The Bloedel Conservatory Joins the Pollinator Project!

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Mason bee (Osmia cornifrons). Photo by Beatriz Moisset, Creative Commons

With Spring in full swing and lots of blossoms at the Bloedel Conservatory, it is a perfect time to introduce Mason Bees into the lush iconic dome. Mason Bees are an early Spring pollinator. Unlike Honey Bees that live and work in a community, Mason Bees are solitary. Because there is no Queen bee, they do not sting. This makes the Mason Bee ideal for public places where visitors of every age can be in close proximity to observe their work.

Mason Bees are considered superior pollinators (especially for fruit trees), true “work horses” of the garden. They are a fast bee, visiting approximately 17 blossoms per minute. In fact 1 mason bee pollinates as many flowers as 100 honey bees! This is encouraging many people to introduce these bees to their own gardens by providing man-made nesting sites like the one seen below.

mason bee house bloedel

Mason bee house mounted on a Butterfly Palm at the Bloedel Conservatory. Photo by Vicky Earle

Mason Bees emerge from their cocoons in the spring. The male bees are the first to come out of the nest. They remain near the nest waiting for the females. When the females emerge, they mate, then the females begin provisioning their nests. Every female bee is fertile. In nature, she makes nests in long cylindrical holes about the size of a pencil – typically in hollow twigs or abandoned nests of wood-boring beetles or carpenter bees.

Females visit flowers to gather pollen and nectar.  A mother bee then lays a single egg in a nesting tunnel and deposits a ball of gathered pollen and nectar for food when that egg hatches. Next, she builds a wall from mud or clay to close that chamber before laying the next egg and depositing the next food ball. Building these walls are how Mason Bees got their name!

Masoncocoons

Mason bee nest cell with cocoons. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Amazingly, the mother bee can control the DNA to produce approximately 50% males and 50% females. Once a bee has finished with a nest, she plugs the entrance to the tube, and then may seek out another nest location. Each female can lay approximately 25 eggs. By the end of June, the nesting period is over. By late October or early November, the lavae pupate and spin silken cocoons within the nest chamber where they will lie dormant over the winter months.

Pollinators have declined in many areas but the exact causes are not known. Factors include habitat changes from growing cities, spread of disease (mites and viruses), and pesticide use.

The Pollinator Project, started in Vancouver in April of 2014, by the Parks Board and City Council, aims to make Vancouver parks and gardens friendlier to all bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Staff began work with stewardship groups and community gardeners to raise public awareness about the value of pollinators, to facilitate habitat enhancement projects, and to assess and monitor pollinator populations. Staff also collaborated with the Environmental Youth Alliance and Hives for Humanity to help promote pollinators across the city. For more information, visit the Pollinator Project at: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/pollinator-project.aspx

When sourcing out pollinator friendly plants for your own garden, please avoid plants and seeds sprayed with nicotine-based insecticides (neonicotinoids). These will kill the beneficial bees and butterfly pollinators along with unwanted pests. Man-made mason bee nests, cocoons and supplies can be found at many local garden and wild bird stores in the Vancouver area.

Pollinator-Project-logo-feature#yaybees

Family Fun on Family Day at the Bloedel Conservatory!

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  February 9, 2015 from 10am to 5pm

Come discover a variety of fun and exciting rainforest activities at the Bloedel Conservatory on Family Day! Activities are planned throughout the day, including bird talks, ladybug and butterfly releases (including information about why they are good for your garden), feeding the finches and more. Our docents and gardeners will be on hand to share fascinating stories about all the birds and plants that call Bloedel home, as well as a Tropical Adaptations station that provides information about unique strategies rainforest plants use to survive in this unique climate. All are free with paid admission. See the detailed schedule below:

10am – Millet feeding for the Zebra Finches

11am – Ladybug release

12pm – Bird talk

12:30pm – Butterfly release by Metamorphic Farms

1pm – Bird talk

2pm – Lady bug release

2:30pm – Butterfly release by Metamorphic Farms

3pm – Bird talk

Tropical Adaptation station, Herb potting activities, and ‘Ask me’ Docent tables will be ongoing throughout the day.

Kiwi profile great

Admission Rates

Adults             $  6.50

Seniors            $  4.50

Youth (12-18)   $  4.50

Child  (3 -11)   $  3.25

Family Rate     $ 15.00

Members: Free

Painted Lady

The Bloedel Conservatory is fully wheelchair accessible, with benches along the pathway so it’s easy to sit close to the parrots to watch their antics or have a chat! Handy Bird Guides and Scavenger Hunts are available at the front counter. Treat the whole family to a stroll through the magical Bloedel Conservatory, our green jewel at the highest point in Vancouver. There will be lots to do to delight everyone at any age! See you there!

 

When the Weather Outside is Frightful …

Shimmer Surprise cultivar

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), Shimmer Surprise cultivar. Photo by Vicky Earle

Plan a visit to the Bloedel Conservatory!

It’s a warm and lush tropical get away to relax, recharge and reinvigorate the whole family during the holidays! Plus, the antics of all the birds are sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Currently there are hundreds of poinsettias – over a dozen different cultivars – on display for the festive season!

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), Yellow Snow cultivar.

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), Yellow Snow cultivar. Photo by Vicky Earle

Poinsettias are right at home at the Conservatory. While they are the most popular of all Christmas houseplants, poinsettias are actually indigenous to the tropical climates of Mexico and Central America. The Aztecs called poinsettias “Cuetlaxochitl” (from cuitlatl, for residue, and xochitl, for flower). They used the plant for its medicinal properties to control fevers and the bracts (modified leaves) were used to make a reddish dye for fabrics. Legend has it that Montezuma, the last of the Aztec kings, had poinsettias brought into what now is Mexico City by caravans because this beautiful plant could not be grown at high altitudes. Today the poinsettia is known in Mexico and Guatemala as “La Flor de la Nochebuena” (Flower of the Holy Night, or Christmas Eve). In Chile and Peru, it is called the “Crown of the Andes”.

Winter Rose Red Poinsettia

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), Winter Rose Red cultivar. Photo by Vicky Earle

The botanical name Euphorbia pulcherrima (meaning ‘very beautiful’) was assigned to the poinsettia by the German botanist, Wilenow, because he was dazzled by its brilliant color. The poinsettia was introduced to North America in 1825 when the United States’ first ambassador to Mexico, Joel Robert Poinsett, sent several plants back to his home in Greenville, South Carolina. William Prescott, historian and horticulturist, renamed the plant ‘Poinsettia’ in honour of Poinsett.

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), Monet Twilight cultivar

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), Monet Twilight cultivar. Photo by Vicky Earle

The poinsettia grows in the wild as a shrub or small tree, typically reaching a height of 0.6–5 metres (2–16.5 feet). Typically, the plant has dark green leaves that measure 7–16 centimetres (2.8–6.3 in) in length. The colored bracts — which are most often flaming red but can be orange, pale green, cream, pink, white, or marbled— are often mistaken for flower petals because of their groupings and colors, but they are actually leaves. The flowers of the poinsettia are unassuming and do not attract pollinators. They are grouped within small yellow structures found in the center of each leaf bunch, and are called cyathia.

Bloedel 45th Anniversary cake

Bloedel Conservatory 45th Anniversary Cake

 

Once again, we send a big thank you to all who came out on December 6th to celebrate Bloedel’s 45th Anniversary! It was a fantastic party with Hawaiian Dancers, rhythms of Soul Survivors Steel Drum Band, a Professional Face Painter, Sven and Jens the whimsical and talented Scandinavian Gnomes and of course hot chocolate and cake. The party would not have been possible without the backing and organization from the Vancouver Park Board, the support of the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association, Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary and all of the fantastic Bloedel staff and volunteers. Thank you to all. We look forward to many more years and exciting things to come!

Happy Holidays!

 

Mark Your Calendars! The Bloedel Conservatory turns 45!

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Come out & Join the the 45th Anniversary Celebration of the Bloedel Conservatory on Saturday, December 6th

Caribbean Steel Drum rhythms will be the backdrop for a FREE DAY of festivities, including cake and refreshments, face painting, Hawaiian dancers, souvenir photos, plus Roving Docents will be on hand to share unique and interesting stories of the plants and birds that call Bloedel home. Parking is also free in the top parking lot at Queen Elizabeth Park from 10am – 4pm. It will be an all-around fun, family friendly day!

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The Bloedel Conservatory is significant for its historical, symbolic, cultural, and social values, and particularly for its use of technologies and building methods which were quite advanced for its time in 1969. The Conservatory, the fountain and the surrounding plaza were all designed to work together and with specific goals to show man’s connection to nature. The curving lines of the fountain harmonize with the Conservatory dome, while the leaping fountains add vertical movement to mirror distant trees. The dome structure, with its absence of interior supporting columns, was chosen to provide an unobstructed view of the exotic gardens within. The Bloedel Conservatory won the prestigious Vincent Massey Award for Excellence in Urban Environment in 1971, is a ‘Class A’ Heritage Building and is listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

Don’t forget your cameras! There will be lots of great photo opportunities. We look forward to seeing you there!

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When? Saturday, December 6th; 10am – 4pm

Where? Bloedel Conservatory, Queen Elizabeth Park

Who? Everyone!

Admission? Free

 

The Bloedel Conservatory Inspires Poetry!

Orange Bishop Weaver finch

Orange Bishop Weaver Finch. Photo by Vicky Earle

“arching fronds

of the Madagascar palm—

darting finches”

by Brenda Larsen, VHG member

 Haiku poetry is defined as:

a short poem, usually of three lines, that originated from Japan. It is one of the most well known forms of poetry in the world today, written by people in many different countries.

The Bloedel Conservatory, our domed tropical oasis at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park, has become a muse for many artists in a variety of disciplines. Members of the Vancouver Haiku Group (VHG) recently met at the Conservatory for a haiku walk that included self-guided tours.

Haiku is inspired by an emotional, sensory awareness of the world around us. To gain fresh perspectives for their writing, haiku poets often gather for walks (referred to as ginko walks) at special locations known for their beauty and/or historical significance. Members of the VHG participate in workshops, public readings and walks throughout the year to inspire and support the writing of haiku. Dr. Gabi Greve, author of World Kigo Database (WKD), refers to a haiku walk on her blog as a Ginkoo and breaks the word Ginkoo into two parts: gin means singing, praising, making a poem and koo means walking. A kigo is a word that indicates the season in which the haiku takes place.

Marianne J. Dupre, a member of the VHG, who lives near and is a frequent visitor of Queen Elizabeth Park, describes a beautiful haiku walk through the Bloedel Conservatory:

Entrance to the Bamboo Bridge in the Bloedel Conservatory. Photo by Vicky Earle

Entrance to the Bamboo Bridge in the Bloedel Conservatory. Photo by Vicky Earle

Haiku on the hilltop

It was a glorious day to be inspired. After weeks of rain, it was the first real day of spring and I was out to enjoy the warmth of the sun. High above the sounds of city traffic, the hilltop was alive with activity. Children were on bicycles and skateboards, mothers and fathers pushed babies in strollers, while teens captured in-the-moment selfies on their cell phones. Even a few beaming brides and grooms strolled across my path in search of the ideal scenic backdrop for wedding album photos.

If the day wasn’t glorious enough to write about, the Bloedel Conservatory teased the muse in me. A wave of damp, earthy heat met me as I entered the front door, and the tropical city jungle was mine to explore. Rich green palms towered ahead of me, their fronds fanning the pathway, while exotic finches trilled in the treetops. Water flowed low beneath bamboo bridges, trickling into small pools with bright orange Japanese koi. Silver coins, reflecting sunlight from the glass roof, winked at me below the ripples of a pool. Along the path a small wooden waterwheel thumped and splashed steadily, feeding a small meandering stream.

Lost in my own awareness of sight, sound, and scent, I set off, my every step giving me pause for reflection. The scent of hyacinth was in the air, along with squawks from jewel-toned parrots grooming themselves, and the lighthearted sounds of children’s laughter.

I recognized houseplants we had at home like palms, ficus, bromeliads, philodendrons and corn plants, all more rich in colour, texture and size in an environment similar to their native habitat. Pastel tulips and delicate white lilies seemed to sigh open as I passed by, and brilliant azalea shrubs dazzled me with their bold hues.

On a drawbridge a girl scampered across to meet her mother, pausing for just a moment to feel the sway of the ropes. A shy boy tentatively sat next to me on a bench beneath a rubber tree then grinned on cue for his father’s camera. Another little girl talked sweetly to a branch full of small birds, coaxing them to answer her back. She didn’t notice the silver pheasant poised, confident and curious on the path behind her.

I pulled a notebook and pen from my bag, and focused my camera to record impressions that would define what my senses had captured. I lingered for more than two hours, circling the paths time and again, seeking details that may have been overlooked. Finally, with my head full of sensory images, I sat outside at the edge of the Dancing Waters fountain to write. While deep in thought, the gradual rise of jetted fountain water applauded my efforts.

More Haiku inspired by self-guided tours under the dome

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Rosie, African Grey Parrot. Photo by Vicky Earle

 

red-tailed Rosie says

I love you . . .

candy corn beak

by Angela J. Naccarato

 

photo by D Sharon Pruitt

photo by D Sharon Pruitt

 

a child

asks for a piggyback ride—

strangler fig

by Jessica Tremblay

 

Carmen and Maria, Green Winged Macaws at the Bloedel Conservatory. Photo by Vicky Earle

Carmen and Maria, Green Winged Macaws at the Bloedel Conservatory

 

under a wet palm leaf

the macaw munches berries

the click of the shutter

by Lynne Jambor

 

If you are interested in joining the Vancouver Haiku Group, new members are welcome. Currently, the VHG includes members from Vancouver and surrounding areas who meet once a month to share and discuss haiku and welcome people who are interested in learning about and writing haiku. As a member of the VHG you will learn to write contemporary English-speaking and experimental haiku through a variety of exercises. Discussions about the structure and form of haiku are based on contemporary English-style and traditional Japanese-style haiku. Membership is open to all people who are interested in writing haiku. For further information about the Vancouver Haiku Group or queries regarding membership, forward an email to Angela J. Naccarato, facilitator for the Vancouver Haiku Group, at angelan@telus.net. You can also follow VHG on Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Vancouver-Haiku-Group/1571492576409446.

A very big thank you goes to Angela Naccarato and the members of the VHG for sharing their poetry and making this post possible. The Bloedel Conservatory is open everyday (except Christmas day). Why not grab your camera, sketch or notebook and come be inspired! The muse beckons …

Bloedel Bird Guide Now Online

We are pleased to offer the newly updated Bloedel Conservatory Bird Watcher’s Checklist online! It’s free to download or simply bookmark the link below and pull it up on your Smartphone or tablet when you visit the Conservatory. We have lots of new birds. Come by soon to see Bearded Reedlings, Roul Roul Partridges (and their babies), Pekin Robins and of course all of your favorite feathered friends. Enjoy!

Bloedel Bird Watcher’s Checklist: Click link to Download

Bloedel Bird Guide pg1_150

 

Come Join Us! The ‘We Did It! Bubble Bash’ is on!

The completed new Bloedel Conservatory roof from above. Photo courtesy Wayne Dueck, Spectrum Skyworks.

The completed new Bloedel Conservatory roof from above. Photo courtesy Wayne Dueck, Spectrum Skyworks.

The work is done, the scaffolding is down and the Bloedel Conservatory has a gorgeous new roof!

It’s time to Celebrate!

Please join us for the We Did It! Bubble Bash taking place September 25, 2014 at the Bloedel Conservatory. Not only are we celebrating this significant renovation, we are also raising funds for new education and interpretation programs at the Conservatory.

Complex scaffolding covered the dome for 7 months while the roof replacement took place. Photo by Vicky Earle

Complex scaffolding covered the dome for 7 months while the roof replacement took place. Photo by Vicky Earle

Thanks to the fantastic teams at Spectrum Skyworks, Pacific Ropes, WestCan Scaffolding and a specialized Hazmat crew, this complex project was completed in just 7 months – a full 2 months ahead of schedule, making the dome as pristine as the day it opened nearly 45 years ago. The scaffolding, which covered the dome completely, was the largest project of it’s kind in North America and took 7 weeks to dismantle.

Specialized Rope Access team from Pacific Ropes Ltd. preparing to hang netting from the triodetic aluminum framework. Photo by Vicky Earle

Specialized Rope Access team from Pacific Ropes Ltd. preparing to hang netting from the triodetic aluminum framework. Photo by Vicky Earle

 

Re-establishing the Bloedel Conservatory as a visitor friendly, year-round destination is key to provide learning opportunities for all ages, connecting people to the world of plants, birds and the rainforest.

Please join us to celebrate the completion of this incredible project and to reconnect with the magic of the Bloedel Conservatory. There will be fantastic food provided by Season’s in the Park and Crown Street Catering, incredible tropical cocktail creations provided by Victoria Gin, CArribean rhythms by steel drum band Soul Survivors, great raffle prizes, free parking for event guests and more.

Don’t wait! Tickets are selling fast!

Tickets and further details are available on-line at: http://www.wediditbubblebash.com

And in person at Southlands Nursery: 6550 Balaclava St, Vancouver, 604-261-6411.

We look forward to seeing you!

A very Special Thank you goes out to the generous Sponsors who have made this event possible: Spectrum Skyworks, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, Kingswood Capital Corporation, Intergulf Development Group, Focus Real Estate, Season’s in the Park Restaurant, Holly North, Victoria Gin, and Pace Group.

 

 

The Bloedel Conservatory Has a New Roof!!

Bird’s eye view of Vancouver from atop the Bloedel Conservatory.

Six months after the intricate and impressive scaffolding was installed by WestCan over the dome, all 1,490 plexiglass panels have been successfully replaced and the Bloedel Conservatory has a new roof!

This scaffolding was unique in many ways: it could not touch the dome at any point, and transparent, protective plastic sheets needed to be stretched up and over the top to keep workers, birds, plants and visitors dry while the plexi bubbles were being replaced. Watch a special time lapsed video here. Rope access technicians worked through the wee hours of the night whenever specialized interior netting needed to be installed or moved. This netting kept debris from falling into the dome and nearly 200 free flying birds from finding their way out.

Rope crews getting ready to hang netting inside the dome.

Thanks to the fantastic teams at Spectrum Skyworks and Pacific Ropes, not to mention a specialized Hazmat crew, this massive project was completed a full 2 months ahead of schedule! Special kudos also go out to the onsite Bloedel staff who managed to keep the Conservatory open, running smoothly and looking spectacular while this substantial project was underway.

Originally planned as a 3 phase project, we are so fortunate that the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, the Federal Government and Prentice Bloedel’s Daughter, Virginia Bloedel Wright, came together with $2.4 million dollars in funding to complete the entire roof project in one phase.

All 2,324 pieces of extruded aluminum tubing that make up the triodetic dome have been polished and the scaffolding has started to be dismantled. The Bloedel Conservatory has been restored to its former glory and brilliance!

And mark your calendars! The “We Did It! Bubble Bash”, a fantastic roof completion celebration party is scheduled for Thursday, September 25th. Stay tuned for more info! It’s an event not to be missed!

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Bloedel Conservatory at dusk surrounded by exterior scaffolding. Photo by Vicky Earle

 

Art Prints Inspired by Bloedel Finches

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Paula Grasdal is a Vancouver mixed media artist, printmaker, and graphic designer. She is also one of the new dedicated Roving Docents volunteering at the Bloedel Conservatory. The amazing birds at Bloedel – especially the exotic finches – became Paula’s source of inspiration. A number of prints in this series, along with artwork by co-exhibitor Rosalind Rorke, make up the “Recurrence” exhibit, now on display at the Dundarave Print Workshop on Granville Island until June 29.

PaulaGrasdal-Rain Forest II_sm

Paula began by taking a series of photographs of gouldian finches and various botanical specimens at the conservatory as source material for the imagery. She incorporated a circular motif to mirror the building’s shape. These prints incorporate abstract patterns, shadows and shifting perspectives to evoke the sense of a “fleeting glimpse of something seen and then remembered with a skewed perspective”. Inspired by repetition — cycles in nature and patterns in design — the flora and fauna is drawn from the artists’ experience and vision of the natural world. Her artwork has been featured in publications such as “Mixed Media Collage” by Quarry Press and is in private collections in the U.S. and Canada.

recurrence invite

Be sure to catch “Recurrence” at the Dundarave Print Workshop (in the Net Loft across from the market) at Granville Island. The Roving Docents, on hand every weekend at the Bloedel Conservatory, are also looking forward to your visit. They have amazing stories about the plants and birds that live there and can’t wait to share them with you. Come catch a glimpse of the exotic finches and get inspired!

 

Celebrate National Garden Day!

Bloedel under purple sky_sm

Just in time for Father’s Day, Canada’s Inagural National Garden Day draws attention to public and private gardens across the country! Garden Days (June 13 – 15) celebrate the role of gardens in our communities and in our lives. The program’s objective is to draw attention to Canada’s garden culture, its history and innovations, and to underscore the important values of gardening and environmental stewardship. When the Bloedel Conservatory opened in December, 1969, Prentice Bloedel dedicated this green jewel “to a better appreciation and understanding of the world of plants”. It has been connecting people with the magic of the tropics ever since!

As a matter of fact, the Bloedel Conservatory has all of the aspects of a healing garden! Being active in a garden promotes both physical and mental well-being, but you don’t need to get your hands dirty to reap the benefits of time spent in a garden! “Passive recreation” is just as beneficial. Roger Ulrich, a professor and director of the Center for Health Systems and Design at Texas A & M University, has stated, the term “healing garden” refers to actual features that consistently help us recover from stress and have other positive influences on the body.

What are the 6 features of a healing garden you ask? Read on!

1. Flowers

V.Earle orange hibiscus

‘Stop and smell the flowers’. In a study at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Dr. Haviland-Jones has found that nature provides us with a simple way to improve emotional health – which is as simple as enjoying flowers! “The presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behaviour in a positive manner far beyond what was previously believed.” They found that flowers – any flowers – have an immediate impact on happiness and a long-term positive effect on moods. The Conservatory always has a selection of orchids and other gorgeous blooms on display.

2. Lush vegetation

koi in river great sm

Ulrich has found that viewing vegetation as opposed to urban scenes, changes our brain waves from beta waves to a slower alpha wave that are associated with being “wakefully relaxed”. Being in “beta” is considered the norm for most people while in their everyday busy waking state. We emit beta waves when we are consciously alert, or when we feel agitated, stressed or afraid. Alpha waves, however, are associated with states of mental and physical relaxation. Our brains drop into “alpha” during the first levels of meditation. Creativity, inspiration and intuition are often heightened by being in an “alpha state” simply by spending time appreciating nature.

3. Spatial openness

bridge again

One of the first things you notice when you enter the Conservatory is the feeling of space. Its domed design is based on the geodesic principle that utilizes a structural space-frame to support the roof. This enables the large interior volume to be free of internal supporting columns. The added benefit of Bloedel is that it is an Indoor Nature Facility that can be enjoyed all year, rain or shine!

4. Calm or slowly moving water

waterfall

The sound of gently moving water has an inherent calming effect on our systems and we feel a natural affinity to it. It adds dimension and harmony to our surroundings. “The sound of running water, apparently, is a genetic memory that sends off resonances deep within our limbic brain stem which also controls such basic actions as our breathing and hunger” (James Kilkelly). The sound of moving water is very relaxing and it has been found to enhance concentration. Interestingly, running water in Feng Shui is felt to strengthen good fortune.

5. Large trees

cecropia tree_250

Have you ever felt refreshed after walking through a forest? This is called ‘forest bathing’ and physiological tests in Japan confirm positive therapeutic effects of this activity on stress hormones, brain wave activity, pulse and blood pressure. Studies in Tokyo have shown increased immune function after 2 hour walks in the forest. There is no shortage of large trees at Bloedel. In fact, a number of these were the first to be planted in the dome in 1969 and now reach over 60 feet in height. The Benjamin and India Figs, the Dragon trees, and Brazilian Jelly Palm are just a few of the stunning trees you will see and walk among.

6. Unthreatening wildlife

Art awesome_sm

With over 100 free-flying birds and the antics of exotic parrots and macaws (not to mention the new Japanese Koi lazily swimming in the pond), one of them will surely bring a smile to your face! Wildlife distracts us from stress and negative thoughts about issues in our lives. It is impossible to think of two things simultaneously! Even a short break from stress is beneficial. Find a quiet spot at the conservatory and sit for a few minutes. Notice what’s around you. Take a deep breath. You won’t wait long before you start to notice the free flying birds busy with their day: building a nest, looking for food, chasing each other around the vast space. The secretive and exotic Touraco may even make an appearance and capture your interest!

Award_of_Excellence2014-1

Visiting the Bloedel Conservatory will give you a boost regardless of the weather outside.

Why not treat Dad to a Bloedel visit for Father’s Day and see why it received the 2014 Trip Advisor Award of Excellence? Bring a camera, go for a stroll, chat with the colourful birds, or simply come and relax on a bench. The whole family will feel re-energized! Happy Father’s Day and wishing all a very Happy Garden Day!

References

Smith, Jaffe–Gill, and Segal (2009), Understanding Stress: Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Effects. http://helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.htm

Haviland-Jones, Jeanette (2005). Emotional Impact of Flowers Study. Rutgers: Flowers Improve Emotional Health http://www.aboutflowers.com/health-benefits-a-research/emotional-impact-of-flowers-study.html

University of Minnesota, Sustainable Urban Land Information Series (2006). Healing Gardens. http://www.sustland.umn.edu/design/healinggardens.html

Brain Waves http://www.doctorhugo.org/brainwaves/brainwaves.html

Kilkelly, James (2006), Water Works … the Benefits of Water Features. Irishgardeners.com http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/about729.html

Japan for Sustainability. (2010) Physiological Tests Confirm Therapeutic Effects of ‘Forest Bathing’. http://www.japanfs.org/en/pages/025839.html

Q and Morimoto, et al. (2007). Forest bathing enhances human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. Apr-Jun;20(2 Suppl 2):3-8. Department of Hygiene and Public Health, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17903349

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