Enhanced Nature on Display
The Toronto Botanical Garden was the last stop of the 2015 Garden Bloggers Fling (and this is my last post on that trip).
TBG will not intimidate you with its scale, but it packs a lot that is beautiful and thought-provoking into its four acres.
I especially enjoyed the Entrance Garden, which was designed by Piet Oudolf. Like Chicago’s Lurie Garden, this urban planting includes shrubs and small trees dotted among big drifts of perennials and a matrix of grasses.
This planting has been referred to as a “sophisticated meadow”, but the harmonious mix of colors and shapes is a product of design working with nature – what Oudolf calls “enhanced nature”.
I was interested to learn that for the first three years plants were left free to self-sow at will (though I imagine some editing must have been done).
Giant clumps of several Baptisia cultivars had a big presence in this garden. Such a great genus, with fresh-looking blueish green foliage and intriguing seed pods after the flowers are gone.
As at Lurie, the drifts of Salvia take your breath away in May and June.
Yellow Baptisia in the upper right. And look at how happy those Hosta are in this sunny spot.
I cannot for the life of me remember what this architectural plant with the greenish umbels is called, but it’s very Oudolfian. And it stands out against the purple Smoke Tree (Cotinus coggygria) so nicely.
More Baptisia, with Allium in the background.
Allium and Salvia.
A long view to the visitor center and entrance to TBG.
Phlomis contributes its vertical element.
So appealing how the finely textured grass mixes with the maroon and blue buttons of the Knautia and Geranium.
I was pleased to see Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) included in the mix, though not yet in bloom. The Monarch butterflies are grateful.
There’s a courtyard right in front of the building as well.
Unfortunately, Judy had to leave early and missed the Fling banquest, which was held at TBG. She also didn’t get to see much of the gardens inside, so I don’t have much in the way of pictures from the rest of TBG.
But I must say, the Entrance Garden was enough in itself to make me a happy camper.