Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Vancouver: VanDusen Garden

Miss J contemplates what lucky girls are we!
 J an I share two passions: gardening and photography. I think I'm a better gardener than photographer, but whatever. Nothing is as relaxing to me as looking through the viewfinder of a camera. So our trip to the Northwest was going to include a lot of camera time, and if we could be in a in a garden at the same time, well, that was about perfect.

J with an Umbrella Leaf plant
So our first stop was to the VanDusen Botanical Garden. And what a spectacular garden it is! After fortifying ourselves at their lovely cafe, we chose one of the suggested hikes around the garden. The garden is 55 acres, and having once owned 55 acres of land, I know exactly big and small 55 acres is. The designers of the garden (it was opened in 1975, by the way) have laid it out in such a cunning and artful way that every turn in the path revealed something new and unexpected and totally beautiful.  The stroll we chose wandered through the reflecting pond, with beautiful water lilies, a perennial flower gardens, rock gardens, statuary, Himalayan gardens, and roses. The climate in Vancouver is such that even plants like Yucca and Umbrella Leaf plants from Costa Rica can be represented, as well as what you would expect to find in North America.  Every thing in the garden was in perfect condition. Staffed largely by volunteers and managed by the Vancouver Park Board, nothing looked unkempt. Frequently when we visit large public gardens, even beautiful ones, we wish we could just help out a little bit. Just a bit of deadheading and clean up. That wasn't the case at the VanDusen.

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