October 07, 2014

Autumn blooms and foliage at the Toronto Botanical Garden

Impending death and decay at a public Toronto garden


Is the post's title gloomy enough for you? Autumn is a time for contradictions with big swings in temperatures. One day it's pleasant and sunny and then blustery and cold the next. We know what's around the corner and given how absolutely brutal it was last winter (my gas bills prove this), there's good reason to be gloomy.

But when I visited the Toronto Botanical Garden ("TBG") recently, the weather was anything but gloomy. It was a relatively warm and humid day, for October, as I meandered through the paved and mulched paths. While there were certainly blooms to admire, especially in the containers, my overall impression was "man, I see a lot of brown." But isn't this to be expected in the garden at this time of the year?

With the emphasis less on flowers (compared to the fireworks occurring in May-July), a garden's weaknesses will soon be exposed if hardscaping (industry jargon for paving, retaining wall, etc.) and plant structure aren't considered. If your gardens consist of a monoculture of annuals, well, I can understand if you're not out there pottering around until late May 2015!

It's a good lesson to learn after a visit to the TBG in autumn: think plant structure (forms) to get you through a Toronto winter, garden-wise. (When I design gardens occasionally, I try to to imagine what the garden will look like in the dead of winter. Winter for a Toronto gardener lasts about 6 months.) 

The shapes and forms I picked up on were spires, fountains, umbrellas, and spikes among the ornamental grasses, shrubs and other fall blooming perennials. It's a good garden design practice to include a few of these forms into the mix to break up the monotony and create a bit of contrast.

Well, enough lecturing on my part. You're here for the flowers and foliage so let's go!


Pink asters at Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Pink asters at the Toronto Botanical Garden 



Symphyotrichum novae-anglicae New england aster Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Symphyotrichum novae-anglicae (New England aster)
 at the Toronto Botanical Garden 



Verbena bonariensis tall verbena ornamental grass at Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Verbena bonariensis (tall verbena) and ornamental grass
 at the Toronto Botanical Garden 



Hamamelis × intermedia 'Diane'  witch hazel fall foliage Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Hamamelis × intermedia 'Diane'  witch hazel
fall foliage at the Toronto Botanical Garden

Golden Full Moon Maple Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum' Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Golden Full Moon Maple (Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum')
at the  Toronto Botanical Garden 

 Toronto Botanical Garden Anemone tomentosa ‘Robustissima’ grapeleaf anemone by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
 Toronto Botanical Garden's
 Anemone tomentosa ‘Robustissima’
(grapeleaf anemone)
Anemone tomentosa ‘Robustissima’ grapeleaf anemone Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Anemone tomentosa ‘Robustissima’
(grapeleaf anemone) at the Toronto Botanical Garden

 
Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' Anise scented sage at Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' (Anise-scented sage)
at the Toronto Botanical Garden
Ilex verticillata Nana Winterberry at Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Ilex verticillata "Nana" (Winterberry)
at theToronto Botanical Garden
Euonymus phellomanus corktree spindletree Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Euonymus phellomanus (corktree or spindletree)
at the Toronto Botanical Garden
Toronto Botanical Garden  Euonymus phellomanus corktree spindletree by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Toronto Botanical Garden's  Euonymus phellomanus
(corktree or spindletree)
Cardinal Candy linden Viburnum dilatatum Henneke berries Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
"Cardinal Candy" Linden Viburnum
(Viburnum dilatatum "Henneke") berries
at the Toronto Botanical Garden
Yellow yarrow Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Yellow yarrow at the Toronto Botanical Garden
Gaillardia aristata Gallo Dark Bicolor Blanketflower Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Gaillardia aristata "Gallo Dark Bicolor"
 Blanketflower at the Toronto Botanical Garden


Rosa bonica Meidomonac at Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Rosa bonica "Meidomonac"
at the Toronto Botanical Garden

Nipponanthemum nipponicum Nippon daisy Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Nipponanthemum nipponicum (Nippon daisy)
at the Toronto Botanical Garden

 
Nippon daisy purple asters at Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Nippon daisy and purple asters
at the Toronto Botanical Garden
 

Tricyrtis formosana ‘Samurai’ toad lily at Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Tricyrtis formosana ‘Samurai’ toad lily
at the Toronto Botanical Garden
‘Samurai’ toad lily Tricyrtis formosana at Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
‘Samurai’ toad lily (Tricyrtis formosana "Samurai")
at the Toronto Botanical Garden

Anemone hupehensis ‘Pretty Lady Susan’ Japanese anemone Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Anemone hupehensis ‘Pretty Lady Susan’
Japanese anemone at the Toronto Botanical Garden

 
Toronto Botanical Garden Entry Walk Verbena bonariensis tall verbena by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Toronto Botanical Garden's Entry Walk
with Verbena bonariensis (tall verbena)
'Pretty Lady Susan’ Japanese anemone Anemone hupehensis  Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
'Pretty Lady Susan’ Japanese anemone
(Anemone hupehensis "Pretty Lady Susan")
 at the Toronto Botanical Garden
Verbena bonariensis tall verbena Toronto Botanical Garden Entry Walk by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Verbena bonariensis (tall verbena)
at the Toronto Botanical Garden's  Entry Walk

 
Toronto Botanical Garden Entry Walk Verbena bonariensis tall verbena by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Toronto Botanical Garden's  Entry Walk
with Verbena bonariensis (tall verbena)
Amsonia hubrichtii Arkansas blue star at Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Amsonia hubrichtii (Arkansas blue star)
at the Toronto Botanical Garden
 Autumn crocus colchicum autumnale at Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
 Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
at the Toronto Botanical Garden

 
 Toronto Botanical Garden  Autumn crocus colchicum autumnale by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
 Toronto Botanical Garden's
Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale)

 
colchicum autumnale Autumn crocus at Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Colchicum autumnale (Autumn crocus)
 at Toronto Botanical Garden
Giant hyssop Agastache foeniculum Toronto Botanical Garden by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Giant hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) at the Toronto Botanical Garden