January 11, 2019

The 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show

Winter 2018-9: It's Over but Not Really


We're firmly into 2019 and all of the holiday eating and drinking excesses are distant memories, expanded waistlines notwithstanding. There are plenty of gardening opportunities for Toronto gardeners now: many are poring over seed catalogues, going to lectures and planning for the veggie garden in a few months. I'm on my annual hiatus from December to March and so far I'm catching up on things for which I don't have the time for during the busy work season like reading and writing for pleasure. And for me, strangely, this means not reading about gardening.

With getting ready for Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations and overall procrastination, I put off seeing the local Allan Gardens Conservatory's Winter Flower Show, version 2018. Finally, I had the itch to see some seasonal (indoor) colour so I grabbed my camera and coffee and walked over to the Conservatory. I was fortunate to record the remnants of the Winter Flower Show yesterday as it was officially the last day of the Show.  (It's confusing to have a Winter Flower Show end on January 9 but I digress...)

The recent Winter Flower Show was similar to Christmas Flower Shows (that's what they were called until a few months ago) of the past: mass plantings of poinsettias, cyclamen, ornamental cabbage and azaleas with many "topiaries" mixed in. So if you're not sick of seeing poinsettias, this post should still be enjoyable!




2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show massed poinsettias and succulent topiaries by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter
Flower Show massed poinsettias
and succulent topiaries


Massed poinsettias and succulent topiaries at the  2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
Massed poinsettias and succulent topiaries
at the  2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show


Mistletoe and three containers at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
"Mistletoe" and three containers at the
2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show 


2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show massed cyclamen and ivy by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show
massed cyclamen and ivy


2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show massed ornamental cabbage, cyclamen and ivy by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show massed
ornamental cabbage, cyclamen and ivy



2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show massed red azaleas and ornamental cabbage by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show massed red azaleas
and ornamental cabbage



2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show pink cyclamen closeup by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter
Flower Show pink cyclamen closeup 


2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show White double Amaryllis Hippeastrum flower by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter
Flower Show White double Amaryllis
(Hippeastrum) flower 


2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show white hellebore flower closeup by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show white hellebore
flower closeup 



Floral cottage at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
Floral "cottage" at the 2018 Allan
Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show 



Magnolia leaf topiary and model train at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
Magnolia leaf topiary and model train
at the 2018 Allan Gardens
Conservatory Winter Flower Show



Magnolia leaf topiary at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
Magnolia leaf topiary at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show 



Massed cyclamen, dusty miller and ivy at the  2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
Massed cyclamen, dusty miller and ivy
at the  2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show 



Massed white azaleas and ornamental kale at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
Massed white azaleas and ornamental kale
at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show 



Pink cyclamen at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
Pink cyclamen at the 2018 Allan Gardens
Conservatory Winter Flower Show 


While the seasonal Show arrangements were nice and cute as usual, I never leave the Conservatory without visiting the Conservatory's "tropical" rooms or "(green)houses". Here are a few pictures of very non-hardy plants for us and, if you concentrate enough, you may even feel a little heat and humidity coming off your screen:


2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show Brunfelsia grandiflora blooms by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter
Flower Show Brunfelsia grandiflora blooms



2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show closeup of Flowering maple Abutilon flower by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show closeup of
Flowering maple (Abutilon) flower 



2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show magenta Phalaenopsis by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show magenta Phalaenopsis 


2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show pink Phalaenopsis topiary by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter
Flower Show pink Phalaenopsis topiary 


2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show poinsettias and tropical plants by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter
Flower Show poinsettias and tropical plants


Black tropical Hibiscus rosa sinensis hybrid bloom 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
Black tropical Hibiscus rosa sinensis
hybrid bloom 2018 Allan Gardens
Conservatory Winter Flower Show 



Cattleya labiata semi alba orchid at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
Cattleya labiata semi alba orchid
at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show 



Massed Phalaenopsis topiary at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
Massed Phalaenopsis topiary at
the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show 


Massed tropical plants and ponisettias at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
Massed tropical plants and ponisettias at
 the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show 



"Sweetheart" Cymbidium at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
"Sweetheart" Cymbidium
at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show 


Red and white Guzmania bromeliad at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
Red and white Guzmania bromeliad at
the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show


Pink Phalaenopsis topiary detail at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
Pink Phalaenopsis topiary detail at the
2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show


Amazon Lily Eucharis × grandiflora blooms at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show by garden muses--not another Toronto gardening blog
Amazon Lily (Eucharis × grandiflora) blooms
at the 2018 Allan Gardens Conservatory
Winter Flower Show 


Seeing the wonderful tropical blooms and getting toasty and warm reminded me of the several family trips to the Caribbean. And, of course, such pleasant memories were annihilated once I left the Conservatory and walked back home, head down, into the biting January wind  originating from the Arctic.

While the Winter Flower Show has officially ended, Toronto's occasionally brutal winter has just begun.

  

November 26, 2018

A (Final) Toronto Fall Garden Cleanup in Bedford Park

Saying Goodbye to the 2018 Work Season!


It's been another fantastic work season for me as I've met many new (and old) clients, designed and installed interesting gardens across Toronto and made a bit of money along the way. But truth be told, I'm ready to take a break from gardening.

But before that happens, I'll subject you to another post showing a fall cleanup. This should be the last one this year so enjoy!

My client here, named Shirin, hires me twice a year (in May and November) to weed and tidy up the front and back gardens of her rental property in Toronto's Bedford Park neighbourhood. Her tenants, unsurprisingly, do nothing when it comes to looking after the gardens so the beds are very weedy when I arrive.

In the fall, I cut down the soon-to-be dormant perennials and rake leaves from the garden beds around the pool in the backyard and from the parking area in the front. For this visit, Shirin asked me to spread some more topsoil and mulch as well.



Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup Before


Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Tired hosta foliage removed and
some cedar mulch laid down 


Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup Before 


Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
I usually try to persuade a client to leave ornamental grasses alone over winter but since the tenants don't care, the owner asked me to cut them down. It's just one less task I have to look after next spring.


Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening  Services Company
Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup Before 


Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening  Services Company
Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup After 


Toronto Fall Cleanup Before in Bedford Park by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Garden Services Company
Toronto Fall Cleanup Before in Bedford Park


Toronto Fall Cleanup After in Bedford Park by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Garden Services Company
Toronto Fall Cleanup After in Bedford Park 


Toronto Fall Cleanup Before in Bedford Park by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Fall Cleanup Before in Bedford Park


Toronto Fall Cleanup After in Bedford Park by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Fall Cleanup After in Bedford Park


Toronto Fall Cleanup Before in Bedford Park by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
This narrow bed contains many herbaceous peonies.
Their foliage were cut down as they present no winter interest.


Toronto Fall Cleanup After in Bedford Park by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Fall Cleanup After in Bedford Park 


Toronto Fall Cleanup Front Garden After in Bedford Park by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Fall Cleanup Front Garden After in Bedford Park


Thank you, dear reader, for putting up with all the "before" and "after" pictures. It'll start again, to warn you, next April when the spring cleanups get going but I promise to post pictures of actual flowers and non-work related topics over the next five months. So you get a reprieve!


November 24, 2018

A St. Clair West Village, Toronto Fall Cleanup (in the Snow)

Raking Leaves, Raking Ice 


Working outside in Toronto in late November as a gardener has few charms. It's cold and often wet but thank heavens it doesn't usually snow. But when it does snow, doing a fall garden cleanup (or more accurately an early winter garden cleanup) is a true test of endurance. 

Another week of this nonsense of working in sub-zero temperatures and I'm done for the work season! But first I'll show you some pictures of my latest fall garden cleanup in the St. Clair West Village area of Toronto.

My client Shirine's backyard is composed of all rectangles: the deck, the paths and garden beds. From a garden design viewpoint, it's a very efficient way of maximizing the use of a narrow and long area.



Toronto St. Clair West Village Fall Backyard Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Toronto St. Clair West Village Fall
Backyard Cleanup Before


Toronto St. Clair West Village Fall Backyard Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Toronto St. Clair West Village
Fall Backyard Cleanup After 


St. Clair West Village Fall Backyard Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
St. Clair West Village Fall
Backyard Cleanup Before 



St. Clair West Village Fall Backyard Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
I left the "P.G." Hydrangea 
(Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora') 
standard alone for the winter and 
will prune the spent brown panicles 
(flowers) next spring.



Toronto St. Clair West Village Fall Backyard Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Ooops, I forgot to shut the shed door



Toronto St. Clair West Village Fall Backyard Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Not much I could do with the ice 


St. Clair West Village Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Several clumps of wilted "Jack Frost"
Siberian Bugloss which, ironically,
didn't respond well to Jack Frost visiting
Toronto. I'll cut these down...


St. Clair West Village Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
and leave the "Ice Dance" Sedge
(Carex) and Sweet Woodruff alone


St. Clair West Village Toronto Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Flash frozen hostas



St. Clair West Village Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
St. Clair West Village
Toronto Fall Cleanup After 



The front has two garden beds which seem to collect all the Linden tree leaves coming from the left side and face the prevailing north/north-west wind. The perennial lavender could use a light trim next spring but it's a low maintenance affair at curbside.


St. Clair West Village Toronto Front Yard Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
St. Clair West Village Toronto
Front Yard Fall Cleanup Before 


St. Clair West Village Toronto Front Yard Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
St. Clair West Village Toronto
Front Yard Fall Cleanup After 



Toronto St. Clair West Village Front Yard Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto St. Clair West Village
Front Yard Fall Cleanup Before



Toronto St. Clair West Village
Front Yard Fall Cleanup After