Thursday, November 4, 2010

Vancouver BC Street Scenes

Half the fun of visiting a new city is checking out the plantings from the street (commercial areas, parking strips, front gardens), it gives you a sense of the horticultural flavor of the area. These Mahonia were across the street from our hotel.And this colorful planting was just down the street.
Although I don’t have any photos to help legitimatize this claim I found it remarkable how many large Phormium, Cordyline and other borderline hardy plants were thriving in Vancouver. Although the winter temperatures are extremely comparable to Portland they must not have had the killer winters we have the last couple of years. This “tropical” scene was along Sunset Beach looking out at English Bay.
And what a busy bay it is.
Wait a second! Did you see what I saw in that last picture? Look…
That tree is huge! And on top of a very tall building!

We stopped for an early dinner at this little bar along Broadway. I love that for Canadians Vancouver is their California. At a time when most of us in the Pacific NW are heading indoors for the winter (we were visiting on October 13th) they still have their outdoor seating open. We were in Vancouver a few years back on our Thanksgiving weekend and even though it was November people were eating outside, and not just to smoke!
A few more plantings near street-side dining…
I love these tall black rectangles, but I would have chose a different planting combination.
I snapped this picture at the UBC Museum of Anthropology. I love how the palms are depicted and what a vital role they seem to play.
This was the view out our hotel window. Beautiful! I wish you could see the city skyline a little further west. Tall condo after tall condo. It’s amazing.
And I enjoyed looking down at this collection of rear balconies. It’s hard to tell exactly but it looks like maybe 3 out of 4 residents are gardeners! I like those numbers, and in fact we saw evidence of a lot of gardeners here in Vancouver; with a mild climate like theirs it’s only natural.


  1. I love how they have brought plantings in and around these buildings. Love the balcony gardens too!

  2. Vancouver, from what I've heard, is THE place to garden. Those black magic colocasias are incredible!!

  3. i like the heuchera with the blue/silver plant - what is that? carnation? but you're right, they don't look good in the black planter boxes! were you in vancouver bc, or vancouver, wa? (i haven't been to either.) looks like a nice city!

  4. Darla, it just makes all the difference doesn't it? Having plants on a balcony?

    roherbot, what I saw certainly supports this theory.

    gina, sorry! Vancouver BC! (Vancouver WA has a much much much smaller skyline) I am not sure about the silver plant. I want to say it's a curry plant because I had one once that looked exactly like that but it's only a guess!

  5. Thank you for the great inspiration! Like rohrerbot, I have also been told that the gardening in vancouver is great... I've even seen photos of musa basjoo there!

  6. By the way, I'm pretty sure they film the show "Psych" there too!

  7. Gee, Loree...if you keep traveling, I can just stay home without ever feeling deprived.

  8. Thank you for the tour. I would be happy here if just 1 out of 4 gardened, but I guess it interferes with fishing schedules and trips to the beach.

  9. Wow... those mahonia! Just stunning... I have never in my life seen a mahonia that didn't look rather wretched and motheaten. I guess I'm realizing now that that is because I've never been the the Pacific NW.

  10. What a great post - and such a clever idea! You're absolutely right - a city's landscaped public areas are so indicative of an area's gardening style. Love the tour! And I LOVE the huge tree on the building!!

  11. RFG, oh definitely on the Musa basjoo, if we can grow huge specimens here I know they can there. Here's where I admit we don't really watch TV, no cable or satellite even! So I have no idea what "Psych" is. I'm so not cool!

    ricki, thing of me as your travel scout. I'll give you an advanced preview that tells you whether or not to visit!

    Les, ouch! Really? I guess I take it for granted living in a gardening part of the country.

    greensparrow, any plans to right that wrong? I could give you a lit of must sees!

    rebecca, glad you enjoyed it! Isn't that tree just wild!?


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