Butchart Gardens: A Canadian National Treasure

Butchart Gardens Fuchsia

Fuchsia housed in the former aviary

It’s hard to overdo the superlatives when describing Butchart Gardens. Magnificently creative and stunningly beautiful gardens attract a million visitors a year. Spending time among the flora was one of the highlights of my recent trip to Vancouver Island.

I spent the day at the gardens with fellow blogger extraordinaire, Boomdeeadda and her cousin, Sherri, also a blogger at Smackiland . We spent hours wandering the gardens, snapping photos, and laughing like school girls. Laughter is contagious when in the company of good friends. Looking back, it’s hard to say what was so funny, but we belly laughed throughout the day, making the garden experience all the richer. I highly recommend it. Even the bus ride back to our hotel was a hoot, but I’ll leave that story for another day.

butchart gardens sunken garden

Sunken garden and a couple of happy bloggers

According to our brochure

The Butchart Gardens cover more than 22 ha (55 acres) on a 53 ha (130 acre) estate. It began from an idea Jennie Butchart had to beautify the worked-out limestone quarry which had supplied her husband Robert Pim Butchart’s nearby Portland cement plant.
The gardens continually expanded over the years to become the world-famous Sunken, Japanese, Rose, Italian and Mediterranean in existence today.

You can read the full story of Jennie Butchart’s creative vision here.

In addition to the gardens, we enjoyed a high tea in the Butchart’s former residence.

butchart gardens tea room

Butchart home, tea room and menu

We rounded out the evening with a magnificent fireworks display viewed from one of the lawns.

fireworks show at Butchart Gardens

Trees on fire? Nope. Just an amazing fireworks show

What a day!

Here are a few additional photos (I took over 100!):

Butchart Gardens near entrance

Near the garden entrance

Eryngium (Sea Holly)

Eryngium (Sea Holly)


One of an extraordinary display of Dahlia

Napa, California Earthquake

As many of you know, Napa, California experienced an Magnitude 6.0 earthquake early Sunday morning. We felt the shaking as far south as San Jose, but the epicenter was 104 miles (167 kilometers) away. One young child was seriously injured, but so far no fatalities. Other reported injuries were minor. I’ve attached a link with earthquake footage, charts, articles, etc. If you watch the first video, may I suggest you do so with the volume on low or off.

Earthquake Report, Napa Valley