Spring at Butchart

You haven't experienced spring until you've been to Victoria BC's Butchart Gardens in May.

You haven’t really experienced spring until you’ve been to Victoria, BC’s Butchart Gardens in May. I’ve been to many well-known spring gardens – been to Keukenhof, in Holland, twice – and Butchart is equal to that tourism spectacle.

JLC_0511With 55 acres of gardens, 900 bedding plant varieties, 50 full-time gardeners, there’s plenty to see for their more than one million visitors a year. The garden was started in a quarry more than 100 years ago, and has flourished ever since.

For this post, I’ll focus just on the Spring display of tulips and flowering shrubs throughout the park. There’s plenty more to see – a Japanese Garden, Rose garden, the Sunken Garden (the old quarry), an Italian Garden, and a Mediterranean Garden. And plenty of water features throughout each.

The gardens themselves are a ferry ride and drive away from Vancouver, on Vancouver Island – a total of about three hours time between the two. The nearest big city city is actually Victoria (about a half hour away). The gardens are actually in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia.

This trip had us a few days in Whistler, then a beautiful drive and car ferry ride to Butchart, a day in Victoria, and a few days spent mostly on bikes in Vancouver visiting the Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden, and the Nitobe Memorial Garden, and the UBC Botanical Garden. I’ve posted about the Nitobe Garden here.

butchart staircase spring victoria
The Sunken Garden’s overlook staircase.
Accommodation Recommendation

We stayed at the swanky Brentwood Bay Resort & Wellness Center. It was, quite honestly, one of the nicest hotels rooms my wife and I had ever stayed in. And that’s saying something – we’ve traveled all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe and more. She works for an airline and has stayed at hotels all over the world. Few rooms stand out for us like these rooms (and their flute of hard cider at the check-in desk and homemade chocolate chip cookie waiting in the room for us.

The onsite restaurant had one of the best meals we’ve had on trips too. We were there just off season and the rates worked for us. But if you’re able – treat yourself! Butchart is just a short car ride away from the Resort. We want to get back out to Butchart to enjoy the gardens during a different season, and we’d stay no where else!

Great Garden Garbage Cans

I did write one previous post on Butchart Gardens – The Garbage Cans of Butchart Gardens, I was taken with the plantings ON the tops of the garbage cans. It did show me that they’re a creative bunch and that small garden details mean something to the gardeners. They’ll make your garbage cans seem inadequate.

Rather than blather, here’s some photographic evidence of spring at Butchart…

Jim Charlier is an advertising designer/photographer/crafter with a serious gardening problem. He's co-written a garden design book featuring the funky, quirky and fun gardens by the gardeners of Buffalo titled "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" (; he writes a long-standing garden blog (; led the largest garden tour in America, Garden Walk Buffalo; has written for, or provided photography for dozens of magazines and books; has made presentations and participated in panel discussions on garden design and garden tourism nationally and internationally.

2 comments on “Spring at Butchart

  1. Ingeborg van Zuiden

    Wow, absolutely stunning pictures and garden! I wish I could visit that garden once in my life. So beautiful! True art! Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The RBG Rock Garden

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