Getting to Butchart Gardens
Butchart Gardens is a 55-acre, family-run display garden with more than 900 different plant species maintained by 50 full-time gardeners. It is located in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia Canada about 40 miles outside of Victoria British Columbia.
As we were traveling to the area from Vancouver, our hotel concierge told us of a GrayLine day tour from Vancouver to Victoria with a stop at the Butchart Gardens. And she could arrange for us to take this as a one-way trip from our Vancouver hotel to Victoria with the Butchart Garden stop. It was much easier than navigating our way on our own using multiple transportation methods. After an 8:00 AM pickup, the bus drove us onto the ferry for a 1¾-hour cruise to Vancouver Island. Once off the ferry, the bus stopped at Butchart Gardens before dropping us and our luggage off close by our Victoria hotel. It was an easy, no-stress way to get from Vancouver to Butchart Gardens and Victoria.
Visiting The Butchart Gardens
Who would have thought that you could transform a former limestone quarry into a large beautiful garden? It started in 1912 when cement production exhausted the limestone deposits and the quarry owner’s wife began to transform the area into a thing of beauty.
Designated a National Historic Site, the gardens now attract more than 1 million visitors per year—most concentrated during July and August when most of its flowers are in bloom. Over 900 varieties of plans are interspersed within multiple garden areas.
The Sunken Garden was the original quarry. The view from the lookout into the garden is beautiful. But take the time to wander through the paths.
Not surprisingly, roses are the main focus here.
Originally the area was a tennis court.
The Mediterranean Garden consists of drought-resistant and exotic plants from around the world.
There’s More Than Flowers
The grounds also has a children’s pavilion and host concerts, firework displays, and other events. As we were there during the day, we missed the evening illumination. But we did wee many of the statutes from around the world, totem poles, fountains, and a hand-carved wooden carousel that are interspersed in the area.
A Good Place to Stop and Smell the Flowers
All in all, it is a nice stop in the Victoria area. It isn’t often that we enjoyed so many flower varieties in one spot: Abutilon, Astilbe, Ornamental Eggplant, Scarlet Sage, and one of our favorites, Hypericum (aka, St. John’s Wort). And how many Monkey Puzzle Trees do we ever get to see other than the couple planted in San Francisco’s Salesforce Park?