Butchart’s Gardens

Butchart’s Gardens is a National Historic Site of Canada. We had no plans of coming here on this trip but our hike tour was cancelled last minute. It’s a beautiful garden, the most beautiful we’ve ever seen.


Sunken Garden.

The garden was created out of a limestone quarry. In 1904 Robert Pim and Jennie Butchart’s established a home near a quarry on Tod Inlet at the base of Saanich Penisula on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.


The lime quarry was exhausted by 1909. In 1921, the Sunken Garden was completed. Butchart’s home was renamed Benvenuto (“welcome” in Italian) and starting allowing visitors.


We loved the flower displays. They used contrasting colors which made the colors pop.

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Garden designer Isaburo Kishida of Yokohama was commissioned to work on Jennie’s gardens. He came to Victoria at the request of his grandson to build a tea garden for Esquimalt George Park. This park was popular and the place to be at the time.

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In summer, firework shows are performed.


Ross Fountain.

The rose garden was once their kitchen veggie garden.


Keep an eye out for the plant topiaries. Some are hidden in the displays.


Ownership remains in the Butchart family. Robin Lee-Clarke is their great-granddaughter and also managing director of the gardens.


Seen through an opening in the vegetation.

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The coolest part about the garden is the fact that it’s surrounded by the woods. We didn’t hear any traffic like we usually do when we’re at a garden back home. And the air smelled clean.



Turned out to be a nice back up plan since our tour got cancelled.

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22 thoughts on “Butchart’s Gardens

  1. Amazing back-up plan, and beautiful photographs. It caused me to reflect on a much smaller, but similarly established sunken garden I visited in the centre of the city of Norwich in England many years ago.

  2. Welcome to my part of the world. Since Seattle is just several hours drive south I’ve enjoyed many trips to British Columbia…most often Vancouver but a couple trips to Victoria too. So glad you enjoyed your visit. It is a different world.

    1. The Pacific Northwest is heaven! It’s so beautiful. Our first time out there. We had a layover in Seattle when we flew to Victoria. We loved it and can’t wait to go back. The air smelled clean and the seafood was really fresh.

  3. Gorgeous photos! They also reminded me how much I miss tulips. CA is too hot for them; tulip bulbs need a period of cold-to-freezing temperatures in the ground before they burst into bloom in the spring.

    I also love the winding trails through the gardens. Nice alternative to the canceled hiking tour, especially since the garden resembles Northwestern woodlands, albeit a very manicured one! 🙂 You mentioned a tea garden in the post: did you see one while you were there?

      1. Thanks for the link! It’s sad the garden fell into disrepair during WWII. That happened to a small Japanese garden here in my hometown, after the people who took care of it were sent to an internment camp. It was rundown and weedy when I saw it as a child. I’ve heard that a community garden group took it over and has been restoring it, I should check it out, along with the Takata Japanese Garden, as part of my quest to visit every Japanese garden I run across when I visit a city. 🙂

  4. First heard about it from two odder ladies I met in a garden in Hawaii. It is world class. Glad to see it’s being maintained to a high standard.Your photos are beautiful.

  5. I love those blooms and patches of green! Spending quiet time in these spots are perfect for getting away from manic city life. And the sights, sounds, and smells are an added bonus!

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