Late last summer we took an Alaska cruise, sailing from Seattle to Alaska. Our final port of call was Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

We spent a lot of time in Victoria when I was a kid. A couple of ‘the aunts’ (my grandfather’s sisters) lived there so we’d go out for a visit most summers.

My dad died when I was 13, and for our final family vacation we drove west, visited Vancouver, then took the ferry over to Victoria. We visited Butchart Gardens on a beautiful July day.

I haven’t been to Vancouver Island since then (is it really 40 years?) and was really taken aback by how strong and vivid my memories were. I had more than one moment of overwhelming sadness, and at times I felt like I was walking with my dad, but then I saw the beauty that Mr and Mrs Butchart created in an abandoned quarry, and I couldn’t help but feel joy. I’m a gardener now, and I could see that a lot of my inspiration over the years has come from the Sunken Garden.

This Garden is forever imprinted in my memory. I hope you’ll enjoy a few of the photos in my gallery.

If you’re ever in Victoria or on Vancouver Island and have any interest at all in gardening, plan to spend some time at the Gardens. 

The Butchart Gardens

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19 thoughts on “Memories in the garden

  1. I love your photos! My family also visited Butchart gardens when I was young. I’ve always remembered it; I’d never seen such a stunning garden, and don’t think I’ve seen one since that compares to Butchart. Many of your pictures jogged memories I’d forgotten I had! Thank you for a sweet and poignant post.

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  2. This was really amazing; thank you so much for the tour. The beauty is absolutely overwhelming. Hubby and I are talking about a cruise for anniversary #15 (next year) and he wants to see the Northern Lights… were you able to see those? If so, this might be the cruise for us…especially with the Sunken Garden…that place is incredible!

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    1. We loved the cruise, but the weather was lousy with lots of rain. That didn’t ruin the cruise, but it did mean we didn’t see the Northern Lights, which were apparently firing then. Alaska was still just stunning. I will post a gallery of pictures on my blog – one day soon 😉

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      1. Ah–I didn’t even think of that. UGH. I’d be so upset if we went to see them and then got “rained out!” Was it too cold to hang out on deck? (When it wasn’t raining.)

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      2. As we discovered, parts of Alaska are rainforest – so I guess it always rains in Ketchikan. It didn’t rain constantly, but there was rain every day so it definitely was not a sunbathing cruise. We sailed at the end of August/beginning of September, and we had people tell us that it would be wet – so next time time I’d go earlier in the season. But I’d definitely go … It’s just amazing to see the scenery, and hear the silence as you cruise up the inside passage.

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      3. This is why I blog…to learn amazing things. I had no idea there was any rainforest in Alaska. I thought it was basically tundra. I guess it makes sense, though, that there would be different terrain, since it’s about as big as 25 of the States together…

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  3. Having lived in interior southern B.C for a number of years. Where the climate is of rainforest.

    I was always tickled by people who either a) Just moved there or b) were visitors. Saying “my, it rains a lot here”. … duh!

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