Well, hello from Canada! I have definitely been very indulged; we’ve seen some incredible gardens here. We’ve also seen some amazing fauna, from bears and racoons to deer and squirrels.
I thought I’d just quickly share a few photos; I’ll write more about my favourite gardens when I am home. Here are my highlights so far:
1. University of British Columbia Botanical Garden
It’s always great to see a native garden in a new country. Ferns and conifers dominated; lots of deep greens and interesting textures.
The UBC gardens also had plenty of non-native plantings. I loved this combination of Hemerocallis flowers, generous Rodgersia leaves and divided ferns. It reminded me of the look I am aiming to create in my shady front garden, albeit in much drier, poorer soil (hence no Rodgersia!).
And I adore Persicaria, here teamed with limed Hydrangea and more ferns.
2. Nitobe Japanese Garden, Vancouver
This Japanese garden was the best example of its type I have ever seen. The whole atmosphere was incredibly special and the attention to detail amazing. I’ll cover this garden in much more detail when I am back.
3. VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver
The VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver was one of the best public gardens I have ever seen. It had a huge variety of plantings, from Korean to Southern Hemisphere and everything in between. It was beautifully curated, wonderfully maintained and had some pockets of magic that really took your breath away. I’ll cover this one in a separate post, too.
4. Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
Not really a garden, but certainly interesting flora and fauna. The very small garden had obviously been planted up in the last month or so, but it was the natural beauty that really caught my interest.
Meadow-like open areas between stands of conifers; such a strong sense of place.
I loved the wildflowers popping up here and there.
Admittedly, these bears were not quite so wild, but still pretty cute. We’re not sure if we’d love to see them in the wild or if we’re plain petrified of the idea; although after seeing their teeth and claws it is perhaps more of the latter.
5. Government House Garden, Victoria
The gardens at Government House were absolutely outstanding. The light wasn’t wonderful, but the plantings were. It was clear that both a very talented artist and horticulturist had been involved in the design: the colours were as skilled as I have ever seen and it was clear that expert plant knowledge had been applied.
l found it very interesting that these virtually deserted, free to enter gardens near the city centre were far superior, in my view, to the world renowned, one million visitors per annum, $31 entry fee Butchart Gardens, some 25 kilometres from the city. There was just no comparison, in my mind. I could happily visit Government House every day of the year, if I lived nearby, and still never be bored of its gardens. I’ll be writing this garden up separately, too.
That’s it for now; I’m looking forward to sharing more of my adventures later on…