October 27, 2016

Allan Gardens Conservatory's 2016 Chrysanthemum Show

Fall in Toronto: mums, pumpkins and tropical hibiscus



We're very firmly entrenched in another Toronto autumn with Hallowe'en just around the corner, so what's this about hibiscus?

Such a combination comes together right now within the cozy confines of the Allan Gardens Conservatory during its annual autumn chrysanthemum show.

I confess that "mums" aren't my favourite flowers, especially these type of "floral muffins ("mum-fins"?)" seen everywhere in the city over the past month:


Faded chrysanthemums in container by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog


They do bridge the time between frost-zapped summer plantings and Christmas arrangements in containers but while they can handle periodic nips of frost, there's little grace in their form. And they look lousy once the flowers turn brown so the solution for most homeowners is to toss them out during compost pickup day.

On the other end of the spectrum are the Show or Exhibition Chrysanthemums which are babied and fussed over to perfection, like this diva:


White incurve chrysanthemum at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
White incurve chrysanthemum at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
 Fall Chrysanthemum Show


I spent a few hours one morning last week at the Conservatory enjoying this year's Chrysanthemum Show. (It runs until November 6 if you're in the Toronto area and want to drop by.)  The theme this year seems to me "autumn's harvest" so while I'll miss not seeing Hello Kitty who graced our presence during last year's show, there were lots of pumpkins to get us into the seasonal mood.

Here are some highlights showing some of the more than 80 varieties of show mums, according to the Conservatory's Facebook page. Labels of cultivar names are rarely provided for visitors by the Conservatory so if you have a gripe...

(A great resource for all things Chrysanthemum is the National Chrysanthemum Society's website. You can learn about the 13 classifications of Show Mums and throw out terms like "incurve" or "reflex" during your next dinner party and see where it leads!)



Golden yellow incurve chrysanthemum at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Awwww, you love your mum too?


Halloween mum display at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Getting ready for Hallowe'en 
with this "mum-o-latern"


Lady mannequin with pumpkin skirt at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
How can I describe her skirt? 
"Gaudy?" "Gourdy?"


I really enjoy how the flowers are massed for maxi-"mum" (sorry) effect. While flower shows are not really about gardening (maybe more about floral arts, floriculture or floristry), you can still take home the message of a good garden design principle or two to avoid the rookie mistake of buying and placing one plant here, another there.

Or, as I like to tell my clients, "let's fill that bed up!"



Massed mums on display at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Massed mums on display at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
Fall Chrysanthemum Show 


Massed orange and yellow chrysanthemums at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Massed orange and yellow chrysanthemums at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
Fall Chrysanthemum Show


Massed orange and yellow mums at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Massed orange and yellow mums at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
Fall Chrysanthemum Show 


Massed white mums on display at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Massed white mums on display at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
Fall Chrysanthemum Show


Masses of white and orange single mums at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Masses of white and orange single mums at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
Fall Chrysanthemum Show


Orange and red single chrysanthemums at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Orange and red single chrysanthemums at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
Fall Chrysanthemum Show



Orange anemone and white spider chrysanthemums at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
"Your friendly neighbourhood Spidermum..."


Orange anemone chrysanthemum at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Orange anemone chrysanthemum at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
Fall Chrysanthemum Show 


Orange spider mum at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Orange spider mums at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
Fall Chrysanthemum Show 


Pale purple loose incurve mum at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Pale purple loose incurve mum at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
Fall Chrysanthemum Show 


Pale yellow incurve mums at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
I know it's just me but I see dollops of rich butter here


Pink incurve chrysanthemum at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Pink incurve chrysanthemum at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
Fall Chrysanthemum Show 

Pumpkins and mums at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Mums in the pumpkin patch or vice versa?


Purple centred white single mums at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Purple centred white single mums at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
 Fall Chrysanthemum Show


Purple incurve mums at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Purple incurve mums at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
 Fall Chrysanthemum Show 

Soft yellow incurve chrysanthemum at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Soft yellow incurve chrysanthemum at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
Fall Chrysanthemum Show 


White and purple single chrysanthemums at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
In case you're wondering, the background 
is the stem of a huge banana tree. 
Hey, I'm trying to be artsy!


White and purple single mums at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
White and purple single mums at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
Fall Chrysanthemum Show


White spider and orange anemone chrysanthemums at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Some autumnal fireworks

White spider chrysanthemum at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
White spider chrysanthemum at 2016 
Allan Gardens Conservatory  
Fall Chrysanthemum Show 


White spoon chrysanthemums at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
White spoon chrysanthemums at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
  Fall Chrysanthemum Show 

Yellow incurve chrysanthemum at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Yellow incurve chrysanthemum at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
Fall Chrysanthemum Show 



Yellow single chrysanthemums at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Yellow single chrysanthemums at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
Fall Chrysanthemum Show 


Yellow spider chrysanthemum at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Yellow spider chrysanthemum at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
Fall Chrysanthemum Show



Central chrysanthemum display at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
"Flowers" composed of flowers, very meta!


Farmer mannequin at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Chrysanthemum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
"Harvesting" ornamental cabbage and kale. I like his hat!


Farmer mannequin at 2016 Allan Gardens Conservatory  Fall Mum Show by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Farmer mannequin at 2016
Allan Gardens Conservatory
Fall Mum Show 


If you're still not dazed yet and want to see more mums from previous flower shows at the Conservatory, here are some links to my older posts:




Memories of the Caribbean


We can all have too much of a good thing so having my fill of mums for this year, I walked a few meters into one of the Conservatory's tropical hot house rooms hoping to see some flowers in bloom. It's been about a year since Linda and I went on a cruise to ports of call like St. Lucia, Barbados, and St. Maarten so memories of Caribbean flowers are still fresh on my mind. Lucky for me (and you, dear reader), some hibiscus and shrimp plants were accommodating!



Golden Shrimp Plant Pachystachys lutea at the Allan Gardens Conservatory by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Golden Shrimp Plant (Pachystachys lutea)


Pachystachys lutea cultivar Golden Shrimp Plant at the Allan Gardens Conservatory by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Pachystachys lutea cultivar (Golden Shrimp Plant) 


Pale orange tropical Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flower at the Allan Gardens Conservatory by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Pale orange tropical Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flower 


Pink tropical Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flower at the Allan Gardens Conservatory by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Pink tropical Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flower


Spider lily Hymenocallis longipetala blooms at the Allan Gardens Conservatory by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Spider lily (Hymenocallis longipetala) blooms 


Tropical hibiscus rosa-sinensis double flower at the Allan Gardens Conservatory by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Tropical hibiscus rosa-sinensis double flower


Tropical hibiscus rosa-sinensis flower at the Allan Gardens Conservatory by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Tropical Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flower 


Red tropical hibiscus rosa-sinensis flower at the Allan Gardens Conservatory by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Red tropical Hibiscus rosa-sinensis flower 

September 20, 2016

Leslieville summer garden weeding

Pea gravel mulch + landscape fabric = likely future garden maintenance


It looks good on paper and relatively easy on the wallet: cover your small city garden with black landscaping fabric and pea gravel to minimize weeding and have a polished "clean" look. And maybe for a year or two that would be the case but inevitably more than a few weeds will pop up and through the fabric (or simply on top of the stone). Hand weeding will be chore in trying to dig out the root ball after getting past the gravel and fabric. (Of course, spraying a herbicide can be an option.) Multiply this several dozen times and you can see how frustrating things are getting. And wasn't reducing maintenance (weeding) the main purpose of laying down the fabric and gravel in the first place?

Here's proof that the "landscaping fabric and stone (river rock, drainage stone, pea gravel, etc.)" combination often fails to reduce ongoing maintenance, especially in a city garden surrounded by trees and windborne weed seeds.

This front city garden in east-end Toronto's Leslieville neighbourhood isn't overly elaborate: some yews, lavender and Potentilla (cinquefoil) shrubs in full sun until mid-afternoon. Unfortunately, there's a lot of foot traffic so the cinquefoils are particularly effective in trapping all sorts of garbage like coffee cups, junk mail, etc.

And don't forget about the weeds!  I discarded weeds like Petty Spurge (Euphorbia peplus), Bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare), and dandelions and discovered many of them grew under the fabric and emerged where they found light.

My guess is that the previous homeowners wanted a cheap way of improving the house's curb appeal during the sales process by laying down the fabric and pea gravel and planting a few shrubs and perennials. Of course, they aren't around to deal with the constant weeding that ensued.



Leslieville summer garden cleanup before by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Leslieville summer garden cleanup before




Leslieville summer garden cleanup after by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Leslieville summer garden cleanup after 




Leslieville summer garden cleanup before by Toronto Paul Jung Gardening Services
Leslieville summer garden cleanup before




Leslieville summer garden cleanup after by Toronto Paul Jung Gardening Services
Leslieville summer garden cleanup after



Leslieville summer garden weeding and cleanup before by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Leslieville summer garden weeding and cleanup




Leslieville summer garden weeding and cleanup after by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Leslieville summer garden weeding and cleanup 




Leslieville Toronto summer garden cleanup before by Paul Jung Gardening ServicesLeslieville Toronto summer garden cleanup before by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Leslieville Toronto summer garden cleanup before




Leslieville Toronto summer garden cleanup after by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Leslieville Toronto summer garden cleanup after


There's a lot of truth in the old saying that the best mulch are other plants.

I suppose the cleanup could had been more tedious. Can you imagine if the front was covered with larger 6" river rock like this?


Image result for river rock
Source: http://www.sandeessoilandrock.com/portfolio-item/6-river-rock/



Literally and figuratively, a Sisyphean task....




LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...