Metro-East Living

Area garden tours are blooming

One of the gardens on the Secret Garden Tour this Saturday in Lebanon. Which one is it? You’ll have to visit to find out.
One of the gardens on the Secret Garden Tour this Saturday in Lebanon. Which one is it? You’ll have to visit to find out. Garden Club of Lebanon

Garden tours abound this time of year in the bi-state area, so they shouldn’t be kept a secret.

The Garden Club of Lebanon has worked hard to prepare for Saturday’s Secret Garden Tour in Lebanon from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s a self-guided tour of nine gardens, four of which surround noted historic homes. Some secrets hideaways in these gardens are set up for entertaining with pool, dining and garden areas surrounded by lush and rare plants. One of the gardens has more than 300 varieties of day lilies and as many hostas.

Tickets are $8 in advance; $10 day of tour at the Lebanon Visitors Center, 221 W. St Louis St., where the tour starts.

Tickets will be sold in advance in Lebanon at Whimsey Gifts/Pearsons Printing, Ahner’s Florist, Tiadaghton House, Vibrant Vidam and Lebanon Visitors Center. In O’Fallon: Fezziwig’s Marketplace, Luckenbooth Consignments and Three Sisters’ Crafts. In Belleville: Sandy’s Back Porch.

For more information, go to or call 618-537-8420. Proceeds benefit annual youth scholarships.

Here’s a look at other garden tours through June:

The Sustainable Backyard Tour

What: A tour that covers 48 locations in the St. Louis area. Sites include historic Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum, a rooftop garden in downtown St. Louis, Earth Dance Organic Farm, The Waldorf School of St. Louis and many businesses and private residences.

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m Sunday

Cost: Free

Details: Visit area landscapes promoting sustainable practices such as rainwater harvesting, composting, keeping chickens, bees or goats, using renewable energy, repurposed materials, native gardens and more.

Information: For a tour map and more information, go to

Collinsville Garden Tour

What: Self-guided tour featuring eight gardens in Collinsville.

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 18.

Where: The event starts at 303 N Morrison Ave., where you can buy or trade-in advance ticket for a bracelet and tour guide.

Tickets: $10 in advance; $12 day of the tour. Advance tickets sold in Collinsville at Creekside Nursery, The Flower Basket, the Chamber of Commerce office and Collinsville City Hall.

Details: Raffle with drawing at 2:30 p.m.

Information: Collinsville Garden Tour on Facebook. Sponsored by the Collinsville Community Appearance Board with proceeds to benefit landscaping of the recently relocated D.B. Collins House.

Madison County Garden Tour

What: Tour seven private gardens in the Glen Carbon/Edwardsville areas, including the Open Gate Demonstration Garden at Drost Park in Maryville, a 1-acre sun and shade garden with unique garden décor, vegetable gardens, peaceful woodland gardens and more.

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 18

Tickets: $15 day of tour at Drost Park (10 and under free); $12 in advance at the Bank of Edwardsville, Creekside Gardens in Collinsville, Glen Carbon Centennial Library, Market Basket and U of I Extension offices.

Details: Raffle of unique container gardens, assembled by area retailers and master gardeners, will be held at Drost Park.

Information: 618-344-4230. Sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension and master gardeners.

St Louis Native Plant Garden Tour

What: Self-guided second annual tour of 10 residential native plant gardens in St. Louis County (Clayton, Ladue and University City).

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 18

Details: Gardens include sun, shade, wet and dry, plus butterfly and bird-friendly sites. This tour sold out last year and it is anticipated to sell out again.

Tickets: $15 to $20; go to for more information. Sponsored by Wild Ones, St. Louis Chapter.


What: Self-directed tour includes 47 private gardens, each owned and maintained by St. Louis Water Gardening Society members located throughout the bi-state area.

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 25 and 26

Details: This is the 16th annual water garden and pond tour. Water features range from spectacular high, thundering waterfalls to quiet streams, some small and private. Some owners have enhanced their ponds and gardens with outdoor rooms and quaint woodland spaces.

Tickets: $15. Children under 18 free. The tour ticket booklet will give location addresses, descriptions and driving directions. Available in the metro-east at Sandy’s Back Porch and Effinger Garden Center in Belleville; Terry’s Home and Garden Center in Centreville and all Market Basket locations.


Soulard Garden Tour

What: Theme is Art in the Garden. Guests will be ushered through the normally unseen splendor of nine Soulard gardens. Each garden hosts an artist who is creating an original work of art, inspired by the environment around them.

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 25

Where: Self-guided tour begins at the Soulard Station, 1911 S. 12th St.

Tickets: $15 purchased online at or at the Soulard Station

Details: The tour will conclude at the Soulard Station with a wine garden, live music and art sale. Sponsored by the Soulard Restoration Group, Beautification Committee.

Pollinator Week at the St. Louis Zoo

What: Look for keeper chats, demonstrations on attracting bees to gardens, how to identify species of bees, beekeeping and more at the Insectarium.

When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 20 to 26

Where: St. Louis Zoo

Details: Cafe Kudu will offer daily specials featuring food provided by pollinators.