I love looking at gardens to draw inspiration on what I should do with my own little patch of dirt.
Butchart Gardens in British Columbia Canada was amazing for me to visit.
Open year round it is always spectacular but I took these photos in August a few years back.
The original story of how the garden was conceived and created reminds me that you can turn almost anything into a thing a beauty if you put your mind to it.
Robert Butchart was a early manufacturer of Portland Cement and he bought property on Vancouver Island to quarry limestone in 1904.
As their home was on the same site when the quarry no longer produced any limestone Jennie Butchart, Robert's wife, looked at the hole in the ground and decided to do something with the bleak pit.
Lining the floor of the quarry with tons of topsoil she created the famous Sunken Garden.
To have such vision where everyone else would have just seen something ugly is such an inspiration.
Over the course of many years they surrounded their home with many different gardens that they got inspiration from their travels.
And while most of us don't have the funds to do what Jennie Butchard we can use our imaginations to make something around our homes beautiful when we use our time and talents.
Hedges were grown to make garden rooms that have themes to enjoy.
The scale of the property is quite large (55 acres) and they have over a million visitors a years.
They also have 50 full time gardeners to keep the grounds in perfect condition year round.
While it is suggest to spend about 2 hours looking through the gardens I was there for about 5.
There are fountains and statues scattered around the grounds.
Many of them where brought back from their European travels including this boar statue which is a bronze copy of marble statue displayed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
While you might not be able to bring back a bronze statue in your carry on you might find something in your travels that you would enjoy displaying in your garden.
They have a variety of places to eat and I had my lunch at the Blue Poppy Restaurant where I admired their indoor display of plants but also the wonderful mill-work that they had through out the restaurant
Looking for ideas for beds and borders you will find lots of great color combination and planting ideas.
Butchart Gardens are about a 30 minute bus ride from Victoria British Columbia. If you are interested in visiting there website is Butchart Gardens and has lots of great information.
Seeing what great gardeners do with their gardens is a great way to inspire yourself no matter where you live or the size of your garden.
Often some of the most beautiful places in the world where developed where other people only saw a problem. Jennies vision became on of the most spectacular gardens in Canada.
If you have a favorite public garden I would love to hear about it.
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Copyright Ingrid Talpak 2012