When you lead someone down the garden path, you are cheating or deceiving the individual.
This is an informal expression commonly used in American English.
Examples: My uncle doesn’t trust people. He feels that the person advising him is trying to lead him down the garden path. * Latha told Pradeep that she loved him. What the fool didn’t realise was that she was leading him down the garden path. She needed help with her project.
It is also possible to say, `up the garden path’.
Example: The mechanic led us up the garden path about the cost — the repairs turned out to be really expensive.