It all began with one woman’s vision and passion

With a former limestone quarry for her backyard, Jennie Butchart envisioned landscaping a sunken garden in its place, transforming the property for her family—and visitors—for generations to come.

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1904

Where it all began

Coming from Ontario, husband and wife, Robert and Jennie Butchart moved to Vancouver Island to build a cement plant on a rich limestone deposit at Tod Inlet.
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1912

A passion project

As cement production exhausted the limestone deposits, Jennie envisioned a grand garden in its place and began transferring top soil by horse and cart. Little by little, the quarry blossomed into today’s Sunken Garden.
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1929

The Gardens grow

Between 1906 and 1929, the Butcharts expanded The Gardens, designing the Japanese Garden on the seaside, the Italian Garden on their former tennis court and the fragrant, overflowing Rose Garden.
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1939

A destination in the making

Gifted The Gardens on his 21st birthday, grandson Ian Ross transformed them into the world-renowned attraction we know today, adding outdoor concerts and night lighting in the summers, and the Magic of Christmas in the winters.
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1977

A family legacy

Beginning in 1977, great-grandson Christopher began producing a choreographed firework show every year. In 2009, his sister, and current owner of The Gardens, Robin added the Children’s Pavilion and Menagerie Carousel.
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2018

A modern masterpiece

Today, The Butchart Gardens is a National Historic Site of Canada. You’ll find remnants of the original cement plant and over a million bedding plants in over 900 varieties awaiting you as you wander The Gardens.

The Gardens await

Ready to plan your visit to The Gardens? Buy your tickets? Start your journey here.

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