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.
Glades Garden in South Surrey
First developed in the late 1950s, Glades Garden Park today is 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. As well, 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 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 am until 3 pm. Because of COVID-19, the gardens never opened to the public in 2020.
In 2021 Glades Garden was open to the public from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturdays between May 1st and June 5th. Admission cost $7 per person and all guests had to register for a 60-minute timeslot in advance online.
In normal years 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 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.
The 2020 Mother’s Day event was cancelled due to health concerns regarding COVID-19. In 2021 the event returned but with limited capacity. In 2022 the Mother’s Day celebrations take place on both May 7th and 8th from 10 am until 4 pm. This year, tickets must be purchased online in advance for set timeslots. General admission costs $7. Children under 12 years old enter for free but still need a ticket.
To find out more about the event click Mother’s Day at Glades Garden.
Sounds of Summer Concerts
The garden hosts 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 per 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 either 2020 or 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 couple had a dream of turning the unused and overrun property into 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-serve 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