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If you’re going to travel to Victoria just let me warn you – unless you’re a garden fanatic, you’ll never fit in. I’ve never met so many plant crazy people in my life. And spring, of course, when the whole city is in bloom, is the time to be there and also the time that my ignorance about all things flower-ish (besides knowing how to sign for a delivery of roses to my door) can truly shine.
The Butchart Gardens is the place to go for greenery-philes. It’s a historic and still family-owned estate, and now a National Historic Site of Canada. It’s 22 hectares (55 acres) of flowers and gardens and, let me warn you, there are hills and it will most likely rain. At least it did when I was there. And the way I have gleaned that it often rains is that there are complimentary transparent umbrellas everywhere, so even in a downpour you can see where you’re walking. And unlike me, people actually seem to know what they’re looking at rather than just enjoying the pretty colours.
“Oh, what are those?” asked my mom, as we toured the gardens with plant-savvy artist Catherine McAvity.
“Marigolds!” I say, showing off.
“They’re primulas,” Catherine says.
And so it went, and really, I didn’t guess a single plant right.
Well actually, I knew these were daffodils, but nobody asked me.
In addition to visiting touring the gardens, we visited the home of two other plant people, landscape designers Twyla Rusnak and Illarion Gallan. And I didn’t even try to keep up with the plant talk. And then, when we went to the airport in Victoria, it turns out that plants have taken over the city – get a load of Illarion’s public sculpture ….
I may not know what they’re called, but I’m pretty sure they’re not real.
Read more: Planning a trip to Canada? Visit my Things to do in Canada article.