Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Vancouver Island - Butchart Gardens

We were sure to visit Butchart Gardens while on Vancouver Island. Even though we've been there numerous times before, we both enjoyed seeing it again. Tim and I went on our own, and after touring the gardens, we went on a short boat tour around a couple of bays. The boat operator was a wealth of information and very chatty. I was surprised to learn that the Butcharts were originally from Owen Sound, Ontario, which is just north of us here. Small world. Mr. Butchart operated a quarry on this property, and when that wound down, his wife got her crew of workers to create this amazing sunken garden ...

The sunken garden is the most amazing feature of the whole estate, and it was many years in the planning and actual creation.

There are narrow waterfalls flowing down from the tall trees on top of the quarry walls here. Very difficult to photograph them, but you can hear the water cascading down as you meander around the gardens.

A few ponds are here in the sunken garden as well.

These lovely cedar benches were everywhere!

The Butcharts' son added this fountain which has various settings it runs through continuously.

We visited the last week of May, so the spring flowers were just about finished and the summer flowers were just coming in. There were huge rhododendrun bushes that must have been fantastic! Unfortunately, the blooms were just about spent by the time we saw them.

The peonies were just as beautiful, and I actually prefer them over the rhododendruns ;)

When we were last at the gardens, we were fortunate to have seen these two totem poles being carved on site! They were carved in celebration of the garden's 100th anniversary. They look quite weathered now ... I guess I do too after 14 years have passed.

Blue poppies ...

Pink poppies ....

Only a few iris were still blooming, but they were stunning!

I think this would make a great feature to my own backyard pond!

All the trees here are beautiful. These red cedars were planted in the 30s.

The roses were just getting going, and only a few were in full bloom. We have visited the gardens in the middle of summer, and the roses here are incredible. So many varieties!

Another big draw is the wonderful and secretive Japanese garden. So green and mossy and cool and lovely. There are little waterways and ponds and creeks running all through it.


This is where we hopped on the boat tour. They used electric boats which were so quiet and free from fuel smells.

This is the Butchart's house. Although most of it is now restaurant and gift shops, there is still a portion that is kept private for visiting family members. The Butchart family still owns and operates the gardens.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour of these amazing gardens! Well worth the visit if you're ever in the area.

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. WOW!!! I love this. The last time and I might say, the only time I have ever been there was the summer of 1973.That's a long time ago.I loved it then, but was also missing my 4 month old son who was at home with grandparents.

  2. I did enjoy this very much Wendy, having often heard about the Buchart gardens but never having seen them. The vistas really are beautiful, especially with the water features. I have never seen a blue poppy - how extraordinary!

  3. Hello, gorgeous images from your visit to the gardens. I love the poppies, the totems and the water views. Enjoy your day and weekend ahead.

  4. Beautiful shots!

    My parents visited the gardens several years ago, and my grandparents saw it back in the 80s.

  5. Your photos of the gardens are wonderful. I'm glad you got to see the peonies and blue poppies. There's something to admire at every season in the gardens.

  6. Hi Wendy, that place looks amazing your photo's are stunning as always. I hope you are well and having a fabulous Summer. :) xx

  7. Hi Wendy good to see a post what a stunning and amazing place-they thought of everything creating these gardens-gorgeous-thanks for all of the photos
    Love that the original family still owns this spot-

  8. The gardens are just dreamy! I went once when I was a young girl and could have gotten happily lost there. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures!

  9. Butchart Gardens is on my bucket list so I enjoyed your beautiful photos. I think that another blogger (Lorrie?) mentioned that you can have afternoon tea in the Gardens?

  10. We were there in June! I think I took the same pictures as you did, including the one saying when the sequoia was planted. I, too, thought the sunken garden was the best part. Or maybe the rose garden . . .


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