Visiting The Spectacular Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada: See Day and Night Photos
Victoria, British Columbia
After spending a glorious five days in Vancouver, Canada, my mother, niece, and I shifted our base to Victoria, located on Vancouver Island. We had allotted time enough on the island for three days of sightseeing. Victoria is situated at the southern tip of the island and is the largest city. It also serves as a cruise ship port.
Naturally, if one goes to Vancouver Island, one must see the world-famous Butchart Gardens, and this we did. 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.
Views from Butchart GardensClick thumbnail to view full-size
We spent several hours touring the 55 acres (22 hectares) Butchart Gardens. We roamed through different areas designed to maintain interest and showcase the many hundreds of varieties of plants on display that make this sunken garden sparkle with color and interest.
Among the many different parts of the garden, we enjoyed the following: an Italian Garden, Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, Sunken Garden with a Lake, Star Pond, Dolphin Fountain, Concert Lawn area, and the Ross Fountain.
There are marked paths that take one throughout the gardens. For those who need it, there is also wheelchair access to the majority of the site.
The collection consists of various kinds of trees, some of which are unique and unusual, and 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 the 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. 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 into the area. The Butchart's were also world travelers and had developed a love for plants. They started importing them to Vancouver Island to plant in their quarry. It was a painstaking process and 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 now accommodate the large 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 take place as well as fireworks at night. 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 that add to the festive look and feel of Butchart Gardens.
Butchart Gardens at Night
After settling into 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, located in a greenhouse filled with flowers. It is a casual place with a 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.
We then made it over to the Concert Lawn area and were entertained with fun music and dance performances.
Butchart Gardens has spotlights strategically placed throughout the space at night, and it is a sight very different from the daytime views. At night there is a fantastic display of fireworks to end the evening.
To fully appreciate the beauty of the spectacular Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C., Canada, I would heartily recommend viewing the gardens both during the day and at night. It is an impression you will always remember!
Have you visited Butchart Gardens or would you like to go there?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2009 Peggy Woods