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“Doesn't live up to hype”

The Butchart Gardens
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Butchart Gardens Tour from Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: These internationally acclaimed floral display gardens and National Historic Site of Canada started over 100 years ago and remain privately owned by the family. Jennie Butchart wanted to make her husband's depleted limestone quarry look better and the result is the Sunken Garden. Other gardens include the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden and the Italian Garden. The gardens are meticulously maintained and provide a riot of colour for much of the year. During the summer, special lighting subtly illuminates the gardens, musical entertainment takes place on the Concert Lawn, and there are ten spectacular Saturday night Firework Shows. The Magic of Christmas season also has beautiful lighting and evening entertainment, and an outdoor skating rink. Spring offers hundreds of thousand flowering bulbs and Autumn is the time for dahlias, chrysanthemums and fall colours. The Gardens is open daily, year round.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Lockers / storage, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access
Reviewed 19 August 2014

I have visited the gardens 3 times now, all in various times of summer (June, July, August) and it is consistently good, but not great. This last time (Aug. 2), the weather was quite warm (around 90 F), and the gardens showed the effects of the heat. It is always crowded, and this time was no different. The fact that it is in an old quarry gives it much more visual appeal than a flat garden. However, it is over-hyped, and doesn't live up to that standard.

Wear comfortable shoes, and be prepared for either rain, lots of sun, or both. An umbrella works well for either. Part of the garden has no shade at all nor shelter if it rains. I would say bring a small day pack or backpack with water, an umbrella, and snacks. Allow at least an hour-two hours if this is your 1st visit. Be prepared for lots of steps to navigate.

There are food vendors, a gift shop, and ample public toilets. Seating is at a premium, however, as there are a lot of other visitors with whom to compete.

Thank capitollover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"sunken garden"
in 944 reviews
"japanese garden"
in 679 reviews
"butchart gardens"
in 1,789 reviews
"rose garden"
in 609 reviews
"blue poppy"
in 92 reviews
"fireworks show"
in 85 reviews
"flowers and plants"
in 93 reviews
"full bloom"
in 210 reviews
"limestone quarry"
in 134 reviews
"gift shop"
in 408 reviews
"christmas lights"
in 131 reviews
"dining room"
in 167 reviews
"vancouver island"
in 352 reviews
"water features"
in 83 reviews
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in 99 reviews
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in 234 reviews
"take your time"
in 110 reviews

5,898 - 5,902 of 8,904 reviews

Reviewed 19 August 2014

A lovely drive from Victoria to the 22 hectare gardens of this 53 hectare estate. A beautifully landscaped series of gardens always with an element of surprise coming from one vista to another.
The Sunken Garden with the Ross Fountain, Rose Garden & Arbour prolific with blooms the colours of an artists palette. The Japanese Garden so very peaceful & near the Sturgeon Fountain. Then there is the Italian Garden with the Star pond close to the Dining Room.
So much to absorb & appreciate! Wonderful mature trees . Such magnificent Arbutus & Dogwoods in flower!
Hanging Begonias, Geraniums & Lobelia, Fuschias, Delphinium, Sweet Peas in profusion.
Interspersed are well chosen sculptures.

Take the walk to the Boat Ramp for some specially beautiful vistas!

Be sure to read the history of the Gardens that Jenny Butchart developed from a limestone quarry that supplied her husband Robert's nearby Portland cement plant.
Extensive overseas travel enabled the couple to collect many plants & bring home.

There are ample eateries from formal to informal, the gardens even do a Lunch on Your Knees box. Or bring your own picnic.
A shop is well stocked with gift ideas.

Plan to spend the day here & luxuriate in nature's beauty & be grateful that Jenny had such a vision!

Thank Clio H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2014

We were hoping to enjoy these gardens on an excursion from our Cruise ship and were terribly disappointed we weren't able to enjoy without a very loud and quite annoying Jazz band playing live. No matter where we were in the gardens the music was overpowering and really took away from our enjoyment. I don't hate music, and I love Jazz -- but there is a time and a place for a woman screaming into a microphone amplified to eleven. Trying to enjoy and peaceful stroll through some magnificent gardens is neither the time nor the place. We kept an on going joke with our group, "last song please! let it be the LAST soooonnngg". But now - she keeps on screeching and they keep on turing up the volume. It would have been very nice to visit and enjoy the nature in peace. Check ahead if you're going to make sure it's not music hour. YUCK.

1  Thank Laurenantics
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2014

I have had a visit to Butchart Gardens on my bucket list for more years than I care to remember and once there I was not disappointed. We went in early July and the grounds were a mass of colour. The grounds were much larger than I expected. Originally started in 1906 by Jenny Butchart in her husband's exhausted limestone quarry. The quarry gives the garden a unique almost mystical feel, especially the Sunken Garden. My favourite was the Rose garden, the abundance of variety and the layout was very creative. The Italians garden in very Tuscany, with the small window boxes and super large hanging baskets, in and around the Cafe' area. The Japanese garden is starting to look a little worn. The grounds are immense with a fireworks viewing area, large concert stage with lawns, Fountains, Mediterranean Garden ( outside of the main entrance) Restaurants and Cafe's with a very large gift store. There is a small boat tours in the adjacent bay next to the Japanese Garden, for $14. There's so much more to see than I have stated here. I really wanted to come back at night to see the garden all lit up and the fireworks, but my schedule would not allow me; next time. There is lots of parking and the staff were tremendous.

Thank Nickpea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 August 2014 via mobile

Pretty awesome gardens but bring your checkbook! Nearly $100 for family of 3. Sunken garden is amazing. Should allow more access to the grass (what grass is for, yo).

1  Thank Ryan j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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