The Tailor and I just got back from a week on Vancouver Island. It was my second trip there, and I couldn’t wait to show him the Butchart Gardens on a sunny day.
Most stunning of all is the spectacular Sunken Garden, which feels like an English garden crossed with something out of Lewis Carroll’s imagination. I couldn’t shake the feeling that the Queen of Hearts might step out from behind a topiary, flamingo in hand.
The Sunken Garden is a landscaping masterpiece, a labor of love by Jennie Butchart, the wife of an early-20th-century industrial magnate. Jennie spent many years rehabilitating a spent limestone quarry, carting in topsoil and coaxing it into a living jewel. The garden is set up so that something is blooming in every season, but summer is really the time to see it in all its glory.
If you go, be ready for hordes of tourists—and despite that, for the overwhelming urge to move in and stay forever.