27.2.13

Allan Gardens Conservatory Spring Flower Show 2013, part 3


Toronto spring blooms to get you through until April 


What miserable weather we're having in Toronto right now! As a tonic, I'm posting pictures I took yesterday at the Allan Gardens Conservatory for you to enjoy. We'll see them outside likely in April or earlier if you visit Canada Blooms (our national flower show) next month.

Allan Gardens Conservatory Spring Flower Show 2013 purple hyacinths pale yellow daffodils by garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog
Purple and pale yellow is a favourite colour combination. And, yes, the smell from the hyacinths knocks your socks off!

24.2.13

Real tough love


A neglected moth orchid somewhere in Toronto


My Phalaenopsis (moth orchid) set new buds last week and is (re)blooming below:

Phalaenopsis moth orchid blooms by garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog
Phalaenopsis orchid, cultivar unknown

I forgot how I brought this home. (Likely it was bought at a big box store for a ridiculously low price.) Local Toronto garden writer, Sonia Day, recently wrote about how these orchids, for various reasons, are now "as ubiquitous as doughnut shops" and given the number of coffee and donut stores in Toronto, that's a lot of moth orchids! 

Over time, the many beautiful blooms on my "Phal" dropped and I was left with a whole bunch of basal leaves and a bare stalk. 

What to do?

I hated the thought of chucking it out so I left the pot on a west-facing window in the kitchen. Maybe I'm turning out to be like my father who can't seem to discard things like plants. (I wrote about him in a previous post called "Do cacti need viagra?") 

Besides watering very sporadically, I gave it no attention: no fertilizing, no misting, nothing. (You don't do the same! Here are some good instructions to take care of your moth orchid.)

And it just sat and looked at me.

Then recently it sent out these lovely blooms, in spite of my lack of Phal-love.

Maybe it's reminding me that Canada Blooms is around the corner...

Anyone else keeping Phalaenopsis, Cattleya, Dendrobium, et al? What have been your experiences?











By Paul Jung, author of "garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog"
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20.2.13

Elizabeth in the Garden | book review | Trea Martyn


A Story of Love, Rivalry and Spectacular Design


Book cover of Trea Martyn's "Elizabeth in the Garden"
Source: http://www.treamartyn.com/

Looking at all these pictures of modern gardens with their clipped hedges, monochromatic colour schemes and use of Cor-ten steel, I wonder if people using them actually have fun walking or lying about. How is any of the five senses (besides sight) satisfied if there are no flowers, no birds, no fruits, no fountains, no herbs? It would not appear that a "conceptual" garden offers a lot beyond the concept or theoretical abstraction itself, merely a physical framework for a particular design theory. A whole lot of mind games:





Can the garden above be called a "pleasure garden?" (No, it's not a rhetorical question!)


13.2.13

It's a light fixture, no, it's a container, no it's...



One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World in your kitchen!



Browsing through a local Toronto paper today and stumbled upon this article photo of a combination herb planter and light fixture called the "Babylon Light".:


Babylon Light fixture with small short plants growing in and out
A Hanging Garden?

According to the spec sheet,

THE BABYLON LIGHT IS A PLANTABLE LIGHT FIXTURE. MADE OF ALUMINUM WITH A POWDER COATED FINISH, IT CAN BE USED  AS AN ORGANIC CENTRE PIECE OR A WORKING HERB GARDEN OVER THE KITCHEN COUNTER. NO MATTER WHERE ITS SITUATED - BABYLON WILL BECOME YOUR VERY OWN HANGING GARDEN.

(Sorry for shouting, the text was all upper case in the PDF)

No price given as you have to inquire with the designer.

Any thoughts/comments on its utility, design, and function?











By Paul Jung, author of "garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog"
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11.2.13

Allan Gardens Conservatory Spring Flower Show 2013: part two


More Toronto blooms under glass

As promised in my last post titled "Toronto gardeners can get an early glimpse of spring", here are some more blooms seen at the Allan Gardens Conservatory Spring Flower Show today:


Allan Gardens Conservatory Spring Flower Show 2013 pale blue muscari yellow daffodils by garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog
This combination has "Easter" all over it with the pastel blue and pinks and the bright yellow of the daffodils

4.2.13

Allan Gardens Conservatory Spring Flower Show 2013: part one


Toronto gardeners can get an early glimpse of spring

Pink cyclamen in front of silver dusty miller at the Toronto Allan Gardens Conservatory Spring Flower Show 2013 by garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog


To escape the February gardening blues, I suggest making a trip down to the Allan Gardens Conservatory soon. I took these pictures recently and will return to update since the greenhouse crew was just trucking in the daffodils, hyacinths and tulips as I was leaving. I figure you wouldn't mind seeing these "cyclamen-heavy" pictures because any colour is better than no colour at this time of the year. The azaleas and camellias in bloom were especially appreciated!

More "bulby" shots to follow...


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