Garden Blog

Sustainability & Friendship through Food

Posted: August 31, 2015

The Food Garden at UBC Botanical Garden is thought to be one of Vancouver’s oldest food demonstration gardens. Its design and development in the 1970’s at a central location in the Garden showed foresight into the local food movement and now has the potential to serve as a focus for urban agriculture. Today, Vancouver supports a vibrant food culture that is quickly becoming a global food and sustainability tourism destination. As the Garden moves towards its 100th year, we are developing programs and infrastructure to engage the public in food systems thinking.

Bagging Little Green Apples

Posted: August 26, 2015

Earlier this summer we caught up with Richard Hallman, one of our workshop instructors to ask him about his work and why he was bagging apples in the garden. If you are interested in learning more about Tree Fruit Horticulture Richard is teaching Fall Fruit Tree Pest & Disease Control on September 26, 2015. Click through to read about apple bagging in Richard's own words.

New Funds in Memory of Ian Gillam Established

Posted: August 6, 2015

UBC Botanical Garden recently received a generous contribution of $100,000 in memory of Ian Gillam from his wife Dr. Shirley Gillam. This gift has established two funds in Ian’s name: The Ian Gillam Memorial Endowment Fund and The Ian Gillam International Fellowships Fund.

Clickthrough to learn more about Ian Gillam and how these two funds support our two gardens.

Vancity engages with sustainability

Posted: August 5, 2015

Vancity — a major supporter of environmental initiatives — brought several of its employees to the Sustainable Communities Field School on July 7, to learn more about our local ecosystem, and how they could further their role as a green business in Vancouver.

August in the Garden - watering trees

Posted: July 29, 2015

Wow, it's dry this year! This is a common refrain among visitors to the Botanical Garden. Straw-coloured lawns greet us when we arrive at the Garden, and one doesn't have to look very far outside of the Garden to see crispy perennials and shrubs, and stressed trees. People are quick to point to Metro Vancouver's water restrictions, and certainly, the rules make it difficult to keep plants thriving in hot weather, but this is not the whole story.

Vancouver Aquarium & Whole Foods dive into sustainability

Posted: July 28, 2015

The Sustainable Communities Field School is in full swing with two more businesses participating. Learn about some of the activities that the Vancouver Aquarium and Whole Foods staff participated in on their recent visits.

Point Grey Triathlon - Sunday July 26

Posted: July 24, 2015

Please expect detours and short delays accessing both UBC Botanical Garden and Nitobe Memorial Garden on Sunday July 26 due to the Point Grey Triathalon. Please note that detours will be in effect until 5 pm. To learn more about the race and view the race route and detours visit UBC's recreation website

Taste of Terroir dinner as told by Edible Canada

Posted: July 21, 2015

Read what our friends at Edible Canada had to say about our Taste of Terroir dinner hosted at UBC Botanical Garden on July 16, 2015. Edible Canada prepared a mouth-watering meal for our guests around the theme of soil to celebrate the International Year of Soil.

Vancouver Food Bank experiences a “Nature Bath”

Posted: June 30, 2015

Navigating suspended walkways between towering Hemlocks and Douglas Firs, high up amid the green forest canopy, employees of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society discovered the rich biodiversity of our forest ecosystem and what it can teach us about sustainability.

July in the Garden

Posted: June 30, 2015

Summer is a time for flowers. Public displays of flowers help soften and add colour to planters and borders, and make people feel good. We are happier looking at flowers. But it's not just our attention that flowers grab. Pollinators, thankfully, are also in the thrall of blossoms.

Drop-in Tour schedule for Summer 2015

Posted: June 20, 2015

Drop-In Tours Starting June 19th

A great introduction to what you can see here at UBC Botanical Garden, all visitors are welcome to participate in a free (with paid admission) guided tour that gives a general overview of the Garden such as our Asian, Food and Physic gardens.  

Tours last approximately 60 minutes, and are held Fridays and Saturday 12:30 pm. Visitors are asked to meet at the ‘tour meeting spot’ located buy the picnic tables under the Bamboo leaf oak. 

Plant evolves to protect itself from deer

Posted: June 8, 2015

A plant on British Columbia’s Gulf Islands has genetically evolved to avoid being eaten by herds of hungry deer, according to research from the University of British Columbia.

June in the Garden

Posted: June 4, 2015

Following on from the "everything is flowering a month ahead of schedule" pattern of the past few months, June 2015 looks to be lock-step, so the discussion here will be of summer flowers. Given the heat and lack of rain our summers bring, there is increasing interest in plants that tolerate these conditions, and a tour around the E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden is an excellent place to see plants that fit these criteria.

May in the Garden

Posted: April 29, 2015

Because spring arrived early on the West Coast this year (a month ahead of schedule in some cases), the normal discussion of May flowers is somewhat academic. After an excellent ripening period last summer and a mild winter, many of the Chinese evergreen magnolias in the David C. Lam Asian Garden are going to have their best year to date. Two rare species in particular are worth mentioning here.

36 Views of a Japanese Garden - photos show

Posted: April 28, 2015

Photos of the Nitobe Memorial Garden by Dietmar Waber
Remington Gallery & Studio
108 East Hastings
Gallery hours: Thursday - Sunday, 12 - 4 p.m.
May 8-22
Opening reception Friday May 8, 7 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Dr. Tara Moreau on the effects of this year’s early spring

Posted: April 21, 2015

While most of Canada spent February and March buried under snowdrifts, the west coast has been enjoying cherry blossoms and balmy breezes for weeks. UBC Botanical Garden’s associate director Tara Moreau explains just how the early spring is affecting agriculture in the province, and how urban gardeners can make the most of it.

Growing positive change through Sustainable Communities Field School

Posted: April 7, 2015

It was very important to Wales to support a project that would educate people about climate change and sustainability, and give them concrete tools to make a difference. After several conversations with the Garden, the perfect project emerged: the Sustainable Communities Field School.

April in the Garden

Posted: March 31, 2015

We're well on the way to one of the warmest springs in recent memory. A number of plants flowered three to four weeks early and many familiar April-blooming plants long since put out their flowers (what a February and March!). But there are plenty of plants sitting tight, waiting to flower as they normally would—or at least within only a week or two of their usual time. On this list of conservative bloomers are many in the genus Rhododendron.

Cocktail named after Nitobe Memorial Garden

Posted: March 26, 2015

Named after the famous Japanese garden located at UBC. This cocktail combines some very Japanese inspired flavours and perfect for cherry blossom season.

Greenheart Canopy Walkway wins Experience of the Year Award

Posted: March 17, 2015

We are pleased to announce that today at the North American Garden Tourism Conference in Toronto, the Canadian Garden Council announced the recipients of the 2015 Canadian Garden Tourism Awards and UBC Botanical Garden’s Greenheart Canopy Walkway won New Garden Experience of the Year.

Canopy Walkway Guides: Meet Ali

Posted: March 17, 2015

It is time to introduce another one of our Greenheart Canopy Walkway Guides. Meet Ali.

Canopy Walkway Guides: Meet Runyu

Posted: March 10, 2015

It is time to introduce another one of our Greenheart Canopy Walkway Guides. Meet Runyu

March in the Garden

Posted: March 6, 2015

Notwithstanding an unexpected plunge into freezing temperatures, most spring-flowering plants in the Botanical Garden will be three weeks to a month early this year. Without a doubt, the most impressive of these early bloomers will be our magnolias.

Canopy Walkway Guides: Meet Bia

Posted: March 2, 2015

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing you to some of our Greenheart Canopy Walkway Guides. For the first one, meet Bia.

February in the Garden

Posted: January 30, 2015

Some people feel that February is a good time for a vacation, given the unreliability of Vancouver's winter weather. Still, our shortest month actually has enormous potential when it comes to flowers and it's always worth a trip to the Garden to see what's in bloom. Of course in a particularly mild winter all kinds of spring flowers will emerge as early as February, but as already suggested, such moderate weather can never be depended upon.

January in the Garden

Posted: January 8, 2015

One of the joys of the Botanical Garden in January is the unexpected fragrance of winter flowers. (Another is the picturesque, muffling beauty of a snowfall, but such events are notoriously difficult to predict.) We are certainly assured of mild temperatures in January, and the earliest of all winter flowering shrubs coaxed into bloom by these conditions is the aptly named winter sweet.

Recap: Asian Garden Curator's trip to Vietnam

Posted: January 6, 2015

During the first three weeks of November, Andy Hill, our Asian Garden curator joined colleagues on a botanical expedition to northwest Vietnam. The goal was to study and collect specimens of the region’s spectacular flora… and the results surpassed their best hopes!

December in the Garden

Posted: December 9, 2014

No one should be surprised by cold weather in December. The general absence of extreme temperatures in Vancouver often lulls us into of a false sense that we are living in a benign climate. But the plants in our gardens, both the survivors and the ones that die are indicators of just how cold it can get here. Although it might seem counterintuitive, some garden plants are better off being exposed to the full force of winter's wind and cold.

Sorting it Out at Apple Fest 2014

Posted: November 18, 2014

This October, was my first Apple Festival working at UBC Botanical Garden. I had attended in the past but like other festival go-ers I had no real concept of what is involved in planning the large festival which attracts between 12 – 19,000 people over a single weekend every year. In the past, I had been involved with zero waste initiatives and research but had never actually run a zero waste event. This is my story of our first attempt at a Zero Waste Apple Festival - what it took, how we did it and what we learned.

November in the Garden - flowers

Posted: November 6, 2014

November is a time when garden plants often descend into subtlety. Without frost and dry weather, the spectacular foliage displays begin to diminish. There are some exceptions. The sweet gums (Liquidambar species), many deciduous viburnums and a few Chinese maples can continue to increase in intensity even through the foulest weather. Acer oliverianum (Oliver's maple) with its brilliant pumpkin orange November foliage, comes to mind. These few late-colouring plants aside, we generally think of colourful berries for autumn interest. Still, there are a number of plants that normally flower in November and these are worth considering a visit around.

Apple Festival has remaining apples for sale

Posted: October 19, 2014

Apple update: October 21 at 6 p.m. - we have now stopped selling apples. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported the festival this year. This is the Garden's biggest fundraiser of the year and the funds are much needed for our research, conservation, education and public outreach work. Thank you!

October in the Garden

Posted: October 9, 2014

While this year's autumn colours will no doubt be worth admiring, because of the hot, dry summer, most leaves are exhibiting sign of stress, and the show may be somewhat abbreviated. The focus this year should be on fruit, since this will clearly be a banner year.  Everything from crabapples, cotoneasters and quinces to sapphire berries (sadly, already picked clean by birds), sparkleberries and sumac bobs are incredibly abundant this year.

Walk in the Woods - National Forest Week

Posted: September 18, 2014

Where are the flowers?

Posted: September 5, 2014

One of the most frequently asked questions at the Botanical Garden is "where are the flowers?" This is not a silly question, given that most public and large commercial gardens are designed with floral display as a primary objective. In many cases, it may not be obvious to the visitor what she/he is actually looking at in a botanical garden compared with a typical display garden. However, because the Botanical Garden is primarily a research and teaching collection, it is difficult to justify the high cost of extensive flower beds.

Segway tours now available!

Posted: September 4, 2014

UBC Botanical Garden has partnered with Wild BC Tours and Guiding to bring segway tours to the Garden. If you’ve never tried a segway before, you are in for a treat. Gliding through the garden is next to effortless and a great way to experience more of our wonderful collections in a single visit.

The Great Outdoors - Rain City Chronicles

Posted: August 15, 2014

There are certain nights meant for storytelling in a garden. The Great Outdoors, a storytelling event put on by the Rain City Chronicles, held on August 7th in the UBC Botanical Garden, was just such a night. But it was no ordinary evening–the garden, complete with a supermoon above, was made all the more special by the presence of gifted storytellers and musicians, pies and gin, belly laughter and hushed listening in the Rosaline Sturdy Amphitheatre.
Click the headline to read more.

August in the Garden

Posted: August 5, 2014

If visitors are looking for flowers in the Botanical Garden, August is an ideal time to drop by. Starting in the Entrance Plaza, there are plenty of colourful plants, not least, the mounding stalks of Carolina border phlox (Phlox carolina 'Bill Baker') topped with its magenta pink blooms. Nearby, the glossy, red-edged leaves of the hardy creeping leadwort (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) provide the perfect foil for its crimson-budded, sky blue flowers. These are produced with increasing frequency toward the end of August.

Nitobe featured in Destination BC videos

Posted: July 25, 2014

Earlier this season the talented team at Steamy Windows Productions came out to the Nitobe Memorial Garden to film a tea ceremony for inclusion in a video for Destination BC. Check out the videos by clicking through.

Rain City Chronicles event announcement

Posted: July 25, 2014

UBC Botanical Garden is excited to partner with Rain City Chronicles to bring you a special storytelling event about The Great Outdoors in our Roseline Sturdy Amphitheatre on August 9th.

July in the Garden

Posted: July 3, 2014

Visiting the Botanical Garden in July is often a singular pleasure. When the temperatures finally rise to something resembling summer heat, the forested paths of the David C. Lam Asian Garden and BC Rainforest Garden beckon visitors to enjoy a cool respite from the sun. It's easy to while away the hours sitting on a bench by the pond in the Rainforest Garden watching the antics of a wide variety of birds and dragonflies.

2nd NAJGA Biennial Conference Explores the Japanese Garden’s Role for Society and Self

Posted: June 13, 2014



June in the Garden

Posted: June 5, 2014

The verdant exuberance of June foliage is sometimes difficult to equal with flowers, but there are a number of ornamentals that manage the task. Among the commoner June flowers, roses and weigelas and earlier perennials such as geraniums and much of the daisy clan come to mind. In the Botanical Garden there are these, as well as a few less obvious examples that are worth looking out for.

Garden Days - Canada's Celebration of Gardens

Posted: June 1, 2014


June 13 to 15, 2014


Toronto, ON . . . May 13, 2014 . . .   Garden Daysis Canada’s coast to coast to coast, three-day celebration of our National Garden Day which is held annually on the Friday before Father’s Day.

Greenheart Canopy Walkway video

Posted: May 29, 2014

Have you always wondered what the Greenheart Canopy Walkway was like? Check it out in this short promo video. 

National Public Gardens Day – One Sustainable Way

Posted: May 9, 2014

Today, May 9th, is the American Public Gardens Association's National Public Gardens Day and although we are in Canada our garden is a member of this wonderful association of gardens. In celebration we asked Dr. Tara Moreau, our new Associate Director, Sustainability and Community Programs, to share her thoughts on public gardens. Here is what she had to say:

May in the Garden

Posted: May 8, 2014

May is often advertised as the best time for flowers—you know the rhyme, April showers bring... but in Vancouver, May flowers are often just a continuation of April's bounty. Vancouver is usually cool, and often wet, but otherwise agreeable at this time of the year (unlike western Europe and eastern North America, which can suffer from both late frost and sweltering temperatures in May). Flowers and the tender young growth of all kinds of plants last much longer with cool and humid conditions. At this time, the new growth on a number of trees can be exceedingly ornamental.

Garden tips with Egan Davis, Horticulture Training Program Instructor

Posted: May 7, 2014

Steve Whysall, reporter and garden columinist for the Vancouver Sun, recently published an article about gardening tips top keep your garden healthy and attractive as well as one big mistake to avoid.


The best person I know to consult about good gardening practices is Egan Davis.

For 10 years he was one of the top gardeners at VanDusen Botanical Garden, where he also taught green thumbs to become master gardeners.

Greenheart Canopy Walkway seeks Vancouver’s green heart

Posted: May 2, 2014

May 2, 2014 - The Greenheart Canopy Walkway at UBC Botanical Garden was featured today in the Vancouver Courier with a front page photo and feature page story.


A little-known canopy walkway tucked away in UBC Botanical Garden is shedding its discreet identity in hopes of becoming a popular Vancouver attraction.

UBC Botanical Garden welcomes Dr. Tara Moreau as Associate Director, Sustainability and Community Programs

Posted: April 29, 2014

UBC Botanical Garden is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Tara Moreau to the Garden as Associate Director, Sustainability and Community Programs. Tara will be responsible for developing, overseeing and implementing all aspects of sustainability and community programs at the Botanical Garden, including public and education programming and events that meet the objectives of the Garden’s mandate and business plans.

April in the Garden

Posted: April 9, 2014

April is such an amazing month, it’s worth asking, “what’s not in bloom?” Clearly, many plants do not flower in April, but in the Botanical Garden there are more plants in bloom this month than any other. Magnolias and rhododendrons lead the charge with their lavish blooms, but a closer look around the Garden reveals an extraordinary array of flowers of all shapes and sizes, colours and fragrances.

Q&A with Curator Andy Hill

Posted: March 20, 2014

We are lucky to have very talented staff working with us and we'd like you to know more about them. This post is the beginning of a new blog feature of questions and answers with our staff. First up is Andy Hill, the Curator of the David C. Lam Asian Garden.

Where did that plant go?

Posted: March 13, 2014

(or, when good plants go bad.)

Friends of the Garden mentioned in the news

Posted: February 20, 2014

Todd Major, a contributor of the local North Shore news recently wrote about how friends of the garden volunteer groups, like our FOGs at UBC Botanical Garden contribute so much to the Gardens that they support. We couldn't agree more and are so appreciative of our wonderful volunteers. As Todd mentions, they perform a wide variety of tasks from propagating plants for sale, staffing our gift shop and garden centre, weeding days, and organizing all of our major events.

Small Canadian communities not ready for climate change: study

Posted: February 3, 2014

Dramatic differences exist in how Canadian communities are preparing for the effects of climate change, says a UBC professor who helped prepare a report by the National Municipal Adaptation Project (NMAP), a team of university researchers assessing how Canada’s municipal governments are planning for climate adaptation and resiliency.

CBC News Covers Douglas Justice's Book Launch

Posted: December 2, 2013

Following up our blog entry on Douglas Justice's Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver (2014 edition), here is CBC News' coverage of the launch event.

Native Trees Toil to Take Root in Vancouver

Posted: November 26, 2013

The City of Vancouver's first urban forest management plan is due to be released next spring, with details about the 150,000 trees the city has pledged to plant by 2020. Although the city hopes that in large part those will be native trees, when it comes to local species, arborists may only have a few options to choose from. Douglas Justice, the associate director of UBC Botanical Garden explains that our trees tend to be very large, especially the conifers. They can also be vulnerable in heavy winds.

Douglas Justice's Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver: Book Launch on Nov. 26

Posted: November 19, 2013

Next Tuesday, Douglas Justice, Associate Director and Curator of Collections of UBC Botanical Garden, will launch his book, Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver (2014 edition).

HTP Students Help Lifted Rhododendrons for Move to New Home

Posted: November 1, 2013

On Wednesday, 15 students from our Horticultural Training Program (HTP) help lifted the rhododendrons from the garden of Alleyne Cook, a well-known North Vancouver gardener, for the move to the new Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden in Sechelt. The HTP students worked under the guidance of instructor Egan Davis, who was supported by Douglas Justice, our Associate Director and Curator of Collections.

Japanese Garden Special Seminar: Tradition & Challenge of Japanese Garden

Posted: October 29, 2013

Our friends at Vancouver Japanese Gardeners' Association (VJGA) will be hosting a 2013 Japanese Garden Special Seminar: Tradition and Challenge of Japanese Garden Mr. Takuhiro Yamada preserving the essence and heritage for over 150 years and Mr. Hoichi Kurisu's life achievements since the inception of a healing garden abroad November 8-10, 2013 (Friday-Sunday)

Why Do Leaves Change Colour in the Fall?

Posted: October 24, 2013

Douglas Justice, our Associate Director at the Garden, recently spoke with UBC Public Affairs about the changing colours of fall and the joys of gardening in colder weather.

Wonder why some leaves turn dark red, or what plants flourish in the fall and winter? Check out this short Q&As with Douglas Justice.

Photo: The leaves change colour at UBC’s Vancouver campus. Credit: Dllu, Wikimedia Commons

UBC Farm Heritage Orchard Tours: Apple Festival 2013!

Posted: October 16, 2013

Our friends at the UBC Farm will be joining the festivities and helping to make this weekend a truly remarkable trip out to UBC for families and apple lovers of all ages:

On Saturday, October 19, 2013 the UBC Farm is excited to be joining the UBC Botanical Garden Apple Festival. In addition to a booth on-site at the festival, we will be offering tours of the UBC Farm Heritage Orchard on Saturday October 19 at 10am, noon and 2pm.

Take a Walk in Vancouver’s Treetops

Posted: October 6, 2013

Learn about the forest high-life on the University of British Columbia’s canopy walkway.

Carol Pucci of The Seattle Times recently visited the Greenheart Canopy Walkway at UBC Botanical Garden and wrote about the experience.

According to Pucci, she wasn't ready for a romp through the treetops of an Amazon jungle, but after crossing the second of 10 footbridges suspended above one end of the David C. Lam Asian Garden, she was paying less attention to the swaying and more to the sounds and smells of nature.

Nitobe Featured as Backdrop of UBC Events Announcement

Posted: September 3, 2013

School is back... along with orientation day mayhem, final exam madness, and all the mid-terms and assignments in between. While it is comparative to a carnival at the central hub of the UBC Point Grey campus, we find ourselves a piece of calmness and tranquility at UBC Botanical Garden and Nitobe Memorial Garden. It seems UBC Events agrees that the garden is a great place to film their weekly announcements.

Passionate Volunteers Needed to Join FOGs

Posted: September 1, 2013

Do you love gardening and or interested learning more about the myriad of plants at our Garden and around the world? We are looking for passionate individuals to join us as Friends of the Garden (FOGs) volunteers. No green thumbs required!

Q & A with Douglas Justice on Food Gardening & Climate Change

Posted: July 31, 2013

Douglas Justice, Associate Director and Curator of Collections at UBC Botanical Garden, deciphers the link between food gardening and climate change in this quick Q & A:

Q: We have heard stories about BC farmers successfully growing vegetables and fruits year-round (e.g. lemons in North Saanich and olives on Saturna Island) because of climate change that brings much milder winters. Are there other species that now grow here, or grow here year-round when they didn’t before?

And... Lift Off! Taisha Snaps Aerial Photos of the Garden

Posted: July 19, 2013

Taisha Mitchell, a summer work-learn student here at UBC Botanical Garden, and her classmate, Clémens, continue her side-project of capturing aerial photos of the Garden with the actual launch on Thursday.

Summer Student Learns to Capture Aerial Photos of the Garden

Posted: July 17, 2013

Taisha Mitchell, a summer work-learn student here at UBC botanical garden, is tasked with an interesting side-project of capturing aerial photos of the Garden. She writes about her experience.

NEW! Family Programs at the Garden

Posted: July 5, 2013

Are you looking for some outdoor fun for you and your kids? Try something fun this summer and spend a Saturday morning exploring and taking part in creative hands-on learning with our family program leaders. Designed for families with children aged 5-11, these exciting sessions offer an opportunity to discover UBC Botanical Garden. Cost includes garden admission so that families can stay and discover the garden at their own pace after the program. Why not pack a lunch and have an adventurous Saturday with us!

First Recipients of David Tarrant Award

Posted: June 14, 2013

As the inaugurating year of the Horticulture Training Program wraps up, UBC Botanical Garden is pleased to present the David Tarrant Award to two outstanding graduates from the program.

Christopher Bale in Senegal: Leaving

Posted: June 7, 2013

Christopher Bale, one of our Horticulturists at UBC Botanical Garden, has recently returned from his Leave for Change exchange in Senegal. He shares with us on his experience volunteering abroad. Part III

Mega Genomes of Spruce Species Decoded

Posted: May 31, 2013

Canadian and Swedish scientists have released genome sequences of two of the most economically important forest trees in the world.

Christopher Bale in Senegal: We Travel North, We Travel South

Posted: May 29, 2013

Christopher Bale, one of our Horticulturists at UBC Botanical Garden, has recently returned from his Leave for Change exchange in Senegal. He shares with us on his experience volunteering abroad. Part II

Alumni Weekend 2013 at the Garden

Posted: May 24, 2013

UBC Alumni Weekend
Saturday, May 25, 2013

Alumni Weekend 2013 is a chance for the public and UBC Alumni to explore the campus.
At UBC Botanical Garden and Nitobe Memorial Garden, we will open our doors with free general admission for registered Alumni Weekend participants.

Christopher Bale in Senegal: Where Two Roads Meet

Posted: May 16, 2013

Christopher Bale, one of our Horticulturists at UBC Botanical Garden, has recently returned from his Leave for Change exchange in Senegal. He shares with us on his experience volunteering abroad. Part I

Remembering Dr. Roy L. Taylor

Posted: May 10, 2013

My initial meeting with Roy was in the old Botanical Garden HQ, Hut M34 on West Mall, on the rainy morning of October 27th 1969. This was directly after I had been interviewed and hired as a gardener by Mr. Ken Wilson, then Garden Supervisor. I was informed I would commence work on Monday November 3rd. During the ensuing conversation I must have mentioned that I had just arrived from Ontario, didn’t have a local bank yet, and needed some cash. Roy immediately loaned me enough to carry me over. Why do I mention that?

Roy Lewis Taylor, 1932- 2013

Posted: May 8, 2013

Born in Olds, Alberta, April 12th 1932, died in Nanaimo, British Columbia, May 2nd 2013

A Growing Affair... this Saturday!

Posted: May 6, 2013

A Growing Affair will open its door on Saturday, May 11th, for an exciting day of plant sale, gardening displays and demonstrations, garden tours, and more! Come check us out... and don't forget the sunscreen!

A Growing Affair for Gardeners of all Levels

Posted: May 1, 2013

Spring is a busy time for novice and experienced plant lovers. What seeds, plants or tools should I get? What works best with my space? You can get your questions answered by garden experts at UBC Botanical Garden's annual spring event:

A Growing Affair
Saturday, May 11, 2013
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Video Recap: Wharton Lecture 'Nature & Culture' by Nancy Turner

Posted: April 26, 2013

In March 2013, the Peter Wharton Memorial Lecture brought in Prof. Nancy Turner from the University of Victoria to give presentation on the dichotomy between "nature" and "culture".

Rare, Declining Cherry Blossoms Grown in BCIT Lab

Posted: April 12, 2013

Following up on our previous blog post about regenerating cherry trees that dotted Vancouver, our Associate Director and Curators of Collections, Douglas Justice was interviewed by CBC's Bob Nixon on the current state of cherry blossoms and the project to save them from disappearing in our city.

Watch the news clipping from CBC (Note: video will play after a short message):

Revolution: The Movie

Posted: April 11, 2013

Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to a pre-screening of Revolution, a new feature film being released tomorrow on April 12, 2013 and I highly encourage you go and see it if you have the chance.

Blossoms in a Bottle

Posted: April 10, 2013

Can beauty be regenerated or turned back the.clock? That's what the Biotechnology program at BCIT is trying to do for the aging ornamental cherry trees in Vancouver, with assistance from Douglas Justice, Associate Director and Curator at UBC Botanical Garden:

Magnolias @ Shop in the Garden

Posted: April 5, 2013

Spring is a magical time with magnolias blooming in various shades of pink around town. If you are interested in planting these magnificent trees in your own garden, the Shop in the Garden is pleased to offer the following selection of magnolias for sale.

April 3-4: Public Open Houses on UBC's Transportation Plan

Posted: April 2, 2013

In the coming year, UBC will be developing a Transportation Plan that focuses on circulation on campus, whether by foot, on wheels, or by public transit. This could affect how you access attractions on campus, including UBC Botanical Garden and Nitobe Memorial Garden. Attend an upcoming Open House on UBC’s Transportation Plan.

Seeds & Plants to Get You Ready for Spring

Posted: March 28, 2013

The sun is back. The weather is warmer. Spring is here to stay! At Shop in the Garden, a large selection of seeds and potted plants is available for both new and experienced gardeners. Check out what we've got...

Gardening Tools to Get You Ready for Spring

Posted: March 22, 2013

Spirng is a busy time for people with green thumbs, and an assortment of gardening tools are available at Shop in the Garden. Check out what we offer.

Chitalpa Donated to the Garden

Posted: March 15, 2013

Douglas Justice, our Associate Director and Curator of Collections reveals the story behind the recent donation of a chitalpa.

Horticulture Training Program Now Accepts Applications for 2013

Posted: March 8, 2013

UBC Botanical Garden is now accepting 2013 applications for the Horticulture Training Program, the first provincially accredited entry-level practical horticulture training program to be offered in Vancouver.

Journey from Biodiversity and Culture to Biocultural Diversity

Posted: February 22, 2013

Man vs. nature? Or man as part of nature? Different cultures hold different attitudes on how man relates to the natural world. The next speaker at the upcoming Peter Wharton Memorial Lecture will examine more sustainable ways of interacting with nature and how we can become more responsible players in the world’s ecosystems.

Nature and Culture: Reflections on the Journey from Biodiversity and Culture to Biocultural Diversity (with Nancy Turner)

Winter Beauties in the Garden

Posted: February 19, 2013

It may still be February, but things have already started to bloom in our Gardens. Check out what we've captured after an afternoon stroll.

Bundle Up For Work in Winter Garden

Posted: February 15, 2013

Too cold to do any gardening? Todd Major thinks not. There's plenty to do, and Todd shares some ideas to get you started with winter gardening work.

Tree Recycling Fundraiser A Success - $700 For Local School Garden

Posted: February 9, 2013

Christmas may have come and gone, the holiday cheer continues to spread with the spirit of giving. The annual Christmas tree chipping fundraiser at UBC Botanical Garden has generated $700 for the food garden of a local school in Vancouver.
Over the course of two weeks after Christmas, community members have dropped off several hundreds unwanted trees. With their generous donations, and the support of UBC Plant Operations, the woody remnants of the holiday season were turned into mulch for use to resurface garden trails. The mulch generated reduces the amount of mulch we need to purchase while we collect funds to support a local school garden project.

How Do You Select Your Pruning Tool?

Posted: February 6, 2013

Todd Major, Chief Horticulture Instructor at UBC Botanical Garden, shares his insights on selecting pruning tools:

At various time during my horticulture career I have been an estate gardener, arborist, garden builder, nurseryman, bonsai pruner and botanical garden director. Quality pruning tools have always made my work easier, profitable and enjoyable. During my 26 years in this industry I have tried most of the name brand pruning tools made in North America, Europe and Japan and some tools are definitely better than others.

Shop Reinvigorated

Posted: January 23, 2013

Every year, our Shop in the Garden takes a hiatus for a few weeks after Christmas. When we reopened this year, things were a little different. After renovation during its closure, the Shop opened its doors on January 21 with a reinvigorated, airy atmosphere for visitors' shopping pleasure.

Animation & Drawings Capture Serenity of Nitobe Memorial Garden

Posted: January 4, 2013

Emily Carr University student Lucas Bleackley Petter captures the serenity of our garden through digitally-drawn multi-plane scene, based on Nitobe Memorial Garden.

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Posted: December 26, 2012

When Christmas is over, you can continue to spread the holiday cheer by recycling your Christmas tree at UBC Botanical Garden for a great cause.
Tree chipping fundraiser benefitting Thunderbird Elementary School
December 26, 2012 – January 9, 2013
9:30 am – 4:30 pm
$5 Suggested Donation

Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas

Posted: December 19, 2012

Still looking for gifts to spread the holiday cheer or last minute items to add to your festive decor? Check out the Shop in the Garden, where you will find an assortment of items that surely will delight your family and friends. Take a peek at our galore of Christmas gift and home decor ideas.

Christmas Tree Shopping 101

Posted: December 13, 2012

Still searching for that perfect Christmas tree? With so many different kinds available, the task can be a complicated process. UBC Forestry professor Stephen Mitchell speaks to Global BC on what to look for and how to make a sustainable choice when picking a Christmas tree:

Handmade Holiday Wreaths at the Garden

Posted: December 12, 2012

Wreaths are an eternal part of holiday festivities. Whether you hang one on the door to welcome visitors, or on the wall to complete a room's decor, the splash of color on a cold winter's day is sure to add a feeling of warmth, building excitement for the coming season. If you have not got one for your home, beautiful wreaths handmade by our Friends of the Garden volunteers are still available at Shop in the Garden.

Todd Major on Building Wildlife-Friendly Gardens

Posted: December 7, 2012

Our Horticulture Training Program instructor, Todd Major, shares his insights on how to build and design the best wildlife-friendly gardens to help animals survive the lean winter months:

Each year at this time a variety of wildlife seems to reappear in my garden looking for food, water and sometimes a place to rest.

Poem: Wreath 2012

Posted: December 5, 2012

Our Friends of the Garden (FOGs) volunteer and poet laureate, Sally Macbeth, shares a little wreath making joy through her pen.

Vancouver Launches Access Pass for Local Attractions

Posted: November 23, 2012

The Vancouver Inspiration Pass, a program coordinated by the VPL, the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Park Board, and 18 local organizations, will provide free access to attractions including UBC Botanical Garden, Nitobe Memorial Garden, and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.

Whatever Happened to the Golden Spruce?

Posted: November 16, 2012

Zoe McKnight of The Vancouver Sun ventures into UBC Botanical Garden in search of the descendent of the famous tree that was cut down 15 years ago but is living on today in widely scattered cuttings, with the help from Daniel Mosquin, Research Manager, and Dana Cromie, a Friends of the Garden volunteer.

Drawing in Nitobe Memorial Garden

Posted: November 13, 2012

An urban sketcher, Don McNulty roams around town and draws what he sees everywhere he goes. A recent visit to the Nitobe Memorial Garden has inspired him to create three drawings that capture the tranquility of the garden.

Fall Colours: Why Summer's Weird Weather has Affected the Leaves

Posted: November 5, 2012

Canada has had some weird weather this year and that has had an impact on the fall colours now on display in some areas. As well, historic patterns of when trees are at their most colourful, and how colourful, may be shifting due to climate change.

Before autumn, the healthy leaves on deciduous trees get their green colour from the chlorophyll molecules in their microscopic factories, or chloroplasts, that convert water and carbon dioxide into sugars, other carbohydrates and oxygen.

Bella Bella, the Botanical Bear

Posted: October 29, 2012

The line "Bella Bella the Botanical Bear" is a mouthful, but this description fits quite well with our "special teddy bear visitor" who has taken her time to stop and smell the flowers.

Bella Bella in the Forest Canopy

Posted: October 23, 2012

This summer, we had a "special teddy bear visitor" at UBC Botanical Garden and the Greenheart Canopy Walkway, and she was kind enough to bring along her friends, Vancouver-based members of the Society of American Travel Writers' Canadian Chapter (SATW).

Fall an Ideal Time to Work Soil

Posted: October 19, 2012

As the Horticulture Training Progam launches at UBC Botanical Garden, instructor Todd Major reveals what it is like working with the students and horticulturist Brendan Fisher in our Food Garden.

New Salish Apple Debuts in Vancouver

Posted: October 17, 2012

News about the Salish, Canada's newest apple, made it to the Toronto Sun newspaper:

Apple lovers in the Vancouver area will soon be able to sink their teeth into a new variety of the fruit.

The Salish made its debut Saturday at the annual UBC Botanical Garden Apple Festival.

"When you taste the Salish apple here today, you are sampling the sweet rewards of many years of research and investments in innovation that will pay off for the farmers that grow this tasty achievement," Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan told the gathering.

Come Early for Apple Festival

Posted: October 12, 2012

We turn the table and let visitors tell us what makes the Apple Festival so special.

Apple Festival - Children's Area

Posted: October 9, 2012

The Apple Festival is not just for adults. Young apple lovers enjoy the festivities too. Check out what children like to do in the Children's Area.

Life of an Apple Tree

Posted: October 4, 2012

In anticipation of this year’s Apple Festival, which will host the naming ceremony for the very popular SPA493 (Saturday, October 13th at 1:00 p.m., Festival Main Stage), Nick Ibuki of Okanagan Plant Improvement Corporation (PICO) tells us what’s involved in growing apples.

Wesbrook Village Supports Apple Festival

Posted: October 1, 2012

With Apple Festival just around the corner we would sincerely like to thank our community partners that have helped make this year's event happen. Apple Festival is UBC Botanical Garden's largest fundraiser of the year and significantly contributes to the important research, education, conservation and community outreach work we do. Every year we strive to bring more fun experiences to the community members that attend our festival.

Apple Tasting Tent at Apple Festival

Posted: September 30, 2012

I scream! You scream! Let us all scream for all things apple! Follow us as we head inside the Apple Tasting Tent for a sneak bite of what we can sample in 30 minutes.

Plant Spring Bulbs Now

Posted: September 27, 2012

Todd Major, chief horticultural instructor at UBC Botanical Garden, shares these how-tos on planting spring bulbs in the fall.

Wide Selection at Apple Festival

Posted: September 25, 2012

Every year, around 44,000 lbs (20,000 kilos) of apples are sold to thousands of hungry attendees at the Apple Festival? This year, more than 70 varieties of heritage, new and "tried and true" varieties will be available, grown both conventionally and organically.

Apple Festival is Back!

Posted: September 21, 2012

I say apples, you say what? Apple Festival is back for another year of celebrating one of BC's favourite fruits! From children learning about the diversity of apples to those who remember tasting heritage apples in their youth, the Apple Festival is a great opportunity to not only discover more about this delicious fruit, but have a whole lot fun doing it!

Behind the Scenes of Treasured Bulb Sale

Posted: September 14, 2012

It's all hands on deck as we are on the last stretch of getting ready for the Treasured Bulb Sale tomorrow. Take a sneak peek...

Birth of a New Apple Cultivar

Posted: September 12, 2012

In anticipation of this year’s Apple Festival which will host the naming ceremony for the very popular SPA493 (Saturday, October 13th at 1:00 p.m., Festival Main Stage) we reached out to Okanagan Plant Improvement Corporation (PICO) to find out what goes into developing a new apple.

Botany Foray in Mountains of BC

Posted: August 28, 2012

In July 2012, a joint team from UBC Botanical Garden and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum's Herbarium (containing the plant collections) set out into the mountains of British Columbia to obtain specimens for their collections. Dr. Jeannette Whitton, director of the Herbarium, tells us how and why natural history institutions continue this centuries-old practice.

Artist in Residence Program Inspires Connections to Garden Collections

Posted: August 24, 2012

UBC Botanical Garden has recently launched a new Artist in Residence program, which allows a selected artist to develop a long-term relationship with the Garden through artwork inspired by plants in our collections and picturesque grounds. The program opens another gate at the Garden for community engagement, through exhibits, talks, and artists’ activities, both within the Garden and in the community. Botanical artist Dana Cromie is the Artist in Residence for the inaugural first term of the program.

Hitting the Heights with Vines in Trees by Steve Whysall

Posted: August 3, 2012

In my own garden, I grow a fragrant white-flowering ‘Rambling Rector’ rose at least 20 metres high into a fir tree.

In a corner, a Clematis montana soars up and up into a large photinia and up again into an alder before reaching across to a liquidambar. In the front garden, a purple clematis weaves its flowers gracefully through a grevillea.

There’s a reason we like to grow climbers into trees and over shrubs. It adds height and interest to the garden, forcing us to stop and look up, rather than always looking down at the ground or straight ahead.

Start An Evolution: Volunteers Help the Garden Flourish

Posted: August 1, 2012

Long-time “Friend of the Garden” (FOGs) volunteer Margaret Charlton, and her husband, Charlie Sale, share their infectious love and enthusiasm for UBC Botanical garden, as well as why they volunteer and donate.

Kevin Murphy’s New Honey Bee Artwork on Display

Posted: July 27, 2012

Visual artist Kevin Murphy has long been fascinated by human relationships with nature — or, as he calls it, the “Big N.” “It’s difficult because I think a lot of these terms are loaded,” he explained. “But I’m particularly interested in the ways that we perceive and relate to natural systems or organisms.”

Summer Zen at Nitobe Memorial Garden

Posted: July 19, 2012

It may be the season for active outdoor activities, such as frisbee, tennis and beach volleyball, but there are also more relaxing options the whole family can enjoy together. The Nitobe Memorial Garden is a tranquil oasis that continues to deliver zen vibes throughout the summer.

Horticulture Training Program - Extended Deadline & New Information Session

Posted: July 12, 2012

Our new Horticulture Training Program, designed to give students the skills and experience necessary for entering the field of horticulture, is extending the application deadline and offering additional information sessions for interested individuals.

Summer Fiesta in the Garden

Posted: July 10, 2012

Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere may have passed in June, the colourful display of flowers has just begun at UBC Botanical Garden. Let us share images of some of these floral beauties captured in early summer.

Summer of Love... at Shop at the Garden

Posted: July 6, 2012

Summer is the season of outdoor fun, a time to create lasting memories with family and friends. At Shop in the Garden, we have an assortment of great ideas to transform your patio or backyard parties from good to great.

Being a Tourist in Your Own City! Nitobe Memorial Garden

Posted: June 29, 2012

We recently came across a touching review of Nitobe Memorial Garden on Vancouver Lookout's blog that we wanted to share with our readers. It highlights the beauty and serenity of the garden, where plants, stones and water features are carefully placed, reflecting an idealized conception and symbolic representation of nature. A traditional Japanese Tea and Stroll garden, Nitobe Memorial Garden is considered to be the one of the most authentic Japanese gardens in North America and among the top five Japanese gardens outside of Japan.

2012 CWF Get to Know Contest

Posted: June 23, 2012

Get to Know Your Wild Neighbours! This year, renowned wildlife artist Robert Bateman invites Canadian youth (19 and younger) to go outside and "get to know" their wild neighbours. In cooperation with the Canadian Wildlife Federation, the Get to Know Contest encourages all young people to develop a deeper appreciation for their neighbours of other species by getting outdoors and creating art, writing, digital photography, videos and music. The goal of the contest is to engage the power of art to help youth feel more connected with nature.

Access to UBC Botanical Garden & Nitobe Memorial Garden – June 24, 2012

Posted: June 19, 2012

Heads up to our visitors: Please expect short delays on access to UBC Botanical Garden and Nitobe Memorial Garden in the morning of Sunday, June 24, 2012, during the ScotiaBank Vancouver Half-Marathon.

Steve Whysall's Behind the Garden Gates

Posted: June 16, 2012

Grab your camera, call a few friends, and go visit some private gardens this summer. You’ll be surprised how much fun it can be and how many great ideas you’ll pick up. Visiting private gardens can be very educational. Steve Whysall from The Vancouver Sun recently visited the home garden of one Friends of the Garden volunteer.

Volunteering at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum and UBC Botanical Garden - Part II

Posted: June 13, 2012

UBC Biodiversity Collections were fortunate to have the opportunity to work with two work experience students recently. Following last week's post, our second recent work experience student also has interesting stories to tell.

Volunteering at Beaty Biodiversity Museum & UBC Botanical Garden - Part I

Posted: June 8, 2012

UBC Biodiversity Collections were fortunate to have the opportunity to work with two work experience students recently. One of them shares her story. Having the opportunity to volunteer at the museum is a great experience. For my three week work placement, I have been given the chance to work behind the scenes of the museum in the Herbarium, on the museum floor, and explore nature throughout UBC Botanical Garden.

Vancouver Island Trip on Garry Oak Ecosystem

Posted: June 4, 2012

UBC Botanical Garden Work-study student Bryant DeRoy took his first scouting trip for rare endemic plants and visit to a Garry oak ecosystem with our staff on Vancouver Island on May 17, 2012. Read on to find out how the day-trip went.

Horticulture Training Program Now Accepting Applications For September

Posted: June 1, 2012

As Canada's oldest continuously operated university-based botanical garden, UBC Botanical Garden has developed a Horticulture Training Program with the endorsement of Industry Training Authority of BC and the Industry Training Organization for Horticulture (HEBC). Launching in September 2012, it will be the first provincially accredited entry-level practical horticulture training program to be offered in Vancouver.

Kids Learn About Biodiversity and Nature at Young Explorers Summer Camp

Posted: May 31, 2012

Young Explorers Summer Camp at UBC Botanical Garden explores the important topics of nature and biodiversity in a fun and exciting way for children aged 7-11. Running in July and August, these week-long camps let campers learn about the natural world through a variety of outdoor and indoor activities and games with new friends.

Riverview, Heritage and Trees

Posted: May 22, 2012

Some of Coquitlam’s most significant and oldest buildings lie sheltered amongst the magnificent trees on the Riverview Hospital grounds. Thousands of people who drive by Riverview on Lougheed Highway probably appreciate the lush green of its landscape. Others, who have joined a tree tour hosted by the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society or strolled through these spacious and gracious grounds on their own, will likely have been enthralled by the quiet majesty of this remarkable site with its heritage buildings and world-class collection of trees.

A Good Read: Check Out these Books for Green Thumbs

Posted: May 17, 2012

Janet Cooper, a Library Technician at Coquitlam Public Library, shares a few recommendations for the green thumbs.

UBC Scientist Found Plants Flower Faster than Climate Change Models Predict

Posted: May 15, 2012

Scientific models are failing to accurately predict the impact of global warming on plants, says a new report. Researchers found that some are flowering up to eight times faster than models anticipate, and they suggest that spring flowering and leafing will continue to advance at the rate of 5 to 6 days per year for every degree celsius of warming. Poor study design and a lack of investment in experiments partly account for the difference.

A Growing Affair: All Hands on Deck

Posted: May 11, 2012

It's the day before A Growing Affair, one of our signature annual plant sale events. Let us take you on a preview tour of what's in store.

A Growing Affair: The Stars Behind the Scenes - Part II

Posted: May 10, 2012

Continuing from our last blog post, UBC Botanical Garden is buzzing with countless activities as we countdown to the final week before A Growing Affair. Several other groups of volunteer propagators from Friends of the Garden (FOGs) work hard to bring you this annual event.

A Growing Affair: The Stars Behind the Scenes - Part I

Posted: May 7, 2012

UBC Botanical Garden is buzzing with countless activities as we countdown to the final week before our annual plant sale A Growing Affair. Take a peek at what our volunteer propagators from Friends of the Garden (FOGs) are doing behind the scenes.

UBC Botanical Garden Evolves with the Times

Posted: May 7, 2012

The Vancouver Sun's Green Man Randy Shore reviews our coming plant sale A Growing Affair: It is surely a sign of a new age dawning. The theme of this year’s annual plant sale A Growing Affair at the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden is food.

Four Botanical Gardens Plans to Create First Online World Flora

Posted: April 25, 2012

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew), the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) and the Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG), have announced plans to develop the World Flora—the first modern, online catalog of the world’s plants—to be made available by the year 2020.

Steve Whysall: Treat Yourself to a Visit to UBC’s Two Beautiful Gardens

Posted: April 25, 2012

Steve Whysall of The Vancouver Sun recently visited UBC Botanical Garden and Nitobe Memorial Garden. He did this adventure with friends, and he was once again bowled over by the serenity and beauty at Nitobe, knocked out by the blooming beauties in the main garden, and mesmerized by the Greenheart Canopy Walkway treetop eco-adventure.

Shop New Arrivals: Accessories, Decor, Plants, and More!

Posted: April 23, 2012

The birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing, and the botanists are busy buying new plants! If you're just as excited as we are that spring is finally here, than you won't want to miss out on the fantastic selection of accessories, decor, plants, and more currently available here at the Garden Shop.

Shop New Arrivals – Magnolias

Posted: April 20, 2012

Magnolia lovers, listen up! We now carry a good selection of Magnolias in 5-gallon containers, including the following species:

UBC to Launch Horticulture Program in Fall 2012

Posted: April 19, 2012

Gardeners are inquisitive people - always learning in little ways, big ways, by reading and especially by doing.

Beyond the hobbyist level there continues to be demand for qualified horticulturists to work in our gardens, doing all the pruning, planting, lawn cutting, pest control and to design and build our outdoor living spaces. If all of the aging baby boomers retire as predicted in the coming years there will be demand for horticulture technicians to develop and own new gardening and landscape businesses and to fill employment vacancies for public and private sector employers.

Phenology Camera Set Up to Observe Plant Development

Posted: April 17, 2012

Wiebe Nijland, a Post Doctorate Fellow with UBC Department of Forest Resources Management, is researching plant development over the course of an entire growing season. UBC Botanical Garden is an ideal location where his team has access through the growing season, to monitor the cameras, download the data, and conduct visual assessment of the vegetation phenological phase.

Take Advantage of Your Yard’s Microclimates

Posted: April 16, 2012

Your typical suburban yard is not a single uniform growing environment, but a tangle of competing interests and microclimates. There may be a dozen different combinations of sunlight, soils, air circulation, and temperature on a normal lot, and each presents gardening opportunities. You can work with the unique niches to make them productive.

Shop New Arrivals: Rhododendrons

Posted: April 4, 2012

New arrivals in our Garden Centre are many species and varieties of rhododendrons and clematis.

UBC Ornithology Students Gain First Hand Experience Through Mist-netting

Posted: April 3, 2012

David Toews, PhD Candidate with the UBC Zoology department, shares with us his recent visits to the garden with UBC Ornithology students...

Shop New Arrivals: Vegetable Gardening Books

Posted: March 30, 2012

Have you always wanted a vegetable garden in your own backyard but don't know where to start? Or are you looking for tips to make yours flourish? The Shop in the Garden is well stocked with new books to get you started on growing and cooking your own fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as to keep you up to date on the urban food revolution.

Blooming Beauties: March Magnolias

Posted: March 27, 2012

It's hard to believe the first day of spring has already sprung and gone! Before summer comes along and takes us all by surprise, be sure to set aside some time now to get out and enjoy the blooming beauties popping up-- we all know many of them won't last long!

What's Growing Behind The Scenes? - Pt. 1

Posted: March 22, 2012

A multi-part series chronicling the preparations leading up to our newest event, A Growing Affair, which replaces the popular and long-running annual “Perennial Plant Sale”.

US’ Biggest Public Food Forest is Coming

Posted: March 16, 2012

A food forest is a nature preserve full of edible plants to help feed the city. And a new urban food project, The Beacon Food Forest that broke ground this month, will offer Seattle residents a seven-acre oasis of edible shrubs, trees, and plants.

Shop New Arrivals: Fruit Trees

Posted: March 15, 2012

This week, new arrivals at Shop in the Garden include fruit trees of different varieties:

  • Apples - Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, Jonathan, MacIntosh, Red Delicious, Spartan, Summerred, Sunrise, and Cox Orange Pippin; also available in combinations
  • Cherries - Stella and Lapins
  • Plums -  Green Gage, Italian, and Yellow Egg       

Also available are a number of ornamental trees, such as:

The Hidden Beauty of Pollination

Posted: March 9, 2012

Pollination: it's vital to life on Earth, but largely unseen by the human eye. Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg shows us the intricate world of pollen and pollinators with gorgeous high-speed images from his film "Wings of Life," inspired by the vanishing of one of nature's primary pollinators, the honeybee. (Note: The clipping from "Wings of Life" begins at the 3:17 mark)

David Cobb A Finalist at International Garden Photographer of the Year Competition

Posted: March 7, 2012

David Cobb, who visited Nitobe Memorial Garden last May to photograph for the upcoming book "Japanese Gardens of North America with writer Ken Brown," has entered his photographs into the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition, where he placed as a Finalist in the Portfolios category. None of the Nitobe Memorial Garden photos were entered as part of his 6-image portfolio, but we are still proud of him making to the final stage.

Access to Garden through SW Marine Drive – March 11, 2012

Posted: March 7, 2012

Heads up to our visitors: Please expect short delays on access to UBC Botanical Garden on Sunday, March 11, 2012, between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm, during the 30th Annual UBC REC Triathlon & Duathlon.

Visitors are encouraged to drive to the Garden through SW Marine Drive, as it will still remain open with two-way traffic on the Northbound side of the road, and event staff will be on-hand to allow garden visitors to cross Marine Drive and access the Garden parking lot with minimal delays.

Daniel Mosquin joins the Board of The Friends of Summerland Ornamental Gardens

Posted: March 4, 2012

UBC Botanical Garden's Research Manager, Daniel Mosquin, will be formally joining the Board of The Friends of Summerland Ornamental Gardens on March 7th, 2012 (pending approval at the Annual General Meeting). Daniel brings over a decade of experience at UBC Botanical Garden in areas such as research, collections, education, outreach, and web presence to the role.

Shop New Arrivals: Native Ferns, Groundcovers, Perennials & Shrubs

Posted: March 1, 2012

Time to exercise your green thumb! From the native plant lover to the collector of special hard-to-find plants, our garden centre is filled with great selections for everyone. The expanded native plant section carries a wide range of native ferns, groundcovers, perennials, shrubs and trees.

  • Ferns - You can't go wrong with ferns like Athyrium filix-femina (Lady fern) or the evergreen Blechnum spicant (Deer Fern).

Weird & Wonderful Edibles

Posted: March 1, 2012

Mmm... fruits and veggies. There's something about those naturally vibrant foods that we never get tired of seeing on our plate. From being sliced and diced to being juiced or baked, there are so many ways to eat them you would be hard pressed to run out of new recipes. Perhaps that is until you've encountered the world largest specimens...

We Had Fun at AAAS Family Science Days

Posted: February 28, 2012

Our volunteer Education and Outreach Assistant, Tim reflects on his experience at the AAAS Family Science Days on February 18-19, 2012.

Shop New Arrivals - Dwarf Conifers

Posted: February 21, 2012

The sun is out, and the Shop at the Garden is ready for spring with new shipments of incredible dwarf conifers (including the popular 'Garden Delights'):

5 Green Gift Ideas For Valentine's Day

Posted: February 10, 2012

To make sure your Valentine's day is just as green as it is red, here are 5 sweet and simple gift ideas for the eco-loving lover in your life...

Meet UBC Biodiversity Collections at AAAS Family Science Days

Posted: February 9, 2012

Parents! Looking for mind-stimulating weekend events for the whole family? Meet UBC Biodiversity Collections (UBC Botanical Garden and Beaty Biodiversity Museum) for some FREE science fun at the Family Science Days during the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). A sneak peek at our interactive activities...

Profiles of Prolific Plant Hunters offer Insights into Strategy for Collecting New Plant Species

Posted: February 9, 2012

Today’s alarmingly high rate of plant extinction necessitates an increased understanding of the world’s biodiversity. An estimated 15 to 30 percent of the world’s flowering plants have yet to be discovered, making efficiency an integral function of future botanical research—but how is this best accomplished? Botanist Dr. Gerrit Davidse, John S. Lehmann of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and eight British botanists collaborated to quantify the role of plant collectors in the discovery of plant diversity.

Flowers Bloom Signs of Spring

Posted: February 2, 2012

Many Canadians consider forsythia the first sure sign that spring has arrived; however, there are quite a few bulbs, such as daffodils, that bloom even earlier, in January or February. We offer a short list of harbingers of spring to look for in the next few weeks.

Tree Recycling Program Raises $1000 For Local School Garden

Posted: January 31, 2012

From December 26th until January 8th, UBC Botanical garden hosted its annual Christmas Tree Chipping fundraiser. While community members from across Vancouver came to the garden with their unwanted trees in tow, volunteers and staff members were busy at work turning the woody remnants of the holiday season into mulch that is currently being used to resurface our garden trails.

New Year, New Products...

Posted: January 19, 2012

While temperatures keep dropping here in Vancouver, things are just heating up in the Shop In the Garden!

Bright future for UBC Botanical Garden by Steve Whysall

Posted: January 13, 2012

Patrick Lewis, November 23rd, at Vancouver's UBC Botanical Garden where he is Director. Lewis is also involvled with the Nitobe Garden and the Beatty Museum all of which now fall under the title of Biodiversity Collections. (Ward Perrin / PNG) (For story by Steve Whysall/The Vancouver Sun) 00057498A [PNG Merlin Archive]


Season's Greetings

Posted: December 21, 2011

It is with a sense of both pleasure and surprise that I realize I am well into a third year as the director of the Botanical Garden. The joy I felt when first asked to take up this position has not diminished: this is a wonderful place to work.

UBC Museums and Gardens pass featured on Groupon

Posted: December 6, 2011

Want to buy a great gift for yourself, your family, or your friends??
We  are doing another Groupon deal – this time promoting our UBC Museums and Gardens Pass.
Sale is today (Tuesday, December 6). If you’re not yet a subscriber, all you have to do is Google “Groupon Vancouver,” and click on ‘subscribe” (it’s free); or click here: and then click ‘subscribe.’ You will then be able to purchase this great deal.

Buy your Loved Ones a Book for Christmas

Posted: December 5, 2011

The Shop in the Garden has the best selection of gardening books in town.  And what could be a better Christmas gift for a gardener than a gardening book?  Here’s a list of my suggestions for books from the shop that would make ideal presents this year.

Practical Books:

Tomorrow’s Garden: Design and Inspiration for a New Age of Sustainable Gardening  (Stephen Orr)

Christmas Tree Recycling

Posted: December 2, 2011

Be sustainable and help green your community! Drop off your Christmas tree at UBC Botanical Garden so it can be chipped into mulch and used on garden trails. Submit your donations in the drop box (suggested donation $5) and help Bayview Elementary School to expand its garden. This garden is a SPEC School Garden project.

Please remove all decorations, tree stands, lights and tinsel. Christmas trees only please (no yard trimmings, as potential invasive plants can harm the Garden).

Critter Alert: Hawk Sighting

Posted: November 29, 2011

From owls to eagles, squirrels, spiders, and more, you never know what critters are roaming at the garden until you come here and explore!

Holiday Wreath Making At The Garden

Posted: November 24, 2011

Unless you're the Grinch or Ebenezer Scrooge, you probably agree that the holiday season truly is one of the most wonderful times of the year.

Not Your Grandmother's Pumpkin

Posted: October 13, 2011

"Since the 1980s, giant pumpkins have tripled in size, thanks to strategic breeding and a new cadre of hard-core growers with time on their hands and dirt under their fingernails."

Douglas Justice awarded the Curtis J. Alley Western Region Award of Merit

Posted: September 27, 2011

On September 23, Douglas Justice, Associate Director and Curator of Collections at the UBC Botanical Garden, was awarded the Curtis J. Alley Western Region Award of Merit. The Curtis J. Alley award is the highest award given by the Western Region of the International Plant Propagator's Society for service to the region. Please join me in congratulating Douglas for receipt of this much-deserved honour.

More information on the International Plant Propagator's Society can be found on their website.

Walk down the garden path

Posted: September 21, 2011

We walked down the wooden boardwalk, through the gate, down a short asphalt path and then suddenly we had entered another world filled with exotic trees, giant climbing vines and towering firs and cedars.

As I listened to my guide talk about some of the many interesting plants, I was awestruck by how big the trees were and how much biodiversity there was to see.

Volunteers Needed for Eye-Movement Study on Japanese Pruning Techniques

Posted: September 16, 2011

Researchers from UBC Botanical Garden and Japan’s Chiba University are collaborating on a study entitled, “Cross-cultural Analysis of Eye Movement During the Inspection of Several Types of Landscape Trees”

We are seeking interested Western-raised adults to volunteer up to 60 minutes of their time to participate in this eye-movement study on how Japanese pruned plants vs. Western pruned plants are “seen”.

Participants must be:

- between the ages of 18 and 59 inclusive

- raised in a Western country (preferably, but not exclusively, Canada) since the age of 3

Forest Fire contained near UBC Botanical Garden

Posted: September 7, 2011

Update from UBC (For saftey updates please visit

Fire incident in Pacific Spirit Park

Updated: Wed, Sep. 7, 2011, 3:59 PM

Fire response crews advise that the fire in Pacific Spirit Park adjacent to UBC’s Vancouver campus is largely contained. The campus has remained open, and there is no threat of evacuation for nearby buildings.

How About Them Apples?

Posted: August 29, 2011

While not technically considered a fall fair, apple festivals have established themselves as part of the harvest celebration of autumn and have adopted the traditional fall fair's mandate of educating the public about apple production and natural organic growing methods.

Oldest McIntosh Apple Tree Descendant Cut Down

Posted: August 26, 2011

The last-known first-generation graft taken from the original McIntosh apple tree died this summer, but not before Ontario horticulturalists took a dozen cuttings in hopes of cloning the plant.

Urban Wedding At Nitobe

Posted: August 23, 2011

Nitobe Memorial Garden recently played host to a team of artists and stylists looking to utilize the garden as a backdrop for some 'Urban Wedding' inspiration.

Georgia Staight Interviews Garden Work Study Student Alexis Kho

Posted: August 22, 2011

Alexis Kho focuses on the environment in the natural-resources-conservation program at UBC because she loves what she studies, but new research suggests that her degree could also bring a financial windfall.

Shop In The Garden: New Management, New Look, New Arrivals!

Posted: August 16, 2011

From fresh layouts and displays to new arrivals each month, we're excited to show you why we have been, and will continue to be, your premiere home and garden store for the Lower Mainland.

Become A Friend Of The Garden

Posted: July 29, 2011

The Friends of the UBC Botanical Garden (FOGs) are looking for new members.

Life Lessons From Nitobe Garden

Posted: July 28, 2011

"The University of B.C.’s Japanese garden has a lot to teach if you take the time to think about its subtle imagery."

Drop-In Tours Calendar Now Available

Posted: July 25, 2011

A great introduction to what you can see here at UBC Botanical Garden, all visitors are welcome to participate in a free (with paid admission) guided tour that gives a general overview of the Garden such as our Alpine, Native, and Physics gardens.

Woodpecker Spotting

Posted: July 25, 2011

Have a knack for identifying birds?

Google Street View Visits UBC Garden

Posted: July 19, 2011

A team from Google visits the Garden as part of an attractions mapping initiative for their 'Street View' feature.

Putting Students To Work

Posted: July 11, 2011

Garden staff member Alexis Kho is featured in an article on the Work Study and Work Learn program at UBC.

Gardens Aren't Just For Plants

Posted: July 8, 2011

...they're also a thriving habitat for insects and animals!

Barred Owl Visits The Garden

Posted: June 21, 2011

The garden gets an unexpected visit from a beautiful Barred Owl on June 20th, 2011.

Garden Announces Two Staff Promotions

Posted: June 15, 2011

UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plan Research is pleased to announce the recent promotion of Ryo Sugiyama, appointed Curator of Nitobe Memorial Garden, and Nadine Robinson, appointed to a Horticulturalist 3 position.

Win a trip to Quebec city with VIA Rail!

Posted: May 31, 2011

Vancouver, May 31, 2011- This summer, each time you visit the spectacular and ever-changing UBC Botanical Garden, be sure to fill in a VIA Rail Garden Route contest ballot for a chance to win a round trip for two in VIA first class to Quebec City in the summer of 2012 to visit the Roger-Van den Hende Botanical Garden and take in the sights of this lively and historic city.  The contest began May 1st and runs to October 16th. Ballots are available at in the Shop in the Garden gift shop and at garden special events.

Metro Vancouver to shift lawn sprinkling hours

Posted: May 30, 2011

Learn about the new recommendations for watering your lawn in Vancouver.

Expert Shares Her Favourite Hidden Garden Gems

Posted: May 26, 2011

A review of garden and urban spaces that landscape architect Jane Durante thinks reflect the style and excellence that Vancouver should always strive to achieve, including our very own Nitobe Garden.

New - UBC Museums and Gardens Pass program launches

Posted: May 26, 2011

Following on last year's successful joint ticket program, attractions at UBC have again joined forces to offer you an incredible deal to experience the best that UBC has to offer.

The Loneliest Plant In The World

Posted: May 10, 2011

We came across an interesting read about a cycad that may be the last one of its kind to grow in the wild on the website. E. woodii was alive with the dinosaurs, and has survived ice ages. The tree is male with no known female counterpart to mate with despite the best efforts of researchers who have search the Nyoga Forest and other areas of Africa looking for a mate.

The Importance of Composting (video)

Posted: May 2, 2011

Our friends at Metro Vancouver put together a short video explaining why it’s important to compost food scraps (a carbon-neutral process) instead of having them rot in the dump (creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas).


Mason bees make useful garden pets

Posted: April 28, 2011

Mason bees don't make honey or even live in hives, but they are effective pollinators and are remarkably easy to attract to your garden.

This non-social cousin of the honeybee will help you grow more fruit, berries and vegetables and seems less vulnerable to some of the health problems that plague bee populations, both domesticated and wild.

Faculty of Science

Posted: April 18, 2011

UBC Botanical Garden joins the Beaty Biodiversity Museum and the Pacific Museum of the Earth in the Faculty of Science, creating a cluster of biodiversity and natural history collections.

Steve Whysall's Guide to plant sales

Posted: April 10, 2011

Pretty soon you’re going to see signs for plant sales everywhere — outside schools, churches, community centres and public gardens.

This avalanche of horticultural entrepreneurialism happens every April and May. It’s as predictable as tulips following forsythia, daffodils blooming after witch hazel.

Mostly put on by garden clubs and societies, these sales are simply a way of raising a few extra dollars, often to pay for hall rentals or speaker programs and the like.

Bling you can dig

Posted: April 7, 2011

Auction boasts rare and beautiful plants. The Province Newspaper recently came out to our nursery to learn about our upcoming Collectors' Plant Auction.

Bruce Macdonald Passes Away

Posted: March 17, 2011

With great sadness we announce former Director of UBC Botanical Garden, A. Bruce Macdonald, has passed away following a long illness.

Of Forests and Men

Posted: March 4, 2011

A powerful film from Yann Arthus-Bertrand, produced as an official film for the UN's International Year of Forests .

Remembering David See-chai Lam

Posted: November 26, 2010

The staff and volunteers at UBC Botanical Garden mourn the death of our friend, the Honourable David Lam, but celebrate his life and legacy. Among his numerous commendable attributes, Dr. Lam was a lover of plants and nature. He often related that he collected seed catalogues as a boy and dreamed about the garden he would someday have, and eventually made many lasting friendships as a result of his efforts in developing and supporting parks and gardens.

Acer Collection

Posted: November 9, 2010

Acer Collection at UBC Botanical Garden Rated 2nd in Conservation Importance Worldwide.

A Reminder of Summer

Posted: January 15, 2010

It's been very, very wet here in Vancouver lately. And, when the rain does stop, any sunshine to interrupt the grey skies is fleeting. To remind us of the Garden in the summertime, a strong supporter of the Garden, Agnes L., has sent along this presentation she's made, combining her observant photographs with the pleasant sounds of Eric Harry's "Spiritual Passage".

Thank you, Agnes, and my deepest apologies for taking so long to post this. However, I hope you'll agree it is a timely reminder of more clement weather and the Garden at its best.

Apple Festival on CNN!

Posted: October 29, 2009

The 19th Annual UBC Apple Festival attracted thousands of apple lovers this past weekend. Despite rain on Saturday eager festival goers lined up and waited patiently for the chance to buy their favourite apples, and to taste test over 60 varieties. To add to the excitement there were lots of activities like the "Longest Peel Contest" by Choices Market, a children's area, delicious apple products to eat, and much more. CNN was there to capture the action on Sunday, October 18, 2009. Watch the 4.5 minute video!

Examining the Origins of Flowering Plants

Posted: March 14, 2007

“...[A] team of [UBC BGCPR-led] researchers has a paper being published in the March 15, 2007 edition of Nature, entitled “Hydatellaceae identified as a new branch near the base of the angiosperm phylogenetic tree”.

Glacial erratic story

Posted: June 9, 2005

An independent newspaper serving the residents of UBC and surrounding area.

New Flower

Posted: June 7, 2005

Endangered Sri Lankan Plants Live On in New Flower. From an article in UBC Reports, written by Brian Lin.


Posted: March 17, 2004

David Tarrant, UBC Botanical Garden's Programs and Public Relations Coordinator and long-time host of CBC's Canadian Gardener, returns to television with a series entitled “Spring”, beginning March 20 on HGTV Canada. The series follows David as he travels around the world in search of spring, from Chile to Tasmania, from South Africa to Vancouver Island, from Greece to Newfoundland and 7 other global destinations.

Weird Plants!

Posted: September 5, 2003

Interested in weird plants at UBC and around the world? Read this article from the National Geographic web site.

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Tel: 604.822.3928
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