Sneak peek offered at professional gardens in the London area

London, Ont. – London area residents will not only have a great opportunity to visit some professionally landscaped private gardens on July 13 — they will also have access to the latest ideas, trends and gardening advice from local garden builders and experts.

The fifth annual Landscape of Excellence Garden Tour will feature six stunning gardens — all designed and built my local members of the Landscape Ontario's London Chapter.

"What makes this tour so unique," says tour organizer Wendy Harry, "is that people on the tour not only get to see breathtaking gardens, but they also get to talk face-to-face with the men and women who were involved with every aspect of making these beautiful gardens a reality."

And with so many new plants, materials, construction methods and tools being introduced on an annual basis, now more than ever it's possible to get the back (or front) yard of your dreams — even if that site is hard to access or presents some unique challenges.

"The mark of a true professional in one that can find creative and cost effective solutions to the challenges and conditions your site may offer," says Harry.

And the advice doesn't stop there. One stop on the tour will feature the London/Middlesex Master Gardeners — a group of trained volunteers who provide unbiased horticultural advice and expertise to people with gardening needs or interests. Landscape Ontario's own Denis Flanagan, also a Master Gardener, will be on-site to answer gardening questions and to offer free tips and advice.

"At this time of year we face the prospect of drought which makes plants and lawns very susceptible to pests and diseases. It's a great time to seek the advice of an expert," says Flanagan. "We tend to think gardening stops right after the May long weekend, but in fact, this is the perfect time of year to visit gardens that are now in their full glory."

Tickets for the tour are only $10 and can be purchased online at www.ticketwindow.ca or by calling 519-473-3320.

Money raised from the event will go towards future community projects. In the past, the London chapter has been involved in Banting House Global Garden, Alex's Butterfly Garden - London Children's Hospital and continues working with the City of London on the Veterans Memorial Parkway Community Project — a living memorial to Canada's veterans.

Landscape Ontario's London chapter includes 176 professional landscaping and horticulture members that can be found online at www.landscapeontario.com who can help you turn your backyard dream into a reality.