Monday, December 12, 2016


A visit to Vancouver Island is not complete without a visit to the world famous Butchart Gardens.  We had been before but not at Christmas and like the rest of this beautiful island, the gardens did not disappoint. It is their tradition to open for Christmas on December 1, and stay open until 12th night on January 6th.  It takes them over two months to put up all the lights and other displays.
Entering the gardens you are greeted by a sign showing what is going on and a couple of reminders of mind your manners at the gardens.
As you look over at the folks on the ice rink you are probably hearing either the Festive Brass Band or the carolers, the mood is set for you to get into the Christmas spirit for sure.
Along all the walkways, everywhere you look is something new and beautiful.
You will find the 12 days of Christmas if you pay attention - no signs.  Here is a Partridge in a Pear Tree!
Photo courtesy of Butchart Gardens.
Two turtle doves...

 I must admit the Three French Hens were my favorite - the scale in this photo is not how it really looks, as I was not able to pull back far enough to capture the real scale. The Eiffel tower shows so much larger in person than the hens. This is on the walkway to the sunken garden.
As we were walking to the sunken gardens I happened to look up and just got chills and whispered to hubby to "look up." In the canopy of the trees above us were all these lights and it had the illusion of the night sky filled with stars - so beautiful.
Stars in the trees...
Nine ladies dancing....
Two of the 11 Pipers piping...
The carolers are so wonderful - so talented.  Chairs are set out so you can sit and enjoy them and they take requests. The children in the audience were not one bit shy about asking for their favorite carol.
The food at the gardens is really, really good.  We had made reservations (suggested) for dinner at the Dining Room and then later in the day decided we would be just as happy at the Blue Poppy cafeteria. We called and canceled our reservations (please do so if you go and change your mind, they will have a waiting list). We both had the chicken and it was so good - big portions, we took a lot of food back to our B&B. Remember when you are looking at the price that the price is in Canadian dollars and right now (good for us not good for our Canadian friends) the exchange is about $1.20 Canadian for every USD. We also highly recommend having High Tea at the gardens - we have had High Tea at other places but we highly recommend coming here, the ambience is just wonderful, a great experience. There is also a coffee shop and a great gift shop where you can purchase lots of items to take home like seeds and other items (legal to bring back to the states) for your garden.

 Tree in The Blue Poppy restaurant....
 View from inside the Blue Poppy Restaurant....
Another shot from the Blue Poppy Restaurant.  This restaurant is casual, cafeteria style but the food is definitely more upscale restaurant food, as I mentioned our dinner was wonderful.

A word about the weather on Vancouver Island.  Anytime someone mentions Canada in winter there are visions feet of snow and wind chill down to the minus figures. The south coast of Vancouver Island enjoys extremely mild temperatures year round. Victoria, the province's capital, boasts the mildest winter in Canada and the lowest rainfall on the province's West Coast. Spring arrives early here: hundreds of thousands of blossoms and bulbs are blooming by late February. 

After  writing this blog post the entire Pacific Northwest was hit with a very cold storm, including Vancouver Island (my house too in Eagle, Idaho).  Butchart Gardens normally will get one or two snow storms a year and this storm hit them.  I thought I would share a couple of photos from the recent storm - just to pretty to not share.

One of the walkways - so beautiful in it's winter splender.
This photo courtesy of Buchart Gardens
The sunken garden, beautiful anytime of the year. Old man winter just painted it with a white brush!
This photo courtesy of Buchart Gardens

Thank you for stopping by.




  2. Thank you Anonymous - wish you had been there!!!