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Travel Guide


Butchart Gardens

July 19, 2008

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We are very proud to bring you this Review for the Butchart Gardens, Victoria BC's premier world renowned attraction. There are only few other attractions in the world that can match the class and sophistication and NONE other that can match its beauty. Many visitors declare, “It's like walking through the most fantastic dream you have ever had!” This Butchart Gardens Review and guide will give you a glimpse of what to expect and help you make more informed choices when you visit this wonderful place.

Located just 20 minutes outside Victoria BC on the Saanich Peninsula near the community of Brentwood Bay lay the grounds of the fabled and majestic Butchart Gardens. This Top Victoria BC Attraction is open year round, draws thousands of visitors from every corner of the world and will take you at least a half to a full day to explore and appreciate. The premier draw is the many acres of unique, immaculately constructed and themed gardens that are a feast for sight and smell. Some go to the Butchart Gardens for the unique dining or afternoon tea in The Dining Room Restaurant. In addition to walking through the gardens there is live entertainment, picnic lunches, shopping at the the large gift and seed shop and the Butchart Gardens Fireworks Display held during the summer on Saturday evenings.

Sunken Gardens


Butchart Gardens History:

Robert Butchart established a factory and limestone quarry on Todd Inlet for the production of cement. In 1904 he moved his family there. As the limestone in the quarry ran out, Roberts wife Jennie Butchart envisioned creating the most beautiful gardens in the world and began by trucking soil into the spent quarry and over time brought her vision to life. Over the years The Butchart Gardens have attracted many visitors and at one point featured many different birds (Robert Butcharts passion), a billiards hall and a lawn bowling green, all have now long gone.


How to get to the Butchart Gardens:

Since The Butchart Gardens is Victoria BC's most Popular Attraction there are many ways to get there.

If you are coming the The Butchart Gardens by car there are several large sign directions all over the highways and larger roads. You can also consult the Google map above for directions. There is never a shortage of parking space.

There is also taxi service available and an average trip from down town Victoria one way will cost around $50.00.

Grayline guided tour service has regular daily trips to The Butchart Gardens and back. Consult their web site for more details.

You can also get to The Butchart Gardens by Public Transportation via the #75 bus that will only cost a few dollars per person and take you right to the main gate.

Picture of a flower




After arriving via one of your several transportation options you will be greeted at the admission gate and after paying The Butchart Gardens Admission Fee you will receive a map of the grounds detailing the different gardens and venues, a flower guide and a list of the events and performances for the day.

You will start your visit in the Waterwheel Square that is the main hub for the Butchart Gardens. In the square is the gift and seed shop that has a very extensive inventory of unique and local gifts, works of art, collectables, memorabilia, clothes, flower seeds and much........ much more. Across from the gift and seed shop is a large café that can provide beverages and light meals. There is also a place where a band plays from time to time to provide live entertainment.



This You Tube Video shows glimpses of The Butchart Gardens and gives a comentary on the history.

Clipper Vacations Simply the best way to get from Seattle to Victoria BC.
Fairmont Empress Quintessentially the best hotel in Victoria BC.
TripAdvisor Quality reviews of hotels, restaurants & attractions.

Ideally the majority of time you spend at the gardens will by walking down the flower lined paths viewing the fantastic spectacle of colour and design. You will never feel rushed and you can meander along at your own pace taking the time to smell the roses or one of the many other flower varieties you will encounter. Almost all of the Butchart Gardens is wheelchair accessible and there are plenty of conveniently placed benches where you can stop to ponder the universe and your place in it, or just rest your feet for a few minutes. The paths take you along several themed gardens and for the purpose of this Butchart Gardens Review we will only touch on the more spectacular gardens.

One of the first gardens you come to (and one of the best) is the famous Butchart Gardens Sunken Garden. As you approach the garden you quickly realise you are walking toward a lookout and the whole garden is below and before you. It's really quite an introduction to this garden and often people take several minutes to enjoy this visual splender. This part of the attraction was the old limestone quarry as mentioned earlier. In the centre of the Sunken Garden is another splendid lookout up a set of steep steps that provides a 365 degree view of the whole garden. As you approach the far end of the Sunken Garden don't be alarmed if you get a slight feeling of deja vu because again you will find yourself approaching another look out. This time instead of overlooking a garden you are looking into the heart of the old quarry that is now a large pond and containing one of the most brilliant fountain displays you will ever see. If you stay into the evening, Ross Fountain as it is called, lights up and has many colourful sequences.




Ross Fountain


Butchart Gardens Rose Garden takes you around a circular path around a small grass clearing. All around you is a forest of many different varieties of roses, the smell is intoxicating. Viewing so many roses one can really develop an appreciation for the delicateness, colourfulness and enchanting aromas that make this flower so very popular.

The Butchart Gardens Japanese Garden is on the slope down towards Todd Inlet and the paths intertwine through shrines, over bridges and along small creeks. Under the shade of the tall trees and the full breadth of a cool breeze coming off the water you will be treated to sights of ornate Bonsai and Japanese Maple Trees lining your path and the ponds and the fountains.




During Saturday nights in the summer you can attend the Butchart Gardens Fireworks Display. A spectacle to behold for the whole family. The whole fireworks display can last up to a half hour and every year it is based on a theme and tells a bit of a story, its like an Opera of light and sound. After the fireworks are over the specially made Aeolian Pipe Organ softly trumpets out its unique song and adds an air of ambiance to the now dimly lit Butchart Gardens at Night. Take this time to explore the gardens anew and see it all again for the first time.
Food at the Butchart gardens is easy to come by, and in much variety too. If you just need a quick bite or a cup of your favourite beverage, there are well placed concession stands all over the gardens. For a larger meal there is a cafeteria style restaurant called the Blue Poppy. For a real fine dining experience like no other, the Dining Room Restaurant at the Butchart Gardens will be an experience worth savouring. Want to make meal time fun? Get a pre packed picnic lunch and find your own little slice of heaven to enjoy it in.

The only other entertainment at the Butchart Gardens is Live Entertainment. And they provide a lot of it. They have small bands playing in different parts of the gardens through out the day. They also have a large band shell where larger acts play and the occasional major head liner! Consult their website or the program schedule you were given for details.



Words do little justice in describing the beauty that awaits you at The Butchart Gardens. This is a must see attraction and should be at the very top of your list when Visiting Victoria BC. Thousands of people every year walk through their gates and leave satisfied and fulfilled.

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