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Picton Garden Tour: Beyond the Lawn

UDPATE: Due to overwhelming demand, registration for the Picton Garden Tour is now closed.

Saturday April 27, 2024
1 – 4 PM
The event is free and will take place rain or shine.

Did you know that the County has changed their bylaw to support local efforts to naturalize lawn?

The Picton Garden Tour, taking place during PEC Earth Week, features six gardens that showcase low-cost lawn naturalization design ideas to enhance biodiversity, recharge groundwater, and add seasonal beauty to our community.

The tour is a joint initiative hosted by the County of Prince Edward, the County Garden Club, Victoria Taylor Landscape Architect | VTLA Studio, Dropseed Native Plant Nursery, Wild by DesignBase31, and private garden owners.  Each garden will have a host present to answer your questions and to share details about the design process, costs and plantings. 

Visit the gardens at your own pace or in any order, or register to take the County Transit tour bus (space is limited). 

Participants may enter a draw to win a prize from Dropseed Native Plant Nursery (Opening May 2024). Two winners will receive a voucher for five native plants (4” pots) each.

Click here to learn more about the County’s revised Grass and Weeds By law. This event is part of Prince Edward County Earth Week 2024 from April 20 to May 11. Click here to learn more about the other events happening this week. 


Garden Tour Rules

  • Don’t start before 1 pm and don’t go into gardens after the designated closing time of 4 pm.
  • Respect all participants and property owners. Derogatory language or disrespectful behaviour will result in the removal of the individual from the tour.
  • Participants are required to stay with the group and only access areas of the properties as indicated by the property owners. Participants must respect the property of the garden owners and follow all instructions provided by each property owner.
  • Those participating in the self-guided walking tour are only permitted to enter the gardens if the home owner is present and allows access.
  • Participants are not permitted to pick, damage, remove, or otherwise harm any plants, fruit, or objects encountered on the tour.
  • Pets are not permitted on the bus portion of the tour. For those on the self-guided tour, please leave your dog (and any other pets) at home. Your pet may be well behaved but the homeowner’s pets might resent their presence in the garden.
  • You must let the County staff member know if you decide to depart the bus tour early.  If you leave the bus tour early, you will be responsible for your own transportation.

Tour Tips and Suggestions

  • Dress for the weather. Garden tours are rain or shine activities. Some days you’ll experience both, so having sunscreen, a sunhat and your umbrella is important.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Review the map and/or descriptions of the gardens that have been provided, start your day by reviewing it so you don’t miss the best stuff.
  • Pace yourself. Acknowledge at the beginning of the day that you can only physically get to so many gardens in one day–if there are more gardens on the tour than you can visit, you may have to prioritize which ones you really want to visit.
  • Drink a lot of water during the day, especially if it’s hot. Plan to stop for snacks and/or lunch. Carry a water bottle with you to maintain hydration throughout the day.
  • Bring your camera with a fully charged battery and an empty memory card. Most garden tours will allow photographs of the gardens but not the home interiors (No matter how many large windows face the gardens, resist the urge to peer inside or take photographs).
  • Try not to block prime spots in the garden when you’re not actively using them. Certainly, take your turn to enjoy the view and/or take photographs, but move to the side to let others enjoy the spot before checking your text messages or digging in your bag to apply more sunscreen.
  • Be generous with your praise and remember that old adage of “if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything.” We all have different ideas of what makes a garden fabulous and we all have different amounts of time and other resources to devote to gardening.
  • Talk to the homeowners if they’re in the garden. They’re a friendly bunch (they’ve just invited you and dozens or hundreds of others to visit!) and will be happy to answer your questions about their garden. Thank them for sharing their garden with you.
  • Be conscious that neighbours of the garden on the tour have not chosen to open up their yards for the tour–stay on the tour participant’s property and don’t block neighbouring driveways.