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9 Great Garden Festivals and Tours in Vancouver and Victoria

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9 Great Garden Festivals and Tours in Vancouver and Victoria

The arrival of spring flowers, followed by glorious summer gardens, is reason to celebrate in Vancouver and Victoria. From cherry blossom and tulip festivals to exclusive tours of private gardens, here are nine festivals and events that will lift your spirit.


Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Bright pink cherry blossoms line Vancouver streets.

Cherry blossoms make biking the streets of Vancouver a pleasure in the spring. Photo: Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

March 30 to April 23, 2017 throughout Vancouver

This annual festival celebrates the pink season, when about 50 different cultivars of flowering cherry trees come into bloom, painting neighbourhoods in shades from blush pink to snow white. (You can learn more about the history of Vancouver’s cherry trees here.) A series of events includes a haiku contest, gala dinner, lunchtime concert, hanami picnic in Queen Elizabeth park, and more.

Sakura Days Japan Fair

April 8 and 9, 2017, VanDusen Botanical Garden

Part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, this garden fair features a Japanese tea ceremony, culinary demonstrations, Japanese festival food and sake, guided walks, haiku readings, and more.

Bike the Blossoms

Cyclists take over the road along East 10th Avenue in Mount Pleasant under a canopy of ‘Kanzan’ cherry blossoms.

Cyclists take over the road along East 10th Avenue in Mount Pleasant under a canopy of ‘Kanzan’ cherry blossoms. Photo: Eric Douglas

Saturday date, to be announced.

Part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, this is an interactive group bicycle ride through the city to admire the cherry blossoms. Bring your own bike – the ride is free!

Cherry Blossoms Photo Walk

March 12, 19, and 26, 2017

Led by Vancouver Photowalks, this two-hour walking tour of Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood takes you to see the blossoms and learn how take better pictures of them.

Bloom: Abbotsford Tulip Festival

A woman walks through rows of colourful tulips.

You can tiptoe through the tulips at the Abbotsford Tulip Festival. Photo:@rachelbarkman via Instagram.

April 10 to May 7, 2017

Located in the Fraser Valley about 75 kilometres (47 miles) east of Vancouver, this festival features colourful tulip fields in a natural setting. There’s a U-pick area and a covered picnic area as well. Tickets are available online in advance; the price varies by weekday or weekend and time of day.


Sakura: Cherry Blossom Festival

April 8, 2017, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

At the inaugural festival, visitors can learn about the history of Japanese cherry blossom festivals and celebrate spring through crafts, haiku writing, walking tours, and musical performances.

Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour

May 13 to 14, 2017, various Victoria gardens

Held over Mother’s Day weekend, this self-guided tour features private gardens and special musical performances by Victoria Conservatory of Musicstudents.

Teeny Tiny Garden Tour

June 11, 2017, various Victoria gardens

This annual event offers a rare opportunity to look into some of Victoria’s most beautiful backyard gardens as a dozen garden owners open their gates. The self-guided tour showcases a variety of gardens ranging from the truly teeny tiny to larger gardens too good not to share. Highlights this year include edible gardens, creative water features, terraced gardens, and meandering trails laden with eclectic surprises.

Arts & Music in the Gardens

August 26 to 27, 2017, at the Gardens at HCP

Live music in a spectacular setting. This major fundraiser for the HCP has become one of Victoria’s finest art events.

For updates on garden events, see Gardens British Columbia.

Opening image: The Butchart Gardens in Victoria. Photo: The Butchart Gardens.