I had the good fortune to travel with my husband to Vancouver, British Columbia for a business conference~ our first trip enjoying the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and a chance to visit our neighbors to the north in Canada.
The Butchart Gardens were on the “not-to-be-missed” list, accessible by a float plane or a ferry ride away in Victoria.
If you have a chance to visit, I highly recommend it~ these photos don’t begin to do it justice!
Since our azaleas and bulbs are bloomed out at home, I was thrilled to experience a second spring this year! Not quite as thrilled to have a second dose of spring allergies though :)
Jennie Butchart began to shape this landscape into one of the world’s premier floral show gardens in 1904. In the style of the grand estates of the period, she established several distinct gardens to evoke a range of aesthetic experiences.
An abandoned limestone quarry was transformed into the dramatic Sunken Garden, a reflection of the early 20th-century beautification movement and an exceptional achievement in Canadian gardening history.
An even more amazing accomplishment & feat, when you consider that tons of top soil had to be brought in by horse and cart!
Through successive generations of the Butchart family, The Gardens have retained much of the original design, and continues the Victorian tradition of seasonally changing the outstanding floral displays.
Each year over 1,000,000 bedding plants in some 700 varieties are used throughout the gardens to ensure uninterrupted bloom from March through October.
Which translates into a small army of 50 gardeners digging up 300,000 bulbs, amending the soil, and planting the tens of thousands of annuals for the summer display.
Most of the bulbs won’t be used again, since they aren’t allow to mature properly before harvesting them, so visitors don’t see unsightly plants in their natural state of decline.
While this seems shocking, it makes for an almost instant and seamless transition of the seasons for visitors~ and also makes bulb growers in Holland very happy :)
By 1908, reflecting their world travels, the Butcharts had created a Japanese Garden on the sea-side of their home.
Later an Italian Garden was created on the site of their former tennis court, and a Rose Garden~ the only garden not in bloom on our visit~ replaced a large kitchen vegetable patch in 1929.
The public area of The Butchart Gardens covers 22ha (55 acres) with much more, for the most part, “off stage.”
Twenty-six greenhouses covering almost 2 acres, along with trial growing areas, a plant and a tree and shrub nursery help to keep The Gardens in prime viewing condition.
If I didn’t live almost 4000 miles away, I’d love to visit The Gardens during each of the five seasons~ Christmas considered the fifth~ with the lighting displays!
Oh Mary!! That is absolutely breathtaking.
I can totally picture one of your signature tables smack dab in the middle of it in my imagination, too.
Spectacular! What a fun place to visit, I agree, pics for all of the seasons would be amazing! I hope they sell sets of note cards or calendars showing all of them. And I see pigs like flowers too:@)
I was so excited to s this post! My husband and I have made 2 trips to Victoria, B.. and Butchart was one of the highlights. I have lots of pictures, but they sure aren’t as spectacular as yours! Victoria is such a charming city—like a quick little trip to England. I love the beautiful harbor. Once, when we were there, they were having an antique boat show, and the owners were inviting people to come aboard. Did you stay at the Empress Hotel? So wonderful!
Thanks Tracy, it was the highlight of our trip too! I would have loved to have stayed at the Empress, we only had lunch there though. We went for a conference so we stayed in Vancouver. If I had the opportunity to go back, I’d stay in Victoria and ferry/float plane over to Vancouver instead of the way we did it :)
I just heard someone talking about these gardens last week, so I am glad to have the opportunity to stroll through via your photos. How lucky we are to have places of beauty all over the country that others have left for us to enjoy.
I’m glad you enjoyed your visit to our beautiful Island! If I’d known you were coming I’d have arranged for you to see the Abkhazi Gardens as well, or the Finnerty Gardens, which are famous for the rhodos. I hope the weather was good while you were here!
Hi Pondside~ I almost emailed you about what not to miss, but he had very little free time with my husband’s business meetings and organized activities, and only one day in Victoria. I would have much preferred to have been there than Vancouver! The Gardens were glorious, the weather was a little damp :)
Mary thank you much for taking me back to Butchart, we visited the gardens in 1992 and I don’t imagine we’ll ever get back there again!
Your photographs are stunning and I enjoyed the VT very much.
Such a pity tthat they don’t use all those thousands of bulbs more than once!
This is wonderful! Beautiful pictures. When I was 12 my family went to Victoria on a vacation and I remember our tour of the Butchart Gardens. I’ve thought of it often since then and have wanted to go back to visit again. Since I’m 62, it was 50 years ago! I still have vivid memories. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures.
What beautiful pictures, what a wonderful opportunity to see such beauty. Mary how did you get around the gardens, do they have trolleys or things us folks who are not great walkers to use? Thank yu for sharing.
This brings back such wonderful memories of my trip there (including lunch at The Sticky Wicket!) and your beautiful photos really capture these glorious gardens. Funny coincidence–it was on the same Pacific Northwest trip that I decided I wanted my ashes scattered from the lighthouse in Devil’s Elbow State Park in Oregon! Thanks, Mary, for sharing your trip with us!
I love Butchart Gardens. My daughter and I traveled to Victoria for my birthday and we went to the gardens twice on the same day. Once in the daylight hours and then in the evening to see all the lights. I would love to go back just to see all the spring bulbs. Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures.
Oh my goodness Mary! These pictures are exquisite!!! I would LOVE to go and visit these gardens!!! Think I will put that on my bucket list!! Absolutely stunning photos!! Question for you…what do you do with Chloe and Gracie when you have to go away? My husband and I never go away together (unless in the RV) because of the girlz…they would NOT do well away from either of us.
Jeanne~ They stay at Camp Wagging Tails :) and love it!
Stunning! Your photos are wonderful as usual…
These are beautiful picture and what a perfect time for me to find them. My husband and I visit the gardens on our honeymoon 25 years ago next month:)
What a splendid set of gardens Mary. The tulips are stunning.
Our best friends recently went to Vancouver/Victoria, stayed at a gorgeous old hotel and visited the gardens…They could not say enough about the beauty of those gardens….I have been to Banff so my next trip will be to Vancouver/Victoria…can’t wait to see that magnificent place….I am sure you did not want to leave!!…
The gardens are breathtaking! So glad you enjoyed touring this garden and sharing with us.
Scatter mine there too….Gorgeous!
Mary, Butchart Gardens is one of my all time favorites. We’ve been twice, and like you, I’d like to visit for each season. There is plenty of color this time of year. Thanks for taking us along. Beautiful flowers make me smile.
I visited a small Azalea garden while in RI.
Glad you had a wonderful trip. ~ Sarah
Does all this beauty really exist? Well I know it must because your beautiful photos are proof that it does. Looks like a Monet painting. So very beautiful! Carolyn
Oh, how I love Butchart Gardens! It has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world.
I don’t know how one could ever leave this place. I have never been but your pictures make me want to leave right this minute. So beautiful, Mary! Thank you for the most lovely of tours.
Absolutely Spectacular!!! I am putting this on my list of places not to miss. Your photos are stunning. I feel as though I was walking along with you. Whenever I travel the gardens are always the highlight of my visits. Oh how I envy your lovely visit to this stunning garden. I’m so happy you shared it with us. Thank you, Mary.
What a beautiful collection of colors and contrasts in these lovely captures of the gardens. I’ve been, before, it is a place to behold.
An incredibly beautiful place, Mary. Thank you so much for these images!
Your photos are stunning, Mary! We visited Butchart Gardens on an Alaskan cruise we took several years ago. The gardens are amazing. We, however, stopped there towards evening and didn’t get the full effect. I’d love to go back one day when I wouldn’t be rushed.
Isn’t Butchart fabulous?! Living in WA, I have made many a trip to these wonderful gardens. I would love to visit during each season, too! I have been during Spring, Early Summer and Christmas, each one lovlier than the other! There are so many things to see in Victoria ~ I especially love to visit the Royal British Museum. Oh, and we ALWAYS stop at Roger’s Chocolates to purchase some yummy sweets to eat on the ferry ride home! ;~P
One of my most favorite places and they could hire you to sell brochures and calendars, every shot more stunning than the next. Such a treat to walk the paths with you, thank you for sharing I know it takes lots of time preparing such beauty for others~
Mary, I’m back for another stroll through this amazing garden. Thank you for taking us along. This is truly one of my all time favorite gardens and you’ve captured it at its best. Happy Sunday!
Hi, I came over from the Tablescaper after seeing the picture. We visitied these gardens in 1995 and found them truely onderful. Our visit was in September so it was totally different. Now you’ve made me want to go back in the spring!! Your photography is wonderful. Thanks. Have a lovely Sunday Joan
Isn’t it simply divine? A couple of years ago I had a girls weekend in Victoria with my best friend. We were able to stay at the Fairmont Empress Hotel and of course spend a day at the gardens. Your photos did an amazing job capturing springtime in the garden. A gorgeous post.
Wow! Took my breath away. Truly stunning. If I ever have the opportunity I will not miss that beautiful slice of nature.
This is beautiful, goodness, each picture is just breathtaking. Love each one, Think I will add it to my list of places to visit. Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip.
I think I will add this to my bucket list!!!Every view is breathtaking. All the time intense labor really pays off, such beauy all in one park. Thanks for letting us take in all the beauty.
Mary, your photos are as gorgeous as the gardens. Thanks for the tour. :)
This looks simply amazing! Thanks for bringing this wonderful post to Seasonal Sundays.
– The Tablescaper
These are incredibly beautiful, Mary! I had a postcard on our fridge for years that a friend sent me from Butchart Gardens; I always thought I’d like to visit there. I’m so glad you were able to share your pictures with us because you do take the best photos. I hope you and your husband had a wonderful trip to Vancouver. :)
I’m so glad you’ve taken us on this tour with you. It looks amazing!
Oh Mary, this is DEFINITELY going on my bucket list! We ahve Longwood Gardens just 45 minutes friom us so we are mambers and go as often as we want. These gardens are spectacular and I loved seeing every photo. The Japanese gaeden is gorgeous. I really want to go there now. If you are ever in the northeast, let me know and we will go to Longwood!!!!!!! They do the same thing: change out the flowers each season and at Christmas have a FABULOUS light display. XO, pinky
What a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing these photos.
OH! Me to Sister! If I ended up here…. Goodness! This surely must be a little sneak peek of heaven! Gorgeous! Thank you for joining in for Fresh-Cut-Friday! :)
Wow- a big WOW! Thank-you for sharing these! I never heard of this place but it would be wonderful to see! The effort that goes into planting each year is hard to imagine!
Wow, what an amazing garden. Thanks for the tour and taking the time to put together this lovely post!
This is now on my list of Gardens to visit. Thanks for sharing your trip with us..it’s nice to see so many lovely gardens..Have a great weekend..
So glad you enjoyed the beautiful gardens on our Island. In addition to visiting them in the summer, we also visit at Christmas, the lights turn the gardens into a winter wonderland. A sight you won’t forget. hope you will be back again someday. Sheila
Stunning photos, Mary! I am so glad to have had the opportunity to see this post as I missed it the first time –life has been crazy busy for me lately but I’m am so glad we moved west and that I am able to now babysit my granddaughter while my daughter is working.