The Butchart Gardens

Over a million people visit The Butchart Gardens near Victoria BC every year. Four of those are my wife and I who make two visits annually: spring or summer and, our favorite, a winter visit in the Christmas season.

Since the summer months offer a dazzling array of colourful floral displays, concerts, fireworks and evening lights why should a winter visit appeal so much? Let’s take a look at what the Butchart Gardens offers year-round for visitors to Vancouver Island: what they call the 5 Seasons.

Massed tulips herald spring at the Gardens as Victoria’s mild climate does its work. A million bedding plants from their greenhouses come to life. It’s as if nature is smiling again.

Sooo much to see and do. Each themed garden is bursting with colour. Enjoy evening concerts followed by the summer illuminations. Saturday Fireworks sharpen the senses and afternoon high tea soothes them.

Autumnal colours are best appreciated in the Japanese gardens in Victoria. The Japanese maples here are the centrepieces, in yellows, oranges, reds and browns.

The gardens rest a little and quiet descends; a peaceful time to visit. Then there’s the Spring Prelude Indoor Garden and the Historical Display in the Benvenuto house.

The Magic of Christmas is that 5th season, a winter wonderland where millions of lights take the place of the flowers. The Twelve Days of Christmas displays take us through the gardens in December and early January.

There are many other gardens of Victoria to explore but if you want to be dazzled year-round the Butchart Gardens will be sure to delight.

The Magic of Christmas

The Magic of Christmas is a highlight for many of us in the Victoria area as well as those visiting southern Vancouver Island in December and early January. It is my very favourite time at The Butchart Gardens when my wife and I take a friend or two to wander around the familiar yet magical gardens.

It is not really gardens that we’ve come to see but the Butchart Gardens winter lights, tens of thousands of them. They transform 50 acres into a winter wonderland (and that’s not hype) at Benvenuto, the Butcharts family home.

Younger children will be entranced by the miniature train scene and most ages will enjoy skating on the outdoor ice rink. Then children of all ages will not want to miss a ride on the Rose Carousel.  And that’s before you set off to explore the gardens. The highlight is always the Sunken Garden, with the Rose Garden, Star Pond, Italian Garden and many other delights along the way including the Twelve Days of Christmas displays. My favourite is the eight maids a-milking.

The Magic of Christmas is open at The Butchart Gardens from the beginning of December until 6th January each winter. Should your visit coincide with one of Victoria’s rare snowfalls this is even more magical.