Butchart Gardens is located on Vancouver Island in British Columbia in Canada. Visitors to the Garden will be treated to colorful blooming flowers in the springs, rich hues of color in the summer, the fall russet and gold colors, and spectacular Christmas decorations and peacefulness in the winter. Robert Pim Butchart developed a limestone quarry and constructed a cement factory on Tod Inlet on Vancouver Island in 1904.

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History

Jennie Butchart served as the chemist for the company. The Butchart family built their family home near the quarry and planted sweet peas and rose bushes.

Over the years the limestone deposits were exhausted. Jennie Butchart decided to design a garden for the pit. She gathered top soil from the nearby farmland and brought it to the quarry horse-drawn cart. The soil was used to line the floor of the pit. Soon the quarry bloomed into the Sunken Garden of today.

During the years between 1906 and 1929, the Butchart family designed a Japanese Garden on the beachside area of their residence, an Italian Garden on what was once their tennis court, and a Rose Garden. Robert Butchart was proud of his wife’s vision and collected birds from many places in the world to go with her work. Ducks were kept in the Star Pond, peacocks strutted around on the front lawn, and numerous intricate birdhouses were found in all the gardens.

Robert and Jennie Butchart gifted The Gardens to their grandson Ian Ross on his twenty-first birthday. He worked to make them self-sustaining and transformed them into a destination that was known internationally.

Attractions

The Butchart Gardens offers attractions throughout every season of the year.

The Five Seasons- The Gardens go through changes, each as spectacular as the last throughout the year.

· Spring- Visitors in the spring will bear witness to the thousands flowering shrubs, bulbs, and trees blooming. Enjoy the refreshing scents and fresh colors.

· Summer- Visitors in the summer will see dramatic displays of flowers when visiting during the day. At night visitors will be treated to the addition of refined plays of shadow and light called “Night Illuminations.” Concerts and Saturday Night Fireworks Show are also available during the summer.

· Autumn- The Gardens feature the reds, golds, and russets of Maples during the fall. This is the best season to visit the Japanese Garden. November offers visitors the option to book a Greenhouse tour which explores the production of the greenhouses at The Gardens.

· Winter- The temperate climate of Canada in British Columbia offers visitors the chance to view the refined beauty of trees and shrubs and flowers such as snowdrops and hellebore.

· Christmas- Christmas is considered a season because of the spectacular decorations and displays during the holidays.

Experiences/ Activities

The Garden provides a variety of experiences and activities for the whole family to enjoy throughout the year.

· The Children’s Pavilion- The Children’s pavilion contains the Rose Carousel and a room for hosting events such as birthday parties. It also includes environmentally friendly features such as natural lighting, passive ventilation, water-efficient plumbing, and an irrigation system that doubles as a heat source.

· Family Walk- This is a self-guided tour that is designed for families that have young children. The tour includes extra information on the worksheets provided. All garden paths are stroller friendly and there are areas for changing babies and benches throughout the gardens.

· Boat Tour- In the summer a forty-five-minute natural tour is offered to explore the wildlife and history of Tod Inlet as well as the waters of Brentwood Bay.

· Night Illumination- Nighttime at The Garden during the summer months includes refined plays on shadow and light in the garden. This complements the various entertainment shows that are put on in the summer months.

· Greenhouse Tour- During the fall at the Gardens a Greenhouse Tour is offered where visitors are allowed a glimpse behind the scenes at the greenhouse facilities.

· Spring Prelude Indoor Garden- This garden is open during the winter months and includes flagstone paths, witch hazels and flower cherries, beds of tulips and daffodils.

· Historical Display- The Butchart residence is available to be toured during the winter months.

· Ice Skating- During the Christmas season, the Garden boasts an outdoor ice skating rink for the whole family to enjoy.

· Saturday Night Fireworks- During the summer months, a fireworks show is put on every Saturday at the Garden.

· Summer Evening Entertainment­- Various shows are put on during summer evenings for visitors to enjoy.

Shopping

The Seed and Gift Store at Butchart Gardens is open every day. It is stocked with a variety of items.

Dining

There are several dining options at Buchart Gardens including The Dining Room, The Blue Poppy Restaurant, and the Coffee Shop.

800 Benvenuto Avenue Brentwood Bay, BC V8M 1J8, Phone: 866-652-4422

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