It’s no surprise that B.C. has some of the most diverse and captivating gardens in Canada. From rugged coastal rainforests to fertile valleys, urban centres to mountains, B.C.’s gardens are ripe for exploration—with many of them found right here in Greater Vancouver! And, there’s no better time to explore them than this summer, when many flowers, trees, and plants are at their best.
With so many options across every region of BC, Gardens BC has launched a new go-to online resource to help locals and tourists of all ages to connect with nature by exploring B.C.’s gardens for beauty, adventure and learning. Enjoy curated itineraries to make garden exploration simple and easy or check out the blog for garden inspiration and education from top garden experts like Brian Minter and Erin Despard. To get you started, we’ve rounded up seven “can’t miss” garden tours to check out during peak garden tourism season in Vancouver:
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden: As one of Vancouver’s top tourist attractions, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden takes its inspiration from the Ming Dynasty scholars’ garden-homes in China, and is among the first of its kind to have been built outside of China. With a mission of maintaining and enhancing the bridge of understanding between Chinese-Canadian cultural heritage, the whole family can experience a tranquil tour of a Classical Chinese Garden and enjoy the garden’s unique collection of rocks and plants in the heart of Chinatown.
Minter Country Garden: For year-round gardening education and inspiration, head to Minter Country Garden. Founded by Brian Minter, B.C.’s go-to garden expert, Minter Country Garden is a one-stop-shop in Chilliwack for new and seasoned garden enthusiasts alike. Dog-friendly and wheelchair accessible, you can also enjoy amenities like an on-site café and seasonal events throughout the year!
Bloedel Conservatory: Experience the beauty of the tropics all year round at the Bloedel Conservatory in scenic Queen Elizabeth Park. Home to more than 100 exotic birds, koi, and 500 exotic plants and flowers, Bloedel Conservatory is a truly unique garden experience unlike any other. With year-round greenery creating a stunning indoor backdrop, the Bloedel Conservatory is also a great venue for things like wedding photos any time of year!
UBC Botanical Garden: Visit Canada’s oldest operating botanical garden in the heart of UBC, established in 1916 under John Davidson, the first provincial botanist. This historic garden is home to an internationally recognized collection of magnolias and maples, over 400 kinds of rhododendrons, and so much more. And, no visit is complete without a visit to the Gift Shop and Garden Centre!
Nitobe Memorial Garden: The Nitobe Memorial Garden is a true hidden garden gem that offers a peaceful oasis and place of reflection amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. Experience a glimpse of Japanese culture and learn more about Japanese-Canadian history in this year-round garden that highlights all four seasons: cherry blossoms in the spring, irises blooming in summer, maple leaves in the fall, and trees—both native and Japanese—in the winter.
Tanglebank: A multi-generational family farm featuring a boutique garden centre and bistro, Tanglebank in Abbotsford is a must-visit destination for the whole family! Take a stroll through the manicured gardens anytime of year to enjoy the captivating year-round foliage, stop by the European-inspired garden centre for gardening inspiration, and enjoy a delicious lunch at Brambles Bistro to round out your day.
VanDusen Botanical Garden: No list of Vancouver’s top garden destinations would be complete without VanDusen Botanical Garden. An expansive 55-acre oasis in the heart of the city and home to over 7,500 plant species and varieties, this all-ages garden experience is truly spectacular. Enjoy a garden tour, or tour at your own pace—but don’t miss the Elizabethan hedge maze, the garden-themed gift shop, or the fun, seasonal activities that take place year-round. With an on-site restaurant and picturesque landscapes at every turn, it’s also a stunning spot to host your next event or a wedding!
Exploring one of Vancouver’s diverse gardens is an amazing way to experience the city, while also finding opportunities to rest, relax, and rejuvenate in nature. Visit Gardens BC to discover more beautiful gardens found throughout every region of B.C! —Vita Daily