One of my absolute favorite gardens in the world is the fantastic collection at the University of British Columbia Botanic Garden. The heart of the garden is the Asian collection which is presented as a woodland garden with plants growing naturally and a fantastic display of vines climbing through the trees. Our group was very lucky that Douglas Justice, associate director, was available and willing to give us a tour.
Douglas led us through the Asian collection, Carolinian forest, Alpine garden, and Edible garden. His 3-hour tour was one of the best I've ever had and the rest of the group echoed that sentiment. The collection, as always, was an education for me with new plants around every corner and all displayed under majestic native conifers.
After a leisurely lunch at Vancouver's famous Fish House, we explored Stanley Park which is situated just north of the hotel on a point of land. Stanley Park is celebrating its 125th anniversary and the gardens looked great. There were some surprisingly spectacular perennial and mixed borders as well as some fantastic annual displays.
One of the highlights of the park are some authentic First Nations totems. Each carving tells a story or describes a lineage of a family.
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Check out all the happenings at http://www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum