Nearly a century ago, Jennie Butchart, wife of cement manufacturer Robert Butchart, transformed a depleted limestone quarry into these stunning, world-renowned show gardens. Allow ample time to enjoy the 22 hectares (55 acres) of floral displays, a sunken garden, a rose garden, a Japanese garden, an Italian garden, the Show Greenhouse and Star Pond. The gardens are a designated National Historic Site of Canada and attract over a million visitors a year. (There are also restaurants, shops and services on-site.)
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The Butchart Gardens is a group of floral display gardens in Brentwood Bay that receive more than a million visitors each year. In 1907, 65 year old garden designer Isaburo Kishida of Yokohama came to Victoria, at the request of his son, to build a tea garden for Esquimalt Gorge Park. This garden was wildly popular and a place to be seen. Several prominent citizens, Jennie Butchart among them, commissioned Japanese gardens from Kishida for their estates.
Robert Pim Butchart began manufacturing cement in 1888 near his birthplace of Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. He and his wife Jennie Butchart came to the west coast of Canada because of rich limestone deposits necessary for cement production. In 1904, they established their home near his quarry on Tod Inlet at the base of the Saanich Peninsula on Vancouver Island. In 1909, when the limestone quarry was exhausted, Jennie set about turning it into the Sunken Garden, which was completed in 1921. In 1926, they replaced their tennis courts with an Italian garden and in 1929 they replaced their kitchen vegetable garden with a large rose garden.