Since my world is covered in white these days I'm going to step back in time again and revisit a favourite garden.
While I was in Vancouver last spring I managed another trip to my favourite public garden. I volunteered at Van Dusen Botanical garden for a couple years and it has held a special place in my heart ever since. It doesn't seem to matter what time of year I visit, there's always something to see.
It was still early in the season when I arrived and many trees were only just beginning to show their buds but there was still more than enough flowers to keep me occupied for hours. Spring blooms carpeted the garden and there was something to see in every corner you cared to look. A large grove of native trilliums was particularly eye catching. White trilliums are always beautiful to look at but red ones add some amazing contrast.
Bulbs were prominent on this trip. I particularly liked this combination of soft yellow tulips, pink hyacinth and blue forget me nots.
Many spring blooming trees, like these magnolias, were underplanted with spring bulbs to great effect.
Early blooming Rhododendron shrubs were also putting on a great show.
One of the things about Van Dusen that always impresses me is the scale. Public gardens can do things that would seem outrageous in a small garden. Like artwork. The sheer size, not to mention the quality, of the artwork was impressive.
This giant minotaur was woven out of wire and towered over us. In the context of the large trees though it appeared perfectly at home.
A grouping of stone persons gathered in front of a grove of white birches also seemed perfectly natural.
In the heather garden a series of white figures gazes at you from across the hillside.
I don't expect I'll be putting any large sculptures in my garden in the near future but I really enjoyed seeing them here. It really emphasizes the idea of scale and context. Plant according to the size of space you have. A large space can accommodate and will look more natural if large trees and gardens are planted. Small sculptures will go unnoticed in a large space so take note of the context and place your art accordingly.
What is your favourite public garden? Are there any garden lessons you've learned from visiting another garden?