Monday, 28 May 2012

West Vancouver garden mecca!

I went to West Vancouver garden mecca - as I have been calling it. This place was absolutely insane in the membrane!  It was actually apart of the North Vancouver Art in the Garden Tour 2012.  I knew that this house existed because of various palm society pictures over the years but I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would be able to tour it! So when I noticed it was one of the showcase gardens for this years tour, there was no way to stay away!  It actually has quite the history.  The famed palm lined streets of English Bay owe their existence to this mans father Rudi Pinkowski.  Years ago he had to convince the city that Windmill palms could and should be grown and was apart of an initial donation of palms to the English Bay waterfront with the Pacific Northwest Palm and Exotic Plant Society.

And you certainly can tell when you arrive at his home.  These palms tower over your head. It was somewhat humbling for me to see.  My "large" palms are mere babies in comparison... one day.  (look to the lower left hand corner ... is that tree fern fronds?!)

I loved this!  It made me want to do much more along the lines of annuals.  These alocasias were stunning.

Acanthus Mollis - I'm really warming up to this plant in a major way.  It adds an almost classic yet wildly tropical affect to the garden.

But wait... Have you ever seen Dicksonia Antarctica this large?! I actually had to pinch myself.  Is this some wildly entertaining dream or am I actually standing in front of the most beautiful tree ferns I ever did see?!?!

I was absolutely speechless.  Understand why I say mecca yet?

The treasures just continued as you wandered throughout the garden.  I have been plant lusting over one of these chamaedorea microspadix for years but have never seen one in the flesh!

sable minor I'm guessing.  I don't think most people appreciated how rare these are up in Canada.

Check out that view!!!

I was particularly taken by all the yucca rostrata around the back garden.

I definitely need some of these around the yard.

Poncirus Trifoliata "flying dragon"

Theres a large Jubaea Chilensis stump in the lower right corner.  It has obviously taken some damage along the way but seems to be recovering... I wonder what that will be like in a few years!!

Danger! Chamaerops, hebe, euphorbia, yucca, and cactus!!!!!

This bed was like a mini landscape all of its own.

tree ferns, echium, sunshine and ocean... Am I really in Vancouver?!?!

Walking down the beach the adventure just continues.

I fell in love with this yucca gloriosa superba.

This yard feels like somewhere in Southern California or the Mediterranean.

Gunnera Manicata.

Oh no you didn't! CORDYLINE INDIVISA! At this point my plant lust radar was through the roof.  I couldn't believe me eyes!

Close up of echium bloom.  I'm not too knowledgeable about these so I don't have an i.d. at first I thought candicans but it seems too small.

Brahea Armata - again plant lust through the roof! I had to console myself by reminding myself of how it would probably not survive a hard winter for me.

But this might! It was labelled chamaerops humilis cerifera but seems very green for a cerifera.  Kind of how my green chamaerops sometimes looks blueish.

One last show of those tree ferns for good measure.... I could never get enough of this.

Euphorbia griffithii maybe?

And lastly, one last street shot.  I hope you enjoyed garden mecca.


  1. Very nice compositions even with so much variety. Like form overload!

    That might make someone in San Diego jealous, since there are elements that might not grow so well in the dry, coastal chaparral without more water and soil help.

  2. That location is truly spectacular. They benefit from a nice microclimate, southern exposure, the hillside with incredible drainage, rock and concrete to heat up, and high rainfall. It's remarkable! To support that diversity makes for an envious location.

  3. Did you wander around for hours? It's gorgeous! Those tree ferns really are to die for, wow! And you know what, your palm lust is really starting to rub off on me. I'm pretty sure two just isn't enough in my garden....

    1. I did spend quite a long time there. With every turn of the corner it felt like I encountered items of extreme plant lust. It was literally life changing - I'm not just saying that. I felt truly humbled and inspired.

      I'm so happy to hear that you are getting some palm fever a building! It is an honour. They are just so darn happy. It always looks warm outside when you see palm trees - but this can play cruel and unusual psychological tricks on your mind.

  4. You lucked out with a spectacular day to tour this gorgeous garden! These beauties look even better in the sparkling sunshine. I see many of the plants were labelled - what a nice courtesy (or does the owner have so many lust-worthy plants that even HE needs tags to keep track of them?)

    Thanks for letting us tag along!

    1. No problem! there is no way I could hold back sharing this garden! it ended up being glorious too. The forecast actually said rain but we experienced some hot sunshine so no complaints at all!

      It was really great to see things tagged for people. I'm not sure if that was put there for the garden show specifically; but, given the collection of plants it's certainly possible the owners want them tagged themselves. That garden is a horticultural dream. I just hope to get back one day.

  5. Looks like Cari Pinkowski's exotic garden. Prime growing location. Super great micro climate being right next to the ocean. His dad Rudi also has an amazing exotic garden at a much higher elevation in North Vancouver. Awesome pics of a beautiful garden, Cheers, Banana Joe

  6. The Chamaedorea is radicalis not microspadix.