Robert Pim and Jennie Butchart bought a property at Tod Inlet in 1904 as a convenient place to live while operating their adjoining limestone quarry. When the quarry closed, Jennie decided to make it into a garden. Her descendents continue to manage the gardens and additions are still in progress. There is an Italian Garden, a Japanese Garden, a Sunken Garden, a Rose Garden and a Star Pond. The gardens are a very popular visitor attraction.
This is a fantastic place! We just live in Vancouver but try to visit the gardens at least once a year. Christmas is my favourite, with the 12 Days of Christmas theme running throughout. The summer evengings there are also a great treat. And - bonus! I just discovered last year that Accent Inns offers a really nice package deal if you're planning on visiting the gardens (http://www.accentinns.com/special-offers/arts-culture/butchart-gardens-package in case you're interested).
This is a fantastic garden, definitely world class. Stunningly cared for and open year round with garden spectacle after garden spectacle.
In addition to the gardens: The Garden's Rose Carousel is the only carousel on Vancouver Island and has that old style feel. It is housed within the Children’s Pavilion, with its high dome, full-fronted glass façade and a roof planted with native plant species.
The menagerie has thirty animals which include bears, horses, ostriches, and zebras, and mirrors the world from which The Gardens draws its visitors and is one of the most enchanting Victoria attractions!
Great dining in the original Butchart family residence, which looks out over the Private Garden and the Italian Garden.
Afternoon tea is available year-round.
And fireworks every Saturday in the summer.
Here's a little more about the gardens from YMTVacations whom I suppose you could book a tour?
Over the past four years we have twice been in Brentwood Bay from the Sthn. Hem. to visit family. Within hours of arrival we are down at the Gardens buying our Annual Passes so that we can visit MANY times during our stay. We have seen the Gardens May, June, Sept., Oct. and they are a Wonder of the Modern World. The plants, from Ground Cover to Tall Trees, are so beautiful, the landscape design so well-fitted to the site; you never tire of a walk round Butchart, no matter the season or the day's weather. It's not just a gardener's or a photographer's Paradise - it's anyone's! We hope to be there again before too long! If I lived there, I'd be begging for a job, even a voluntary one!
We have just returned from a holiday in Vancouver and Victoria and visited the gardens for several hours. In my view these are the most stunning gardens I have ever seen, with the brilliant displays of spring flowers. I found every aspect of our visit a pleasure, including talking to the staff who are so enthusiastic.
I've been twice in the spring - it is absolutely beautiful. I could visit again and again. Would love to see the gardens in different seasons. I understand why Butchart Gardens is on at least two lists of "The Ten Best Gardens in the World"!! Don't miss this experience if you are on Vancover Island!
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