Cherry Ong, friend of the GPOD, has enjoyed traveling to wonderful gardens lately and sharing incredible photos with us, so we’re starting today what is going to be a semi-regular Friday feature, “Where’s Cherry,” featuring her visits to inspiring gardens.
Today she’s taking us to Butchart Gardens in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia—more specifically, the Japanese garden.
This stunning view of the garden features a huge mass of pink Astilbe glabberima var. saxatilis (Zones 6–8), one of the shortest of the astilbes, but certainly not a slacker when it comes to bloom.
The airy clouds of pink astilbe flowers up close
A traditional stone lantern has collected a carpet of moss.
An unusual piece of faux bois (a technique of mimicking the texture of wood in concrete) sculpture in the garden. Cherry discovered that the foux bois at Butchart is the work of an artist named Francois Scotti (more info on him here).
No formal Japanese garden is complete without raked gravel, which is both beautiful and a tool for Zen meditation.
The trunk of an old Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) has become an incredible piece of living sculpture.
A cascade of Japanese maple foliage creates the effect of a waterfall into the pool.
Stepping-stones across water are traditional in Japanese gardens, as they force you to slow down, step carefully, and focus on the space you are moving through.
Foliage in a thousand shades of green
Carefully shaped shrubs in the cloud-pruning style line this pathway. Pruning is high art in Japanese gardens, with masters carefully shaping each branch to aesthetic perfection, much like the art of bonsai but on a larger scale.
Have a garden you’d like to share?
Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!
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