New Programs Under the Dome!

A Walk in the Tropics

The New Year signals the start of brand new programs at Bloedel! These get underway in January with a great new educational series called A Walk in the Tropics. Join our knowledgeable instructors to learn about a wide variety of plant related topics.

Plant Adaptations will be the first walk in the new educational series under the dome.  What are drip tips? Why do some leaves have holes? How can some plants survive only on air rather than soil? This walk is all about the fascinating adaptations that plants have evolved to survive in extreme tropical environments. Subsequent walks will focus on other intriguing plant stories, growing tropical plants in your own home and natural pest control. Even take part in the annual ladybug release!  See below for more information.

HSBC Family Programs for Kids

Also beginning in January are the HSBC Family Programs. These tours are for families with children between the ages of 5 and 11. Starting Saturday, January 22nd, come discover the diversity of plants and birds that call Bloedel home. The whole family can enjoy this program which will include fun and educational activities to enhance the experience for your kids. Stay dry and warm this winter with us, while learning something new! See below for registration info.

A Walk in the Tropics:

Plant Adaptations: Tuesday, January 18, 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon
VanDusen Garden Member: $10 / Non member: $15. Instructor: Egan Davis

Introduction to the Flora of Bloedel: Tuesday March 15, 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon. VanDusen Garden Member: $10 / Non member: $15. Instructors: Gillian Drake and Agnes Romses

Interior Plantscaping: Tuesday, April 19, 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon
Many of the plants in Bloedel Conservatory could thrive in a home environment, given the proper care. Learn how! VanDusen Garden Member: $10 / Non member: $15. Instructor: Alex Downie

Eco-friendly Bug Control: Tuesday, June 21, 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon
Learn about natural ways to control pests and take part in the annual ladybug release! VanDusen Garden Member: $10 / Non member: $15. Instructor: Agnes Romses

Call 604.257.8332 for automated phone registration. Have your VISA or MasterCard ready.

Mail your completed Registration Form with payment to: VanDusen Botanical Garden, Registrar’s Office, 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4H1.

The Registration Form can be found at:

In person: Register at the Main Office, Mondays to Fridays from 10 am to 4 pm

HSBC Family Programs for Kids at Bloedel:

Saturdays: January 22, February 19 and March 26.
An adult must accompany child(ren) for the entire program.
Program times: 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon or 1:30 to 3 p.m.
VanDusen Garden Member price: $10/family, Non-members $20/family
(includes admission)
Pre-registration required by calling 604-718-5998 or mailing in your Registration form to: to: VanDusen Botanical Garden, Registrar’s Office, 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6M 4H1.

Wow! What a Year!

We welcome this guest post by John Coupar!

Dear Friends,

Wow! What a year for Friends of the Bloedel and the Bloedel Conservatory!

At the end of December last year we were faced with a determined Park Board and City Council which had cut the funding for our beloved Bloedel Conservatory. The future looked very grim indeed with the dome facing an eminent closure date of March 1, 2010. However, our hastily formed group Friends of the Bloedel and our founding Directors Sheryl Hamilton, Vicky Earle, Terri Clark, Tom Hobbs and myself were just beginning to fight.

The vote to close the Bloedel Conservatory was a seminal event. Friends of Bloedel hit the ground running. We focused on getting the message out to main stream media, social media … actually, anyone who would listen (or who had a contact that would listen). Basically, they were bombarded with information! Our group swelled in members and donations followed. Events were planned and executed successfully due to a tremendous group of volunteers and donors. It is clear to me that the planned closure of the Bloedel Conservatory was to be a horrific event. We realized that once it was gone, it could never be replaced – but it was more than that…

There was the realization that much of Vancouver’s incredible beauty is a result of the great horticultural tradition of the Vancouver Park Board. It is our cherished green spaces, parks and gardens that differentiates Vancouver’s look and feel from other cities. This did not happen by accident. It was a result of careful planning and true vision. To lose a piece of this beautiful legacy would have been a great tragedy. Eventually, through sheer determination and a collaborative effort in conjunction with VanDusen Botanical Garden Association, the Park Board gave us unanimous support to keep this Architectural, Horticultural, Natural green jewel at the pinnacle of our great city open.

The synergy between VanDusen Botanical Garden, the Vancouver Park Board and the shared vision of horticultural and curatorial excellence needs to be nurtured and protected. This year will bring us many challenges as we continue our work to enhance and reinvigorate the Bloedel. We have many more events planned, and I am counting on the continued support of the citizens of Vancouver and British Columbia to help as move into the next phase of our efforts. Donations can be sent to the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association (please mark on cheque “for Bloedel Committee”) and see link below for further info.

Thank you all for your support! Happy New Year!


John Coupar

Chair, Bloedel Committee VBGA

Cell 604 818 2756