Explore Victoria gardens, garden events and, experiences when counting flowers and also when not!
The easily accessible greater Victoria area on southern Vancouver Island includes marshes, meadows, beaches, gardens, urban and rural landscapes–all of which contain flowers. Greater Victoria is also one of the world’s premier locations for garden tourism with hundreds of varied garden experiences to
explore and enjoy, from high tea and botanical specimen viewing to flowers, weddings and garden education. For more on Victoria area gardens, events and things to do in gardens, see Gardens British Columbia’s Vancouver Island page. The climate is rated 8b on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, which of course is why our gardens are open all year and our flowers start blooming in February or before.
The Abkhazi Garden is an exquisite heritage home and garden located in Victoria, British Columbia, a city known for its wonderful gardens. Prince and Princess Abkhazi began creating their garden in 1946. This was the year they married and settled in Victoria, after living separate lives touched by both privilege and tragedy. They immediately began to develop their one-acre property, and continued to maintain and improve the garden throughout their lives together.
Beacon Hill Park
Beacon Hill Park is one of downtown Victoria’s crown jewels. The area has long held cultural and sacred significance to the Lekwungen People. The park’s rich abundance of camas and other native plants is credited to early cultivation activities. The southeast slope is graced by Lekwungen burial ground. The 200 acres (740,000 sq metres) was officially established as a park in 1882, after being set aside in 1858 by James Douglas, governor of Vancouver Island. Beacon Hill Park was named after a pair of masts strategically placed on a hill to act as a beacon and navigational aid to mariners approaching Victoria’s inner harbour.
Providing a natural oasis in the downtown, Beacon Hill Park also serves to provide a safe environment for a Garry oak ecosystem among the meandering footpaths. Visit the park with its many features for the whole family to enjoy.
The Butchart Gardens offers 22ha (55 acres) of wonderful floral display located in Greater Victoria on Vancouver Island. Throughout the seasons there is always something of interest in the various gardens: from the fragrant, winter blooming shrubs, to the fresh delights of spring, to the abundance of summer colour, to the grand finale of autumn.
Finnerty Gardens University of Victoria
One of Canada’s best collections of rhododendrons, many of which were started from seed obtained from famous plant explorers, is on display in the University Finnerty Gardens. The garden contains more than over 4,000 different trees and shrubs with more than 1,500 rhododendron and azalea plants, including 200 collected rhododendron species, and a spectacular range of companion plants: ferns, vines, bulbs, groundcovers, ornamentals; artistically displayed on a 2.6 hectare (6.5 acre) site at the southwest corner of UVic’s campus.
Complementing the plant life are three tranquil ponds, an inviting network of winding paths and dozens of benches, each with its own distinctive view of the gardens’ ever-changing splendour. The gardens have been carefully planned and developed to provide a rich and changing array of colour, scent, form and texture all year found. In April and May, you will see the rhododendrons at their best.
The Gardens at HCP
A demonstration and education garden with over 100 acres of displays of heathers, rhododendrons, perennials and much more.
The garden contains five distinct sections, each laid out with species information and design elements from cloister gardens of medieval Europe to pre-Christian household gardens. And within those sections, you’ll find unique examples of urban, cutting, mediterranean, mixed borders, bonsai, zen and children’s gardens. Several of the areas focus on conservation and environmental objectives such as drought tolerant, year-round veggies, plant conservation and plants focused on bees, birds and butterflies.
In 1912, James and Laura Dunsmuir engaged Boston landscape firm Brett and Hall to develop a landscape plan for the entire estate. They prepared a classic design for an Edwardian park that included a series of nine garden rooms. The showpieces of the park are generally considered to be the formal gardens of which the Italian, the Rose and the Japanese gardens are the best known.
Garden Clubs and Societies
Peninsula Garden Club
Vancouver Island Heather Society
Vancouver Island Rock Alpine Garden Society
Victoria Horticultural Society
Victoria Rhododendron Society
Native Plant Society of BC
Victoria Orchid Society
Victoria BC Gardens on Twitter
For garden visit suggestions please see these itineraries for Victoria area gardens and more. You may also find this article by Victoria Clipper, The Inside Guide to Southern Vancouver Island Gardens of interest, as well as Destination British Columbia’s post on spring festivals and cherry blossoms on Vancouver Island.