One of the most beautiful places to see flowers in Canada is the Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia.
The beautiful Butchart Gardens boasts fifty-five acres of wonderful floral display, offering spectacular views as you stroll along meandering paths and expansive lawns. Founded by Mrs. Jennie Butchart, who began work on the site in 1904, the gardens have a rich history and continue to inspire and amaze visitors of all ages.
The Butchart Gardens remains a family business and has grown to become a premier display garden, while maintaining the gracious traditions of the past. It is a must-see as a day trip from Vancouver, or on an overnight get-away to Vancouver Island.
Each year over 1,000,000 bedding plants in some 700 varieties are used throughout The Gardens to ensure uninterrupted bloom from March through October. Close to a million people visit each year, enjoying not only the floral beauty, but the entertainment and lighting displays presented each summer and Christmas. The best time to visit depends on your areas of interest – but there is cerstainly something for everyone, all year round.
Robert Pim Butchart, a pioneer in the thriving North American cement industry, was attracted from Owen Sound, Ontario to Canada’s West Coast by rich limestone deposits. In 1904, he developed a quarry and built a cement plant at Tod Inlet (on Vancouver Island) to satisfy Portland cement demand from San Francisco to Victoria. Jennie Butchart became the company’s chemist. Close to the quarry, the Butcharts established the family home complete with sweet peas and rose bushes.
As Mr. Butchart exhausted limestone deposits, his enterprising wife Jennie, made plans to create something of beauty in the gigantic exhausted pit. From farmland nearby, she had tonnes of top soil brought in by horse and cart and used it to line the floor of the abandoned quarry. Little by little, the quarry blossomed into the spectacular Sunken Garden.
In the early days, weekly symphony concerts were hosted by Mr and Mrs. Butchart. These were often held for guests of the family, but later attracted a larger audience. More recently, in the Summer Season (July and August) and during the Winter Holiday Season they provide a wide range of local entertainment, from Jazz to classical music.
Also, The Weeds, a band made up of staff members from The Gardens, sometimes plays during the Summer Season. In 1977, Ian Ross’s son Christopher (1944–2000) introduced firework shows accompanied by show tunes on summer Saturday evenings.
During the Winter, lights and seasonal decorations adorn the gardens along with an ice-skating rink in the Waterwheel Square.