I missed this year's Festival of Lights at the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, but on an overcast, misty day in late January I decided to visit to see what the Gardens are like in winter without all the Christmas decorations and lights.
The Gardens were originally a large piece of property owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway and logged at the turn of the century. From 1912 to 1964 it was home of the Shaughnessy Golf Club. An association was formed in 1966 and the VanDusen Botanical Gardens Association was formed. They ensured that the site would not be used for housing development. Work began on the Garden in 1971 and the Garden was finally opened to the public in August 1975.
There are various themes in the Garden and this day I chose to wander through the Japanese Cherry orchard where, when it's blossom time, they hold a haiku contest.
In spite of the lonely pathways and chilly weather, I enjoyed my afternoon stroll. I look forward to returning to the garden in Springtime when the flowers are budding.
The VanDusen Gardens are open January - March 10 am to 4 pm
and more extended hours once Spring has arrived.
Admission and other information is available on their website at www.vandusengarden.org