Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin, gardeners and the “Butchart gnome who got away” proclaimed Garden Day on Friday, kicking off three days of celebrations of all things planted.
Fortin marked Garden Day in Victoria by helping parks department workers plant a garden near city hall on Pandora Street.
At the ceremony a representative of Butchart Gardens presented the mayor with a garden gnome.
The gnome is part of The Great Escape of the Garden Gnomes, which is part of the annual Father’s Day weekend event.
Garden Days are an annual national celebration of gardens and gardening held across Canada.
Commercial gardeners and suppliers, private and public gardens, and backyard enthusiasts all help with events designed to promote and publicize the worth of gardens to our well-being.
“It’s a chance for families to unplug and spend some quality time together,” said Dale Ryan, spokeswoman for Butchart Gardens.
The Father’s Day connection provides a chance for dads to check out a new lawnmower “or all those new garden tools,” said Ryan.
“And fathers are often the ones out there working in the garden,” she said.
Some garden activities this weekend
• Butchart Gardens
10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.: Greenhouse tours. Now fully booked but check at the Visitor Centre for cancellations.
9 a.m. to closing: The Great Escape of the Garden Gnomes. These tiny imps are hidden throughout the gardens and Butchart staff need help to find them. Plot their locations on a map and turn in your findings for a prize.
• Victoria Butterfly Gardens
10 a.m. and 2 p.m.: Tour the gardens with a master tropical horticulturist and learn how this unique garden creates an indoor ecosystem suitable for the variety of butterflies.
• Horticulture Centre of the Pacific
10 a.m., noon and 3 p.m.: Free tours of the centre’s gardens.