In Vancouver, there’s no need to wait for April showers to bring May flowers. It’s raining now and early flowering bulbs are already making an appearance at VanDusen Botanical Garden – one of the top ten public gardens in North America – along with a few other lovely bloom varieties.
Beyond the welcome injection of spring colour, VanDusen also boasts the brand new Truffles Fine Foods Garden Café in their architecturally-stunning and eco-friendly Visitor Centre, which opened in October 2011.
Find out more about which flowers you can view now and the Truffles Café menu after the jump.
Early spring blooms at VanDusen
According to the friendly staff at the VanDusen Visitor Centre, pale white snowdrops and all sorts of crocuses are the first of the early flowering bulbs to appear, followed by narcissus. Other blooms that have had a jump start on spring include yellow winter aconite, witch hazel and verbena.
Later on in February visitors can also expect to see spring heath, rhododendrons, helleborus and camellias. March through late spring, VanDusen will be a 55-acre riot of colour: think cherry trees, azaleas and the dripping, golden Laburnum Walk. Check out this video to get a sneak peak.
Truffles Café now open at VanDusen Vistor Centre
The newly-opened Truffles Café is situated in VanDusen Botanical Garden’s ‘Living Building’ Visitor Centre – an innovative building that’s winning international acclaim for it’s green-friendly initiatives. Truffles Café is owned by Nin Rai, who also has a stake in Gastown’s L’Abattoir.
The space features floor to ceiling windows overlooking Livingstone Lake and the Woodland Garden, and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Everything on the menu is under $10 and made with local ingredients. Baker Holli Wilson is already making waves with her fresh-made muffins. Truffles also serves breakfast items, snacks, sandwiches, a hot lunch special and two soup options daily, plus the full gamut of tea, espresso, and Fair Trade coffee drinks.
Truffles has two exciting culinary updates on their spring/summer agenda. In April, Truffles will offer Afternoon Tea: three-tiered tray including savoury sandwiches and sweetswith pots of VanDusen’s own specially-blended black tea, or organic teas from Kelowna’s MoTeas. By summer, Truffles will have picnic baskets on hand for lazy afternoons in the garden.