In the month of January, when the rains seem to last for days and it is grey and gloomy outside, the thought of wandering in a summer garden can seem so far away. Looking back on some photos I decided it was the perfect time to share some colourful pictures of Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C.
Covering more than 55 acres, the gardens were the vision of former resident Jennie Butchart. She and her husband had moved from Ontario in 1904 to open a cement plant. Once the quarry was no longer usable, Jennie had the idea to transform the area into a large garden. Soil was moved here by horse and cart beginning in 1912, and the sunken garden, seen below, became the first area to be planted.
Little by little over the following years the garden grew and expanded. A Japanese Garden was added, as well as an Italian Garden area, and a Rose Garden.
In 1939, Jennie’s grandson, Ian, made the gardens into a well-know attraction by adding evening lighting for the summer months and hosting outdoor concerts. In the following years, firework shows were added and a Children’s Pavilion opened. In 2004 the gardens celebrated their 100th Year Anniversary.
Butchart Gardens boasts a variety of over 900 plants and it takes a staff of 50 gardeners to keep the grounds and flower beds looking beautiful year-round. There are also 26 greenhouses that are used to ensure the supply of plants is always accessible. In 2004, Butchart Gardens was given the designation of National Historic Site of Canada due to its history of gardening and beautification.
The Butchart Gardens is located approximately 30 minutes from downtown Victoria. The gardens, along with the coffee shop and dining room located there, all have strict COVID protocols in place. You can find out more about admission and restrictions by visiting their website here.