A trip to Vancouver Island is not complete without a visit to the Butchart Gardens. Located in Brentwood Bay – not far from Victoria – this famous landmark is home to a cluster of beautiful gardens showcasing hundreds of varieties of flowers. . It’s one of the main attractions on Vancouver Island and so popular that holidaymaker spending time in Vancouver for a few days often take day tours to the island (it’s also a popular attraction for pre and post Alaska cruisers). Before you visit this must-see attraction swat up on a few key facts.
1. It is a National Historic Site of Canada
Butchart Gardens was declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 2004. The gardens are considered to be one of the best examples of a beautiful garden structure in Canada. 20th Century features are still eloquently preserved, and the transformation of a limestone quarry into a sunken garden is considered an exceptional creative achievement.
2. The gardens receive close to a million visitors each year
Making it one of the most popular attractions on Vancouver Island.
3. The gardens are still owned by the founding family
The current owner and managing director is Robin-Lee Clarke, the great-granddaughter of the founding couple.
4. Epcot was inspired by the gardens
In 1982 the Butchart Gardens was used as the inspiration for the Canadian pavilion at Epcot in Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
5. The wild boar sculpture was cast in Florence
It was purchased on a trip to the Mediterranean in 1973 and was originally cast in Florence by Ferdinando Marinelli Artistic Foundry. It is a replica of a 1620 bronze cast by Pietro Tacca.
6. One of the sculptures was a 50th anniversary present
The “Circle of Doves” was purchased by the founder Ann-Lee Ross and gifted to her husband Ian in 1991 to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
7. It’s a lovely place to tie the knot
The cosy indoor garden is perfect for couples looking for an intimate wedding ceremony. The gardens have three packages available so happy couples can pick between a simple ceremony or including a reception and dinner for their special day.
8. There are six gardens to explore
A full day can be spent exploring the grounds of Butchart Gardens. At the entrance visitors will find the original Sunken Garden, progressing on to find the Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Italian Garden and the Mediterranean Garden.
9. There’s ice-skating in the winter
For the month of December Waterwheel Square turns into an outdoor ice-skating rink. With the garden decorated in Christmas lights this is the perfect way to spend a crisp winter evening.
10. There’s nightly entertainment
Butchart Gardens is home to a massive concert lawn that is brought to life every night during the summer with local talent. Audiences can enjoy jazz bands, ballet performances, modern folk music and more as artists grace the stage to entertain in this beautiful venue.