Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Yet Another Great Toronto Botanical Gardens Tour - Lawrence Park

Peggy and I set out on our 5th annual Toronto Botanical Gardens Tour - this time to the "Garden Community" of Lawrence Park.  This has always been a very tony neighbourhood.  Large stone homes with elegant landscaping.  What I didn't realize was how large the lots were and just how many great gardens there are.

One thing you can always count on in any TBG tour is fantastic containers - I'm wondering if Paul Zammit Director of Horticulture had a hand in some of these gorgeous displays.  Notice they've used pale irrigation material instead of the black plastic - so much nicer with the stone.

I'm thinking these have the P.Z. touch:

Not on the tour, but great containers all the same:

Many of the homes are still the originals - others are new to look old.  Often when the homes had been rebuilt, many of the original plant material remained - it was a day for lovely old peonies.

This gives you an idea of the back garden - the Syringa in bloom is 'Ivory Silk':

There were several gardens with water features:

And of course those with pools:


This one won the Grandma Phillips 'Doozy' award - see how tiny the people are on the cone wall?  Perfect for large elegant parties

Several of the owners bulked up on annuals to give their gardens more colour.   What a pretty show:

Then there were a couple unusual gardens like this scree garden:

Always fun to see if you can flatten the image with your camera to make a cool combination:

There were older gardens - where the boxwood appeared to be unscathed by the cold winter - quite unlike our boxwood here in Oakville:

Splendid old features and gigantic perennials:

Now this is the sign of either good neighbours or perhaps family - look, no division between the yards:

After all the rain we've been having the hosta are looking big and beefy.  While flowers are lovely, these gardens show beautifully, that all you need are interesting leaves in the right position.  And, no wonder I was having trouble a couple of years ago finding Hakonechloa for my customers (the striking yellow floppy grass) - it was all sold to these clients in Lawrence Park.

Just so elegant and beautiful.  And kudos to the maintenance team, they must have Hoovered between visitors.

The only thing I might have changed if I could have this day was the weather - rained steadily and became heavier as the day went on:

At our last garden, we ran into my buddy Veronica Sliva!  And for some unknown reason, a gentleman with a media badge decided that we were going to be his 'subjects'.  While we may never know if and where we've appeared - it looked like he represented a French group - he was nice enough to take my camera and take our photos:

From here it was onto the bus to Headquarters, and then onto the bus to the subway where we'd left the car.  I'd found a business building with underground parking for the bargain price of $5.00!  Little did I know I might have to leave my car there forever.  Peggy and I found our way back to the entrance door - locked.  We found another door - locked.  Then we decided we'd have to go in where the cars did.  Fortunately we didn't have long to wait - the exit door opened and a nice gentleman saw us, reading signs, looking completely confused.  He motioned to us to scoot down through the garage door he was keeping open for us so I could get my car.  When we walked by he asked for our photo ID and then started to laugh - the sales office for Royal LePage Real Estate was upstairs, no doubt an agent on his way out.  I'm thinking we aren't the first people he's rescued.  Thank goodness - we were soaked and so ready to go home, plus I had guests for dinner.  So nice to see that gallantry is alive and well and living in Lawrence Park!  A great ending to a lovely soggy day.


Jim/ArtofGardening.org said...

Looks like I missed some great gardens. though after three days worth of great gardens, I don't think my brain could have accepted more! I was on overload and I'm sill decompressing.

Beth @ PlantPostings said...

Wow, amazing pots. And, yes, they do seem to have the look of Paul Z's handiwork. What lovely photos of you garden bloggers, too. I miss the new friends already! :)

Barbarapc said...

Jim, it really was a good tour. Am glad there's at least a month between our Fling and Buffalo - I fear my brain would have exploded had they been closer! Spending a few moments each day looking at my photos and cataloguing - amazing what we saw in such a short time.
Beth - miss you too! While it's an expensive tour ($45.00), it really does provide value - the gardens, the containers, the master gardeners at each home, bus rides between and the fact they try to make it all as walkable as possible makes it one of my must-attend events every year.

Jennifer said...

It is funny to see the same gardens through someone else's eyes: we both focused on different things and took pictures from entirely different angels. There were some very nice planters like the one's you've featured.
I still say the tour had too many swimming pools, expensive hardscaping and sleek professional planting schemes to be entirely to my liking, but is always fun the see how the other half garden.
Thanks again for lugging home my loot bag. It sure did weigh a ton!

Helen said...

By the time we got going on Sunday, it was pretty darned wet – and continued so all day. I pitied the folk who went for the otherwise wonderful-sounding cycling option. Wish we'd had more time to commune at the Fling!

Shelley said...

Good evening! I was wondering if you might be interested in a guest blogging opportunity with Gardening Know How? If so, please e-mail me for details at:
shelley AT gardeningknowhow DOT com

Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!

Victoria Williams said...

Great looking gardens of course! Love that your group was photographed specially!