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The rain brought with it, silence and solitude, as we walked along the massive pathways that guided us past a menagerie of trees, shrubs, and perennials.
It was the cusp of late winter dawning into early spring, and the gardens took on an impressive profile.
The deciduous trees had long been bare, and there was some evidence that flowers were awakening from their deep slumber.
The sky was overcast and provided a gray backdrop to the illustrious palette that lay before us.
The quiet was unsettling. We were the only patrons that morning in Vancouver and we’d silently hoped that it would remain that way.
There was a mystical quality that surrounds us, and as crazy as it sounds, we didn’t want it to end. We tried to remain suspended in it for as long as we could.
Each turn or bend brought us to something more fascinating or compelling as the next. Something was captivating about the sparseness of the gardens.
The skeletal homages to the beauty that would come in a matter of months; the pink vibrancy of a field of heather that bathed a nearby gazebo.
We came across a bank of black rocks that were softened by various plants disbursed throughout.
We soon found ourselves following a trail that led us to a footbridge that overlooked a stream of brilliantly colored koi cascading through a forest of hosta and fern on either side.
As I stood in the center of Van Dusen Gardens taking in this scene that could only be described as a fairy tale, I felt a twinge of guilt.
Naturally, most people would visit a garden when it’s at its showcase best; when most plants are a panoramic bloom-fest each vying for the visitor’s attention.
Yet, here I stood to take in a transformative process that few are fortunate enough to witness that ‘nature’s first green is gold”.
There are brief moments in our lifetime where we get to experience a calmness that envelopes our entire being.
Where your body and soul are synergic with nature, it’s the best evidence that we are here because we are meant to be.
It is our destiny. So do the unexpected, spend a rainy afternoon exploring the beauty of a botanical garden, you will be glad you did.
The VanDusen Botanical Garden is located at
5251 Oak Street (37th & Oak St.)
Vancouver, British Columbia V6M 4H1