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(This post about visiting Butchart Gardens was updated in 2019)


One of the absolute must visit places on Vancouver Island are the very beautiful Butchart Gardens. The gardens receive over 1 million visitors a year who come to admire the colourful display of flowers. Spread over 55 acres they include the Sunken Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Star Pond amongst others.

In this post you will find information to help you to plan your visit to the gardens

  • Where are Butchart Gardens?
  • What is the history of the gardens?
  • What is there to do and see at Butchart Gardens?
  • When is the firework display at Butchart Gardens?
  • How much is admission to Butchart Gardens?
  • When is the best time to visit Butchart Gardens?
  • What food and drink is available at Butchart Gardens?
  • How much time do you need at Butchart Gardens?
  • How can I travel to Butchart Gardens from Victoria?





Butchart gardens are situated 23 km north of Victoria on Vancouver Island, BC Canada.





The gardens were the idea of Jennie Butchart who (over 100 years ago) decided to design a flower garden in what was then an abandoned quarry. Her husband was a wealthy businessman who owned a cement plant on the island and the quarry had provided limestone to the business. Her vision and creativity led to the creation of what are now one of the most beautiful floral show gardens in the world.






As well as beautiful flower displays there are numerous gardens to visit across the 55 acres. The sunken garden is perhaps the most iconic of the gardens at Butchart. Enjoy a few moments admiring the view before descending into a garden filled with flowers, trees, shrubs and lawns.

If you are visiting the gardens between June and August head to the beautiful rose garden and enjoy the sight and smell of hundreds of roses. Take a picture under the Rose Arch.

The Japanese garden features lush greenery and is a tranquil setting to enjoy a few moments before heading to the Star Pond. The Pond is surrounded by beautiful flowers and in the centre you can find the frog fountain.

The Italian and Mediterranean gardens are not to be missed and stunning plants and displays.

If you are visiting the gardens in winter the former residence of the Butchart family is opened for visitors. Each room tells the story of the family and the creation of the gardens from the former quarry. In the summer there is a display which gives an insight into the history of the gardens too but the house is not open for visitors.

In Spring don’t miss the Spring Prelude Garden which features daffodils and tulips intermingled with tropical plants and orchids.


The star pond at Butchart Gardens



The firework display is held every Saturday night during the summer months. These are very popular so if you plan to park at the gardens head there early to ensure you get a space. Take a blanket to sit on and make sure to get a seat on firework lawn before the show starts as it becomes very full!

I would suggest visiting the gardens, having something to eat (High Tea) then heading over to the Concert Lawn for some live entertainment before moving over to the Firework lawn prior to the show. The fireworks only start when it is dark which can be after 10 pm in the summer months so again check on the website for anticipated times.



I am sure you will enjoy your visit to Butchart Gardens whenever you go – it really has so much to offer during every season. It was  certainly one of the highlights of our trip to Vancouver Island and I highly recommend visiting even if it is on a day trip from Vancouver.


Author: Tracy

Over the last 50 years I have lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to many more. I enjoy exploring and learning about new places and meeting people on my travels. History, reading, photography, nature and wildlife are my interests and I am ALWAYS researching and planning my next trip (preferably by train)

With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, I share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help YOU travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Come and join me as I travel the world one country (and train journey) at a time!

This post may contain compensated links. Please read our disclaimer for additional information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

42 thoughts on “A guide to visiting Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island

  1. alex says:

    I’ve never been in the Glasshouses in Edinburgh’s Botanical Gardens but my husbands gamily live in Edinburgh so I’m going to put this on my list for the next time we vist

  2. Angie (FeetDoTravel) says:

    What a fabulous post! Botanical gardens are gorgeous and you have really done them justice with your photos and check out the blue sky in Edinburgh! Someone was smiling on you that day, oh and the fireworks in Vancouver, wow, I wasn’t expecting you to say you had seen that at the gardens! I love all the information you have provided as well, thank you, it means we have everything we need to know so I have pinned it for future reference! #feetdotravel

    • Tracy Collins says:

      Thank-you Angie. The gardens were so lovely as are Singapore and Kirstenbosch in my next post – all stunning but so different. The firework show at Butchart Gardens is fabulous and if you get the chance I would definitely go when they are on.

  3. SamH Travels says:

    I always love to visit pretty gardens and these photos show me that I have to to go to both of these. I have pinned these and I look forward to the post on sland Singapore Botanical Gardens and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

  4. LISA says:

    I love visiting gardens and have been to quite a few. I enjoy them tremendously. Butchart is on my list. Your pictures captured the beauty of these places. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Helena says:

    I can’t believe I missed this when I was in Edinburgh! Great details on the post and beautiful pictures. Will definitely add it to my list for next time.

  6. Kreete says:

    Wow look at these photos! They are all amazing. The gardens in this post look stunning! I love spending time in the nature and when ever there is a botanical garden around, I try to make time to check it out. Australia is great like that, I bet you are going to love it here!

    • Tracy Collins says:

      We love Kew too and I cover Kirstenbosch and Singapore in my next post – Singapore is beautiful especially the orchid garden. Definitely worth a trip – though Singapore is amazing!

    • Tracy Collins says:

      I have a picture of me and my daughter at Kew when she was about 10 months old – great place to take her for a stroll in the pushchair. Now twenty years later I still love them and my daughter loved the orchid gardens in Singapore. Great places to visit!

  7. Tracy Collins says:

    I love flowers and the more the better for me too! I rather like orchids so Edinburgh and definitely Singapore deliver those in abundance!I too would love to visit Keukenhof – it would be amazing!

  8. Ali (WanderingFeline) says:

    Beautiful. I love finding gardens when I’m travelling – especially in the least likely places. My favourite is possibly the botanical gardens in Singapore and Quito has a surprisingly lovely one too. Look forward to part 2!

  9. Pingback: A guide to visiting the Singapore National Orchid Garden

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