What’s in Bloom: More than Flowers …

By | What's In Bloom | May 8, 2012 | One comment

Leucojum aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’ (Snowflake); The flowers of Leucojum get as much attention as any narcissus this year!  The bulbs have multiplied nicely into a mass drift in the Demonstration Courtyard.

We’ve got more than flowers busy in the garden this spring – take for example Toad Prince, found in the Woodland Walk by TBG Gardener, Anastasia.  I couldn’t resist picking him up – he’s very squishy & full of bugs!!


Pulsatilla vulgaris (Pasque flower); This early spring-flowering perennial is right on time this year!  Recognized for its silky thick flower stems and buds, flowers open to a range of purples.  As flowers fade, fern-like foliage develops.

Iris pumila (Dwarf bearded iris); In the Terrace Garden, both Iris pumila and Iris germanica are in bud and flower – very early season for these irises as they were such in April!

Anemone blanda ‘White Splendour’(Grecian windflower) with Tulipa tarda (Species tulip); Planted just last fall, windflowers are coming up everywhere at the TBG!  They come in a multitude of colours from red, white, blue, & pink.  You will find ‘White Splendour’ and ‘Blue Shades’ throughout the TBG gardens.  Here, they are planted in combination with species tulips in the Entry Garden.

Cercis canadensis Collection (Eastern redbud); How can I not get on the Cercis bandwagon??  Our collection here at the TBG is the BEST it’s ever been!  There are actually two terrific views of the scene pictured above – from the limestone bridge in the Westview Terrace & Garden Hall, as well as from within the building in the Moriyama Foyer.

Cercis canadensis [Lavender Twist] = ‘Covey’ (Weeping eastern redbud); Covey is perfectly positioned to ‘weep’ over the wall.  Each flower literally pops off the stems, which are incredibly loaded this year!


Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ (Eastern redbud); Forest Pansy is a purple-leaved cultivar of the ever-popular eastern redbud.

View from the top!  There are some advantages to being Head Gardener.  One is having access to areas for picture taking.  Here is the redbud collection from the top of the waterfall.

Cercis canadensis forma alba (Eastern redbud, white redbud); Hidden atop the waterfall of the Garden Hall Courtyard is the white form of the eastern redbud.  Young seedling leaves do not have the usual purplish hue.

Yes, this Canada Goose family has nested atop our garden shed for the past three years – guess they know a good thing when they find it!!

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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.

  • Hilde Ortmann

    Spring has sprung! Thanks for recording it so beautifully Sandra!

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