In early May 2012, we paid a visit to the Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research at the University of British Columbia–to indulge a mutual love of digital photography, and to satisfy a natural curiosity to learn about flora. First stop was the 308m long Greenheart Canopy Walkway, where brave souls would walk up to 57 ft above the ground on a suspended steel platform that was secured with cables from tree to tree, and experience a bird’s eye view of the forest.
The good news: no waiting line–because we were the only ones there. The bad news: no guides to show points of interest (fun as it was to get higher and higher).
The second leg of our visit was the beautifully landscaped UBC Botanical Garden proper, and it does not disappoint for floral variety or style. Visitors can discover over 8,000 different kinds of plants from different regions and climates of the world.
Expect to spend 3-4 hours in the UBC Botanical Gardens. My favourite part of the UBC Botanical Garden was the Harold and Francis Holt Physic Garden. It was with great interest that we learned the medicinal (and when taken in sufficiently large quantities sometimes poisonous) properties of herbs, including hemlock, goldenrod and lungwort.
We did visit the Nitobe Memorial Gardens afterwards–a remarkable oasis of serenity in the cement city that is UBC–although we were really checking our watches to make sure that we could allocate at less 45 minutes to an hour there before closing time. You can read the blog post here. Wear comfortable shoes and get there early, because, with 110 acres to cover (in just the UBC Botanical Gardens), you will be doing a lot of walking!