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Sneak a peek into spectacular private gardens

By Cathy Newhook | July 29, 2013

Memorial's Botanical Garden has partnered with the Friends of the Garden, Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador and the Newfoundland Horticultural Society to present the first Annual Mystery Garden Tour. The tour will give people exclusive access to 12 of the most elaborate and spectacular gardens in the St. John’s metro area. If you’ve ever driven down one of the many tree-lined streets in St. John’s and marvelled at the beautiful homes and meticulously manicured front gardens, Aug. 3-4 is an opportunity to sneak through the garden gates of 12 of these gorgeous properties.

MUN Botanical Garden“This is a prime opportunity for gardeners of any age and experience level,” said Liz Klose, director of the MUN Botanical Garden. “I think every gardener has had moments of garden envy and wondered how they can improve their own space. This tour is an opportunity to go beyond the fence and get exclusive access to some very incredible gardens.”

The 12 properties, located all around St. John’s and the surrounding area, represent a range of new and mature gardens and incorporate a variety of garden features – rock gardens, raised vegetable beds, water features, elaborate window boxes and English country gardens, with a wide representation of annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. On Saturday and Sunday morning, ticket holders can exchange their tickets at MUN Botanical Garden, or one of the participating garden centres, for a Garden Entry Passport which will include the locations and descriptions of each garden. Participants can then embark on a self-guided tour of the 12 mystery gardens at their leisure over the course of the two days. Volunteers will be present at all locations, and owners will be present and available to answer questions at most of the gardens.

“You can look at gardening books and magazines for inspiration but, especially here in Newfoundland, nothing beats looking at what others have successfully implemented in their own spaces, and what these garden owners have implemented is simply incredible” said Klose. “It is a great opportunity to take a camera, a notebook and your favorite gardening companion, and get inspired!”

Attendees will also be granted free admission to the MUN Botanical Garden on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for the tour are $25 each and available at MUN Botanical Garden, C.D’s Trees, Glendale Gardens, Holland Nurseries, Murray’s Garden Centre, Pat’s Plants and Gardens. Proceeds from the tour will help advance the projects championed by the supporting partners: MUN Botanical Garden, Friends of the Garden, Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador and Newfoundland Horticultural Society.

The event will be launched at Friday, August 2nd during a Garden Gala at MUN Botanical Garden. Gardening enthusiasts and supporters will gather from 5-7 p.m. to toast the garden season and enjoy a private guided tour of the MUN Botanical Gardens, with live musical entertainment, savoury hors d’oeuvres and wine. There will also be a garden and nature themed silent auction and raffle. Tickets for the gala portion of the event are $100 and available at MUN Botanical Garden.

For more ticket information visit or call 709-864-8590.