Sensory Overload. By their very nature rose gardens are a sensory experience. Colours, smells, textures, beauty and grace combine to make any rose garden exploration a delight. One of Vancouver’s best kept secrets and one of my favourite rose gardens is located on the University of British Columbia campus. Situated in the most unlikely of places, the UBC Rose Garden is found on the top of a parkade, maybe the ultimate rooftop garden? More than a dozen different rose species, in a wide variety of colours bloom between June and September. Imagine the splendour and fragrance! Add a brisk ocean breeze and panoramic mountain view and you have found Zen!
My love affair with roses began years ago. As a child, I was intrigued by their architectural beauty. The contrast of dainty petals and thorny stems. To me they are a testament to both elegance and strength. Long before the Bachelorette, the rose was considered to be a symbol of balance. The beauty of the petals express hope and new beginnings, and the thorns symbolize defense, loss and thoughtlessness. Each colour has its own meaning, and today roses have become a symbolic way to complement messages of love, friendship and remembrance.
With its dramatic views and dazzling colours, the Rose Garden has become a hot spot for wedding and graduation pictures. One of many UBC public spaces, the gardens are free for all to enjoy. Visiting the Rose Gardens? Make a day of it! Surrounded by natural beauty, the UBC Campus has much to offer. From museums, galleries, restaurants, gardens and easily accessible beaches to Pacific Spirit Park, it doesn’t require much ingenuity to create an itinerary for a full day. Remember to take your time while exploring, after all it would be a shame to not stop and smell the roses.
The Rose Garden Parkade is located on the northern edge of the University of British Columbia campus, near the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. Enter from North West Marine Drive.