Butchart trees

Over the course of its 100 plus years The Butchart Gardens have been pruned, shaped and groomed to an incomparable visual panorama.

Butchart lawn and trees

There are lawns, of course, framed with flowers and trees.

Butchart pink tree

Everywhere there are swaths of color. It’s an inspiration to take in such a vibrant springtime tribute to the beauty of living plants.

Butchart Ross fountain 1

At one end of the Sunken Garden at The Butchart Gardens is a fine excuse to sit on a bench and be entertained. The Ross fountain is a mesmerizing water feature.

Butchart Ross fountain 2

The fountain cycles through an amazing display of patterns. It was created and installed in 1964 for the Gardens’ 60th anniversary by the grandson of the Butcharts, Ian Ross. The family still owns and operates the Gardens.

Butchart Ross fountain 3

The water flows through so many different movements it’s hard to know when a cycle has completed. Even with so much more of the beautiful gardens to take in it’s hard to pull away from this hypnotic view.

Butchart path

The Sunken Garden at The Butchart Gardens is probably one of the larger areas in terms of space. Like most areas in the gardens, anywhere a visitor looks from a pathway exposes a new area of panorama, either near or at a distance. Gardeners were out in force when we arrived in the morning, raking, pruning, and primping the grounds. Nearly a million visitors a year come to Butchart.

Butchart four tulips

It rained the day before we visited.

Butchart sunken garden pano

Here’s the chief reason for our recent visit to Victoria: The Butchart Gardens. We’d never been there in spring and I was longing for tulips, lots of tulips. After winter’s grey palette, Butchart was an explosive celebration of spring.

Butchart colorful pond

The Butchart Gardens are 55 acres reclaimed from a limestone quarry and are designated a National Historic Site of Canada. They are the result of over 100 years of loving care and stunning design. The Sunken Garden I’m showing you today starts with a lookout (in the top photo). Ponds reflect some of the spectacular rhododendrons, willows, and other foliage in the shot above.

Butchart layers

The gardens have paths that wind through beds planted with masses of flowers. In spring it’s daffodils, tulips, fragrant hyacinths, forget-me-nots, and more. Beautifully shaped trees and larger shrubs complete the picture.

I think I can honestly say that this is one of my favorite places in the world. I’ll show you more of these incomparable gardens in the coming days.

Emily Carr sculpture

Canadian artist and writer Emily Carr has a permanent monument in Victoria on Government Street. As a mid-20th century artist, she was a rare woman to gain prominence and her interest in Aboriginal peoples was also unique in its time. Her love of nature is captured with exuberance in her paintings. She is portrayed here with one of her dogs and her monkey Woo. Carr’s home in Victoria, a boarding house that supported her in her later years, is preserved and open to the public during summer months. Those of us visiting Victoria when it’s not open can see Emily Carr on the street.