June means it’s magical garden tour time!

Mediterranean style garden.
Mediterranean style garden.

On June 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Leaside Garden Society will once again host their ever-popular Magical Garden Tour. And I can hardly wait!

This is when we can take a close look at what’s growing in some of our local backyards, learn from our fellow gardeners and grab some fresh ideas. To me, it’s a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

At last year’s tour, I was blown away by the abundance of pollinator plants (they were everywhere!) and it shows how Leaside gardeners have fully embraced this important call to action.

But it was at three very different (lawn-less) gardens that I found the most inspiration, and I featured them in my August 2022 Leaside Life article.

What’s most interesting is how these unique gardens contained so many of the top garden trends for 2023 as listed by The Garden Media Group: 

Mediterranean gardens

Looks like we’re in for another hot and dry summer this year, and this will stress out both the garden and the gardener. But Mediterranean gardens can take both the heat and the lack of water. Think drought-tolerant plants, evergreens and plants with silver foliage. Add a lot of stone and gravel as mulch and for drainage and voila, you have the “essence” of a Mediterranean garden. This is both a responsive and beautiful way to garden with climate change. And no wonder this is considered a top trend.

Tropical gardens

The sales of exotic houseplants continue to rise, and it’s a good idea to give these plants a summer holiday outdoors (if you can). They will enjoy the fresh air and humidity they crave, and liven up your patio or balcony. At the end of the season, bring them back indoors to help clean the air inside.

I saw a number of other important trends in the tropical paradise garden I visited last year, including an espaliered orchard with apple, pear and plum trees. Vertical gardening and foodscaping in one!  

Japanese gardens

There’s a lot we can learn from Japanese gardens, including the art and techniques of bonsai, which can be used in a much larger scale. I’m talking about mini forests here!

Known as the Miyawaki method, these ecosystems are a tiny community of native trees, shrubs and ground covers planted tightly together in a small contained area. This type of planting does not require a lot of space and yet the positive effects are enormous. I wish this technique were used in more of our parks and community gardens.

As you can see, it’s not really about the look or style of these gardens (though I found them all beautiful), it’s more about the techniques used, and how they can help us garden better and smarter in our changing world.    

Yes, I learned a lot from last year’s garden tour and I’m looking forward to learning even more this year. And you can too!

There will be nine gardens on the tour (five in North Leaside and four in South Leaside) as well as a flower show that will be open to the public at the Leaside Library from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The club will present both cut specimens and potted plants grown by LGS members. Entries will be judged and ribbons awarded. 

Tickets will be available the first week of June with details at www.leasidegardensociety.org. Hope to see you there! The Leaside Garden Society is still accepting applications for their 2023 scholarship of $2,000 until June 30th. Check out the website for more info.

About Debora Kuchme 64 Articles
After a 30-year career as a fashion designer, Debora worked at Horticultural Design for over a decade. Now with her concerns about climate change, she hopes to help local gardeners find positive solutions for a greener and healthier neighbourhood. As a board member of the Bayview Leaside BIA, she created the Bayview Pixies, a volunteer group introducing sustainable gardening practice to Bayview.