Victoria, B.C.: A Garden Capital

Three years ago, we planned to visit Victoria from Seattle, but didn’t push through. But second time’s a charm? We took the 7am ferry ride from Vancouver. They serve breakfast in the ferry, but we already grabbed a quick bite at the hotel. It’s a bit chilly and windy that they closed the outer decks. Aunt and cousin joined us for the trip to meet up with our grandpa who lives in Victoria.

We didn’t waste anytime and went straight to Butchart Gardens. If I can only visit one place in Victoria, this got to be it. I may not have a greenthumb, but I love the gardens! We were handed a map, and started our walk from the Waterwheel Square. Pathway leading to the first garden were filled with blooming flowers despite it’s the end of the Summer season. There was a particular gazebo I enjoyed a lot filled with hanging flowers as pictured above.

I can only describe the Sunken Garden with WOW. Aside from the colorful flowers, the leaves were starting to change as well adding more beauty to the garden. We also spotted a woodpecker on one of the trees getting busy early in the morning.

At the far end of the garden was the Ross Fountain. It was installed for the 60th anniversary of the garden. I’ve never seen as many kind of flowers in one garden before. And the contrasting colors were so vibrant.

We continued along the path and found the Totem Poles across the Concert Lawn. We also spotted some sunflowers and a particular bell flower I don’t know the name of, but looks very interesting.

The Dahlia border was definitely my favorite spot. I think it’s my first time to see dahlias and I fell in love with them! They’re enormous and nothing short of beauty.

Everything was picture perfect. I’m so glad we get to see it. My Mom loved it as well, especially she’s the garden lady between us. I’m still in awe just by looking at the photos of these lovely flowers.

The path lead to the Sturgeon Fountain pictured on the lower right. It’s actually not true that you can only enjoy blossoming flowers during Spring season (as I thought). I’ve learned that some flowers still live through winter.

A few steps from the fountain was a Torii gate. And I knew from there that we’ve reached the Japanese Garden. I loved the moss covered trees.

My favorite spot here was the bamboo arch. It got me giddy to see Japan soon (crossing fingers and toes for this trip)! And of course, we had to take photos at the guzei or red bridges.

We continued pass by the Star Pond and into the Italian Garden. I believe the orange flowers are Chrysanthemum. I wouldn’t mind having a garden like this at my backyard.

Just near the restaurant was a Show Greenhouse, where you can open the window to take photos. It was our last stop before we reached our starting point. We had time to shop at their Garden store as well. I just bought a small bottle of maple syrup, while my Mom bought seeds to plant in Napa. It’s always a good time to be early. Just when we were leaving, tour buses started unloading a lot of visitors from different parts of the world.

After the wonderful garden walk, we went back to the harbor to eat lunch at grandpa’s place. He lives in one of the penthouse with awesome, almost 360 view of the marina.

We spent lunch time enjoying the view, eating homemade meal, and catching up with family.

After resting for a bit and yogurt for dessert, we walked from grandpa’s place to the inner harbour. It’s funny that the eldest was the fastest and the most energized among us.

The Inner Harbour and James Bay are where the tourists are. In here, you can see the The Fairmont Empress Hotel, the oldest and most famous hotel in Victoria that opened in 1908. From afar was the British Columbia Parliamentary Building, which was constructed in 1893.

On the way back to the penthouse, we passed by the shopping district. Since we didn’t want to shop, we decided to just grab an ice cream at Chocolats Favoris. We get to choose a base ice cream before getting it dipped into a flavor of choice. The dip gets hard after a few minutes. I had the salted caramel with vanilla base. It’s so yummy!

Before we ended the trip, we drove along a scenic route and enjoyed the remaining of our family time with stories. We left for the next ferry around 6 or 7 pm. One thing I’d remember my grandpa said was that family is everything. And I couldn’t agree more.

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