Butchart Gardens horticulture director to visit Trail April 12

Gardeners take note, the director of horticulture for Victoria’s Butchart Gardens, Richard Los, will be making a special presentation in Trail on April 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Columbo Hall.

  • Apr. 6, 2011 10:00 a.m.

Gardeners take note, the director of horticulture for Victoria’s Butchart Gardens, Richard Los, will be making a special presentation in Trail on April 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Columbo Hall.

Los’s presentation will begin with a 35-minute film, “The Butchart Gardens — A Garden for All Seasons,” followed by a talk by Los and a question-and-answer period.

Organizers said Los will divulge many of the “details and secrets” behind the creation and maintenance of this world famous garden that receives more than one million visitors each year.

The Butchart Gardens began as a limestone quarry owned by Robert Pim Butchart to supply his cement factory that he built in 1904 near his home at Tod Inlet.

Butchart’s wife was an avid gardener and by 1908 she had built the Japanese Gardens, inspired by the family’s world travels and adorned by artifacts acquired in those voyages.

As the limestone quarry was exhausted, Butchart’s wife began an unprecedented project to convert the barren pit into a flourishing garden.

She brought in soil from nearby farms and, bit by bit, turned the quarry into the now famous Sunken Garden.

Butchart’s factory stopped producing cement in 1916, but continued to manufacture tiles and flower pots into the 1940s. The only remnant of the factory today is a lone chimney in the Sunken Garden.

The gardens expanded to include many other attractions, including the well-known Rose Garden in 1929.

Each year, more than one million bedding plants of about 700 varieties are planted throughout the garden to ensure uninterrupted blooms from March to October.

Los’s presentation is jointly sponsored by Trail’s Communities in Bloom and the Columbo Lodge. Admission is by donation to the food bank.