Monday, May 11, 2009

It Was a Dark and Scary Afternoon

On Saturday, Joan and I took a Toronto Botanical Garden tour of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery with Frank Kershaw. As the brochure said, "Rain or Shine - dress accordingly". Nothing like roaming around a gigantic (200+ acres) old cemetery during a thunder and lightning storm. And no fears, if we suffered a direct hit - we could be planted on the spot. Needless to say, Frank was probably not as talkative as he usually is when he was describing the many wonderful old and unusual trees and bushes - nothing like thunder to punctuate those sentences.

Here is part of our group - for those of you who want to see the oldest parts of the cemetery start at the Yonge Street entrance - 3 blocks north of St. Clair station.
If you enjoy roaming about a cemetery, this one is set up carriage style - so you travel up and down and round curves and bends on an old road. Here you can see that our trees still have a way to go before they're filled it.

Liriodendron tulipifera 'Aureomarginatum' - must be very pretty in bloom.

A Malus that obviously didn't get the instructions about dressing for the weather.

Would have been grand to walk down below - will have to go back.

A very sweet little weeping Japanese cherry - would make a good small property tree.

The shock of this chartreuse Tilia was wonderful.

This is known as the Octopus Tree, a Laburnum - it is estimated at about 100 years of age - and has been cabled - an essential I'd think with our snow. It will be in bloom in about 2 weeks.

Here's a Picea glauca conica Dwarf Alberta Spruce that grow to about 3 meters or so for us...unless they start to revert.
Just had to capture a moment between showers and lightning - Frank's the one in the hat - he's got some sort of seed casing in his hands pulling it apart.

Magnolia acuminata - Cucumbertree Magnolia. I'd never seen these very cool green buds.

This was the last time we were able to walk without our umbrellas and concern about being struck by lightning. And not too surprisingly, it's the last shot of the day.
I'm definitely going to have to go back soon - would love to see that Laburnum in bloom.


Peggy said...

We love investigating really old cemetaries too and reading the quaint verse on some of the headstones! I have not heard of a gardening walk through one...ever! It was not alone scary but a bit mad walking under trees with lightening flashing overhead.

easygardener said...

I like Liriodendron trees - something to do with those leaves looking like they have had their tips removed.
I must admit I don't like lightening - too random and scary although I know the chance of being hit is infinitesimal!

Teza said...

Like Peggy, I love to wander through a cemetery,steeped in history of in many cases, total strangers, and only in the past five or so years, have I noticed the wonderful horticultural specimens on display. I too would love to see the Laburnum... there is one at the nursery, I hope it doesn't sell before it blooms..... in that case, it's likely to come home with me.... second thoughts, be gone oh beautiful tree, I haven't the space!

Frances said...

Oh Barbara, you are a brave soul, if brave is the right word! The trees are worth it though. I will await the dry shot of a blooming Laburnum. Loved the Lychnis is the previous post, and Georgia Blue is a stunning flower.

Gail said...

Did you have to drive a long way to get to the cemetery? I might have opted out but then I really don't like lightening. I've gotten quite risk aversive as I've aged;) Stunning trees...the tilia is beautiful. Small trees like the weeping cherry can make a garden look special. I do hope you go back to see the Laburnum in bloom! gail

Barbarapc said...

Peggy - it was complete madness to be out under the trees in the thunder storm. Will really have to go back - the moment I'd pause to read a monument - I'd lose the rest of the pack.
E.G. So much to recommend it - the very unusual leaves - and the flowers - a really good tree if you've got the room.
Teza - if you need convincing - I have seen them pruned into standards quite successfully...
Frances - we were complete lunatics. I love growing 'Georgia Blue' makes me think I live in a much warmer climate than I do. The lychnis has really moved ahead
over the last two days - can hardly wait to take its photo.
Gail, It would be a 50 minute drive - or a 70 minute commute (Train, Subway & Walk) - which is what we did. I'm going to put it into my calendar for later this month and see if I can can get lucky.