Colour Hits for a Snowy Week

A few months ago, in search of colour at the beginning of what was already a monochromatic winter, I visited Allan Gardens in downtown Toronto. This wonderful conservatory has five main greenhouse spaces open to the public every day, free of charge. I thought I’d make a return visit a few days ago, on the eve of another snow storm which has pretty much guaranteed no spring bulbs in my own garden for at least another month.

I spotted a few spring bulbs here and there (within a few months the greenhouses will be full of them!) but right now the stars are Amaryllis, Kale and, or course, orchids.

pond in the greenhouse, with a statue of a woman holding an urn in middle.  Surrounded with tropical and sub tropcal plants including a row of tall white Amaryllis
One of my favourite spots in the conservatory is this small pond – gardeners periodically change the plants around it and right now there’s a marvelous row of tall white Amaryllis in bloom behind the Lady With Urn.

Speaking of Amaryllis, there are many in full bloom. Some are a deep crimson but most are white, or white with pink highlights. Some are HUGE and some are small. My favourite, I think, is the short double white.

close-up -- black and white photo double white Amaryllis in bloom
My fave… a short double white

Still going strong are the Cyclamen. In a few short weeks this border will likely be replaced by tulips, daffodils and Hyacinth. For now, visitors are enjoying the pinks and purples.

row of white, pink and purple Cyclamen in bloom

Always a staple in one of the greenhouses, always in bloom, are orchids. A nice surprise in the central atrium is this orchid lady – perhaps Little Bo Peep?

image of female mannequin, dress and hat made of orchids and foliage.  There's n animal at her side, perhaps a sheep
close up of mannequin decorated with plants, foliage and orchids

A pleasant surprise was the continued presence of ornamental kale, left to grow and prodce some pretty yellow flowers.

So if you’re in Toronto and despair of ever seeing spring…spend an hour at the Allan Gardens Conservatory. It’s quite fabulous.

photo taken outside, looking at the central conservatory dome


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