Glades Garden Park is a beautifully-curated garden in Surrey with exotic flowers and heritage trees. It’s open to the public only on specific days.
The same as many other places of interest in the Lower Mainland, Glades Garden closed because of the COVID-19 virus pandemic. This means that there was no Mother’s Day event in 2020, and no garden openings all year in fact.
As of the end of December 2020, the venue remains closed until further notice.
For information about the current status of the garden, see the City of Surrey‘s website.
Glades Garden in South Surrey
Developed beginning in the late 1950s, Glades Garden Park is today a 15-acre botanical oasis that boasts over one and a half thousand rhododendron plants as well as other exotic flowers and shrubs.
Unlike most parks, Glades Garden isn’t open every day of the year. The public can only visit at specific times and on certain days including when there is an open house, on weekends in the summer and on special event days.
The garden is quite beautiful. Some of its rhododendrons are as tall as a two-storey building and in the spring the colours are spectacular. Also notable about the park, many of the old growth trees are designated heritage trees. It’s a pretty place!
Where is Glades Garden?
Located at 561-172nd Street, Glades Garden is located in South Surrey close to the US Border. The Peach Arch Crossing is actually less than a 5-minute drive away.
Also not far from the garden, Darts Hill Garden Park is just a 5-minute car ride to the north. It too is open only on specific dates (but more often that Glades Garden). The resort town of White Rock, meanwhile, is just 5 or so kilometres west of both.
Hours and Admission
The garden was scheduled to be open in 2020 on May 2nd, May 23rd, May 30th, June 13th and June 20th from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. Because of the coronavirus, the gardens never opened to the public in 2020. (Note: In years when it does open, although the place is open until 3 o’clock, the last entry is usually at 2:30 pm.)
Admission is more often than not by donation with all proceeds going to the maintenance and upkeep of the park.
During some special events, like on Mother’s Day, there is usually a fee to get in. At other events, however, like during the annual Sounds of Summer Concert Series concert, admission is usually just by donation.
Glades Garden Events
A number of events happen at Glades Garden each year. In addition to the half dozen or so open houses in the late spring and early summer, there is a special Mother’s Day event in May as well as an outdoor concert in either July or August.
Mother’s Day Event at Glades Garden
On the second Sunday in May each year the park is usually open from 10 am until 4 pm for a special Mother’s Day celebration. There is live music, and snacks and beverages are available for purchase from the on-site coffee shop.
In 2020 the Mother’s Day event was scheduled for Sunday, May 10th (but then cancelled due to health concerns regarding the coronavirus). The day was going to be divided into two sessions, with one from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm and the other from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm.
Tickets most years can be purchased in advance for about $5 per person. Tickets purchased the day of the event cost about $7 and they only accept cash at the gates. Children under 12 years old are free.
Entertainment at the event in 2020 was going to be with the Celtic band Blackthorn who are really good. The band in 2021 will no doubt be comparable.
To find out more about this event click Mother’s Day at Glades Garden.
Sounds of Summer Concerts
The garden is host to the City of Surrey’s Sounds of Summer Concert Series once a year in either July or August. The event is a series of free concerts which take place in a different park once a week in the summer. Admission to each of the events is usually by donation.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the concerts were not able to take place in 2020. Hopefully they will be back for 2021.
The park contains a few slightly hilly areas and mulch trails so it is not overly wheelchair or stroller-friendly. There are a few sections that are flat and easily accessible, but for other areas it can be challenging for people with mobility issues. For the average person though, getting around is no problem.
Pets are not allowed (except service dogs of course) so please leave Fido at home.
The History of the Glades
Lydia and Murray Stephen purchased 5 acres of land in 1956. The property was unused and overrun, but the couple had a dream of creating a gorgeous garden like those of Murray’s homeland of Scotland.
In 1970, Murray Stephen passed away and the garden was not tended to until Jim and Elfriede DeWolf purchased the property. They restored and gifted the land to the City of Surrey in 2002 and the municipality expanded the garden and plans to continue to do so.
Tips & Advice
Below are some extra bits of information to help you make the most out of your visit to Glades Garden.
TIP #1: The park has some amazing flowers in the spring (just in time for Mother’s Day), and it’s a wonderful place to take photos. Late spring is definitely the most impressive time to go, especially when the rhododendrons are in bloom.
TIP #2: Another exceptional time to visit is during the Sounds of Summer Concert Series event. The outdoor concerts take place at a different Surrey park each week including once a year at Glades Garden.
TIP #3: If you like gardens and are in the area anyway, then combine your trip with a visit to Darts Hill Garden Park. Located just a short drive away at 1633-170th Street, it too is a beautiful place and open to the public only on specific dates. White Rock is another great spot to visit on the same trip, especially if you like beaches.
TIP #4: The parking lot at Glades Garden isn’t huge and can fill up quickly, especially on days with big events. If driving to one of the events, especially on a day with good weather, go early and then enjoy the gardens before the show.
TIP #5: On Mother’s Day most years, to help with the traffic, there is often a complimentary shuttle service between Darts Hill and Glades Garden (which makes it a good day to visit both venues). The shuttle service is first-come, first-served though, and it’s not usually wheelchair access.
For more information about the Garden, check out the City of Surrey‘s website. To learn more about the City’s once-a-week live music opportunities at different parks in the summer, see our article about the Sounds of Summer Concert Series.
For more information on places and events similar to Glades Garden check out the following:
- Parks in Vancouver
- Mother’s Day Events
- Mother’s Day Brunch Buffets
- The City of Surrey
- Free Vancouver Summer Concerts