Darts Hill Garden Park in Surrey British Columbia Canada

Darts-Hill-Garden-Park

Darts Hill Garden Park the result of hard work and dedication in Surrey BC

Edwin and Francisca Darts collected trees, shrubs and perennials for their 7.5 acre hillside garden from around the world

When you discover Darts Hill Garden Park in Surrey British Columbia, you will want to tell others about it. It's not just the gardens, although they are lovely. Equally important is the inspirational story behind the gardens. When Edwin and Francisca Darts purchased this land, it looked nothing like it does today. Specifically it was an overgrown second growth forest at that time. First they turned it into a working orchard. Francisca Darts had a clear vision to create a garden unlike any other. With this in mind they collected trees, shrubs and perennials from around the world. Finally they turned it into the gem it is today. 

Darts Hill Garden Conservancy Trust Society

Eventually the Darts family donated the garden to the City of Surrey. They wished the garden to be used "as a horticultural centre for the preservation, enhancement, and development of plants." Accordingly, the Conservancy Trust Society works with the City of Surrey to help carry out these aims. 

Special Events and Tours

Check online about special events such as plants sales. From time to time there is also live music scheduled. See the online calendar for dates. Imagine an afternoon strolling about the park with music playing in the background. Furthermore It is also possible to book a private two-hour tour for your group. Or arrange a golf cart tour.

From the parking lot at Darts Hill Garden Park. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Darts Hill Garden Park Endowment. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Entrance into Darts Hill Garden Park. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
One Woman's Vision. Photo by Diana Mohrsen

Darts Hill Garden Park filled with Rhododendron and Azalea

Early May is an ideal time to see the rhododendron and azalea bushes in bloom. Some of the rhododendron are ten, fifteen, and perhaps even twenty feet high. Between the parking lot and the entrance, I saw the first bushes alive with colour. Then I passed through a wooded area complete with little paths. There, among the trees, some rhododendron reached high up towards the sun. Then back into the open areas where they lined paths. Sooner or later I'd turn a corner and there would be another display. In many colours: rose, white, yellow, red, mauve, pink!

Seasonal Access

This park has limited access. It is only open from April to the end of September each year. It is only open on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Consequently it is always wise to check online before planning a visit. Admission is by donation.

Wandering pathways among azalea and rhododendron. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Sunlight highlighting a rhododendron blossom. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Rose coloured rhododendron. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Yellow rhododendron with pale mauve one in background. Photo by Diana Mohrsen

Darts Hill Garden Park displays Trees from around the World.

As I walked through Darts Hill Garden Park, I recognized many trees and shrubs. But every now and then I'd be surprised by something unique. There are 21 featured trees in the park. Just to name a few listed on their brochure:

Heritage Hybrid Walnut

Ginko Tree

Dawn Redwood

Wedding Cake Dogwood

Swamp Cypress

Orangebark Stewartia

More Trees than on the Featured List

There was a beautiful tree with a very distinctive trunk. A sign at the base of the tree that told me it was a Scots Pine. Interesting foliage appeared here and there. In the distance I saw a massive tree covered in what I thought were small yellow flowers. As I walked closer, I realized that the Variegated Chinese Elm had delicate yellow leaves, not flowers at all. Eventually I wish to return and see what it looks like in a few weeks.

Scots Pine. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Himalayan Blue Poppy. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Unique foliage at Darts Hill Garden Park. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Variegated Chinese Elm. Photo by Diana Mohrsen

Explore the many pathways at this Surrey Park

This lovely park in Surrey British Columbia has many pathways. The attendants at the entrance of Darts Hill Garden Park gave me a laminated map which helped me find my way around areas like Nut Orchard or Lower Orchard. There are pathways with names like West Magnolia Walk and Augustinii Walk. There is a pond in the park and a Native Plant Demonstration Garden. Additionally there are also places to stop, sit, and simply enjoy the surroundings.

The Size of the Property Today

When the Darts owned the property, it was 7.5 acres. Eventually the City of Surrey purchased the adjoining property of 15 acres. So now the total size of the property is  22.5 acres. This now includes a large parking lot as well as washroom facilities on the way to the main entrance. 

Tree frames view down the gentle hillside. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Lily of the Valley. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Dappled sunlight for this selfie. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Bluebells. Photo by Diana Mohrsen

A Gardener's Dream

Darts Hill Garden Park is a gardener's dream, the dream of Francisca Darts. It is also a wonderful place for a photographer to visit. As a result, when I sorted through the pictures at the end of the day, it was a difficult job choosing which photos to include here.

Inviting walkways. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Sunlight and blossoms. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Hidden pond. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Picturesque groupings. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Rustic bench among the trees. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Water trickling into pond. Photo by Diana Mohrsen

Darts Hill Garden - from Vision to Living Legacy

If you are looking for something special to do, perhaps a birthday or anniversary celebration, a visit to Darts Hill Garden Park might be just the event. It's beautiful. It's inspirational. It's a lovely way to spend an hour or two out of doors. 

Darts Hill Garden Park in South Surrey

Surrey British Columbia Canada

Location (Map)

Darts Hill Garden Park, 16th Avenue and 170th Street, Surrey, BC V3S 9X3, Canada
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Comments 4

Kim Kenyon on Friday, 26 May 2023 04:33

Love that Himalayan Blue Poppy photo Diane and of course all the other photos of this amazing garden. Okay, I must comment, these people who travel the world and collect trees, shrubs and flowers for visionary parks that become a reality. Envy. On thinking further, I guess there would be some challenges to this activity such as how do you get all those samples back home, seed collections practical, however, large trees? It is good that there have been such pioneers so we can all enjoy these plants in such unique parks such as this, must have been a great adventure!

Love that Himalayan Blue Poppy photo Diane and of course all the other photos of this amazing garden. Okay, I must comment, these people who travel the world and collect trees, shrubs and flowers for visionary parks that become a reality. Envy. On thinking further, I guess there would be some challenges to this activity such as how do you get all those samples back home, seed collections practical, however, large trees? It is good that there have been such pioneers so we can all enjoy these plants in such unique parks such as this, must have been a great adventure!
Diana Mohrsen on Sunday, 28 May 2023 05:47

Good point, Kim. I hadn't thought how they would have done that. It was quite some time ago so possibly they were shrub-sized when they brought them home. It just amazes me that someone thought of doing it and then actually carried out their plans.

Good point, Kim. I hadn't thought how they would have done that. It was quite some time ago so possibly they were shrub-sized when they brought them home. It just amazes me that someone thought of doing it and then actually carried out their plans.
EH Canada Marketing Group on Friday, 02 June 2023 23:05

Beautiful colours. I can smell the flowers from here.

Beautiful colours. I can smell the flowers from here.
Diana Mohrsen on Saturday, 03 June 2023 02:51

A beautiful garden. Makes me wish I painted or did watercolors.

A beautiful garden. Makes me wish I painted or did watercolors.
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