a large rose garden.  She also opened the garden to the public.

In 1939, the Butcharts gave the Gardens to their grandson Ian Ross on his 21st birthday. Ownership of the Gardens remains within the Butchart family. Today the owner and managing director is great-granddaughter Robin-Lee Clarke.

We spent all the time we could at the Gardens, taking a much appreciated gelato break in the Italian garden.  Julia took many pictures and really seemed to enjoy the masses of color everyone she looked.

This was hardly a taste of Victoria which seems to be a lovely city.  I’d love to spend more time in the city and get to see more of Vancouver Island.