What’s in Bloom: Good ‘Winter’ Bones

By | What's In Bloom | February 15, 2013 | One comment

Many of you who participated in our recent survey of the gardens, in particular noted that more ‘Winter interest’ should be added.  I’ve been walking around the garden daily this winter, and here are the bits that are quite good already  - and I hope you’ll agree!  In the Kitchen Garden, Fagus sylvatica ‘Aspleniifolia’ (Fern-leaved beech) whose framework set against sun & sky is in class of its own.

An interesting feature located at the end of the Terrace Garden, is The Lookout.  It has also been affectionately called The Bunker.  Depending on the visitor, this lookout has been used to climb, sit in, take photos from, and shown here acts as a frame of the Perennial Border beyond.

It is good to have hard-features as well as soft, and this wrought-iron black urn stands up to all kinds of weather, and makes for interesting planting arrangements at the South end of the Perennial Border.  

You can never have enough hedging, so it seems, to frame plantings and create garden rooms.  In the Knot Garden, this hedge of Fagus sylvatica (Purpurea Group) ‘Cuprea’ (Copper beech) frames the Knot garden on its East side, as well as acting as a screen to the parking lot & Arrival Courtyard.

This yew hedge made up of Taxus x media ‘Hicksii’, creates a dividing line between plantings in the South Show Garden – & looks great with snow on it!

Hydrangea’s really have year-round interest.  Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’, here in the Perennial Border, not only holds its faded blooms well throughout winter, the structure alone of these shrubs makes them an invaluable addition to the perennial border.

It may be a grey day (not that grey isn’t a terrific colour), but the branches of Cornus sanguinea ‘Winter Beauty’ (Bloodtwig dogwood) will light up the garden.

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Sandra Pella about the author: Sandra Pella

Sandra Pella has worked as Head Gardener of the Toronto Botanical Garden since 2008. She holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario, and upon graduation worked in the financial sector until the pull of plants was too much to resist, whereupon she found herself at Janet Anderson Perennials (formerly JEA Perennials) as a horticultural technician. She has been the Perennial Manager at Summerhill Nursery & Floral followed by the Assistant Horticulturist at the TBG prior to its renovation. Sandra worked as a Gardener for two seasons with the City of Toronto as well as seasonal Gardener for the TBG prior to being named Head Gardener. She is self-taught in the field and thus greatly appreciated the experience a gardening internship in 2009 at Great Dixter in the UK brought to her. Sandra has a regular What’s In Bloom blog and is one of the spokespeople for the TBG.

  • Ana

    I was walking around the garden there yesterday and was really impressed with the amount of winter interest in the gardens, even the parking lot. So beautiful

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