Garden Photo of the Day

GPOD on the Road: Spring at Butchart

Bulbs, bulbs, and more bulbs!

close up of bright yellow daffodils and red tulips

Cherry Ong is taking us along to see spring at Butchart Gardens in British Columbia. This garden is famous for over-the-top displays of spring bulbs and annuals, which paint the whole space with giant swaths of color. One of the most iconic parts of the garden is the sunken garden, and often we see photos taken from the ground above, looking down at the plants. But today Cherry is taking us down into the garden and looking up and around at the beauty to be found there.

large plantings of light yellow daffodils and light pink tulips over blue forget-me-notsCoordinated swaths of tulips (Tulipa hybrids, Zones 3–8) and late daffodils (Narcissus hybrids, Zones 3–8) bloom together. The tulips in front are underplanted with forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica, Zones 3–8) to add a layer of blue around the larger tulip blooms.

large plantings of bright red yellow and pink flowersHere the colors are hot, with the beds in the foreground underplanted with English daisy (Bellis perennis, Zones 4–8) in pink and red. They add a layer of color even when the bulbs in the bed are not in flower.

large planting of bright yellow tulipsYellow tulips are like a puddle of sunshine on the ground.

close up of bright yellow daffodils and red tulipsDaffodils and tulips planted together extend the show, and provide an added dimension to the color.

another view of daffodils, tulips, and forget-me-notsAfter they bloom, all these beds will be ripped out and replaced with annuals for the summer display.

large garden bed on a slip with pink flowers and various plants yet to bloomThe landscape around the sunken garden is dramatic and beautiful as well.

close up of a bare Japanese maple with twisted trunk and limbsAs beautiful as the bulbs are, this incredible old Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) is breathtaking. Now, right before the leaves flush out, you can see the incredible intricate form of the trunk.

large garden pond surrounded by flowering treesThe pond is lined with gorgeous flowering trees blushing shades of pink.

another view of pond with flowering trees and daffodilsAnd, of course, still more daffodils are blooming everywhere!


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  1. user-7392754 05/19/2023

    Thank you Cherry for taking us along on another fantastic botanical garden tour! It’s so fun to see how the experts garden! I especially love the tulips planted with forget-me-nots and the old Japanese maple.

    1. perenniallycrazy 05/19/2023

      You're welcome. There's always a gardening lesson for me (usually more than one as I study their plant combinations) when I visit. Even our dog enjoyed his visit with so many of the visitors fawning over him. I'm so glad they allow pets now.

  2. User avater
    simplesue 05/19/2023

    Oh that old Japanese Maple is magnificent! I could not imagine ripping out tons of bulbs to plant annuals- labor intensive!
    Such a beautiful place.

    1. perenniallycrazy 05/19/2023

      I agree (takes 10,000 man hours or more, BTW, I overheard they have 50 gardeners), so best to just visit and enjoy right? Kidding aside, I love visiting Vancouver Island and wish I could visit more often.

  3. sheila_schultz 05/19/2023

    Haooy Spring, Cherry!!! Thanks for this colorful trip through the incredible bulb gardens, and I'm with Sue... Yikes, what a lot of work!!! And, that Japanese maple is beyond dreamy... Have a fabulous weekend, my friend!

    1. perenniallycrazy 05/19/2023

      Happy Spring Sheila! I have a weakness for Japanese maples, think it's in my DNA. How are you and your garden?

      1. sheila_schultz 05/20/2023

        Our low desert gardens are doing well. I have been getting a lot of natives planted that were on my list before the monsoon rains come and the 100 degree temps settle in. Overall, things are finally coming together in my eye... but as all of us gardeners know, there's always another plant that needs to live with us!
        Enjoy your gardens adventures, my friend!

  4. btucker9675 05/19/2023

    This garden is literally breathtaking... thank you for sharing!

    1. perenniallycrazy 05/19/2023

      You're welcome. Happy to.

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