A city energized by cultural diversity, Vancouver is a superb destination in every way. VanDusen Botanical Garden – one of the city’s gems – is a hilly 55-acre setting that I like to approach on the No. 17 city bus from my downtown hotel. A Spring visit to VanDusen will remain in the minds-eye long after the experience. During the period of late May through early June, cascading golden panicles tumble from archways over the Laburnum Walk in a medley of ground-covering bluebells and alliums.
Boasting a collection of contemporary sculpture, an Elizabethan maze, and year-round blooming displays, VanDusen Botanical Garden has been invigorated by a new entry area: The Phylllis Bentall Garden, with paved terrace, pool, and mixed borders, invites you to explore VanDusen’s glorious magnolias.
Photos: Courtesy VanDusen Botanical Garden
Month by month the landscape turns heads as Himalayan blue poppies progress to a sea of wildflowers blanketing meadows followed by fiery fall color. Seasonal stars include alliances of heathers, hollies and hellebores. To contemplate VanDusen’s charms, ramble along to the Cypress Pond, Heron Lake, or the restored Korean Pavilion, intricately carved with floral patterning in burnished tones.
The Spring season provides eye-catching swathes of narcissi, advancing to a pathway replete with rhododendrons and scented azaleas. The hedge maze (pictured above) is comprised of 3,000 plants of Thuja occidentalis ‘Fastigiata’ – cedars of a pyramidal form.