The Magnificent Butchart Gardens of British Columbia

One of the most famous attractions in British Columbia is the stunning Butchart Gardens located near Victoria on Vancouver Island. This former limestone quarry has been transformed into a spectacular 55-acre garden that is considered one of the most beautiful gardens in the world.

The Butchart Gardens started in 1904 when Jennie Butchart, the wife of a prominent cement manufacturer, had the idea to turn the exhausted limestone quarry on their property into a beautiful garden. Over the last 115 years, successive generations of the Butchart family have expanded and cared for the gardens, creating a lush oasis featuring a stunning array of flowers, plants, and trees from around the world.

The Sunken Garden is the centerpiece of Butchart Gardens, planted within a former quarry site. It features a massive collection of bedding plants and flowers that provide colorful blooms from March through October. Some of the highlights include the Rose Garden, with over 2,100 roses, the Japanese Garden, with a traditional Japanese tea house, and the Mediterranean Garden, with exotic plants, statues, and a Venetian-style waterway.

Butchart Gardens has become world famous for its amazing light displays during the winter holidays. The Magic of Christmas event from November through January features spectacular outdoor light displays with more than a million twinkling lights amidst the lush green gardens and colorful winter blooms. The light displays, along with special holiday music, dining, and other events have become a cherished family tradition for both locals and visitors.

If you visit British Columbia, Butchart Gardens should be at the top of your must-see list. It is open every day of the year, with the longest hours from March through October. You can easily spend hours strolling the paths, enjoying a meal at one of their restaurants, and marveling at the beauty and colors on display season after season. Whether blanketed in snow, bursting with spring blooms, or lit up for the holidays, the Butchart Gardens remain an iconic symbol of natural beauty that should not be missed.

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