Garden Photo of the Day

Tatyana’s visit to the Mediterranean garden at Butchart Gardens

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Tatyana Searcy

Today’s photos are a treat from Tatyana Searcy on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington state. If you’ll remember, we featured Tatyana’s metal gazebo exactly a month ago (refresh your memory HERE). But today Tatyana is taking us on the road. 

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Tatyana Searcy

She says, “I’d like to share some pictures of the Butchart Gardens Mediterranean garden (Vancouver Island, Canada), which I visited last August. It’s located near the Butchart Gardens parking lot and sometimes is missed by visitors. This wonderful, lush area is not big, but I enjoyed every minute I spent there.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Tatyana Searcy

“Vancouver Island has a typically warm/dry summer and a wet/cool winter. Some of the plants blooming in the Mediterranean garden in August and shown in the pictures: flowering maple (Abutilon spp. and cvs., USDA Hardiness Zones 8-11), angel’s fishing rod (Dierama spp. and cvs., Zones 7-10), Crocosmia (Crocosmia spp. and cvs., Zones 6-9), castor bean (Ricinus communis cvs., annual), cardoon (Cynara cardunculus, Zones 7-9), canna lilies (Canna spp. and cvs., Zones 8-11), Japanese banana (Musa basjoo, Zones 8-11), rose of Sharon (Hibiscus spp. and cvs., Zones 5-11), coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides cvs., Zones 12-13), vervain (Verbena spp. and cvs., 3-11), salvia (Salvia spp. and cvs., Zones 5-11), sedum (Sedum spp. and cvs., Zones 3-11), mallow (Lavatera spp. and cvs., Zones 4-11), dusty miller (Senecio cineraria, Zones annual), and tree poppy (Romneya coulteri, Zones 8-10).”

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Tatyana Searcy

Absolutely gorgeous, Tatyana! I have never been to Butchat Gradens, and that’s a crime. It’s on my short list, and I’ll make a special point of seeing this part of the garden. Thanks!

**Tatyana has more photos of this garden on her blog HERE**

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Tatyana Searcy
Banana, canna, castor bean, coleus, flowering maple, brugmansia. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Tatyana Searcy
Coleus. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Tatyana Searcy
Flowering maple. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Tatyana Searcy
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Tatyana Searcy
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Tatyana Searcy

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View Comments


  1. user-1020932 02/15/2013

    butchart gardens ALWAYS beautiful. the photos make me hungry for summer

  2. joycedaffodilhill 02/15/2013

    These are fabulous photos, great plantings, SPRING where are you? We are having more snow tonight and tomorrow. Lord spare us.

  3. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 02/15/2013

    Stunning! Plus beautiful photos. I envy your proximity to Vancuuver Island. We missed Butchart Gardens on our visits there, but did spend time at the Abkazi (sp?) garden, which is another must-see.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/15/2013

    My husband just tried to engage me in some chit chat about something in the morning paper and I have to admit, I shook my head and said, "give me a minute". I couldn't stand not to look at every picture uninterrupted. The photos are phenomenal...not just for their subject matter but also the incredible clarity. Tatyana must come back on the board and tell us about the camera she used. I think I have said this before but Butchart Gardens is the most beautifully lush garden I have ever seen in person. Every inch (and I'm not exaggerating when I say "inch") is planted to colorful perfection. They plant annuals on such a large scale and harmonize the colors so wonderfully, you don't feel it's hodge podge or overly busy. Because it's a once upon a time gravel pit (or something like that), there are high vantage points to gaze down the mesmerizing views. It's like being in a living kaleidoscope!

  5. Quiltingmamma 02/15/2013

    Ah, now I am really homesick. Victoria is my childhood home, so Butchart's has played a part in various chapters of my child-and adult-hood. And now here I live in cold, snowy Ontario knowing that by now the snowdrops and daffodils are in bloom.
    Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos, and giving us a little break from a more typical Canadian winter.

  6. bee1nine 02/15/2013

    Looks like August can be a good time to visit the Butchart
    Gardens. Though I'm getting the impression any time during
    the growing season! I'm quite partial to 'blues' in gardens.
    Not sure what this blue plant featured in 4th photo,right
    side could be. Love it's vibrance!!
    Tatyana, thanks for the gorgeous show!

  7. Skigordo 02/15/2013

    Can someone please identify the yellow "globe" like flower in the last picture bottom right?
    It's really wonderful and something I never recall seeing before.

  8. allinda 02/15/2013

    Butchart Gardens has the most wonderful gardens I have ever seen. I wish I had more time back in Sept. 2001 when I was there with a coach tour... only had 1.5 hours to explore. I madly took pictures upon pictures so I could remember all of the beauty that I was devouring. I could have spent days there.

  9. Quiltingmamma 02/15/2013

    Skigordo, I would put that yellow flower in the Allium family from looking at the stem, and in the centre of the photo, see the onion like bud?
    Now, the blue one has me stumped too. I was intrigued, but pin it down.

  10. tatyanas 02/15/2013

    Skigordo, this is Craspedia (Billy Balls, Billy Buttons, Woolyheads, Drumstick Flowers).

  11. greenthumblonde 02/15/2013

    Some gardens make me long for spring. This garden inspires me to be a better garden designer. Phenomenal use of evergreen exclamation points.

  12. tatyanas 02/15/2013

    Quiltingmamma, the blue flowers are Dwarf Delphinium grandiflorum 'Blue Mirror'. There are more names in my blog's post (or click on HERE in Michelle Gervais' commentary above).

  13. Happily_Gardening 02/15/2013

    This post is a super special treat. Opening, all I could say was, "OH". We had the pleasure to visit the Gardens in 2004, their 100 year anniversary. They made/planted a huge flower display proclaiming it. It just so happens several days ago I was looking at pictures taken on our visit. Butchart Gardens is incredibly makes your heart sing. I loved watching the fountain soothing and lovely.

    TatyanaS - I did not see photos of the fountain, I wonder did you see it, is it still operating?

    meander1- It was a rock quarry. I usually take photos of signs/fact of the areas I visit...goodness knows I can't remember anything past when I see it :). Re-reading them this morning to refresh my memory, it's interesting...Jennie Butchart overcame the challenge of planting ivy in the barren rock face by hanging in a bosun's chair to plant in the crevices of the rock wall. Mr. Butchart made the lake from another part of the quarry, filling it with trout, who would rise to the surface to be feed when he clapped his hands.

    Lovely quality images...thank you!

  14. Rosella49 02/15/2013

    The Butchart Gardens are going on my bucket list for sure. Great photos. I was disappointed as well in the Meijer Gardens photos from February 12. I live in West Michigan and enjoyed the Chihuly exhibit very much. Michelle, you must come and see the whole park soon and take some photos with a better camera--not to not be nice. I just want this Michigan treasure to be shown for what it is!

  15. tractor1 02/15/2013

    These are very crisp shots because someone has a steady hand or is using a tripod, and even more importantly they are holding the shutter button down half way long enough for the camera to focus before pressing all the way. Many people just point and shoot, taht blurrs the shot but mostly they don't allow the software in the digicam time to negotiate the subject. I am most intrigued by that "flowering maple", is it a tree/shrub/?, it's flowers are very poppy-like and has very interesting varigated foliage. I wish there was a picture that included more of the plant, I will be looking this up in a moment... if it grows in Washington State it very well may grow well here in the northern Catskills. Thank you Tatyana.

  16. Butchart_Gardens 02/15/2013

    Nice article Tatyana.

    In response to Skigordo the orange flowers are Craspedia ‘Drumstick’ and to answer Bee1nine's question the blue flowers are Delphinium ‘Blue Mirror’.

    And BTW, not to jinx us, but we've been snow free this winter so we are seeing signs of an early spring.

  17. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/15/2013

    Thanks, Happily_Gardening, for refreshing my memory...somehow I knew when I wrote it that "gravel pit" wasn't significant enough to result in the dramatic changes in elevation that are part of what makes Butchart garden so amazing.I remember reading about how Mr. Butchart had staggering amounts of topsoil trucked in so that the retired rock quarry could become the site for the bountiful planting beds.

  18. shineeday 02/15/2013

    I second adding BG to my bucket list. Simply beautiful display of textures and colors! Puts me in the mind of summer! Its a whopping 27 degrees here in Chicago! I really miss the colors and fragrance summer. Maybe I'll try my hand at forcing bulbs and stems for a batch of indoor color and fragrance now.

  19. bee1nine 02/15/2013

    Hi TatyanaS: and to Butchart Gardens: Many thanks for
    identifying those pretty blue flowered plants for me!!:)

  20. trashywoman62 02/15/2013

    Beautiful photos! I would like to know are the daisy like flowers in the bottom photo an annual? They make a stunning edger planted in mass as they have done. As Vojt wrote, I too missed Butchart Gardens on my visits to Washington, last time was in February 2009 and it was in the mid 40s but windy, not garden visiting weather!We went up Mt. Rainer instead! I will definitely have to visit soon in summer and see this garden.

  21. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/15/2013

    Hi, trashywoman62, my guess for those daisy like gold, white and orange flowers is a certain kind of zinnia that is very easy to grow from seed. It is called zinnia angustifolia and the narrow leaves (as well as the flowers, of course) are what makes me think it is that. I don't see them offered for sale all that often but I bought some once and, so far, I have enjoyed a bounty of reseeded ones for ever after. In fact, just today, I was pulling out their dead little carcasses in one of my beds and I give them a good shake to make sure seeds drop for germination when it gets warm again.

  22. bee1nine 02/16/2013

    To trashywoman62- If I may add.. I agree with meander1
    pertaining to the daisy like flowers on bottom left photo.
    They are zinnia augustifolia('Thumbelina') I believe. I also
    grow these little beauties. I live in Zone 7 and they grow
    as an annual for me!

  23. tatyanas 02/16/2013

    meander1, it was Nikon D90.
    Happily Gardening, I don't recall the fountain.
    tractor1, no tripod...
    THANK YOU, everyone!

  24. user-1020932 02/16/2013

    tatyana i really enjoyed your photos of Butchart but what i REALLY enjoyed was your website/blog. the photography, the commentary and your obvious "thrill of the hunt" in discovering plants and gardeners . i have learned that if someone is growing something,,,,,,a large garden, small or just a few pots of flowers,,,,,,that they are almost always a pleasure to meet and will take the time to talk. i have met many many great people by just stopping and complimenting their gardening efforts and a lot of the time have left with a shared plant from their garden

  25. Meredith_Chambers 02/19/2013

    Beautiful garden and stunning photos. In my city is still snow and cold, so I'm only dreaming of flowers and gardens. Though I can't wait for spring. Now it's hard to believe that there are also beautiful gardens like this in Toronto . Can’t wait for the flowers to bloom. Thank you for sharing this photos, they made me smile.

  26. tatyanas 02/22/2013

    tntreeman, thank you for your kind and very encouraging words! Yes, I have a tag 'Gardens to see' in my blog for those posts which showcase private and public gardens. There are so many great ideas that we can get while touring someone's gardens.

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