Spring has been slow and cold here. Sunny days are outnumbered by grey dull skies. Saturday, however, dawned with a bright blue sky - a perfect day for a visit to Butchart Gardens. One little grand stayed with us overnight while her parents were off celebrating their anniversary, so we called up the cousins and asked if they would like to visit the gardens, too. Daughter-in-law Katie came along to help guide
Waves of tulips in a plethora of colour and shape greeted our eyes. Elizabeth Von Armin, author of Elizabeth and her German Garden writes "I love tulips better than any other spring flower; they are the embodiment of alert cheerfulness and tidy grace..." She goes on to disparage hyacinths for their untidiness, but since I love hyacinths, as well as tulips, I'll ignore that part.
Although this was Miss S' first trip to the gardens, the cousins have been here many times as Katie worked here for several years and received a lifetime pass as a parting gift. So when asked where they wanted to go first, the Rose Carousel, seen in the top of the photo above, was their choice. This is the only carousel on Vancouver Island, and the 30 animals were hand carved by carousel artists.
Each of the girls chose an animal to ride - a cheetah for Miss A, and a horse for Miss S. Mr. F rode in a bench seat with his mother. I held Miss S for reassurance as the music began, and the carousel slowly began to go round and round, and the horse rose and fell in a stately canter.
Then it was off to see the dancing fountain shoot upwards, fan sideways, wave back and forth and generally delight. That one tulip petal looks as though it's waving in response.
We've all heard of the dot.com bubble, but the first economic bubble of that sort concerned tulip bulbs. In the 17th century, in the Netherlands, there arose a great demand for tulip bulbs that saw a single bulb cost as much as a house. As in all economic bubbles, the burst bankrupted many. But the Dutch love of tulips continued. For an interesting summary of the 17th century Tulipomania, click here.
Cheerful tulips nodded to us throughout our stroll. It's impossible to choose a favourite, but these rounded, slightly ruffled flower heads would be in the top 10.
The underplantings, mostly of forget-me-nots, and other small flowers, either complemented the tulips, as above,
or contrasted, as seen here with the pink and blue.
Linking with Mosaic Monday, hosted by Maggie of Normandy Life.