Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Late Bloomers at the Toronto Music Garden


Japanese Anemone, Anemone Hupehensis 'September Charm'


Music expresses that which cannot be said and that on which it is impossible to be silent." Victor Hugo 

Last weekend, we decided to take a break and spend the entire day in downtown Toronto. Our bright, sunny Saturday began with a walk along the lakeshore and a tour of the Toronto Music Garden. 

An opportunity to see music interpreted as landscape sounded like it could be interesting and the garden's spiralling pathways, which I had seen in pictures, was bound to be beautiful at this time of year. 



Designed by Julie Messervy in collaboration with famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and landscape architects from the city of Toronto's Parks, Forestry and Recreation departments, the Music Garden is an interpretation of Bach's First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello.

Each dance movement within the suite corresponds to one of the garden's six sections.   

Native Hackberries, whose straight trunks and regular spacing suggest measures of music were incorporated into the design of the garden's Prelude

The Allemande was interpreted as a birch forest. The walkways in this part of the garden swirl inward leading visitors to various contemplative seating areas.          


My favourite part of the Music Garden was the Courante, which has an upward spiralling pathway that leads you deep into the center of a meadow of grasses and perennials. 

Northern Sea Oats, Chasmanthium latifolium

Top right: Coneflower, Echinacea purperea, 'Bright Star'

Russian Sage, Perovskia atriplicifolia



The Sarabande is a movement in Bach's suite that is based on an ancient Spanish dance form. Enclosed by evergreens, the walkway in this section of the garden circles inward and has a huge stone at its core. 


This center stone holds a small pool that is intended to reflect the sky. Not surprisingly, this quiet retreat considered to be the poet's corner. 


Mountain Fleeceflower, Persicaria 'Firetail'


In the foreground: Golden Japanese Forest Grass, Hakonechloa 'Aureola', Rudbeckia is the yellow flower just behind the pale green grass.

A handcrafted pavilion and stage designed to shelter small musical ensembles and dance groups forms the garden's Menuett

Hibiscus Southern Belle
These large dinner plate Hibiscus flowers always amaze me. Who would ever think something so exotic and tropical looking could be found in a Canadian garden!

Pink Turtlehead, Chelonelyonii, 'Hot Lips'


Butterfly bush, Buddleia davidii 'Lochinch'

In the Courante and the Menuette sections of the garden the Buddleia were in full flower. They have the common name "Butterfly Bush" for a good reason. There were clouds of Monarch butterflies in the creamy-white colored bushes. Perhaps it was the honey and vanilla fragrance of these white flowers that was drawing them in.

White Butterfly Bush, Buddleia 'White Profusion'

After we walked through the Music Garden, we went to have lunch the St. Lawrence Market. Then we finished the day with a shopping trip to the Door Store to search for a vintage fireplace mantel. All in all, it was a lovely day.

More Information and Links:

The Toronto Music Garden: General information, the garden's history and design,  a map and plant list and information on how to get there can all be found here.

The Toronto Music Garden: Inspired by Bach by Julie Messervy commemorates the 10th anniversary of the Toronto Music Garden. In the book, author and designer Julie Messervy takes a look at the creation  of the garden and tours each of the six garden "rooms" inspired by the First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello by J.S.Bach. You can purchase a copy here.

28 comments:

  1. What beautiful photographs these are, Jennifer.
    I have visited Toronto a couple of times, and found it to be a wonderful city. I remember having some really great food there too!
    Thank you for taking us along with you.

    Have a wonderful day!
    xo.

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  2. Fabulous! This is so much fun to see. As part of one of my design classes we watched a video about the making of this garden which really captured my imagination since I am also a musician of sorts. Wonderful to see the garden now grown in. I can hear the music...

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  3. We spent a few days in Toronto 5 yrs ago before spending time with a friend up in the mountains, was this beautiful garden there then? We would have loved to have seen it, being interested in music as well as gardening.

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    1. Pauline, The garden is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Next time you visit Toronto the garden is well worth a visit.

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  4. Beautiful, Jennifer. I don't know why we haven't ventured there. Must put it on the bucket list for 2013.

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  5. Thanks for sharing this garden! My kids went there with their high school band and talked about how much I would like it. Certainly a wonderful addition to Toronto!
    Love that pink anemone.

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  6. l the concepts and its execution. And what a stellar cast. An once again your images are up to the task at hand. You mentioned it was 10 years old Are there some dramatic changes to the symphony expected in the next decade?

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  7. Jennifer, I'm so admired to see this wonderful Music Garden! You're luck to walk there. If Johan Sebastian Bach had known, he would be happy to walk in his music garden now. Thank you for sharing!

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  8. Such an amazing garden! It would wonderful to walk there and admire that lovely garden.

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  9. Beautiful photographs, views from the garden are wonderful. I am greeting

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  10. So cool! I really like looking at the map and seeing how they blending each garden in to the next...like a beautiful painting! Lovely pictures Jennifer!

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  11. What a gorgeous garden. Love the overlooking shot of that circle garden. Such beautiful colours used in there. I've never heard of this place before, next trip I'll need to think about visiting there. Thanks for the link to the Door Store too, another place I'll need to visit in future.

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  12. A fantastic idea pulled off beautifully by very talented people. Thank you for sharing this with us. I'm going to have to visit Toronto soon.

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  13. What a gorgeous place, I'd love to visit it. :)
    Thank you for taking us along with you, Jennifer.
    Your photos are always lovely, but that shot of the Anemone is simply jaw-dropping beautiful! Wow! :)
    Have a wonderful day!

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  14. What an interesting concept and a lovely garden - I'm not surprised you enjoyed it - looks like you had a great day out.

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  15. What a beautiful garden this must be! I appreciate you taking us on the tour, and especially of showing us the map. I have read about this garden, but the book only touched on it briefly. I also realize I need some butterfly bushes in my own garden!

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  16. On behalf of Julie Moir Messervy Design Studio, thank you for this beautiful post. Your photos are absolutely stunning! Julie visited the garden last week with her parents and said that this is one of the most spectacular times of year to view it, and your gorgeous images certainly do it justice. Would you mind if we re-posted this on our blog at http://www.jmmds.com/connect/blog/?

    Thanks again...exploring your blog was a lovely, restful moment in my busy morning!

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    1. Feel free to repost this or add a link to your site. I am happy to share the pictures with you as well. Just email me at jenc_art@hotmail.com

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    2. Thank you, Jen! We are so pleased to be able to share this with our readers. You can see our post at http://www.jmmds.com/2012/08/a-virtual-visit-to-the-toronto-music-garden/.

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  17. Wow what a fantastic trip you did make. Beautiful garden, flowers and design are great. The vieuw on the centre of Toronta is also welcome.
    Have a nice weekend Jennifer.

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  18. Jennifer,
    My goodness, the very concept of a music garden simply fascinates me. What an idea. Your photos are simply stunning. It feels as if I've been there! Thank you.

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  19. Jestem zachwycona miejscem które pokazałaś i pięknymi zdjęciami. Dziękuję za wizytę u mnie i pozdrawiam serdecznie.
    I am delighted that you show the place and beautiful pictures. Thank you for visiting with me and I greet warmly.

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  20. Hi Jennifer
    Wow! You find all these cool local places that I've never heard of - thx! Definitely worth a visit. Maybe if I take hubby along, I can wangle a dinner out afterwards….as long as we're in town anyway…..:)
    Astrid

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  21. The garden is just beautiful, reminds me of the Lurie Gardens in Chicago but even prettier. I was in Toronto many years ago and I remember it as being very modern and upscale. I was fascinated by the number of people who had outdoor pools in Canada even though at that time it got colder than Chicago.

    Eileen

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  22. hermosas imágenes!! Me encantan las flores de la primer fotografía!! Un abrazo.

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  23. I too was in Toronto and saw Julie's design. It is a work of art and you did a wonderful job photographing it.

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  24. I have read about this garden before and saw something on public television about. It seems very creative and your pictures do it justice.

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