Oh, Canada: National Garden Days, 2014

Magnolia trees in bloom

Magnolia trees at the Royal Botanical Garden’s arboretum in Burlington.

Ignore the calendar. Today’s your lucky day. There’s an Urban Vegetable Patch Garden Tour in Oshawa starting at five this evening. You can ride a bike to each private patch. Kate’s Garden Annual Lavender Vintage Fair in Unionville just kicked off its two-day shindig this morning. And you can do a Honey Tasting featuring honey harvested from the Toronto Botanical Garden’s own hives. Since that garden is at the corner of Lawrence and Leslie in the heart of the suburban Big Smoke, that’s impressive.

These events and a whole lot more are part of the celebrations marking National Garden Days, June 13th to the 15th. Check out the official activities section, listing events across Canada. Ontario had 25 events on offer when I checked two days ago. Towns involved include Mississauga, Niagara Falls, Oshawa, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Toronto, Unionville, Welland, Whitby and Wilsonville. Visiting a public garden is a great way to find fresh ideas for your own patch of paradise as well as just taking a break to (literally) smell the roses.

If this weekend is already crammed with other plans, check out the Canada’s Garden Route page. You’ll find an extensive list of the country’s public-accessible gardens and “garden experiences”. Some of these places are worth planning a weekend summer road trip around.

Me? I’m dreaming of a trip up the north shore of the Gaspe peninsula to Redford Gardens (also known as Les Jardins de Metis) for the 2014 International Garden Festival, renowned for its juried show of contemporary gardens designed by architects, landscape architects, designers and artists from around the world. Can’t wait to see Afterburn, a “post-apocalyptic experience that allows visitors to see how nature renews itself” by Civilian Projects, a Brooklyn-based art and architecture team. Oh, yeah.



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