This sign welcomes you to the garden. The website is HERE.
Just past the entrance to the garden is a little village of shops and cafes. We had visited here once so long ago I didn't remember which way to go but I just followed the other visitors.
I looked back at the tea house and restaurant as I walked in search of the sunken garden.
I saw a sign pointing this way so I walked through this rather magical forest of tall trees and passed under a log...
And this, my friends... was the scene before my eyes.
The Gardens covers more than 55 acres of a 130 acre estate. It began from an idea Jennie Butchart had to beautify the worked-out limestone quarry which had supplied her husband's nearby Portland cement plant.
The Gardens are planted with things collected by the Butcharts on their extensive world travels.
I took all these photos from the viewing platform and drank in the beauty of it all. The aroma of Spring flowers filled the air.
The gardeners paint their masterpiece with colorful flowers.
For a time we sat on a bench enjoying the warmth and the view, I looked up and marveled at the sun illuminating the new green of the leaves of the trees.
We walked on further and passed by a whole bank of Camellia bushes of all colors on the right of the path.
There was this neat little building which we entered to see what we could see.
And this is the view from the windows inside.. see the flowers in the window box we're looking over?
Do you see the rock tower in the middle of the photo? You can actually climb to the top of it. We did not take the hike down to the bottom of the sunken gardens as both of us are having slight mobility issues. I was just happy to be able to get to this viewpoint. :-) There are many other gardens we did not get to, but this one was my goal.
It was neat to see this fern unfurling alongside the path.
We moseyed back to the shop and cafe patio enjoying the massive tulip borders. They were planted with hyacinths too and the fragrance was beautiful.
There were also pots of other varieties of tulips here and there.
The trees were in bloom too!
These were a pretty double pink.
There was this neat greenhouse and fountain full of exotic plants and blooms.
How about these eye-popping orange blooms?
We were relaxing in this shade pavilion when this nice young lady said to me.. "Are you Teresa?" I said yes and she told me that she followed my blog and recognized me and my colorful shawl! :-) How fun is that? Her name is MaryLynne and she is from Alberta. She said she knew I was visiting Victoria but did not know I'd be at the gardens that day. I was so pleased to meet her! I told her she'd made my day. Then she bade us farewell and went to look for her mother. :-) What a delightful chance meeting.
Back at the Empress Hotel, we went to the Q restaurant and I had the exact same thing we had on our first night there. Filet Mignon, Pommes Anna, a medley of vegetables and locally foraged mushrooms. Yum!
Back in our room with this wonderful view - I'd admired these darling little harbor taxis all week and wished we'd managed to have time for a ride on them.. but alas we did not.
They were in all colors and the cutest things ever.
This one is my favorite.
Our feathered friend came to visit again. I decided to give him a snack of some strawberries which he liked. Then I remember the leftover tea sandwiches from our tea in our mini fridge so I got the one out with lox and cream cheese on it. He seemed to love that snack. lol
"What else do you have?" You must read this story of another person who had an experience with seagulls at the Empress - HERE.
The sun sets on our last night here, what a lovely time we had.
The nice lady who gave us a ticket to the gardens attached her business card with her email so I emailed and thanked her. She sent me back this image of them which I asked if I could share and she said sure! Sandi is on the left and the Empress is behind Michael's head and this is the view from their condo. Pretty nice! Thanks again, Sandi!! :-)
After we checked out we had some time to kill so drove over to the waterfront park and enjoyed watching this sailboat make way along the sea.
We also went into a tea house for a light lunch before getting in line for the ferry.
This fabulous place is right across the street from the ferry landing.
The amazing view as we came into Port Angeles. Then a 4 1/2 hour long drive home, arriving at 10 pm. Whew!
Well.. I must be off.. pack my swim bag and meet Gracie for lunch then to swim! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)