Thursday, December 2, 2010

December 2-31

Winter may be moving in to the TBG but some stalwart plants are still showing their brightest colours and others are blooming!

In the Nature Garden you will find:
Cornus sericea Flaviramea (Golden Twig or Dogwood) ; Also known as Yellowtwig dogwood, this shrub displays its best twig colour when planted in full-sun and pruned regularly.

In the Nature Garden:
Cotoneaster horizontalis (Rockspray); this semi-evergreen, multi-stemmed shrub has purplish winter foliage and attractive red fruit which covers much of the branches and is held through winter.

In the Show Garden South:
Chamaecyparis pisifera Sungold Show (Japanese false cypress) ; this dwarf golden cultivar of Japanese false cypress has semi-weeping branches. Like many conifers, its colour changes with the seasons, and here shows good winter yellow due to its sunny location.

In the West View Terrace:
Helleborus niger Maximus (Christmas Rose); Hellebores are long-lived, drought and heat tolerant semi-evergreen perennials. In recent years they have most deservedly grown in popularity, thriving in shady gardens . But here at the TBG, a few selections are remarkably suited to the sun. Here H. niger Maximus is poking through in very early winter.

In the Show Garden South:
Crocus speciosus (Autumn Crocus); One of the first of the autumn crocuses to flower, this one has particularly clear bsky blue flowers on bare stems. The leaves are produced in spring.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nov. 15-25

In the Nature Garden you will find:
Cornus sanguinea 'Winter Beauty' (Bloodtwig dogwood); aptly named, this bloodtwig dogwood is noted for its orange-yellow winter stems tipped with red and for its golden fall foliage; its berries are not showy but attract birds.

In the Garden hall Courtyard:
Pinus strobus (Weeping white pine/Eastern white pine); this white pine generally tolerates urban conditions well and is the only species of pine to have five needles per bundle. This cultivar is a semi-dwarf whose weeping branches may trail the ground. This year it is boasting beautiful cones.

In the West View Terrace:
Viburnum carlesii 'Diana' (Koreanspice Viburnum); this rounded, multi-stemmed shrub is very hardy, tolerating a wide range of soil conditions except very wet. It is invaluable for winter interest, here displaying great fall colour.

In the Entry Garden:
Molinea caerulea ssp. arundinacea Transparent (Purple Moor Grass); the flowers of this deciduous clump-forming grass reach well over a meter tall with an open and airy habit, thus the name 'Transparent'. The foliage turns a fine yellow in late fall.

In the Entry Garden:
Bergenia purpurascens (Winter-red Bergenia); True to its name, this bergenia species has excellent fall and winter red colour. Bergenias are incredibly hardy and reliably evergreen.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oct. 28

Late fall colours are still in full bloom at the TBG, thanks to our wonderful autumn weather!All these selections are featured in the Entry Garden:

Tricyrtis formosana Samurai (Toad Lily); Samurai is the most popular cultivar of toad lily, growing best in shady areas; this selection has purple flowers with darker spotting held above green foliage edged with gold - perfect for the autumn garden as is a later flowering perennial

Autumn Fire (Stonecrop) ; similar to S. Autumn Joy but with a tighter growth habit so it is less prone to flopping over. Autumn Fire was developed in Quebec and also displays brighter rose-coloured flowers than Autumn Joy. It is shown here with a touch of frost

Eragrostis spectabilis
(Purple love grass); hardy to zone 5, this tufted grass is short at 10" with plumes reaching up to 2'; an underused perennial very unique! it prefers a sandy situation.

Geranium phaeum
Album (Mourning widow cranesbill) ; this geranium is mound-forming with deeply lobed foliage and delicate white flowers, a very hardy selection tolerating dry shade better than most, excellent for woodland gardens. Here the leaves are touched with the first fall frost.

Cotinus obovatus (American smoketree) ; Native to the southeastern United States, this small tree is hardy to zone 4 with autumn foliage in a variety of colours from yellow and orange to reddish purple,making it one of the best fall colour small trees. With its interesting bark, it makes a great specimen!

Viburnum nudum (Northern Wild Raisin or Witherod); this native shrub belonging to the honeysuckle family, is definitely underused in home gardens. It has edible fruit and its glossy leaves turn a rich burgundy in autumn.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Oct 7 - 17

In the Water Channel you will find:
Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf hydrangea); these shrubs provide four seasons of interest with dramatic white flowers. They perform best in hot climates but are extremely hardy to Toronto gardens and will tolerate drier conditions better than other hydrangeas

In the Perennial Border:
Aster laevis 'Bluebird' now known as Symphyotrichum laeve 'Bluebird'; displays cone- shaped clusters of violet-blue flowers exhibiting clean foliage compared to most asters

In the Nature Garden:
Gaillardia aristata (Blanket flower); this species blons to the sunflower family and is commonly known for its red and yellow pinwheel

In the Nature Garden:
Cornus alternifolia (Pagoda dogwood); also known as an alternate leaf dogwood, this species is native from Manitoba eastward, displaying excellent fall colour

In the Terrace Garden:
Iris germanica 'Double Your Fun' (Intermediate bearded iris; at 21 inches this repeat bloomer is a new intorduction with a violet-flushed mid-rib and butter yellow on a white background

In the Knot Garden:
Iris germanica 'Immortality' (Tall bearded Iris); this pure white iris is a re-bloomer flowering twice a year in early summer and again in late summer/early fall

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sept. 23- 30

In the Nature Garden you will find:
Lindera benzoin (Spicebush); from the laurel family; the leaves of this native shrub give off a unique spicy odour when touched, bearing rich red fruit in late summer through fall; prefers a rich, moist location

In the Nature Garden:
Chelone lyonii (Turtlehead); deep green foliage topped with rose pink turtle
head-shaped flowers in late summer through early fall(foreground right), a native perennial preferring rich moist soil. It is shown here with Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) and on the left, Symphyotrichum novae-anglicae (formerly Aster novae-angliae) (New England Aster)

In the Show Garden:
Pinus parviflora 'Hagoromo' (Japanese White Pine; this dense, slow-growing conifer has attractive blue-green needles; it prefers full sun and may reach a mature size of ten feet by 18 feet in a decade

In the Show Garden:
Berberis thunbergii forma atropurpurea 'Concorde' (Red Japanese Barberry); this deciduous thorny shrub has a slow, dense growth habit with rich burgundy foliage and red berries that last through winter

In the Show Garden:
Callicarpa dichotama 'Early Amethyst' (Purple Beauty Berry); Callicarpa is Greek for beautiful fruit - thus the name Beauty Berry and indeed these hardy deciduous shurbs are adorned with a profusion of blossy purple berries against liime green foliage which appear earlier than any other cultivar and last through autumn into winter

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sept 9 -23

In the Perennial Border you will find:
Hibiscus 'Kopper King' (Perennial hibiscus); still growing strong, Kopper King has been flowering non-stop for over a month even though each plate-sized flower lasts no more than a day or two

In the Perennial Border - North:
Sedum spectabile 'Neon' (Stonecrop); Sedums are popular among northern gardeners as they are easy to grow and very hardy. This selection is more compact than some with bright neon-pink showy flowers

In the Perennial Border:
Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Worchester Gold' (Blue Beard) with Sedum 'Autumn Fire' (Stonecrop); Worchester Gold has warm yellow to chartreuse foliage with lavender-blue flowers from late summer to early autumn, showen here with Autumn Fire, one of the best stonecrops.

In the Garden Hall Courtyard - Water Channel:
Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea); native to the American south, this slow-growing hydrangea shrub is a great compliment to any border for its long flower display and characteristic oak-leaf foliage which turns many shades of bronze with autumn; shown her with Miscanthus sinensis 'Super Stripe'

In the Arrival Courtyard:
Miscanthus 'Purpurascens' (Flame Grass); this excellent cultivar has great fall colour with strong upright habit and extreme cold hardiness for Canadian winters

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August 24 - Sept 2

In the Perennial Border - West you will find:
Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' (Perennial Sunflower); a great back of the border perennial to brighten up the late summer, early fall garden with rech lemon yellow flowers on stems easily reaching four feet

In the Great Perennial Border-East:
Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldstrum' with Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia); the great blue lobelia is a native pernnial typically found in rich moist locations, here interplanted with the common Black-eyed Susan which also appreciates consistent moisture and displays a profusion of bright flowers on bushy plants

In the Kitchen Garden Entry:
Rosa (Carefree Beauty) ='Bucbi' (Modern Shrub Rose); this vigorous upright shrub rose has excellent disease resistance with semi-double fragran pale pink bloms

In the Garden Hall Courtyard:
Hydrangea paniculata 'Little Lamb' (Pee Gee Hydrangea); this hardy dwarf hydrangea is unique for its small flower petals which open pure white turning to pinkish with the coming of autumn

In the Entry Garden you will find:
Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Cassian' (Fountain Grass); this clumping grass flowers about two weeks later than other selections and also holds its seed heads for a longer time

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August 12-19

In the Perennial Border - East you will find:
Hibiscus moscheutos 'Carafe Grenache' (Rose Mallow); the enormous deep pink flowers of this hardy hibiscus last two or three days, replaced continuously with new ones from mid-summer to early fall

In the Perennial Border - East:
Phlox paniculata 'Norah Leigh' (Summer of Garden Phlox); this variegated form with while marble-edged leaves does better with some afternoon shade

In the Perennial Border - North:
Sedum spectabile 'Brilliant' (Showy Stonecrop) with Sedum 'Postman's Pride' (Stonecrop); Brilliant has excellent compact form so it doesn't flop and lots of hot pink star flowers, attractive to butterflies; shown here with the very deep black-purple of Postman's Pride

In the Garden Hall Courtyard - Bank:
Ligularia 'Osiris Fantaisie' (Bigleaf Ligularia); this newer introduction of the Osiris series has deep purple leaves maturing to bronze and olive-green; likes a consistently moist location

In the Garden Hall Courtyard - Bank:
Anemone tomentosa 'Robustissima' (Japanese Windflower); this selection of Japanese anemone is probably the hardiest, flowering about a month earlier than other varieties

In the Entry Garden:
Helenium autumnale 'Moerheim Beauty' (Helen's Flower); unlike other daisy flowers, helenium have a very distinctive shape; they prefer full sun, flowering from late June to August

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 29- August 5

In the Entry Garden you will find:
Vitex agnus-castus (Chaste Tree); this deciduous shrub has violet blue blooms from July to August; in zones 5-6, it has winter die back - often to the ground, but recovers well with up to five feet of new growth the following season

In the Show Garden:
Hydrangea paniculata Grandiflora (Panicle Hydrangea); this popular woody shrub can reach up to 25 feet, with white blooms aging to pink, prefers organically rich soil; one of the most cold- hardy hydrangeas

In the Perennial Border West;
Phlox paniculata 'Robert Poore' (Garden Phlox); a tall variety reaching two to four feet with bright deep pink flowers; known for its mildew resistance.

In the Perennial Border North:
Hibiscus 'Blue River II' (perennial hibiscus); the hardy form of hibiscus is well-known for its enormous dinner-plate size blooms for late summer displays - except for this year when it is already flowering in late July!

In the Knot Garden:
Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' (White Coneflower); a white-flowered form of the purple coneflower, with drooping white petals surrounding a greenish-brown central cone, shown here with the native Purple Coneflower

In the Entry Garden Meadow:
Many beautiful herbaceous perennials are now at their peak in the Entry Meadow, including Liatris spicata, commonly known as Blazing Star, with spikes of magenta-purple flowers which are especially attractive to butterflies

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12-19

In the Garden Hall Courtyard- Bank you will find:
Gentiana makinoi (Royal Blue Gentian); a summer-flowering perennial native to Japan with long-lasting blooms of royal blue which also make lovely cut flowers

In the Garden Hall Courtyard:
Platycodon grandiflorus (Balloon Flower); a long-lived perennial well known for its beautiful bell-shaped purple-blue flowers

In the Water Garden - West:
Allium sphaerocephalon (Round-headed Garlic); this drumstick allium has egg-shaped flowers in summer which start off greenn and deepen to rose, then purple

In the Water Garden - East:
Echinacea purpurea 'Green Envy' (Green Coneflower); a very distinctive selection of the purple coneflower, exhibiting an inky green central cone with petal tips of green, deepening to rose toward the centre

In the Water Garden - West:
Ligularia stenocephala 'The Rocket' (sometimes called Elephant Ears); reaching up to five feet, this perennial pond-lover prefers having its feet wet at all times, producing yellow-spiked flowers over huge leathery leaves

In the Entry Garden"
Hemerocallis 'Gentle Shepherd' (Daylily); this diploid cultivar is known for being of the best white-flowering daylilies