Celebrate Canada’s Garden Days (often and early)

The amazing green roof of the Hugh Garner (fingers keep trying to type “Gardener” – whose wouldn’t?) Housing Co-op.

You now have official excuse reason to spend the Friday before Father’s Day in the garden. Toronto has proclaimed it Garden Day. Yay! Thank you, Toronto. What’s more, it’ll be part of an annual three-day garden celebration, Canadawide – look at 2014’s Garden Days activities. We wrote about one, this weekend’s Through the Garden Gate, a couple of days ago.

As I rarely need an excuse reason, I began celebrating last Sunday at the Hidden Gardens of Cabbagetown, a wonderful garden tour that always seems to sell out quickly. Here are some photos from the tour gardens, more than we usually show in a single post. But that’s because they fit so well with the words of Toronto’s Garden Day proclamation, which highlight “the importance of public and private gardens, the value of
home gardening, the health, well-being and aesthetic benefits of gardens
and the promotion of environmental stewardship.”
A two-fer, for you!

The Hugh Garner green roof was an unexpected tour highlight. The garden was not only wow, it was loaded with environmental-friendliness – and look at that view!
Most of the Cabbagetown gardens illustrated (gorgeously) just how much can be done with “small…”
…even in the shade of a giant, 250-year-old chestnut tree (looming over the garden in the previous picture) – the whole space perfumed with the flowers of a black locust tree. Mmmmmmmmm. Health and well-being benefits, certainly.
I spent the morning volunteering in the charming garden of Ronica Sajnani, and learned the true meaning of divan, which Ronica explained is like a Hindu salon, where good food (her own) and good discussion (her guests’ and speakers’) come together. Love her pond and tiny tea house, which sometimes feature in Ronica’s divan evenings.
Cabbagetown interior designers Kendall & Co. brought the indoors out in this colourful garden space for living.
Apparently, everyone asked about the solar lanterns in the Kendall & Co. garden. No, I didn’t ask where they got them. Sigh.
Bowering the arbor in another tiny, perfect garden, one of my favourite Clematis – ‘Guernsey Cream’
In the back garden of the same home, a glorious example of fringe tree, Chionanthus virginicus
Gardens not included on this year’s tour were also gape-worthy. Clearly, Cabbagetowners keep up with the Joneses.
Sharp-eyed Toronto Gardensers occasionally spot seldom-seen perennials over the garden fence, like this dittany or gas plant, Dictamnus. Pretty, fragrant flowers, sturdy stems, great foliage, interesting seed pods; it should be planted more often.
This could be a tranquil corner of China or Japan, couldn’t it? Only the Victorian townhouses over the hedge give it away.
Just because it’s a carriagehouse tucked into a back lane doesn’t mean it can’t have a very cool, contemporary container.
Take a close look at that succulent ball. See the twig framework?
And why can’t garden art installation have a sense of humour. This is Cabbagetown, after all.
How important are gardens? When someone needed to cover up an entryway on Bleecker Street, they added this trompe l’oeil panel. You might almost step through the gate like Alice in Gardenland, where perhaps every day is…Garden Day.

1 comment

  1. Wonderful pictures and commentary, Helen. Cabbagetown gardens definitely have a different feel and vibe compared to those in Rosedale and Hogg's Hollow, for example.

    I noticed that you didn't show a blade of turf = downtown gardening!

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