In Part 2 - The Ride Of A Lifetime of this series I shared my first day experiences of Butchart Gardens. Since this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip one day in the Gardens just wasn't enough. In this post I share highlights from my second day of flowery delights, including my very first High Tea experience.
And, if you've not already done so, I recommend reading Part 1 - A Flower Lover's Disneyland of this series first before diving into today's post.
So Many Flowers, So Little Time
My family had their fill of flowers the day prior, so I was alone my 2nd day in the Gardens. We wanted to explore other sites in Victoria before departing the next morning, and agreed I would only have 6.5 hours. Excited for my botanical adventure, but anxious that 6.5 hours may not be enough time, I woke early to layout my 'flower attack' plan.
Going Against The Norm
I arrived just as the gates opened; well before the barrage of tour groups. On a mission to capture the magnificence of the Gardens I entered the last garden first. My plan being to walk the grounds in reverse order, as quickly as possible, in hopes of capturing scenic photos without the ever-present garden visitors. No small task given the typically overflowing crowds.
When the paths inevitably clogged with tourists I shifted my attention from scenic photos to flower close-ups. The vastness of the flowering blooms and picturesque color array at times were overwhelming, even to someone like myself who LOVES flowers.
With so many flowering gardens how I could I possibly capture both the blooming grandeur yet delicate beauty of it all?
Nearly 1.5 football fields in size there were seemingly endless plantings of Dahlias & Geraniums, Begonias & Marigolds, Lantana & Lobelia , Roses & Rudbeckia with a mix of Hydrangeas, Fushia and other blooming bushes for good measure. While the flower list may seem long its actually only a small sampling of Butchart Gardens outstanding floral display. Every flower was strategically placed for maximum visual impact.
Divine High Tea
Midday I took a break to pamper myself with High Tea. The day prior I made an early reservation so I was assured a table on the porch overlooking the expansive Gardens. In front of me was a vast lawn flanked by vibrant blooming botanicals with Butchart's Japanese garden just beyond the hedge. My naked eye could even see Brentwood Bay and Tod Inlet in the distance. What a breathtaking view!
Looking over the High Tea menu I was stunned and perplexed by the 9 different tea blends. Black tea, green tea, herbal tea -- how was a girl to decide? Given I'm not much of a tea drinker, I let my handsome, young waiter make the decision for me. He selected the Teaberry Blend -- a black Ceylon tea flavoured with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and currants. A most excellent choice for this berry-lover.
As if the aroma from my brewing teapot wasn't intoxicating enough, I opted to also indulge in the recommended Backyard Flight of adult beverages -- a sweet cider, a Prosecco-style sparkler and a blackberry port. With so many liquids in front of me, I was ready to sail away.
Then came the delectable treats. 14 tasty morsels! Including an English trifle, a Signature house scone, traditional savoury sandwiches and, of course, sumptuous sweet bites. While each crumpet was amazing, the Bergamot chocolate truffle was an out-of-body experience. Presented in a white box I knew it must be special, but I never expected a direct flight to Heaven's pearly gate.
Questions, Questions & More Questions
Not to minimize its splendor, but this was my first High Tea and there were many questions racing through my head.
Was I dressed appropriately?
How long should I let my tea brew?
How should I eat my scone?
Am I supposed to use a fork (on what appeared to be finger food)?
In the end only one question mattered -- why did I over indulge?
A Special Remembrance
Before walking out the Garden gates for what may have been my last time (although I hope not) my final order of business was to find a memento of my glorious experience. I searched the art gallery and the gift shop and the moment I noticed an art glass heart with colorful poppies on the face of it I knew I had found the PERFECT gift to myself.
The red poppies were illustrative of the beautiful gardens I had seen.
The colorful mosaic was bright and cheerful like my experience.
The heart was symbolic of my two loves (flowers and color) and also for my loving family who helped me fulfill my dream of a lifetime.
As I gently caressed the art glass heart, I sniffled and found myself weeping soft tears of joy.
Stay tuned for Part 4 of this Butchart Gardens series where I'll be sharing macro photography (close-up) shots of the Gardens breathtaking flowers.
About Suzy2point0 Creations
Using a mouse as my paintbrush I transform photos into stylized impressions of the subject matter. The 'soul' of the photo remains the same, yet I re-invent the image by accentuating its strengths and unique qualities. Thus, creating its 2.0 version.