This post is for Helen of Toronto Gardens - we met this week in her home city (that's Helen on the right) and had the chance to talk about gardens, horticulture and blogging - as well as other things - and she's a wonderful lady!
It's all thanks to Helen that I got to see one of the most remarkable gardens I've visited on my travels - the Allan Gardens Conservatory - right in the heart of Cabbage Town in Toronto - an absolute gem! It's open daily from 10.00 to 5.00 and it's free - a series of garden rooms inside greenhouses, ranging from the cactus room to the spring flowers, but topped by a fantastic roof (top) which will leave you gasping on a day like today when the sky in Toronto was the same as a Carolina blue sky!
This morning was cold .... very cold, with a biting wind and sub-zero temperatures, but once I got inside the greenhouses, I was transported into a magical land of flowers. But what's really interesting about this garden is that if Helen hadn't told me about it, I would never have found it! It's not listed in the Toronto tourist guides; it doesn't appear in any of the great garden guides and for all intents and purposes, you wouldn't know it's there! But I for one, am putting it on the map because it's just too good to miss.
The spring flowers here are absolutely incredible with great displays of tulips and daffodils - in colours that I've never seen anywhere else - incredible purple tulips and daffodils with pink hearts - planted in huge clusters that will make your heart leap. And then there's the underplanting so that everywhere you look, you have amazing colour combinations!
Wander through the various conservatories and you'll see a range of different landscapes - from dense spring flowers to magnificent hydrangea displays and arid desert scenes - all in glasshouses in the middle of the city. If I lived in Toronto, I'd drop in all the time to catch this little patch of heaven!
What's so amazing about these lovely gardens is that there are only four gardeners looking after them - I chatted to one while I was there - and the floral displays are constantly changing throughout the seasons. This is definitely worth making a detour for - because it's the most wonderful surprise in the heart of a bustling city!
I was lucky because I was there on a beautiful sunny day (after getting soaked at Niagara the day before!), but I know that this garden would lift my spirits on any day!