Festive Friday Finds: Van Dusen Festival of Lights

Once again, the Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Botanical Garden has lit up the nights.  The botanical gardens have been illuminated by a million plus lights and the sounds of the holidays.

This year 5 acres have been added to the Festival of Lights adding more themed and interactive areas, the Sound House is sure to keep the kids entertained and watch for the ‘voicebergs’ in the water, listen for Holiday entertainment and find tastes and treats of the Season throughout the Garden.

Always a highlight, watch and listen to the Dancing Lights on Livingston Lake featured front and centre as you enter the garden. No matter which way you look, you’ll find lavish splashes of lights and magic as well as simple and refined decorations.  The Rose Garden has been turned into a special feature Jadins de Paris, be sure to stop and take a photo to enter yourself to win a trip, supported by YVR and Air France.

Young or old, families or singles, everyone will find some Holiday spirit at Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Botanical Gardens. Festival of Lights runs until December 31st (Closed December 25th), open 4:30 pm until 9pm nightly with an extra opening hour, December 18-23, closing at 10pm

Friday Find: Greenheart Canopy Walkway

Greenheart Canopy WalkwayIf you’re looking for a little adventure and a stroll through a lush garden, check out Greenheart Canopy Walkway at UBC Botanical Garden.
Located deep in the Botanical Gardens, getting to the Walkway offers a relaxing journey surrounded by nature. Once you’re at the start of the Greenheart Canopy Walkway, you enter via a keypad on the gated entrance, to begin the ascent to the tree tops.  The UBC Botanical Garden Treetopscable suspended, galvanized steel planks create a clatter as you climb the walkway from platform to platform. Over 310 metres, at heights of up to 20 metres, the Walkway can be taken at you own pace, letting others pass at the platforms.  The wobbly, gangways can cause some anxiety, especially to those of us with some acrophobia, when others are following close behind but the same instance can cause exhilaration for others. However, anxious the walk makes you, I recommend taking a few moments on the platforms to enjoy the views of the gardens.

UCB Botanical GardenThe Botanical Garden and Walkway are hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered by you.

Currently open 7 days per week, the UBC Botanical Garden entry is $9 adult / $5 child, with the Greenheart Canopy Walkway added on, the fare is $20 / $10.


Touch Wood at Van Dusen Botanical Garden

This summer, take a walk on the wild side. As you wander the natural beauty of VanDusen Botanical Garden stop and take a look at for the Garden’s latest art installation – “Touch Wood“, running June 20th until September 30th. Following on the successful run of last year’s “Earth Art” exhibition, “Touch Wood” is another opportunity for the public to experience the Garden in a different light. “The environment becomes part of the show. Because of the placement of the art, people see and experience the Garden in a new way,” says Garden Director Harry Jongerden.

Curated by Celia Duthie and Nicholas Hunt of the Duthie Gallery on Saltspring Island, the 24 wood and wood inspired sculptures by 10 prominent BC artists are dotted throughout the Garden’s 22 hectares. The Touch Wood Visitors Guide connects the dots as you roam the lush verdant grounds. The exhibit begins as soon as you arrive at VanDusen Visitors Centre, the Discovery Room features some of the smaller (and for sale) pieces of sculpture. Stepping out to the garden, visitors will see that most of the pieces are on a grand scale, Michael Dennis’ Council Of Elders features eleven 12ft high pieces, Steve Paterson & Janice Woode’s Last Of The Giants is a heavy steel recreation of loggers cutting a giant tree.  In keeping with the Garden’s environmental commitment, all pieces of the exhibition are created from salvaged, scavanged or recycled materials. The sustainability of the pieces can extend with those that are purchased as part of the proceeds go back to preserving and supporting the Garden.

VanDusen Botanical Garden is located at 5251 Oak Street (at 37th Ave) in Vancouver. For information visit vancouver.ca/vandusen or phone 604.257.8335

Follow the Garden on Twitter @VanDusenGdn or like on Facebook/VanDusen-Botanical-Garden

Van Dusen Gardens Plant Sale & New Patio.

Now that spring is finally upon us and the weather is turning brighter, people are turning their attentions outside to the garden. Whether you have a backyard, patio or balcony you’ll find something to brighten it at the Annual VanDusen Botanical Garden Plant Sale.

Sunday, April 29th is Plant Sale Day – the day when the gates are thrown open and thousands of ‘Plantmaniacs’ (gardeners) storm the Garden to indulge their addiction. Four hundred volunteers work year-round to produce the Sale – the largest plant sale in Metro Vancouver featuring more than 40,000 individual plants arranged into various categories such as Herbs and Vegetables, Roses, Pot Luck, Grasses, Vines, Trees and Shrubs, Perennials, and Native Plants. The Plant Sale is the major fundraiser for VanDusen Botanical Garden Association, the non-profit charity that is one of two organizations that operate the Garden.

While loaded with plants suitable for all types and sizes of gardens; this year’s Plant Sale has chosen the theme of Small Space Gardens. Each Plant Sale section will highlight recommendations for plants that are specially suited to containers and small space gardens. Gardeners will still find tons of ‘non-container’ plants at the Sale – the theme is just a way of recognizing a particular segment of the plant material available. “With so many people living in apartments, condo towers and town-houses, we thought it would be a good idea to show the variety of plants that can be grown in limited space. Living in an apartment doesn’t mean you have to go without a garden,” says Plant Sale Chair Joan Ouellette.

Plant Sale Essentials:

  • Van Dusen Gardens is located at 5251 Oak St (at W 37th Ave)
  • Date: Sunday, Apr. 29 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (line-up has been known to start as early as 6am)
  • Bring something in which to carry purchases – wheelbarrow, wagon, husband/wife
  • Dress for the weather
  • Wear appropriate footwear, the ground is uneven and can be muddy
  • Plant Hold and Plant Pick-Up available
  • Visa, Mastercard, debit, cash and cheque accepted
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions, Master Gardeners and Volunteers are on hand to help you
  • Parking is at a premium, be prepared to walk
  • Admission to VanDusen is free on Plant Sale Day

Who doesn’t love a great sale!  Start cleaning up the yard this weekend to make space for your plant bargains!

If you can’t make it to the Plant Sale, don’t worry the Garden’s new Plant Patio in the Garden Shop is now open.
Formerly located on the old entrance deck to the Garden, the Plant Patio has been relocated to a specially designed area adjacent to The Garden Shop in VanDusen’s new Visitor Centre.
The Plant Patio has long been considered a prime place in which to purchase rare and unusual plant material. It also stocks a full range of perennials, ornamentals, as well as vegetable / herb starters, container plants and trees.
Whether you are an avid plant collector, beginner gardener or green-thumb challenged, the Garden Shop’s Plant Patio is sure to have just the right plant for you.
The Garden Shop and Plant Patio are open daily from 10 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. in April and 8 p.m. in May.

Van Dusen Garden Festival Of Lights

While Vancouver has many spectacular festive light shows, Van Dusen Garden’s Festival Of Lights is one of the brightest of all.
Millions of glittering lights adorn the 55 acre botanical garden as it is transformed into a Christmas wonderland.  Take in the Dancing Lights on Livingston Lake, wander the Gingerbread Wood and Gold Chain Walk, watch the Candy Cane Miniature Train while sipping a hot chocolate or hot apple cider from one of the garden’s vendors. Relax listening to one of the many school choirs performing daily, or visit the Gnome Home where Scandinavian Elves, Svend & Jens appear nightly and no holiday event is complete without a visit of the jolly old elf, Santa.

Van Dusen Garden Festival of Lights continues nightly until January 2, 2012 (closed December 25).

Admission is
Adult (19-64): $13.50
Senior (65+): $10.00
Youth (13-18): $10.00
Child (3-12): $7.50
Family (2 adults & their children under 19): $31.00