Last day: TBG Plant Sale, May 9th

If you haven’t been to the Toronto Botanical Garden since it was transformed with new gardens and a new name (formerly the Civic Garden Centre), you have one more reason to do so on Saturday. It’s the final day for their spring plant sale. Nice specimens for containers, or garden beds in sun or shade, including herbs and native plants.

But, even if you’re not buying, take a walk around to get ideas for next spring. Most plants in the gardens are nicely labelled, and there are interpretive signs up with details on the new gardens. We were very impressed with the spring things. Here are a few highlights.

Towards the courtyard and the ribbon fountain. Beautifully scented narcissus with red and orange tulips (one of the labels, possibly for the shorter one, is Tulipa ‘Orange Queen’).

The Knot Garden, Toronto Botanical Garden, right now planted with a ribbon of white and purple fringed tulips.

The alpine wall, a purpose-built slope that uses bottles, recycled bricks, stones and some kind of netting beneath the wire frame to hold the alpine plants. Interesting to look at, even where the plants aren’t growing.

Useful plant labels. Although, when plants are massed (see orange tulips above) it’s sometimes essential to know what you’re looking at to know what you’re looking at. This one is for a dainty little tulip I’ve never heard of; very effective.

We’ve never seen last year’s grasses better used — interplanted with tulips in a similar grassy pastel colour palette. This undulating bed graduates in colour from pales with the grasses to rich reds at the far end where a Japanese maple (Acer japonica) is just coming into leaf. Add a ribbon of water to the right. Wow!

A huge mass of spiky orange tulips, Tulipa ‘Ballerina’, with a handful of tulips in soft white and mauve. Delightful contrast.

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