The awe inspiring Butchart Gardens in Victoria, on southern Vancouver Island has claimed a number of awards for their spectacular gardens, dining room, top performing attractions, and more. The land was originally purchased by Mr. Butchart for its rich limestone deposits. As it became depleted, Mrs. Butchart began to transform that barren pit into a garden and over the years has grown into one of Canada’s top tourist attractions and they in fact welcome visitors from across the globe.
The region’s temperate climate means that the gardens are open and on display 12 months a year with each season offering its own unique displays.
- Spring – With shrubs, trees and bulbs of all kinds bursting into life; this is truly a time to fill one’s senses with the fragrances and sights of the coming season
- Summer – As everything comes into full bloom, visitors can surround themselves in a cornucopia of colours and scents. In the evenings from June 15 to September 15 one can also take in amazing concerts and Saturday night fireworks
- Fall – the cooler nights of autumn bring out the vibrant colours of golden, red, and russet maples. This is also the perfect time to bask in the serenity of the Japanese Garden. November is a great time to book a tour in the Greenhouse and take a peek at what goes on behind-the-scenes
- Winter – Thanks to Vancouver Island’s temperate climate, winter is by no means a dormant time of year. A large number of trees, shrubs and flowers like the lush hellebore, dainty snowdrops, and more are in full bloom
Of course December brings some very special activities that Butchart Gardens refers to as, ‘The Magic of Christmas Season’. Take an enchanting walk through the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ display and don’t be shy to sing the song while there. Also during the Magic of Christmas Season, children 12 years and younger are invited to bring along a handmade paper snowflake which they can exchange for a cup of hot chocolate in the Coffee Shop.
While the gardens themselves are certainly spectacular, in and of themselves, there is so much more to do at Butchart Gardens. Some of the more popular experiences offered include:
- Boat Tour – Take a relaxing cruise around Brentwood Bay and Tod Inlet and learn about the area’s history and hopefully see herons, eagles, otters and seals in their natural habitat. This is a summer only event and you can check out their boat tour rates directly on their site
- Children’s Pavilion & Rose Carousel – This is offered all year round and perfect for children and for the young at heart
- Living Fossils Walk – There is lots to learn about these ancient trees, referred to as ‘living fossils’
From fireworks and concerts in the summer to ice skating, Christmas lights, and hot chocolate in the winter, Butchart gardens is truly a magical experience all year round. The Gardens are also the perfect place for all your special events like intimate weddings, business meetings, and of course birthday parties. There are several event venues each with their own unique characteristics and the things they offer.
What could be more relaxing than getting together with family and friends for a picnic with the Gardens as your backdrop? Why not arrange for a Garden & Gourmet Picnic? Simply scroll down to ‘Additional Offerings’ for more information then give them a call at: 250.652.4422 ext. 320 or email them at: [email protected] .
A great way to end a day of walking and exploring the beautiful garden displays is to enjoy a fabulous meal at one of the many dining venues offered at the Gardens. From first class, award winning plated dinners to ‘Afternoon Tea’ and casual fare in the coffee shop; it’s a great way to take a break or end your day. Before you leave, make sure you stop in at the Gift Shop for some amazing items. Their souvenirs such as tote bags, calendars, vases, etc are also perfect for anyone on your gift list. They do have an online gift shop as well in case you wish to purchase an item once you’ve returned home.
Admission to Butchart Gardens is very reasonable and varies depending on the time of year. Seasonal rates are available directly on their website and in addition to a single admission they also offer several different types of multi-use passes.
Their hours of operation also vary depending on the time of year so it is a good idea to check a complete list of all the operating hours directly on their website.
Getting to Butchart Gardens is easy and there are several ways to travel for example, you can click on the links below for more information:
- BC Transit via route 75 simply scroll down the page to see all stops for # 75 including Butchart Gardens
- Gray Line Sightseeing for the Butchart Gardens Express Shuttle
- Cycle Treks Try an amazing cycling adventure to the Gardens
- By Car – Driving directions from Victoria
You can view other travel options on the website’s ‘Location’ page or call them at 250.652.5256 or toll free at: 866.652.4422, you can also email them at: [email protected]
Whether you plan to visit Butchart Gardens for the beauty and tranquility, attend a private function, a wedding or for a leisurely day with friends and family, one visit to the Gardens is never enough!