Torontonicity was invited again this year to attend Mark’s Choice Through The Garden Gate. This private gardens tour, organized by Toronto Botanical Garden, took place in The Beaches on Jun 8-9, 2019. Last year, the tour took place in the Windfields Estates / Banbury Road, which is adjacent to the Toronto Botanical Garden. Check out my blog post from last year’s event.
The private garden tour is a great opportunity to see gorgeous gardens in bloom. You’ll also come away with many ideas on how to design or upgrade your garden as well as tips from the master gardeners on hand at each garden. There is a shuttle bus that stops at each house on the tour in case you don’t want to deal with parking. I have to admit that parking posed a bit of a problem this year, especially near the houses that were close to Queen Street East, since summer weekends in The Beach are notoriously crowded.
We decided to start the tour at one of the houses near Main Street and Gerrard Street East (The Upper Beach). Although we arrived right on the dot at 11 a.m. when the tour begins, there were already 50 people at this house, with capacity being 100 people. We are so glad we got there early because this house’s garden was spectacular and we wouldn’t have wanted to miss it.
Set on a ravine, this house featured a series of stunning gardens, framing an equally gorgeous swimming pool. The garden featured peonies, rhododendrons, Japanese Maple and hostas. I can’t imagine the work involved in maintaining this garden. If you could see only one garden on this tour, this was the one to see.
This purple peony was perfectly in bloom.
After being enchanted by the first garden we saw, we drove a few minutes to our next location where three houses almost side-by-side were on the tour.
I love this collection of flowers and garden pots, with several placed on a step ladder to create visual interest.
You don’t usually see orange poppies; they looked particularly spectacular complemented by purple allium in this front garden.
This garden shows how you can get around the challenges of a heavily sloped backyard.
I love clematis and this scarlet-coloured version is a stunner.
Although we did not see all of the houses on the tour, we enjoyed seeing the gardens we saw.
Mark’s Choice Through The Garden Gate takes place every June. You can purchase tickets at Toronto Botanical Garden.