VanDusen Botanical Garden
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Formerly a golf course, the 22-hectare VanDusen Botanical Garden (54-acre) garden (5251 Oak St. at 37th Ave., 604/878-9274, daily 10 a.m.–8 p.m. in summer, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. April and Oct., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. the rest of the year, adult $8.85, senior and child $6.50, discounted in winter), is home to more than 7,500 species from every continent except Antarctica. It’s the place to feast your eyes on more than 1,000 varieties of rhododendrons, as well as roses, all kinds of botanical rarities, winter blossoms, an Elizabethan hedge maze, and a children’s topiary garden featuring animal shapes.
Look for the display board near the front entrance to see what’s best for the time of year in which you’re visiting. The complex also includes a shop selling cards, perfumes, soaps, potpourri, and all kinds of floral-themed gifts.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition