Monday, 30 April 2012

Van Dusen Botanical Garden Plant Sale

As some of you may know, I have been eagerly anticipating the Van Dusen Botanical Garden Plant Sale. Around Vancouver, it is for sure one of THE sales of the year.  Truth be told I think I let my anticipation get the best of me.  But why not? Last year I scored on an amazing agave for just a few dollars and beautiful succulents amongst other treasures.  Apparently, there was plenty of anticipation to go around ... here is the line forming before the sale began.

I found this area very interesting... the plant check.  It's fun to guess at people's characters by their plant selections. hmm... what do your plant choices say about you?

I spent a majority of my time in one small area of the sale, the "tropical's" hut.  Yes, tropicals got a hut! Here you can see some camelia sinensis, kiwi vines, bamboo, citrus...

My friend Becca got this epic trachycarpus wagnerianus.  Until a few weeks ago, I was never able to find these for sale.  Now, I just keep running into them!  

But truth be told, I was devastated by the lack of agaves.  Only two... at least by the time I made it over to the table.

This kind of put me into a funk.  Everything else seemed somewhat tainted.  That coupled with the fact that the cactus and succulent booth had no cactus!! outrageous!

But their were still some great treasures around.  Like this Grevillea Victoriae....

And a lone Poncirus Trifoliata "flying dragon."  I really should have bought this but I was holding out for I don't know what.  Well I do know, I was debating whether of not to buy one of the nice trachycarpus wagnerianus...

While pondering what plant purchases were in order, I decided to take a stroll around some of the gardens.  It was a surprisingly purple kind of day.  I think the Van Dusen people have an affinity to purple. 

And for all those who seem to think trachycarpus "just don't belong here," I beg to differ.  It seems to fit right in perfectly.  I almost feel a rant coming on, but I will resist.  Rather I will highlight the fact that trachycarpus fortunei are classically used in english gardens!

This area of the garden really spoke to me!  The South American section!!!

Seeing this bottlebrush only confirmed my need for one... thanks Van Dusen!

Across the way I spotted some nice yucca showing the tell tale signs of a wet winter ... spots!

After making our way back to the checkout we had to carry our plants a couple blocks to where we parked... I think the real reason I didn't go plant overboard.... (next year I'm bringing a wagon!)

You can see Becca's palm, but what else?!  I bought a Leccino Olive Tree!!! Thats right.  It was somewhat of a mad dash for this plant in the beginning of the sale.

Some of the smaller treasures...


  1. Only two Agaves!? (pathetic ones at that) I would have been in a funk too. Your friends Trachy W is much bigger than it looked in the first picture, unless that's a super tiny car.

    Love the shot of the South American section at the garden, I recall being pretty amazed at some of the things they had growing there. Also, that Bottlebrush, did you get the name? The leaves look so large!

    1. Yeah it was kind of sad. I couldn't help but feel the sale was geared more in the direction of flower people. I like flowers, don't get me wrong, but foliage wins out for me. With the trachy, I think the first pic makes it look smaller but my car makes it look bigger :)

      It is really amazing what they seem to grow in and around vancouver. They had massive tree ferns in the entrance to the south american section which never ceases to amaze me! The bottlebrush was not labelled! another outrage for the day ... I was thinking that it was Callistemon Citrinus but the leaves are incredibly large! They had small ones at a local nursery the other day that looked close to that but I didn't think they would be hardy. The ground does look turned up around the callistemon though so maybe it was recently planted.