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.