UBC Botanical Garden: Experience springtime in the mountains of Japan with us

Shop in the Garden
Holiday ClosurePlease note that the Shop in the Garden at UBC Botanical Garden will be closed between Tuesday, December 24, 2013, and Friday, January 17, 2014, inclusive. We look forward to reopening on Saturday, January 18, 2014.
About the Garden
Established in 1916,  UBC Botanical Garden curates a collection of ca. 12,000 plants, representing approximately 8,000 taxa from temperate regions around the world. The Greenheart Canopy Walkway offers an umparalleled aerial view of the west coast forest canopy ecosystem 15 metres above ground.
Correction
The Shop in the Garden will be closed from Tuesday, December 24, 2013, and not November 24, 2013, as stated in our last message. There is still plenty of time for holiday shopping!
Members’ Sale
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
As a thank you to our Garden members, we will be offering discounts to Garden members, UNA residents, UBC students, faculty and staff during the Members’ Sale:

  • 25% off on all regular-priced merchandise (except fresh wreaths, door swags, and table décor)
  • 15% off on books
Hot Apple cider and treats will also be served. Please bring valid UBC, UNA or membership card.
Not a garden member? Become a member, renew your membership, or purchase a gift membership online or on the day of the sale to receive the same discounts. (If you have signed up online, please bring a copy of your membership purchase confirmation.)
Wreath Sale
On now
Handmade by Friends of the Garden volunteers, our fresh wreaths, door swags, seasonal baskets and table décor will brighten homes with holiday spirit. They are only available while supplies last, so visit the Shop early for these unique creations!
The  Shop in the Garden is full of seasonal cards, unique gifts, and other Christmas merchandise, so hurry in and give yourself a head start on your holiday shopping!
The Food Revolution: Recommended Readings
Our favourite book of the year was once again the bestselling Book of Kale by Sharon Hanna. Congratulations to Sharon for winning first prize in the Single-Subject Cookbooks category of the Taste Canada Food Writing Awards. The jury stated that the book “has real personality and charm and the overall results are delicious.” “The book has integrity, heart and pure deliciousness”.  Look for Sharon’s new book and a book signing event to commemorate its publication at the Shop in the new year.
The Shop has a good selection of other local cookbooks recently published. Check out Sea Salt, Hollyhock, Seasonings, and The 100 Mile Diet Cookbook.
Michael Pollan, named one of the one hundred most influential people in the world in a 2010 issue of Time Magazine, has recently published Cooked: a Natural History of Transformation. His earlier books, notably The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defence of Food, The Botany of Desire, dealt with the growing and distribution of food, while this book comes to the most delicious part – how it is cooked. In entertaining anecdotes, Pollan covers science, history and philosophy of food and how cooking connects us to our history and culture. Taking back control of cooking, he argues, is the single most important step to declaring our independence from factory farming and industrial food. This is a large book. Read it slowly and savour every morsel!
Sowing Seeds in the Desert: Natural Farming, Global Restoration, and Ultimate Food Security is a recent translation from the Japanese of the late farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka, author of the now classic The One Straw Revolution. Fukuoka tells how his philosophy of farming evolved and how he decided to apply what he learned on his own farm in Japan to other parts of the world. He did not plow his fields, used no agricultural chemicals or prepared fertilizers and did not flood his rice fields. Having used these natural farming techniques with great success, his interest turned to rehabilitating the deserts of the world and to instilling a deep understanding of the relationship between human beings and nature.
May 8-22, 2014
with Brent Hine
Registration deadline: February 7, 2014
In this second of two unique tours, this itinerary will guide you through the natural and civilized delights of spring on northern Honshu island. We will visit mountain resorts and encounter stunning vistas and wildflowers as we wander verdant hillsides. Every evening savour fine cuisines and splendid accommodations. And at each day’s end, soak up one of the finer points of Japanese culture as you let a hot spring bath melt away your cares.
Travelling by escorted coach, we include essential stops at several national parks, Morioka (birthplace of Inazo Nitobe), Fuji-san (Mt. Fuji), UNESCO world heritage village of Shirakawa-go, Hakone, and of course the wonderful exuberance that defines Tokyo. In between, take a river gorge cruise, dropping by two botanical gardens, ride the Kurobe gorge railway, even visit a sake brewery for a taste of the famous Japanese spirit.
Springtime in Japan especially means burgeoning displays of nature in a country where its charming people rejoice in their relationship with it. You too will be smitten and treasure your experiences.
Click here for more information and booking details on the Springtime in the Mountains of Japan tour.
Looking around the Botanical Garden in December, the background of evergreen conifers—outshined for much of the year by the more colourful broadleaved trees and shrubs around them—comes into its own. In temperate climates, all kinds of plants cease growth and lose their leaves as temperatures fall and the light gradually diminishes. Traditional cultures saw the loss of leaves and increasing darkness with some dread. But evergreen plants, particularly coniferous evergreens, are an antidote to the decay and gloominess of winter. Evergreen boughs brought into houses to remind people that despite the conditions outside, plants are still alive. In other words, evergreens, such as the Christmas tree, represent hope for the future.
There are six evergreen trees that are native to the area of the Botanical Garden (i.e., found naturally here). Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) are the most common. Beautiful as these two species are, they are much better as cut greens than as Christmas trees. In fact, both are used extensively in the wreaths made by Friends of the Garden. Two other species, Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and shore pine (Pinus contorta var. contorta) are normally found in open, boggy areas of the coastal forest. Because of their prickly needles, neither is particularly suitable as a Christmas tree. Not so, the beautiful grand fir (Abies grandis), which is a common constituent of the Botanical Garden. Another shade-adapted conifer, grand fir has a conical crown, and responds well to shearing and other Christmas tree production techniques. The strong grapefruit-peel aroma of its glossy flattened, easily handled needles sets it apart from other trees.
Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is the most popular species in North America for cut Christmas trees. Douglas fir prefers drier conditions than the others native conifers mentioned here, but when conditions are right, trees can grow quickly, and like grand fir, take easily to nursery culture. People love its soft, sweet smelling needles, strong, flexible branches and natural youthful symmetry. In nature, trees can grow to a staggering 100 m or more in height. This is what the first Europeans would have seen as they sailed around Point Grey and into Burrard Inlet. Discovering that the timber was of exceptional quality, it’s no surprise that the entire Vancouver area was essentially clear-cut for timber before the 1920s. Only two Douglas firs in the Botanical Garden survived the harvest. Both are estimated to be over 400 years old. They are giant snags, riddled with dead wood, and thus, too dangerous to cut down. They don’t look much like Christmas trees, but are the favoured high perches for bald eagles, whose increasing presence—as much as the dropping of deciduous leaves in autumn—signifies the onset of winter at the Botanical Garden.
6804 SW Marine Drive | Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4 CA
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