While on a trip to Alaska, our family stopped in Victoria, B.C., Canada. Our main purpose for the few hours we were there were to go see the Butchart Gardens. They are privately owned, yet millions of people flock to see them every year. The Gardens were started back in the early 1900's by Mrs. Butchart to beautify the land that her husband had cleared from his limestone quarry.
I have seen many gardens, but this was on a huge scale. What was so incredible is that everywhere you turned there were large groups of people. The driver that took us there said that on an average afternoon there are about 15,000 people in the gardens! Not bad for a private garden, however, it was less than peaceful.
If crowds don't scare you, it is well worth the time to see the layout of the plants and flowers. I liked the many variety of geraniums that made a theme throughout the gardens. Cardinal Caps were everywhere as well in bush and tree form. One interesting story the driver told was about how the Butcharts went to Europe to buy some mallard ducks in Germany. On the way to catch their ship, they were late and missed it. It was in fact the Titanic that they had missed.
I particularly loved the shade garden featuring hostas and ferns. Shade gardens remind me of my mother. She loves hostas, and has her own shade garden in Utah! The broad leafed plants were blooming white and periwinkle flowers. So beautiful! So, if you ever have a chance to make it to Victoria, take a few hours to stroll the gardens made by Mrs. Butchart.