Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, BC

The famed historic gardens dazzle with a dizzying array of color and form. Built over 100 years ago in an old limestone quarry the sunken bloom-filled outdoor rooms span various garden styles: Rose Garden, Italian Garden, Japanese Garden, and the most photographed, the Sunken Garden.

Compared to similar gardens it is not large and can be easily walked in under an hour if you don’t stop to smell the roses. But stop you will and I’m sure take many, many photographs. One of the most beautiful and well-designed gardens I have ever experienced.

At this time year, third week in May, the tulips were just finishing and the rhododendron and iris were going strong. Peonies were just starting and will probably be blooming for another couple of weeks. The roses were still a ways off.

 Keep in mind that this is a popular tourist attraction, receiving over million visitors a year with tons of parking to accommodate everyone. In fact their website claims that they never sell out. This also means it can get packed in peak summer months. During our visit (we arrived at 9 and left at 11), the parking area was less than 10% full and there were only 3 tourist buses in the bus lot. The garden grounds did not feel crowded, but don’t expect that perfect shot with no people walking into your frame, especially in the Sunken Garden.

For links to all the posts in this series see the Pacific Northwest page.

May 21, 2019