Saturday, May 23, 2009

road trip!!!

You will have to excuse my long absence - we got a brand new travel trailer and took her on her maiden voyage last week. We decided to drive over to Sequim, Wa. (pronounced "skwim") and then ferry over to Victoria, B.C. (and the Butchart Gardens!) for the day. The drive took longer than usual because the Hood Canal Bridge was closed, but the drive up the Olympic Penninsula was worth it. The scenery along that stretch of 101 is beautiful - lots of woods and ferns and gorgeous coves. Sequim is a cute little town with plenty of small shops and antique stores, which we explored on bikes. It is also home to many, many lavender farms.The ferry to Victoria leaves from Port Angeles, an easy 17 miles from Sequim, so we grabbed our passports and Monkey and headed out.

The ferry ride is 90 minutes, and docks at one of the prettiest marinas I've ever seen. There is the copper domed government building on the right, and the old ivy covered Empress Hotel steps away, and many pubs and galleries and street artists in between. But the Butchart Gardens was our true destination, so we found a bus and traveled the 20-30 minutes outside the city to find the most amazing place I have ever experienced - truly a glimpse into heaven...

Butchart Gardens is 104 years old, and the site of an old limestone quarry established by Mr. Robert Butchart, founder of the Portland Cement Co. As Mr. Butchart exhausted the limestone in the quarry near their house, his wife Jennie conceived a plan to bring top soil in to line the floor of the abandoned quarry. Little by little, under her supervision, this quarry blossomed into the spectacular Sunken Garden. Over the next several years she added a Japanese Garden, formal Italian Garden, and a fine Rose Garden. (which replaced the family's kitchen vegetable garden) It is still a family business, and is open to the public every day of the year!

Words cannot describe these gardens, so here are some of my favorites....

so many tulips!

The famous Sunken Garden that started it all...

oh, the cherry trees!

beautiful Japanese Maples
a very, very old Japanese Maple

looking down into the Rose Garden - I can't even imagine what this will be like when it is in bloom in a few weeks...
this little guy was a rose bush trained into an umbrella shape!

I love arbors....

fern grotto in the Japanese Garden...

lovely Italian garden - used to be a tennis court!

If you are ever in this part of the world, do not miss this spectacular place....thanks for stopping by...



  1. Isn't it beyond words. I remember walking in and Ryan looking back and saying "Momma, why are you crying?". It is truly what I picture Heaven to be. I ran into Sheryl and Ernie Brigham and they had just got back from there a few days ago, also.

  2. Thanks Pam. What a visual treat.

  3. After years of camping trips with my boys, which I sadistically enjoyed enormously, one year we went on a mommy trip and visited Butchart Garden. What a beautiful and inspirational place. Thanks for bringing back some great memories. Jacqueline