Facility Rentals at UBC Botanical Garden

By Scott McDonald | Botanical Garden , Cultural Garden , Garden News

Events and facility rentals ubcbg-amphitheatre-cropped

Explore the different UBC Botanical Garden venues below. From the magical Contemporary Lawn and Arbour to the “best of both worlds” Reception Centre and to the peaceful Nitobe Memorial Garden, you’re bound to find the right space that fits your needs.

Roseline Sturdy Amphitheatre

A modern terraced setting, with a beautifully patinaed rammed-earth wall, provides an exquisite space for your ceremony. The Roseline Sturdy Amphitheatre with its tiered seating has capacity for up to 225 people.

Main Lawn

Our largest available venue with a capacity for over 250 people, the Main Lawn is the ideal space to host large events. Adjacent to Cattail Pond, this expansive green space looks onto the Physic Garden, the Arbour and the Alpine Garden. It is the perfect place to celebrate and have your guests explore everything the Garden has to offer.

Contemporary Lawn & Arbour

A rich garden oasis, the Contemporary Lawn & Arbour provides a secluded setting for your special day. With a tapestry of vines, the covered Arbour delivers a romantic setting for a beautiful ceremony or long table dinner. This private outdoor venue has capacity for 250 people, and works wonderfully for both ceremonies and receptions.

Reception Centre

Sitting close to the edge of the bluffs overlooking the ocean beyond, the Reception Centre is our largest indoor and outdoor venue. Opening onto a large covered patio and concrete uncovered patio, the building is adjacent to a beautiful lawn. The nearby covered lookout (the Ting) comes with this package. Holding a capacity of 100, this area is a lovely venue for both an indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception.

Garden Pavilion

Acting as a window into the delicate garden beyond, the Garden Pavilion is an idyllic space for intimate gatherings or a bridal room before your ceremony. With capacity for 50 people, this quaint building has large picture windows, and a catering preparation area.

Nitobe Memorial Garden

A traditional tea and stroll garden considered to be among the top Japanese gardens outside Japan. With a capacity of up to 25 people, this garden is the perfect backdrop for an intimate ceremony.

Greenheart TreeWalk

This space provides exclusive access to the canopy walkway as well as an adjacent meadow for entertaining within the garden. At their leisure guests can explore the 300m long aerial trail system, explore the Garden, and mingle in the meadow. Please call for availability.

UBC Botanical Garden Facilities Rentals

Gardens British Columbia launches innovative new website

By Scott McDonald | Garden News

Gardens BC new website

media release header
Gardens British Columbia launches innovative new website

Visit gardensbc.com and explore British Columbia’s exquisite Gardens


Victoria, BC, December 15, 2015 – Gardens British Columbia is pleased to launch its new website in partnership with Destination British Columbia. As an officially recognized tourism sector, it is estimated there are currently between 50 and 100 gardens throughout British Columbia that are active in marketing their experiences.

“We recognize that online communications is very important to garden visitors,” says Dave Cowen, President of Gardens British Columbia and General Manager for The Butchart Gardens. “We are very pleased to launch our new website, which allows for greater recognition of some of BC’s premier gardens and we will continue to look for fresh new ways to engage visitor’s and garden enthusiasts alike through our website and social media platforms.”

Highlights of Gardens British Columbia’s new site include:

  • Rich imagery and visual elements grab attention
  • Simplified navigation with improved user experience
  • Streamed Garden events and an integrated blog in the form of a news feed
  • Robust member pages with video/maps and social
  • Integrated social media
  • Responsive design

The website project was funded jointly by Gardens BC and Destination British Columbia’s Experiences BC sector development program.

Garden enthusiasts, residents and visitors to British Columbia are encouraged browse the site at www.gardensbc.com to learn more about BC’s garden tourism experiences.

Gardens BC is a non-profit organization formed in 2008 to assist in promoting Garden Tourism throughout the region. Currently there are 11 member gardens and partners. Gardens BC is actively seeking new members and looking to expand the provincial directory on the website.

For more information contact:
Dale Ryan, Marketing Committee Co-chair, Gardens BC

VanDusen Botanical Gardens 40th Anniversary

By Scott McDonald | Garden News



2015 was VanDusen Botanical Garden’s 40th anniversary! Come and see a special photo retrospective in the Visitor Centre’s Discovery Room featuring more than 500 photos that tell the story of the transformation of Shaugnessy Golf Course into the VanDusen Botanical Garden.

VanDusen birthday cake FB

The Garden’s birthday was on August 16, 2015 with events and activities for the whole family. Featuring live music, historical and botanical talks and tours, an heirloom veggie harvest, family entertainment, photo booth, climbing wall, putting green, face-painting, tasty treats, and much more! All entertainment and activities are included with admission.

The Garden is jointly operated by the City of Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreationand the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association, a charitable non-profit organization. Our two organizations have worked together for more than 40 years under a shared vision of making the Garden cherished locally and renowned internationally.

Donald Olson – The Pacific Northwest Garden Tour Book

By Scott McDonald | Garden News

Donald Olson - The Pacific Northwest Garden Tour Book Cover

The Pacific Northwest Garden Tour Book article

The Pacific Northwest Garden Tour: The 60 Best Gardens to Visit in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia

By Donald Olson

There are a few BC gems in this new book too!

Description from Timberpress’ website…

The Pacific Northwest is full of glorious public gardens, in addition to nurseries and garden centers with display gardens. But how many of them do you know?

The delightfully written Pacific Northwest Garden Tour takes you to sixty of the best gardens in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, including some on Vancouver Island.  With an easy-to-use format and enticing photographs, it’s an indispensable companion to one of the lushest garden belts in North America, if not the world.

Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, you’ll discover little-known gems and rediscover classic gardens—all of them filled with beauty, history, drama, and excitement.

“Your must-visit list of Northwest gardens is finally organized and illustrated.”

Sunset Magazine

About the author

Donald Olson is a travel writer with a longtime interest in gardens and gardening. His travel stories have appeared in the New York Times and National Geographic. He lives, writes, and gardens in New York and Oregon.

Learn more at: timberpress.com/books/pacific_northwest_garden_tour/olson/9781604694512

You might also be interested in: The Inside Guide to Southern Vancouver Island’s Secret Gardens

Milner Gardens – Rhododendron Species Garden

By Scott McDonald | Garden News

Stroll the rhododendron woodland garden.
Stroll the woodland garden.

Stroll the woodland garden.

In June 2015, the Milner Gardens and Woodland Society, VIU, and the five Vancouver Island Chapters of the American Rhododendron Society signed an MOU with the goal of building a Rhododendron Species Garden at Milner Gardens.

The woodland garden already features an extensive collection of rhododendrons, many from the nursery of Ted and Mary Greig, noted rhododendron hybridizers who were jointly awarded the American Rhododendron Society Gold Medal in 1965.

The breadth of the collection is astounding. Clouds of orange, purple augustinii hybrids, red May Day, and shilsonii, form wave after wave of color, decorating an array of branch and leaf patterns. Petals spill on the ground to form an exotic carpet. Giant Himalayan are massed for high impact. Camellias cluster near the house, in pink, rose, and white. A Chinese dogwood (Corpus kousavar. chinensis) provides a spectacular show.

The garden includes specimens of stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia), a dove tree (Davidia involucrata), cultivars of beech (Fagus sylvatica), birch (Betula pendula), golden chain tree (Laburnum x watereri `Vossii), Katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum), dawn redwood (Metaseguoia glyptostroboides), and Spanish chestnut (Castanea saliva).

You might also be interested in The Inside Guide to Southern Vancouver Island’s Secret Gardens.

Tofino Botanical Gardens – Tourism Tofino article

By Scott McDonald | Garden News

Tofino Botanical Gardens IMG_3764 Tourism Tofino
Tofino Botanical Gardens IMG_3764 Tourism Tofino

Photo: Tourism Tofino

The Tofino Botanical Gardens were selected as one of the best gardens in the world by Jane Perrone, the gardening editor for the UK’s Guardian newspaper for their whimsical and inspiring nature. These 12 acres of gardens, forest, and shoreline explore the relationship between culture and nature.

Tofino Botanical Gardens Foundation, a non-profit registered Canadian charity operates educational programs and provides information about temperate rainforest conservation. A network of paths and boardwalks will take you from Darwin’s Café and Visitor Centre around the flower, herb and kitchen gardens, the duck pond, and Children’s Garden into the forest, where clearings have been transformed into a series of pocket gardens, art installations and garden buildings. Some of the pocket gardens display plants that once thrived in other coastal temperate rainforests around the world.

Garden buildings include the “historic” Bernardo O’Higgins homestead, the storytelling hut made by acclaimed local artist, Jan Janzen and two bird blinds overlooking the Tofino Mudflats Wildlife Management Area. Featuring the work of internationally renowned sculptor Michael Dennis, art installations are all made to survive or weather in the rain, and provide a cultural counterpoint to the surrounding natural beauty.

Open daily from 9am till dusk.

Originally posted by Tourism Tofino.

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