April 04, 2011

Allan Gardens Conservatory 2011 Spring Flower Show

In need of some colour, quick!

After I visited a potential client this morning, I had some time to fill before picking up my kids. Allan Gardens Conservatory is nearby so I hopped in for a short visit. You can't beat the price of admission--free--and the greenhouse complex is easily reached by public transit.

Allan Gardens Conservatory spring blooms pansies ivy by garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog
What we want our garden bed to look like right now

Upon entering, I'm always hit by a smell of, I think, dormant oil spray. (I guess I'll always associate the place with this odour.) Does anyone else have this experience?

One section has rotating themes throughout the year and right now there are spring bulbs and perennials in bloom. To the right, this section of a bed presents a complementary contrast between the purple tulips and yellow pansies. (Sorry, there were no name tags detailing the cultivars so enjoy the pictures for now, there's no plant i.d. test at the end!) Spilling over the top is a variegated English Ivy tying the purple and yellow together. The daffodils bring up the rear while the phorium crashes the party and makes its presence known!

Could you not see this combination in a spring container?

Allan Gardens Conservatory spring blooms yellow and pink primula by garden muses: a Toronto gardening blog
Look at me, darn you!
I couldn't resist taking this shot of this primrose. She/he/it was among the gaudier of the others. The markings seem almost fluorescent and that halo is just...I love it! This little guy jumped at me from about 20 feet away it seemed. (Magenta and yellow tend to cause this or a migrane I guess.)

Another section of the Conservatory holds all the tender tropical plants that need high humidity and warmer temperatures.  I snapped this shot of Strongylodon macrobotrys or jade vine, a tropical vine native to the Phillipines.

Strongylodon macrobotrys Jade Vine by garden muses-not another Toronto gardening blog
Strongylodon macrobotrys (Jade Vine) 

My lousy pic during overcast conditions doesn't do justice to the flowers' glow. It's really a colour you don't expect to see walking through the greenhouse, your eyes drawn to the vibrant reds and yellows of the croton, alternanthera, and coleus. Then the blue says hello. And you smile.


  1. Nice blog! It won't be long now until your garden is full of colour. Toronto is in the 'banana belt'. I'm in zone 4a and my first crocus is about to pop open.

  2. Hi Diane,

    thanks for your comment. It's been a slow spring start compared to last year but I'll take the sunshine anytime!

  3. The garden bed is lovely. I like the mixture of plants which seems to include some moss.

    The last one is unique. Haven't seen flowers of that color before.