Sam: “This is Heaven’s Garden?”
Dean: “It’s-it’s nice… ish. I guess.”
Joshua: “You see what you want to here. For some it’s God’s throne room; for others it’s Eden. You two, I believe it’s the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. You came here on a field trip.”
(Supernatural, Dark Side of the Moon)
Bloedel Conservatory is located in Queen Elizabeth Park, at the City of Vancouver’s highest point. It’s a lush paradise with more than 200 free-flying birds, and 500 exotic plants and flowers that thrive within its temperature-controlled environment. The Conservatory was constructed in 1969 after a generous donation from Prentice Bloedel and his wife Virginia, who resided on the property from 1951 until 1986. Bloedel was dedicated “to a better appreciation and understanding of the world of plants.”
But, for me, this place was ‘Heaven’s Garden’ – the beautiful setting of a pivotal scene in season five of my favourite television show, Supernatural. I gazed up at the domed roof and imagined myself listening to Sam and Dean’s conversation with Joshua (an angel who talks to God) in the episode Dark Side of the Moon. “This is Heaven’s Garden?” asked a confused Sam.
On all my previous visits to Vancouver, I’d never ventured to Queen Elizabeth Park in Burnaby. I knew very little about the park, and had never heard of this Conservatory. But, now, here I was, walking in the footsteps of two fictional characters I absolutely adore. It was so much fun.
One of the things I love about location hunting in Vancouver is that I accidentally discover different parts of a city that I already know quite well. And – once I’d recovered from the fact that I was actually in ‘Heaven’s Garden’ – I took the time to enjoy this wonderful place, where colourful macaws, parrots and finches live among tropical forests and flowers.
It really was stunning and an absolute joy to explore.