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One of many peaceful scenes of the Japanese Garden in Butchart Gardens

Peaceful Japanese GardenView All Sizes

JOURNAL : August 25, 2010

Enjoying the Butchart Gardens

Victoria > British Columbia > Canada


While on our way back to Seattle we stopped for a day in Victoria on Vancouver Island. Without any set plans my family ambled about town and ended up missing the last bus to Butchart Gardens.

Not to lose an opportunity to see this world-class attraction I rented a moped and cruised the coast, eventually arriving at Butchart Gardens.

Although I've ridden motorcycles most of my life this was my first time on a moped. It's actually a very convenient way to get around.

The Piazza near the enrance of Butchart Gardens

The PiazzaView All Sizes

Mediterranean Garden near the parking lot of Butchart Gardens

Mediterranean GardenView All Sizes

Butchart Gardens

How to Get There

From downtown Victoria take Blanshard Street north until it becomes the 17 highway. About 10 miles later take Keating Cross Road east for a few miles. Along the way is Victoria Butterfly Gardens, which is supposed to be pretty cool. Keating Cross becomes Benvenuto Avenue and ends at Butchart Gardens.

Exquisite Floral Splendor!

Butchart Gardens is a visual feast bordering on sensory strain. There are five main gardens, each with unique character and texture.

Details Everywhere

Details Everywhere

Mediterranean Garden

If driving in with your own vehicle the Mediterranean Garden is on the north side of the parking lot. The tour busses park just south of Waterwheel Square and this garden is out of the way. It's also rather small, consisting of a few benches, some fan palms, assorted flowering plants and what appeared to be banana trees. A nice place to rest before the drive back.

The Sunken Garden from the entrance

The Sunken GardenView All Sizes

The Sunken Garden

One of the highlights of Butchart Gardens used to be an abandoned limestone quarry and cement factory. Jennie Butchart started planting Lombardy poplar trees in 1910 to hide the factory from view. To landscape this garden the quarry floor had to be drained and tons of topsoil brought in from neighboring farms. The Sunken Garden was completed in 1921.

The photo above is the first view one usually has of the Sunken Garden. It's quite a sight to behold.

An archway or pergola leading out of the Rose Garden

Archway in the Rose GardenView All Sizes

The oval of the Rose Garden in Butchart Gardens

The Rose GardenView All Sizes

Rose Garden

Possibly conceived as the centerpiece of her immense floral collection, the stunning Rose Garden sits at almost the exact center of Butchart Gardens. Its carefully manicured oval lawn of rich green grass is surrounded by rambling, unruly rosebushes crowned with arguably the most sensuous of all flowers. If you stop and smell the roses you could induce olfactory overload. Head towards the Sturgeon Fountain and the Japanese Garden via a long corridor through a long plant-laden archway, or pergola.

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A Japanese Torii in Butchart Gardens

Japanese Torii

Japanese Garden

Enter through the bright red torii adjacent to the Sturgeon Fountain and directly down the main lawn from the restaurant. Imbued with its traditional Oriental aesthetic, the lovely Japanese Garden belies Butchart Gardens with its total lack of the brilliant floral arrangements on display everywhere else. By comparison it is quite peaceful. While the other gardens are partying, in the Japanese Garden it's time for quiet introspection.

A Japanese lantern in Butchart Gardens

Japanese Lantern SculptureView All Sizes

A Japanese stream in Butchart Gardens

Stream near the WalkwayView All Sizes

Boats anchored in Butchart Cove, seen from the Japanese Garden

Butchart Cove from Japanese GardenView All Sizes

A Dahlia Flower called Adelaide Fontane

Adelaide Fontane Dahlia FlowerView All Sizes

Although I thoroughly enjoyed all the terrific colors and floral textures of Butchart Gardens, this was my favorite garden. The trickling streams, cool, shady areas, stone lantern sculptures, and lush foliage reminded me of jungles back home in Hawaii.

At the far end of the Japanese Garden is this porthole view of Butchart Cove.

Italian Garden

Just up from the Japanese Garden is Star Pond and its frog fountain edged with red and pink annuals. Then, through a high hedge and two arched entrances is the Italian Garden.

If your eyeballs haven't exploded from their sockets from all of the flowers yet, this garden might do it. The style, design and color here are distinctly Mediterranean.

The cross-shaped pond of the Italian Garden

Italian GardenView All Sizes

The Sunken Garden from the entrance

About this day

Enjoying the Butchart Gardens

August 25, 2010

Victoria > British Columbia > Canada

Tags   Walkabout · Gardens · Favorites

Series | All Canada Locations

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The restaurant and grassy grounds of Butchart Gardens

The Restaurant and LawnView All Sizes

A stone bridge over a stream in the Japanese Garden.

Butchart Gardens


If it's hot get some ice cream from the Gelateria in the adjacent building, which connects to the restaurant. The Italian Garden is adjacent to a broad grassy lawn.

Our visit to Butchart Gardens occurred near the end of a cruise through the Inside Passage and the day before we returned to the port of Seattle. That same day we returned to Alaska for fishing and further adventures. This colorful, intimate walkabout was a welcome hiatus from the cold drizzle and soaring grandeur of the North.

A potted plant in the Rose Garden

Rose Garden DetailsView All Sizes

Jiuzhaigou Valley Shuzheng Village Temple

Jiuzhaigou Valley

A Bridge in Geneva, Switzerland

Bridge in Geneva

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Mt. Waialeale

We buzzed up and down this hill for awhile. Some of them caught serious air.

ATV Riders

Looking over Mokuleia from the Glider

Dillingham Airfield

Pitti Palace in Florence, Italy

Pitti Palace

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Downtown Juneau

Villefranche sur Mer on the Cote d’Azur


Pavilion near Peak, Victoria Peak Garden


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Capitol of Rome

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Grassy Lawn near Peak and Pavilion, Victoria Peak Garden

Victoria Peak Garden

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