Bloom Celebrations

Celebrate bloom season with tours, discovery stations and entertainment in RBG's signature collections including Lilacs, Iris, Peonies, and Roses.


large cherry trees in bloom at the Arboretum

Flowering Cherries

Blooming Now; Arboretum and Rock Garden

Flowering cherries grace RBG’s gardens with typically white or pink flowered blooms and have an ephemeral grace and beauty shared by no other type of plant. These trees which at peak bloom look like clouds of pink and white are one the most welcome signs that spring has finally sprung!

About the CollectionView Schedule

Sakura-Inspired Menu

To celebrate Cherry Blossoms at RBG, the chefs at the Rock Garden Café are cooking up some amazing Japanese-inspired dishes from May 6 to 10, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. See the menu at rbg.ca/dine

Ask Questions

Our lovely volunteers will be in the collection from May 6 to 10 (weather permitting) to talk about Flowering Cherries.

pink lilacs

Included in your General Admission or Membership

Your general admission includes access to all 5 garden areas for the day, a parking pass, as well as any discovery activities and entertainment running as part of the bloom festival. General admission tickets are available online at rbg.ca/visitus or upon arrival.


lilac dell in bloom

Magnolias

Blooming Now! May; Arboretum

RBG’s magnolia collection reaches peak bloom anywhere between April and May given the type of climatic conditions per year. These plants produce spectacular flowers in a range of colours including white and cream through to pale to deep pink, purple, rose and less commonly soft yellows.

About the Collection

lilac dell in bloom

Lilac Celebration

May 18 to June 2; Arboretum

Sponsored By:sponsored by John Deere

Visitors to RBG can experience one of the largest and most magnificent and diverse collections in the world as it reaches peak bloom.

About the CollectionView Schedule

Discovery at the Gardens

Spend some time with our Garden Interpreters to discover plants in a new way.

History of Lilacs Tour

Daily, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Follow a Garden Interpreter as they walk you through the story of our lilac collection! Meet at the start of the Lilac Walk.

Discover Lilacs

Daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Discover the seven colours of lilacs and learn about our world-renowned lilac collection.

Wildflower Walk

Sundays, 1:30 p.m. Join a Garden Interpreter for a guided walk along our trails and see what wildflowers are in bloom!

Meet a Historical Character

Weekends, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Keep an eye out for Isabella Preston while wandering through our Lilac Collection.

Discovery Pack

Daily, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Borrow a Discovery Pack from the Discovery Cart to take with you around the Gardens.

Entertainment

The gardens are filled with music, family fun, and other exciting entertainment on weekends during bloom season!

Bumbling Bert Magic Show

Saturday May 18, 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Get ready to giggle through your amazement with his silly, zany whirlwind of jokes and magic.

Mad Science

Sunday May 19, 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Join Mad Science for their 45 minute show that is designed to amaze and entertain crowds of all ages with their favourite experiments.

Little Ray's Reptile Zoo

Monday May 20, 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Get face to face with a crocodilian, skunk, owl or vulture, tarantula, snapping turtle, and so much more.


pink lilacs

Included in your General Admission or Membership

Your general admission includes access to all 5 garden areas for the day, a parking pass, as well as any discovery activities and entertainment running as part of the bloom festival. General admission tickets are available online at rbg.ca/visitus or upon arrival.


large colleciton of colourful iris and peonies in bloom with a blue gazebo in the background

Iris and Peony Celebration

Early June; Laking Garden

Visitors to Laking Garden will be with mesmerized by brilliant colour combinations as its iris and peonies collections reach peak bloom. Check back for exact dates!

Planted in 1947, the iris collection was RBG’s first herbaceous collection of importance with the main focus on tall bearded iris. The garden also features a broad selection of tree and herbaceous peony cultivars, as well as several ancestral wild species.

About the Collection


light purple roses in the garden

Rose Celebration

Late June; Hendrie Park

Whether for their rich history, folklore, or fragrant beauty, garden roses are loved around the world. Originating from wild species found across Asia, Europe and North America, their cultivation and breeding has evolved along with human society for centuries. Check back for exact dates!

While wandering through this two-acre garden we hope you’ll stop and smell the roses, explore their rich past, and discover how, like us all, they are changing for a sustainable future.

About the Collection

Event FAQ

Have a question about these events? Click the topics below for more information. If you have a question that is not answered, give us a call at 905-527-1158.

Admission >>

Included in your General Admission or RBG Membership.

Your general admission includes access to all 5 garden areas for the day, a parking pass, as well as any discovery activities and entertainment running as part of the bloom festival. General admission tickets are available online at rbg.ca/visitus or upon arrival.

Weather >>

RBG's bloom festivals are held rain or shine and is 100% outdoors, so come prepared for the weather! RBG reserves the right to cancel the event due to inclement weather.

Directions and Parking >>

Lilac Festival: held at the Arboretum, 11 Old Guelph Road, Hamilton Ontario. Parking is available on-site.

Iris and Peony Festival: held at Laking Garden, 1260 Spring Gardens Road, Burlington Ontario. Limited parking is available in the upper parking lot (off Plains Road W., West of RBG Centre) or Lower Parking Lot (along Spring Gardens Road).

Rose Festival: held in Hendrie Park. Please enter through RBG Centre at 680 Plains Road, Burlington (where parking is available). This garden is located along bus routs for Burlington Transit and Hamilton Transit, with stops a short distance from the entrance. See rbg.ca/directions for more details.

Food >>

Enjoy one of RBG's restaurants for lunch during your visit! See the menus and make your reservation at rbg.ca/dine.

RBG restaurants are available during lunch hours only. May require travelling to a different garden area to access. Reservations suggested.

Event Length and Timing >>

All garden areas are open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily during bloom season. For a full schedule of activites, see the events calendar.

Accessibility >>

Lilac Festival: The upper area of the Lilac Dell is accessible by a fine-gravel path, through the Lilac Walk. Accessing the lower part of the lilac dell includes descending a long sloped, grassy hill.

Iris and Peony Festival: The iris and peony collection are surrounded by grassy areas. The central access to the collections does include stairs, though a long sloped pathway is available down the southwest side of the garden.

Rose Festival: The NEW Rose Garden includes wide, accessible pathways throughout the entire collection. Accessing the garden does include a ~0.2km walk from RBG Centre (including stairs or elevator through the Atrium).

Pets / Service Animals >>

Well-behaved dogs are welcome in all our oudoor garden areas, but must remain leashed at all times. Any pets found disrupting the event or other guests may be asked to leave. Pets are not permitted inside RBG Centre, except to access Hendrie Park.


visitosr looking at overhead map of RBG

Gardens and Trails

Four distinct formal gardens are contained with 1,100 hectares of nature reserve, nestled into the slopes of Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve.

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spiral-like plant leaves

Membership

Whether you are a master or beginner gardener, a birdwatcher, hiker, five years old or 105, you'll agree that Royal Botanical Gardens is Paradise Found.

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musicians on outdoor stage under a tent in the gardens

Upcoming Events

RBG hosts events year-round, from blooms celebrations, to performing arts, to holiday celebrations.

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