VanDusen Botanical Garden On A Sunny Sunday AfternoonMonday, November 19, 2007
Yesterday Rosemary and I strolled in VanDusen Botanical Garden during the sunny afternoon. I had a half-used roll of Kodak b+w infrared film in my Nikon FM. The pictures you see here I took with the 35mm wide angle lens and a deep red, No 25 filter. The colour tint effect is the result of scanning the negatives while telling the Epson V700 that they are colour negatives.
We usually like to do this walking with Rebecca and Lauren, but on Sundays they are with their other grandmother. Rebecca and Lauren have the garden memorized and they have their favourite plants, trees and places. Lauren likes to say, "Let's get lost in the maze." We have problems steering Rebecca away from the plush toys in the VanDusen shop. The girls like to smell the fragrant magnolias. More often than not I have to pick them up to do this as the Vandusen magnolias (the fragrant ones) like to flower on the tops.
Like the under used and under appreciated cultural events of Vancouver, this smack in-the-centre-of-the-city botanical garden is really an undiscovered gem. Even on rainy days it is a delight to walk with an umbrella. In mid November it is particularly nice to see the dried up but still standing miscanthus and other ornamental grasses. The hollies in the holly garden have their berries and those living fossils, the dawn cypresses (Metasequoia glyptostroboides ) have bright red needles before these decidious conifers shed them.
There are many parts of the garden where you cannot see any city buildings or hear any of the cars on nearby Oak Street. You could be in the middle of a carefully manicured wilderness.
Except, of course, that the sporadic whine of ambulances on their way to the children's hospital jostles one into an awareness that winter, death and decay not only affects gardens. A quick retreat home and a large mug of strong tea usually helps me to suppress all that!