Cherry Ong, friend of the GPOD, has enjoyed traveling to wonderful gardens lately and sharing incredible photos with us, so we’re starting today what is going to be a semi-regular Friday feature, “Where’s Cherry,” featuring her visits to inspiring gardens.
Today she’s taking us to Butchart Gardens in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia—more specifically, the Japanese garden.
This stunning view of the garden features a huge mass of pink Astilbe glabberima var. saxatilis (Zones 6–8), one of the shortest of the astilbes, but certainly not a slacker when it comes to bloom.
The airy clouds of pink astilbe flowers up close
A traditional stone lantern has collected a carpet of moss.
An unusual piece of faux bois (a technique of mimicking the texture of wood in concrete) sculpture in the garden. Cherry discovered that the foux bois at Butchart is the work of an artist named Francois Scotti (more info on him here).
No formal Japanese garden is complete without raked gravel, which is both beautiful and a tool for Zen meditation.
The trunk of an old Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) has become an incredible piece of living sculpture.
A cascade of Japanese maple foliage creates the effect of a waterfall into the pool.
Stepping-stones across water are traditional in Japanese gardens, as they force you to slow down, step carefully, and focus on the space you are moving through.
Foliage in a thousand shades of green
Carefully shaped shrubs in the cloud-pruning style line this pathway. Pruning is high art in Japanese gardens, with masters carefully shaping each branch to aesthetic perfection, much like the art of bonsai but on a larger scale.
Have a garden you’d like to share?
Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!
To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.
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What a beautiful garden. It has many new elements that I have not seen in other Japanese gardens, but they all work together. Thanks for sharing.
Agree! I always look forward to seeing it again.
Terrific photos Cherry! Butchart Gardens is always a must-see when I'm in Victoria and the Japanese Garden is my favourite. Looking forward to seeing more of 'Where's Cherry?' Thanks for sharing.
PS: curious to know how all the moss in this garden made out in the extreme heat this summer.
Thank you. “Where’s Cherry?” gave me a chuckle. When I was there the moss seemed unaffected but hopefully a Butchart expert will tell us. Perhaps it being seaside (located along Brentwood Bay) may have been a significant help.
Oh wow the moss on the stone lantern, and that twisted Japanese Maple trunk are spectacular!
Thanks for sharing!
You're welcome. I swoon over them every time I visit.
"Where's Cherry?" How utterly perfect! It gave me a chuckle, too, and really is appropriate, my friend. 'Garden Travels with Cherry' would have also worked. So fun.
LOL. Hubby now asks if I have to visit a garden every Friday?
Cherry, Yes, a chuckle with the name. So nice to see this new weekly feature highlighting your gorgeous photographs of interesting places. Loved the contorted Japanese Maple. I like Sheila’s alternate caption too. Dana thought the article was “awesome.”
Glad it made you chuckle. Hopefully the pressure isn't on to find a garden to visit every Friday =).
“Where’s Cherry?” is the penultimate GPOD Friday ‘Must View’. Love the photography and the first locale in Butchart Gardens is spectacular. Impressive visions from a true gardener is now my Friday priority!
Thank you Kielian. If only I could visit your garden!
Wonderful photos, as is always true of Cherry's contributions - and what a treat to be able to look forward to "Where's Cherry?" every Friday! Thanks, FG for such a great decision!
Thank you. I have submitted a set of photos showing Butchart's Japanese Garden in the fall that I think you will enjoy (you can compare some of the differences since I intentially took photos of the same vignettes. Not sure when Joseph will be sharing them but hopefully you'll enjoy them. I would be interested to hear your feedback on how you like the fall versus the summer.
Gorgeous!!! Love moss wherever it turns up!
Wow this is so amazing. thank you for sharing this wonderful article. Keep on sharing.
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