Located in Victoria, British Columbia, Butchart Gardens is a stunning sanctuary of floral design. These gardens are home to native wildlife and carefully-cultivated beds that merge seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. The location has gained international renown, allowing it to be designated as a National Historic Site of Canada.
Originally known as the Sunken Garden, the grounds were first designed to accommodate luxurious gardens in 1921 on the site of an exhausted limestone quarry. The gardens continued to evolve, embracing new installations with the passing years. The Italian and rose gardens became prosperous additions as the areas open to public visitors continued to grow. By 1953, the gardens were able to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The occasion was marked with the installation of below-ground wiring that allows for nighttime illumination to this day.
There are many more attractions for the public to enjoy in the garden beyond flowers and vegetation. December of 2009 saw the grand opening of the Rose Carousel and the Children’s Pavilion, making the gardens an outstanding location for families to enjoy together. There are also beautiful menageries scattered over the grounds that host a number of unique attractions. Among the most popular are those devoted exclusively to wildlife. Visitors regularly flock to the gardens in order to have first-hand experiences with bears, ostriches, horses, and zebras. The site is also home to a considerable number of bird species that can be seen throughout the year. Many of these birds naturally make their home in the gardens while other species are housed in the breath-taking birdhouses constructed on the site.
Lovers of sculpture and artistic design also find themselves attracted to the gardens. Nearly a million visitors each year have the opportunity to see bronze statues that are scattered throughout the exquisite gardens. One such piece was purchased by the garden owners during a trip abroad in 1973. While voyaging throughout the Mediterranean, they purchased a casting that originated in Florence. Entitled “Tacca,” this sculpture reflects a wild boar. Its nose is actually smoothed down to a high sheen due to visitors who habitually rub its nose for good luck. The Japanese gardens possess a fountain statue that incorporates three sturgeon as well. Visitors can also continue their exploration of the grounds to discover a circle of bronze doves that were dedicated for a wedding anniversary and renditions of both a donkey and foal.
The gardens add to their beauty by being situated just along a picturesque coastline. It is possible to take a 12-passenger boat along the shores in order to gain a greater understanding of the garden’s ecological role in the area. You can also plan your stay around the many classical and jazz concerts that are scheduled to take place in the gardens throughout the year.
The flowers and shrubbery expand along small foothills that are separated by stone pathways. Crisp colors and pristine organization make taking every step a pleasure.
Tulips of every variety are located throughout the gardens. They are in bloom throughout each season, reflecting blues, purples, and delicate pastels.
Visitors are also awed by towering trees that are surrounded by delicate foliage. These living sanctuaries are often right next to fields of beautiful, greens grasses.
The illumination of the gardens in the evenings gives visitors a feeling of surreal beauty. The delicate colors of every flower glow and pulse with life.
Many of the paths are cradled with vine-covered arches that offer blooms of their own. Each of the arches come together to form calming corridors of beauty and elegance.
Covered with beautiful greenery, each element of the gardens lends itself the grand appeal of the grounds as a whole.
A considerable number of the bronze statues are incorporated into wonderful fountains that are home to flowers and lily pads. Each statue is unique and individually acquired in order to enhance the gardens.
Isolated pools and coves can also be found throughout the grounds. These retreats feature fountains that are lovely both at night and during the day.
The elegant landscaping includes many subtle and charming nuances. Among them are small waterfalls and reflecting pools designed to nourish the plants.
The Japanese gardens make use of authentic decoration that compliment the living additions. Wooden railing and bamboo structures accompany you on your walk.
The Italian gardens house garden walls and a number of the bronze statues that add to the appeal of the setting. This installation was one of the garden’s earliest additions.
The breadth of floral life throughout the gardens is astounding. From simple lilies and daisies to delicate Asian blooms, you are sure to leave with a favorite variety.
Every visitor should take a moment to view the water wheel that creates a warm setting for one of the many bronze statues and beds of flowers that flourish in Canada.
Each section of the garden is lighted, giving visitors every opportunity to see the grounds under a variety of conditions.