All in all it’s been an incredible October. Hard frost didn’t arrive until early this week so as of last week, you would have been forgiven for thinking it was September.
The annuals scattered around the Gardens were looking positively lush.
Alas the majority of the gardeners will be switching over to snow removal duties shortly, so ready or not, the beds must be cleaned up, amended and put to bed for the winter.
The gardeners were pretty sensitive about their task. They too bemoan the need to rip out ripe specimens, but being impossible to do all the work in one fell swoop, they saved the most popular beds for last.
Monday’s frost disintegrated the Dahlias… at least the main bed, so that was an easier task to accomplish (at least emotionally).
Soon all that will be left to admire are the majestic old trees as they flaunt their autumnal finery.
A week ago the carpet beds were still going strong though the day after this photo was take the hen and chicks (Sempervivums) were taken out along with the begonias. It still looked pretty good though.
The Maiden grass fronds (Miscanthus) and Autumn Joy sedum flowers by the statue of Flora heralded the fall season, though the annual flowers scattered around the geometric beds still gave the illusion of summer.
Creative gardening by Mother Nature. The dark red Black eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata) vines find their way inside the glass globes of the light standards improving on its design.
The Tropical display bed has been emptied but the Elina yellow roses are once again going strong. Though they have no scent, their perfectly formed yellow to ivory flowers atop straight, strong stems, make them a perfect cut rose. This is NOT and invitation but an observation.
A plant for all seasons. This Malus (Crabapple) by the ladies washroom puts on a beautiful floral display in spring and an equally beautiful display in fall.
These two beautiful Katsura trees (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) by the Victoria Jubilee fountain are perennial fall showstoppers. There is a third one on the SE quadrant which has already come and gone. The one to watch is the weeping variety by the Boer War fountain. It’s still pretty small buy will one day be a force to be reckoned with.
Frost damage on the resplendent Dahlia bed. Not prize-winning material.
By mid-week this week, the lush geometric beds were but a memory.
One of the creative gardeners decided to give the Swan fountain a makeover with floating Dahlia blossoms from the recently removed bed. Our fine feathered friends approved and at one point I counted 11 of them frolicking or resting on the bowl.
The construction fence surrounding the Gardener’s Lodge has been taken down and I got my first full-on peek. Now the million dollar question is… what will be its fate?
The last hoorah!!! The smaller of the two Dahlia beds were saved from frost by the surrounding trees. Their time is nigh. Last year the Dahlia beds made it to the end of October. Only 5 days to go.
How can anyone not want to protect this? Just because it’s free doesn’t make it worthless or infinite.
The 7th Jarvis Lecture takes place on November 5.
The Dahlias will be gone but Amy will share her wealth of information about these diverse Victorian favourites. She’s been mentored by the best, and made quite a splash at the American Dahlia Society Centennial Conference, bringing glory to the Gardens and putting it/us on their radar.
The lecture is free and all are welcome.
The Public Gardens will be closing for the season on Sunday, November 15.
I’m not sure what the fate of the ‘Open Gate’ policy will be this winter. There were rumours that it might be difficult to do this year. Then again, Mother Nature made it impossible last year 😦
In the meantime we still have some glorious moments to share.
See you in a couple of weeks.
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