November 29, 2013

Toronto Music Garden: Brown Friday

Can dormant ornamental grasses be...ummm...ornamental?


The American shopping phenomenon called "Black Friday" has been rearing its lovely commercial head in Toronto with greater frequency and intensity recently. For those few not in the know, the last Friday in November in the Great White North is just that: the last Friday in November. But for more than a few of our American brothers and sisters, Black Friday means donning on the protective gear and joining the masses at the Wal-Marts (brawl anyone?) to get, apparently, ridiculous deals on made in China widgets.

Hey, I love a deal as much as the next guy but lining up in the cold at 5:00 a.m. for widgets doesn't do it for me. So the celebrate Black Friday, garden muses-style, I visited a place far, far away from the madding crowds: the Toronto Music Garden.

To my half-dozen readers, I present Brown Friday!



Toronto Music Garden winter ornamental grasses Courante section by garden muses-a Toronto gardening blog
Toronto Music Garden winter
ornamental grasses Courante section



Ok, so you see dead plants (I prefer dormant but I won't split hairs). But if you're a zone 5 or lower gardener in many places of North America, you should consider such plants with "winter interest." Now I write these two words in quotes because, for some, asking them to appreciate dried berries, peeling bark or dead stalks and flowers for a solid 4 months (!) of the year is really asking too much. Many gardeners just dismiss this idea,  raze their garden beds to stubble, close the curtains and finger their seed catalogues longingly in January and February.

Last time I checked, brown is a colour and on this cold Friday, you can see many shades of brown in these pictures I took at the Toronto Music Garden today. 

I do think the grasses and sleeping perennials are ornamental indeed for maybe 10 months out the year, except when they're cut back hard in spring. 10 out of 12 isn't a bad ratio, when you think about it.



Toronto Music Garden perennials winter structure  Courante section by garden muses-a Toronto gardening blog
Toronto Music Garden perennials showing
their winter structure in the  Courante section 




Toronto Music Garden winter CN Tower by garden muses-a Toronto gardening blog
Toronto Music Garden in early winter
with the CN Tower poking out of a grove of conifers! 

Toronto Music Garden winter miscanthus maiden grass by garden muses-a Toronto gardening blog
Toronto Music Garden winter
Miscanthus/maiden grass
 

Toronto Music Garden winter
Miscanthus/maiden grass seedheads

Toronto Music Garden winter ornamental grasses by garden muses-a Toronto gardening blog
Toronto Music Garden winter ornamental
 grasses and rudbeckia along Courante section 


Toronto Music Garden Courante winter ornamental grasses by garden muses-a Toronto gardening blog
Toronto Music Garden Courante section
 showing winter ornamental grasses and
 other perennials 

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