Explore the Best of BC’s Gardens this Spring


Garden tourism is on the rise, and more people are discovering the beauty of BC’s gardens each year. One of the most popular benefits of visiting public gardens is the opportunity to learn and grow.

Many of these gardens offer educational tours, workshops and programs that allow visitors to explore and learn about a variety of topics, from plant identification to sustainable gardening practices. Additionally, many of BC’s gardens regularly host family friendly events.

“Spring is a season of rejuvenation and growth, and it’s the perfect time for locals and tourists to connect with nature and experience British Columbia’s affordable and highly diverse beautiful garden experiences,” says Geoff Ball, president of Gardens BC.

“Whether you’re drawn to botanical gardens, cultural gardens, garden centres, nurseries, educational spaces or more, there is literally a garden for everyone to enjoy in this province. Our garden experiences are world-renowned, and we’re excited to be offering seven unique garden-centered travel itineraries for people to follow along with this spring!”

As reported at the 2023 International Garden Tourism Conference by Dr. Richard W. Benfield, gardening is the leading outdoor activity in North America today, and garden tourism accounts for one of the largest segments of the world’s tourism industry, with 1.5 billion visitors to more than 5,000 gardens annually.

Exploring the gardens offers a chance to unplug, get active and bond together amongst the beauty of nature.

Gardensbc.com makes planning your next garden visit easy. The website offers lists of garden experiences in each destination, as well as suggestions for dining, accommodations and available amenities, such as gardening education, on-site cafés and gift shops, picnic spots, pet-friendly areas and wheelchair-accessible grounds. All itineraries have been developed in collaboration with tourism partners and supported by Destination BC.

Explore garden adventures in:

Naa’Waya’Sum Coastal Indigenous Gardens

The Tofino Botanical Gardens has entered a new phase of life. The 10-acre site has transferred ownership to the IPCA Innovation Program—a project of MakeWay. MakeWay is a national charitable organization whose mandate is “nature and communities thriving together.” Much of the vision for the Tofino Botanical Gardens, established in 1997, will be enhanced to include a focus on Indigenous-led conservation.

The Butchart Gardens

Enjoy 55 acres of floral show gardens all year around. In spring, countless tulips, daffodils and hyacinths provide an abundance of fragrance. The summer welcomes colourful delphiniums, setting the stage for the rose garden. The perennial borders start their stunning show in late summer, and the Japanese maples turn to russet, gold and red in the autumn. Complete your visit with traditional afternoon tea in The Dining Room Restaurant and a visit to the Seed & Gift Store.

Victoria Butterfly Gardens

In the climate-controlled environment, you will wander through lush jungles of plants native to tropical rainforest environments. Stroll along the pathways past organic vanilla beans growing on the vine, papaya trees, pineapple, coffee beans, ginger and many other foods of the world growing in organic soil. As you mingle with tropical animals, you will be pleased to discover that they are all rescued. This carefully planned combination of trees, bushes, vines and creepers is a balanced jungle-like eco-system that flourishes without the use of herbicides and pesticides.

Hatley Park National Historic Site

While Hatley Castle is the centrepiece of the estate, there’s much more to the park and National Historic Site: gorgeous Japanese, Italian and rose formal gardens that follow Edwardian design, 15km of walking and hiking trails through old-growth forest, a protected migratory bird sanctuary, an historic First Nations’ site and a spectacular view of the Olympic Mountains across the Juan de Fuca Strait.

Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

With nine acres of demonstration gardens to enjoy, you’ll find plenty of inspiration for your own garden. A further 100 acres of conservation park is home to endangered plant species and host to many native bird species. Over 260 volunteers assist in maintaining and growing the gardens and were the first to establish this unique setting. HCP is also home to Pacific Horticulture College, founded in 1987 providing yearlong professional horticulture education.

Milner Gardens & Woodland

Vancouver Island University’s Milner Gardens & Woodland is a magical seaside retreat once reserved for royalty. Sheltered by the site’s old-growth forest and the Strait of Georgia, this woodland estate rejuvenates the soul with its gardens and magnificent coa stal views. Stroll along the groomed nature trails through the 60 acres of old-growth forest to the woodland garden with its rhododendron lined glades carpeted with cyclamen, trillium and other indigenous plants.