Canada and Alaska: Burchart Gardens!

The Burchart Gardens are the main reason why we came on this trip, as Mum had seen them on tv and wanted to see them in real life. I did five minutes of research and had read that the best time to come was in spring to see the bulbs blooming. We’re here in late summer so I didn’t expect it to be super impressive.

We had a special deal with our tour group to have breakfast at the gardens before having about an hour and a half to walk around. Breakfast was in a nice greenhouse-style room, but from what I could see through the windows and on the way in, I was itching to get out and walk around.

The gardens are stunning. I’ve never seen anything as perfectly manicured or colourful. The gardens have several separate spaces. A rose garden, Japanese garden, smaller sections of parterre and dahlias etc then the quarry garden, which was the first space that the original owners planned out and the view you’ll see if you google the gardens.

Every area was astounding in its perfection, but the dahlias were what really grabbed me and I think I’m going to have to attempt them at home because wherever I see them I find them irresistible. I think you can see why!

We were encouraged to annoy the gardeners by asking them questions, and so we learned that 75 gardeners take care of the property and they are open 363 days of the year. They also do fireworks on saturdays, so time your visit for then!

Next: cruising up the inside passage! Also, I giggle when anyone refers to ‘the inside passage’.

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Here Comes The Planet 39 – Iceland 04

We go back to Jökulsárlón to see the nearby black sand beach, and then continue our travels across Iceland’s stunning landscape.

Also, here are the promised 80’s-hair-metal-band Iceland horses; none, unfortunately, which are fighting. 🙂

Music: Rafstraumur by Sigur Rós

Iceland: flowers.

Iceland is a country on a big scale, for such a small island. The largest glacier in Europe is here, the mountains seem huge, the valleys and plains you drive across seem endless and the view goes on forever because there are no trees or houses in the way (Mum, you’d love it). But you have to look down and close to see some of the magic too, because the plants are tiny but so very beautiful. Well, lots of them are tiny but this one is my favourite, and it’s about 30cms high and in some places there’s so much of it that it turns whole mountainsides purple.

Some are dark purple, some are light and a few are white. If you’re thinking of coming to Iceland and you like flowers, make it the middle of Summer. They’re everywhere!

Some are almost microscopic, others are a lot like the flowers at home. It’s hard to believe you get fields of flowers next to lakes full of icebergs… but that’s Iceland!