One of the meccas for plant lovers has to be the beautiful region around Vancouver where you can find the rare temperate rain forest, diverse botanic gardens, and beautiful displays. I'm currently leading a trip with a group of JC Raulston Arboretum members here to soak up the sights and we got off to a great beginning.
Despite a very early start, our first day turned out to be a great one with a visit to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The old growth Douglas firs (Pseudotsuga menziesii), western redcedar (Thuja plicata), and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) with its carpet of western sword fern (Polystichum munitum) and salal (Gaultheria shallon) was absolutely stunning in this extremely busy park.
While the plants and scenery were gorgeous at the bridge, the crowds were a bit off-putting as were the $18 hamburgers. It is certainly worth a visit but I'd save it for a weekday rather than a beautiful Sunday. We took off for a small park in a residential area to see Cypress Falls. A short hike brought us to the falls and the deep ravine where it flowed down.
The day for the group ended with a visit to Lighthouse Park. The scenery overlooking English Bay and back towards Vancouver was the perfect punctuation to a gorgeous day.
I couldn't convince anyone to join me for an evening run on Vancouver's sea wall along False Creek and English Bay and they all missed out on a beautiful sunset over the coast. The sea wall was pretty impressive with big crowds of hipsters, hippies, retirees, young couples, families, homeless folks (although a few of them might just be hipsters), artists, and musicians.
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Check out all the happenings at http://www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum