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The Butchart Gardens
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The City of Gardens

Appropriately known as the City of Gardens, Victoria’s year-round mild coastal climate makes gardening and all things flora-focused a passion of the city, region, and visitors alike.

The Greater Victoria area, nestled in beautiful, rugged west coast terrain, is home to dozens of gardens and provincial, regional and municipal parks, including some of the most famous in Canada. As early as March, blooms spring up across the Victoria while much of Canada is still covered in snow. The city boasts colourful hanging baskets to welcome the summer season, dating back 75 years.

The Butchart Gardens

A visit to Victoria isn’t complete without a trip to the famous Butchart Gardens. Covered in blooms year-round, The Butchart Gardens is 55 acres of rotating seasonal blooms that enlighten all of your senses. Returning this year are the famous Saturday night Fireworks. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy a world-class firework show. The show features original aerial and ground displays choreographed to music and is designed by the gardens founder, Jennie Butchart’s, great grandson Christopher Ross.

This 119-year-old showstopper attraction was formerly a limestone quarry, this is where Jennie Butchart, over a century ago, envisioned landscaping a Sunken Garden in its place. Her vision flourished, to say the least – and became a National Historic Site of Canada!

The Abkhazi Gardens

When you arrive at Abkhazi Gardens, you feel a sense of home. Step into what feels like grandma’s house for home made (everything down to the butter) pastries and high tea at the elegant Teahouse at Abkhazi Garden who is celebrating their 10th birthday this year. Abkhazi gardens was started by Peggy Pemberton-Carter and Prince Nicholas Abkhazi, who originally met in Paris in 1922. Prince Abkhazi was the last surviving son of an ancient line of kings from Abkhazia and had been exiled to Paris after escaping the Bolshevik Revolution. Fast forward to the prince and princess getting married and settling in Victoria and began to develop their one-acre property. Today the garden is owned by the Land Conservancy to preserve the gardens and the legacy of the Abkhazis.

The Gardens at HCP

Located in rural Saanich, The Gardens at HCP (Horticulture Centre of the Pacific) are not to be missed. A lovingly cared for garden by volunteers, staff, and students, and is also a not-for profit organization. From a hands-on children’s garden to the largest and only outdoor Bonsai Garden in Canada, you will be awe-inspired around every corner.

Government House

The estate of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia is not only home to stunning heritage buildings, but to 36 acres of manicured gardens and native woodlands. Open everyday of the year and in bloom all year round, the gardens are even designated a National Historic Site of Canada. Thanks to the tireless work of volunteers and Friends of Government House Gardens Society, this flora heaven is maintained with precision.

Finnerty Gardens

Located at the University of Victoria, Finnerty Gardens is a space for students, faculty, and the community to relax and take in the beauty of nature. The beginning of the blooms started at Mrs. Jeanne Buchanan Simpson’s estate located on Cowichan Lake. When her estate was left to the University of Victoria, they transplanted her built up notable collection of Rhododendron’s, the largest collection in British Columbia. You can find the rhododendron family and many other companion plants in Finnerty Garden still to this day.

Gardens at Hatley Castle

Look familiar? Yes, it was Hatley Castle and Ryan Reynolds in the movie Deadpool! Hatley Castle, a National Historic Site and famous filming location is also home to breathtaking gardens. A rose garden, Italian garden and Japanese garden make up the beautiful grounds at Hatley Castle. Japanese landscape gardener Isaburo Kishida created private gardens for several local residents, including Robert and Jennie Butchart (the owners and creators of the famous Butchart Gardens).

Blossom Season

Because Victoria boasts the mildest climate in Canada, our blooms start showing off their eye-catching colours before the rest of the country. Cherry and plum blossoms take over the city starting early March. The trees canopy over the sidewalks and shower pink confetti along our paths. Breathe in the delicate floral scent and instantly transport to a calm state of mind.

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