Although I preferred Vancouver to Victoria overall, there is still one very compelling reason to visit Victoria – at least for a photographer. That reason is Butchart Gardens. I had heard Butchart Gardens described for years so I was anxious to experience. However, I had no real idea of what to expect.
As we approached the gardens, it was apparent that a lot of people enjoy visiting there. The parking areas were vast and stretched for blocks away from the main parking area. Fortunately, we were visiting in the low season and were able to park very close to the entrance. Now, I say low season, but that is based on peak attendance not necessarily peak beauty of the gardens. I was skeptical that the gardens would be worth the price of admission in late April. If I were at home in Georgia, that would be the peak time for spring blooms. Since Vancouver is so far north, I didn’t see how there could be the breadth of flowers and shrubs in bloom that it would take to make the garden interesting. Boy, was I wrong.
Butchart Gardens was spectacularly beautiful. I really don’t have enough adjectives or superlatives to convey how beautiful each garden was. I can only hope that the images I captured do the scenes I captured some degree of justice. The only garden that wasn’t jaw-droppingly beautiful was the rose garden and that was simply because the roses were waiting for warmer weather. Of course, by then the tulips, azaleas, and other spring blooms would be long gone. My guess is that Butchart is beautiful in any season and always worth a visit.
Perhaps the most beautiful of the gardens is the Sunken Garden. Butchart Gardens was a quarry at one point and the owners decided to replace the ugly scar of mining with beautiful gardens. There is no doubt that they succeeded beyond their expectations. The Sunken Garden was the primary quarry area, but now is the showcase of the property. The steep-sided pit is totally replanted and is a riot of color. I found myself returning over and over to the overlooks in order to absorb as much of the scene as possible. Each of the images in this post were taken from a part of the Sunken Garden. I think the pond reflection is my favorite of the group because it shows a good sampling of the riot of color that was there.
The other element that created such an explosion of color was the vibrant green of the grass. I suppose the grass may stay that green given the amount of rain the region receives. In any case, the flowers were set against that vibrant green which made their colors even more rich and saturated.
If you ever are near Victoria, you should definitely visit Butchart Gardens. I know I will when I return. Enjoy.