Visitors to Victoria will find that the famous destination of Butchart Gardens in Canada lives up to all of the fuss. Located in Victoria, Butchart Garden is a must-see for horticultural lovers on a Vancouver Island vacation. Even if you don’t know a rose from a dandelion, Butchart Garden is sure to impress. The Gardens were selected as a National Historic Site of Canada in 2004. Every year, about half a million visitors make their way through the Buchart Gardens, which includes 700 different species and more than a million plants.
The Butchart Gardens began as just a regular garden in Canada, by Jenny Butchart, wife of mine owner and pioneer of a cement company, Robert Butchart. The limestone quarry near their home had been exhausted, so Jenny set to covering the quarry with what is now the Sunken Garden. In 1904, the Sunken Garden was open to public display. A Rose Garden, Italian Garden and Japanese Garden were eventually added. As one Butchart Garden became four, the Butcharts decided to transform their home into a public attraction. The 20-hectare (50 acres) garden is now the most famous garden in Canada.
While on your Vancouver Island vacation, give yourself at least two or three hours to wander through these lush gardens. The views are spectacular, and the atmosphere is tranquil. You may want to stay for a delicious lunch, dinner, have afternoon tea in the Dining Room Restaurant. This restaurant is located in the historic Butchart residence, and is a perfect way to be refreshed on your Vancouver Island vacation. Afternoon and high teas are also served in the Italian Garden. Reservations are strongly recommended.
During the summer months, the Butchart Gardens are illuminated with lovely colored lights. These allow you to see each Butchart Garden in a “new light” so to speak. From June through September you can listen to free musical entertainment provided during the evenings. On Saturdays, during the busiest months of July and August, there is a fantastic fireworks display in the gardens. Going to see the Butchart Gardens during the late afternoon or evening can save you from the crowds of people that tend to come in the morning and early afternoon.
To get to this famous garden in Canada by public transportation, take the bus #75 for “Central Sahnich” from downtown Victoria. There are also regular shuttles during the summer from May through October leaving from the main bus terminal, every half hour. Tickets are around $25 and are purchased from a separate Gray Lines desk—not the main ticket office. The price includes garden entrance and a return trip.