It’s beginning to look a lot like…..peacocks? That’s right. At Toronto’s Allan Gardens, it’s beginning to look a lot like a beautiful peacock feathered with colourful succulents will be ready to strut his stuff well in advance of the Christmas Season. I was there yesterday and got a sneak peek from gardener Mikkel Schafer, who is the designer of this year’s feature topiary (see my video below) Made of colourful flowers of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana and various echeverias…..
…. the big bird is preening himself amongst the alocasias and bananas in the grand Palm House, the glass-domed centre of the five-glasshouse structure.
Mikkel was still working on the peacock’s neck, which is made from pine cone scales and leaves of silver dollar plant (Xerosicyos danguyi).
I loved the kalanchoe ‘eyes’ in his tailfeathers, below.
In the Tropical House, below, the succulent Christmas tree was already finished and standing in its place of honour amidst the bromeliads. It will greet many visitors when this year’s edition of the Allan Gardens Christmas Flower show opens on Sunday December 3rd, with seasonal music from noon to 4 pm. The floral displays will be in place through the holiday season daily from 10 am to 5 pm until January 7, 2018.
Look at the detailed work here…..
Mikkel posed with his topiary moose in the Temperate House. Its antlers are encrusted with mosses and lichens.
This mossy tree in the Temperate house…..
….is hung with decorations, like these cool silvery ornaments made from the velvety leaves of lambs’ ears (Stachys byzantina).
This one is fashioned from the dark seedheads of blackeyed susans (Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’).
Spiced orange pomander balls deck this topiary tree made from the leaves of red oak (Quercus rubra).
The pool in the Temperate House is a favourite destination for many, especially little kids counting the goldfish. It’s edged with azaleas this week.
Head down into the Tropical Landscape House where…..
….. apart from the usual gorgeous blossoms like hibiscus….
….. there is a trio of Cryptanthus-adorned topiary trees under the magnificent cycad.
The Arid House will look like a sparkly yuletide desert by early December, when the lights are in place amidst the spectacular collection of succulents and cacti. (This photo is from a previous Christmas).
I made a short video to whet your appetite for a seasonal visit to Toronto’s wonderful Allan Gardens this holiday season. Please note, the show runs from December 3 to January 7th.
But rest assured, if you miss seeing all the beautiful Christmas touches, like this lovely wreath in the Tropical House…..
…Allan Gardens Conservatory is a cozy, leafy oasis throughout Toronto’s long winter months when a parade of flowering bulbs, tropical blossoms and spring bulb flowers beckons. Do make a date to go!