|UBC Botanical Garden is Canada’s oldest continuously operating university botanical garden. The original mission of the garden was research into the native flora of British Columbia. Over the past nine decades, our mission has broadened to include research, conservation, teaching and public display of temperate plants from around the world, particularly Asian, alpine and native plants. We’re also home to the Greenheart Canopy Walkway.Come visit us – we’re located at 6804 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC. You can find more info at botanicalgarden.ubc.ca|
Summer-flowering chitalpa (xChitalpa tashkentensis ‘Pink Dawn’), an arboreal delights recently planted at the entrance of UBC Botanical Garden.
All of this summer sunshine is a perfect contrast to the dreary weather we endure in winter. But in the garden, non-stop sunshine can be too much of a good thing, and barring August rain, the remedy is shade. In UBC Botanical Garden, the David C. Lam Asian Garden with its tall coniferous cover and maturing under-storey naturally comes to mind. This is a cool place to walk and enjoy the amazing diversity of Asian plants. Hornbeams, persimmons, mountain ash and styrax relatives vie for space in the understorey with the maples and magnolias. Even at the entrance to the garden visitors can enjoy arboreal delights, such as the recently planted, summer-flowering chitalpa (xChitalpa tashkentensis ‘Pink Dawn’) and down the boardwalk, the magnificent false pistachio (Tapiscia sinensis) and truly August-flowering Yakushima crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia fauriei).
The Carolinian Forest Garden, though less than ten years old, is beginning to show some structure and provide considerable shade, as well. Liriodendrons, planted in the hundreds as a nurse crop, will eventually be removed when the oaks, ashes, buckeyes and other sun-lovers are large enough to themselves shelter the more shade-loving trees and shrubs. Look for the chalky-white striped stems of the moosewood (Acer pensylvanicum) and the gigantic white-backed, paddle-like leaves of bigleaf magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla), two classic eastern understorey trees. Like the Asian Garden, the BC Rainforest Garden (a.k.a. the BC Native Garden) has its share of lofty conifers and understorey plantings, but here, all of the plants are native to our local region. The Rainforest Garden also has a sizeable pond, around which are benches tucked into leafy bowers. These are perfect for whiling away the time listening to birds and watching dragonflies.
Finally, the Main Lawn area and adjacent Winter Garden are both well endowed with a variety of trees, large and small. Many are strategically located close to the E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden, where sunshine is the needed tonic for that garden’s amazing non-stop floral diversity. Within the Alpine Garden itself are several interesting small trees, including a Mt. Wellington peppermint (Eucalyptus coccifera), Antarctic beech (Nothofagus antarctica) and canyon maple (Acer grandidentatum). Near the western end of the Main Lawn is a small grove of young oriental plane (Platanus orientalis) trees. It is said that Hippocrates, the “father” of western medicine, lectured to his students under the broad crown of an ancient oriental plane on the Greek island of Kos. Take a moment to relax under these still young trees and consider their history and the inspiration that nature brings us, and enjoy the shade.