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I was lucky enough to visit Butchart Gardens in full Spring time. The early flowers like the tulips were out and many trees were blossoming. This 22ha place is a true must for flower and garden lovers.
The Gardens were an initiave of the Butchart family who owned a nearby limestone quarry as a raw material source for their family cement factory. In 1909 when the quarry was exhausted, Jenny Butchart, inspired by the Tea Garden (made by designer Isaburo Kishida of Yokohama) had the old quarry converted into a sunken garden. That first part was completed in 1921 and their hous was called "Benvenuto". More grounds were converted into different gardens up to 1939, when the couple handed over the grounds to their grandson Ian Ross.
In 1953 night illumination was installed to mark the 50th anniversary of The Gardens.
In 1964 the Ross Fountain was installed in the lower reservoir to celebrate the 60th anniversary.
In 2004, two totem poles were installed to mark the 100th anniversary and The Gardens were designated as a national historic site.
Ownership of The Gardens remains within the Butchart family. The owner and managing director since 2001 is the Butcharts' great-granddaughter Robin-Lee Clarke.
Opening hours: 9AM till roughly sunset.
Admission: CAD 16.70 through 30,20 (depending on the season) + Taxes.
More in my 14 Travelogues on the Gardens.
Updated Sep 25, 2012
Address: 800 Benvenuto Av - Brentwood Bay, BC
The best place in this area to rent kayaks is the Seahorse Cafe, in Brentwood Bay, located in the Saanich Inlet, on Vancouver Island, Britich Columbia, Canada.
My two beautiful favourite places for a wonderful kayak day-trip areTod Inlet (aka Emerald Bay) and Mackenzie Bight. Tod Inlet is part of the Gowlland-Tod Park, and has a floating interpretation center on shore, and many beautiful trails
You paddle in calm waters, and forested shores; you can find otters, seals, eagles, and a very diverse intertidal fauna. There are also many coves and beaches were you can go to shore and enjoy a picnic and a swim.
After a long day kayaking, the Seahorses cafe has a great terrace over the water where you can just flop, have a beer (or two), and soak the last rays of the day while listening to live guitar music. Staff are very friendly. The set-up fantastic.
Written Jun 16, 2007
Address: Seahorse cafe, 799 Verdier Road, Brentwood Bay
When in the Butchart Gardens, the only way to explore is to walk around the various paths. This is one of the best gardens I have ever visited, with very beautiful and colourful flowers that are well displayed and laid-out.
The Buchart Gardens is a world famous attraction not to be missed when you are at Vancouver Island. For full enjoyment of the gardens at a relaxing pace, you should set aside 1 whole day for this trip as the gardens is huge. One problem is that during lunchtime, the restuarants and eateries get very crowded, so you might want to consider having an earlier meal to avoid the crowds.
Updated Aug 8, 2009
The No. 75 bus will take you from downtown Victoria to the Butchart Gardens. This is the cheapest way to get to the gardens.
The No. 75 departs from a number of stops downtown (including the stop next to the Victoria Bus Terminal). The cost is $2.25 each way and takes about 35 - 40 minutes. More information of the route and other details are at the webpage below.
Updated Aug 8, 2009