Garden Blog

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.
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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.


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