Blog

18
Feb

Secret Gardens

Today I came across 365 Days of Dining. Curious, I decided to take a few moments to read through today’s post. While images of food kick-started a deep growling in my belly that I think only that french toast (see here) could truly satisfy, it was the mention of the Executive Airport Plaza Hotel‘s rooftop garden that really caught my attention. Not only is this greenspace open to hotel guests, but it also has a pathway so that guests can actually wander around in the comfort of bunnies (yes, bunnies) and enjoy what is really a park-like environment hidden above the chaotic Richmond, Vancouver airport environment.

This got me thinking…

What other secret gardens might there be throughout Metro Vancouver? I did some digging and have provided a bit of a list. It is by no means complete and I am sure you will think of a few more gardens as you read this so please leave a comment and mention them below.

In the meantime, maybe this will get you thinking as you wander the streets downtown or enjoy a meal in a local restaurant..

YWCA Metro Vancouver has a Rooftop Food Garden. This urban treasure provides healthy and nutritious eats to women at YWCA Crabtree Corner, a family resource centre in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. This innovative program actually began as early as the summer of 2006. In an experimental process, staff were able to transform the rooftop garden from an ornamental location into a fruitful community garden. Run by volunteers, the YWCA has harvest over four tonnes of fruit and vegetables since 2006.

Vertical Farm. Developed by Vancouver based Alterrus‘, the vertical farm is located on the top level of the downtown parking lot at 535 Richards Street and is North America’s first VertiCrop urban farming system. VertiCrop is designed to grow in any climate with an exceptionally small footprint in urban environments using a fraction of the resources required by field agriculture while producing higher yields.

Vancouver Convention Centre. This facility incorporates green design with a whopping six-acre ‘living roof’ that houses thousands of indigenous plants and recovers rainwater for irrigation.

The Vancouver Club. This rooftop garden started as dream in spring/summer 2012. It is an elegantly designed vegetable garden (pictured here) with planters constructed of stainless steel. Plans are already in place to expand the garden in spring of 2013 in hopes of supplying the Vancouver Club’s gourmet kitchen, The Grill, with as much food as possible to reduce transport miles.

Fairmont Waterfront. Located on the third floor of the hotel, a 2100 square foot herb garden became one of Vancouver’s first green roofs. The garden is home to over sixty varieties of herbs, vegetables, fruits and edible blossoms, as well as over 10 different species of local birds. The Chef at Herons West Coast Kitchen + Bar uses these herbs daily. The Fairmont Waterfront also has a Honeybee Apiary. The bees winter at the Honeybee Centre in Cloverdale, BC and reside in the Fairmont Waterfront harbor garden from May to September annually.

Yaletown House. Non-profit seniors facility with a protected courtyard garden, a greenhouse and rooftop garden for growing vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House. This garden includes raised beds for growing food and herbs for use by the chef. The beds are located on the edge of the patio roof with small trees, shrubs and perennials. It is accessible by the public.

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