November 29, 2013

Toronto Music Garden: Brown Friday

Can dormant ornamental grasses be...ummm...ornamental?

The American shopping phenomenon called "Black Friday" has been rearing its lovely commercial head in Toronto with greater frequency and intensity recently. For those few not in the know, the last Friday in November in the Great White North is just that: the last Friday in November. But for more than a few of our American brothers and sisters, Black Friday means donning on the protective gear and joining the masses at the Wal-Marts (brawl anyone?) to get, apparently, ridiculous deals on made in China widgets.

Hey, I love a deal as much as the next guy but lining up in the cold at 5:00 a.m. for widgets doesn't do it for me. So the celebrate Black Friday, garden muses-style, I visited a place far, far away from the madding crowds: the Toronto Music Garden.

To my half-dozen readers, I present Brown Friday!

Toronto Music Garden winter ornamental grasses Courante section by garden muses-a Toronto gardening blog
Toronto Music Garden winter
ornamental grasses Courante section

November 24, 2013

Some visiting Toronto Blue Jays

And I didn't even have peanuts....

Not much to show you in my garden right now as we in zone 5/6 Toronto are heading into a long and dreary winter. As a reminder, we got a taste of snow yesterday with some intense but short-lived flurries.

I was out of the house but my wife and kids had these two visitors: Blue Jays or Cyanocitta cristata. I'm not a birder so I can't tell you a whole lot about this noisy pair that chilled out on the Wayfaring tree (Viburnum lantana) in the back, other than their human namesakes comprise our city's perennially (well, since 1993) sub-par baseball team.

They make a pretty pair, don't they?

Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata by garden muses-a Toronto gardening blog
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata

November 11, 2013

The fleeting beauty of autumn Japanese maples

Some Acer palmatum cultivars I love (there are so many!)

Lovers of Japanese maples notice when the foliage just switches in autumn to almost electric colours: crimson, scarlet, gold, and tangerine, among others. The fall foliage doesn't last too long before strong November winds here in zone 5/6 Toronto strip them off branches.

Acer palmatum  "Bloodgood" is the most commonly found cultivar in many gardens, almost to the point of being overused. When you see dozens of 3 or 5 gallon containers of these plants stranded at big box stores, half-dead by August, you kind of weep. (But some deals were amazing.)

I'm still busy with fall garden work so I took the following pictures to, at and from work. I'll try to add more but it's getting very late in the season!

Acer palmatum Bloodgood Japanese maple autumn colour by garden muses-a Toronto gardening blog
Acer palmatum "Bloodgood" Japanese maple's autumn colour