Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall Colors at Edward's Gardens in Toronto

The month of August was a hard one for us. My husband has been taking a new diabetes drug (new to Canada) to better control his blood sugar levels. The drug has many benefits in comparison with insulin the old stand by drug for diabetes, with side effects in only .1% of the patients. Unfortunately for my husband Harold, he seems to have fallen within that insignificant percentile and has been experiencing every bad side effect on the drug's list, including nausea and vomiting. Crushing exhaustion has also been plaguing his days and I find him nodding off at the drop of a hat. He lost 10lbs in a month and looks pale and gaunt. (All this from the drug that is supposed to be "helping" him with diabetes!)

It was then with great relief that the last days of the month and the first days of September we had a bit of a reprieve from daily stresses. Two welcome weeks of vacation!  With great excitement, we embarked on a few days for a vacation trip to eastern Ontario/Ottawa. The health issues came right along with our other luggage, but it was still wonderful to be away.

Amongst other things, we went on a boat cruise of the Thousand Islands

We took in the Museum of Civilization and the National Gallery in Ottawa. This is a detail from a sculpture on display at the Museum of Civilization.

After our days of travel, we returned home to Toronto. Harold had plans to be off on his own adventure for the final few days of our vacation. Guilty to be leaving me behind at home, he let me choose some things I wanted to do with our final vacation day together. 

I decided I wanted to do something fun and for me taking pictures of flowers is fun. We have never been to Edwards Garden in Toronto and I thought that it was about time we paid the civic garden a visit.

Adjacent to the Toronto Botanical Gardens, Edwards Gardens is a former estate garden that was purchased by the city of Toronto in 1955. It is now a public garden known for its roses, wildflowers and rockery.

It is always wonderful to discover new perennial that would make a great addition to my own garden. I was not familiar with this one at all but thought that it was really pretty, as a foil for all the pink sedums in the fall flower beds. 

Perhaps you know its name? I think it might be Caryopteris or as it is commonly called Bluebeard or Blue Spirea.

At Edwards Gardens, tall grasses made a really nice backdrop for the flower beds planted with a variety of perennials including sedum and asters.

The ruffled leaves of burgundy Heuchera (lower right) nicely compliment the pale pink color of the adjacent sedum.

Dark burgundy leaves, warm pink and a blue toned pink flowers create an odd but interesting mix of colors, don't you think?

Up close the tiny sedum buds are like fireworks

The Obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana) we saw there can be a great addition to the fall garden. They are easy to grow in moist soils in sun or part shade. Be careful to choose on of the newer varieties like "Miss Manners" as older varieties of obedient plant can be invasive.

Here different shades of pink sedum were mixed to great effect.

Annuals really come into their own in the last days of summer. I haven't used many annuals in my garden and these beds where enough to make me reconsider. I love the distinctive leaves of these annuals. Who needs flowers when you have such dramatic foliage?

Our morning at the garden was quite and restful. Harold soaked in the sun, while I went round and got picture taking out of my system. He did stir off his garden bench to take some bee pictures. He loves taking bee pictures. Me, I've been stung too many times. I'll stick with flowers. Except for run-ins with thorns, flowers don't bite!


  1. Great photos, I love the two different color sedums together. I wouldn't have thought of doing that.


  2. One of my favourite places & I haven't been there in a while - saw the Caryopteris 'Worchester Gold' featured in my e-newsletter from the TBG - isn't it gorgeous - even prettier in your photo. So sorry to hear of your husband's health bumps - it is just so unpleasant to go through - hope things continue to improve. Thank goodness for holidays and the power of gardens.

  3. Dear Jennifer:

    I am sorry to hear about your Harold's plight. I hope he's feeling better soon.
    Your photos from Edwards Gardens are gorgeous, as always. I haven't been there for at least 20 years now. Hmmmm - time to schedule a visit.

  4. What stunning photos. The color is so vibrant. I felt like I was there. Please take a stroll in my garden
    in photo gallery 1.

  5. Thanks for the heads up about Miss Manners. The scientists have finally heard our prayers.

  6. These are beautiful pictures! Enjoy a lovely day, Kellie xx

  7. Edwards Gardens are truly beautiful in fall.The sedums make nice borders. The bee on the caryoptris is cute. Bees are out in full force on these plants as of late. Thanks for a garden tour I have never been on, yet have been to Toronto many times. Next time, it will be on my list of places to go.Donna

  8. Dear Jennifer,
    I am really sorry to hear about your Harold. Hope he will get better soon! I haven't seen you blog for a while know. I just want to say that You are one of the most talented ladies I know! The the best teacher and have to tell you the boss I ever had! The photographs are so beautiful and I really enjoyed to read you comments! I truly missed you and hope to see you soon!

  9. Thanks so much everyone for your kind comments.

  10. These flowers are BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for stopping by my blog. :)

  11. I hope that you have nice memories when you watch this video of Edwards Gardens:


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