If you’re planning a trip to Vancouver Island, a visit to the Butchart Gardens is a must! The Buchart Gardens is a group of impressive floral displays in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia near Victoria. The gardens receive close to a million visitors each year and are open year round, opening at 9 and closing at 5, so do plan accordingly. They are located just a 30-minute ride from downtown Vitoria, or, a ten-minute drive from the Schwartz Bay Ferry Terminal. Admission for adults is $32.00 plus tax.
As soon as you enter the gardens, you walk up a path and are suddenly in a different world: the Sunken Gardens, inspired by Japanese gardens. It is absolutely spectacular, a colourful array of flowers and greenery. Of course, being in BC the gardens are accented by the stunning mountains in the background.
There gardens have a suggested path and flow, which is helpful to ensure you don’t miss any of the gardens at Butchart. The paths are meandering, always around lovely floral displays, sometimes forking off but bringing you back to the main path, so it’s never a straightforward walk.
Another highlight of the gardens was seeing sequoia red woods for the first time. They were massive, and we were shocked to read that they were only about eighty years old. To think that in eighty years something can grow into such a tremendous force is unfathomable. We had to read the year three times over just to believe it. This garden has a more natural feel. If you like being in nature, hiking through the forest and love evergreens, you will love this garden.
The rose garden is also spectacular. It is well maintained with a huge variety of roses, both wild and more manicured. You can really spend an entire hour in the rose garden alone as there are so many different varieties and it’s lovely to stop and smell the unique aroma of each and every one. There are trellises with wild roses growing as you walk beneath.
I noticed quite a few people with dogs in tow. Surprisingly, leashed dogs on paths are welcome, just ensure you clean up after your pet. There seemed to be many locals out for an evening stroll with their dogs. Imagine being able to walk these gardens with your four-legged friend every day? What a gift!
At the end of the gardens there is a place to have tea or lunch. We did not have any food that day, but we did also notice a gelato stand. There is also a gift shop. I was looking at the Christmas ornaments and the mugs as they were both unique and pretty.