Most times I prefer to be right - in this particular case I am absolutely delighted to be wrong. My first impressions of the new Rock Garden have completely changed.
Like every other member of the RBG, we had been waiting to see the new rock garden. It had been closed for 3 long years. Kevin and I got in on the May long weekend. To say I was excited was an understatement.
This garden used to be a smack-in-the-face bulbalicious colour pallooza. So I was anticipating a crush of bulbs in a new gorgeous design. However, no such luck.
There were some bulbs in the entry beds down to the garden - almost like a memorial to what the garden once was.
Bulbs were planted sparingly, but effectively.
Instead of bulbs we saw masses of plants. Plant one times 10 to the power of 6. (A curse on you Mr. Oudolf.)
There were some old favourites, like this Cercis canadensis 'Alba':
And, the colour chartreuse looms large - Dicentra 'Gold Heart'.
Down into the belly of the beast....this was it. No wonder we haven't been allowed in for 3 years...it's taken this long for the plants to start to look like they may want to grow.
Nice new centre and a garden of green goosebumps.
Excellent new steps - lovely new railing.
We noticed that they've really put a lot of thought into accessibility - anyone in a wheelchair or walker can see most of the garden. Although there are parts where grandma may want to race her grandchildren - the incline can be a bit steep.
Lovely wide pathways. Not too much to look at. So, that's how we ended our first visit to the garden.
However, last week I took some buddies for a picnic over at Hendrie Garden and asked them if they wanted to see (and have an opinion) on what $20MM of our taxpayer (and generous donor contribution) dollars has bought us. Well, we did and we loved it.
There are large swaths of plants, plus combinations of interesting little plants (that are labeled) to delight you along your way.
And good vistas.
Cornus kousa 'Wolf Eyes' - a combination of simply too much, and yet, just perfect.
Everyone had their camera out capturing the combinations.
One of the rebuilt water features.
Something for everyone:
I had tried to grow this from seed. It spent all its time lying on its side like it had spent the night drinking. When E. pallida does what it should, it looks very cool.
I'll be quiet for a few pictures so you can concentrate on the plants:
Cercis canadensis 'Hearts of Gold' - more chartreuse, than gold, but still lovely.
Like the use of dead ends. It makes you circle back and see the garden from the other side.
Bart and Kevin enjoying the shade.
And here we are on our way out. As you can see, Bart was ready to climb back up the stairs and stay for another round. Frankly I would have too, if I'd had the time. I'll be back with more friends in tow to show them my new favourite thing.
What a wonderful way to spend a few hours on a summer day.