Designed to showcase the life cycle and free flight of tropical butterflies and moths, inside the enclosure is a flowering paradise filled with color and scents. Stars of the show are the butterflies—3,000 of them flutter amongst flora that includes 200 species of orchids. However, there are also tropical ducks, flamingos, and Koi swimming in the stream and pond and rare tropical birds inhabit the space as well. The focus is educational and guides are on hand to explain the butterfly’s habits—including when one laid an egg on a fellow tourist’s camera. The egg was gently removed to be placed in a special area set aside for that purpose.
While admission to the Victoria Butterfly Gardens allows visitors to come and go as they please to witness the changing activities of theses lovely creatures throughout the day, our tour group from Rhapsody of the Seas was off to our next stop—Butchart Gardens, a National Historic Site of Canada.
Still privately owned by family descendants of Robert Pim and Jennie Butchart, the Butchart Gardens houses an incredible floral display on 55 acres of land.
Let’s start with a a bit of history—in 1888, Robert Pim Butchart began manufacturing Portland cement and by the turn of the century he was drawn to the Canadian west coast by the rich limestone deposits located there, which were necessary for cement production. After building a factory at Tod Inlet on Vancouver Island, he and his family established their home there in 1904.
|View from the Butchart Dining Room|
|Tea in the Butchart Dining Room|
I’ll let the gorgeous plantings and flowers speak for themselves. Pictured here are some of my favorite garden views.
|The Sunken Garden|
|Fountains Amid the Foliage|
|Colorful Flower Beds|
|A Bee Pollinating Yellow Rhododendron|
|Morning Dew on Orange Rhododendron|
Photos © CruiseDiva.com