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The Butchart Gardens

Updated on January 3, 2015

Butchart Gardens - Victoria's Best Loved Garden

I love the Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC. If I could live anywhere in the world Victoria would be high on my shortlist. How I wish I were there in the warmth of a Vancouver Island Summer! I am not generally a very gardeny or flowery kind of person - generally I am more of a boat, forest, mountain kind of girl - but having entered the Butchart Gardens I was very loathe to leave. Had my camera not been digital, the processing would have cost a fortune.

Whenever I get to BC to visit with friends, Victoria is on my schedule and I have been back several times to visit! If you have the good fortune to visit British Columbia and Vancouver Island, this Garden is truly worth an hour or two of your time at least. For the time being though, here are some pictures of the Butchart Gardens that I hope you will enjoy!

All images, including intro, are my own photos taken on a visit to Victoria which inspired some music too!

Reclaiming the Limestone Quarry

The Sunken Garden

When I visited, I was interested to hear how the gardens were begun. The Butchart Gardens began when Canadian businessman Robert Pim Butchart began quarrying limestone and manufacturing Portland cement at Tod Inlet Vancouver Island in 1904.

He and his family established their home there. His wife Jennie was upset by the bleak pit left by the quarried limestone and set about reclaiming the land. She ordered topsoil from nearby farmers, had it brought in by horse and cart and lined the floor of the abandoned limestone quarry at Tod Inlet. This became the Sunken Garden.

Chimney Sentinel at the Butchart Gardens

Signals the End and a New Beginning

The Tod Inlet plant stopped manufacturing cement in 1916, but continued to make tiles and flower pots as late as 1950.

The only surviving portion of the cement factory is the tall chimney of a former kiln seen from the Lookout in the Sunken Garden. This lonely chimney now overlooks the reclaimed quarry.

The Butchart Gardens - Mementoes On Sale

The gardens have their own store, which can be accessed online too. Recently someone asked me about floating flower nightlights and I couldn't see those, so I searched a few here.

White Sun Power Smart LED Solar Gutter Night Utility Security Light (Garden Flower Nightlight)
White Sun Power Smart LED Solar Gutter Night Utility Security Light (Garden Flower Nightlight)

Now this is more like it. It is a solar powered floating lamp, so it draws on the sun for energy and you won't have to be forever changing batteries!

LED Changing Color Floating Rose Flower Light
LED Changing Color Floating Rose Flower Light

Watch the adverts for these, Some give the impression you are buying more than one. It is seven colours on one rose, not seven roses of different colours. Having said that, it is cheap enough to buy a set.


Butchart Gardens, Japanese Garden in Victoria BC

Stone, water, a traditional bridge and trees

We are working on a Japanese corner for our own little plot here in England, but nothing beats the real deal! Robert and Jennie celebrated their travels abroad by creating a Japanese Garden at the Butchart Gardens in 1908.

Enjoydeal Purple Solar Powered LED Multi-color Pond Garden Pool Floating Lotus Flower Night Light Lamp
Enjoydeal Purple Solar Powered LED Multi-color Pond Garden Pool Floating Lotus Flower Night Light Lamp

These solar powered lilies come in a variety of shades. I was taken with this purple one.


Other Gardens Created At The Butchart Gardens

Variety at the Butchart Gardens

Later they created an Italian Garden and replaced a vegetable patch with the Rose Garden in 1929.

Birds and Birdhouses at the Butchart Gardens

Gardens are for Birds too

Mr. Butchart enjoyed his wife's work and contributed by collecting ornamental birds from all over the world. He kept ducks, peacocks, and a parrot in the main house.

He also trained pigeons at the site of the present Begonia Bower. He was very proud of Jennie's work and built elaborate birdhouses throughout the gardens.

I Bought A Beautiful Hummingbird - Swarovski Crystal Hummingbirds

While I was at the Butchart Gardens I bought a beautiful crystal hummingbird for my Mum from the gift shop. It has since triggered an interest in Swarovski hummingbirds. The gift shop at the Gardens has a lovely selection, but if you can't get there, you might like to look at these.

Entrance-ing Butchart Gardens....

Blossoming Cherry trees greet visitors in the Spring

News of Mrs. Butchart's gardening spread. By the 1920s more than fifty thousand people came each year to see the gardens.

Their estate was christened "Benvenuto", Italian for "Welcome", and flowering cherry trees were purchased from Yokohama Nursery in Japan. These were planted from West Saanich Road to The Butchart Gardens' entrance. (This is not a cherry blossom from Victoria - sadly I missed that display!)

Swarovski Crystals HUMMINGBIRD COMPACT MIRROR CASE 2.5" Round Picture
Swarovski Crystals HUMMINGBIRD COMPACT MIRROR CASE 2.5" Round Picture

This would make a pretty gift for anyone who loves hummingbirds too!


Butchart Gardens - A Family Business

The Butchart family tradition

The Butchart Gardens is still a family business and a premier West Coast display garden, with an international reputation for its display of flowering plants all year round.

Close to a million people visit each year, and also over 1,000,000 bedding plants in 700 varieties ensure uninterrupted bloom from March through October. Entertainment and lighting displays are presented each summer and Christmas.

Florentine Bronzes

Sculpture at the Burchart Gardens

Ian and Ann-Lee Ross purchased The Fountain of Three Sturgeons and the bronze boar in 1973. Pietro Tacca, created the marble statue of the Boar in 1620. It is displayed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

This rare bronze casting has a shiny snout form visitors giving it a rub for good luck! It is called Tacca after the original sculptor and is dedicated to the children and dogs who visit the Gardens!

If you have enjoyed this lens, been to the Gardens, or would like to see them, please leave a message here! Thank you!

© 2009 Lisa Marie Gabriel

Garden Guests

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    • john-doornkamp profile image


      5 years ago

      Yes, a wonderful garden. Informative lens.

    • dbitterman profile image


      5 years ago

      I was there in the Autumn a few years ago and it was breathtaking. Your lens does justice to the beauty of this place.

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 

      5 years ago from United Kingdom

      @anonymous: I checked the shop out too, with no luck, but I did find some floating flower night lights on Amazon which I described here if you interested.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I was just there in Aug from one of the cruise ships, our tour was of the Gardens, just beautiful-I had been there years ago but I wanted my granddaughter & great granddaughter to see it-they loved it-I wanted to buy one of the flower night lites but we had to get back on the tour bus-how can I order one of these-they were beautiful-can't find them- on the gift shop choices-please let me know you-I must come back so I can spend more time in the gardens

    • TransplantedSoul profile image


      6 years ago

      Although I am Canadian, I have never been to the West of Canada. One day for sure!

    • msalada lm profile image

      msalada lm 

      6 years ago

      Wow! This place is beautiful.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      7 years ago

      I've been here! Thanks for reminding me how much I love to travel.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My mother and aunt visited Butchart Gardens and were very impressed! I hope that I will be able to go someday.

    • jadehorseshoe profile image


      7 years ago

      Another Charming Lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      After retiring, my parents travelled most of the U.S. and parts of Canada. They said that in all of their travels, the prettiest place they saw was the Butchart Gardens. I hope to visit someday. The photos in your lens are beautiful.

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 

      7 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      Gorgeous pictures. I especially like the birdhouses. Thanks for sharing your experience of the gardens.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      What a wonderful article on the history of the Butchart Gardens. They are beautiful and I had no idea that their history dated back so far.

    • traveller27 profile image


      7 years ago

      I visited Butchart Gardens a few years back. Enjoyed my return visit!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      7 years ago

      Lovely lens on the Butchart Gardens - I really enjoyed my stay. Squid angel blessed.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Butchart Gardens are indeed lovely, but I find the admission price to be exorbitant. Your lens has beautiful pictures!

    • TapIn2U profile image


      7 years ago

      Lovely lens! The garden looks so refreshing and the flowers are beautiful. Loved it! Sundae ;-)

    • Bercton1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Always love the sparks of nature...Beautiful display of nature.Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      My mother and aunt visited Butchart Gardens many years ago and they just loved it! You have included so much interesting information and so many beautiful photos! I think my favorite is the one you included in the "Birds and Birdhouses" section.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What a beautiful garden! I wonder if they use rubber mulch to keep the weeds out.

    • jolou profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm from Victoria, very proud of my home city and these amazing gardens. I've been to Butchart dozens of times, and am still thrilled every time. Thank you for doing such a lovely tribute to this beautiful place.

    • JeremiahStanghini profile image


      8 years ago

      Yay for Victoria! :-)

      With Love and Gratitude,


    • lilymom24 profile image


      8 years ago

      I love flower gardens. It's a beautiful lens.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Looks like a lovely place to visit. I sure do have a fondness for gardens.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      ~ Blessed by a Squidoo Angel of the Travel Canada neighbourhood ~

    • javr profile image


      8 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      They have a spectacular Christmas light display each year. I haven't been for years, though. This lens has been blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • irregularworld profile image


      8 years ago

      This is the first site that's really made me want to visit Victoria. Thanks!

    • jp1978 profile image


      8 years ago

      I've been to the gardens once, seventeen years ago. It was very beautiful and I've never forgotten.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I really enjoyed visiting your lens.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      I just wanted to say thank you all for visiting this lens, I am glad you enjoyed it. I hope to get back to the Butchart Gardens soon! Lisa :)

    • EditPhotos profile image

      Edit Photos 

      9 years ago from Earth

      Fabulous Lens - a nice tribute to a great place. I last visited 21 years ago on my honeymoon - someday we hope to get back!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      stunning photos and great lens. i thought victoria was in Australia.

      Woops my mistake. looking for a Tile Store?

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      9 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      I live on VI and visit Victoria often (including this past weekend) but I haven't been to The Butchart Gardens since I was little. Must put it on my "visit list" when the weather is better. I imagine its quite beautiful in summer. Thanks for sharing your photos of this lovely garden. Happy Easter weekend! :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I, too, am lucky enough to live on Vancouver Island, in Shawnigan Lake to be exact. I've been to Butchart Gardens during the Christmas Lights tours and during the summer for the fireworks display they have on Friday nights. My only complaint about Butchart Gardens - is that they make it so hard to live up to! I'm a gardener and every time I go I think "oh that would look awesome in my yard!" - yes - breaks the bank whenever I go because I get into a planting craze!

      The cherry trees are gorgeous - and Victoria is well known for the Cherry Blossom Blizzards every year - when the ocean breeze picks up and the pink blossoms start falling all around.

      I've lived in almost every province, and 4 different states, and in England - and Vancouver Island is where I stay! It's my home.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Absolutely gorgeous it!!

    • sheriangell profile image


      9 years ago

      Butchart Gardens sounds and looks absolutely lovely. I would love to visit there one day. British Columbia has always been on my destination list, but I haven't made it there....yet.

      Well done lens.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Beutfull! That's a trip that will be made.

      Stunning photos. 5*

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      9 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      We lived in Victoria for many years and used to be able to picnic in Buchart Gardens. I won a dinner for 4 at the Gardens one time and was that ever fantastic! Now we live in the beautiful Okanagan.. that is nice too. Great lens. 5*s and fav.

    • wilddove6 profile image


      9 years ago

      Very well done!

      I am one of the lucky to live on Vancouver Island and have visited the Gardens many times.

      The Japanese Garden is my favourite.

      Very nice lens!

    • Coffee-Break profile image

      Dorian Bodnariuc 

      9 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada

      Great lens. I love The Butchart Gardens. Excellent pictures.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      9 years ago

      Beautiful photography. I really must get there one day! Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • Laniann profile image


      9 years ago

      You did a wonderful job with capturing the beauty of Victoria and the Gardens.

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you both! I do miss Victoria and the Gardens! Couldn't go this year because of the painting and decorating... but I still have all the pictures :) :)

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Beautiful garden and beautifully done lens - I love nature - you did a great job with this one!

    • Rachel Field profile image

      Rachel Field 

      9 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this beautiful garden!


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