April in Bloom – Top 5 Vancouver Spring Gardens

Stanley Park Rose Garden. Photo: Dana Lynch

You can be forgiven for thinking that spring hasn’t really arrived yet; our frequent gray-and-rainy weather can sometimes make late-March and April seem like just an extension of winter. But there are places in Vancouver where the seasonal change is beautifully apparent: Vancouver’s public gardens.

Vancouver’s public gardens—many of which are free—are gorgeous year-round, but spring is a special time for many of our top gardens.  April is traditionally the peak bloom time for seasonal tulips and bulbs—Minter Gardens has 10,000!—as well as magnolias, camellias, Japanese cherries, and early rhododendrons.

Top 5 Vancouver Spring Gardens

1. Stanley Park Rose Garden – Free
Late March – April is one of Stanley Park’s peak bloom times, and that extends to the famous Rose Garden. The Rose Garden’s combination of early bloomers and spring bulbs makes it well worth a spring trip. Plus, you can explore Stanley Park’s other gardens while you’re there!

2. VanDusen Botanical Garden
In addition to hosting events during April’s Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, VanDusen’s fairy-tale gardens come alive in spring with early rhododendrons, crocus, cherry trees, and a rainbow of spring-flowering bulbs.

3. Minter Gardens
Located just 90 minutes outside Vancouver, this show garden opened March 27 for its 2011 season and is dazzling in April and May, when its remarkable, massive plantings of spring bulbs are in full bloom.

4. Queen Elizabeth Park Quarry GardensFree
One of my favourite spots in the city, the dramatic Quarry Gardens atop Queen Elizabeth Park are just beginning to flourish in April, with thousands of spring flowering bulbs inter-planted amongst rhododendrons and magnolias and accentuated by groups of maples, cherries and dogwoods.

5. UBC Botanical Gardens
One of Vancouver’s hidden gems, the elaborate botanical gardens at University of British Columbia actually include seven different gardens. April and May feature the Gardens’ most impressive floral displays of magnolias, rhododendrons and spring ephemerals.

Have more picks for top Vancouver spring gardens? Please share in the comments!


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2 Responses to April in Bloom – Top 5 Vancouver Spring Gardens

  1. In Deer Lake Park, check out the Century Gardens, most notable for its rhododendrons. It’s also home to the annual rhododendron festival happening May 1st!

    Century Gardens:

    Rhododendron Festival: http://tourismburnaby.com/visitors/festivals-events/detail.html?event=375

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