Allan Gardens Conservatory Easter Flower Show 2014

Easter lilies, hydrangeas, primula and more!

With Easter right around the corner, those in love with florist hydrangeas and Easter lillies can get their fill at the Easter Flower Show. Not a whole lot blooming outside in Toronto right now, besides winter aconites, snowdrops and witch hazels but tulips and daffodils are breaking through!

Light blue purple Hydrangea Macrophylla Allan Gardens Conservatory 2014 Easter Flower Show garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Light blue purple Hydrangea macrophylla
Allan Gardens Conservatory
2014 Easter Flower Show


Toronto Botanical Garden spring blooms

Crocus, tulips, narcissus and others at the TBG

I took advantage of the beginning of a stretch of warmer than average days (about time!) in Toronto and visited the TBG for the first time this season. Only the crocuses were blooming but the tulips and narcissus are emerging quickly so photos for these bloomers will follow.

If you're like me, you're starved for colour outside so enjoy the crocus for now, along with a shrubby friend (can you guess the genus?)

Pale blue crocus spring blooms Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Pale blue crocus spring blooms
Toronto Botanical Garden


Trust Me: I'm a Professional Landscaper

When did yews become checker pieces? 

King me! That's what came to mind when I saw these guys. Nearly choked on my sub sandwich.

Now I'll be the first one to give the guys and gals (mostly guys) in the commercial landscape maintenance biz some slack when it comes to mow, blow and go pruning but what follows is, umm...

bad commercial landscape pruning by garden muses: not another Toronto gardening blog
Maybe stepping stones across a zen ocean,
with cigarette butts thrown in?

Meatball yews by commercial landscape experts garden muses: not another Toronto gardening blog
My son trying to blend in, albeit unsuccessfully.

Yews pruned into cubes cylinders by garden muses: not another Toronto gardening blog
When did the front of a coffee shop become a checker board?
It is now.

Poor yew pruning by commercial grounds maintenance company garden muses: not another Toronto gardening blog
Someone really, really loves his level.

Yews pruned into meatballs by garden muses:not another Toronto gardening blog
Hockey pucks? Cheese rounds? Who the *&%! knows?

Poor commercial landscape yew pruning by garden muses: not another Toronto gardening blog
That's me making sure that this
wasn't some stage for
a performance art installation.

To paraphrase the immortal from Syracuse, "Give me a place to stand and with a gas-powered shears I will move the whole world.” I was definitely moved.


"Arnold Promise" witch hazel spring blooms in Toronto: it's about time!

Hamamelis x intermedia "Arnold Promise" fulfilling its promise

What a winter! Pounded by wave after wave of punishing cold temperatures since December, I've almost given up on seeing spring roll around. But my favourite (well, only) witch hazel in my backyard never gives up hope and throws off dozens of strangely-shaped and faintly sweet-smelling blooms year after year without complaint.

Hamamelis x intermedia hybrids are crosses between Japanese witch hazel (H. japonica) and Chinese witch hazel (H. mollis) and one of our earliest bloomers.Other popular cultivars include "Jelena", "Pallida" and "Diane" and worth the extra cost.

Why buy another rhodo when you can get one these guys/gals that have multi-season ornamental interest? (I ask rhetorically.)

While "Arnold Promise" usually blooms in late-February and early March for many of us in the Toronto area, we're definitely "behind schedule."

But, of course, it's nature's schedule, not ours.

Let's enjoy the show that will enfold soon!

 Hamamelis x intermedia Arnold Promise witch hazel spring blooms by garden muses-not another gardening blog
 Hamamelis x intermedia
"Arnold Promise"
witch hazel spring blooms 


"Garden muses" is 3 years old!

Thank you for reading this

Well, not only this post but perhaps some of the other 100 or so entries I've written over  the past three years about gardening (most of the times) in and about Toronto and other places.

Garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog celebration cake with three candles
Getting older, not necessarily wiser...

I'll strive to write/muse more about "gardeny" related topics.

Maybe, just maybe, even one post about urban veggie farming.

No guarantees though!

Onward and upward in 2014-2015, my fellow garden muses!


Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa var. chinensis): garden muses plant profile

Chinese dogwood: why you need to plant it

Looking for a medium sized deciduous tree that offers interest throughout the seasons? Look no further than Kousa (aka Chinese) dogwood! Hardy in zones 5-8, Cornus kousa var. chinensis is not native to North America (originally from China, Japan and Korea) but offers the following ornamental characteristics:

a) White/cream coloured bracts that can cover the tree. It's a wonderful sight to see a Kousa dogwood laden with these white bracts in May-June. Here's my tree covered with bracts in spring:

Cornus kousa Chinese dogwood bract by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Cornus kousa (Chinese dogwood) bract 


The Royal Botanical Gardens: a spring visit

Tulips, peonies, and wisteria from a warmer time...

Well, not this spring (yet) but from 2009. Going through my archives, I realized I never posted about my visit with Linda (my better half) to the RBG about five years ago. For the currently flower-deprived readers out there, I'm sure you'll appreciate the following pictures of spring blooms from warmer days in the past. (Who knows, we might even see similar sights around town in May but I wouldn't bet the farm on this given the severity of winter 2013-2014.)

Royal Botanical Gardens pale pink tulips by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Royal Botanical Gardens pale pink tulips 


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