May 19, 2015

May blooms and foliage in various Toronto gardens

I'm alive! 


Readers will forgive me for not blogging in a while as it's been another incredibly busy spring as a (paid) Toronto gardener. The upside, besides much needed income,  is that I can take pictures from my clients' gardens showing what's in bloom in this month.

As a bonus, I've included some pictures of foliage and blooms from my garden as well. Alas, none of veggies...


Star Magnolia stellata by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Star Magnolia ( Magnolia stellata




One of my prized trees is this "Ukigumo" Japanese maple that has these speckled green (or speckled white?) leaves in spring. The cultivar name translates into "Floating Cloud" in Japanese and if you use your imagination a little, you can see why. The leaves were much paler when they first emerged.

"Ukigumo"'s  fall colour I find a little underwhelming, a light yellow, but maybe my tree needs more sunlight to produce a better yellow. It's located in part shade so it doesn't get fried during intense summer heat and seems happy.


Ukigumo Japanese Maple Acer palmatum  spring foliage by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
"Ukigumo" Japanese Maple 
( Acer palmatum "Ukigumo" ) 
spring foliage 

Right now, if you were to visit me and share a drink on the back deck, you'd notice the sweet scent from my Fragrant Snowball bush. There are about a dozen of such blooms below emitting their spring perfume. The fall colour for this viburnum is good too but you really grow it for these two weeks when the blooms are out. Mercifully, the viburnum leaf beetles tend to leave V. x carlcephalum alone while they (beetles) are destroying my V. dentatum and sargentii.

Viburnum x carlcephalum Fragrant  Snowball  flower by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Viburnum x carlcephalum (Fragrant  Snowball) 

The Star Magnolias have bloomed already by the time you're reading this so I was lucky to capture these pictures from a client's yard. Another "two week shrub" but the blooms are reliable and wonderful after a brutal winter.


Magnolia stellata by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Magnolia stellata (Star Magnolia)


From another client's yard, I captured some pictures of Striped Squill and Glory of the Snow in early May. The Puschkinia is well-behaved unlike the Siberian squill that is very invasive. I've been digging out Scilla siberica from many beds this spring.


Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica Striped Squill by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica 
(Striped Squill) 


Just some red tulips. I like the curved petals, that's about it.


Red tulips by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Red tulips



Another fleeting moment captured: Serviceberry flowers last about a week before all the petals drop. Not too ornamental but without the flowers, you don't get the berries, which lead to unhappy robins, squirrels, raccoons,

The berries are quite edible. I describe them as semi-sweet blueberries in size, taste and texture. Personally, I prefer chocolate-covered raisins but you can harvest the fruit in late summer if you put netting up. Which would lead to unhappy robins,....



Serviceberry Amelanchier arborea flowers by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea)  flowers 



Kerria japonica spring flowers by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Kerria japonica spring flowers

Epimedium Japanese Anemone spring foliage by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Epimedium and Japanese Anemone
 spring foliage



Star Magnolia by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Star Magnolia




 Amelanchier arborea Serviceberry flowers by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
 Amelanchier arborea (Serviceberry) flowers


In the same garden with the Striped Squill, these "Katherine" (syn. "Katharine") Hodgkin dwarf irises were happily blooming. I planted these last fall for m client and they seem to have come through the winter fine. Very cute!


 Dwarf Iris Katherine Hodgkin by garden muses-not another Toronto gardeni blog
 Dwarf Iris "Katherine Hodgkin"



A closeup of the maple's mottled leaves. "Ukigumo" makes a great specimen. Well, that can be said for almost all Japanese maples but it has a big "wow" factor.


Acer palmatum Ukigumo Japanese Maple spring foliage by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Acer palmatum "Ukigumo" 
Japanese Maple spring foliage



I actually germinated this redbud from seed years ago and this is the first year it's decided to bloom. While it wasn't exactly covered with these magenta-coloured flowers, it's a promising start.


Cercis canadensis Eastern redbud flowers by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud) flowers 


Commonly found Chionodoxa: an early and reliable spring bloomer.


Chionodoxa Glory of the Snow by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Chionodoxa (Glory of the Snow) 



Kerria japonica flowers by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Kerria japonica flowers 

The Kerria is pumping out these bright yellow flowers by the dozens in the backyard. This shrub is next to the Fragrant Snowball so I'm not too happy seeing white and yellow flowers together not (one of my favourite colour combinations) but the Kerria is so low maintenance--besides pruning out a few dead stalks--that I really shouldn't complain.



Acer shirasawanum Aureum Fullmoon Maple by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Acer shirasawanum  "Aureum"
(Fullmoon Maple) spring foliage 


I really need to make room for this maple in my yard! Yes, I'm showing some serious hort envy here.





Iris sibirica Siberian Iris by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Iris sibirica
(Siberian Iris)

Iris sibirica Siberian Irises Alliums by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Iris sibirica
(Siberian Irises) and alliums


Siberian and bearded irises are blooming now across town. Here's a classic combination with great contrast in texture above.



Japanese Forest Grass Hakonechloa macra Aureola with allium by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Japanese Forest Grass
(Hakonechloa macra "Aureola") with allium 

Speaking of texture, I can't express enough of my love for Hakonechloa in combination with ornamental alliums. "I LOVE THIS GRASS!" Yes, I'm shouting!


The following are some highlights from my recent visit to James Gardens in Toronto's west end:




Iris pseudacorus Yellow Flag Iris by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Iris pseudacorus
(Yellow Flag Iris)

 Paeonia suffruticosa Coral Sunset peony by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
 Paeonia suffruticosa "Coral Sunset"
("Coral sunset" herbaceous peony)

 Coral Sunset peony Paeonia suffruticosa by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
 "Coral Sunset" peony
(Paeonia suffruticosa "Coral Sunset")


Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum 'Mariesii' doublefile viburnum by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum 'Mariesii'
( "Mariesii" doublefile viburnum)


 False Indigo Baptisia australis by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
 False Indigo
(Baptisia australis)

Clematis Nelly Moser  James Gardens by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Clematis "Nelly Moser"
at  James Gardens 


James Gardens Etobicoke spring 2015 by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
James Gardens, Etobicoke
spring flowers

Pasque flower Pulsatilla vulgaris seed heads by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Pasque flower
(Pulsatilla vulgaris) seed heads

Nelly Moser Clematis James Gardens by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
"Nelly Moser" Clematis
at James Gardens

Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum 'Mariesii' doublefile viburnum James Gardens by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum 'Mariesii'
doublefile viburnum at James Gardens 



I hope you're enjoying your spring. It's silly season for me now but no matter how hectic and tired I am at the end of a long day, it beats working in a cubicle.

Not even close....