Buds and blooms begin to emerge, soft pink cherry blossom petals float freely through the air and colour the streets, while blue skies and sunlight shine through the clouds: there’s no question that spring has arrived in British Columbia. As signs of the season begin to show themselves, gardens throughout the province are tending to thousands of trees, shrubs and flowers in anticipation of local blooms putting on their annual spring display. With gorgeous international influences, lively blossoms, and thousands of acres to speak of, British Columbia’s public gardens promise a breathtaking experience.

The Butchart Gardens – Over 100 Years in Bloom

What began as Jennie Butchart’s passion project in the early 1900s has blossomed into a National Historic Site of Canada that currently nurtures 900 plant varieties across 55 acres of gardens on beautiful Vancouver Island. Brentwood Bay’s temperate climate allows exotic plants to thrive in the internationally inspired Italian and Mediterranean Gardens, while the Japanese Garden’s streams and lush flora inspire calm and tranquility. Walking paths guide visitors through the vibrant blossoms of the Sunken Garden and under the magnificent arches of the Rose Garden, where all the senses are delighted by almost 300 varieties of roses. Still owned and operated by the Butchart family, The Butchart Gardens is a favourite destination for locals and visitors to the area year-round.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Serenity in the heart of the city is the best way to describe Vancouver’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. The site has received numerous accolades over the years, including being named the 2012 Canadian Garden of the Year by the Canadian Garden Tourism Council, National Geographic’s World’s Top City Garden in 2011 and one of Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s Places That Matter”. Committed to bringing cultures and communities together through education, this was the first traditional Ming dynasty classical Chinese Garden to be built outside of China and continues to offer tours and educational and cultural programming in a gorgeous setting.

Stanley Park

The whole of Vancouver’s Stanley Park covers almost 1000 acres, with Vancouver Harbour to the east, Burrard Inlet to the west and mountain peaks accentuating the skyline in the distance. In addition to the beaches, trails and attractions that beckon visitors, the park is also home to several beautiful and unique gardens. History meets nature in the Shakespeare Garden, an arboretum featuring trees mentioned in The Bard’s most famous works, while colourful floral displays flourish in the Ted and Mary Greig Rhododendron Garden and the Stanley Park Rose Garden. The park is also home to the city’s first public garden, the Stanley Park Rock Garden, which, although largely abandoned in the early 1950s, was brought back to light after being unearthed by a windstorm in 2006. The rock garden’s significance eventually led to it being recognized as one of Vancouver’s Places that Matter” and added to the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

Kasugai Garden Park

In celebration of the relationship between Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada and its sister city in Kasugai, Japan, the Kasugai Garden was completed in the late 1980’s. Designed with traditional Japanese features, including lantern displays, vibrant Koi swimming underneath beautiful bridges and a bamboo fountain, this is truly one of the most unique spots in the city. Hidden within a walled enclosure in the heart of Kelowna, the tranquil garden setting provides a breathtaking escape with waterfalls, lush greenery and majestic trees just moments from the buzz of the city. 

Linden Gardens

Growing from a small fruit farm into a 9‑acre picturesque haven, Linden Gardens is arguably one of the most beautiful places in British Columbia. With views overlooking Skaha Lake in Kaleden, BC, the verdant trees and colourful gardens have become a much-loved backdrop for nature photography enthusiasts, while the streams surrounded by abundant cherry blossom and willow trees welcome you to enjoy a quiet moment on the garden grounds. 

David Douglas Botanical Garden

Named for famed botanist David Douglas, the society behind the David Douglas Botanical Garden aims to, in partnership with the University of Northern British Columbia, grow and develop a leading botanical garden in northern BC. In addition to their passion for creating a beautiful space, they are committed to educating both locals and visitors about horticulture and flora that will thrive in the northern British Columbia climate.

Always follow Canada and local health authority COVID-19 guidelines for travelling or visiting attractions. Learn more about current restrictions and travelling within Canada.

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