Toronto Botanical Gardens-Fall

I took another course on the 24th of October at the TBG. It was supposed to be on speciality pruning, they already had a basic course. It was made up of two types of gardeners, Home gardeners (all women, for some reason), and “professional” landscape gardeners (who were all men). These men all worked for the same company, and they were there to learn “how” to prune. Their company wanted to learn how to do it the “right” way, not shearing shrubs into little round balls (I think that we have all seen that). While I commend them for this, I was also annoyed.  The course became basic pruning, at  least 99% of it was. The last 5% was devoted to speciality pruning, ie: pollarding, espalier, etc. I took it hoping to get some help with my pleached Lime Walk, something that is very “uncommon” in Canada. But, alas, there was no help to be found.

But, while I was there, I took some pictures. The difference in the last three weeks is huge.

TBG 105

I would love to look out my window and see this.

 TBG 060

What amazing colour, almost orange!

TBG 061

Why are my Japanese maples not this colour?

TBG 062

These are the “full moon” japanese maples,

TBG 066

A fabulous contrast in colours.

TBG 064

This is fothergilla “Blue Mist”, what a lovely colour.

TBG 071

The paperbark maple, or acer griseum.

TBG 074

Look at the bark, it really stands out against this blue glass background.

TBG 091

This crabapple is just loaded with fruit. Love the way it hangs over the berberis.

TBG 104

Again, great colour. Perhaps some planning for next year now, will give me better colour next year.

P.S. Sorry, I got the order of the posts mixed up. After I said in the last post, “it is the last one on the TBG”, I publish this one. This is the last, I swear!

36 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Joy said,

    Deborah those Japanese Maples truly knock my socks off with their colour .. that was the closest orange I have seen on them too ! I would love to be able to look out my window or deck door to THAT !
    I do have to say though .. that our Pacific Sunset Maple has been brilliant this year .. changing gorgeous colours and holding on to its leaves so long .. the only bad thing about it is that crappy black tar spot blight .. tree measles .. yuck ! LOL
    PS .. that really bites about the course

  2. 3

    Racquel said,

    Sorry that the class wasn’t what you expected. At least you were able to capture some wonderful fall color on camera. Thanks for sharing, that was gorgeous! 🙂

  3. 5

    miss m said,

    I can’t fret about my japanese maples not being that colour. I can’t have them, period. (Now how pathetic is that ! 😛 – if anyone knows about a zone4 variety, please tell !)
    The only thing still showing at the moment is my physocarpus. It’s about as lovely as the one you have there.

    Another great eyeful, Deborah. Thx!

    • 6

      Have you ever thought about a Korean Maple, acer pseudosieboldianum. I know, quite a mouthful. It is supposed to be hardy to Zone 4. It would be worth doing some research on, a very beautiful Japanese maple subsitute.

  4. 8

    teza said,

    Landscaper and all men…. go figure, perhaps this is why there is no eye for creativity? LOL!
    I was surprised to see how large the Fothergilla ‘Blue Mist’ is….. mine is but three of those branches masquerading as a shrub! Three years old and still a dwarf compared to RBG’s.
    I just sold three Acer griseum to a woman who wasted understory trees for a woodland…. only after she promised that I could come and photograph her garden next year! (By the way, I will need directions to Kilbourne Grove before next May… Hint! Hint!)
    Got any more RBG posts??? LOL!!! Keep ’em coming.
    OH, did you awaken to snow on the ground this morning?

    • 9

      Teza, I am sure that the TBG paid for a big one. (Fothergilla that is, get your mind out of the gutter). I would love to have a acer griseum for my garden, but then I want everything, don’t I! I would love to see that womans garden.
      No snow in Toronto, but I don’t know what happened in Owen Sound!

  5. 10

    rosey pollen said,

    BUmmer about the class, I am assuming you have no regrets since you got some good shots. I wish I could help you with the pruning, I know NADA about that.

    • 11

      Rosey, it seems that pleaching is not very popular in North America, most nurseries that I have asked at do not even know what it is. I have been been haunting English web sited trying to get the mechanics.

  6. 12

    I just love the colour of those Acer’s, absolutely stunning :o)

  7. 14

    It’s too bad the course wasn’t what you were hoping for. Your pictures are beautiful, I adore Japanese Maples. Unfortunately they don’t grow here, I’ve thought about buying one as an annual, but they are very pricey.

  8. 16

    Joanne said,

    How annoying for you not to get the more advanced ideas. However the photos are lovely.

  9. 18

    myenglishcountrygarden said,

    Have you ever seen a copy of Sir Roy Strong’s book, “Creating Small Formal Gardens”.It is out of print but does give some “how to” instructions for topiary which are illustrated and might help you, Debroah.

    If you have difficulty finding it, do contact me by email and Ill see what I can do to help you 🙂

    I found it one of the most inspiring books I’ve ever read ….

    • 19

      Julie, I love, love, Roy Strong. Hs garden has long been on my (ever growing) list of gardens to see. I have most of his later books, but do not have this one, Thanks for the offer!
      I need to be inspired, so I think it is a must have, after all if it inspired you, it must be good!

      • 20

        myenglishcountrygarden said,

        LOL you would recognise a lot of the elements he recommends in my garden plan, Deborah. Email me and Ill send you the approriate bits…once I can locate the book in this over stuffed house ,of course 😉

  10. 21

    Anna said,

    Some glorious autumn colour Deborah. Sorry to hear that the course did not provide you with the information that you were looking for. There is a pleached lime avenue at Arley Hall near to where I live. The limes have been there since 1850 and are clipped every year. I will not be visiting until next summer but if you still have any specific questions then I can try to track down one of the gardeners to enquire.

    • 22

      Anna, that is so kind of you to offer. I have read so much conflicting material that sometimes I am unsure of the way to proceed. If I can’t find anything a bit more certain, I may take you up on it.

  11. 23

    catmint said,

    Hi Deborah, No need to promise no more posts about TBG – it is fascinating for someone like from the other end to read about see these pics. The fact that all the men were profs and women home gardeners is typical and a shame. I have found in general men do have a different approach to gardening. When I need help I would only let a woman loose in my garden. Maybe you need a private lesson for the specialized pruning? Cheers, catmint

    • 24

      Catmint, I would be happy with a private lesson, if I could find someone who has experience with pleaching. I need some old Brit who worked at Kew Gardens!
      It was interesting that the men were the professionals and the women the “hobby” gardeners. Whenever they have lectures or courses at the TBG, it seems it is 90% women.

  12. 25

    Mary Delle said,

    Colors are wonderful. Toronto BG has some great trees. Loved seeing them.

    • 26

      Thanks Mary Delle, The colours were amazing, I think that fall has to be my second favourite season, the colours, the smells (smoke from a fire), the sounds (crackle of leaves). What more could you want!

  13. 27

    GardenJunkie said,

    Very frustrating about the pruning course. The one I took here at the NYBG a couple of years ago was a 4-week course that did get into pleaching, pollarding, etc. – we even got to practice various techniques on the plants in the botanical garden. But I haven’t gotten up the courage to try them on my own plants yet! I hope you find the information you’re looking for.

  14. 29

    Grace said,

    All I can say is, keep ’em comin’ Deborah! The colors and textures are so skillfully designed, so inspiring. Truthfully autumn is not one of my favorite seasons but with posts like yours I’m quickly changing my attitude. 🙂

  15. 31

    Michelle said,

    What is the name of the yellow grass next to the red Japanese maple? It is lovely – I want some for my property!! I love Japanese maples. Thanks for sharing. Michelle

  16. 33

    Deborah, I’m just catching up on my blog reading after a few distractions (very pesky: work, work, other stuff). What a crazy coincidence that you and I posted on this at the same time. Or not crazy… as we’re both taking courses there right now. I actually took my photos on the 5th, the day you posted, but didn’t have time to put them on the blog till Sunday. It is really so beautiful at the TBG, isn’t it? They’ve done a fabulous job in the last few years.

  17. 35

    fairegarden said,

    Hi Deborah, I love your name BTW! I am sure I commented on this post, but don’t see it so will try again. I can’t blame blogger this time either! That first photo just blows me away! What a fabulous mix of colors and textures, like a fine tapestry, which is what gardens should like like in my opinion. The colors on the japanese maples is really outstanding. Mine did not show well this year for some reason, but have other years so who knows what’s up with that. I did enjoy you scrappy post too. I am also an anglophile and am quite envious of your time there. And scottish ancestry. 🙂

    • 36

      Sorry Frances, I do not know what happened to your other comment. I have so many problems with blogger, spend ages typing a long, very insightful comment, and think that it will be posted, only to find it gone!!!
      Wordpress does not have this problem, I especially love the My Comments where you can see if your comment is replyed to!
      Thanks for the compliment on the picture, I really must go back and take that same shot at different times of the year. It would be interesting to see if they can keep that standard up.
      I am glad you enjoyed my Honest Scrap. I loved, loved, loved living in England, it is as amazing as you can imagine!!!

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