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Vancouver’s Cherry Blossoms

Submitted by on February 13, 2013 – 8:27 amNo Comment
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canada_bc_vancouver_cherry2Thanks to the mild climate in this part of Canada’s British Columbia, Vancouver starts to spring out of winter earlier than you might imagine. As early as late February, visitors and locals can witness the blossoming of the city’s 37,000-plus cherry trees. Come (calendar) spring, 35 varieties of cherry trees announce the end of winter by blanketing Vancouver’s streets with delicate flowers.

Visitors can celebrate the onset of spring with a visit to one of Vancouver’s many gardens (there’s a huge list online).

Some of the top picks for botany buffs:

*The 55-acre VanDusen Botanical Garden touts tree-lined paths, vibrant flower gardens, peaceful lakes, colourful birdlife and more. In spring months, guided tours showcase cherry tree varietals, flowering bulbs, early rhododendrons and camellias. Tours are available April through October, departing daily at 2:00 pm and Wednesdays at 10:30 am (included with admission).

*Built by 52 master craftsmen from Suzhou China, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is the first garden of its kind outside of China. Located in Vancouver’s Chinatown neighbourhood, the urban oasis features delicate blossoms intertwined in a landscape of weathered rocks, peaceful paths and a jade-green pond. Guided tours are available Tuesdays through Sundays, departing at 10:30 am, 12:00 pm, 1:30 pm and 3:00 pm (included with admission).

*A stroll through the UBC Botanical Garden & Greenheart Canopy Walkway (located on the University of British Columbia campus) reveals cherry blossoms, magnolias, early rhododendrons and spring ephemerals. The colourful Nitobe Memorial Garden – considered one of the top Japanese gardens outside of Japan – boasts cherry trees, streams, stone lanterns, a reflecting pond and a rare authentic tea garden with a ceremonial teahouse. Visitors can pick up a guided tour map upon entry (available in five languages).

*The 130-acre Queen Elizabeth Park boasts several varieties of cherry trees, which bloom at different intervals throughout early March and late April. The park is also home to Vancouver’s largest cherry tree: The Great One.

Finally, Vancouverites and visitors can celebrate the rite of spring at the annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, April 4 to 30.

(Photo of Akebono – “daybreak cherry” – courtesy of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival)

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