Can you smell it? Spring is in the air!
And Vancouver, British Columbia, is blooming right now with flowers.
(Jump to “What’s Blooming When?” below for the year-round bloom calendar.)
Daffodils and purple crocuses popped up in February.
March saw cherry trees bursting with pink and white blossoms.
Soon, tulips will show off their blood-red beauty.
And bluebells and colorful rhodos and azaleas will make you stop, look and smile – and feel that warm sense of joy knowing that summer is around the corner.
Because sometimes, when events in the world or at home get us down, we need to hang on to the bright and hopeful things, no matter how small.
Like… How good it feels to throw off winter’s shackles!
If you love beautiful gardens, then to really get your flower fix, visit VanDusen Botanical Garden, one of the prettiest and best gardens in Vancouver, BC.
VanDusen Botanical Garden
Open year-round, the VanDusen Botanical Gardens encompass 55 acres of gardens, ponds, fountains and walking paths in the heart of Vancouver.
A former golf course, the garden opened in 1975 to the public and is jointly managed by the Vancouver Park Board and the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association.
A whole army of 1,200 non-gardening volunteers help.
Plants and flowers:
You can see some 255,000 individual plants from around the world, including collections from tropical South Africa, the Himalayas and South America to Canada’s own Pacific Northwest region.
Cute tags explain the plants and flowering bushes, and there are lots of places for pretty Insta pics.
Children, especially, love the Elizabethan Maze. And don’t miss the fantastic monkey puzzle tree!
On a sunny spring day, we smelled the sweet scent of soft pink rhodos. (Who knew some rhododendron varieties are scented!).
We tiptoed through (actually around) the tulips.
We learned about widow-maker trees that sprout 5.5 lb pine cones.
And we stuck our noses almost right inside carnivore pitcher plants (which capture flies).
Free tours with trained volunteer docent guides are the best way to appreciate VanDusen Botanical Garden.
And, boy, did we luck out with having Malcolm Hunter as our guide!
An absolute fount of knowledge, he entranced us for over three hours. Perhaps when you visit, you’ll be equally lucky with the guide you get.
Visiting Victoria? Then don’t miss the top 5 Victoria, BC, gardens – read next!
What’s blooming when?
This is the time for camellias, cherry blossoms, striking pink magnolias, delicate trillium and so much more!
In May, the “Rhododendron Walk” is in full bloom.
Smell the roses and sweet peas, marvel at water lilies and enjoy the perennial gardens and hanging baskets from June to August.
There are still plenty of blooms in fall.
But this time of year, you also witness the fiery colors of autumn, especially in October.
Winter berries add small pops of color to winter textures like frozen hydrangea blooms and winter-flowering jasmine.
Other Vancouver gardens
Related: In Kauai, you must visit the beautiful Allerton and McBryde Botanical Gardens
Photo credits: 3, 5, 6 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase | 1, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11 VanDusen Botanical Garden