Tuesday, 17 July 2012

English Bay, Vancouver

The downtown west end of Vancouver is one of the palmiest places around!  So it's no surprise that I spend much of my spare time soaking up the sun and the palmy sights.  But its not all palms.  There are just great gardens in general in this part of town.  I call it my secret spot - not so secret - but I find parking at the tennis courts in Stanley Park provides the best starting out point to take the palm tree grand circle tour.  So, when I found myself meeting friends downtown last Saturday evening, I most certainly did a mini palm tour!!

I consider this the enchanted pathway that leeds to my palm mecca.  Just looking at this picture makes me giddy with anticipation.

This home, which I often refer to as "mine," has such a stunning garden.  Imagine what you could do with this space!  One day when I win the lottery - I suppose I should buy a ticket instead of believing the winning ticket will fall from the sky - it will be mine.

here's some yucca love along the way.  These yuccas always look pristine.

And from this angle I like it even more!!! I feel as though I share an affinity with the people of this complex.  Would it not bring you so much joy to be greeted by this every single day on your way home?

And can I just say, this summer weather is EPIC! People are sooo much happier - including myself! Ahhh, just take it in.  And of course, grab an ice cream or two if you need a cool down.  I have an even better idea... ice cream, and then coffee and then another ice cream.  (And preferably get coconut falvour in order to keep with the festivities of summer)

Back to the palm tour: As you make your way towards English Bay you are greeted with palm grove number 1...

These are the parents of two palms in my garden.  If you look down into that euphorbia you will find hundreds of baby palm seedlings!! It always takes great will power not to harvest some.  But seeing as I was meeting people for dinner I was able to control myself.

Check out all those beautiful palm seeds!!!

Another angle reveals just how many palms are in this grove. I LOVE IT!

moving on we find grove #2...  Much smaller in scale but still quite wonderful.

I suppose you might be wondering ... does he really have every single planting numbered off?  And I would have to answer that with an incredibly ecstatic, "there are too many to count!!"

I love acanthus mollis blooms!!! In fact the trachycarpus and acanthus mollis combination could be one of my personal favourites.

And of course they would have one of my beloved cordyline red sensation!

Speaking of cordylines... check out these green ones!  They might not look like it, but these things towered over my head.  I always have to pinch myself when I'm in English Bay. Like, is this for reals? Because it certainly seems to good to be true.  And that being said, these pictures don't even do it justice.

Oh and it just keeps getting better! See that tree on top of that apartment building?  It is a landmark showing the height of the old growth forest that used to go throughout where current day Metro Vancouver sits! Crazy, eh?

I love palm groupings like this.  It's ultra lush!

These palms were planted last winter at the new English Bay Cactus Club.  They seem to have settled into place just fine.

And it's not just regular trachycarpus fortunei, check out these awesome trachycarpus wagnerianus palms! I plan on collecting some pollen from these in the years to come to do some trachycarpus fortunei x wagnerianus hybrids.

Here are some of the chamaerops humilis that came through the winter 2008 fiasco. They certainly took some damage but appear to have made a nice recovery over the last few years.

Tomorrow I'll share more shots with the evening glow and sunset.  I hope you enjoyed palmy English Bay!!!!


  1. Great shots Louis! I took a picture of that tree on top of the building a couple of years ago (http://dangergarden.blogspot.com/2010/11/vancouver-street-scenes.html) beause I thought it was cool, but it's even better knowing why it's there!

  2. thanks! I always feel envious of the gardening fervour in Vancouver. Your photos are stunning... I just checked them out. Imagine the view from atop that building with the large tree!

  3. Thanks for the tour Louis - I really enjoyed it. How beautiful and I can't believe I never noticed those palms before. Amazing how life changes when you get bitten by the bug and plants are ALL you notice! My favorite pictures are of course the ones with all the Canadian flags - $$@@*(** eh!

    1. No problem! It's amazing just how palmy English Bay is. There are even nicer ones deeper into stanley park near the Vancouver aquarium... I'll have to take a few pics next time I'm out that way. Do you have any palms planted at your place?

  4. Hey! That would be GREAT!!!!!!!!!! I only have a couple sago palms...so far anyways....do they count? ;) I was thinking I need one or two. I want that silvery one that stays like a bush...palmetto???? Do you know what it is called?

    1. Sagos are apart of the cycad family but equally cool in my books!!! Yeah you could do the saw palmetto or serona repens its also called. That one has a really wild in habbit but stays smallish and bush like. Sabal minor will also stay like a bush for you albeit much more green. Another one could be chamaerops humilis cerifera. It is a Mediterranean fan palm that is silvery/blue in colour and is a real stunner. And another option for a silver blue palm would be brahea armata. They do grow quite large but take some time and are absolutely stunning!! And if you are looking for a nice feather palm I would suggest butia capitata. These are all cold hardy palms to around zone 8. what zone are you in?