The Butchart Gardens – gardens in a quarry – Part 1

zahrada lemovaná chodníkem, jasně zelenou trávou a skalkami s dřevinami a okrasnými květinami různých barev květů

Former quarries can offer many possibilities for use. The beautiful Butchart Gardens are one of the examples. They are in Canada, British Columbia, Vancouver Island, near the city of Victoria. 

Their history

The history of creation of this flower paradise is very interesting. These firs-class gardens were founded on the site of a former cement plant near a limestone quarry. The quarry was founded in 1904 and belonged to the Butchart family (Robert Pim Butchart and Jennie Foster Kennedy) that moved to Canada from Scotland. The family started to make Portland cement from local quality limestone.  

Missis Butchart did not like the view of bare quarry walls and she decided to revitalize it into the form of a garden. She began transferring tonnes and tonnes of local farm soil in order to build the first part of current gardens, the so-called Sunken Garden. It is the most know and the first of the Buchart Gardens that the visitor will visit. There is the mesmerizing Ross Fountain that was put there in 1964 by Ian Ross. The water gushes from it in various formations and frequencies in various hues of light that make it come to life.  

The income from cement was used to finance this extraordinary work. In the end, only a high chimney was left after the Butchart cement plant. The plant stopped producing cement in 1916 but it continued its tiles and pots production till 1950.

Other gardens

When the deposits of limestone were exhausted in 1916, the ugly scars left after the quarry became an interesting place for the creation of other gardens. In 1929, Jennie Butchart continued the creation of other parts of the gardens, for example the Rose Garden, whose original purpose was utility vegetable production. Today there is an exhibition of roses. The Italian garden, originally a tennis court, which is today an exhibition of garden architecture. A beautiful view of the Butchart Bay can be seen from the Japanese Garden. 

Master Butchart was very proud of the extraordinary work of his wife and as her fan, he collected ornamental birds from all across the world. The ducks were set loose on the Star Pond, peacocks on the front lawn. Pigeons were trained at the site of today’s Begonia Bower, he also built several birdhouses all around the gardens. 

The fame of Mrs Butchart’s gardening quickly spread. Since 1920, more than fifty thousand visitors came every year to visit her masterpiece. 

Source: Lomy a těžba