Butchart Gardens – Victoria B.C.

A Stroll in Spring

Butchart gardens is simply breathtaking.  I find the scope and sheer amount of flower beds mind boggling especially since come late spring, all the tulips and spring flowering plants (with the exception of trees and bushes) are pulled out and replaced with summer flowering varieties.   Yes, I asked!

The sunken garden (last picture) used to be a limestone quarry before Mrs. Butchart saw amazing potential in the big, ugly pit.  What a woman can do when she sets her mind to it!  Now, if only my garden looked so spectacular . . .

Georgian word of the day:  Puce

A popular color in Georgian and Regency times, found in fabric and on home articles.   Not charming to say the least as in French puce literally means “flea.”   Caroline Weber, in Queen of Fashion, recounts an amusing exchange between Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI:

“When the Queen asked her husand how he like the confection, which was made from tafetta of an odd pinkish-tan hue, he replied laconically: ‘It is the color of a flea [puce].'”

I can see a husband saying that!

FYI: The color is brownish-purple or pinkish-tan depending on the source.

Baronne D’Oberkirch, also noted in Queen of Fashion, wrote in her Memoires:

“every lady at court wore a puce-colored gown, old puce, young puce, ventre de puce [flea’s belly], dos de puce [flea’s back], etc.  [And] as the new color did not soil easily, and was therefore less expensive than lighter tints, the fashion of puce gowns was adopted by the [Parisian] bourgeoisie.”

Update: See my March 2012 post on ‘Pretties in Pink’ for more on puce.


2 thoughts on “Butchart Gardens – Victoria B.C.

  1. I had totally forgotten that I’d been here until I saw your post and now I remember, yes, it is the most breathtaking garden I’ve ever been to. Crowds of tourists aside, it is a reason in and of itself to go to Canada! Thank you so much for sharing your photos.

    1. I thought Butchart was pretty amazing too. As the pictures show, I visited in the spring and it was a bulb explosion. Definitely worth making a trip to Victoria just to see the gardens. While there, the Blue Fox Cafe is a must for brunch and Habit on Pandora Ave. has close to the best coffee I’ve ever had. Which reminds me, I’m off to have a Pilao right now. . .

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