give someone misleading clues or signals – informal
The earliest (early 20th-century) examples of this phrase use just garden rather than garden path which suggests that the original context was of someone enticing a person they wanted to seduce or flirt with out into a garden. A North American variant of the phrase is lead someone down the garden path.
RELATED IDIOMS :
everything in the garden is lovely = everything in the garden is rosy
all is well – informal
Everything in the garden is lovely was an early 20th-century catchphrase originating in a song popularized by the English music-hall artiste Marie Lloyd (1870-1922) and is used as an expression of general satisfaction and contentment.