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Visiting Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada: See Day and Night Photos

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

Victoria, British Columbia

After spending a glorious five days in Vancouver, Canada, my mother, niece, and I shifted our base to Victoria, located on Vancouver Island. We had allotted enough time on the island for three days of sightseeing. Victoria is situated at the southern tip of the island and is the largest city. It also serves as a cruise ship port.

Naturally, if one goes to Vancouver Island, one must see the world-famous Butchart Gardens, and this we did. We made it our first stop after disembarking from our transport to the island.

The BC Ferries is a regular mode of ship transportation for people and their vehicles to get from the mainland to Vancouver Island, and they run a smooth operation back and forth several times a day.

Butchart Gardens

We spent several hours touring the 55 acres (22 hectares) of Butchart Gardens. We roamed through different areas designed to maintain interest and showcase the many hundreds of varieties of plants on display that make this sunken garden sparkle with color and interest.

Among the many different parts of the garden, we enjoyed the following: an Italian Garden, a Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, Sunken Garden with a Lake, Star Pond, Dolphin Fountain, a Concert Lawn area, and the Ross Fountain.

There are marked paths that take one throughout the gardens. For those who need it, there is also wheelchair access to most of the site.

The collection consists of various kinds of trees, some of which are unique and unusual, and shrubs and a myriad of flowering plants. The literature states that one million bedding plants are brought into the gardens to be utilized each year for the different seasons, and there are about 700 varieties of plants.

It is a photographer's dream to take pictures of all the angles of the garden design as well as the unique textures, colors, and hues of the plants as the early morning passes into the sunset hours. Then, the nighttime illumination takes place!

Summers are generally mild in this area of the world, as are the winters. It was warm the day we were wandering the grounds. When we discovered we could come back and view the fireworks that evening, we decided to leave for a while and check in to our hotel. It was a bit cooler when we returned later to enjoy the nighttime festivities.

History of Butchart Gardens

Over 100 years ago, Mr. Robert Pin Butchart pioneered the manufacture of cement in that part of Canada. He had a factory built on Vancouver Island, and in 1904 had his home built there as well.

He worked the large limestone quarry near his home, but when the limestone was pretty well exhausted from that spot, this left a big gaping hole in the ground that offended his wife's sensibilities.

Jennie Butchart decided, and he agreed to make something beautiful out of that eyesore, and they began to have tons of dirt hauled into the area. The Butcharts were also world travelers and had developed a love for plants. They started importing them to Vancouver Island to plant in their quarry. It was a painstaking process and took some time to develop.

They had many friends who watched the development of this sunken garden, and those friends started bringing other people to see the gardens. Eventually, this developed into a family business that has continued to this day.

Restaurants now accommodate the large numbers of people desiring some refreshments during their visits. Today there is a Coffee Shop, the Dining Room Restaurant, and the Blue Poppy Restaurant.

Concerts plus fireworks take place at night. We were there in the summertime, but from what I have read, they not only have the music and fireworks during the Christmas holiday time of year, but they also have ice skating and many colorful lights that add to the festive look and feel of Butchart Gardens.

The Gardens at Night

After settling into the Royal Scot Motor Inn, a Suite Hotel in Victoria, we drove back to Butchart Gardens. We decided to eat supper that evening at the Blue Poppy Restaurant in a greenhouse filled with flowers. It is a casual place with a delightful atmosphere where one can find moderately priced meals. We chose lasagna and a Caesar salad and were pleasantly surprised at how good it was.

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We then walked to the Concert Lawn area and were entertained with fun music and dance performances.

These gardens have spotlights strategically placed throughout the space at night. The views look very different from the daytime ones. At night there is a fantastic display of fireworks to end the evening.

To fully appreciate the beauty of the spectacular Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C., Canada, I recommend viewing the gardens both during the day and at night. It is a memorable impression you will always cherish!

"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy."

— Rumer Godden

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in--what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”

— Victor Hugo, Les Misérables


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are always welcomed.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 13, 2021:

Hi MG,

I am glad that you enjoyed the gardening quotes. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 13, 2021:

Hi MG,

I am glad that you enjoyed reading this article. Since you have relatives who live nearby, I assume that you have probably visited Butchart Gardens. We enjoyed our visits.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on February 13, 2021:

Nice article Peggy, Excellent description.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on February 13, 2021:

You have given some lovely inspirational quotes and they are simply wonderful.So simple yet true.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 12, 2021:

Hi Denise,

It must be fun finding that dinosaur topiary in the Fresno garden. Any garden lover would enjoy visiting Butchart Gardens, or public gardens anywhere. I know that we have! Thanks for your comment.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on February 12, 2021:

How fabulous. I've visited a lot of gardens in my day but I never grow tired of flowers, roses, and lovely arrangements of growing things. We have a small (comparatively) garden display here in Fresno and the guides tell you to look for the live dinosaur in the garden. You walk the length of the garden before you find the topiary dinosaur at the end. Lovely.



Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 12, 2021:

Hi Devika,

I agree that traveling right now is not the smartest thing to do because of the pandemic. We will all look forward to the day when the pandemic is ancient history. Thanks for reading and commenting on this article about the beautiful Butchart Gardens.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 12, 2021:

Peggy W beautiful photos and the place is amazing. You share great experiences with us and I appreciate that. I like to travel, but now is not the time for me. Photos are stunning!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 11, 2021:

Hi Amy,

Yes, if you go to Vancouver Island, the Butchart Gardens is a must-see spot. It is well-known by many people for its singular beauty.

Amy on February 11, 2021:

Looks like a must see spot for our next trip to Western Canada.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 10, 2011:

Hi Eiddwen,

So glad that you enjoyed this hub about Butchart Gardens. I know that you enjoy natural beauty and where you live there is an abundance of it. Thanks for your comment.

Eiddwen from Wales on August 10, 2011:

Absolutly beautiful.

Thanks for sharing and your hubs are always like a breath of fresh air and here's to many more to share.

Take care


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 10, 2011:

Hi Tony,

There is something that is just so peaceful and wonderful about wandering around in a beautifully landscaped garden and Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC, Canada is certainly one of those places. Thanks for your comment and "Love and Peace" wishes.

Tony McGregor from South Africa on January 10, 2011:

Like you I love these sorts of gardens - this one certainly looks rather special. Thanks so much for sharing your visit with us.

Love and peace


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 20, 2010:

Hello GmaGoldie,

Thanks for the comment and additional votes. Appreciate it! I had always heard about Butchart Gardens so it was a must to see when we planned a trip that would take us to Victoria in Canada. As you said, it is a "delight!"

Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on September 20, 2010:

A magical place I was privileged to have found. We stubbled across it and simply followed the signs - what a delight!

Great Hub! Voted up and beautiful too!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 17, 2010:

Hello FloBe,

Lucky you! Vancouver Island...what we saw of it in 3 days time...looked so very beautiful. Butchart Gardens of course is a showplace and well publicized and we were not disappointed in spending time there. I can just imagine how beautiful it would be during the Christmas season! Thanks for the comment.

Flo Belanger from British Columbia, Canada on September 17, 2010:

I lived on Vancouver Island for almost 20 years and went to Butchart Gardens several times. One time was at Christmas when they had the Light-Up and it was a winter wonderland experience. It is such a beautiful place!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 17, 2010:

Hello Duchess OBlunt,

You know just how beautiful the Butchart Gardens in Victoria are since you have already been there. Like you, I wouldn't mind another visit sometime. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

Duchess OBlunt on September 17, 2010:

It's been years since I've been there. Thank you for sharing such gorgeous pictures of the gardens. I must make it a point to get back there.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 14, 2010:

Hi Billy,

Happy to hear that you are enjoying the hubs that I have created about sites that we enjoyed in and around Vancouver, Canada. We only spent 3 days on Vancouver Island, 5 days on the mainland and could certainly have spent more time in each place. As you say...Butchart Gardens are spectacular and a MUST for anyone visiting the island. Thanks for the nice compliment! :-)

billyaustindillon on August 14, 2010:

Peggy you have published quite an array of spectacular hubs on Vancouver. These are a must for any one making the trip. The Butchart gardens are spectacular and I agree a perfect part of a tour to Vancouver Island.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 15, 2010:

Hi again Mary,

You are most welcome. I am certain that you will love visiting Butchart Gardens at night.

Mary on June 15, 2010:

Thanks Peggy.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 10, 2010:

Hi Mary,

To answer your question...ABSOLUTELY visit Butchart Gardens at night. We saw it during the day and went back to see the gardens illuminated and also to enjoy the fireworks display at night. I think that you will really enjoy yourself. The Parliament Buildings and other buildings waterside are also beautifully lit. Enjoy yourself!!!

Mary on June 10, 2010:

I am taking a cruise to Alaksa in August and want to see the Gardens as an excursion. We will be in Victoria only at night. Does anyone know if it is worth visiting at night?

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 22, 2009:

Hi Dink96, husband's favorite flower...tulips. Visiting Butchart Gardens in Victoria when the tulips would have been in bloom would be breathtaking. Thanks for reading and leaving your comment.

Dink96 from Phoenix, AZ on December 22, 2009:

I've been to Butchart twice, but my favorite trip was in May when the tulips were still in bloom---absolutely breathtaking! I love Butchart. So much to see and marvel in. Nothing but wonderful memories for me. I can't recommend this place enough.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 14, 2009:

Hello travelespresso,

Love your name, BTW! Yes, it is amazing that Butchart Gardens was created out of an abandoned quarry and has become the star attraction that many people seem to visit while vacationing or visiting Vancouver Island. Thanks for your visit and comment.

travelespresso from Somewhere in this exciting world. on December 14, 2009:

Hello Peggy

I was lucky enough to go to these fabulous gardens but was many years ago. I just went during the daytime and was completely bowled over by the story of the ugly quarry turning into this masterpiece. Great hub.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 30, 2009:

Hello Patty,

From your statement, I am guessing that you have visited Butchart Gardens. Am I correct? Yes...they certainly made something of beauty out of what could have been an eyesore. Now everyone getting to visit Victoria is the beneficiary of those efforts. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 30, 2009:

Hello Rebecca E.,

I agree. If we lived in Victoria, we would probably visit Butchart Gardens often also along with other great sites on Vancouver Island. Such a beautiful place! Thanks for your comment.

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 30, 2009:

That was a really great, long-lasting way to recliam the land. The island is beautiful all around, but these gardens are spectacular.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 30, 2009:

Hi loveroflife,

You are welcome. Glad you are enjoying these hubs from Canada. Thanks for commenting.

Rebecca E. from Canada on September 29, 2009:

The gardens are always tops on anyone's list, even thoses who see them on a regular basis.

loveroflife on September 27, 2009:

Thank you for another beautiful hub from Canada.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 11, 2009:

Greetings EverythingMouse,

Nice to see a new face!

Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C. is definitely beautiful as you said. Happy this hub could be a reminder of your visit there. Do you live in Canada or were you just visiting like we were?

Thanks for the comment.

EverythingMouse on August 10, 2009:

I visited a couple of years ago - it is one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 10, 2009:

Hello katyzzz,

Glad that you liked this Butchart Gardens hub. We took one tour of the Island of Victoria but wish we had had even more time set aside to see more of that beautiful Island. Perhaps another time!

Thanks for the comment.

katyzzz from Sydney, Australia on August 10, 2009:

WOW, what a place to go, and such a comprehensive hub, no wonder you did so well

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 11, 2009:

Hello Pierre, Thank you for the compliment. Why would one write for trivago travel community verses hubpages? Just curious.

Pierre on June 11, 2009:

The Butchart Gardens are indeed stunning - thank you very much for sharing some superb photographs and for the informative Hub. Perhaps you may also wish to contribute to the trivago travel community?

Kind regards from Cape Town, Pierre

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 01, 2009:

Hi Jimmy, I agree with you that the subject matter is so pretty that with any kind of a decent camera, one would look like a pro. Now that I have a digital camera, I could do an even better job! Glad this brought back good memories for you. Did you get a chance to visit the Beacon Hill Park? I am just now creating a hub about that. It was within walking distance of our hotel and it also was gorgeous. Victoria is one great place! Would love to revisit it sometime. Thanks for your comment.

Jimmy Fuentes from Rancho Cucamonga on June 01, 2009:

My wife and I went there just a year ago now before our Alaskan cruise. Butchart is breathtaking. I took so many photos. It was easy to look like a photography pro with how beautiful all of the flowers are.Your hub brings back fond memories. Thanks.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 31, 2009:

Hi Steph, Ahh! Memories! Hope yours were as good as ours. I would also revisit if I was in that area. Thanks for the comment.

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on May 31, 2009:

Lovely! I've been there, but its literally been about 25-30 years! I need to go back.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 31, 2009:

Hi Zollstock, Guess I did a good job! LOL

Zollstock from Germany originally, now loving the Pacific NW on May 31, 2009:

Nice hub -- you sparked a little guilt in me, for I have been to Victoria four times now and never ventured out to Butchart Gardens. Next time I manage to catch a day cruise from Bellingham to Victoria (Victoria-San Juan Cruises being my favorite, particularly due to some amazing whale-sighting on the way), I will finally have to make my way out there. Thanks for the inspiration.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 30, 2009:

Hi Nolimits Nana, You can certainly tell that we are enamored with your part of the world! Calling Vancouver Island home......what a fortunate person you are! Thanks for the lovely comment.

Nolimits Nana on May 30, 2009:

I'm lucky enough to live a scant hour from this lovely garden. It's just one of the amazing gardens here on our Vancouver Island. Great hub, Peggy, and looking forward to more!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 30, 2009:

Hi Pete, I agree. They actually did it for themselves first and because of so much outside interest it developed into what it has become. And yes, the climate is so friendly for plant growing and maintenance. Thanks!

Pete Maida on May 30, 2009:

It's nice when someone can create a tourist attraction that isn't another theme park. The Pacific Northwest has a very special climate for growing things.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 29, 2009:

Hi Melody, I hope that all your wishes come true! Thanks for the comment.

Melody Lagrimas from Philippines on May 29, 2009:

What a beautifful garden! wish I could visit it someday too, thanks, Peggy.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 29, 2009:

Hi Kiran, Glad you liked this special garden hub. Thanks as always for the comments.

kiran8 from Mangalore, India on May 29, 2009:

WOW, What more can one say ? Very interesting and beautiful, thanks a lot peggy...

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