Signs of Summer at Queen Elizabeth Park

Running through the fountains atop Queen Elizabeth Park. Photo: Dana Lynch

Summer is coming! If the approaching long May weekend isn’t enough to convince you, then how about these pictures from Queen Elizabeth Park—You know summer is coming when the weather is warm enough for kids to run through Queen E’s dancing fountains!*

My family and I headed to Queen Elizabeth Park for part of Mother’s Day yesterday, and the scene there was just idyllic! Barefoot babies in the fountain, flowers in bloom throughout the free quarry gardens, clear skies making it easy to see all of downtown Vancouver from atop the park (the highest point in the city)—It was one of those days that made me feel lucky to live in Vancouver, one of the most gorgeous cities on earth!

Check out the photos for a peak at early summer at Queen Elizabeth Park:

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Signs of Summer at Queen Elizabeth Park

Yaletown’s Secret Garden: Emery Barnes Park Opens

Vancouver has plenty of big, eye-popping, mind-blowing parks, from the primordial forests of 1,000-acre Stanley Park to the manicured flower beds of VanDusen Garden.

But it’s the little parks – the unexpected green spaces in the midst of all the urban sprawl – that really set the city apart for me.  I’m talking about all those tiny, one block parks and gardens cherished by neighbourhood residents but pretty much unknown to everyone else.

In Yaletown, that secret green oasis is .39-hectare Emery Barnes Park.  Dwarfed by 20-, 30- and soon-to-be 40-storey condo towers, Emery Barnes officially opened last week: an unlikely island of green in a concrete jungle.  Continue reading:
Yaletown’s Secret Garden: Emery Barnes Park Opens

Rhododendron Walk at VanDusen Botanical Garden

Rhododendron Walk at VanDusen Botanical Garden

Big bushes bursting with fragrant blossoms in all colours, rhododendrons are the one flower I most associate with late spring / early summer in the Pacific Northwest; my parents’ house is surrounded by them and their blossoms always signaled that summer was near. This year, the rhododendrons are a little late, but now that sunny weather has arrived in Vancouver, they’re finally in bloom!

There are two gardens in Vancouver that are must-sees for rhododendron fans: the free Ted & Mary Greig Rhododendron Garden at Stanley Park and the VanDusen Botanical Garden, where you can stroll through the flowers along the magical Rhododendron Walk.

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Rhododendron Walk at VanDusen Botanical Garden

Zen and the City at Nitobe

Nitobe by the Water

One sunny afternoon a few weeks back, I was driving the scenic way around UBC and noticed a sign I’d never seen before – “Nitobe”.

Curiosity piqued,  I discovered that Nitobe is a Classical Japanese garden, one of UBC’s Botanical Gardens, and ranked one of the top 5 such gardens outside of Japan.

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Zen and the City at Nitobe

Greenheart Canopy Walkway tour at UBC

Open year round, this 308-meter (1010 feet) aerial trail system offers a rare perspective of the natural beauty of the west coast forest canopy eco-system and provides visitors with outstanding views.

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Greenheart Canopy Walkway tour at UBC