Vancouver Summertime Garden Tours

Vancouver Summertime Garden Tours





It's the time of year in Vancouver when green thumbs are happily digging, planting and pruning. Vancouver is blessed with a much milder and moister climate than most Canadian cities and our growing season is longer. It should be no surprise then that our fair city boasts some of the most beautiful public gardens in the world.

At the top of the list is Van Dusen Botanical Gardens. Their website invites you to, "Come and explore all that we have in bloom." 

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised to see the range of activities that Van Dusen has to offer. There is a 'Bloom Calendar', that lets you know what will be in bloom at any time of the year, complete with photos and descriptions.

Next you'll see upcoming events that include everything from 'Wine in the Garden' this month all the way to the 'Bird Walk' in November.

Be sure to visit the Bloedel Conservatory when you go. Right now the 40 year-old  roof is being rebuilt/restored - but they are still open for business. The dome was the very first triodetic dome and is still the largest single-roofed conservatory in Canada.

The Bloedel Conservatory is unique in that it contains three separate climatic zones under one roof: Tropical, Subtropical and Desert. It is home to more than 500 varieties of plants from around the world as well as more than 100 free-flying exotic birds. Kids love it!


Finally, anyone looking for an interesting week long course on anything botanical, Van Dusen offers a huge variety of courses. The list is filled with things like 'The Rose - The History of Perfumery', 'Native Tree ID Workshop', 'Fall Watercolour' and 'Pruning for Increased Fruit'. These courses also make for great gift ideas for friends and family.

Another beautiful place in Vancouver is the UBC Botanical Garden. Due to the fact that UBC is a learning institution, there are necessarily Horticultural Training courses going on at all times, but they also offer many public and school tours as well.

There is a program called, 'From our Garden to Your Garden', in which propegations - or cuttings, from established plants at the gardens, are made available for sale to the public. Every year new plants are added and there are no hybrids included. This is the perfect opportunity for people to get a hold of some tried and true varieties for their home gardens.

The website contains a very informative Blog. Here is a link to their latest post called 'May in the Garden'.

UBC also houses the pristine Nitobe Memorial Garden, a traditional Japanese Tea and Stroll Garden. The garden has been the subject of more than fifteen years' study by a UBC professor, who believes that its construction conceals a number of impressive features, including references to Japanese philosophy and mythology, shadow bridges visible only at certain times of year, and positioning of a lantern that is filled with light at the exact date and time of Nitobe's death each year. The garden is behind the university's Asian Centre, which is built with steel girders from Japan's exhibit at the Osaka Expo.

The Gardens at Stanley Park are definitely a must-see. There are actually a  collection of four different gardens which are at their best between Spring and Fall.

The Ted and Mary Greig Rhododendron Garden, built with a very large donation of plants from the 1960's, the Greig's were well-respected rhododendron hybridizers.

The Stanley Park Rose Garden was founded by the Kiwanis Club in 1920, but doesn't just have roses, but many beautiful types of clematis and climbing flowers. Designer floral beds complete the picture of tranquility.

 The Shakespeare Garden pays homage to The Bard himself. The garden features many trees that are mentioned in his plays. Each tree bears a plaque with an inscription from its particular mention by Shakespeare.


The Rock Garden was the first public garden in Vancouver. It was started in 1911 by master gardener John Montgomery from boulders excavated for the construction of the new Stanley Park Pavilion. The garden was partially taken over by forest for many years, and it wasn’t until the big wind storm of 2006 that much of the forgotten garden was re-revealed. In 2011 the garden was celebrated, along with the 100 year old Pavilion.

So - armed with this list and your own sense of adventure, there are no limits to what adventures might await! Enjoy.


What was the best part of your week?



Hope you've enjoyed this posting. If you have any questions, any little known facts or interesting Vancouver Stories or pictures you'd like to share,please feel free to contact me.


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Gerry Gramek

Gerry Gramek

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