Two weeks ago, 31 gardeners traveled to Vancouver for a week-long trip covering Vancouver and Victoria.
A week later, they left, and the second group of 30 gardeners
came to do it with me all over again. It was a fabulous trip with not only beautiful gardens, but amazing weather, and enjoyable travelers.
We started both journeys at Queen Elizabeth Park,
which had a great view of the Vancouver skyline from the highest point in the city. The sunken quarry gardens were a miniature Butchart, with colorful plantings,
and a nice walking trail. A lovely conservatory
was filled with tropical flowers and plants of all kinds, along with a collection of tropical birds. It was an excellent beginning to a plant filled adventure.
After an early night for most of us, we were up and out on a city tour
including a few stops at the harbor and Stanley Park.
We toured a classical Chinese garden in Chinatown,
called Dr. Sun Yet Sen’s, which was perhaps not a favorite,
with a little more history than garden time. Our next stop was the lovely area called Granville Island
with a great market, and a host of small shops and restaurants, where we had time to explore and eat lunch. Then it was on to Van Dusen Botanical Garden.
This 55-acre garden had wonderful plant collections broken down by regions of the worlds
as well as native plant gardens. On the second trip, we reversed the order a bit, and saw Van Dusen
earlier in the day, then we did Granville Island and then we were free.
We traveled a bit farther afield the next day, having an early breakfast at Troll’s in Horseshoe Bay, then taking a scenic drive to Whistler.
Along the way we stopped at Shannon Falls
to take a short hike in the woods and see the falls. Then we had time to explore Whistler,
a popular ski resort with shops and restaurants. Group 2 added in the Lil’wat First Nations Cultural Center
before heading to Whistler. It was extremely well done and very educational. The only rain of both weeks occurred during group twos journey to Whistler. It didn’t hamper our fun, but the vistas were not as pretty as during week 1.
Our last day in Vancouver started at the UBC Botanical Gardens,
Canada’s oldest university botanical garden. Initially started to research the native flora of Canada,
it has since expanded to include plants from around the world. One side was devoted to native plants, and once you passed through a tunnel, there were alpine gardens, vegetable
and herb gardens, and many other plant collections.
The first group had docents to guide them, while the second group were free to explore on their own. Several in the second group also found a hanging suspension bridge to explore the gardens from above.
Not everyone who did it were as thrilled as the rest of them, but they had stories to tell. Then it was on to a separate part of campus to visit the Nitobe Memorial Garden, an exquisite, peaceful Japanese garden. Then it was on to the ferry to head to Victoria—which will be continued in part 2.