Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour

Join us on May 12th and 13th for our 36th Annual Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour

Strolling through beautiful gardens carried along by wonderful music, is there truly any better way to spend the day with a woman you love?

This Mother’s Day weekend (May 12/13) we invite you to connect with gorgeous gardens and enjoy springtime in Victoria with the VCM.

Your two-day pass grants exclusive passage to ten hand-picked, enchanting oasis to revel in the inspiration and joy of gardening while enjoying music from VCM students, faculty and guest musicians.

Also, don’t miss our fantastic plant sale and most outstanding planter contest, both of which help the VCM raise additional money for important student scholarships and programming.

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We have put a creative challenge out to our contacts in the plant nursery community of Victoria to WOW our 1,200 tour attendees and win their vote for their favourite planter. (Garden Tour attendees will also have the opportunity to bid on their favourites and possibly take them home!)

Our 2017 winner was the fabulous Thrifty Foods at Royal Oak, rolling flower basket!

Thrifty Food Royal Oak's winning Mother's Day Musical Garden Tour entry

Thrifty Food Royal Oak’s winning Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour entry





From exotic to native, established or new, country acreage to city spaces, every outdoor oasis featured as part of the Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour offers an exquisite treat for the senses. Paired with music and musicians provided by VCM students and faculty, these unique spaces are elevated to the truly sublime.

An essential fund raising event for the Victoria Conservatory of Music for close to 40 years, the garden tour raises money for important VCM scholarships and programming.

The brainchild of George and Ann Nation, the dedicated couple coordinated every aspect of the tour for two decades.

Brian Johnston now coordinates the tour with help from an amazing team of volunteers, who proudly maintain the legacy began by George and Ann Nation.


Garden Tour Tickets

$30 (when purchased in person)
(children 12yrs and under free) GardenTour1

Contact: Victoria Conservatory of Music
(250) 386-5311 or 1-866-386-5311
Or purchase in person with our front desk 900 Johnson St. Victoria, BC.

Our 2018 tour is on May 12th and 13th (10:00am – 4:00pm)

Pre-Order Tickets: March 1, 2018

Ticket Sales Open: April 1, 2018

Tickets are also available at:

  • Thrifty Foods
  • Wildwood Outdoor Living Centre



Read on to find out more about our TEN stunning garden locations! Garden locations and addresses provided when you buy your tickets, so be sure to buy early and visit each incredible stop on the 36th annual Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour!

Garden #1:

Enjoy nine acres of spectacular gardens.  Thirty-four differently themed planting areas showcase over 10,000 plants which can be grown in the Pacific Northwest.  This is one of the great teaching and learning gardens.

Garden #2:

Chosen as our amazing plant sale location, this garden is tightly woven with plant delights.  The patio off the kitchen in the back garden provides a favourite place to sit and contemplate the surrounding greenery or entertain family and guests.

Garden #3:

Roses, lavender and stylized water gardens lead you down to the sunny sloping lawns and spectacular ocean view lookouts at this beautiful waterfront property.  The owner’s fascination with Asian influences has led to the development of a new garden space.

Garden #4:

Nestled against a large natural rock outcrop, this four-season garden has many native plants from New Zealand and South Africa that the owners combine with ponds, pots and a potager which will delight every plant enthusiast.

Garden #5:

This stunning waterfront estate  features lush borders with an unusual array of plants in colour harmonies, contrasting structural shapes and leaf textures which provide both an atmosphere of tranquility as well as a vibrancy and high impact.

Garden #6:

Selected as our Outstanding Planter Contest location, this beautiful spring garden is dedicated in memory of the late Jim Munro, co-founder of Munro’s Books.  Treasured by his wife, children, employees and customers alike, Jim will always be remembered as “a lovely man with a lovely sparkle in his eye.” Jim and Carole’s fulfilled life is thoughtfully reflected through interesting pathways, rooms and sculptures that make up this artistic garden.

Garden #7:

This new garden was tailor-made for the owner’s personal life style.  Entry gates are west coast inspired and they lead visitors to a water cascade over rocks, a hidden vegetable plot and a small putting green.  Putters will be available to test your putting skills.

Garden #8:

A collector’s garden of plants and beyond.  The heritage house expresses the philosophy of the Arts and Crafts style while rhododendrons, salvaged granite blocks, and an Arts and Crafts teahouse and antique pots are lovingly planted and arranged.

Garden #9:

A crinkle-crankle hedge greets visitors to this four-season, low maintenance garden – with an emphasis on foliage.  A large back yard deck provides a view of a lawn edged with raised beds and a circular herb and flower bed.

Garden #10:

This gently sloping, sunny garden has undergone a major transformation: from looming and overgrown to open and intensely colourful and joyous, year-round. A mixed border planting with ongoing flower-power achieved through a careful selection of shrubs and perennials, and interplanting of bulbs and annual was inspired by a trip to Great Dixter to study successional planting design.









Huge thank you to the wonderful companies that support our Garden Tour and allow us to keep the music playing!













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For even more outdoor inspiration, the Plant Sale offers a wide variety of fresh, healthy plants to add to or start your own garden oasis, with all sales benefiting the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

Last year’s plant sale raised $12,881.60 for music education, and we’d love to raise even more!

From succulents to shrubbery, hanging baskets to fresh herbs, the Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour Plant Sale offers something for every garden and every gardener.

Plant Sale Pic


Thank you to our fabulous group of Garden Tour volunteers, who every year help make this special weekend such a delight for our guests, musicians and garden owners alike.

If you’re interested in becoming a Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour volunteer, please contact Brian Johnston by email at:

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The Garden Tour was created 36 years ago by Ann and George Nation, to raise money to support the VCM which Ann’s mother, Mrs. Alix Goolden, founded in 1964.

For many years, the dedicated couple, along with a committed group of friends and volunteers, organized every aspect of the tour – coordinating the gardens, publicity, sponsorship, plant sale, and offering tea and music to the hundreds and thousands of visitors who have attended the Garden Tour over these many years.

George, an avid gardener, grew every single plant and cutting that he submitted every year to the Plant Sale; there are many people today who can look at their own magnificent gardens to see what is now a beautiful tree or plant that was created by the hands of George Nation!

George passed away on March 12th 2017 at the age of 97 after living a long, active, vibrant and successful life.  We honour George for his energy and spirit and for his unfailing support of and dedication to music education. May George’s love of music and gardening live on through the Mother’s Day Musical Garden Tour for generations to come!