Monday, July 18, 2016

The Butchart Gardens

Somehow, I accidentally published the photographs for this blog before I wrote the narration.  Here's our story to go with the pictures.

One place we really wanted to visit before we left Washington and the San Juan Islands was the city of Victoria and the Butchart Gardens.  Since we were in the area, we made the decision to take advantage of our convenient location to the Washington Ferry System for transportation to Sidney and also our friends John and Suzanne were willing to check in on Little Boy for us.  We were only gone one night, but we crammed in as much sightseeing and interesting experiences as we could for the short time we were there.
We took the Ferry from Anacortes to Sidney on Vancouver Island, the trip taking approximately 3 hours.  Once on the Island, our first stop was the internationally famous Butchart Gardens.  We strolled the gardens for about 3 hours, constantly stopping to marvel at the colors of the flowers, the textures of the various plants and the almost intoxicating sweet smell from the mass of flowers we saw at almost every turn.

The Gardens have a unique history as they are constructed on a used-up limestone quarry.  Jennie Butchart had the idea to beautify her husband, Robert Butchart's, spent quarry with exotic plants, trees and flowers they collected from their travels abroad.  The Gardens, encompassing about 55 acres, showcases the world famous "Sunken Garden", the Japanese, Rose, Italian and Mediterranean gardens.  These wonderful gardens celebrated their 100th year anniversary in 2004.  They are still owned by the Butchart Family, receiving over a million visitors a year.  On this day, it was crowded as well.

Views of the Dinning Room Restaurant, once the historic home of Jennie and Robert Pim Butchart.

Walking into the gardens, you are immediately enveloped into the colors and textures of the flowers and plants.  The paths wind and meander throughout the various garden plantings offering surprise areas of popping color and then suddenly you are in restful, quiet green zones to calm and allow reflection.

The Sunken Gardens were quite the spectacle. It was like looking at a paint palette.

The Ross Fountain, installed in1964 for the Garden's 60th anniversary, was a constant changing formation of dancing water.  It was so entertaining to watch!

The Children's Pavilion and Carousel was a surprise to see, we weren't expecting to see this unusual art form amongst all the trees, flower gardens and dancing water fountains! There are 30 hand-carved wooden animals and they are so beautifully painted.

The Dragon Fountain was a gift from the People's Republic of China and Victoria's sister city Suzhou.

The Rose Garden is surrounded by stunning arches covered with twining vines and huge, colorful hanging baskets.

The Rose Gardens peak in July and August.  Oh my! The smell of all these roses was unforgettable!

There are many, many varieties of Hybrid Tea Roses with their name, country of origin and the year they were registered with the American Rose society.

The Japanese Garden provided a quiet, peaceful respite from all the high color and intense sunlight.  It was like experiencing two different and night, light and dark, shade and sun, noise and quiet.

The Star Pond is unique in that it was originally designed to showcase Mr. Butchart's collection of ornamental ducks. 

Entrance way into the Italian Garden

The Italian Garden was once the Butchart's tennis court and the long, narrow building to the left housed their bowling alley.

The Show Greenhouse Garden was a special treat.  There was only one window to peep through, it was like looking into a kaleidoscope.

Once we finished our tour of the Butchart Gardens, we drove on to the city of Victoria, about 25 miles south of Sidney.  No doubt, our visit to the Butchart Gardens will be a highlight in our RV travels. 
More later.


  1. Lovely post - So glad you enjoyed your visit. Come back again soon and thank you for sharing such great pictures.

    From Social Media/The Butchart Gardens

  2. We saw the Butchart Gardens in the early 2000's and they still remain my favorite gardens ever. I remember thinking that it was a bit pricey and we almost didn't go. So glad we did. It was worth every penny!