Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Royal Botanical Gardens

About an hour's drive west of Toronto along the shore of Lake Ontario is the Royal Botanical Gardens - a perfect place to visit at this time of the year.  I went recently with my sister and a friend who were visiting us and it was simply gorgeous.  Every season is different at the Royal Botanical Gardens, so it is always interesting to see what catches your attention.  This visit was all about the spring flowers and flowering trees.  One of the things I loved were all the daffodil beds.   I actually had no idea there were so many different types of daffodils.  

There were classic yellow daffodils which are still my favourites.

But my heart was tempted by all these other pretties.  There were white daffodils with yellow coronas (the central part).

There were daffodils with orange cornonas - well to be more specific with double orange coronas, striped orange coronas, ruffled orange coronas, and bright orange coronas.

There were feathery daffodils,

and pink daffodils, 

and creamy yellow daffodils,

and mini-daffodils,

and big sister daffodils with little sister daffodils (I'm sure they are sisters).  I could go on and on  ....  oh wait, I did go and on about how pretty the daffodils are.  

We also enjoyed a walk through the forest down to the marsh in Hendrie Valley to see the giant rubik's cube that is there to make the squirrels feel frustrated and inadequate (or maybe I'm just projecting how I feel about rubik's cubes),

and a swan swanning around looking beautiful (well except for the dirty neck),

and a boardwalk to follow through the marsh so we could watch chirpy red wing blackbirds.

The highlight of the visit, though, was the Rock Garden which was strutting its spring finery.  Before the Royal Botanical Gardens obtained the land in 1927 this area was a complete eyesore with shacks surrounding an old gravel pit.  The Rock Garden was built in 1930-31 as part of a Depression era make-work project.  They worked miracles and now every spring the Rock Garden blooms with 125,000 bulbs and then later in the season with 40,000 annuals to make things lovely for our viewing pleasure.

For years my favourite type of tulips has been the red ones with a little edge of yellow.

But do you know what happened - another tulip stole my heart.  That's right, the surprising thing is it is pink and ruffly - not my sort of thing usually.  They ranged in colour from a very pale pink to a deeper rosy pink.  Yep, I've gone all girly this time.

Can you blame me.  I think I'll have to have two favourites now.  Okay make that three favourites - I was pretty taken with these double tulips as well.

On our way back to the car I spied some flowering cherry trees (they are at the far end of the Rock Garden parking lot in case you live nearby and are going to visit).  

These were ancient cherry trees with thick dark trunks and huge arching branches loaded with white and pale pink blossoms.  

I've always wanted to be under such gorgeous cherry trees when they were in full bloom and now I have been.   All I can say is that they were intoxicating.

If you are ever in the Toronto area you should make a day of going to the Royal Botanical Gardens and especially when the spring blossoms are out.  Apparently they have a world famous collection of lilacs too, which I would love to see one day.

Pin It

Linked to Love the Place you Live Series at Design Mom


  1. It all looks very beautiful. Lovely seeing many different varieties of daffodils and I do like the 'girly' tulip. I wouldn't mind a visit there myself!

  2. What a lovely garden. I love the ruffled tulips and feathery daffodils (never seen that variety before). And those pink daffodils are the prettiest flower...I would love some pink daffodil bulbs! Lovely post, Grace. Thanks for sharing your trip with us!


  3. Oh! I live not 1/2 an hour from the RBG and my flowers aren't in bloom like that!! I guess I may have to slip down there after work one day and check out their daffs and tulips. And those cherry trees - AMAZING!!

  4. THANK YOU!! I visited the RBG several years ago when in town from the states. This post brought back so many warm memories. Gorgeous!

  5. I want to go here now! It looks to pretty. And your swan picture was gorgeous! Frame it and put it up on your wall.