Its design is credited to Robert Butchart, who originally called it the Duck Pond.
Here is an explanatory excerpt from our Butchart Gardens History, From Devastation To Beauty – The Creation Of The Butchart Gardens:
“Although this water feature is now called the Star Fountain, the Butcharts originally called it the “Duck Pond.” The pond’s present layout was originally designed in 1928 by Robert Butchart, who conceived the design plan after seeing a duck pond surrounded by cypress trees in one of the gardens he and Jennie visited while traveling in Europe.
Robert Butchart was very proud of the Duck Pond. In a December 1928 letter to his brother, David, in Owen Sound, Robert Butchart wrote that,
“This [duck] pond and surroundings will be one of the chief attractions of the Gardens [and] is situated from the house just beyond the formal [Italian] Garden. The pond is of nice design and planting and is for Wood, Mandarin, Mallard and other prettily plumaged ducks.”
A friend [Kay Agnew] of the Butcharts later recalled that Robert Butchart “loved ducks….And at night time a lot of us [guests and visitors] used to stay out [by the Duck Pond] until it was time to put the ducks to bed. And before the sun went right down, they would put the ducks to bed.” One of the Butcharts’ Chinese gardeners “would come out with a long bamboo pole and he’d walk right out on stepping stones into the middle of the pool and he’d flop this bamboo pole up and down in the water and talk to these ducks in Chinese, telling them it was time to go bed. And there was always one duck that wouldn’t go in….and after a long time he’d get that duck into the Duck House…..”
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