Through the Garden Gate: The Beach

Through the Garden Gate is the major garden tour that’s an annual fundraiser for the Toronto Botanical Garden. Today, I attended a press preview. It was hot, it was bright (the worst kind of day for taking garden pictures), but it was oh, so worth it.

I’m not saying this because it’s on my home turf*. This year, the tour shows 26 gardens in The Beach – the first time ever that this area has been showcased. (*In real estate terms, there’s The Beach, The Upper Beach and, where I live, The Upper Upper Upper Upper Beach.) I’m saying it because the five we saw today were real surprises, truly hidden gardens. Lakefront views; ravine hideaways; from the very very large, to the very very small.

Here’s a slideshow of my over-exposed, overly contrasty photos for a taste (including a shot from my Tweet-up with garden writer Cristina da Silva).

Always-effervescent TBG horticulture director Paul Zammit recommends you get the two-day pass. I concur. It took us all morning to see five gardens, and we were being shepherded from place to place. You won’t want to miss any.

Afterwards, The Toronto Star’s Sonia Day wanted to see more examples of real gardens for real people – which is usually our tune. Read the paper to see what she found. However, I don’t mind a little garden pornography from time to time. This is often what garden tours are all about. You can usually find ideas to steal, even if you don’t have a lakefront property.

There will be shuttle busses on the weekend of the event, which always coincides with Father’s Day. Get your tickets early. They do sell out. Follow the link at the start of this post.

I’m hoping to get special dispensation from Mr. TG – after his breakfast in bed. Do you think he might want to see a few gardens?


  1. Fabulous, Hope you'll post more photographs. These photographs have started my appetite to see more. Looking forward to hear from you about this 'garden show'.

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