The VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, Canada, Is a Beauty!

Updated on August 27, 2019
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

The Beautiful VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, Canada
The Beautiful VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, Canada | Source

VanDusen Botanical Garden

This extensive garden sits on the 55-acre (22.5-hectare) site of what used to be the Shaughnessy Golf Course. When the golf course was abandoned, thought was given to turn the area into the development of condos. Thankfully, that did not come to pass!

Citizens of Vancouver spearheaded the idea of preserving this land for the public, and with the help of the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Foundation and even the Government of British Columbia, the idea for this botanical garden became a reality.

The garden was officially named after Mr. W.J. VanDusen, who happened to be the president of the Vancouver Foundation and who also donated money for the development of this botanical garden.

The VanDusen Botanical Gardens are now overseen by the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. The Botanical Gardens Association of Vancouver also helps with the direction the garden has taken.

This site contains all the elements needed for a gorgeous garden; the weather is mild, there are lovely water features, and the variety of plants that can grow in that climate is diverse.

My mother, niece, and I took time one year to do some walking through these gorgeous gardens while we were on vacation.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Photo of VanDusen Botanical Garden in VancouverRose Garden at VanDusen Botanical GardenVanDusen Botanical GardenMy niece standing in the VanDusen Botanical GardenVanDusen Botanical GardenMy niece with one of the many sculptures at VanDusen Botanical Garden Sculpture viewed from afar in the VanDusen Botanical GardenDry Oriental garden designVanDusen Botanical Garden Photo
Photo of VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver
Photo of VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver | Source
Rose Garden at VanDusen Botanical Garden
Rose Garden at VanDusen Botanical Garden | Source
VanDusen Botanical Garden
VanDusen Botanical Garden | Source
My niece standing in the VanDusen Botanical Garden
My niece standing in the VanDusen Botanical Garden | Source
VanDusen Botanical Garden
VanDusen Botanical Garden | Source
My niece with one of the many sculptures at VanDusen Botanical Garden
My niece with one of the many sculptures at VanDusen Botanical Garden | Source
Sculpture viewed from afar in the VanDusen Botanical Garden
Sculpture viewed from afar in the VanDusen Botanical Garden | Source
Dry Oriental garden design
Dry Oriental garden design | Source
VanDusen Botanical Garden Photo
VanDusen Botanical Garden Photo | Source

Different Types of Gardens

In laying out the design for the gardens, it was decided to use numerous plants from around the world and group them by geographic origin. This plan provides many different areas of the garden to enjoy and experience as one portion of the acreage may look entirely different from another part.

  • There is a medieval garden maze.
  • A rose garden sprawls nearby.
  • The rhododendron garden was in full bloom when we passed by that area.
  • The Asian features of the garden add to its distinctive beauty.
  • Sculptures dot the grounds and add interest.

The sculptures strategically placed throughout the park are each labeled with the sculptor's name and country. Many of these enormous pieces of art were carved on-site during the International Stone Sculpture Symposium that occurred in 1975. It would have been fun to see them being carved, but it is still very enjoyable to see the result of the different artists' interpretations of their medium, whether stone, wood, or another raw material.

VanDusen Botanical Rose Garden

Sights and Sounds

We loved strolling through the VanDusen Botanical Garden. The winding paths took one over wooden bridges where one could look down upon lily pads in bloom. It also led one to vast expanses of lawn with borders of the majestic trees and blooming shrubs punctuating the scenery with color. The plants and trees were labeled so one could learn more about them.

We saw our very first monkey puzzle tree in these gardens. What an unusual looking tree this was to our eyes! Supposedly this monkey puzzle tree is the only tree in the world that a monkey cannot climb due to its very sharp needle-like leaves.

Vancouver hosted a World Exposition in 1986, and a Korean-style pavilion was a gift from the Korean people to the people of Vancouver. It now graces a spot in the botanical garden for people from every part of the world who visit this garden to enjoy.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
VanDusen Botanical GardensMy mother seated below a monkey puzzle treeKorean Pavilion at VanDusen Botanical GardensVanDusen Botanical GardensThe hedge maze at VanDusen Botanical GardenVanDusen Botanical Garden imageVanDusen Botanical GardenVanDusen Botanical GardenVanDusen Botanical Garden
VanDusen Botanical Gardens
VanDusen Botanical Gardens | Source
My mother seated below a monkey puzzle tree
My mother seated below a monkey puzzle tree | Source
Korean Pavilion at VanDusen Botanical Gardens
Korean Pavilion at VanDusen Botanical Gardens | Source
VanDusen Botanical Gardens
VanDusen Botanical Gardens | Source
The hedge maze at VanDusen Botanical Garden
The hedge maze at VanDusen Botanical Garden | Source
VanDusen Botanical Garden image
VanDusen Botanical Garden image | Source
VanDusen Botanical Garden
VanDusen Botanical Garden | Source
VanDusen Botanical Garden
VanDusen Botanical Garden | Source
VanDusen Botanical Garden
VanDusen Botanical Garden | Source

Location, Rules, and Pricing

You can find these gardens at 5251 Oak Street (at the corner of Oak and West 37th Avenue) in the heart of Vancouver. They are open every day of the year except for Christmas.

These gardens are meant to be enjoyed by walking through them. Baby strollers are allowed but no other form of accommodation such as skateboards, bicycles, and the like. Pets are not allowed except for guide dogs. There is to be no smoking on the grounds.

They do charge fees to enter the gardens, but the charge is nominal and helps to maintain and further develop these gardens. Parking for those arriving in their vehicles is free. The entrance fees depend upon the time of year, April 1st through September 30th, being the most expensive. As of August of 2019, the fees are as follows:

  • Adults (19–64) $11.25 (April 1 to Sept. 30) or $8 at other times of the year
  • Seniors (65+) $8.45, or $5.50 (Oct. 1 to March 31)
  • Youth (13–18) The same pricing as Seniors
  • Child (4–12) $5.50, or $4.25 (Oct. 1 to March 31)
  • Children under 3 and VanDusen Botanical Garden members are free.
  • Groups of 10 people or more receive a 10% discount on pricing.

The garden hours are shorter in the winter months and longer in the summers. In June, July, and August the gardens open at 9 AM and close at 8 PM. The shortest hours are November to February when they open at 10 AM and close at 3 PM. Check their website if you plan to visit there in other months of the year.

If you enjoy nature in a more natural setting, consider visiting these gardens if you are ever in Vancouver, Canada. I would heartily recommend spending some leisure time there.

5 stars for VanDusen Botanical Garden

Festival of Lights

Toward the end of each year, a Festival of Lights is held in the VanDusen Botanical Garden. Since we were there in the summertime, we did not get to see that extravaganza, but this video below lends an idea of what there is to know if one is there during the time of the year conducive to this type of display.

It must be a fantastic sight to see these gorgeous grounds transformed and lit with thousands of twinkling multicolored lights.

A
Vancouver, Canada:
Vancouver, BC, Canada

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Would you consider strolling through the VanDusen Botanical Garden if in Vancouver?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2009 Peggy Woods

    Comments are welcomed.

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      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        7 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Vinaya,

        While the pictures show something of the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver, obviously seeing it in person is even better. My camera was just a simple point and shoot variety. Appreciate your comment.

      • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

        Vinaya Ghimire 

        7 years ago from Nepal

        I loved the pictures. They are so beautiful.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        7 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi alocsin,

        I guess you can tell that we like visiting gardens whenever we travel if given the time to explore. Hope that you can fit in a visit to the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens the next time you make it to Vancouver. Thanks for your comment and votes. :)

      • alocsin profile image

        Aurelio Locsin 

        7 years ago from Orange County, CA

        Peggy, you come up with the best places I've never visited in cities that I have visited. The stone sculpture looks fantastic. I'll add this to my checklist when I get to Vancouver next. Voting this Up and Useful.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        8 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hello wilrhoades,

        I am certain that if you like Gardens, you would love the ones in Vancouver, Canada. Van Dusen Botanical Garden is just one of many. Hope you get to see all of them in person someday! :))

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        8 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Charlu,

        Like you, I had never seen a monkey puzzle tree either. The Van Dusen Botanical Gardens are truly gorgeous especially with all of the sculptures intermixed with the lawns and plantings. Thanks for the votes and comment. :)))

      • Charlu profile image

        Charlu 

        8 years ago from Florida

        This place is gorgeous The dancing lights were so awesome and I never heard of a monkey puzzle tree. I would love to grow roses like that Voted all the up buttons and thanks for sharing

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        9 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Billy,

        The Van Dusen Botanical Gardens were just one of the gardens we got to enjoy while in Vancouver and also while on Vancouver Island. It is obviously a terrific climate for growing things. Great vacation spot as you mentioned!

      • billyaustindillon profile image

        billyaustindillon 

        9 years ago

        Beautiful botanical gardens. Vancouver itself as beautiful the island and water there so I guess I shouldn't think that the gardens wouldn't be. Would be a great part of a Summer vacation.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        9 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hello love2scrap,

        Am so pleased to know that you enjoyed these photos from the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver...especially the frog. :-) You are most welcome and thanks for the comment.

      • love2scrap profile image

        love2scrap 

        9 years ago

        Fabulous photos - I love the frog! Thanks so much for sharing!

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        9 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi ss sneh,

        Very happy to hear that you enjoyed the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens hub from Vancouver, Canada. It was our pleasure in visiting there and my pleasure in sharing that visit here on hubpages. Thanks for the visit and comment.

      • ss sneh profile image

        ss sneh 

        9 years ago from the Incredible India!

        Hi! Beautiful video, beautiful pictures... very nice hub! -- Thanks

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        9 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi katyzzz,

        So very happy that you enjoyed this look at the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver, Canada. They are really lovely! Thanks for the glowing comment.

      • katyzzz profile image

        katyzzz 

        9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

        Fantastic hub and a great collection of videos, what more can I say, awesome?

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        10 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi loveroflife,

        No, not yet. Actually even in the United States, I have spent more time in the West than in the East when vacationing. Guess I had better correct that! Ha! Glad that you enjoyed this look at Vancouver's Van Dusen Botanical Gardens and thanks, once again, for commenting.

      • profile image

        loveroflife 

        10 years ago

        More beauty from Vancouver in western Canada. Have you ever explored the eastern provinces?

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        10 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hello mp!

        Always nice to see someone new commenting on these hubs.

        If you live that close you will definitely want to check out the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver on your next visit. Might check out the other great gardens as well. We absolutely LOVED it there!

        Thanks for your comment.

      • profile image

        mp 

        10 years ago

        WOW those are beautiful... I live in the okanagan valley only a couple hours drive from there... I will definitely check it out next time in Van... very nice Hub

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        10 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi ripplemaker,

        Happy to introduce this to you. I know what you mean...as we all read about places and see photos from other parts of the world from fellow hubbers...there are an endless amount of places worth exploring. Thanks for commenting.

      • ripplemaker profile image

        Michelle Simtoco 

        10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

        I love the gardens and would love to go there. Now my bucket list is getting longer...now if I had a million dollars, this would be one of the things I'd like to do. Hehe Hey Dottie, can I come with you? :-) Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos Peggy! You take such good pictures.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        10 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi ethel,

        And I would like to see more of our neighbor to the north. The only part I have seen thus far is Vancouver up to Squamish and the Island of Victoria. Loved every minute of it. My husband was on a business trip to Toronto once and he came back with great memories of that city.

        Thanks for your comment.

      • ethel smith profile image

        Ethel Smith 

        10 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

        Would love to visit Canada

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        10 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hello Journey*,

        Glad that you liked them. Thanks for the comment.

      • Journey * profile image

        Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

        10 years ago from USA

        Wow Peggy, what beautiful gardens and great pics of them. Thanks for sharing. -Journey*

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        10 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Cris, Happy that you could accompany us on our stroll. Thanks for commenting.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        10 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Dolores,

        The photos were taken with an old Canon camera. Today, I would have the advantage of having my digital camera. I would know what the photos look like before getting home and hoping that they were good. Ah.....progress! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Cris A profile image

        Cris A 

        10 years ago from Manila, Philippines

        Nice gardens indeed! And thanks for taking us for a stroll :D

      • Dolores Monet profile image

        Dolores Monet 

        10 years ago from East Coast, United States

        Beautiful gardens, Peggy, the pics look like old poastcards, some like paintings, what a beautiful place.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        10 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Dottie,

        They certainly have their share of beautiful gardens there. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Dottie1 profile image

        Dottie1 

        10 years ago from MA, USA

        This sounds like a garden haven and worth a trip with nothing else in mind except a peaceful stroll in the gardens. Lovely. Thank you!

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        10 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi shamelabboush,

        We really did have fun together. It was a period of time in our lives when the 3 of us traveled together each summer. We always chose new and different places to explore. With these hubs I am reliving those moments and you are getting a glimpse of the places we enjoyed. Thanks for your comment.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        10 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Birte,

        Vancouver would be high on my list of places to not only visit, but revisit. I am writing different hubs regarding our 5 day stay there because it would be impossible to show or talk about all of our experiences in one hub without simply skimming the surface. We crammed in as much as we could in 5 days and still did not begin to see it all. Stay tuned for more and thanks for commenting.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        10 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi kiran,

        That is one fun thing about hubpages. We all learn from each other's experiences whether travel, cooking, ideas, etc. Thanks for your comment.

      • shamelabboush profile image

        shamelabboush 

        10 years ago

        Oh my! It seems you always have fun together? It's fantastic to visit all these places :)

      • BirteEdwards profile image

        BirteEdwards 

        10 years ago

        Another hub that adds a site to my list of what to see and where to travel.

      • kiran8 profile image

        kiran8 

        10 years ago from Mangalore, India

        Another great hub, makes me want to visit all the places you show us here...thanks a lot :)

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        10 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Nolimits Nana,

        Thanks for adding this bit of information so that other people who may visit it will know. We had eaten lunch that day at the Capilano Suspension bridge restaurant so were not hungry when we visited the Van Dusen gardens.

        You are fortunate to have it in your backyard so-to-speak. We really enjoyed it and were happy that we chose to visit there.

      • profile image

        Nolimits Nana 

        10 years ago

        Hi, Peggy - A great review of one of my favorite BC gardens. I've strolled through it several times, and enjoyed its diversity, beauty and peacefulness in a busy city. By the way, the restaurant serves a great lunch!

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        10 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Pete,

        Finally! Something we both have in common. We found them to be very natural and peaceful. Thanks for the quick comment again.

      • Pete Maida profile image

        Pete Maida 

        10 years ago

        Those gardens are very nice; we were there a few years ago.

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