Gateway to the Rockies – The Gardens of Vancouver
Vancouver, British Columbia
By John McKiernan
Because of its climate and unique location to the Canadian Rockies, Vancouver has some of the most beautiful gardens in North America. Many people visit for their beauty alone. Before visiting Banff and Jasper National Parks and their extreme gems, check out some of the subtle beauties of the gardens of Vancouver.
The largest and most extensive garden is the Van Duen Gardens which is literally packed full of every flower imaginable with every color under the sun and more. Quirkily there is a podcast tour of these gardens by a Vancouver Sun columnist which could be worth checking out for fanatics.
Perhaps more popular and also free to tour is Queen Elizabeth Park. You may have guessed that it was named after the Queen of Britain already but did you know that it includes the Bloedel Conservatory, which has a small admission fee, but is a fun place to go with kids. There are birds flying everywhere around your head so a hat might be a recommendation.
Among the many other popular gardens to visit are the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the UBC Botanical Garden, the Nitobe Memorial Garden at UBC, and the Park & Tilford Gardens. One personal favorite is the small Japanese-style garden surrounding UBC’s Asian Centre (just across the road from Nitobe Garden), which incorporates delightful dry water features. This is one of the most peaceful parts of Vancouver.