Went yesterday to the African Violet and Gesneriad (jez-NARE-ee-ad) and the Pelargonium and Geranium shows at the Toronto Botanical Gardens. Learned that if you want to purchase an award winning African Violet, Streptocarpus, Sinningia, or Petrocosmea you have to get there early. The show is like an ordinary plant show, with some amazing specimens diplayed on long tables, and labelled. There were plenty of ribbons awarded and the plants are mostly all for sale, so you could take home a real beauty. We got there around 3pm though, and almost all the plants had been purchased.
As they were still on display, it was a good learning experience to see all these different gesneriads in bloom. My son particularly liked the Petrocosmea, which are kind of flat topped African Violet looking things, kind of cute.
The Geranium and Pelargonium society had a small sale of 2″ pots of geraniums and coleus. I got a couple of coleus I’d never seen before: Henna, which I’d seen at Canada Blooms this year, Electric Lime, and Lava Rose, which is a trailing variety. Must be fairly new, I’d never heard of a trailing coleus before.
“Henna” Coleus seen at Canada Blooms this year.
I also got 2 small Pillar Geraniums (Pelargoniums) which seem to be the next big thing in the Geranium world. Mark Cullen, one of Canada’s garden gurus is talking about them, so it must be true. They grow tall, very tall and require a trellis or support eventually. Apparently you can buy them at Home Hardware. Was also happy to find the Pelargonium Happy Thought, which I’d once had as part of my collection and lost. It’s a beautiful variegated variety with a cherry red flower.
The grounds of the Toronto Botanical Garden around the main building are starting to look a little springy too. They have a pink magnolia stellata in full bloom in their terrace area, plus many hellebores blooming, a fantastic swath of Spring Heath in pink and white, and some early daffodils and tulips. Go there if you want a little hit of spring.