Sunday, December 30, 2012



Spread over an area of 50 acres, near Victoria on Vancouver Island, the Butchart Gardens are world famous for keeping it vibrating all throughout the year from the summers to the chilly winters.

A while ago, I visited the Butchart Gardens in British Columbia, one of Canada’s great public gardens. I had heard that the rare blue Himalayan poppy was in bloom, and who can resist that? No less than heaven, the breath-taking views kept me you stunned for some time when I entered. It is hard to put into words just how beautiful the gardens are and the brochure doesn’t exaggerate when it says, ‘ravishing floral splendour greets you at every turn.’ If you happen to visit Vancouver Island I would highly recommend this especially if you appreciate a lazy afternoon strolling the paths, enjoying the scenery, and simply relaxing! The Butchart Gardens has become a year round destination welcoming visitors from all over the world and has been recognized by The Gardens being named as a National Historic Site of Canada on the occasion of its Centennial Year in 2004.


As the story goes, one day Mrs. Butchart looked at the ruins of a depleted limestone quarry left over from her husband’s business, and she saw a garden. It took years to transform the hole in the ground into a place of transcendent beauty as this garden was her love child. She conceived an unprecedented plan for refurbishing the bleak pit. From farmland nearby she requisitioned tons of top soil, had it brought to Tod Inlet by horse and cart, and used it to line the floor of the abandoned quarry. Little by little, under her supervision, the abandoned quarry blossomed into the spectacular Sunken Garden. Tales of the fabulous gardens spread as fast as the gardens themselves. From the beginning, friends, acquaintances, and even complete strangers were welcomed as they came to marvel at the horticultural masterpiece. Today Butchart Gardens is still in the family and tended to by fifty gardeners who keep it in bloom year round.

Mr. and Mrs. Butchart named their home ‘Benvenuto’, the Italian for ‘welcome’, and they basked in the joy their gardens gave to others. Until numbers made it impossible, tea was served to all who arrived. In 1915 alone, it is reported that tea was served to 18,000 people. As for me I did sample their High Tea at the Blue Poppy Restaurant near the Historical Display set out in the Butchart Residence add colour and interest for visitors…though of course now one has to pay for it. Descendants of the family that created The Butchart Gardens hope to continue the legacy and tradition of ‘Benvenuto’ for years to come.

BEST WAY TO REACH- Fly from Delhi to Vancouver via London with Jet Airways. A great idea is to book in the World Traveler plus…it’s premium economy but maximum comfort in a little extra price.You can carry 2 bags of 23 Kg each even in economy class. You can reach Butchart Gardens from Vancouver and Victoria on several bus tours and also by public transit from Victoria or the Swartz Bay ferry terminal.
TIMINGS: Open year round, at 9am every day except for Christmas, on which day the garden opens at 1pm instead. Park closing times vary depending on the season, ranging from 3:30pm through 10:00pm.
PRICE: Admission rates also vary depending on the season. The adult ticket prices, for example, can range as high as $28.10 during peak summer seasons.