I have recently visited Allan Gardens Conservatory in Toronto, Canada to admire their annual Christmas Show. I would like to share with your my experience from this unique botanical garden. It really looked particularly beautiful during this holiday season.
About Allan Gardens Conservatory.
Allan Gardens Conservatory is one of the important tourist attraction located right in Toronto’s Downtown. Allan Gardens Conservatory, historic domed “Palm House” is made of cast-iron and glass and was built more than 100 years ago, in 1910. It contains six linked greenhouses with an area of over 16,000 square feet and it is located in one of Toronto oldest parks between Jarvis, Sherbourne, Carlton, Gerrard East streets. The development of this amazing botanical garden started with the donation of a five acre parcel of land in 1858 by George Allan, who was a local politician and cultural leader.
Besides permanent exotic plants collections from around the world, Allan Gardens features several seasonal awards-winning flower shows: Spring, Easter, Summer, Fall and Christmas, with the Christmas Flower Show being the highlight of the year.
Allan Gardens Christmas Show.
During this time, the “Palm House” is decorated with thousands of flowering plants, including more than 30 varieties of poinsettia, as well as a variety of creative Christmas decor, including many topiary masterpieces made of natural plant materials.
I am sorry I have missed the grand opening in December, when visitors enjoyed horse and wagon rides, Christmas songs and music, hot apple cider and even could have met Santa while he was visiting the greenhouse. In 2016 the opening date was the first Sunday of December and the last day of the show was January 8, 2017.
My Impressions From 2016 Christmas Show.
I was there this year, in January 2017 around the end of the show, so some topiaries and amaryllis flowers have already passed their prime. I was amazed by the number of poinsettias, which were on display there, as well as quite impressed with several elaborate topiaries and other interesting Christmas decor.
My favorite was a topiary, which I called “Green Lady with Swan”, even if her dress and swan looked probably better at the beginning of the show. The dress of the lady was made from coniferous tree branches (probably fir) and they began to dry up. Also the neck and head of the swan was made from some plant materials, which become quite wilted. I guess they both might have looked much better at the beginning of the show. Nevertheless, the lady was still quite impressive. She was surrounded by many poinsettias, which almost looked like a river made of flowers.
I also liked very much the penguin playing piano topiary, which was very elaborate and made from live plants to which they have added a piano. I have seen information about how some of their live plants topiaries an created and they first make a wire constructions to which plants are attached and trained. I wonder how long it might take to grow such masterpiece. I can imagine it might be several months before something like that is ready for display.
There was more penguin topiaries depicting musicians playing various instruments. One of them seemed to be playing cello and other two held trumpets. They were standing on the opposite side of the path from the pianist. These floral art pieces were also very nice, but a bit hard to photograph since they were blending too much with a very similar colour background. I wish they would be made from a different colour plants or that the background would have a contrasting colour, so they will be easier to see.
There of course was also Santa with horse topiary, which was quite nice. I also liked very much the suspended from ceiling Christmas decor in one of the greenhouses.
When passing by I could feel some temperature changes between greenhouses, which I guess were adjusted to optimum conditions for plant they were hosting. Some of the conservatories were pretty cold and other seem to have more tropical climate.
I also liked many blooming amaryllis, even if some of them have partially wilted. I only wish there would be a bigger variety of colours among these beautiful flowering bulbs. They certainly come in a big selection, so I am not sure why only two kinds were chosen for this show, but I guess it is how the designer wanted it this year. They still looked very beautiful and I particularly liked their composition in decorative pots standing in one of the windows, which you can see in this post.
See More Photographs from this Show in the Below Gallery.
Besides some pictures of poinsettias, topiaries and other Christmas decor added to this article, you can see some more and bigger size images from this Christmas show in the gallery below. I wish I would have a better lighting when I was there, but the sky was quite overcast. Nevertheless I think several pictures have turned out quite well.
More Information About Allan Gardens Opening Hours.
Allan Gardens Conservatory is opened 365 days per year from 10 am-5 pm and the admission is free. It is wheelchair accessible. I think it would be a good idea to have longer opening hours at least 2 days during the week when days are longer, so more people can visit it after work. Otherwise many people can just see it on weekends, when it can get pretty crowded.
See More of Toronto’s Gardens.
For more information about some other interesting Toronto gardens, which I might also feature later in this blog, please visit this page.
The Copyright Info.
All images and the article are copyrighted by me, Renata Ratajczyk and can not be used without further permission. If you are interested in using any of them for your publications or on websites, please contact me. Thank you.
In the gallery below you will be able to see all pictures used in this article and some more. They are often displayed at a bigger size.
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