Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Darts Hill Garden Park, 2023 VHPG Study Weekend

The gardens available for touring on Friday of the 2023 Vancouver Hardy Plant group Study Weekend included a public garden, Darts Hill.
From our event brochure: "Darts Hill Garden Park consists of 7.5 acres of horticultural richness without equal in North America, for it contains a variety of rare and precious plants. The garden is the result of the pioneering spirit, interest, and dedication of Francisca and Edwin Darts."

Meconopsis species, Himalayan blue poppy.

While I appreciate how excited they were about what they had to offer, "horticultural richness without equal in North America" might be a bit of an over statement—to put it mildly. 

Upon entering the garden we were told there was an art exhibit staged throughout. I wasn't particularly interested, assuming these were the usual flashy pieces that detracted from the plants themselves (based on other art I've had to endure in public gardens), but I was wrong. There were a few really interesting displays.

Sadly I cannot tell you who is responsible for this work, as the website address I recorded for that info appears to have been altered since last summer.

My apologies to the artist(s).

Moving into the rock garden area...

The sign reads: These alpine Beds were designed, built and planted by the Alpine Garden Club of BC. Mrs. Francisca Darts was an Honorary Life Member of the AGC-BC.

Saxifraga longifolia

They had a great collection of tough plantings.

Saxifraga petrophila

Maybe a acantholimon?


From this petite plant...

I wish I knew what this cutie is...

So many great saxifraga!

Moving on... sensitive fern, Onoclea sensibilis.

Vaccinium parvifolium, red huckleberry.

I do have the name of this final artist, Marcus Macdonald.

Of course I loved his ceramic fungus shapes, well done!

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All material © 2009-2024 by Loree L Bohl. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Nice alpine collection. And every garden needs a ceramic fungus like that!

  2. I agree "horticultural richness without equal in North America" might be an over statement but really enjoyed everything you shared with us here. Wouldn’t mind having any of the art installments, rock gardens or stream running through the garden.

  3. A plethora of cool Saxifraga... I'm always on the lookout for more unusual varieties in nurseries. Not readily available in my experience.
    Could those be Elderberries, rather than huckleberries?

    1. Nope, I took a photo of the label and a Google search checks out.

  4. I remember seeing Francisca Darts being interviewed by David Tarrant on Canadian Gardening many years ago. In the exploding development of Surrey she had the foresight to preserve her wonderful property. Many of the plants and trees she started from seed. A lovely preserve in the heart of a very densely packed community. Love those fungus pieces.

  5. Oooh! I love, love, love the ceramic fungi! That is the one thing I wish is that we had more out here in the Wim. Valley are those long-lasting shelf fungi that hang out on decaying wood for years. Don't get me wrong, I love our turkey tails, but I want them to last more than one season. Ceramic would be one way to achieve that.

    1. Perhaps you need to explore your inner-fungi maker?

  6. The ceramic fungi is fabulous! Love that so much. It is a beautiful garden, but I'm chuckling at the "without equal" part. If your grandness is truly unparalleled -just let someone else say it.

    1. I did wonder about that, who exactly submitted that write up?


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