Fountains spill into a pond at The Glades Garden Park in South Surrey.

Fountains spill into a pond at The Glades Garden Park in South Surrey.

Discover two of Surrey’s secret gardens this summer

Saturday strolls and Sounds of Summer offer visitors the chance to see inside city's rarer-known parks, Darts Hill and the Glades

Two of the City of Surrey’s garden parks are offering limited openings.

Darts Hill Garden Park, 1633 170 St., hosts Saturday Strolls every Saturday in June from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., including on June 18 when visitors are invited to take a special tour with an experienced guide, or visit Darts House as part of Surrey’s Doors Open.

Painters and artists should note there’s also a Plein Air open house on June 21 from 6-8 p.m. Bring your paints, paper, easels and cameras to capture the beautify of the evening light. Not an artist? Explore the garden’s unique plants and pathways. Visit dartshill.ca for details.

Darts Hill is the result of 70 years of dedication guided by the vision of Francesca Darts, who, along with her husband, Edwin, logged the property and turned it into an orchard, then into a unique garden. Today, it’s home to a diverse collection of mature tree and shrub species from the Pacific northwest, many planted from seeds collected from around the world. In 1994, the Darts donated their 7.5 acre garden to the City of Surrey.

It’s not open daily, but is available to group tours and special events, including plant sales and the Saturday strolls in June and September.

Not to be outshone, The Glades Garden Park at 561 172 St. recently hosted a Summer Open House on June 11, offering up a rare chance for visitors to explore its spectacular collection of mature rhododendrons, azaleas and heritage trees.http://webpapersadmin.bcnewsgroup.com/portals/uploads/cloverdale/.DIR288/wGladespathway.jpg

Glades Garden Park is the first stop on the city of Surrey’s Sounds of Summer concert series. On July 6, West Coast Springs performs at the garden, from 6:30 -8 p.m. Visitors are welcome to bring folding chairs, blankets and picnic baskets to enjoy the sounds of classical strings on a warm summer evening.

Now spanning 15 acres, The Glades began as an original 5-acre garden on a parcel purchased by Lydia and Murray Stephen in 1956. They renovated the land, planted rhododendrons, azaleas and exotic trees and shrubs – it was Murray’s dream to recreate the gardens of his Scottish homeland. Jim and Elfriede DeWolf purchased the garden in 1994 and began restoring it. The DeWolfs have a life estate and continue to provide input to the garden, as additions take place.

There is a small temporary parking lot south of the main entrance, however, carpooling or drop-off is still recommended. Visit www.surrey.ca/gardens for more information, call 604-501-5050, or email partnersinparks@surrey.ca.

Cloverdale Reporter

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