The Beach garden tour is back, June 19, 2016

Welcome to the Beach Garden Society garden tour, June 19, 2016, from 1 to 5 pm

Usually, when we write up the Gardens of the Beach garden tour it’s after the event. This year, in fact last night, we had a sneak preview. So I’m glad to tell you there’s still time to go see the gardens. And, more importantly, there’s time to talk to the gardeners in their own space. That’s one of the perks of taking a garden tour – a perk that shy garden tour-goers don’t take advantage of often enough.

Get your tickets at the Trinity Gallery on Kingston Road, at East of Eliza on Gerrard East, at Pippins on Queen Street East – $12 now – or for $15 on Sunday at 23 Swanwick and 18 Glenfern. Then put aside your reticence and ask lots of questions. Gardeners love to talk about their gardens!

If you talk to the gardener, you might find out how he gets such good results with the wonderful variegated kiwi vine (Actinidia kolomikta).
You might also ask the gardener how he manages to keep up his lush, springy lawn in a part-shade garden. He can also tell you his secret for growing such healthy rhodos and azaleas, of which he has many. There’s a trick. Go Sunday and find out!
And, you could ask the Master Gardener about her lovely crevice herb garden – and how she conditions her garden soil to ensure it’s sustainable design. She’ll have something to show you that anyone can do. Go on Sunday with questions.
She’s also a plant collector. Be sure to ask about the interesting specimens you see. Plants you see on a local garden tour are plants that you’ll likely be able to grow. Ask what cultivar they are (they might be dwarf, for instance) and how long ago they were planted. That’ll help you determine if there’ll be room for one in your garden.
The gardens on the Beach garden tour have something for everyone. As you look at the cool details, keep a few general questions in your back pocket. For example, ask what the gardener’s biggest surprise was when creating their garden. That kind of query can open up an unexpected conversational door that goes beyond, “what is this, and how did you do that?”
If you grow veggies, you’ll see several ways to squeeze high yields into small spaces. This gardener, for example, has plenty to tell you about growing in raised beds, or even hydroponically. He’ll be there on Sunday, if you want to chat.
If your style is a wild woodland garden, there’s one for you, too. Talk to the gardener about some of the unusual plants he grows – or, if he’s busy, check out them out yourself. Many of us east-enders garden under trees. Lots of ideas for you here.
I close with floral fireworks for the return of our local garden tour. Local tours let you see what gardeners with gardens like yours can accomplish with similar raw materials (such as space and soil conditions). Plus, a fun afternoon out, with plenty of time to give Dad his breakfast in bed first.



  1. Hello Helen girl : )
    This looks like a fun tour .. I wish I could be on it and ask those questions and have those conversations!
    I love the informality of it all and seeing another gardener grow variegated kiwi vine .. I do too!
    It is HOT here in Kingston … I expect it is there too .. phew!
    No real rain in the forecast either .. darn ! LOL
    Very nice post, thanks !

  2. My kiwi vine went crazy this year… grew so much that it was covering a huge area and branching out about 4 feet from the wall of the house. A LOT of pruning brought it under control.

    Has anyone else had this experience, that the vine suddenly exploded after being in the same place — and always doing well — for 6 or 7 years?

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