The sun has decided to grace us with its presence, and as it is our last day in Victoria, we have decided to visit the famous Butchart Gardens. Visiting botanical gardens has become an interest of ours, as there is much to learn, and an excellent chance we’ll see birds.
Ric is afraid that we won’t see much in terms of blooms given the cool weather, but it is immediately apparent when we pull into the parking area that there will be no shortage of colours to see. The walkway leading to the main buildings is lined with flower gardens, and large pots filled with bright colours adorn the main visitor’s area.
We eagerly follow the sign indicating “Start here”, following a narrow path that leads to a maze of other trails. To our left, we are led through a tunnel of tall trees to an area overlooking a sunken garden. It is a “wow” moment, and the initial instinct is to hurry down the path and immerse ourselves in the wonder, but the path down is steep and I realize I’ll have to come back up, so we decide to leave this part for later. My legs are iffy today.
We wander back to the main path and veer off to the right, through the rose gardens – a maze of closely cropped bushes not yet ready to blossom – and into the Japanese gardens. Here there are well manicured lawns, carefully crafted shrubs, an array of waterfalls, and Japanese statues. It is all very serene.
Beyond these gardens is a short path that leads to a boat dock, where patrons can take rides, although nothing is in operation today. I assume it is too early in the season. We sit here for a moment to enjoy the view. Tall trees watch over us and while we can hear birds chirping, they are too high to actually spot.
Sufficiently rested, we head back to the main area, where Ric suggests we find some lunch. The dining room offers an array of interesting menu items, but apparently they require reservations, which we didn’t know before coming. The coffee shop, back by the entrance does have a yam and feta salad I can eat, and Ric has the chowder and a pepperoni roll. With drinks, the serve-yourself meal comes to $30.
It is such a lovely day, and while there is much more to see – I especially wanted to see the bog gardens – I have to confess that I am done in, so after lunch we return to the truck. I am asleep moments after we pull out of the property.
Admission for Butchart Gardens is $30.80 (spring) per adult. They are open every day of the year and annual passes are available. A local visitor informed me that he visits every two weeks, as so much changes, and the annuals are constantly changed to match the season.
With the exception of a robin, we didn’t see any other birds, but no matter – the flowers were the stars today, especially the many varieties of daffodils that were visible everywhere we went.