Late-August Greenery

The park across the road from my apartment building in downtown Toronto (Lawrence Park) is a place of respite and relaxation for all of the apartment dwellers in the area, a kind of green beacon of delight and calm in a sea of concrete and action. It's a wonderful place to explore: six acres of densely planted, heavily treed land with meandering pathways and sections of lawn, even a formal courtyard. It's a lovely place to wander and it's where you'll often find me on a Sunday afternoon, observing what's going on amid the leaves.

I feel I am a gardener by nature, but without any land to sow. This is why I'm such a proponent of parks and a real advocate for preserving green space where possible. Urbanites with a love gardens, flowers, plants and trees need these places of refuge. Lawrence Park is an exceptional example of this. Named after Alexander Muir, a Canadian poet, the park is beautifully maintained using only organic methods. It is planted with the seasons in mind; spring, summer and fall each offer their own rewards here. Even in winter, garden structures, such as sculptures, stone walls, trellises, arbours and large trees, provide interest in the snowy landscape.

I took some photos this afternoon of some of the late-August greenery.
Hostas in bloom in the background. Astilbes in the foreground. I love the layering of height and the texture of the foliage against the silhouette of that locust tree.
A grouping of asters and cosmos created a fluttery, violet tableau in one corner of a garden.
I'm not sure what these little plants are, but they may be a variety of astilbe. I love how they catch the tone of the ornamental grass in the background.
These flowers were gorgeous: low to the ground and very prolific.
The formal rose garden, unfortunately, fell victim to a scrourge of rose beetles. This little monster's belly is full of petal and leaf matter. The roses don't stand much of a chance against a hungry enemy like this.
As you can see, many of the blooms have already been eaten. The buds that are yet to flower are prime prey. The foliage too is falling victim to pests and disease.
This rose is mostly intact, but the beetles have already begun to nibble....
This cedum is just beginning to turn its classic shade of rusty red as autumn approaches. I love this tableau of texture.
This formidable Scotch thistle was about to burst into bloom. When it does bloom, it will be a deep shade of purple. This variety is Scotland's official flower, hence its name. They are large and very robust, strikingly beautiful with all their thorny leaves and prickles and their large, crown-like blossoms - not at all like their weedy cousins.
The Scotch thistle yields a striking silhouette against the gray sky.
A field of foxgloves growing behind a long cedar hedge was a wonderful surprise.
Purple and cream varieties only.
All of this foliage will be exciting when it starts to turn shades of gold, rust and red in the autumn.
This house, which fronts the park, looked exceptionally beautiful.


Kenn said...

How wonderful to have the park so close by! It definitely looks like a place to enjoy all the seasons. Thanks for sharing, Andrew!

Ramona said...

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring down here so I am very much looking forward to seeing the garden come back to life! Thanks for the lovely photos - and what an amazing house!

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

Hey Andrew, is this park right on Yonge? I live downtown so I do not get up north of Bloor that often, but I am looking for ideas on formal gardens for my house in the country.


Yes, it is! It's at the corner of St. Edmund's Drive and Yonge. Come see it for yourself. It's lovely!