Tulips Upon Tulips at The Butchart Gardens

Tulips at The Butchart Gardens. Image provided by The Butchart Gardens.
Tulips at The Butchart Gardens. Image provided by The Butchart Gardens.

While The Butchart Gardens offer floral displays year-round, the spring is an exceptionally special time to visit.

As the days grow longer, the sweet scent of hyacinths perfumes the meticulously manicured 55-acre grounds. Stone pathways and streams awaken with brilliant pops of color. This is thanks in large part to the over 300,000 bulbs coming into bloom — featuring daffodils, peonies, irises, and, most prominently, tulips.

The Garden is tended by 50 full-time gardeners and 20 seasonal gardeners. During the early spring, the crew breaks up the soil to ease the path of air, water, and nutrients to the bulbs below.

Generally speaking, the most sensational blooms happen from mid-April through the first week of May. But Mother Nature can be a fickle mistress. She sometimes brings spring earlier or later than expected.

Approximately 1.5 miles of walking paths wind through five distinct gardens, the most famous of which is the Sunken Garden. Once a large rocky hole, the quarry has been transformed into a green-cloaked wonderland of flowers, trees, and shrubs. At its center, a lookout known as “The Mound” rises above the immaculately pruned Japanese maples and 151 unique flowerbeds. The accent to The Mounds top is almost otherworldly. It follows a narrow circular path that clings to the steep sides, as though it’s drawing you into the garden itself.

Though the small lookout can often be crowded, benches are tucked in quiet corners throughout the rest of The Butchart Gardens. Be sure to take a moment, sit down, and relish the celebration of spring.

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