Botanic gardens of British Columbia

Explore the Botanic gardens of British Columbia with Armando Maravilla and Esaúl Hernández.

During our visit to Vancouver in 2023, we had the opportunity to explore and enjoy the area thanks to its good summer weather. We visited the city ‘s most important botanical gardens: the University of British Columbia (UBC) Botanical Garden, the VanDusen, and the Bloedel Floral Conservatory. 

The extent of these gardens was impressive, as well as their focus on conservation and education. In all of them, what stood out the most were the floral combinations that adorned the landscape and led to new spaces.

Planter at access to the botanical garden.
Photography: Armando Maravilla

UBC Botanical Garden

The oldest in the region and also the largest of the three, founded in 1916, covers 44 hectares. Notable areas include alpine forests, the Asian garden resulting from exchanges with institutions in Asia, a space that recreates the original flora of western North America created in 2006, a cactus and succulent garden, among other themed gardens. 

Additionally, it features an elevated walkway that offers impressive views among the trees. Within these gardens, the color of the herbaceous plants and flowering shrubs stood out, forming patches, some of them well-defined as part of the collection, and others like the edible garden, aiming for a wilder appearance.

Physic Garden Perspective.
Photography: Armando Maravilla


Opened in 1975 on a former golf course and spanning 22 hectares, the garden welcomes you to a lotus-inspired architectural enclosure, built in 2011 with LEED sustainability certifications. Our favorite spot was the Elizabethan Maze, composed of 3000 pruned cedars (Thuja occidentalis fastigiata) planted in 1981. 

There is also an exclusive hydrangea garden; we were surprised to see the quantity and variety of these flowers, not to mention the height of the sequoias (Sequoia sempervirens), as well as other gardens like the rose garden or the Mediterranean garden, where flowers with purple and blue hues predominated.

Something we really liked is that at the entrance, as a showcase, there were some cut flowers with their names so you knew what you were going to see throughout the tour, which are changed daily considering their seasonality.

Perspective with planter at access and bench.
Photography: Armando Maravilla

Interior of the building inspired by the lotus flower of the year 2001.
Photography: Esaúl Hernández

Queen Elizabeth Park – Bloedel Floral Conservatory

Within a 52.6-hectare park situated on what once was an old quarry, you’ll find the Bloedel Floral Conservatory located at the highest point, a greenhouse and aviary built in 1969 with architecture reminiscent of the space age. In this space, you can appreciate tropical flora and fauna, which may seem common to some but are exotic to the people of Vancouver.

Among the flowers in this space were orchids (Orchidaceae), bromeliads (Bromeliaceae), justice flowers, and anthuriums (Anthurium). These places revealed to us the great local botanical diversity in this part of Canada, through its textures, colors and aromas. The gardens not only dazzle with their beauty, but are also centers of knowledge and conservation that highlight the importance of protecting our botanical wealth and the planet.

Detail photo of Echinops and hollyhocks.
Photography: Armando Maravilla

Access with samples of the plants that will be seen during the tour.
Photography: Armando Maravilla