We Enjoyed Butchart Gardens In Fall Colours
As we explored around the Malahat on the Saanich Inlet on our stay on Vancouver Island, we were so glad we planned to visit Butchart Gardens in fall colours. We knew the gardens were beautiful in spring and summer with such a wide variety of flowers in full bloom. But we were delighted when we found an extraordinary display of the changing colours of fall.
A Country Drive To Butchart Gardens
The Butchart Gardens are a great tourist attraction for visitors to Victoria on Vancouver Island. The former limestone quarry evolved over the years as the Butchart family added more and more gardens to this former quarry site. It is one of the 970 National Historic Sites of Canada.
We waited out the morning clouds and headed out in the early afternoon when the skies started to clear. From our stay outside of Victoria at Westin Bear Mountain Resort , we had several route options to Butchart Gardens. The travel time appeared to be about the same for all routes.
We chose to avoid the highway on our way there and went along the country roads. Unfortunately we used the highway for part of our drive back and got caught in rush hour traffic.
The fall colours were well advanced and it was a beautiful drive. Roads were twisty and wound up and down the hills. The drive was a fun part of our visit to see Butchart Gardens in fall colours.
Planning Our Visit Around The Gardens
When we visited, advance reservations were not required although there were capacity limits in place. We were directed to a parking spot in a partially filled lot. After we got our tickets, we studied the site map and planned our route around the gardens.
Our visit started in the Waterwheel Square. We stopped and saw the waterwheel and the main square. The trees with the dropping yellow flowers drew us along. And we stopped at the fall harvest display.
On this first stop, it was clear it would be a colourful visit with Butchart Gardens in fall colours.
Exploring The Sunken Garden
The next stop on our visit to Butchart Gardens was the Sunken Garden. We took the path that led to the stairs down but there was also an accessible path available.
From the top we got our first view of the colourful Sunken Garden. The full range of fall colours were on display from fiery reds to pumpkin oranges and bright yellows. We were sure that in the spring and summer there would be a much different colour palette on display. But we were delighted with the view we got.
We descended the stairs and walked along the paths and by the Sunken Garden Lake. We even found some flowers still in bloom.
At the end of the Sunken Garden we stopped and watched the Ross Fountain put on a show as the water danced. This fountain was added to celebrate the 60 year anniversary of Butchart Gardens.
We continued our walk around the Sunken Garden and took in the views from a different perspective. The Garden Nymph statue peeked out from the colourful leaves. We found the stairs up to the viewpoint mound in the middle. But this spot was chained off.
A walk around the Sunken Garden was a visual treat and made us glad we visited Butchart Gardens in fall colours.
A Stop At The Rose Carousel
We walked up the outside path past the Sunken Gardens and found the Rose Carousel. We looked for a colourful outdoor attraction and finally realized the carousel was inside a building. The carousel showcased of 30 hand-carved wooden animals and chariots. There was a small additional fee to ride the carousel.
Outside the Rose Carousel we found another colourful fall display. And down the hill a fountain sprayed up from a small lake. There were several benches at this viewpoints to relax for a few minutes. A section of this area was designated as a children’s play area.
Two totem poles stood in this area as a tribute to the rich cultural heritage of this area. The totem poles were carved in classic Coast Salish style by Charles Elliot of the Tsartlip Nation and Doug La Fortune of Tsawout Band. They were added to Butchart Gardens in 2004 to celebrate the 100th anniversary.
We were interested in the variety of things we found around the Rose Carousel. This would certainly be a spot for families to enjoy.
Flowers Still In Bloom In Butchart Gardens In Fall Colours
The Butchart Gardens are known for the variety of the flowers that bloomed in season. There were about 900 bedding plant varieties tended by 50 full time gardeners. But this late in the season, we found most of the flower beds trimmed back. The Rose Garden was always a great attraction with so many varieties of roses. But we found it well pruned and ready for a new growing season.
But we were drawn to a long walkway bright with flowers still in bloom. Flowers in all colours called for a closer inspection.
When we wandered along the inner paths we found first the Dragon Fountain and then the Sturgeon Fountain. These were fun stops as we wandered along.
We were glad we found many flowers still in bloom when we explored Butchart Gardens in fall colours.
Down To The Japanese Garden
We entered the Japanese Garden through the bright orange Torii gate. This gate was a beautiful reminder of similar structures we saw on our visit to Japan.
We headed down the path to the wharf at Butchart Cove on Brentwood Bay. This was the official entrance for boaters to the Gardens. But we found the gate closed and only got a glimpse of the water through the trees.
We found tranquil paths with small ponds through the Japanese Gardens. The fall colours were bright and beautiful when reflected on the water. Everywhere we walked we were surrounded in colour.
For a minute we paused beside a small flowing stream and just took in the views all around us.
We were sure that the Japanese Garden would be a magical spot in the spring when the cherry blossoms were in bloom. We chased the cherry blossoms on Washington DC one year. And when we stayed at home in Toronto, we found the most beautiful cherry blossom trees in High Park. But we were not at all disappointed when we visited for Butchart Gardens in fall colours.
A Stroll Through The Italian Garden
We climbed back out of the Japanese Garden and stopped to admire the Star Pond. This was initially installed for the Butchart’s ducks.
Moving through the arched door in the high hedge, we came out into the Italian Garden. This area was once the Butchart family’s tennis court. Flowers were planted in beds around the fountain. And statues drew us in for a closer look.
Benches were set around the fountain and people stopped for a final view of Butchart Gardens in fall colours.
A Peek In The Show Greenhouse
We had one more surprise left. The Butchart Gardens had 26 different greenhouses but they were not open to the public. But the Show Greenhouse was the last stop before we left the property.
Beautiful flowers were arranged around the inside greenhouse. We were drawn to the orchids right at the front. We opened a window and got a clear view of the flowers and small waterfall in the greenhouse.
From the greenhouse we wandered past the Butchart Boar Tacca. This is a casting of the marble statue displayed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
We passed by the gift shop and went back to the parking lot. The weather remained great for our visit to Butchart Gardens in fall colours.
Don’t Miss Butchart Gardens In Fall Colours On Vancouver Island
Every season the flowers changed in the Butchart Garden. So every visit was a different experience. We were so glad we planned our visit and saw Butchart Gardens in fall colours. We saw a good selection of flowers in bloom. And found colourful harvest displays throughout the site. But the stunning show was put on by Mother Nature as the trees provided a full range of fall colours.
The Mediterranean Garden was closed for the season so we missed it on this visit. It showcased more exotic plants that were grown in the temperate climate in southern Vancouver Island.
We also considered Afternoon Tea on our visit to Butchart Gardens. We sure loved our Afternoon Tea treats when we travelled. And on our last visit to Victoria we splurged on Afternoon Tea at the iconic Fairmont Empress in Victoria. But our timing did not work for a tea stop.
On our visit to Vancouver Island, we were so glad we experienced Butchart Gardens in fall colours. It was truly a magical time to visit and a great stop on our travel to Western Canada in the fall.
Did you visit Butchart Gardens in fall colours or for another season? Do you plan to do a return visit?
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