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Butchart Gardens
Victoria, Vancouver Island
Pictures for Pam, black, Petunia, bokeh

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Butchart Gardens

Victoria's Butchart Gardens, Part 8: Black Petunias, Lovely Lilies and So Much More! (+10 insets)

Victoria's Butchart Gardens, Part 8: Black Petunias, Lovely Lilies and So Much More! (+10 insets) 

(+10 insets!) (Please scroll down to "Today's Pictures" for image information)

Trip Talk: Upgrading From a Bumper Pull to a Fifth Wheel Trailer...or is that a Gooseneck Trailer?
Our Grey Wolf is what's called a "bumper-pull" trailer. They aren't ideal in a towing sense because a truck cannot utilize its full power. Also, maneuvering is much trickier and they are not as stable. However, they are the usual type of trailer people start out with because most trucks have a bumper hitch and if they don't, installation isn't a big deal.

Our new trailer is the higher-quality version called as a fifth-wheel. It gets the name because of the type of hitch it has. There's another type of hitch called a gooseneck but those are more commonly found on livestock and commercial trailers. Finally, there are hybrid hitches which are a blend of the two.

TERMINOLOGY: bumper-pull, fifth-wheel and gooseneck (because you know you're curious!)
Bumper-pull (also known as a "drag-along"): a trailer that connects to a towing vehicle usually by a square, sliding receiver located below a truck's rear bumper.
Fifth-wheel: The term comes from a similar coupling used on four-wheel, horse-drawn carriages and wagons. A more-detailed answer, including a diagram is found on this page: Why is it Called a Fifth Wheel?
Gooseneck: arched like a goose's neck and swiveled to the motor unit.

Wait. Aren't fifth-wheels and goosenecks the same thing? That's what I thought, but there's a big difference. The trailers themselves are the same--it's the connection to the truck that's different. Trailers with a fifth-wheel hitch slide forward into a heavy-duty, jaw-like coupler seated on the bed of the truck. Trailers with a gooseneck hitch connect by lowering onto a ball socket coupler. Each type works extremely well, though goosenecks are reputed to be slightly better. To see pictures and read more detailed explanations, this article is perfect! Goosenecks vs. Fifth-Wheel Hitch

Since our truck is only set up for a bumper pull trailer, we need to add a hitch that will accommodate a fifth-wheel trailer. That meant a lot of research to understand the difference between each hitch type and ultimately, which was the safest and most reliable. In the end, Steve learned that hybrid hitches have the best aspects of fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches without the negatives, so right now he's outside beginning the install of our new SuperLite Pullrite hitch. When we get down to our RV dealer to pick up our new trailer, it will only take about half an hour to upgrade the trailer's hitch to work with the Pullrite. Then we'll have a marvelous hitch that is capable, quiet and safe!

Today's Pictures

We were staggering around Butchart Gardens when I happened to look up at one of the countless hanging planters that resembled a burst of fourth-of-July fireworks. I stopped in my tracks and exclaimed, "STEVE, LOOK! BLACK PETUNIAS!!" I gazed in disbelief. I've seen "black" flowers before. They're dark purple. These flowers were a rich, velvety black and only where the sun shone through the petals could you see a hint of their deep purple origins. Absolutely phenomenal. Steve and I took pictures with reverence and attracted a small crowd when each person saw what we were so excited about. I don't know about you, but I've never seen a truly black flower like this before! Incredible!

Inset 1: a gorgeous ring of deep pink blossoms ring a lacecap Hydrangea. At the top you can see the tiny fertile flowers--the larger blossoms are actually infertile. In fact, the petals are sepals--the tiny buttons in the center are the flowers! I didn't know that this kind of hydrangea doesn't become a ball of flowers. Those are called "mophead" or French Hydrangeas.

Inset 2: a macro of the jaw-dropping Stargazer Oriental Lily, showing the beautiful burnt-orange anthers which are brimming with pollen for visiting insects to carry away to other flowers. Did you know that the pollen can cause very hard-to-remove stains?! I had no idea!

Inset 3: here is an entire group of Stargazer Lilies that we saw at a glassed-in garden. There were several large observation openings for eager photographers which we thought was really cool. It was no surprise there was a line of people taking turns to stare at and take pictures of the lavishly planted conservatory!

Inset 4: These remind me of tiny purple Brussels Sprouts! I don't know what they are, but you cannot deny this is a pretty sight as it arced over many more behind it! :)

Inset 5: a spike of lovely deep ruby-pink flowers overlooks many dozens behind it!

Inset 6: I nearly passed by these clusters of white flowers before I stopped and took a closer look. WOW! Aren't they sensational? I thought they might be a kind of "Pussy-Toes" but no, these white beauties are called Ageratum and come in lots of different colors!

Inset 7: this magnificent ruby-centered golden hibiscus was on a bush that was totally covered with flowers. All around it were dozens of planters, each with its own ridiculously profuse display of hibiscus!

Inset 8: an elegant pink and purple fuchsia with a background dotted with purple-flowered bokeh!

Inset 9: I ask you: have you ever seen such an incredible planting of flowers and ornate foliage in your life? Try counting all of the species…I found 22 types of flowers and foliage plants. Outrageous!

Inset 10: finally, this is a pristine lawn found in the Sunken Garden. I'm glad it's off-limits to people so that we can see these amazing swaths of color without anyone in the way. Here you can see what I was talking about when I mentioned the huge carpets of flowers…it's all just mind-boggling!

Pam, I know that you have a gorgeous collection of bearded iris but I don't remember if any of them are a "black" variety. I've tried to grow various species of black flowers before but every time I'm disappointed because the flowers are just a dark purple at best. Still, they're gorgeous and I was very happy to have them! I hope all is well with you, it's just starting to rain…a big storm has finally rolled in as forecast, and it's going to be here for several days! We're hoping that things dry out a bit by the time we drive down to pick up our RV! (It's hot and dry in LA…as usual!) Many *BIG HUGS* from southern Oregon!

Explored on 10/17/19; highest placement #2.

Valfal, Trudy Tuinstra, MichèleM, micritter and 49 other people have particularly liked this photo

44 comments - The latest ones
 José Manuel Polo
José Manuel Polo club
Janet, mis felicitaciones y agradecimiento por tomarte tanto trabajo y hacerlo tan bien para que nosotros disfrutemos contigo de las maravillas que ven tus ojos.
8 months ago.
8 months ago.
 William Sutherland
William Sutherland club
Phenomenal series!

Admired in:
8 months ago.
 k m 7 d
k m 7 d club
Did you ever consider buying something with its own engine and integral cab? Or don't they fit your requirements? Occasionally see that type over here in the UK towing a small car for use on arrival at destination.
8 months ago. Edited 8 months ago.
 Pam J
Pam J club

8 months ago.
 Malik Raoulda
Malik Raoulda club
Eblouissante et phenomenale serie .. La diversite et la beaute de ces fleurs ravissantes,nous embaument les sens et la vue ... C'est vraiment irrestible et sensationnelle...!
8 months ago.
raingirl club
how on earth did you get all that detail in the black petals! the yellow in the background adds just enough bright to make this photo really work.

i love that garden - always a delight to be there.
8 months ago.
neira-Dan club
superbe pétunia noir !!
8 months ago.
LotharW club
Was für eine schöne Serie und was für ein Text. *************
8 months ago.
uwschu club
wunderschöne Wanderung mit Dir durch diesen zauberhaften Garten
8 months ago.
 Roger (Grisly)
Roger (Grisly) club
Super series of dazzling flowers Janet
8 months ago.
FarbFormFreude club
nearly overwhelming beauty
8 months ago.
 Dominique 60
Dominique 60 club
de belles couleurs attractives !!
les notes sont grandioses !!
8 months ago. Edited 8 months ago.
 Luciano Favretto
Luciano Favretto club
Che colore...spettacolare
8 months ago.
 Ulrich John
Ulrich John club
A beautiful series again, Janet !
8 months ago.
 * ઇઉ *
* ઇઉ * club
I see you're upgrading, not only technically, but also your knowledge. :)
What else can be said about this picture series than that each of the pictures
is a feast for the eyes again! Simply beautiful, Janet!
8 months ago.
 Mario Vargas
Mario Vargas club
Dear JAnet: you were in a paradise fpr photographers and you catch a magnifient flower serie with fantastic colours and extrasharp shots. Congrats¡¡¡
8 months ago.
RHH club
Wow! Wow! Wow! Black flowers! I know there are others (Bat Flower, etc.) but these are spectacular. No question about a favorite this time, though the photos are all wonderful. Appreciated the information, too, about hitches, though we have no plans to get an RV. I am always interested in knowing and must have been a trial to my parents when younger for always asking questions. What a great place Butchart is!

Finally got a good night's sleep. My inner clock was off when we got home and I sat up until the early hours but went to bed early last night. Had a busy day yesterday, too, catching up on bills, editing photos, building a hanger box for our outboard engines (though that sounds pretentious since we have a 1.2 and a 6hp). Today have to get the car serviced and run some errands and Neal will be with me for the morning.

The place we get our car serviced has a coffee machine and a soda dispenser and he loves to go with me and play a game of chess and drink soda while we are waiting for the car. Food and drink are his main things in life anyway and we try to accommodate him though within reason and without caffeine and without a great deal of sugar. He's hyper anyway and doesn't need any more reason to be bouncing off the walls.

Nancy worked in the yard most of the day. The grass seed she showed came up well and the back really looks good. The deer decided that the back yard was home, though, while we were away. We had five of them lying down in the back for a good part of the day yesterday. Now we (more like she) have to work on the front yard and at least get the bare spots planted, but we went from four foot weeds to some grass already.

Have a days work out there, too, but it's way down my list of to-do's. Have to mow one last time, clean out the planters (we had hard frost and everything is dead), blow the Ponderosa needles off the yard, get the boat tarped so we can keep the car in the garage, etc., etc. Have several indoor projects and have several short trips to make as well, including two to Lynden where our youngest son lives.

I'm sure you'll be wanting to make a few trips as well before winter sets in (and maybe after). Have to try out the new home and hitch, I'm sure. I hope you send some photos or post some. Anyway, that's about it. Have to go make breakfast (hash browns and a scramble) and coffee. I have to make sure I eat enough or I keep losing weight - was down to my high school weight recently.
8 months ago.
 J. Gafarot
J. Gafarot club
Very good.
8 months ago.
sea-herdorf club
Wunderschöne Blüten hast Du für uns aus dem Victorias Garden mitgebracht, Janet.
Die schwarzen Betunien sehen aus als wären sie aus Samt gefertigt.
Danke sehr für Deine Sommerbilder.
Freundliche Grüße und einen guten Tag
8 months ago.
╰☆☆June☆☆╮ club
Lovely series Janet. Good work.
Have a nice evening.....
8 months ago.
 Keith Burton
Keith Burton club
I'm completely blown away by this latest posting Janet..............particularly the main image which is simply phenomenal. I've never seen flowers like them before!

I love all the PiPs. The 2nd PiP is magnificent...........the detail and sharpness of those anthers is unbelievably good. I'm going to single out PiPs 5 and 8 for the wonderful background bokeh - your forté, of course - and PiP 9.........well, words fail me, although splendiferous would be a good start.,.!!

A fascinating read as well................who knew RV trailers could be so confusing! It's good to see you've done your research though, and Steve obviously knows what he's doing as well..!!

8 months ago.
cammino club
One flower picture is more beautiful than the other! And the black petunias are sensational, I have never seen them before!
8 months ago.
 Nicole Merdrignac
Nicole Merdrignac club
Excellent. Nicole.
8 months ago.
niraK68 club
Im Sonnenschein strahlen selbst schwarze Blumen
8 months ago.
fifi club
Hey Janet, what time spent on this wonderful sharing. Happy weekend to you and your family.
8 months ago.
 Peter Castell
Peter Castell club
Wonderful flowers and certainly very close to being black, something that plant breeders have tried to get for a long time
8 months ago.
 Josiane Dirickx
Josiane Dirickx club
C'est un cliché magnifique chère Janet ! J'aime beaucoup votre façon de photographier bravo !
8 months ago.
 Boarischa Krautmo
Boarischa Krautmo club
wonderful series!
8 months ago.
 Fred Fouarge
Fred Fouarge club
WOOAAWW ik kom niet uitgekeken vooral die purpere donkere bloemen,de schoonheid beinvloed mijn ooglens ten goede
Dank je Janet!
8 months ago.
 Jenny McIntyre
Jenny McIntyre club
OMG what glorious pictures of these amazing flowers. One of my favourite flowers are lilies, especially the Stargazer lilies. White is my preferred colour, probably because they've got the most amazing scent. The pink ones (like yours) are so beautiful. As for those black petunias, they are absolutely gorgeous and although I've had very deep purple ones before, I've never seen black ones. I have had ageratum flowers before, but mine were blue.

I think you spent wonderful hours in this place - I'd have loved to have been there too. Thank you so much for sharing these amazing gardens with us.
8 months ago.
Esther club
All of your photos have such perfect composition, focus, light and color. You are so talented.
8 months ago.
 Sylvain Wiart
Sylvain Wiart club
stunning color !
8 months ago.
 Nora Caracci
Nora Caracci club
what a beautiful variety,unusual colour, Janet, and so well spotted !
rich series as always !
8 months ago.
 Christel Ehretsmann
Christel Ehretsmann club
lovely dark velvet tones !
8 months ago.
tiabunna club
You've excelled yourself with these black flowers, Janet. A marvellous set of accompanying images too, with the last two showing what an amazing place those gardens are - and your visit clearly coincided well with peak flowering. Interesting to learn a little more about trailer hitches too. Have a great weekend.
8 months ago.
Ecobird club
Oh my goodness Janet - these flowers are just gorgeous, - rich, dark, velvety and a treat for the eyes. The PiPs are also a delight to see with such a wonderful array of beautiful colours. A fabulous series and I am impressed by how much you have discovered about trailers!! Have a lovely weekend
8 months ago.
 Eunice Perkins
Eunice Perkins club
I have never seen black petunias before. I had black pansies once for a while. That wall of flowers is certainly a treat for the eyes. Gorgeous garden beauties all!
8 months ago.
Ruth club
Beautiful Janet, I really love these dark flowers.
8 months ago.
Nouchetdu38 club
Gorgeous series!*******
8 months ago.
micritter club
Also gorgeous!
8 months ago.
 aNNa schramm
aNNa schramm club
WOW what a dark color I like it so much ***
8 months ago.
 Trudy Tuinstra
Trudy Tuinstra club
8 months ago.
Valfal club
Wow! What a series of images!! Those black petunias are most unusual and eye catching! The place you visited looks like Longwood Gardens!
7 months ago.

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