We visit the Butchart Gardens every week because we live close by and have bought a pass, which is ideal for locals. Don't be deterred by the price. It's worth it. $28 is really not a lot when you consider that it takes 70 gardeners in the high seasons to maintain this beautiful spot that has been converted from a limestone quarry to what it is now. The highlights for me include the quarry area--take photos from the small building at the top and the open areas all around the top looking down. Watch for the topiary shapes of cougar, bear and deer around the garden. They are hidden delights. The Rose Garden is magnificent. The Carousel is for everyone. Have a ride! The totems are treasures and were carved by natives in the main entrance area, then moved to a point near the Carousel. The Italian and Japanese gardens are wonderful, too. The fireworks are on Saturday and require some planning to get in there early enough for parking, or get there by bus. They are not included in the annual pass and another tip, other than getting there early would be to bring something to sit on the grassy slope as well as appropriate clothing for weather. Butchart Gardens has something for us to see every week that we go. Take your time to people watch, to notice what is coming up, how they hide what is going out of season. If you are new to the area, follow the map provided by gate staff. It's easy to miss sections. There are wonderful tree collections from all over the world, even a palm tree section near the entrance. Don't go and hurry through--though you can do it in an hour if you have to-- this is a place to be savoured.
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