I went on vacation in British Columbia with my family this summer. I debated whether my kids would find the Butchart Gardens a snooze. This is no reflection on the gardens, but rather the attention span of my crew – if it’s not on a screen, it must be boring. I was pleased to find that even an historic, established garden can elicit plenty of “oohs” and “ahhhs” from this electronic-laden generation.
Butchart Gardens is one of the jewels of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The Butchart family originally came to Vancouver Island from Ontario intending to establish a cement plant and utilize the abundance of limestone found in Tod Inlet. The Butcharts were successful, but the availability of limestone was being exhausted, leaving unsightly pits on the property. Eventually, Jennie Butchart, the matriarch, decided to create something beautiful and the gardens were established – first as a hobby and later as a destination visited by more than a million people each year.
The gardens are expertly organized and arranged, inspired by the world travels of the Butcharts in the early 1900s. The gardens employ 50 gardeners and boast a landscaped abundance of 55 acres. Armed with cameras and phones alike, tourists and Canadians attempt to capture the beauty of the property which features native totem poles, exotic plants, Zen garden spaces and English refinement. A handy map that you receive once you’ve paid your entry fees shows how to navigate through the property. The most recognizable space is probably the Sunken Garden where the original pits from the quarry have been transformed. There are also some restaurants and high tea served on the property. This is a truly unique and diverse destination.
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Guest Perspective Written by Lane Forest Products Marketing Manager Lisa MacMaster.