New for 2021

Self-guided walking tour of the Ornamental Gardens – English with descriptions and map.
Guide des Jardins Ornementaux – Français avec descriptions et plan.

Upcoming Events

Our Arboretum Tree Tours are back!
September 19 and September 26

2021 Master Gardener Lectures (Virtual)
September 21 and September 28

Autumn at the Arboretum – featuring the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch
October 2, 2021

Stay tuned to our Events page and calendar for 2021 event details and news. Or you can follow us on Facebook for up-to-the-minute announcements.


Who we are
The Friends of the Central Experimental Farm are the volunteer gardeners who help protect, preserve, maintain, and enhance the Ornamental Gardens and the Dominion Arboretum. 

Who we aren’t
For information about weddings, farm animals, the tropical greenhouse, photo sessions, plant identification, and more, please go to our FAQs page for helpful links to the answers you need.

Are you a member? We have new benefits: discounts at some local nurseries!
Support the Friends’ mission and receive membership benefits on Master Gardener Lectures.

The Summer heat is with us and these beauties aren’t wilting away. Our newest set of Summer photo greetings cards are now available in our online Boutique! Available in sets of 6, these cards feature new images from photographer Richard Hinchcliff (co-author of For the Love of Trees), as well as old favourites from the Central Experimental Farm and Dominion Arboretum. Click here to place your order while supplies last.

Celebration Benches

New Celebration Bench in the Arboretum

Three benches were dedicated in 2019 in the beautiful Arboretum, and 5 more were installed in late 2020. Learn more about this Friends of the Farm program at Bench Program. (Delays are a result of Covid-19 challenges — see the Bench Program page for details)

[The Merivale Shelterbelt project is finished.]


Visit our Boutique to share books with friends and family all year long. We ship across Canada, to the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Blooms is the Friends’ contribution to Canada’s 150th and tells the story of this Ottawa gem – take a peek inside!

See how you can buy Blooms or our other publications for local pick-up or delivery within Canada.

The Friends gratefully acknowledge the very generous financial support of our Blooms book donors.

What’s Happening Now

New water feature in the Rock Garden

See the Gardening Calendar for more garden events in the Ottawa area.

Read the Friends’ letters and responses to encroachment on the Farm. “It’s a research facility. It’s a public garden. It’s a heritage site. We’d like to see it stay that way.”

River Ward City Councillor Riley Brockington asks Ottawa Centre candidates of the 2019 election salient questions about the Central Experimental Farm, “Ottawa’s jewel in the crown.”



You may now visit the Arboretum and Ornamental Gardens Collections at the Farm, but please continue to respect COVID-19 social distancing guidelines and practice appropriate behaviour with respect to the gardens and Arboretum.

Self-guided walking tour of the Ornamental Gardens – English with descriptions and map. Guide des Jardins Ornementaux – Français avec descriptions et plan.


The Friends are located at Building 72 in the Arboretum during these Office Hours. Due to Covid-19, visitor access to our offices is limited. Please call us at 613-230-3276 during office hours if you’d like to stop by.