Garden Photo of the Day

A Soul Warming Day Out in British Columbia

By Kim Charles

Caroline Dickson and her daughters get festive at the BC Botanical Gardens 

"This week, my young daughters and I participated in a soul warming activity that fostered the love of nature and the holiday spirit.  We headed out to Vancouver’s famed University of British Columbia Botanical Gardens, where the plants sulking in the cold and rain, were countered by the smell of hot coco and festive tunes. 

The Botanical Gardens was host to a family friendly wreath-making event, where young and old gathered together in creativity.  What was special about this activity was the access to the horticulture students and garden staff who described in detail the different plants we used for our wreaths.  We learned of holly variations, cedar, hazel and willows and of course the glorious berries providing sparks of colour during our dark winter days. Garden volunteers milled about, helping the children and adults alike with their plant choices, tying of bows, and small ornaments to accent the beautiful wreaths that were pulled together over the morning. 

Of special note, were the high school student volunteers, whose love of plants and children came together during this unique activity. My girls loved interacting with the young volunteers, who shared a secret kinship for the world of gardening.  As my girls sat quietly enjoying the plants and creativity of this activity, I saw a glimmer of independent interest after all the years of dragging the kids to nurseries and garden activities such as this."

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  1. frankgreenhalgh 12/19/2016

    Hello there Caroline - What a fantastic educational and community initiative by the UBC Botanical Gardens, and good on you for taking your lovely young girls along to the event! It may have been cold and wet outside, but I'm sure it was a warm experience for everybody concerned. You never know which path that glimmer of interest in ornamental horticulture/floriculture may take your girls in the future. I'm also sure that a lot is taken in subconsciously, and its too early for the gardening genes to kick in yet - so don't give up on taking your girls to nurseries and having them involved in gardening activities etc.

    Caroline, your posts are very interesting indeed (e.g. your post on back alley gardens). Thanks for sharing, and keep up the good work.

    Do you know if the UBC celebrated the centenary of the gardens this year?

    Cheers from Australia

  2. user-3565112 12/19/2016

    Caroline, Thank you for the beautiful & heartwarming photos. In the 3rd. photo your daughters appear to be focused & having great fun. The 1st. photo captures their pride in their creations & would make a beautiful personalized Christmas card for next year. I wish you & your beautiful family a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. Good luck, Joe

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/19/2016

    It's so nice to start the day with a smile (or smiles) and your girls' beaming faces are contagious. Their finished projects are outstanding looking and, I'm sure, are now hung with pride and satisfaction at home. It sounds like it was a wonderful family activity and kudos to you for making it a quality part of this busy holiday season.

  4. pam_clemmons 12/19/2016

    Love seeing you all working together to make these instead of simply going out to buy! Sometimes the best things in life get missed. Merry Christmas to all!

  5. Sunshine111 12/19/2016

    Your girls are beautiful! What a lovely idea, and a great experience for them. They are so blessed to have a mother like you!

  6. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/19/2016

    Charming. I've visited the UBC botanic gardens once and thoroughly enjoyed it.

  7. user-4691082 12/19/2016

    Oh Caroline, such precious girls! I echo all the other comments about getting your daughters hands on! I agree with Joe about the card for next year! Merry Christmas to all!

  8. sheila_schultz 12/19/2016

    What a lovely way to spend a pre-Christmas day with your girls! With the large selection of assorted greens and colorful bits their eyes must have been as large as saucers as they gathered the ingredients for their perfect wreath! As I looked at the photos I had to chuckle when I noticed one of your daughters wore gloves and the other didn't... we are either bare-handed gardeners or not!

  9. User avater
    gringopeligroso 12/19/2016

    Caroline!!! (Love your name!)
    I believe it was Rhonda on this post who also attended a similar event in another grand garden last week! A little envious of both of you!
    IF any one the the thousands who get this post are volunteers at a Public Garden, Community Garden, Historical Garden, Memorial Garden, etc, or even if'n you just help a neighbour: Thank You! I can with certainty say our World would not be nearly so warm and colourful without your help! It is Y'all who make the difference! (Ok, staff members help a little bit, too!)
    And, bringing this back 'round to your post: High School Volunteers????? Really!!!
    That is nothing short of Awesome!! I curtsey in respect to those bright, young Spirits!!!
    (And would shake the Co-ordinator's hand!!) jesse

  10. schatzi 12/19/2016

    What a fun, creative family activity! UBC Botanical Garden is a beautiful place, and programs like this are marvelous for all involved. Merry Christmas to all.

  11. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 12/19/2016

    Good morning Caroline. What a heart warming post on this dreary PNW day. This is such a special event for the botanical garden to host and it looks like your daughters enjoyed it as much as I'm sure you did just watching them learn and create. Hopefully, my daughter will take her children to this when they get a bit older. Thanks for sharing.

  12. eddireid 12/19/2016

    Adorable children, Caroline. That early "dragging them around garden centres" does pay off.
    Lovely to see the little faces concentrating on their artwork. I agree with Joe!

  13. Cenepk10 12/19/2016

    So neat ! I rarely do fun things like this...Great looking future gardeners .. they'll always remember you & these sweet outings. Merry Christmas, ya'll !!!!

  14. perenniallycrazy 12/20/2016

    Thanks for sharing your heartwarming experience at UBC Caroline. This is now on my bucket list of things to do with my niece and nephew and with my older kids if they are interested.

  15. user-7007496 02/06/2017

    Two of the cutest little wreath makers I've ever seen.

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