Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Butchart Gardens ~ Benvenuto

Welcome to Butchart every day of the year.

Butchart Gardens is a National Historical Site of Canada...and has been in bloom for over one-hundred years. We visited the gardens on our honeymoon...and now returned to get a better view on our recent anniversary.

Located near Victoria...the gardens are the legacy of Jenny Butchart...whose lifelong project was to create a magnificent garden in barren limestone quarry. The Butchart home (originally called Benvenuto ~ Italian for welcome) and gardens are being maintained...just as they always were.

Jenny Butchart started her project with sweet peas...and a rose bush. Sweet peas were still growing alongside the original home. and trees...fifty-five acres of stunning colour.

Here's what we noticed though...just like at home...the gardens can't be ignored. Even show gardens have weeds that need attention!

The famous sunken garden was the heart of Jenny's project.

Arbours...for roses...

...for vines

...for hanging plants....made for a most pleasant walkabout. We had supper in the gardens...and enjoyed a wonderful open air jazz concert on the lawns in the evening. The hours slipped away unnoticed!

It seems that not everyone was as enthusiastic about gardens as we were...

...and chose to check out early.

And on another bench sat a tour bus driver...passing the time away...and wishing he was home. We chatted awhile...he had seen enough of gardens...enough of casinos...enough of the Grand Canyon...and would like nothing more than to sleep in his own bed. But he did concede that this garden was a beautiful place to pass the time.

As we finished our tour of the gardens...we got a glimpse of the inlet below. Could there be a better location for a destination garden? They come by boat...bus...or car...over a million visitors every year. What would Jenny say now?

We say it's the perfect place to go on your 38th wedding anniversary...or any anniversary...or for no reason at all. It's amazing...and you will be glad you went.

As we left Butchart Gardens...the moon showed up for our parting shot!


  1. It is one of the most beautiful places, any time of the year.
    If you look through the trees, towards the boats in the photo of the inlet you can just about see where we had dinner last week, on the floating dock of a wee restaurant perched on the inlet.

  2. We too went there on our honeymoon 35 years ago and it really doesn't look like it has changed a bit. Still very beautiful and a great place to wile away the day.

  3. I'm amazed you got so many photos without dozens of people in them :0)
    Happy belated Anniversary!!

  4. Butchart Gardens. That' takes us down memory lane...Judy, way back when I pushed you in a wheelchair to see how fast we could cruise through the alleys' without getting caught....

    I love sweet peas. My mom always grew them...They are so delicate.

  5. We went to Butchart Gardens on our honeymoon as well. That is so long ago that I faintly remember it(smile)..going on 42 years.
    Glad for these pics Judy!

  6. I'd love to see Buchart Gardens one day. However, I think I like the name "Benvenuto" better, as it strolling in such a beautiful garden would make me feel very welcome.

    I like those arbors ... it must be so cool walking under the vines and the one with the roses is so beautiful!

    It does look like your 38 anniversary was trip was a dream vacation!

  7. My kids just went there on their honeymoon 2 weeks ago. They also stayed in Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler, and Canmore--had a fantastic 2 weeks. It was his first time seeing North America, and what a wonderful way to do it.
    Happy Anniversary to you.

  8. Judy, I enjoyed your photos of Butchart Gardens1 Such a fabulous place, isn't it. I can still remember it from the only time I was there, in 1988! I'm so glad you also showed us a peek through the trees at the inlet...I remember that view too and loved it.

    Congratulations on your 38th! That's very wonderful. It's only our 25th this month, but we got a late start.

  9. The last time I was in butchart gardens was the day after my high school grad. I wasn't allowed to stay out later than my regular 11 curfew so my parents told me that if I was home on time. . .they'd pay for me and Terry to go to the island for a day trip .. .

    Oh yes. ..we enjoyed those gardens .. .and we didn't snooze on the benches either. . .

    Maybe we should go back too.

  10. Butchart Gardens looks like a place I would love to visit. The sunken garden is beautiful. Happy belated anniversary.

  11. Oh, Judy. This place is absolutely gorgeous. It seems like a fairytale.

    Congratulations on number 38. We will be celebrating 39 next month.

  12. The Queen of the Gardens! I first visited when I was 16, and have been back once since. I have a print on my dresser of the Butchart house and garden. B. and I agree...a first visit to the garden in life changing.

  13. Judy can I just say I love your blog. Adventures with your grands,family and Butchart Gardens to boot. You have such a way with sharing about your life.

    I think I might have told you this but we went to Butchart Gardens too for our honeymoon. Very nice seeing the recent pictures...and about those sweet peas? I think they are my favorite.

  14. Recently, while sorting through my mom's things, I came across the photos of her trip to the Butchart Gardens. She and my dad went many years ago with their dearest friends. My mom is the only one who survives so the pictures are very dear to me. It looks like a beautiful place. I would love to see it myself someday. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary and thank you for taking us along with you on this lovely visit.

  15. As a teen I was one of the gals picking the weeds. Mr Butchard himself was always very encouraging to the staff, complementing us many times a summer....a sign of a good boss. I also directed traffic on busy days and was a tour guide in the gardens one summer when the double decker buses came through. My Dad drove the buses in summer and my older sister was a guide through the city of Victoria. It was wonderful. I can still taste the hot chocolate we sipped on during our breaks on the cooler evenings. Kathy

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'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
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