Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The UBC Botanical Garden, Part 2

We emerged from the tunnel… And stepped back into the bright sunshine! First stop was the Food Garden, which I thought was very well done.
And it’s nice to see the produce makes a difference in people’s lives.
The Alpine Garden beckons in the distance but first we must enter the Physic Garden!
From their sign: “This garden contains medicinal and pharmaceutical plants in use during the Tudor and Elizabethan periods in England. It features a parterre of twelve beds edged by brick and enclosed by a yew hedge. The European Physic Garden dates back to the 16th century when plants with known healing properties were put into cultivation for the benefit of medical students at early universities in Salerno, Venice, Padua and Pisa. England’s earliest Physic garden was established in 1621 at Oxford University. One early research method followed a theory called the Doctrine of Signatures proposed by Paracelsus, a German-Swiss physician and alchemist. It suggested that certain plants were endowed with “signatures” that would assist people the discovery of herbal remedies. For example, a signature such as a heart-shape leaf would remedy heart trouble, while a plant with yellow sap would naturally cure jaundice.”
Since the plant signs themselves were so fun to read I’m going to include them. Sign first, plant next. Here goes:
(naturally there were no Lily of the Valley to be seen this time of year)
"welcome home husband though ever so drunk”…can you imagine someone inquiring about a plant in your garden and casually saying "oh that? Well that's my 'welcome home husband though ever so drunk,' would you like a division? Treating all feminine complaints eh? I’ve got your complaint right here…!!!
Moving along…this sun house (my term) seemed rather underutilized. Only a few plants were inside. Like this Cylindropuntia whipplei (Cylindropuntia is my new favorite word by the way!)
I love these troughs all lined up. Although actually it looks’s a bit like a strange cemetery don’t you think?
This area also houses ‘The Grace Rollerson Sempervivium Collection’. I learned that S. tectorum was customarily grown on roofs to ward off lightening. I believe this is S. tectorum.
But I’m not sure which Sempervivum this is. From this area you get a nice overall look at this part of the garden.
The sign below these spiky monsters reads, in part: “With appropriate soil, drainage and exposure, cacti and other succulents can thrive in the maritime climate of coastal British Columbia.”Notice the perfectly round lichen on the rock, there were several like this.
Gaultheria mucronata.
Eryngium eburneum.
Eryngium pandanifolium.
Fascicularia bicolor.
The amphitheater.
And a HUGE Verbascum bloom!
Celmisia spectabilis.
Looking back up at that same Verbascum bloom.
And now we are in the amphitheater looking out toward the garden, and the metal fountain that reminded me of a wedding reception champagne glass.
Cattails surrounding the pond.
And naturally they had a huge Gunnera.
There was a virtual forest of colorful Sumac in the Carolinian Forest section of the garden.
When I was a little girl friends and I used to pretend to cook fantastic things with the berries, luckily pretend is all we did.
Back in the gift shop their plant section was down to the final dregs of season.
A few Carnivorous plants.
A couple of stately Crinum x powelli.
And these Acaena microphylla, or New Zealand Burr.
I would have liked to take a couple of these home with me. But then again I didn’t want to deal with customs, which was a smart choice it turns out. No fewer than 4 tough guys questioned us on the way back into the United States. We would have cracked under the questioning pressure and the plants would have been either confiscated or suddenly become much more expensive.


  1. Lovely lovely place. Didn;t know semps have medicinal value.

  2. Lovely gardens. And we are still very keen on our physics gardens.


    Four tough guys to question a... plant lover? Those people have way too much budget.

    Thanks for the tour!

  4. great pics! it's been years since I was up there I can't wait to go again. The Jade Garden is an excellent overview of the asian plants they've been putting through trials up there.

    my wife generally prefers non-herbal remedies but she swears by motherwort!

  5. I really want one of the fascicularia bicolor bromeliads, but a welcomehomehusbandthougheversodrunk would be an excellent addition to my collection!

  6. Evelyn, me either!

    Spiky O, good to know, and I do hope to visit your part of the world someday.

    Hoover Boo, oh I'm glad you like it too! The tough guys weren't just out to get the plant lovers, they were giving the same treatment to all the border crossers. I've probably just gone and put myself on some list of suspect people now haven't I?

    gnomicscience, really? How does she purchase it? As a pill? Tell? Grows it? Please tell!

    RFG, you and me both (the Fascicularia) I briefly had one until Mr Winter killed him off last year. Maybe that will be one of my splurges this spring.

  7. Those signs remind me of a Woody Allen speech when he thinks he sees an angel at the end of "Love and Death".

    Wonderful tour!


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!