An Oasis in the City
VanDusen Gardens is an unquestionably beautiful place to visit. Amble down one of the many garden paths and you’re sure to find yourself taken away to someplace much more relaxing than the world outside the gates. It’s hard to imagine you’re in the heart Vancouver when your sitting on a dock watching the dragonflys patrol, or counting lily pads (I lost count at 103).
What makes this garden so unique is more than just the beautiful surroundings and lush gardens. It’s more than the joy of spending time getting lost in the hedge maze, or the delight of a fragrant bloom in the rose garden. It’s not the turtles that can be spotted sunning themselves on the rocks at Livingstone Lake, nor the fishies swimming below. No, it’s not any one of these treasures.
It’s all of them.
VanDusen’s deep connection and commitment to nature can be seen everywhere. The pull is so strong that when they built their new visitor’s centre they went all out. Creating a one of a kind living building that blends nature and modern living with stunningly beautiful and harmonious results.
Earth Art Comes to VanDusen Gardens
That’s why it was no surprise to hear that the gardens were chosen to host some of the world’s finest Earth Artists as they created uniquely inspired sculptures made from the materials all around us. Many of these installations will be with the gardens for years to come, others merely for days.
Immediately as you enter the garden you are greeted by enormous carvings by Michael Dennis from Denman Island. Designed to improve as the wood weathers and ages, these sculptures give a whole new experience with every visit. Switzerland’s Urs Twellmann created a magnificent piece from a fallen Douglas fir. A zipper carved by chainsaw now zigs and zags down the great lawn. Opening our minds to what lays beneath the turf. His piece will stay long after the exhibit has ended. Left to decompose, many, many years from now. Nils-Udo from Germany took a different approach to his piece. Using a cherry picker he decorated large Sequoia trees with palm fronds, creating a brilliant if only temporary art exhibit that is sure to inspire and delight.
Slightly off the beaten path, an impressive project from New Zealand’s Chris Booth is taking shape next to the education centre. There a stone flower is growing, complete with a cedar tree planted in its centre, acting as the pistil. The sculpture is built atop and surrounded by a nest of wood, logs and mulch. As the vegetation breaks down the stone petals will open. A project decades in the making.
Not to be missed local artist Nicole Dextras brings fashion into the garden with the Little Green Dress Projekt. This on going exhibit will feature 28 handmade botanical dresses from now until mid September. These dresses are provocative and superbly creative, bringing sustainable clothing straight into the spot light. Shouldn’t we all have that little green dress?
Stay tuned later this week for more on the Little Green Dress Projekt currently on display at VanDusen Gardens.