Tag Archives: Butchart Gardens

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent

This week, WordPress is asking us to show our interpretation of descent.


Bennett Spring, Missouri



Taoist Temple, Cebu, Philippines



Ayala Mall, Cebu, Philippines



Ocean Expo Park, near Nago, Okinawa, Japan



Diving at Sabong, Philippines



Hannibal, Missouri



Butchart Gardens, between Sydney and Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada


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Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

So…. It’s March…..and It’s White Again

snow bunny tracksI needed to look at something much more “Springlike” so I went through my photos and these caught my eye.

EPSON MFP imageSeveral years ago we took a Washington State Ferry from Anacortes to Sydney, BC.  Our destination was Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria.  On the ferry ride we decided to make a side trip to Butchart Gardens.  Darned those nasty little travel brochures!  We had known about the Gardens for many years, just had not put them on our “Must See” list.  It was near the end of June and the brochure made Butchart Gardens look too inviting to miss.  After walking thought the gardens we were so very happy that we took the side trip.

EPSON MFP imageMany plants were blooming.  What we had not realized until we read the brochure was that the original reason for the gardens was that Mrs. Butchart loved gardening and had a vision for the ugly hole in the ground that was a quarry for her husband’s cement factory.  Today only the smoke stack for a kiln remains.  You would never guess that it was once a naked quarry.

EPSON MFP imageMr. Robert Butchart and Mrs. Jennie Butchart came to Vancouver Island from Ontario because of the large quantity of limestone.  By 1904  he had built a cement plant and was quarrying limestone near Tod Inlet.  They built their family home near the quarry.  It wasn’t long before Mrs. Butchart decided she needed to turn the eyesore limestone pit into something of beauty.

EPSON MFP imageShe had tons of top soil brought in from the surrounding farmland by horse and cart.  She lined the floor of the pit with the topsoil and began her planting.  Today it is a sunken garden accessed by meandering stairs.

EPSON MFP imageFrom 1906 to 1929 the Butcharts added a Japanese Garden, an Italian Garden and a Rose Garden.  While Mrs. Butchart added many beautiful flowers to the gardens, Mr. Butchart collected ornamental birds from all over the world.  Some, like the ducks and peacocks were allowed to roam the grounds and others were kept in elaborate birdcages scattered around the gardens.  By now hundreds of people were already visiting the gardens each week.

EPSON MFP imageTo this day the Butchart Gardens are still family owned.  The gardens were given to their grandson Ian Ross on his 21st birthday.  During the 50 years that he was in charge he made the gardens world famous.  Today it is owned by The Butchart’s great grand daughter, Robin-Lee Clarke.  The family home now is used mainly as a restaurant, gift shop and offices.  With the mild weather of the area, plants are in bloom from March until October.  Along with the heritage plants, each year over a million bedding plants of over 900 species are planted to make sure there is always something blooming.

EPSON MFP imageEPSON MFP imageThe gardens are located at Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada.  This is about 14 miles, or 23 kilometers north of Victoria on the west side.  They open year round and open at 9:00, but they close at different times according to the season.  This link will give you the times:  http://www.butchartgardens.com/visit/hours

EPSON MFP imageTheir rates also vary by season so here is a link for rates

http://www.butchartgardens.com/visit/rates EPSON MFP imageThis is well worth seeing.  We are so happy we made this side trip to Butchart Gardens.