Darts Hill Garden Park is a beautiful garden in Surrey that’s open to the public only on special occasions including weekends in April, May and June.
GARDEN CLOSED BUT THEN REOPENS
Between March 21 and June, 2020, out of concern about the coronavirus pandemic, the garden was closed to the public. As a result, all Garden Strolls and other events scheduled for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during that time were cancelled.
Beginning on June 4, 2020, the garden has resumed operations. Instead of being open for garden strolls every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the summer, however, it will be open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Note though, that details are subject to change.
New for 2020, because of COVID-19, guests must pre-book their visits and a maximum of 15 people are allowed in every thirty minutes with the last entry starting at 2 pm. Also, instead of being by donation, there is now a $5 admission charge. To book a visit see the City of Surrey website.
To see when the garden is open this year, see the Darts Hill Event Calendar
To learn about other venues that have also resumed operations, see our article about Vancouver, COVID-19 and Open Places.
Darts Hill Garden
Darts Hill Garden Park is a 22.5 acre property located at 1633-170th Street in South Surrey just a 10-minute drive from White Rock. It’s a beautiful spot with paths winding through densely vegetated forested-style gardens.
On days when it’s open, admission is by donation.
Darts Hill Opening Times
Darts Hill is open to the public only at designated times and dates, including open houses and special plant sale days.
Open house times can be found on the Darts Hill Calendar of Events, as can plant sale dates, special member-only events and details on when the City of Surrey’s Sounds of Summer Music Concert Series takes place on the property.
Garden Stroll Times
In addition to other designated times as listed in the property’s event calendar, Darts Hill Garden Park is open rain or shine most years for Garden Strolls on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 11 am and 3 pm in April, May, June and September.
Up until a couple of years ago the garden was only open for the strolls on Saturdays and Sundays during these months. The same as last year, it’s open to the public three days a week in 2020. This year, however, because of COVID-19, the venue didn’t operate in April or May. Also, in both June and July, instead of Sunday afternoons it is open on Thursdays instead.
Open Houses in 2020
In addition to the Garden Stroll days, Darts Hill Garden has a number of open houses each year. In 2020 they were going to be on April 25, May 23, September 26 and October 17. On each of these dates, except for the one in October, the venue planned to host a plant sale.
Because of the outbreak of the coronavirus in the spring of 2020, the open houses on April 25 and May 23 were cancelled and the fall dates are to be confirmed.
Sounds of Summer Music Concert Series
The Sounds of Summer Music Concert Series is a series of free outdoor concerts in Surrey Parks. In July and August a concert takes place at a different place each week and on Wednesday, July 10 and 29, it was scheduled to take place at Darts Hill. Because of COVID-19, however, the concert was unable to take place. 2021 details are to be confirmed.
About the Gardens
What’s remarkable about Darts Hill Garden Park, in addition to its attractiveness and the occasional rare biological specimen, is the fact that the plants are very well-marked and categorized. Look closely and you’ll notice that a surprising number of the botanical specimens have been labelled with their names, even including the smallest of lichen in one area.
Darts Hill isn’t the best park for children as it’s not the type with swings and a play area, but it’s definitely a good one for plant enthusiasts.
Note: Dogs are not permitted in the gardens. Also, wheelchair access is limited and the gravel pathways are not suitable for motorized scooters.
Best Times to Visit
In addition to in the summer when there’s music at the garden, the end of April is probably the absolute best time to visit as that’s when the rhododendrons are at their finest.
May is also beautiful, and because the trails are so densely vegetated, it’s nice and shady on hot summer days. Darts Hill Garden Park is also beautiful in mid-fall with all its autumn colours. Go on a sunny day if you can.
History of the Garden
Darts Hill Garden Park was the creation of Francisca and Edwin Darts who donated their private 7.5 acre garden to the city as part of a 999-year agreement to open the property to the public.
The donation of Darts Hill Garden was made in 1994, during the lifetime of Mr. and Mrs. Darts, at which time the City of Surrey purchased 15 acres of neighbouring land to make the place what it is today.
Presently there is still a private residence on the property and the garden remains semi-private, opening only on designated days.
Donated for the purpose of serving as a horticultural centre for the development, enhancement and preservation of plants, Darts Hill Garden Park is a beautiful and unique facility within the City of Surrey. Check it out if you can!
For more information on the garden, see Darts Hill Garden Park.
For ideas on other things to do while in the area, see City of Surrey.
For other gardens in Surrey and music opportunities in the summer, check out the Sounds of Summer Music Concert Series.
Note: Event photography and weddings are not permitted at the park.