VanDusen Botanical Garden

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View across one of the ponds, to the mountains north of Vancouver
Autumn colours at VanDusen Botanical Garden, 2011

VanDusen Botanical Garden is situated in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Named for local lumberman and philanthropist Whitford Julian VanDusen,[1] it has been a public garden since its opening on August 30, 1975. The garden is managed by the Vancouver Park Board and run by an administrative staff bolstered by approximately 1600 volunteers and 9 full-time gardeners with seasonal interns.

VanDusen Botanical Garden is located in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood of Vancouver at the North West corner of 37th and Oak Street. The garden is open to the public every day of the year except Christmas. There are admission fees. The Garden covers 22 hectares (55 acres) and displays plants gathered from all over the world.

In 1970 the Vancouver Foundation, the provincial government, and the city of Vancouver signed an agreement to develop a public garden on part of the old Shaughnessy Golf Course. An early decision not to partake in scientific research enabled the channelling of funds and energy into garden construction and released the staff from the responsibility of building research collections or a herbarium. However, there is a specialized reference library in the new building (a LEED platinum standard[2] "living building" which opened in November 2011).

The building features a gift/garden shop, a book and seed library, a restaurant and a coffee shop.

Special features in the garden include carved totem poles, large stone sculptures, and a Korean Pavilion at the edge of the Asian plant collection. Children, in particular, enjoy the maze situated adjacent to the heirloom vegetable garden.

Horticulturally, visitors find a large collection of species and hybrid Rhododendron, cultivars of Fagus sylvatica, as well as collections of Sorbus, Fraxinus and Magnolia.

Specialized niche plantings include a Heather garden, a "black" garden, a seasonal "Laburnum Walk", a majestic stand of sequoiadendron giganteum, a cypress pond, a formal perennial garden, a heritage vegetable garden (seasonal), a fragrance garden (seasonal) and a large sino-Himalayan garden.

VanDusen Botanical Garden is enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. Visitors can merely enjoy the display or strive for a deeper understanding of plants and their growing conditions. Many of the plant collections are labelled and arranged to demonstrate botanical relationships or geographical origins. Free guided walking tours and cart tours are offered daily through the spring, summer and fall.

Educational opportunities include a series of lectures, and workshops, as well as school programs.

Some of the volunteer opportunities include guiding, seed collecting, dried flower arranging, information desk and plant labeling.

The garden is a popular site for local weddings. Site rentals are arranged through the administrative offices. The garden also plays host to the yearly VanDusen Garden Plant Sale and the winter Festival of Lights.

R. Roy Forster was recognized with the Order of Canada on April 14, 1999, for his work in creating the gardens.[3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ About us. VanDusen Botanical Garden. Retrieved on January 2, 2011
  2. ^ LEED Platinum
  3. ^ "Order of Canada: R. Roy Forster, C.M., B.A.". Governor General of Canada. 2006-03-30. Retrieved 2006-10-26. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°14′23″N 123°07′56″W / 49.23972°N 123.13222°W / 49.23972; -123.13222