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Paradise from an Old Quarry

Butchart Gardens in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia

Eighteen years ago, I took a solo trip to Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia. One of the highlights of my trip was my first visit to Butchart Gardens, fifty-five acres of botanical paradise a short distance from Victoria. Usually, botanical gardens look their best in bright sunshine. Curiously, Butchart shone as much in the rain as it did, later that afternoon, in bright sunshine.

I spent hours exploring the grounds, rewarding myself with a delicious English tea for lunch.

Back in 1904, the grounds were part of a large limestone quarry that looked dismal, until the wife of the owner Click here to see how Jenny Butchart turned that ruined earth into a small paradise. Today it is a National Historic Site that draws thousands of visitors from around the world.

A few years later, I returned with Martine, who also fell in love with the place.

Come to think of it, Butchart Gardens was one of two botanical gardens we visited in Canada. The other one was in Annapolis Royal, clear on the other side of Canada. I will write about it at some point in the coming week or so.

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