We went our separate ways today. Kim caught the shuttle to Butchart Gardens, John hired a bike and Matt mooched around Victoria.
Starting with Kim’s day. Butchart Gardens began development in 1906 by Jennie Butchart, in a former limestone quarry. By 1926 she had transformed the site, bringing in tons of soil by horse and cart. The gardens remain owned by the Butchart’s great grand daughter.
The planting changes with the seasons and is all grown on site. Kim tried very hard to find a weed in the 55 acre site and couldn’t. It did pour with rain but even didn’t reduce the impact of the garden.
The first garden you enter is the Sunken Garden, the former limestone quarry. If you look closely you can see an original chimney.
The path takes you down to Ross Fountain, installed in 1964. Despite its age, the fountains still put on a fantastic display.
The Japanese Garden was the first to be created following the Butchart’s visit to Japan (this couple certainly had money). A calm oasis of simple planting and running water.
Kim was taken with the Boar Scarer, a simple bamboo water feature that made a loud bang as it filled and emptied.
The view from the top of the Japanese Garden down to the Butchart Cove was glorious.
There are boat trips around the cove and, if so inclined and wealthy enough, you can still arrive by seaplane.
Final verdict? The gardens are stunning – John would have loved the sense of order and control. Kim prefers things a little wilder and the Cornish garden at Trebah remains her favourite.
On to John’s day. After the drama of the water ballet, he cycled out over the New Johnson Street Bridge along the Galloping Goose Trail (spoiler alert – there are no geese, galloping or otherwise).
As only John would, he called in at a Pawn shop to have a look around when this caught his attention. In the UK, we make our gas smell so your nose will do the same job.
John thought it was Friday in Henlow, he’d ended up in Spinnaker Brew Pub where you could taste the beers before ordering very similar to the Engineers Arms.
We are learning to use familiar words in new and interesting ways. Everything is ‘awesome’ or ‘sweet’ when quite clearly it’s just ok. Word of today was ‘fantabulous’ from a very cheery waitress. Quote of the day from the CVS shuttle driver was ‘That would be peachy’. Our challenge is to use that at least three times tomorrow.
For our final day, we’re hiring a car and driving the Pacific Marine Circle Route. Bizarrely it’s cheaper to hire a car than three bikes.