Gardens & Flowers

Orillia - Backlit Daisies
Along the trans-Canada trail through Orillia are many areas where wildflowers grow profusely. This field of dogwood daisies was caught in the morning sun, still heavy with dew.While these areas aren't cultured gardens, they are quite lovely wildflower gardens, grown on fringe of a creek bed, or in wide open fields at the hands of mother nature. If you are careful, you can collect seeds of these to cultivate in your own gardens, but, you would definitely need to take care because they are invasive. Cut off flower heads before they go to seed; put barriers in the garden to prevent unwanted spread and growth. I've had these in my wildflower garden before, but I had a lot of space. Unless you specifically love wildflowers, it might be best to avoid these. Keep in mind, you should never dig up local wild flowers by the root.

Orillia - A Perfect Crop, tulips at Veteran's Park

A Perfect Crop - Tulips in the spring garden at the edge of Veteran's Park, at the foot of Mississaga Street along Orillia's waterfront. Orillia, Ont.

Tulip bulbs spring forth with new blooms every year, and although they seem carefree, bulbs are not carefree ... not really.

To keep bulbs healthy and producing vigorous blooms each year, One must dig them up every few years and separate off the baby bulbs and replant in separate places. Discard damaged bulbs before replanting, and check the soil beneath the bulbs. It may need invigorated before replanting.

Some bulbs may need treated with special bulb dusts.

Orillia - Apple Blossom Time; along Mississaga Street's residential area apple treems bloom in early spring

Along Mississaga Street in Orillia one can find many flowering trees on the front lawns of the old homes that line the street. Apple blossoms are plentiful during the spring. Orillia, Ont.

Orillia - Coreopsis plants in a local garden, swaying in the wind

Yellow coreopsis grown in an Orillia garden (this was from one of the garden spaces in my own backyard on Mississaga St). The bright yellow flowers sit on delicate stalks that sway in the wind blowing up Mississaga Street from the lake.

Hosta plants can be found in most of local shade gardens
A large hosta from one of the local gardens. There are many areas of older established homes where trees are large and provide a fair amount of shade. In those areas, hostas are a common sight as they grow well in shaded gardens. Today, you can a wide array of Host cultivars - some designed for withstanding strong sun (Hosta is typically a shade plant); some striped with while leaves, some have almost yellow leaves with green splotches, some are nearly blue in colour, and then there are the miniature Hosta's ... one of newer options. (I have a mini blue Hosta). Flowers are usually either white or mauve, and some grow on very tall narrow stalks, while others (as seen in this image) grow closer to the plant. In either case, the blooms are pretty and delicate looking. The tall ones can be cut to display in tall narrow vases. They last a couple of days and in a massed bunch, look spectacular.

Along one of the nature trails that wend its way through Orillia are many wildflowers; this is a field full of wild anemone
A field of wild anemone found along one of Orillia's many trails. This particular field is only a short distance from the trail entrance along Woodland Drive in Orillia. Although these are wild, there are several seed catalogues available where you can order roots and tubers of some types of wild plants (legally grown). I've had these in my wildflower garden as well. They are lower to the ground than standard garden anemone, but very pretty, and quite hardy.

tulips blooming in May in planted bed at Veteran's Park, part of Orillia's waterfront

Orillia - Veteran's Park. One of the gardens in Veteran's Park showing off it's spring display of bulbs - tulips and hyacinth cover this garden in spring.

bright pink tulips in the garden at the front of the O'brien Street Medical center, Orillia
Orillia - bright pink tulips blooming in bunches outside the O'brien Street medical clinic. The clinic has gardens  on every side, except behind it where the parking areas are paved with no ground to plant in.

These are just one of the types of tulips the medical centre has planted, and their spring gardens are planted in such a way that that they grow with companion plants, making for a constant display of colour throughout the spring season.

We used to live right next door, so watching the gardens from season to season was a regular habit. I will admit, there were times very early in the morning as the sun was coming up that I'd find myself crawling through the damp dew of the medical center gardens and picking of weeds that I felt marred their look.

Sometimes you just can't help yourself ... and it's not like I didn't have enough garden to look after myself but, when you appreciate something ... well, sometimes you can't stop yourself from reaching out and just picking off that one week, you know? If you aren't a gardener, you might not "get" it, but anyone who has a love of gardening and the results you see from your work in the garden will definitely understand that.

a pretty spring garden against the side of the old library building in downtown Orillia

A pretty spring garden at the side of the old library on Mississaga Street in downtown Orillia. Since the old building has been demolished the new garden areas are quite different and still new, so after a year or two of maturity, I'll be toddling down to see what they're like. The first year was rather bare - things were planted of course, but perennials and bulbs take time to reach maturity and to produce lush greenery and profuse flowers.

a line of bridal veil spirea shrubs up against the red brick of the O'brien Street Medical Center

A row of bridal veil spirea along the edge of the Obrien Street Medical Clinic, at the corner of Mississaga and Obrien Streets.

gardens at Veteran's Park, Orillia/Lake Couchiching waterfront

Another view of the spring garden at Veteran's Park on Orillia's waterfront, this one showing a display of dark purple hyacinth.

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