Sunday, July 27, 2014

Showered With Flowers At VanDusen Gardens

FLOWERS UNCUT and rooted in gardens were the bouquets I enjoyed at VanDusen Gardens in Vancouver where my husband and I recently went to celebrate our anniversary.

We were delighted to be greeted by this couple clinging to each other in a lovely work of fluid bronze by George Lundeen called Departure.

Luggage beneath the man's arm indicates a journey ahead. The couple seem weary but content to wait on the bench for transportation that would carry them away to unknown destinations.

The pair fit our anniversary mood perfectly as did all the surrounding flowers, foliage and works of art scattered throughout 55 acres refreshed from the previous day's rain.

We were glad to be provided transportation in what looked like a large-sized golf cart. Blankets were offered but not needed on such a mild day.

The vehicle was driven by an enthusiastic volunteer guide who knew every tree and stem. Ironically, the area was once a golf course she explained maneuvering us with ease down the winding pathways.

Here are some of many sights we saw along the way, including a very important gardener (pictured at right) who is one of several keeping the landscape flourishing with flowers and greenery.

We saw a variety of water lilies in cream, peach and pink. Tiny droplets of earth must have splashed on the petals when it rained earlier.

We passed an array of blooms. Some were transplanted from different corners of the globe and some were native to the region.

I could happily sink into this plush patch of sweet scented clover.

There were mazes where adventurers could endlessly wander.

I like how these heads seemed to organically grow from out of a stump. It was one of several sculptures on site from salvaged and recycled wood for the "Touch Wood" exhibition held during our visit.

I was fascinated by the tall wooden figures at the edge of the lawn. I imagined they could be arranged in endless ways like giant pop bottles or chess pieces.

In the distance I saw the Korean Pavilion brought to Vancouver for Expo 86. Subsequently donated to VanDusen Gardens, it is maintained by the people of South Korea to this day. A closer look reveals a festival of patterns and color.

Above is a sample of the vivid designs giving detail to the structure.

This little angel with a wistful smile is a permanent fixture and fountain.

We were told that this less than angelic creature, made from bed springs, once clutched a tiny rabbit sculpture that one day mysteriously disappeared.

This fellow, made of wood disguised as metal, seemed to glare at us as we went by. We were nearing the end of our journey. Soon it was time to go for a walk and savor the woodsy park-like setting.

A deer appeared ... its antlers mimicking tree branches.

We returned to the inseparable couple locked in time on the bench.

The two seemed so compelling and relatable. Wherever our travels take us … have we not all felt this at home in the arms of someone trusted?

Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle to view more BC scenes.

To see more sights from around the globe visit Our World at the sidebar.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms


  1. Maria, lovely images. I see some many new additions to the gardens since I was last there in 2008. I used to be a member of the gardens, my favorite place to be. Love that new sculpture on the park bench.

  2. What a fanciful and beautiful garden. I love the flowers and also the garden sculpture.

  3. Sculptures add so much to a garden especially in this setting.

  4. Such a beautiful place and I love your captures for the day! The sculpture of the couple is very moving and lovely! Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!!

  5. The Bronze "Departure" sculpture is stunning .... so much emotion. A beautiful post.

  6. What a place! Wow! Happy Anniversary to you and beautiful photography for OWT ~ thanks,

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  7. What a pretty garden to visit. I love all the beautiful flowers, especially the waterlilies.. And the sculptures and statues are awesome. The couple is my favorite. Great post, enjoy your new week!

  8. Fantastic photos, a very beautiful garden. It has everything that I like, beautiful flowers and wonderful sculptures.

  9. What utterly gorgeous gardens and a lovely statue!

  10. First, and most importantly, congratulations, Penelope! How wonderful that you were able to celebrate together in such a beautiful setting. "Departure" absolutely touched my heart, as I know it did yours. I especially loved (again, as you did) the heads seamlessly emerging from the stumps and the flowers weren't bad either :)

  11. I’m glad that you showed Departure to us nicely zoomed-in at the end as I had thought I’d return to the top image after reading. Their fluid posture and faces are so captivating that makes me want to keep looking at it. Happy anniversary, Maria, and congratulations on staying in love for so long!

  12. Congratulations with your anniversary and what a great place to celebrate. I would love to visit that garden. I adore the couple who look so sweet.
    The waterlilies are absolutely stunning and there is so much candy for the eye. Thanks for taking us there

  13. I've heard of the VanDusen Botanical Garden but, sadly, have never seen it in person. I want to go there now that I've seen the sculptures there!

  14. Happy Anniversary, so nice you could spend it at such a gorgeous garden.

    One of my favorite places to hang out.


  15. What an amazing and wonderful garden. were you able to get off the 'carriage' and explore from time to time? you must have been able to in order to get those wonderful pictures.

    What a fabulous place for gardens it is where you live!!!

    I can't condone vandalism of course, but it is hard to feel angry at whoever saved a bunny from that fiend ;>)

  16. Why do people have to steal parts of sculptures. One of the totem poles at the entrance to Powell River had a frog carving that was pulled off shortly after it was erected. - Margy


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