Friday, September 18, 2015

Not the Toronto Botanical Garden

Yesterday we toured the Toronto Botanical Garden. I mentioned a couple of times how small the garden is, but when you're there you might not realize it. Why? Because the garden sits adjacent to Edwards Gardens, a former estate garden now part of the parks system. You can't really tell where one ends and the other begins. On the left of the lady with the blue vest (that's Julie Hill I believe) is Edwards Gardens. On the right, where the man in the blue plaid shirt is, TBG.

So that means the green house is not part of the botanical garden...

Nor is this lovely planting.

Looking at the leaves I would have called this a Sansevieria, but in my limited experience the bloom doesn't look right. Anybody?

I loved that all my Garden Blogging friends checked in with me to make sure I'd spotted this bit of Agave goodness. They seemed to know I was suffering from Agave-withdrawal, on this - our 4th day in Toronto.

I'd forgotten all about this stunning combination of blue Agave and purple Tradescantia until I started editing my photos earlier this week. Perhaps it had a stronger influence on me than I realized though, since I repeated the combination in my garden this summer.

There was much discussion in our group about whether or not these plants were freshly planted out or had spent time in place. The pups around the base of this Agave americana 'Variegata' seem to say "I've been here awhile" - but there is no way it would have survived the Toronto winter without a heat source. Me thinks the greenhouse we saw earlier came into play.

Oh wait, this isn't a garden...it's an art installation!

That's why the agave looks like it's dancing.

There were a lot of weeds. Made me wish I had a pair of long tweezers handy.

This little patch of spikyness made my day!

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

37 comments:

  1. I am going to blatantly copy the idea of the tradescantia at the base of some of my agaves! Thanks for pictures and pointing out such a great idea. It really does look remarkable.

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    1. Yay! I am glad to hear it. Those of you who can grow that fabulous combo year 'round should!

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  2. The bloom on the Sanseveiria look-alike reminds me of an Aloe flower. I bet this bed of spikyness was such a relief for you to find!

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    1. It was! I'd seen one or two plants here or there but this was a lovely sight for very sore (hosta, peony, etc) eyes!

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  3. Ha! I've been using that purple and blue for years. Nice to see it in a colder clime!

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  4. I'm thinking your mystery spike may be a Yucca...

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    1. Hmm...Aloe I would buy, but Yucca? I'm not sure...

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  5. You need a big sign in front of the nastiest spikiest plant in your garden that says "Please do not climb on this cactus". Wouldn't that be hilarious?

    I feel the xeric plants look so strange there, so inappropriate for the climate. The light is just not right, too blue and soft.

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    1. Hilarious yes, but I can also see it being taken as a dare, which I just couldn't stomach.

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  6. I think Alison has it, mystery is an Aloe, one of the higher-rainfall tropical-ish types.

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    1. I think I'm leaning in that direction too.

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  7. That sign cracks me up. Problems with people climbing agaves before? Beautiful mix of plants in that bed!

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    1. Seriously...they're not that big!

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  8. Perfect antidote to an overload of peonies and hostas for you, oh dangerous one.

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  9. Maybe that mystery plant is a Gasteria ? There are some that look a tad Aloe-like.

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    1. Hhhmmm, very interesting. Yes...I think you might be on to something. I think of Gasteria as having flat tongue-like leaves but there are some long thin aloe-like leaved ones.

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  10. I'm glad you were able to get your fix while in Toronto.

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    1. And more importantly it's there for those who don't travel any further south.

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  11. No way I could resist trying to identify the mystery plant. Sansevieria gracilis and S. ballyi have similar leaves, structure and perhaps even bloom spikes. S. gracilis is the larger of the two. There are probably more species like them. I think your instinct told you right. cheers.

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    1. Thank you! I will be doing more research along these lines.

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  12. Oh that blue agave - purple tradescantia combination is lovely! I must see if I can find a blue agave to keep company for the tradescantias in my garden. hmmmm....

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  13. So that's how you weed around agaves, with tweezers - who knew.

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    1. Prevents a lot of pain and blood loss.

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  14. The flower stalk does look off for a Sansevieria. But I've never seen an aloe with leaves like those and the pups coming straight out the ground away from the base of the mother would tell me 100 percent Sans. Baby Aloes don't grow like that

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  15. Haha, art installation. Surely "do not climb" isn't necessary with all those spikes. Maybe to someone with a vision impairment, but then unless it's also written in braille, the warning is no use to them either.

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    1. The plants themselves are a kind of braille, saying "I will hurt you"...

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  16. That would be important to get a spiky fix while away, since I do every block or so, and I'm so used to it.

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  17. To think that all this time you've been growing an art installation. Must have been that styling you did with your pots.

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  18. Definitely a sansevieria. There are so many species, and they are all quite variable, but I'll toss in a guess for fun: Sansevieria aethiopica. I see another Sansevieria in the picture with all the weeds, and in the second to last picture to the left of the Euphorbia. That one looks like Sansevieria parva.

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  19. Edwards Gardens and the TBG will eventually (soon?) be one and the same, although the name is TBD (which does not mean Toronto Botanical Different -- although it could). Then we won't have the distinction of being one of North America's smallest botanical gardens. But we hope it will continue to inspire our visitors. Cheers, Loree! It was great to see you again in Toronto.

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