Travel article: Visiting Butchart Gardens in the fall

My husband Bill and I were in Victoria, British Columbia earlier this month. Anytime we're in the area, we absolutely MUST visit beautiful Butchart Gardens!

I wrote an article about our visit in The Spokesman-Review today. Here is a link to it: Victoria's Butchart Gardens dazzle in any season.

I met with Graham Bell of Butchart's public relations department and Rick Los, director of horticulture. Both gentlemen were very welcoming and gave me a lot of information about the history and operations of the gardens.

Rick took us on a wonderful behind-the-scenes tour. It was so nice to learn they employ IPM (integrated pest management) techniques throughout the gardens. They use predatory insects to deal with damaging pests, rather than using chemicals.

They also compost all of the kitchen waste from their on-site restaurants as well as all healthy plant material that is done for the season. They burn any diseased plants to avoid spreading it to healthy plants.

You should see their compost piles! They are absolutely enormous! (see photo to right) And they grow their pumpkins, gourds and winter squash on top of those piles, for use in fall displays.

Employees are encouraged to either carpool or bicycle-commute to work. And you could tell they all loved what they do. And who wouldn't? Butchart Gardens is a gorgeous place that you must visit if you're ever in the area.