Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Late Bloomers & other treasures at Lost Horizons

Do you have a garden muse? 

I have several in the books that I like to flip through for inspiration, but I have to say that the ones that inspire me the most are the local gardens that I can actual go and visit. The pictures in a book are a delight to the eyes, but a garden speaks to the soul! 

The display garden at Lost Horizons Nursery is one such garden muse. Though I have been there many, many times I always discover something new along its rambling pathways; a new plant, a pretty plant combination or an interesting play of textures, shapes and colors. I always come away determined to do better in my own garden (and a little poorer having filled the trunk of my car with plant purchases!). 

Gathered here are some of the images from recent visits, with a focus on perennials that shine late in the gardening season.

The red flowering plant in the right, middle foreground is Mountain Fleeceflower, Persicaria 'Firetail' Height: 60-90 cm Spread 45 cm Care: Will grow in a variety of soils, full sun to part shade.

Miscanthus sinenis 'Variegatus' Height: 150-210 cm Spread 80-90 cm 
Care: Will grow in a variety of soils. Full sun.

Rudbeckia triloba 'Prairie Glow' This is a new selection with bi-color blooms. Height: 120 cm Spread: 60 cm Care: This is a short-lived perennial with a tendency to reseed. It is easy to grow in average, moist, well-drained soil. Full sun. 

Dogwood berries have been left for the squirrels and chipmunks that visit the garden. Cornelian Cherry Dogwood, Cornus mas Height 6-9 m. Care: Sun/part shade

Annual Poppy

Persicaria virginiana 'Lance Corporal' is a woodland plant with apple-green leaves. This plant has dark flower spikes with tiny red flowers that appear in late summer. Height: 40 cm 
Partial to full shade Spread: 30 cm 

 Acer campestre 'Carnival' is an award winning Hedge Maple with green leaves edged in white (on the right). Height: 3 m Spread: 2 m

The display garden has a variety of Phlox paniculata

This is a native variety of Cardinal Flower, Lobelia siphilitica. It has bright blue flowers in late summer that are a magnet for butterflies and hummingbirds. Height: 91 cm Spread: 61 cm Care: Full sun to part shade in average, moist or wet soil.

A pretty combination of colors and textures.

Cassia marilandica is a native plant found in moist areas. Yellow pea flowers are followed by these incredible seed pods. Height: 180 cm Spread: 120 cm 

Japanese Anenome

Salvia sclarea is a short-lived perennial that will self-seed around the garden. It has fuzzy leaves and soft cream and mauve flowers. Height: 100 cm Spread: 40 cm Care: Sun and gravelly soil.

Salvia koyamae is a little known Japanese species of salvia. It has heart-shaped leaves and soft buttery-yellow flowers in summer. This is a woodland plant that spreads by rhizomes. Height: 60 cm Spread: 40 cm Care: Part sun to shade.

I bought this woodland plant and promptly lost its plant tag. Can you I.D. it?
(Update: Thank you Janneke and Joy for the I.D. This is the Kirengeshoma palmata. Height 90-120 cm Spread: 75-90 cm Care: Likes moist soil.)

Corydalis ex.'Du Fu Temple' has sky blue flowers with a blush of mauve and blooms from spring into late fall. It will readily self-seed in the garden. Height: 30 cm Spread: 30 cm Care: Part sun to shade.

More Information and Links:

Lost Horizons Nursery has one of the most beautiful display gardens in Ontario. The nursery itself, offers over 3000 plants from around the world, many extremely rare. Visit the nursery's blog here.

To visit the Lost Horizons website click the link.
Lost Horizons Nursery and Display Gardens are located just west of Toronto on Highway 7, two miles west of the town of Acton, Ontario.

For complete driving directions click here.  In the off-season their hours are more limited. Right now, I believe they are Wed.-Sun. 10-5pm.


  1. Wish I was living in Ontario now.... It must be such a treat to have a nursery annex wonderful display garden like that in the neighbourhood. Thanks for taking us with you!

  2. Beautiful and with such soul! :-)

  3. Increíble, una belleza!!Un abrazo grande.

  4. Stunning photos...and the one with t"carnival shows the use of texture,color and form ...perfect example of excellent garden design

  5. What a beautiful display garden that nursery has got, I love the maples.
    The yellow woodlandplant of which you lost the label is the
    Kirengeshoma palmata. I also have this plant in my garden and is blooming at the moment.

  6. So much variety and loveliness in one post! The salvias are really pretty x

  7. Beautiful gardens are so inspiring, i always find myself wondering if i can slot this or that into my garden, and i even find myself mentally redesigning my garden with plants iv'e seen. There arn't too many nurseries over here with such beautiful display gardens like this one.

  8. Lovely. I wish there were more gardens here for me to visit. Whenever we go on vacation, we always plan a visit to the local botanical gardens. They really can be very inspiring. Thanks for the tour.

  9. Gorgeous display gardens! I'll have to plan a trip there when I visit my niece in Orangeville. Beautiful pictures!
    Debbie :)

  10. I really wish we had gardens like that here. We have some formal gardens in DC and garden centers with standard front-of-building landscaping but nothing like what you've been able to experience. It's really frustrating. I never even see tours for any private gardens except for spring tours. Maybe it's our hot, humid climate. I think you'd have to drag me out of a place like Lost Horizons. By the way, persicaria self seeds like a demon.

  11. Wonderful plants shared! I bought a Corydalis, and it is suffering in our heat. Hope it comes back and shines in the spring. Love that Rudbeckia!! Prairie Sun. Nice. I have looked at Persicaria Red Dragon....love the foliage color.
    I haven't found a place that stimulates my garden senses like the one you shared....though through the internet all views are possible.

  12. Awesome pictures and plants. That's a beautiful place to visit. It would be nice to walk there and enjoy that beautiness.

  13. Beautiful garden with some really stunning foliage. Was amazed to see Corydalis still flowering, it looks reallt beautiful and what a gorgeous blue. Your plant is Kirengeshoma palmata, we have one here and it has just started flowering.

    1. Thanks for the confirmation on my mystery plant Pauline!

  14. Lovely photos full of inspiration. The ornamental grasses are among my favorite for landscaping large areas. The maples are stunning, too.

    I hope the dog visitor in your previous post was reunited with the owner. How nice of you to keep the dog safe, and what a shame the owners are repeat offenders. Chickadees are lighter than air, aren't they? How happy he/she must be.

  15. Beautiful place, beautiful plants, enchanted garden. I am greeting

  16. Just amazing work! Love your new header an explosion of color! Just delightful!

  17. Don't know why I've never been to Lost Horizons - it looks fabulous!

    I have the persicaria virginiara in a variegated variety - it's just starting to bloom now - love the arching flower spikes. Only problem with is that it spreads and become a bit invasive (or so they tell me - I'm happy with it's spread right now).

  18. Jennifer girl these pictures are so beautiful .. I wish I lived closer to this nursery because I know it is totally amazing (comments from other friends , that it is heaven and hard on your bank account ? LOL)
    That plant is Kirengeshoma palmata .. Korean Waxbells .. I have them and they can be gorgeous (when not knocked off it's poor feet from the drought .. I am waiting for mine to open now too!)
    Love the late bloomers .. soon it will be putting the garden to bed and finally relaxing a little ? LOL
    Joy : )

  19. I know why I don't visit more often....oh yes, my bank balance. Isn't it lovely? I'd never seen that sweet little Rudbeckia 'Prairie Glow' before, and of course now I just have to have it. The Kirengeshoma is delightful - will sulk without sufficient water. Have two varieties sold as K. palmata and K. palmata Koreana - have found my bees are too fat for #1 - they break the petals apart looking for pollen - the second with its flared petals suits my chubby bees much better.

  20. Uh-oh…..Lost Horizons seems but a short drive away! I may have to hide the next VISA bill from you-know-who :)
    Beautiful plants and photos. I think I'll plan a trip there. Maybe I'll take my Dad along!

  21. A fabulous post! I am seriously lusting after a visit to Lost Horizons which I have heard of even on this side of the pond.The Cassia pods are beautiful although it looks a tad tender. I could join forces with Persicaria virginiana 'Lance Corporal' anyday just my cup of tea.

  22. Hi Jennifer, it always give nice feelings to see your shots. I know it will still take a long time before i can have shots as nice as yours! But how so wonderful to have gardens nearby to visit. It doesn't look like the Lost Horizon because plants there don't seem to be lost either! I love your shot of the persicaria the most.

  23. Wow. That is a nursery? The nurseries where I live are plants in pots. I would certainly find lots of inspiration, as you do, there.

  24. I can't get enough of those pebbly paths with plants spilling over. The individual plant profiles are interesting, but I keep going back to look at the scenes where there is a pea gravel route wandering away through those great foliage and texture combos. I want to walk those paths!

  25. Wonderful photos of perennials and what a nursery. Nurseries here are rows of plants in pots. I've never been to nursery where there are gardens for inspiration and to show they plant can be used. My garden muses are many and varied but the late Tasha Tudor's gardening style is at the top of my list. Rosetta E. Clarkson continues to inspire me from her books. The gardens of friends and the Toledo Botanical garden are places I go to glean ideas and some times plants.

  26. How fortunate you are to have such a beautiful display garden close enough to visit often! I'm like Laurrie--I want to stroll down those pebbly paths myself.

    In recent years I've tried to add more late-blooming plants for fall color. You've given me lots of ideas from the 'Prairie Glow' Rudbeckia to the hedge maple--which is gorgeous by the way--to the persicaria. But my favorite of all has to be the Corydalis; those blue blooms are stunning! I've written that name down to check it out. Thanks for all the inspiration, Jennifer!

  27. Hi Jennifer!
    I admire your photos.
    They are beautiful.
    Your blog impresses, it's so romantic and wonderful.

  28. Wow, a linear planting of arborvitae that I actually like. I also think I need to get some Persicaria.

  29. Nothing sells plants like lovely specimens in a beautiful display garden! We're lucky enough to have Plant Delights and Niche Gardens within driving distance, as well as the NC Botanical Garden.

    So many nice plants you've showcased in this post! I really like the looks of 'Prairie Glow'.


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