Best Gardens in Victoria

Posted Feb 8th 2011 11:30 AMUpdated Feb 8th 2011 02:59 PM

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Gardens in Victoria

hellobc.com

Victoria, often called the City of Gardens, is lush and green even in the heart of winter and begins bursting with colour while the rest of Canada is still buried under snow. Blessed with the mildest climate in Canada, Victorians enjoy boasting about their floral fortune starting with an annual flower count in February. The city is home to many exceptional private and public gardens, which range in character from manicured formal gardens to naturalized gardens full of native plants to lavish horticultural explosions. The Gardens of Victoria website is a great resource for info on many of the gardens in Victoria.

Butchart Gardens

Walkways meander through the horticultural opulence in the 55-acres that make up Butchart Gardens. The paths take you through majestic flowering trees, meticulously maintained shrubs, and flower beds bursting with color. The gardens (located 13 miles /21km north of Victoria) are open year round: enjoy snowdrops and crocuses in the winter months of Jan-March, 100,000 tulips from April-May, a frenzy of color and scent in the summer from June-Sept 15, the golden hue of fall from Sept-Nov, and the sparkling of Christmas lights from Dec-Jan. Or join the throngs for a night of fireworks on Saturdays in July and August. At $30 per person (during the high season), the most lavish gardens in Victoria are also the most expensive.

Hours: Open at 9:00AM every day except Christmas day when they open at 1:00PM

800 Benvenuto Ave.
Brentwood Bay, British Columbia
V8M 1J8
250-652-4422
1-866-652-4422
email@butchartgardens.com
www.butchartgardens.com

Government House Gardens

Located in the residential neighbourhood of Rockland, the Government House Gardens occupy the scenic 14.6-hectare property surrounding the residence of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. The formal gardens, comprised of traditional Victorian rose gardens, lavish rhododendrons, fragrant herb patches and beautiful terraced alpine rock gardens overlook the straight of Juan de Fuca and Olympic Mountains in Washington State. The gardens are beautifully maintained by The Friends of Government House Garden Society, a dedicated and expert group of volunteers. The lower 8.6 hectares of the property have been left as a rare example of a native Garry oak ecosystem. Gnarled Garry oaks stand above native grasses, wildflowers, Camas, western buttercups and white fawn lilies, and provide cover for the resident deer amidst the rock outcroppings. The Gardens are open from dawn to dusk and free of charge for all visitors.

1401 Rockland Avenue
Victoria, British Columbia
V8S 1V9
250-387-2080
www.ltgov.bc.ca/gardens/default.htm

Royal Roads – Hatley Park

Purchased by the prominent Dunsmuir family in the early 1900's, the area that is now Hatley Park served as the perfect site to construct their castle and surrounding gardens. Now home to Royal Roads University, the university maintains the 565-acres of land and buildings, and preserves the formal gardens planned and planted during the Dunsmuir years. The original architects of the Edwardian park developed a series of nine garden rooms, and the best known today are the Italian, Rose and Japanese gardens. The Italian gardens are carefully manicured with beautiful stonework and Roman and Greek statues representing the four seasons. The Rose garden, with its egg-shaped beds, reflects the elegance of the Edwardian age. And finally, the Japanese gardens include a tortoise-shaped island in a pond, along with a pair of sculpted cranes, which are symbolic of long life and good health. A visit to the beautiful gardens, along with a tour of the castle if you're so inclined, will leave you marveling at history and beauty.

Hours: Hatley Gardens open 10AM – 5PM year round
Garden Admission (1st column May 1-Sept 30, second column Oct 1-Apr 30)
Adults (18-59): $ 9.00 $4.50
Seniors (60+): $ 8.00 $4.00
Youth (13-17): $ 6.00 $3.00
Child (12 and under): Free Free
Family of Five: $27.00 $13.50

2005 Sooke Road
Victoria, British Columbia
V9B 5Y2
250-391-2666
1-866-241-0674
info@hatleypark.ca
www.hatleypark.ca/about-us/hatley-gardens/

Abkhazi Garden

Prince and Princess Abkhazi never had any children and instead poured their energy into their garden creation, referring to it as 'their child.' Forty years of dedication resulted in a stunning example of West Coast design that, since their deaths, has been maintained by the Land Conservancy of BC. The garden takes advantage of the natural features of the landscape, incorporating glaciated rocky slopes into the overall design and planting in natural pockets of soil that form around the rocks. What you find is an impressive assembly of conifers, Japanese maples, rhododendrons, naturalized bulbs and alpine and woodland companion plants amid beautiful native Garry oaks. An elegant modernist structure, once the couple's home, now houses a tearoom-a great spot to relax and reflect after strolling through these exceptional gardens.

Gift shop and restaurant: March 1st to – October 31st
Adults admission $10, children under 12 free, seniors and students $7.50 (Receive $1.00 off admission when you walk, bike, or take the bus).
Open daily 11:00AM – 5:00PM (last admission at 4:00pm)

1964 Fairfield Road
Victoria, British Columbia
250-598-8096
1-877-4TLC-4BC (485-2422)
www.abkhazigardens.com

Finnerty Gardens

The spectacular 2.6 hectares of Finnerty Gardens is a true gift to enjoy from the University of Victoria. Set in the southwestern corner of the campus, the gardens are open everyday during daylight hours and are free of charge. Finnerty boasts one of Canada's best collections of rhododendrons, some over 70 years old, many of which were started from seeds obtained from famous plant explorers. (April and May is the best time to see the rhodos at their finest). The garden has over 4000 different trees and shrubs, including 1500 rhododendron and azalea plants, and an outstanding collection of ferns, vines, bulbs, groundcovers and ornamentals. Explore the gardens along the network of winding paths or contemplate them from one of the numerous benches, many with views across lily-strewn ponds.

Open year round dawn to dusk.

3800 Finnerty Road (Ring Rd)
Victoria, British Columbia
V8P 5C2
250-721-7014
www.external.uvic.ca/gardens

Watch the below video for more information on Victoria.

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