It’s Garden Tour Season

With apologies to Keats, when it comes to garden tours in Toronto, it’s June that’s the season of mellow fruitfulness. Nearly every weekend in the month has something to choose from.

Sadly, we’ve missed the Secret Gardens of Cabbagetown (last Sunday). But others are sprouting up as quickly as weed seedlings, but far more welcome.

Though they’re not “real gardens by real people” by some definitions, the gardens of the Bridle Path are the focus of this year’s Through the Garden Gate over Father’s Day weekend (as always), June 20 & 21. Even so, you’re sure to be able to steal some garden ideas as you see how the other 0.1% lives.

Perhaps more realistic might be the Magical Gardens of Leaside (June 27) and I’m sure the just as magical Gardens of the Beach (June 28). East York Garden Club, of which I’m a member, maintains a great events page on their website, giving details on these and other upcoming local tours. Very sporting of them, I must say.

If you’re looking for something farther afield, link to a garden society near you under Hort Societies in the right column of our blog. Many of them arrange local tours or open gardens that show you what can be done in your area.

Seven years ago, my Microgarden was part of the Beach Garden Society tour, so I know what desperate last-minute primping and fluffing and staging goes into the making of each garden. Having company come over is the greatest motivation in the world to make things look perfect, at least for the day.

In my case, as you can see, I even employed my very own garden fairy to wave her wand here and there. Because that’s what real people do in the garden, right?

UPDATE: Comprehensive lists of additional garden tours from two of our readers (thanks!) are below for your voyeuristic pleasure:

Ontario Horticultural Association, District 5 from Malcolm

Ontario Garden Tours maintained by Melissa, The Empress of Dirt


  1. It's kind of fun seeing what money can create by way of a garden. I like the gardens that us regular people create. (Last summer my garden was on the secret gardens tour here and I felt like the poor relation ~ except that gardeners loved the fact that I'd done everything on my own and grew different perennials and vines. How can a inner-city garden compare to the sprawling lawns and professionally-designed landscaping in the suburbs.

    Oh and yes, and my garden fairy's magic wand got used often. Enjoy the tours! (Regina has one tour ~ so I'm envious.)

  2. OH! We deliver to Bridal Path a lot and Prince lives there too (the singer) as well as a lot of hockey players and etc. Some of them are gardeners but most get lawn maintaince and just oversee the work on the gardens. Still, I would LOVE that tour. Damnit, im busy that weekend too. D:

  3. There are also some interesting garden tours in July in Scarborough (including the Gardens of the Bluffs), and up in Aurora and Keswick/Sutton. There's a full list here.

  4. Thanks, Malcolm and Melissa — I'm going to move your links up to the next level so that people can find them more easily. Wish I could go to them all, garden tour junkie that I am.

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