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.
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.
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.
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?
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.