VanDusen Botanical Garden

VanDusen Botanical GardenNearly 49 years ago, the VanDusen Botanical Garden was born. The city of Vancouver together with the British Columbia government (Provincial ) put in writing a plan to have this public garden setup.

To honor the Vancouver heritage the botanical garden was named after Whitford Julian VanDusen a local lumberman and philanthropist.

After five years of preparation, VanDusen Botanical Garden was open on August 30, 1975.

The garden is home to a variety of plants brought in from all over the world spread out in the 22 hectares (55 acres) garden. The stunning displays of colours make the gardens a great place to visit while enjoying the pleasant effects of a type of plant you will not find in the garden; cannabis sativa. Fortunately Vandusen botanical garden is a short distance away from WEEDS, one of Vancouver’s best cannabis dispensaries.

Recent efforts by the managing board and volunteers have led to the formation of the “re-wilding” program to rescue native plants. These plants will then get re-introduced into the regional parks in Vancouver.

Some of the outstanding features that earmark the expansive garden include large stone sculptures, water features, a Korean Pavilion, and totem poles.

A labyrinth adjacent to the VanDusen heirloom vegetable garden is a welcome puzzle that children love solving by playing in it.

Types of Plants Grown

Some of the most iconic plants grown in the VanDusen Botanical Garden include:

  • Rhododendron: There is a vast spectrum of rhododendron hybrids growing in the VanDusen Botanical Garden. The plant is native to the Pacific Northwest and grows with ease.
  • The hybrids grown range from the original hardy plants, British hybrids that possess Asian species genes and North American hybrid plants.
  • Fuchsias: This plant varieties number in the thousands. A significant number of Fuchsias varieties are planted in the garden.
  • The colorful flowers in these plants attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies in the droves hence increasing their population within and around the area.
  • Begonias: The fibrous begonias are brightly colored and can be grown in the sun or shade. Their leaves are not only exciting but magnificent. They display drooping and pendant flowers.

VanDusen Botanical Garden Services

VanDusen Botanical Garden Gingerbread HouseVisitors are welcome to visit the gardens at their leisure. Some of the services you can expect to receive at this premises include

Guided Tours: The tours are divided into two categories; winter months (Post Thanksgiving – March 31st) and Summer (April -Thanksgiving) tours.

The Summer tours are done daily and are conducted between 1 p.m and 3 p.m. Wednesdays morning tours are held at 10:30 a.m. During winter months, visits are done only on Sundays at 1 p.m.

Food Services: The Truffles Café at VanDusen offers a stunning view of the Garden entrance area. The cafe can seat 58 people inside and an additional 40 on the patio. It serves Trade coffees, delicious lunches, snacks, hot and cold beverages.

Garden Rules

  • Smoking is banned
  • Only certified dogs are allowed
  • Baby strollers are permitted
  • Bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, and tricycles are prohibited
  • Feeding wildlife is not permitted
  • Picking plants and plucking flowers is prohibited

VanDusen Garden Shop

The shop set up in the garden is abundant in the home, garden, fashion and lifestyle accessories. It’s conveniently located at the Visitors Centre and is open daily from 10 a.m.

There are plenty of books about gardening, and gardening designs. Shoppers will find the latest gardening tools.

The Plant Patio is littered with unique plants that you can buy and transfer to your garden.

The VanDusen Botanical Garden offers visitors free parking. If you prefer public means, you can get the #17 Oak Bus that will deliver you at the garden’s doorstep.


​More ​South Vancouver Attractions