Famous Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC, Canada - Spectacular Daytime and at Night
Victoria, British Columbia
After spending a glorious five days in Vancouver,Canada, my mother, niece and I shifted our base to Victoria which is located on Vancouver Island.
We had allotted time enough on the island for three days of sightseeing.
Naturally if one goes to Vancouver Island one must see the world famous Butchart Gardens, and this we did. As a matter of fact we made it our first stop after disembarking from our transport to the Island.
The BC Ferries is a regular mode of ship transportation for people and their vehicles to get from the mainland to Vancouver Island and they run a smooth operation back and forth several times a day.
Port City of Victoria
Our base of operation was going to be the City of Victoria, British Columbia while on Vancouver Island. It is situated at the southern tip of the island and is the largest city.
Victoria also serves as a cruise ship port.
We spent several hours of touring the 55 acre (22 hectare) Butchart Gardens and roamed through different areas that were designed to maintain interest and showcase the many hundreds of varieties of plants that are utilized each year to make this sunken garden sparkle with color and interest.
Among the many different parts of the garden we enjoyed the following:
- An Italian Garden
- A Japanese Garden
- The Rose Garden
- Sunken Garden & Lake
- Star Pond
- Dolphin Fountain
- Concert Lawn area
- Ross Fountain
There are marked paths that take one throughout the gardens. For those who need it, there is also wheel chair access to the majority of the garden.
The collection consists of various kinds of trees some of which are quite unique and unusual as well as shrubs and a myriad of flowering plants.
The literature states that one million bedding plants are brought into the gardens to be utilized each year for the different seasons and there are about 700 varieties of plants.
It is a photographer's dream to be able to take pictures of all the angles of the garden design as well as the unique textures, colors and hues of the plants as early morning passes into the sunset hours.
Then, the nighttime illumination takes place!
Summers are generally mild in this area of the world as are the winters. That being said, it was quite warm the day we were wandering the grounds.
When we found out that we could come back and view the fireworks that evening, we decided to leave for a while and check in to our hotel. It was a bit cooler when we returned later to enjoy the nighttime festivities.
History of Butchart Gardens
Over 100 years ago Mr. Robert Pin Butchart pioneered the manufacturing of cement in that part of Canada. He had a factory built on Vancouver Island and in 1904 had his home built there as well.
He worked the large limestone quarry near his home but when the limestone was pretty well exhausted from that spot, this left a big gaping hole in the ground that offended his wife's sensibilities.
Jennie Butchart decided and he agreed to make something beautiful out of that eyesore, and they began to have tons of dirt hauled in to the area.
The Butchart's were also world travelers and had developed a love for plants. They started importing them to Vancouver Island to be planted in their quarry. It was a painstaking process and obviously took some time to develop.
They had many friends who not only watched the development of this sunken garden, but those friends started bringing other people to see the gardens.
Eventually this developed into a family business that has continued to this day.
Restaurants were added to accommodate the greater numbers of people desiring some refreshments during their visits. Today there is a Coffee Shop, the Dining Room Restaurant, and the Blue Poppy Restaurant.
Concerts were added as well as fireworks at night.
Obviously we were there in the summertime, but from what I have read, they not only have the music and fireworks during the Christmas holiday time of year, but they also have ice skating and many colorful lights which add to the festive look and feel of Butchart Gardens.
Butchart Gardens at Night
After settling in to the Royal Scot Motor Inn which is a Suite Hotel in Victoria, we drove back to Butchart Gardens.
We decided to eat supper that evening at the Blue Poppy Restaurant which is located in a greenhouse filled with flowers.
It is a casual place with delightful atmosphere where one can find moderately priced meals. We chose lasagna and a Caesar salad to eat and were pleasantly surprised at how good it was.
Oftentimes when eating in a tourist spot, the food offerings fill one's stomach, but are not necessarily all that delectable. We were very pleased with our selections.
We then made it over to the Concert Lawn area and were entertained with fun music and dance performances.
That was followed by the fireworks and it was quite a display!
Butchart Gardens are illuminated with spotlights strategically placed throughout the space at night and it is a sight quite different from the daytime views.
This was a beautiful introduction to our stay on Vancouver Island visiting the famous Butchart Gardens on day one of our visit.
To fully appreciate the beauty of the spectacular Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C., Canada, I would heartily recommend viewing the gardens both at day and at night. It is an impression you will remember always!
Have you visited Butchart Gardens or would you like to go there?
Map showing location of Victoria on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada
Such a delight to see in person and remember in pictures afterwards!
© 2009 Peggy Woods