Inside VanDusen Botanical Garden


Livingstone Lake at VanDusen Botanical Garden

Of all the gardens in Vancouver—including Queen Elizabeth Park’s quarry gardens and the serene Nitobe Memorial Garden at UBC (two of my other favourites)—VanDusen Botanical Garden is the one I love the most. I think it’s because every time I go, whatever the season, I discover something new: a path I’d never tried, a little stream I’d never crossed, flowers in bloom that I’d never noticed.

Today, I saw a rainbow:

That’s the thing about VanDusen: It’s a cliché to say that it’s picturesque, but my God is it picturesque! It’s so darn pretty, with its wooden-bridges over lily-pad-covered ponds, its rose garden, its wide, open spaces.

VanDusen Botanical Garden's Cypress Pond

VanDusen Botanical Garden's Cypress Pond

VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver

VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver

Since its situated right in the heart of Vancouver (just 10 minutes from downtown), it’s surprising how large and lush VanDusen is. Its 22 hectares (55 acres) feel even grander and wider due to all the winding, shifting pathways that traverse the space. It’s easy to spend hours here, taking all the different trails.

And there’s so much to see: Over 255,000 plants representing more than 7,300 taxa from around the world. VanDusen’s plant collections represent ecosystems that range from tropical South Africa, to the Himalayas, to the Canadian Arctic and our own Pacific Northwest.

Gorgeous flowers and plants at VanDusen Botanical Garden

Floral variety at VanDusen Botanical Garden

Of all the Garden’s features, it’s the intricate, European-style hedge maze I keep coming back to:

Maze at VanDusen Botanical Garden

Maze at VanDusen Botanical Garden

It may look simple, but that maze is tricky! Seriously. I have yet to find the centre without cheating. (I choose to believe it’s the difficulty of the maze, not my spatial ineptitude.)

VanDusen Botanical Garden in the sunshine + lunch at the elegant Shaughnessy Restaurant = Perfect Saturday in Vancouver.

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