Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Six days in Toronto...

The official "Garden Bloggers Fling" festivities kicked off late enough on Thursday, June 4th that Andrew and I had an entire day to explore Toronto and adjust to the time difference. I've previously only ever "Flung" in my own, West Coast, time zone (Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland). I now have an entirely different level of appreciation for those that have participated in the jam-packed touring schedule while also being seriously out of wack with their internal clock!

This was the official home base for the 2015 Fling, the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Huge, old, and glamorous.

As I was taking that shot above I realized a flat-bed truck was going by loaded up with a couple of trees.

What a nice welcome for a garden blogger!

Old City Hall

With some very serious gargoyles...

Our destination that afternoon was a store called Muji, Andrew was familiar with them from his time spent living in Japan, and was excited to share their simple, clean, design aesthetic with me. I loved it and we learned they have a store in San Francisco, much closer to home. En-route we happened upon Trinity Square. I was intrigued by the shallow pond edge.

It reminded me of a big city downtown, hugging the waterfront, much like Toronto does. Tall buildings giving way to shorter ones closer to the water.

Simple

And very nicely done.



Now I'm fast forwarding to later in the day, evening actually. We're walking back to the hotel after wrapping up the opening event held at Lee Valley Tools. Lee Valley was a very generous sponsor of the Toronto Fling, sadly I was so overwhelmed (seeing everyone again, shopping) I didn't take a single photo at the store. I'm sure I'll be doing a future post about them though, when I spend my $50 gift card (!). So, as I was writing, we're walking back to the hotel when out of the corner of my eye I catch sight of this...

Bamboo, indoors!

Naturally I had to go investigate.

There was an architectural rendering display going on but I was only interested in checking out the bamboo.

I looked around for signage explaining what the fragments were from, and why they planted bamboo, indoors. I found nothing.

There was more on the other side of the lobby too.


Fast forward again and now it's Sunday, when us bloggers visited Evergreen Brick Works. I loved it and will definitely be posting a bunch of photos. I didn't take this one though, Laurin of Ravenscourt Gardens did - and then posted it to my Facebook page...

It was because of her that I later spotted this one in the Subway. I could start a whole collection of danger signs!

It wasn't until saying goodbye to Pam, on the last night of the Fling (Sunday), that I noticed for days we'd been walking right underneath a blooming agave in the hotel lobby.

Well, a painting (wallpaper?) one anyway.

There was also an iceberg. Something for everyone!

Palms, agaves, opuntias. I love it!

Now it's Monday. Some of the bloggers took part in an optional third (or fourth, if you count the opening event on Thursday night as day one) day and traveled to Niagara Falls. I chose instead to spend the day seeing more of the city with Andrew, in fact we had two extra days to goof-off. This flower (or, I assume, sculpture of) was at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Who knew? If you're curious (and you should be) check out this short (2 minute) "documentary" on YouTube. the flower really looks like that and it's huge!

Also at the ROM was this tree-shaped "lamp."

I loved the idea of leaf-shaped shadows all over my walls.

Finally there was this little guy, and wouldn't you know it I didn't manage to capture any info on him, darn. So...you're probably wondering: yes, I did take a lot of garden/plant photos and I promise to start sharing them on Thursday!

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

33 comments:

  1. A great intro to your Fling coverage. Can't wait! One question ahead of time: How many agaves did you see in Toronto (aside from the flowering specimen in that mural)?

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    1. Not many! On day one I could see a planting of them off in the distance at High Park. Unfortunately I wasn't ever able to actually get close to them to see what it was all about. I thought about deserting the group and taking off on my own but thankfully I didn't. The buses moved as the group followed the speaker and I never would have found them when it was time to leave. On day two there was a private garden that had snuck in a few in containers (yay!) and I spotted one in an off limits greenhouse at Parkwood (a formal estate garden). Sunday there was a section planted up at the Toronto Botanical Garden, or so I thought. Upon speaking with their Director of Horticulture I learned that space didn't belong to them, but rather the adjacent park they're trying to buy.

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    2. p.s. I am thinking about doing a dedicated post on Agave spotting at the 2015 Fling.

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  2. Great little teaser post! I've been wondering if your adage "There's always an Agave" would hold up in a non-west coast area or in a less temperate zone like Toronto.

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    1. Well thank god I did manage to spot at least one agave each day, that would have been tragic had I not.

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  3. What a taster! Shame we had to bail out but good to see your pics and check out what we missed out on.

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    1. Must have been fun! I stayed at that hotel for work once. In in the city center you can walk all over the area from building to building via underground tunnels & enclosed spaces--so as to avoid going out into a Canadian winter. Should have gone...but oh yeah, jet lag, plane rides...airports...looking forward to your report.

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    2. We spent a little time in the underground, in fact I discovered a great little floral shop down there. I do wish all three of you would have been there!!!

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    3. Whaaaaa?!? How did I reply to a reply? It was late, very late.

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  4. It just killed me to see all the planning, the Facebook photos, and now the blog posts! I really hope I can join you at next year's Fling!

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    1. I wish you could have joined us at this year's Fling - I think I'll be sitting next year's out.

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  5. Great post to whet our appetites for more of the terrific Toronto fling! I do love me some old builings!

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    1. "the terrific Toronto fling"...I like that.

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  6. The Rafflesia was worth the trip, in my book. I'm glad you took the time to poke around the city. Unscheduled roaming is my favorite part of any new location.

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    1. I thought for sure they'd "cartoonized" that Rafflesia bloom, it was shocking to see that's exactly what it really looks like!

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  7. It looks as it has been fun! can´t wait to see pictures of the gardens! I love Rafflesia! I would definitely have one in my garden if that was possible.

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    1. Have you seen them "in real life?"

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  8. Oh and, there is Muji here in Madrid too! I´ve bought some things there some years ago.

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  9. How fun...reminding me there was so much more to see in Toronto! I like the shallow pond you came upon and it does look like a big city downtown, hugging the waterfront. I never noticed the wall paper at all...funny agaves and icebergs! The fling experience is amazing and then magnified by reliving it through other bloggers pictures and stories! I am looking forward to more post....happy you like your Danger sign. I have another one for you from Niagara Falls.

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    1. I couldn't believe it took me days to notice the wall paper! And yes, I love reading what others write about it, and looking at their photos. I always see things I missed previously.

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  10. Great photos! Do you suppose that bamboo is going to get huge or that it is a species that stays small like that? Love that lamp and the bug in the rock, etc! Looking forward to the rest of your posts.

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    1. I think the bamboo, for the most part, is the size it wants to be already. It didn't look newly planted.

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  11. It looks like a beautiful city and the hotel is très élégante. (That's the limit to my French.) The mural was interesting - I wonder if it was meant to convey a story? (I'd like to know how an agave and an iceberg fit together.) That lamp was wonderful, as was the carving. You don't see details like those in LA!

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    1. I do think you're right, there's a story behind the mural. I looked for signage describing it, or at least an identifying mark I could use to research, but found nothing.

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  12. I too look forward to reading about the rest of your trip. And I know Muji, only as of recently! Hehe. Unfortunately none here that I know of though. I was intrigued by the plain bottles of shampoo and body wash at one of the places we stayed, then found out it was also from there. Great stuff.

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    1. Andrew said the store he visited (frequently) in Tokyo was much much bigger than the one we saw in Toronto. He keeps talking about us vacationing in Japan someday, maybe I'll see it too!

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  13. I really enjoyed this, but it made me feel like I was walking around with my eyes closed. You noticed so many things that I did not. Though I never did walk to City Hall and the waterfront (except for when we took the ferry). I heartily approve of city hall buildings with gargoyles, seems very appropriate somehow.

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    1. Indeed it does! I think I had more time out and about in the city than you guys did...

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  14. Ha! It takes a visitor to your own city to point out a sight you've never seen -- the water feature at Trinity Square. Where have I been hiding?? It looks like it's made of old granite setts that used to line the streets where the streetcar tracks ran. For example, streetcars used to run all the way along Bloor and Danforth before the subway was built. That's a lotta granite. Glad you came!

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    1. Yes I bet that's what they are (granite)...glad I could introduce you to something new! And I'm glad I came, thanks for an action packed adventure!

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  15. I'm glad to see what you and Andrew found because, like Jason, I think I saw only Fling gardens, not really any Toronto city sightseeing. Just didn't have the time or energy, unfortunately, although it looked like a vibrant, interesting city. Well, it's just one more reason to return one day!

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  16. As I was reading your post I was thinking the same thing as Helen - sometimes I find that I know other cities more than my own hometown! We often take for granted the things around us - they'll always be there, right, so what's the rush to explore? - and end up really missing out. That's one of the reasons I enjoyed my first fling so much - I was seeing my hometown from a completely different perspective.

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