VanDusen Botanical Garden: Escape From The Hustle and Bustle

Looking at a map of Vancouver reveals a city that is just as full of bountiful greenery as it is tall concrete structures. While on our daily walk, Elise and I had the opportunity to enjoy a number of different parks of all shapes and sizes, and full of some of the most exciting playground equipment I’ve personally ever seen. The gargantuan trees and hint of refreshing moisture in every cool breath of fresh air you take in is enough to bring you into a relaxed state. Regardless of where in the city you are, the trees muffle the sound of the cars, and birdsong fills the air. Although, compared to all the parks we visited, nothing could quite compete with the VanDusen Botanical Gardens.

The VanDusen Botanical Gardens is the perfect get away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets. The garden’s vast variety of flowers and trees from every corner of our Earth sprawled out across 55 acres is enough to forget that you are in a densely populated city at all. The park is split up into countless gardens named after either the part of the world the plants come from like the Chilean or Sino-Himalayan garden, or a specific plant or theme like the Fern Dell or Fragrance Garden. 

Every plant is well labeled and many have interesting facts and trivia to go along with them. If you’re into the story behind things like I am, then reading all the plaques and learning about the plant’s place of origin and traditional uses can add an extra layer of excitement to the park’s picturesque beauty. They even offer guided and self-guided tours of the park for the truly knowledge hungry. We didn’t end up taking any of the tours, but I would have loved to. The park is so large that it becomes easy to lose yourself in it; it seemingly goes on forever. We spent a whole day lost in its countless walkways, yet were still unable to see every garden we wanted to. I can imagine the tours would help you really get the most out of it, but wandering around, wondering what’s in store for you around the next corner certainly has its merit as wall

If you’re looking to take a break from all the walking, they have several strategically placed benches with beautiful views of the countless lakes and flowers, and you can even sit down for a picnic in the Great Lawn at the center of the park. If you’re looking for a break from all the plants and the walkways, there is also a hedge maze that is a blast to find your way through, and a restaurant that, while we didn’t get a chance to eat at, looked delightful! 

Vancouver has a fascinating balance of city and nature that I haven’t experienced anywhere else before! The VanDusen Botanical Gardens is a beautiful testament to nature side of things. Very rarely does any noise pollution bleed through the thick shield of trees, giving you the perfect breath of fresh air. The last thing I’ll say is that if you’re planning on visit, make a day out of it and be sure to visit the Queen Elizabeth Park & Biodel Conservatory. It’s just down the street and more than worth seeing as well!