Garden Photo of the Day

A Garden in the Concrete Jungle, Part 2

Return to a Toronto garden

cardinal at a bird bath

Yesterday we got to visit Patrick and Dorothy Smyth’s garden on a corner lot in the concrete jungle of Toronto, Canada, and today we’re back for more!

Patrick and Dorothy have divided up their small, urban lot into many different spaces and filled them with beautiful plants to create a garden that feels worlds away from the urban landscape around them.

tulips and daffodils in a small gardenIt’s spring in the garden, with color from tulips (Tulipa hybrids, Zones 3–8), daffodils (Narcissus hybrids, Zones 3–8, depending on variety), and that soft spring green of new leaves pushing out from perennials, trees, and shrubs.

big path of lavender moss phloxA sheet of moss phlox (Phlox subulata, Zones 3–9) in lavender provides a big burst of spring color, with the magenta blooms of a redbud tree (Cercis canadensis, Zones 4–8) in the background.

purple irises surrounded by shrubsA clump of purple irises (Iris hybrid, bearded group, Zones 3–9) as seen through a frame of other shrubs. Dense plantings that can hide and reveal the gardens beyond them can make a small space feel much larger.

masses of lavender in the gardenClouds of lavender (Lavandula species or hybrid, Zones 5–8) look beautiful, and you know they smell even better in person!

Variegated miscanthus grassVariegated miscanthus grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’, Zones 5–9) has yellow patches on the leaves, which echo the yellow blooms of the St. John’s wort (Hypericum sp., Zones 5–9).

summer garden in full bloomThere is so much to see in this picture, from the black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 4–9) in the foreground to the contrasting colored foliage in the background, to the fountain, bench, and gravel walk in between. These are gardeners who know how to layer plants and details to create a rich experience everywhere.

Buddha statue surrounded by greeneryA serene garden moment, with Buddha backed by a wall covered with Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata, Zones 4–8).

cardinal at a bird bathIn this early spring view of the Buddha sculpture, the Boston ivy is now bare of leaves. A male cardinal visits the water feature.

Black-eyed Susans and purple coneflowersBlack-eyed Susans and purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3–8) are in the height of their summer display.


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View Comments


  1. sagebird52 03/31/2021

    Very beautiful and tranquil .

  2. gardendevas 03/31/2021

    Once again - so lovely! Wonderful combinations of texture and color, great layering. Love the repeating but varied Japanese maples throughout.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 03/31/2021

    Just love moss phlox but even though I am zone 8b I have never been able to get it spread like you have. Black-eyed Susans and purple coneflowers - 2 of my very fave summer flowers.

  4. User avater
    simplesue 03/31/2021

    It's fabulous! Love the lavender, the Boston Ivy covered wall, the Buddha statue...all of it!!!

  5. btucker9675 03/31/2021

    One of the prettiest gardens I've seen - really shows that you don't need a ton of space to create beauty.

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