We’ve visited Susan Esche’s home garden before (A Garden Wedding, the Flowers, and the Deer), but today she’s taking us along to visit a public garden in Vancouver, British Columbia.
I was able to tour the beautiful University of British Columbia Botanical Garden in Vancouver in early September. The garden contains a woodland garden, a vegetable garden, a “physics” garden of medicinal plants, and an alpine garden. It is located adjacent to the campus and is open to the public.
The large blooms on the outside of the flower head are sterile, producing no seeds; they just serve as advertising to pollinators. The center is made up of hundreds of tiny fertile flowers that will produce the actual pollen and, eventually, seeds.
Native sword ferns (Polystichum munitum, Zones 6–9) thrive in the deep shade of the woodland garden. These evergreen ferns are an iconic part of the native woodlands along the western coast of North America.
The vegetable garden shows how a garden can be both edible and beautiful. Colorful stems of Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris, usually grown as an annual) echo the bright, edible flowers of nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus, Zones 9–11 or as an annual).
We’ll return with more photos of this garden tomorrow!
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