More flower chasing ensues over the weekend…
Transit: the best way would be to take the #17 from Granville and Dunsmuir St. (if coming from the Granville Station). It takes you straight up Oak St and to the entrance of Van Dusen. You can also take the skytrain to Oakridge and walk 15 minutes to 37th Avenue and Oak.
I entered the garden as a volunteer for the Sakura Fair, a Japanese-themed exhibition with tea ceremony, sake tasting, haiku-making and many other Japanese performances, shops and vendors. It is held annually around the same time and in the same location. Normally, it costs about $13.00 to enter for an adult. The event also charged admission fee.
However, strong winds in the previous weeks means most of the Sakura flowers were blown off the trees already. Nevertheless, there were still many pretty plants on the premise!
I spent much of the day doing tickets and crowd control at the Japanese Tea Ceremony. The ceremony 茶道 was quite an unique experience. It was some 30 minutes long and is done in a very quiet setting. Each move was very meticulous and (most likely) with meaning.
They even treated us, volunteers, to tea and sweets. We are suppose to eat the sweet first because the tea is very bitter …. (similar analogy of putting sugar into the coffee).
I had about an hour to explore the garden after my shift. Granted by then, most of the shows were over and there were no more Yukata dress-up.
Near the entrance is a gorgeous water fountain and following the path up, was a field of tulips! Naturally, it was much smaller than the tulip festival I went to the day before but it was still very pretty.
The garden is most famous for its garden maze. It’s a life size maze and is quite impressive. In the middle is a monkey tree and adults and young children-alike find their ways to get out.
I passed through a stone garden without even noticing it. I think most people thought it was a bare land and just walked through it, like me.
Another attraction here is a mini waterfall, which looks really nice if you take a photo from beneath it.
Apparently, the garden is very close to the residential area. We can even see an apartment from here. It is quite nice, except there are a lot of mosquitoes.
There are also many interesting paths that one should take and get lost within. You never know where it brings you to.
For example, it was the first time I have ever noticed the Tim Burton tree, totem poles .. and other interesting art forms.
We also stepped into a lane lined with gorgeous trees and flowers. Each plant has a card indicating the name and species it belongs to.
There was also a nice Korean style gazebo. You can recognize it by the designs underneath the roof.
Some of the petals have already fallen on the ground but not yet washed away. It looked a bit like snow from a distance.
The most interesting tree of the walk: the Japanese Maple Tree, Momiji. It stood out among the green trees in its surrounds. I think it is suppose to turn red in the autumn but I am not quite sure. We went from winter snow on the ground to an autumn sky.
…. and that was the end of the visit. May 2016.
Van Dusen Revisited:
I went back to Van Dusen again, this time after a long hard shower in the morning. There were very few spectators and even fewer flower due to the change of season.
The garden is quite big, even though it is centered inside a residential area in the west end of Vancouver. Most people visit the maze area and neglect to visit the other side.
The fountain is still pumping despite few people but it makes a wonderful postcard … especially with no one in the background. There were also many flowers that I did not see before. There was also a mediation rock and a pond! We tried looking for frogs but there weren’t any.
Updated : June 2016.