The Butchart Gardens are the gardens located near Victoria (Vancouver Island) in Brentwood Bay in British Columbia, Canada. These gardens have a floral display which is one of the finest in the world. More than a million tourists visit this place every year. These gardens are so renowned worldwide that they are given the designation of one of the ‘National Historic Site of Canada’. These gardens are now among the premier floral show gardens in the world after a century of their origin.
The founder of the Butchart Gardens is Robert Pim Butchart. He used to manufacture Portland Cement in Owen Sound, Canada. His wife, Jennie Butchart visited Canada for the limestone deposits. They got a home at the Saanich Peninsula’s base on Vancouver Islands and developed a quarry. As the limestone deposits exhausted, the wife made plants to hide that pit which expanded to become Sunken Garden. Then in the years, 1906 to 1920, they built Japanese Garden, Italian Garden and a Rose Garden.
The first see to see in these Butchart Gardens is the Sunken Garden. There are deep walls expanded all over which are the remaining parts of some old quarry. There walls support the perfectly organized beds of annuals, shurbs, flowering trees, etc. There is a Ross Fountain which is totally graceful to look at. Also, there is a central rock mound and various plantings in the Bog Garden which, together with the fountain, adds to the beauty and nature of the Sunken Garden and gives you an unforgettable and amazing view of the natural colors. The garden is very well maintained and constructed which is evident from the fact that they have a separate passage for the tourists who use wheel-chairs and separate stairs for the other tourists.
When you walk out of the Sunken Gardens, you will find yourself in the domed Children’s Pavilion and the Rose Carousel. It is a menagerie (a zoo and a park) which has 30 wooden animals along with a few chariots, all hand-carved very skillfully. This crafted carousel looks very lovely and is a very popular place of the garden for all age groups. After this, you will see two poles which are very impressively carved by the artists and craftsmen of the Tsartlip. There is a Concert Lawn which you can circle from here and walk through the dahlia garden to discover that they are one the best you could have ever seen. Near this Concert Lawn is the most loved, most liked and most appreciated section by the name Rose Garden. To greet you to this garden, you have rose-laden arches which look beautifully colorful and have luscious scent. The delphiniums are magnificent and form a boundary of the Ross garden. This garden has a vast variety and collection of Hybrid Tea Roses and Pacific Giants. But this is during the early fall or during the summers and not every day of the year. The rose variety can be known by the marks used to label each kind. Other information mentioned on the marks is about the origin and the year of registration in the American Rose Society. After you walk from here, you will see the frog fountain and a “wishing well” which is as popular as the Rose Garden. You will see Sturgeon Fountain made of Bronze and casted in Florence, once you exit from the Rose Garden.
Japanese and Italian Garden:
Another one is the Japanese Garden that is marked by the Torii Gate at the entrance. The paths in this garden are dotted with the Blue Poppies found in the Himalayas in spring season. These gentle paths take you around the ponds, bridges and streams. The most famous sight of this garden is the Japanese maples and beech trees. It was completed in 1906 by Jennie Butchart along with the assistant Isaburo Kishida who is an expert landscaper of Japan. They allow tourists to take a boat tour of the Tod Inlet during the summers which leads to the wharf at the bottom of this garden. After this garden, you will find a Star Pond with a frog fountain at the centre. Past this, you will find the Italian Garden which is another one of the Butchart Gardens. There are two arched entrances to this garden which is situated on a land that used to be the tennis court of the Butchart. It has a statue of Mercury made of bronze and also a cross-shaped pond that looks very charming.
After the Italian Garden, you reach the Mediterranean Garden after coming from a tunnel to the Piazza. There is a Florentine statute of Tacca – the Boar, made of bronze. The statute is rubbed for good luck and most of the tourists do not leave the place before experiencing the Tacca statue. from here, you can walk to the Waterwheel Square to find the Mediterranean Garden. This is a comparatively smaller garden among the Butchart Gardens. But despite the size, it has great lush and exotic plants arranged in a surprisingly wonderful manner.
All these gardens and fountains combined together are a treat for the eyes due to the natural colors and a treat for the nose due to the fresh scent.