Just 30 minutes north of Victoria by bus are the Butchart Gardens, which began in 1904 as the site of Robert Butchart’s limestone quarry for his Portland cement business. Once the limestone was exhausted about 20 years later, Robert’s wife Jennie began to redesign the empty pits to accommodate her dream gardens, which became the Sunken Garden seen below.
The Butcharts also developed an Italian garden, a Mediterranean a Japanese garden, and a Rose Garden and opened them all to the public. Today, the Gardens see a million visitors per year and, like everything else good, have been co-opted by the kleptomaniacal state under the banner of a “National Historic Site of Canada,” as if the Prime Minister ordered the Butcharts to do his bidding. In any event, here are a few of my favourite flowers and plants from the 55 acre wonderland.
After the gardens, I took in a performance by Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, featuring Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo, at the McPherson Playhouse. They were fairly stunning musicians, the three of them. That they all, and Tommy in particular, could make seemingly mundane acoustic guitars sound such a diverse number of ways, and with such speed and accuracy, was nothing short of astonishing. I was agogue, I was aghast… was I in love at last ?ii
The theatre itself was very romantic, harkening to an era when Greek culture was still embrace, back before modernity and “progress” made such a muck of things. The arrangement of the seats was unusually steep, much to the benefit of the visual and acoustic experience.
Elsewhere, this was one of the truly surprising number of private mortgage brokers. I must’ve counted half a dozen independents, which is quite odd for Canada, where the big five banks dominate and a few credit unions pick up the table scraps left over.
And just in case you were starting to think that Victoria is paradise on earth, as I was, lest we forget that it’s still a socialist province in a socialist countryiii with an inordinate number of aged folks who have every intention to sucking as many dollars from the humourless health care beancounters and their potato science cronies as they can before their heads get crushed by the fur-coated warriors riding in from the north or their wallets get crushed from the Leninists they idealistically voted into office, whichever comes first.
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