Is Winter Finally Here? Cones, Seeds – & Flowers!

By | What's In Bloom | January 19, 2012 | 2 comments

Abies koreana ‘Green Carpet’ (Korean fir)  This dwarf conifer gem is part of the TBG Show Garden collections.  Most notable are the cones which stand upright off the branches.  Green Carpet is a slow grower with rich green colour all year – a great option to ground cover junipers .

Pinus strobus ‘Pendula’ (Weeping Eastern white pine)  In the GHC, both specimens of this cultivar are quite heavily laden with slender, tapering cones.  Semi-dwarf with weeping, trailing branches, each tree has branches to the ground, not uncommon for Pendula.  This characteristic can be controlled or trained by choice pruning.

Larix kaempferi (Japanese larch)  Visitors must pass these stunning specimens upon entering the Floral Hall Courtyard.  The fine grey-green needle-like leaves have turned yellow since autumn, and eventually will drop.  Key features of these plants are the small brown cones lining the branches, and the bark which has turned a rusty-brown with winter.

Eryngium giganteum (Miss Willmott’s Ghost)  In the Garden Hall Courtyard, along the water channel this variety of sea holly makes a fine companion to ornamental grasses.  Ellen Willmott was said to have secretly scattered the seed of this biennial, self-seeder in the gardens she visited.   The spiky bracts around a centre cone of tiny flowers make a bold statement, even when left standing through winter.

Galanthus (Snowdrop)  Yes, before I left for Christmas holiday on Dec 23 I photographed two snowdrops in flower in the Demo Garden.  First week of January they were still there.  They’ve since finished flowering but even for Galanthus nivalis (Garden snowdrop) which is known to push through the snow in very early spring , or Galanthus elwesii (Giant snowdrop), named for being larger than G. nivalis (as large as small flowers go), this is quite the feat in Dec/Jan!!!

Helleborus niger ‘Maximus’ (Christmas rose)  In  the corner of the Westview Terrace garden a portion of the TBG hellebore collection is planted.  But no matter where you look, most of the hellebores have past the point of flower buds pushing through the soil, and many such as Maximus, are ready to pop!  These semi-evergreen plants usually flower beginning late winter/early spring, but dare I say this is an exceptional sight – & winter!

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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.

  • Yashverma2009

    hey does anyone know where i can buy these flowers from.

    • Toronto Botanical Garden

      We will have hellebores along with other sought-after plants available at the TBG Plant Sale, May 17 through 21, 2012.

TORONTO BOTANICAL GARDEN, 777 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto, ON CANADA | 416-397-1341 |