I remember visiting various gardens when I was a kid and thinking ‘Wow, this is so boring!’. I’m kinda sad I felt that way because I’ve come to realise that there’s a lot of awesomeness, fun and pleasure had from visiting places like that now. I don’t think I’m turning into an old fuddy-duddy. I’ve finally learned to appreciate the beauty of what nature presents to us. The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC is one such place. We visited one autumnal afternoon last year with Stu’s parents and, despite the light rain and chill in the air, it was a wonderful day. Here’s what our trip looked like!
Getting to Butchart Gardens
Living on mainland BC, as we do, a trip to Victoria, over on Vancouver Island, involves a ferry ride and a bit of waiting around. It’s not the quickest trip, but it is always a pleasant one. The crossing itself can be interesting as there’s always the potential for sighting a whale (even the ferry captain will let you know if there’s one!) as well as the traversing through the islands which is always beautiful.
From the ferry terminal, it’s a short drive to The Butchart Gardens, situated north of Victoria in an area called Brentwood Bay.
A Little Butchart History
The gardens themselves are around 55 acres and built in an old quarry. Brought about by the ingenuity of Jennie Butchart, an adventurous woman, married to the quarry’s owner, Robert, the gardens are quite the landmark today. The most famous garden, the Sunken Garden, is in the old quarry itself and it is quite a sight to see as you walk over the path towards it.
The Sunken Garden took around nine years to create, and the website states that they plant about 65000 bulbs in that section alone for springtime! The other gardens are the Rose Garden, the Italian Garden, the Japanese Garden and the Mediterranean Garden. There are also several eateries and a lovely little shop where you can buy yourself some treats. It really is a whole day’s visit if you take your time to wander.
There were so many hidden treasures dotted around, and I’m sure we didn’t get to see them all. But the colours were glorious and vibrant. I can only imagine what it must look like in the spring and summertime. Stu and I are looking forward to going back there next year to find out!
We finished our day by heading into Victoria itself and partaking in a lovely afternoon tea at the Pendray Inn and Tea House before heading back to the ferry terminal. Such a beautiful day and I think Stu’s Mum and Dad enjoyed it too! If you’d like to see another of our trips we took, check out this post about Salmon Arm, BC!