Taken away due to COVID-19, the Gananoque Garden Tour is returning after a two-year hiatus now that most restrictions caused by the pandemic have been lifted.
The tour will run July 10 from noon to 4 p.m. at numerous gardens around the community. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the Gananoque and 1000 Islands Visitor Centre at 10 King Street East.
"People will go in there, say they want to take part in the garden tour, buy a ticket and the ticket will have a description of the gardens and a map," said Elaine Davidson, a local and an organizer of the garden tour.
"It shows where the gardens are."
This year, there will be seven gardens on display, all done up by locals with a passion for gardening.
"It's unbelievable what people do with their backyards," Davidson said. "We have seven gardens and one of them has this gigantic rock, where (the owner) has put this amazing garden in this rock, and you'd never know it was there. It's breathtaking.
"I'm a fun gardener but I'm not super good at it, but I really like gardening. And I go around looking for all sorts of different gardens, and I found this other one in the backyard of a townhouse near my house and honest to goodness, you go and open the backdoor to the side of the house and all of a sudden, you're in this amazing garden, with a Japanese style to it, with fountains. It's unbelievable. All of the gardens are unique, lovely gardens."
Four of the seven gardens on this tour are located on King Street, while the remaining three are spread out a bit. All of them, however, can be found in town and are easily accessible.
"Before I even got the signs up (promoting the garden tour), people approached me saying they heard from the rumour mill that we’d be holding the garden tour," said Davidson. "It's popular here."
The garden tour has been running for a number of years. Davidson is the head facilitator of the tour, but she does have a small but mighty garden tour committee, who all look for gardens within the community to display on the tour.
"Everyone keeps their eyes out for the gardens, and we basically start looking right after the tour, we can see it in the summer, the fall, the spring, and the big thing is to find the garden and keep in contact with the host, as we call them," Davidson said.
"On the day of the garden tour, members of my committee put up signs outside the gardens that are on the tour, and it helps with finding them."
"And the bar has been risen every year with these gardens. It's a nice way to spend an afternoon. We get a lot of support from our community."
(Keith Dempsey is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)
Keith Dempsey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times