This gallery contains 22 images. The “quilted”, triodetic dome design of the Bloedel Conservatory precedes Science World’s geodesic “silver golf ball” by a few decades. As a child, I remember being brought to Queen Elizabeth Park (known as Q.E. Park among locals) in the evenings to throw a flying disc around or kick a ball. Picnics, often with family friends, happened on sunny weekends.
There was plenty of parking available, and it was all still free (there are still some designated free parking spaces on the walk up to the Conservatory), and in the late spring and summer, the profusion of well-tended, colourful flowers in the quarry gardens below, makes Q.E. Park the choice of many a wedding shoot.
Growing up, I had never experienced the wonders of the Bloedel Conservatory, which is built on Little Mountain, the one (and only) extinct volcano in Vancouver, BC.. It’s hard to believe that almost four years ago, this arboretum was actually in danger of being shut down! That would have been such a culturally and historically significant loss, especially considering that the Conservatory was built with a very generous donation from businessman Prentice Bloedel with the intent to educate and entertain. Where else in Metro Vancouver can we see such a variety of colourful and tropical plants, and hundreds of free-flying birds, at just about any time of the year?
We spent three hours in, and took close to 1000 photos of the Bloedel Conservatory (the overheating digital camera will attest to that 🙂 ). You won’t see everything on your first ’round’, especially when it comes to the birds, some of whom can be quite secretive and roost high up in the conservatory (it was on our second time around that we met Sylvester the Silver Pheasant, and our fourth time around before we met the Guinea Turaco). In the last three years since we were last here, many more bird species have been added to the mix, making for more colourful photo opportunities. If you stay until closing time, you’ll have a great time shooting the illuminated interior of the Bloedel Conservatory from the outside against the night sky.
Visit the Bloedel Conservatory blog for the latest Conservatory updates, and the City of Vancouver Parks and Recreation Bloedel Conservatory page for hours of operation, admission rates, events, and more (the Conservatory can also be booked for private functions).
More photos from our visit to the Bloedel Conservatory may be found here.