The VanDusen Botanical Garden is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at the intersection of Oak and West 37th Street. The garden covers 55 acres with over 7,000 plants from all over the world. One of the first things that you will notice about this park is their sign “Please walk on the grass!” With something different to see each season, this really is a truly friendly and inspiring garden!
To gain entrance to the gardens, you will have to pay an admission fee. The botanical garden is open seven days a week and is available for wedding ceremonies, receptions and photos. As well, you can book the gardens for filming shoots. The VanDusen Botanical Garden has over 7,500 varieties of plants from all over the world and ten different specialty gardens. It also features an international sculpture collection, an Elizabethan Maze and is home to over 60 different varieties of birds.
The VanDusen Botanical Garden is a relatively young garden. The site had been leased by the Shaughnessy Golf Club from the Canadian Pacific Railway until 1960, when the golf club moved to a different location. A subdivision was proposed, but local citizens opposed the move. In 1966, the Vancouver Park Board successfully purchased the land to be used as a park. In 1971, development started and on August 30, 1975 the VanDusen Botanical Garden was officially opened to the public.
There is something different to see all the time, as each season offers its own highlights. The Elizabethan Maze is formed from cedar trees and can be enjoyed year round. From early spring to fall you will see a variety of flowers in bloom. During the fall, the leaves begin to turn colour and their beautiful autumn colours are reflected in the surrounding ponds and lakes. During the winter, the holly reigns along with winter-flowering shrubs.
You can travel through the VanDusen Botanical Garden on either a guided or self-guided walking tour. Make sure you are wearing good walking shoes, as there is a lot to see, such as the specialty gardens and sculptures. The specialty gardens include the Canadian Heritage Garden, a Stone Garden, the Alma VanDusen Garden, a Meditation Garden, a Formal Rose Garden, the Stanley Smith Rock Garden, a Children’s Garden, the Heather Garden, the Phyllis Bentall Garden and the Bonsai House. Spread throughout the garden is 22 different sculptures, including a fountain, two cedar totem poles, a sundial, three busts of different botanists, statues and some abstract forms.
Before you leave, make sure to stop by the garden shop and the restaurant. The garden shop has a wonderful selection of gifts ideas including home décor, books, jewelry and gardening supplies, such as plants, tools and seeds. The Shaughnessy Restaurant is very elegant, with both outdoor and indoor dining. Inside, the large windows let in plenty of sunshine and allow you to gaze at the beautiful gardens outside. The food is amazing and features the best of West coast cuisine.