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Even the Trash Containers Were Beautiful

October 9th, 2012 by Lila Steinhoff

A trash container? Really!?!?

Upon entering Butchart Gardens, I noticed a beautiful display of flowers on a wooden stand. Another glance proved this to be a trash container. A trash container! It was only the beginning of a garden tour that was way beyond what I expected.

Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia

The highlight of my summer was a cruise from Seattle to Alaska with a stop in Victoria  British Columbia in Canada. The stop at Victoria included a tour of Butchart Gardens, which is a National Historical Site of Canada.

The gardens cover more than 55 acres of an estate once owned by Robert Pim Buchart, and currently owned by his descendants. The garden began as Robert’s wife, Jennie’s, way to beautify a hole left by a worked-out limestone quarry. The quarry had been used to provide limestone to Butchart’s Portland Cement plant close by.

Cement Tree

Cement was Butchart’s business, and he used it in the gardens for the usual sidewalks and walls. Cement also was used for things as unique as a way to support a leaning tree and to form archways covered with flowers.

Six-legged Garden Visitors

The gardens were blessed with as many bees as I have ever seen in one place. They didn’t seem to be at all bothered by the two-legged visitors, either.

So Many Flowers

The gardens began as a way to hide a hole left  from a quarry, but it expanded and became one of the most incredible collection of flowers and trees I have ever seen. It would be impossible for me to describe it and do it justice. Take a look for yourself. Click on any picture to make it larger, then click on the right or left side of the image to move through the gallery.

If you ever find yourself in the Seattle area, take the opportunity to make a run over to Victoria and walk through Butchart Gardens. It’s an E-ticket stroll.


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  • What hard work you must put into that beautiful garden. It’s absolutely amazing. When I was small, I use to live in Bremmerman (sp?) My father was in the Navy but, I was much too young to remember. I remember Mom said it rained a lot there. At least you don’t have to water much I guess. The plants, trees and shrubs are beautiful. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photographs of you hard work!!

    • Jean,

      I would love to take credit for this wonderful place, but I was there only as a visitor. Butchart Gardens are over 100 years old and still are maintained by the Butchart family.

  • Wow!! Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos. I especially liked #59, the sunken garden. Glad you had this fantastic experience and thanks for posting the pics. Lovely!

  • Beautiful shots!

    Buchart Gardens always takes my breath away too. The sheer size of the Begonias are show stoppers. Your timing for the garden was perfect as everything is the very largest in September, although I have also been there in other spectacular months
    too. It is even packed in December! Spring tulips and such …….oh my! And of course Summer has almost a Giverny feel.

    Thanks for sharing.


  • Oh, I thought the comment I posted went to their site. LOL

  • Wow, wonderful pictures!!! I know you enjoyed your visit to the gardens,