Butchart’s Garden

April 14, 2011

Donna Butchart Garden


Plum Tree



Red Flower


James Bay Tea Room


Carlos and Donna


Minter Gardens

Bleeding Hearts



Blackeyed Junco



The main goal of this trip was to see the flowers, so this morning it was get up early and catch the ferry to Victoria on Vancouver Island. If you have never caught a ferry then this can be a little stressful. First there is reading the schedule so you know what time they leave. Sounds easy, doesn’t it, but then you open the schedule.

After about thirty minutes of trying to decipher the pages of fine print, I gave up and decided it would easier just call them on the phone. That didn’t work either because I didn’t know the length of my car within one foot and I wasn’t talking to a person but a machine and the machine couldn’t understand that I didn’t know the length of my car within one foot and if I got it wrong there were no refunds. I hung up and went back to the Greek schedule.

Let’s see, the fine print in light print is for AM ferries and the dark print in bold print is for PM ferries. It doesn’t say that anywhere, it is kind of like an IQ test. Next, which ferry do you want to take? Yes, there is more than one. We can leave from Horseshoe Bay or Vancouver. Well, not really Vancouver but Tsawwassen, which doesn’t really go to Victoria but goes to Swartz Bay and the one that leaves Horseshoe Bay doesn’t really go to Victoria either but goes to Nanaimo. Horseshoe Bay is closer to where we are staying but Swartz Bay is closer to Victoria where we are going. Remember, that Canadian Dollar coin I got at the Supermarket for the shopping cart, out of my pocket it came. Heads it is Horseshoe Bay, tails it is Tsawwassen. Horseshoe Bay it is. Now, wasn’t that easy.

Remember the boarder-crossing incident where I decided our big rig bus RV was more like a bus than a car so I chose the bus lane and got punished. Well, I had to chuckle as we approached the ferry in our car there was this big sign. “RVs use bus lane.” Okay, I am getting this now. On the highway an RV is a truck, on the border it’s a car and on the ferry we it’s a bus and for taxes it is a second home.

The hour and forty minute ferry ride was uneventful, a time to catch some Zs, read a magazine or just kick back and watch the scenery go by to the low rhythmic base vibration sounds of the powerful diesel engines as the boat rocks ever so gently.

As we drove off the ferry I was shocked to see that it was 77 miles to Victoria. Oh well, it will be a scenic drive. We arrived at Butchart Gardens just in time for lunch. They have a wonderful fine dining restaurant with a view of the garden, a treat for the pallet and for the eyes.

Of all the places we have been, if I could just recommend one, it would be Butchart Gardens. It is a place of beauty that touches all the senses as you stroll the manicured gardens. Close your eyes for moment, breath in slowly, a hint of sweetness fills your lungs and sends a wonderful sensation over your body, do it again slowly. Now open your eyes and see the variety of flowers, bushes and trees mixed and swirled together like eye candy in a crystal jelly bean jar. Reds, greens, purples, yellows and pinks, large and small, long and skinny, or short and squatty, you are surround in the sunken garden by a rainbow of colors in perfect order. Butchart Gardens is a landscape where every brushstroke has been planted and changes with the weather and the seasons; never the same twice but always magnificent and beautiful. A place not created by nature but a place where nature’s pallet of colors and shapes were used to paint the landscape. A garden like no other you will see in the world. Donna said, “If I were granted one wish, it would be that everyone would have the opportunity to visit this garden in his or her lifetime.”

 After the garden we had time to visit James Bay Tea House in Victoria. A little place where we had had high tea 25 years ago. It was still there and they were still serving tea and scones. We even got to sit at the same table. What a fun experience for us, kind of a trip down memory lane and then it was time to catch the ferry back. The lady that served us said she doubted it would still be there if we returned in another 25 years because it was scheduled to be sold in 2012. Oh heck, said Donna, we had planned to return, I mean we would only be a young 95 years old. 

We decided to catch the ferry at Swartz Bay back to Vancouver (Tsawassen), which turned out to be about 50 miles closer to where we are staying. Of course, we did not know that when we started out this morning. All in all it was another wonderful day in Canada.


After Butchart Gardens you would have thought we had seen enough flowers but no, it was off to Minter Gardens in Chilliwack. Their fine dining was closed and the smoked salmon on ciabiotta bread I had for lunch wasn’t exactly what I expected but we enjoyed the garden just the same. Donna said her Santa Fe Burger was delicious. We could not have timed our trip more perfectly to catch the flowers and trees in perfect bloom. As for the weather, it has been cool but no rain for our trips to the gardens. It is like we have had an umbrella over us; rain all around but not on use while visiting the gardens. As we started to leave, I discovered the real reason for the trip to Chilliwack, it wasn’t the garden, it was a yarn store down town that Donna had read about. So it was off to the yarn shop. To our surprise and delight Main Street was lined with purple-leaf plum trees in full bloom making the street look like it was lined with pink cotton candy like you find at the County Fair.  The yarn shop was just what Donna had been looking for and she loaded up. I joked that Canada might not let us export that much wool to the United States as we headed back to Vancouver. It is hard to believe we have been in Canada for a week already, the time is flying bye. Time to do laundry again tomorrow.

81 Responses to “Butchart’s Garden”

  1. Becky Says:

    Dear Royals,

    I’m so jealous! The colors are breathtaking! wow. You are having quite the adventure, eh? So glad your trip is going smoothly(knock wood). Envious,too, of Donna’s trip to the yarn shop. I could spend hours in there. So glad you’ve decided to continue blogging? posting? Whatever the correct word, it’s always good to get an update.

  2. debbie Says:



    • debbie Says:

      ps…totally enjoying the garden pics. as lovely as your garden at the royal estate is already, are you taking notes of what you see on vacation that you might like to add…? where in your yard might you build a waterfall for molly’s “showers”. ;)

      enjoy the day!!

  3. YTQ Says:

    Breathtakingly beautiful!! Thank you for sharing.

  4. mandozee Says:

    Carlos & Donna: What Great pictures. Nice to finely get to see you in one with Donna. It’s so cool that you get to revisit many of the places you visited 25 years ago. mandozee

  5. Maureen Says:

    Carlos, you write beautifully – it’s as if you can take us there with your words. The “eye candy in a crystal jelly bean jar” !! How poetic! I love reading your daily entries – please keep it up – safe travels!!

  6. Janet Hitchens Says:

    We visited Butchart Gardens in the early 80s and couldn’t agree more with Donna’s wish that all would be able to see them. Breathtaking! I also envy Donna’s trip to the yarn shop. There are not nearly enough of those anymore.

    Stay safe and enjoy the rest of your trip. Thank you for making us a part of it. I’m enjoying all the pics and stories you’re sharing.


  7. Barbara Bolton Says:

    Thank you for the gorgeous photos. I have been to Buchart but it’s on my list to revisit…Glad you had good weather.

    Here…many of us MODS are waiting for Mel and Sydney’s offspring to step out of the box! Heads have poked out in wonderment, but no one brave enough yet to take the next step out.

    Safe travels…and grand adventures to you!

  8. DianaJoe Says:

    I am running out of clever responses and superlatives. Jus awesome C and D

  9. Teri Trickey Says:

    Hi Carlos and Donna,
    My sister and I visited the Butchart Gardens in 1994 and it looks as if it is as breathtakingly beautiful now as it was then. It is so true that it changes with the seasons, but is always a medley of colors and variety of plants.
    That’s where I first saw the Dancing Waters and another time a tree filled with a family of racoons!
    Thanks for sharing. I’m enjoying your descriptions of Canada.

  10. Kim Torkelson Says:

    Carlos, again the pictures you are taking are just beautiful and you telling us about your everyday events is just as if we were there too. Thank you again for taking us with you on your vacation. We all are really enjoying it. We get the Junco’s in the winter here in Mn. a beautiful bird. We are finally getting blue birds, hope they nest in one of my blue bird houses. Any news about Molly and her family? Is Austin keeping an eye on them? Safe traveling. Always get excited when a Molly e-mail comes. KimMN

  11. PegRod Says:

    Awesome adventures told by someone we love and admire – now what could be better!

    I love the photo of Carlos and Donna at the James Bay Tea Room. The Royal Family next to the Royal Family (on the wall) – again, what could be better! I Googled it and found that they have the scone recipe online!

    I don’t know much about Canada, except that I know the Canadians are wonderful people. I Googled the Buchart Gardens and took a virtual tour.

    But I care about the places you visit because you, Carlos and Donna, are having your retirement adventures there! We are learning so much along the way.

    Ever grateful.

  12. Joanne Murray Says:

    I am so glad you are having such a great time. I love the photo’s, and your story telling is wonderful. We loved visiting Canada, only we had just a leaky tent, and it snowed a lot. Also had just bought a used Carmen Gia convertable, and discovered on our trip the top leaked. We were young then and still were amazed at the huge beauty. Continue to enjoy.

  13. Nancy Says:

    Isn’t it beautiful there! The last time I was on the Tsawwassen ferry we went through the passage way and the trees were filled and I mean filled with bald eagles. They looked like ornaments on the trees. Be sure to visit Queen Elizabeth park in Vancouver. You can see the city and they have beautiful flowers too. Thanks for sharing your pictures with us.

  14. Denise Thies Says:

    Sounds like you are having a wonderful time, despite the little setbacks with your RV experiences! We visited Vancouver/Victoria and Buchart Gardens for the second time last year. It was so beautiful, I couldn’t stop taking pictures! I wish we would have seen the little tea house though. We did tea at the Empress (for the second time) but it would have been nice to try some place different. While in Vancouver we took a day trip up to Whistler Mountain – might that be in your plans? If so, it is a gorgeous drive and you will certainly enjoy it.

    Thank you for the updates – I look for them every time I’m on the computer! You make me want to go back to Vancouver again, it’s such a beautiful, clean city. Stay safe!


  15. Katy Says:

    Oh Carlos and Donna, I am so happy you got to see Butchart Gardens. We visited there in the mid ’90’s and just swooned at the beauty of all the flowers and trees and landscaping! It is truly one of the greatest things I have ever seen. Donna, you are so generous to wish your one wish for everyone else. The two of you look tanned and rested. Happy traveling! Thank you for the pictures. We are going back before we turn 95!!!

  16. Lindadpa Says:

    Dear Donna and Carlos:

    Beautiful! You have no idea how much we all appreciate your spectacular photos and wonderfully written narratives. Thanks so much for keeping us up-to-date with your adventures. Continued safe travels! Linda

  17. Yes, I was at Butchart Gardens some years ago. Thanks for the reminders and memories. You’ve chosen a great season for this trip!

  18. Jo-Ann Says:

    Loved your pictures, especially the one with the “lesser” Royal’s in the background… I’m sure you got that table on purpose.

    Yes, the Buchart Gardens are beautiful. I have been there twice but they were not as spectacular when I was there. (off season). Glad you are keeping us up to date on your adventures…

    I have the Blackeyed Junco feeding at this very moment in my back yard and smiling while reading your note… thanks..

  19. bettyboop32 Says:

    humorous and wonderful. i feel i was there with you

  20. Ellie Day Says:

    Oh Carlos and Donna, you gave me a stroll down memory lane with this account of your trip to Vancouver. In 1969, our family went to Chilliwack and our boys fished in Cultus Lake. The water was so very cold, but before they were done, in they went for a swim. Also, in 1978, we were visiting our daughter and family in WA and they took us to the Buchart Gardens. What a treat, it is just as you say, a beautiful manicured garden….and to think it was a rock quarry in the beginning!!! Keep up your wonderful stories, love them.
    Your owlish friend, Ellie Day.

  21. Teri Friedman Says:

    Hi Carlos and Donna,

    It’s so nice of you to share your travels with us. I’ve always wanted to travel by motorhome and I am vicariously doing it through you.

    Thanks again.

  22. Maxine Says:

    Hi Carlos and Donna.

    I also visited Butchart Gardens several years ago. It is very beautiful. Thanks for taking us along on your road trip.


  23. njellica62(Angela) Says:

    I am so happy you’ve been blogging…I must say you’re a good writer too Carlos!!Thanks so much for sharing the vacation and pics for us…so enjoyable…have fun and keep the posts coming!!

  24. Lee Says:

    Carlos and Donna..Oh how we are enjoying your Canadian visit and incredible pictures … love the one of you guys having a ‘bite’ with Charles and Di looking on. And your writing, Carlos, is terrific!
    With much appreciation, we’re sharing the visit with you…Lee

  25. Betty Rexrode Says:

    Butchart’s Garden is just as you described. Gorgeous in every direction.

    Years ago we had a similar experience with the ferry schedule…except we were in a car.

    I’ve forgotten the name, but there is a world class Indian museum in Victoria. Fantastic.

  26. 1SkatrPie Says:

    Carlos, as a local, your description of your ferry research had me in stitches! Not only have you timed it right for the flowers and NO RAIN ON YOU (a real
    miracle!) but you also timed it right for the ferries because after Memorial Day the lines can be
    up to 3 hours long! Sounds like an amazing trip…are you daring enough to catch a ferry for at least a brief jaunt through the Islands up to Alaska? Not THAT would be an adventure! You are in a beautiful part of the world, my backyard, and I feel wistful reading your posts and especially enjoy the mellow way that you and Donna travel,
    something so many of us could benefit from!
    Happy Trails and thanks for bringing us aboard!

  27. GeniaKnitz Says:

    Did Donna buy some qiviut?

    And did you go to the Butterfly Gardens? Just as beautiful as Buchart, maybe more so.
    If you didn’t go, go back!

    So glad to learn you’re having such a great trip.

  28. finnwv Says:

    Carlos! You are a hoot! What beautiful pictures! Especially the one of you and Donna having such a great time! <3 and (((hugs))) :D

  29. Lois Benson Says:

    Part of riding the ferries on the Puget Sound is accepting that once you make this decision, you are now on island time. And island time is very very loose. I sat in line for an 11 AM ferry, that I finally boarded about 5 PM. No one worried. Vans opened with side bays,with stove, great food cooking smells, people pulled out folding chairs, books and umbrellas, kids took bikes out of campers and rode up and down the rows of parked cars, men took out gloves and balls for catch. Yes Island time. We could all use that once in awhile.

  30. PegRod Says:

    The photos are like portraits of

    For fans who missed the Royal Gardens of San Marcos, California! – my favorite gardens to see from my computer – Carlos posted the videos from May 2, 2010 of their gardens in San Marcos on Molly’s WordPress page! (6th and 7th videos down on page).

  31. Joan from Colorado Says:

    Dear Carlos.. thanks again for sharing your travels.. your pictures are gorgeous.. I used to have a flowering plum tree when I lived in Mich..and I loved to look at it.. good timing for you to be there when they are in bloom .. you and Donna look so happy in your tea room.. how lucky you both are to share so many interests.. I don’t think that there are many couples who have so many shared interests.. good choices. hugs, Joan

  32. Bev-MIret. Says:

    Thanks for the up-dates and memories of our trip in that area on the motorcycle. We took a ferry from the island to Horseshoe Bay. We had slept in and missed the first ferry and had to take the second one. Ours ended up being held back from landing on time. It seems the first one had lost power and plowed into the harbor at Horseshoe Bay, running on top of twenty or so BIG boats. The people on that ferry had to wait for the officials to ok their departure, until they check the problems out and see if anyone was hurt on the smaller boats underneat it! They were still sitting there when we were given permission to dock and leave. No one was injured in the many boats run over…it was a Sunday morning, how fortunate.

    Thanks again for the pictures and postings.

  33. Teri Tiede Says:

    I am so enjoying your/my/our vacation. Due to work and health issues, travel is not a possibility for me, but thanks to your photos and wonderful narration, I have been transported to Canada and places unknown. Thanks so much for taking me along with you. Love you, be safe!!

  34. Judy Ambrose Says:

    Carlos, your photos are breathtaking as usual. My boyfriend, an avid gardener and landscaper, just loves your flower, tree and bird pictures. Keep ’em coming. Continue to have a fabulous vaca and stay safe.

  35. Colleen Ireland Says:

    Oh, oh Carlos if only you had asked me before you planned your trip to Victoria I could have given you hints on the Ferry to take to Swartz Bay. You took the Ferry to Nanaimo instead, a lot further to drive than to get off at Swartz Bay. Buchart Gardens is not that far from the Ferry Terminal in Swartz Bay. As for the James Bay Tea Room, I have visited it several times as I lived in Victoria for over 20 years, it is a very nice small tea room. Next time if the Tea Room isn’t there may I suggest you have “Tea” in the Empress Hotel on the Inner Harbour. The Tea is served right in the Lobby (which is not actually the real lobby, but it used to be) and overlooks the Harbour with lots of flowers and greenery. Sounds like you stayed too short a visit to Victoria, there is so much to see in the surrounding areas, like the Murals in Cowichan, Bear Mountain, The Museum is also wonderful. Maybe next time. I will be in Victoria in late June and early July, and you are right the Buchart Gardens will look totally different when I am there. Glad you are enjoying your trip, but maybe you should just have asked someone which Ferry to take from Vancouver to get to Victoria the easiest way, don’t be afraid to ask someone, us Canadians “are” very friendly and helpful to the tourists.

  36. Vee Miller (VeeTX) Says:

    Goodness, but that photo of Donna with Butchart’s Gardens is absolutely beautiful. I can only imagine, from reading your words, the wonder aroma of flowers and the splashes of color. I have an ornamental plum in my front yard and it doesn’t stand a chance to fully bloom because of a huge elm tree on one side and a magnificant magnolia tree on the other; so the poor little plum gets very little light.

    Growing up in the northeast, each little town had a tea room and I would give anything to go to the Chatham Tea Room once again for high tea with scones with coddled cream and jam. Yummmmmmm.

    I’m happy the weatherman has been kind to you and once again I am envious – you are living my dream. Blessings to y’all and safe trip prayers.

  37. Janice aka dg1018 Says:

    You are the best tour guide ever, Carlos. The picture of the bleading hears was my favoite this time, must have taken it in HD. Glad you found your tea house still there this time, you will have to return next year.
    Safe Travels (be sure and take car measurements)

  38. Donna Simonson Says:

    Carlos and Donna,
    Such beauty to share with us MODS. And yet another “thank you”! I loved the tea room picture with Princess Diana and her Prince and Princess Donna with her Prince Royal! :) The Blackeyed Juno seemed to be thinking, “I hope I’m posed just perfect for my first-ever Carlos Royal photograph . . . afterall I might appear on the World Wide Web or a soon to be photography book. This is definitely the time for me to pose so pleasingly for Mr.Royal’s camera!” Carlos and Donna you unselfishly bring descriptive life to all your pictures and make us all long for more. Thank you for the travel pictures and chat along the way. What is Donna’s new knitting project for the Canadian yarn??? It will be ever so beautiful I just know. Continue your adventure and thanks for taking us along!
    Love, hugs and prayers “owlways”,
    OwlLuver, Murrieta, CA

  39. Eileen "Teatime" Says:

    The pictures are just too beautiful for words.
    Thank you for keeping us updated on your vacation travels. I enjoyed the tea room pictures.
    “Gee this is fun”
    Eileen (Teatime)

  40. Lynne Morrow Says:

    We’re really enjoying your trip and feel like we are along for the ride. Fees like a family trip, like sharing Molly and McGee from your home!! Thanks for the memories. We love them.
    Mike and Lynne Morrow.

    Have a great time and keep these cards and letters coming!!!

  41. Pat Asakawa Says:

    We visited Butchart Garden on our honeymoon almost 40 years ago. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  42. Laura Says:

    This brought back some wonderful memories! We visited Victoria and the gardens about 20 years ago and our comments were just like yours — one of the most beautiful places we have ever visited. Thank you so much for sharing your pictures and comments. It made our day! Laura in The Woodlands, TX

  43. OwlyKats Says:

    Have you forgoten That I have you and Donna in Prayer for Travel Mercies. No wonder You Have that Umbrella Over you.
    What Stunning photos!. I love the Plum tree.I shouts out Spring Is Here! I am Glad that you are having a great time. Thanks for bringing Us along with you. I am Having a wonderful time too :) (Hoot)
    Kathleen S

  44. Caboval Says:

    Your pictures are breath taking!!! Wow I love that red flower!!! Oh it just sounds like you guys are having soo much fun!!! Thanks for taking us along!!!! Hugs, Caboval

  45. Helen Starkey Says:

    Those flowers are perfectly beautiful! And the high tea, with the cozy on the pot brings back memories; Mom was British and we always had a cozy for our teapot. My aunt would carry teabags with her just in case she got somewhere that didn’t serve tea! The picture of you two was really nice; glad you are having such a great time! Would have loved to get into the yarn shop with Donna! Safe travels, God Speed!

  46. Carole in Charlotte, NC Says:

    You’ve taken me away again only to find another fascinating venture to add to my “bucket list”! Thank you for sharing your beautiful experiences!

  47. Nancy Says:

    The flowers are beautiful and the trees in bloom are wonderful and the gardens are magnificent. I hope one day I will be able to go. Love your story-telling. The picture of both of you is so nice. You look so relaxed. Can’t wait for the next installment. Love Nancy in Utah

  48. Kathy Martinez Says:

    What an awesome adventuer ! I ( and my my great grand kids ) can not wait to read all you have done during the day . Have fun and please do not forget all of us . Beautiful flowers and a tea room , what flavor tea did you both have ? I have never seen a Black eyed Juno! Be safe !

  49. FloridaSkye Says:

    Donna and Carlos, thank you for continuing to send us beautiful photographs. I have visited
    Buchart Gardens a couple of times and know how beautiful it is. Nice to see you in a photo, Carlos! You both look great.

  50. CAequuslvr Says:

    Once again, thank-you so much for sharing your travels through those wonderful pictures and words. Those Bleeding Hearts are just beautiful (I had never seen them before).

    How fun that you got to sit at the same table even after 25 years. Donna, totally understand the need to stock up on wonderful yarn.

  51. Mary Jozwiak Says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip with me! I would love to visit Vancouver one day. I was there once, but just to catch a cruise to Alaska. The gardens sound fantastic! Safe Travels!

  52. Jes63 Says:

    I haven’t seen those gardens in almost 40 yrs but have never forgotten them.
    At one time we had thought to create a Buchart Garden down around San Diego.
    I do believe we saw it in the month of June, on our way to an air show.
    Just stunning.

  53. Lynne Townsend Says:

    Carlos and Donna,

    Your day , for all the scheduling issues, sounds wonderful. Would love to see such beauty—tis’ on “my list”, but—–we”ll see. Donna, wish I had been along for the yarn shop!! You would have had to drag me out! So glad you are having a great time! Love the high tea time–such memories! Enjoy each moment and be safe.


  54. Mary Says:

    Move over Hewell Houser there’s a new guy in town and his name is Carlos Royal!
    For those not in California, Houser does a travelog show on PBS.

  55. Lucy Sanders Says:

    Dear Carlos & Donna,

    Your trip so far sounds wonderful…Of course with Carlos’ fantastic use of the English language a trip to the laundromat would sound great!!! Really, Carlos, your writing is beautiful, the descriptions of views, etc are poetic. I am sooo impressed, is there anything you can’t do?! Hope the trip stays as wonderful as it has been so far and you keep us posted so we can be that little mouse tucked away watching and enjoying with you all!!!

    Thank you & take care,
    Lucy (silent MOD from Troy)

  56. redpeg Says:

    I look forward to reading each and every word – you have such a talent for writing. Love your adventures! Your photography is beautiful! Thank you so much for taking the time to keep us posted.

  57. Suzanne Hannah Says:

    Donna & Carlos
    Thank you so very much for the beautiful pictures and of course your wonderful experiences of your travels in print. I feel just like I’m traveling with you and can’t wait for the next update.
    Love and safe journey to you both.

  58. Elizabeth Mason Says:

    Exquisite! I have dreamed of going to Butchart Gardens for over 15 years. You have inspired me to make sure it happens. Thank you so much for the lovely pictures and descriptions.

  59. Pat Says:

    My husband and I got to see Butchart Gardens before our Alaska cruise in 2007. I got some fabulous pictures there, too, and I agree it is one of those “x number of things to do before I die” experiences!

  60. Bugmom Says:

    Love your posts, Carlos, and gorgeous photographs. You and Donna look terrific. Glad you are having such a good time.

  61. Judy Sackson Says:

    I have gone over and over the photos trying to pick one or two to comment on, but it’s just impossible! They are all so beautiful, I can’t choose.
    I have put the gardens on my “bucket list”,(and the tea room, too, if it’s still there) but in the meantime, I am enjoying traveling with you two a great deal.
    You are both looking much more relaxed, and are obviously enjoying yourselves immensely, and we are all enjoying the trip with you!
    Safe travels…..

  62. Darlene Salisbury Says:

    Carlos and Donna,
    What an absolute joy to read your journals. It sounds and looks like you are having a wonderful time. And I love that you referred back to your entry into Canada. That whole story was hysterical. The pictures continue to be outstanding.I look forward to see Butchart’s Garden also. It was wonderful seeing a picture of the two of you
    Take care and looking forward to more journal entries.

  63. maia Says:

    To Carlos & Donna, i am loving the pictures & everything,welcome to my home town ,i live in vancouver & i really would love to meet you or even to talk via phone or email .I am and was a molly lurker.If you have a minute.thanks maia

  64. Roy A Steacy Sr. Says:

    Dear Carlos and Donna,
    I would just like to THANK YOU for the pictures and the posts. I feel like I am touring Canada with you. Keep on and enjoy your trip. I am enjoying your trip with you, and yes, this is fun:)

    Roy A Steacy Sr.

  65. Nancy Brown Says:

    Butchart Garden, how magical. Thank you for sharing, I can see why you so wanted to make this return trip to Canada. The Tea room with the Royal Couple with tea & scones and oh there was those “other” Royals’ photo galley on the wall. Enjoying your blog. My love of birds is how I found my way to the Owl Box, love the photo of the Dark-eyed Junco. Not found here. Happy trails and a safe journey, Nancy a true MOD from Vermont.

  66. francie bowers Says:

    Hi Carlos & Donna, thanks for the update…it is like a visit with old friends to hear from you! of course you ARE old friends!! Sounds like the flowers were fabulous…as were your pictures. Good luck on the rest of your trip & thanks again for keeping us posted! deet deet!!

  67. Theresa Atkins Says:

    Yes Butchart is a magical place and I highly recommend it to everyone to visit at least once in their lifetime. It’s a place that will live in my heart forever.

  68. maia Says:

    What wonderful pictuers

  69. LoveYourDNA Says:

    C & D,

    Always a “treat” to read about your adventures! And despite the small hassles, your attitude is a lesson in patience and persistence! You are an excellent writer as well, Carlos! Some day I hope to blaze the trail you’re on.

    All the best!

  70. Sue Couch Says:

    Utter phenomenalloveliness! Thank you so much for letting us peek in to these wonderful places and spaces.

  71. Holly Sue Says:

    Dear Carlos and Donna,
    Thank you so much for sharing such beautiful photographs of your garden visits. They will certainly go on my list when we get to travel in the northwest! I’m really enjoying hearing about your trip with your humorous observations – it’s a hoot! It was especially nice to see a picture of both of you! It is wonderful that you take the time to keep in touch so often – it is really appreciated!
    Love to both of you! Holly Sue

  72. Momof3sns Says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your trip to Butchart Gardens. I visited the gardens last June and it is exactly as you described! So many “oohs” and “ahhhs”. It was as close to paradise as I’ve ever been. Were you able to see the famous blue flower, I think it is a poppy. I told my husband that I could live there in the gardens, just pitch me a tent and I’d work there for free!

    Thank you again for sharing. You & Donna keep on having a great time.


  73. steve Says:

    I just checked the temp at Butchart Gardens and it is 4 degrees there. How can they grow all those flowers this time of year when it is still so cold ?.

  74. Selena K Says:

    Gosh isn’t this road trip fun, and I’m glad I’m part of it :)

  75. kevin Says:

    Great place to visit. We went to Butchart’s Garden and Minter Gardens 2 years ago in june and it was fabulous.

  76. Jodimaher Says:

    I am having a blast reading all of the fun you are having! Canada is a beautiful place to visit. We have a cabin on Lake Sheridan at about the 100 mile marker (just follow the Frazier river) about 14 hours away from our home here in Seattle. Talk about a peaceful place in the summer :)
    Thank you so much for sharing your adventures with us!! (((hugs))) to Donna too !
    – Jodi Maher

  77. Sandy Says:

    Spring is a beautiful time to see blooms and flowers. You guys rock! I hope to one day do the same. Locally going to the desert is beautiful; I can’t imagine going to Canada to see the beauty you have been so fortunate to see.
    p.s. Yea for the owl box!

  78. donna Says:

    Thanks again Carlos and Donna for sharing your adventures, sounds like a wonderful time.

  79. Linda Scroggin Says:

    Carlos thank you for posting Vancouver Is and all the info on the Ferry we are doing that trip in July, so excited even more so after seeing your pictures, we are staying 2 nights in Victoria at a Hotel and taking our rental car over on the ferry.


  80. You did the ferry opposite of what I do. Going to Canada on Interstate 5, after visiting the Peace Gardens at the border, I turn west and pick up the ferry at Tsawwan (spelling optional) where the BC ferries run every hour on the half hour. Over to Vancouver Island, visit Victoria, then head north to Nainamo and take the ferry to the north side of Vancouver at Horse Shoe Bay.
    Butchart Gardens was a quarry and I believe they made cement. The owner and his wife lived there. When the quarry was exhausted, she didn’t want that ugly hole there, so being a creative woman, she started planting. Every time they traveled, she brought plants home for the garden. Sounds like she and Donna would have really hit it off.

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