26.10.12

Toronto Music Garden revisited in the fall

The Toronto Music Garden in the fall


On an impossibly beautiful day in late fall, I made time to visit one of my favourite places in the city. I've posted about the Toronto Music Garden twice before under the titles 
"wind + ornamental grasses = kinesis" and "Toronto Music Garden with the kids" so as you can guess this garden still intrigues and inspires me. The design is thought-provoking and the plant list, well, elicits serious hort envy!

Under a brilliant blue sky with an ever-present prevailing wind off Lake Ontario, I spent an hour admiring the fall foliage and feeling at peace with the rustling sounds from the ornamental grasses. My only regret was running out of camera battery power but the memory is ingrained. Anyone in the Toronto area should visit the space, whether one is a lover of Bach or garden design or not.

Fall ornamental grasses and perennials at the Toronto Music Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Shimmering Miscanthus, Chasmanthium, and Panicum




Common witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana) fall foliage and blooms at Toronto Music Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Fall common witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) foliage
and blooms

Common witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana) blooms at the Toronto Music Garden autumn by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
More common witch hazel blooms with
last year's opened seedpods




Fall Japanese Forest Grass at Toronto Music Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Another reason to love Hakone grass

Fall Miscanthus sinensis Maiden Grass seedheads at Toronto Music Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Maiden grass seedheads ready to catch the wind


Fall ornamental grasses and perennials Courante section Toronto Music Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Going up the Courante section...

Fall Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) foliage at Toronto Music Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
A grove of paper birches in its autumn glory


Toronto Music Garden gigue section in the summer by garden muses- a toronto gardening blog
On July 1 compared to...




Gigue pathway at Toronto Music Garden Fall 2012 by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
A more subdued feeling 4 months later




Spadina Quay wetlands fall foliage near the Toronto Music Garden by garden muses- not another Toronto gardening blog
At the adjacent Spadina Quay Wetlands.
An excellent example of ecological planting
that is also highly ornamental.
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15.10.12

It's all about the foliage, baby!


Reasons why autumn is my favourite season as a Toronto gardener:

  • I was born in September
  • My wife was born in October
  • We were married in September
  • It's the best time to work outside
  • no bugs, no humidity, deals at the garden centres
and....
  • fall foliage!
Hamamelis x intermedia  Arnold Promise witchhazel fall colour by garden muses--a Toronto gardening blog
"Arnold Promise" witchhazel on fire, figuratively
Detail of Hamamelis x intermedia  Arnold Promise witchhazel fall colour by garden muses--a Toronto gardening blog
Detail of Hamamelis x intermedia "Arnold Promise" witchhazel leaf in autumn
This witchhazel at my clients, A & M's, has a different colouring than mine at home which has no red margin. Unusual and beautiful nevertheless. Another reason why you need a witchhazel in your garden and not another purple leaf sandcherry from a big box store!


Cotoneaster lucidis Hedge cotoneaster fall colour by garden muses--a Toronto gardening blog
Fall leaf colour and pome (fruit) of  Cotoneaster lucidis (Hedge cotoneaster)



Hedge cotoneaster fall colour by garden muses--a Toronto gardening blog
Oranges and russets of Cotoneaster lucidis  (Hedge cotoneaster) in autumn

You're likely more aware of "Coral Beauty" cotoneaster or Cranberry cotoneaster (C. dammeri and horizontalis cultivars)  with their vivid red berries but I came across a hedge type which I think has superior fall colouring. I don't see C. lucidis that often in nurseries. Maybe a good alternative to privet if you're considering putting in a hedge next year.


Acer ginnala Amur maple fall colour by garden muses--a Toronto gardening blog
Acer ginnala (Amur maple) fall colour

Acer ginnala Amur maple fall leaf colour by garden muses--a Toronto gardening blog
Acer ginnala (Amur maple) fall colour with a halo effect
Here are some shots of the Amur maple doing its autumn thing in my backyard. The leaves will only be on for about a week so I had to take some photos before they all drop. Acer ginnala is one tough and hardy maple. It's often sold multi-stemmed and shrubby. I prune mine as a tree form. My plant i.d. prof at Humber College called it a "poor man's Japanese maple" which I think is a bit unkind!



Cornus kousa var chinensis Chinese dogwood autumn foliage by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Cornus kousa var. chinensis
(Chinese dogwood) brilliant autumn foliage


Yet another reason to plant Cornus kousa (there are many wonderful cultivars to choose from) is the outstanding fall foliage. Chinese dogwood is one of the best plants I know with multi-seasonal interest.




Happy birthday to my wife today. 

As I tell her, gardening in the fall is all about the foliage, baby!



By Paul Jung, author of "garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog" Google Google Find us on Google+ Find us on Google+

9.10.12

Down by the Muskoka lakeside


Another beautiful Canadian Thanksgiving at the Lake Muskoka cottage

Autumn colours lake muskoka thanksgiving 2012 by garden muses- a Toronto gardening blog
A crisp fall morning walk is rewarded by this view

Autumn has descended all too quickly for us in southern Ontario and while our summer annuals (those that haven't been chucked out for mums and kale) on on their last legs, the fall colours of our native deciduous trees and shrubs are peaking. Here are some reminders why I love our four seasons taken over our Thanksgiving weekend visit to my sister and my brother-in-law's cottage near Gravenhurst, ON:


Dockside lake muskoka cottage thanksgiving 2012 by garden muses- a Toronto gardening blog
Windy and cool but no water skiers to disrupt the peace

Brilliant autumn maple colours lake muskoka thanksgiving 2012 by garden muses- a Toronto gardening blog
Vibrant orange autumn maple and sumac leaves

Variation in autumn maple leaf colours Lake Muskoka Thanksgiving 2012 by garden muses- a Toronto gardening blog
Isn't it amazing how the chlorophyll is drawn out randomly?

Another dockside view of Lake Muskoka cottage Thanksgiving 2012 by garden muses- a Toronto gardening blog
A final reminder of a wonderful season





By Paul Jung, author of "garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog"
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