Monday, 15 August 2016

Victoria's Butchart Gardens offers great summer music and amazing flowers

by Keith and Heather Nicol
The colourful Begonias were very photogenic
      Butchart Gardens has a well deserved reputation for its colourful and varied gardens and receives an amazing 1,000,000 visits a year! The gardens have been running for over 100 years and started when Jennie Butchart decided to rehabilitate a limestone quarry which had been used to supply her husband’s cement plant.  We have visited the 22 acre garden in spring and summer in previous years (we still haven’t seen the elaborate displays for Christmas ) but a real highlight in the summer is the chance to combine flowers with music with the Butchart Gardens summer concert series. From July 2 until September 3, Butchart Gardens plays host to a variety of musical events including groups like the Victoria Symphony to cover bands like “The Sutcliffes” who play Beatles’ hits. There are even fireworks on Saturdays and entry to the concerts is free with your Butchart Gardens day or annual pass. 
The gardens also feature First Nations totems

Canna lined the part of the walkway to the concert bowl
   On Friday August 12, “Black Angus” was in concert and we had heard members of that group playing  celtic music (one of our favourite genres) earlier this year so we thought they would be a good choice.  We arrived around 6:00 pm so that we could see some of the gardens before the 8:00 pm concert.  Like many people we also packed a picnic lunch to eat on the grass in front of the band stand. The rose garden is a special treat in the summer and is the only part of the garden where the plants are named. Unfortunately the Sunken Garden was in shade when we arrived but was still spectacular with its 21 meter Ross Fountain at the end. One disadvantage of arriving later in the afternoon is that some of the garden is now in shade so if you want to see the gardens in their best light plan to get there by mid afternoon at the latest. We also appreciated the Italian Garden and the entry walkway to the Concert Stage and Lawn with its nicely spaced trees surrounded by rings of flowers. The Gardens also offers summer boat tours of Butchart Cove which we haven’t taken advantage of. Next time! 
"Black Angus" put on a memorable show

    We thoroughly enjoyed the “Black Angus”. They played a variety of celtic based music but also featured folk music from other countries which we also liked. Although there are chairs for the evening concerts although some people bring their own camp chairs. Music and Flowers ...a great combination. For the summer concert schedule and other information see:

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