5 GREAT GARDENS AROUND VICTORIA

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  • Buchart Gardens, Victoria, BC

5 GREAT GARDENS AROUND VICTORIA

If you love flowers & gardens of all types … you’ve come to the right place!

No one loves their flowers more than the people of Victoria, BC.  Due to it’s mild climate you can usually find something in bloom all year long!  And if we don’t have enough growing in our gardens … we hang baskets full of blooms all over downtown during the summer months.  It’s simply breathtaking!

If you want to visit some of the formal gardens that Victoria has to offer … here’s my take on my favorite 5:

Government House

rose garden at government house, victoria, bc, gardens in Victoria, Visitor in Victoria

Rose Garden at Government House

This spot is not as well known as some of the more ‘commercial’ places … but it’s every bit as beautiful with gorgeous views and … it’s FREE!

Hours:  Daily from Sunrise to Sunset

Government House of British Columbia is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, as well as that in Victoria of the Canadian monarch, and has casually been described as “the Ceremonial Home of all British Columbians. It stands in the provincial capital on a 14.6 hectares (36 acres) estate at 1401 Rockland Avenue.

Government House’s 14.6 hectares (36 acres) property is a publicly accessible area tended by volunteers in the Friends of Government House Gardens Society, and are used frequently by the surrounding community, save for when security otherwise necessitates. The site is divided into numerous different zones according to plant life and/or garden style; for instance, the British Columbia native plant garden contains species unique to the province, and the Cottage Garden is arranged in an informal style with a mixture of ornamental and edible plants. There are also gardens to supply cut flowers, herbs, and an orchard with apple, plum, and quince trees; a rock garden tended by the Heather Society of Victoria; iris, lily, rhododendron, and rose gardens (including a formal Victorian rose garden based on the plan of that at Warwick Castle in England); and water features such as the fountain pond and the duck pond. There is also a unique 8.9 hectares (22 acres) Garry Oak ecosystem.

Butchart Gardens

Yep, this is the one that everyone has heard of.  It really is spectacular and is Buchart Gardens, Victoria, BCsomething quite unique.  There is something to see here in all seasons … indeed Christmas time is almost the best with the light displays that will blow you away!  There is a great gift shop and restaurants on site.  Parking for hundreds of cars.  Tip:  go either very early or very late as during the busy summer months it can get VERY busy.

Hours:  CLICK HERE FOR HOURS AND ADMISSION

 

Abkhazi GardenAbkhazi garden in Victoria, BC, YYJ, Visitor in Victoria, Gardens in Victoria

Located at 1964 Fairfield Road in Victoria, British Columbia, Abkhazi Garden and Teahouse is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last entrance and tea seating at 4 p.m. During the winter season (October 1 – March 31) the garden and teahouse are closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Good Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Admission is by a suggested donation of $10 per person which is designated to TLCs operation and maintenance of the garden. Those displaying TLC Membership cards are always admitted free.

Specializing in Afternoon Tea and light lunches, The Teahouse at Abkhazi Garden offers a seasonal array of menu items using locally grown produce as well as a varied tea selection.

Prince and Princess Abkhazi began creating their garden in 1946.  This was the year they married and settled in Victoria, after living separate lives touched by both privilege and tragedy.  They immediately began to develop their one-acre property, and continued to maintain and improve the garden throughout their lives together.

The garden is very discreet from the street, with only hints of what exists beyond the hornbeam hedge.  What the visitor does find is a garden that embraces a natural landscape that is unique to Victoria.  The garden is blessed with dramatic glaciated rocky slopes, magnificent native Garry oaks and gorgeous vistas.  The garden is designed to make the most of these remarkable features and it is the Abkhazis’ response to their landscape that qualifies it as a stunning example of West Coast design.  The garden flows around the rock, taking advantage of deeper pockets of soil for conifers, Japanese maples and rhododendrons which over the last 50 years have grown to an impressive maturity.  Carpets of naturalized bulbs, choice alpines and woodland companions provide interest throughout the year to the discerning plantsman, but it is the overall design that leaves the greatest impression.

The Abkhazis worked together on their creation for over 40 years, referring to it as “their child”.  After their deaths the Garden changed hands, and in February 2000, The Land Conservancy purchased the property to save it from becoming a townhouse development.

 

Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

This is a beautiful, tranquil place to visit.  A nice drive and sometimes there’s festivals or special events to take in.  Check our page:  FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS to see if there’s anything going on!

  • 505 Quayle Rd Victoria, BC V9E 2J7 | Ph: (250) 479-6162 Hours:
    9:00am – 5:00pm every day Admission:
    Adults: $11
    Students and Seniors: $8.25
    under 16: free
    Members: free – ask us about discounts for members’ guests Horticulture Centre of the Pacific, Victoria, BC,YYJ, Gardens in Victoria, Visitor in Victoria

The Gardens at Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP), home to the Pacific Horticulture College, presents a year-round garden experience that all can enjoy.

Located just twelve kilometres north of Downtown Victoria, British Columbia, you will find a public garden lovingly cared for by volunteers, staff and students. From our hands-on Children’s Garden to the largest outdoor Bonsai Garden in Canada, you will find something to inspire at every visit.

We started to grow in 1979 and are proud to be a “gardeners garden”, connecting people with plants.

Being non profit we are able to exist and be successful through the kindness of others, not just through financial donations but in hands-on volunteer work throughout our garden.

Come for an afternoon stroll. Meet knowledgeable staff and volunteers who are always happy to be of assistance. Step into tranquility and out of the urban rush of your day.

The Gardens at Hatley Castle

Open year-round – gates close at dusk.  Location:  2005 Sooke Rd., in Colwood

Admission rates

pond in Hatley Park Gardens

Pond in Hatley Park Gardens

  • Self-guided garden tour
  • Adult:  $5
  • Senior (60+):  $4.50
  • Student (6-17):  $3.50
  • Children (5 and under):  Free
  • Family (max 5 members):  $15

Guided tours also available.

Beautiful gardens, great ocean view AND a castle!  How cool is that?  The garden is quite large and you can stroll around for an hour or two easily here.

After the garden tour, you can take a walk around many other paths on the grounds – they’re quite beautiful as well.  See map below.

Trails around Royal Roads & Hatley Castle, Victoria, BC, Walking trails in Victoria, Visitor in Victoria

Trails around Royal Roads

Hatley Park, which is now the site of Royal Roads University, is home to one of the most exquisite gardens in Canada. Nestled in an old growth forest, the Hatley Castle is adjacent to the Esquimalt Lagoon and the Strait of Juan de Fuca with the Olympic Mountains of Washington State on the horizon. This majestic setting provides the perfect backdrop for a range of beautiful gardens, which serve as a lovely setting for family picnics, quiet strolls and charming wedding photos. The garden is continually fascinating through all seasons and invites the visitor to return to witness its many enticing views.

In 1912, James and Laura Dunsmuir engaged Boston landscape firm Brett and Hall to develop a landscape plan for the entire estate. They prepared a classic design for an Edwardian park that included a series of ‘garden rooms’.

Japanese Garden

The stroll from the castle to the Japanese garden takes you down an open avenue to one of the most private parts of the grounds. A small arching bridge invites you to cross into the serenity and beauty of the near century old garden. Stone-lined pathways, wooden structures, and lanterns thoughtfully placed throughout are structural elements that create a sense of continuity in the garden.

The sound of moving water allows the transition into the solitude of the garden to be more complete. The maturity of the plants in the garden has created hidden vistas that initially were only anticipated in the imagination of the garden’s designer, Isaburo Kishida. Kishida also designed the original Butchart Japanese Gardens.

Italian Garden

This carefully manicured garden transports you to another time and place. The beautiful stonework of the traditional loggia provides shelter from the sun and rain. It is covered in wisteria that blooms blue in the spring and red trumpet flowers in late summer. The wisteria, which is now over 90 years old, is among the first plantings that reflect Laura Dunsmuir’s love of drama and colour over more classical flower choices for this style of garden.

Rose Garden

Entering the Rose garden, you’ll be transfixed: roses dangle from above, reach sideways from posts, and burst from the ground below. An incredible array of roses flourishes here – larch and small, every colour, ramblers, pillars and, shrubs. You’ll find a breathtaking variety from traditional to newer: Albas, Damasks, Gallicas and modern David Austins.

FOR MORE ON GARDENS IN AND AROUND VICTORIA, SEE OUR PAGE ON GARDENS.

 

 

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About the Author:

I've lived in Victoria over 30 years and I still can't believe how great this city really is! My husband, Bruce, and I have traveled the world but coming home to Victoria is still quite often a celebration. Together, we want to share our love of the city and the area by giving you an 'insider's' insights of where to go - what to do - and how to get there!

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