Comprising five distinct gardens, 26 greenhouses, its very own wharf, a concert lawn and over 900 differing types of bedding plants, Butchart Gardens isn’t any old attraction – it’s a piece of art, lovingly brought to life from the bare bones of a former lime quarry. A tranquil haven that has welcomed visitors into its warm embrace for over 100 years now, this National Historic Site of Canada will have you won over in no time.
Making their humble beginnings back in 1904 these gardens were the apple of their creator’s – Jennie Butchart – eye. Envisioning grand lawns and meticulously designed flower beds, Jennie officially began bringing her designs to a secret-garden-esque reality in 1912, starting with the Sunken Garden that you can see in all its elegant glory today. Now, as a kind of family heirloom, these gardens not only make for a pretty haven, but also tell the story of their passionate and hardworking founding mother. Who poured her heart and soul into making Butchart Gardens the sought-after destination that it is today.
And it’s not just in Canada that these gardens are recognised for being so special. They have even made it to National Geographic’s list of the world’s Top 10 Magnificent Gardens. It turns out that flower power really is a thing.
Come summer, the gardens have fully blossomed. And, quite frankly, they really do make for a blooming brilliant stop. With their myriad delights stretching from dawn to dusk, these gardens know how to entertain.
Mornings at Butchart were made for meandering, and the best place to start? The historic Sunken Garden of course. Surrender your senses to this charming oasis and you certainly won’t regret it.
Then there’s the majestic dance of Ross Fountain, the Alice in Wonderland style Rose Garden, the trickling streams and unbounded serenity of the Japanese Garden, Star Pond’s twelve points, the elegant Italian Garden and all the exotic allure of the lush Mediterranean Garden. And oops, now it’s the afternoon. But this is a day well spent, promise.
Now that you’re here, you may as well make the most of it. Go on the hunt for the gardens’ towering totem poles, look out for the dragon fountain – a gift from China – and hop on a boat tour of the picturesque Butchart Cove. After all that exploring, a seasonal Afternoon Tea in the conservatory style Dining Room won’t have to work hard to tempt you in.
As dusk draws in, you won’t be left in the dark. With Night Illuminations lighting up the gardens’ stunning displays, evening strolls are nothing short of magical. But wait it out until late evening if you happen to be visiting on a Saturday and the real fun begins as fireworks adorn the night sky, confirming that Butchart Gardens will never leave you in the dark.
Just a short, scenic drive away from downtown Victoria.
Comfort is key, especially if you’re planning on walking all five of the beautiful gardens.
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