Barry Severn is taking us along on a trip to Centennial Park Conservatory in Toronto. As you’ll see, these greenhouses are packed with all kinds of beautiful plants. I’m sure they’re a much-appreciated oasis of beauty during the long, cold Canadian winter.
In a prelude to spring, masses of daffodils (Narcissus hybrids, Zones 3–8) bloom inside the conservatory.
They are joined by two other classic spring flowers: tulips (Tulipa hybrids, Zones 3–8) and hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis, Zones 4–8).
More exotic flowers bloom as well, like this white bird of paradise (Strelitzia nicolai, Zones 10–12).
Small details reward those who take a closer look. These small spots are on the underside of a fern frond of sori, which will release spores to produce the next generation of ferns.
The arid wing may be dry, but it is overflowing with greenery and flowers from all sorts of plants adapted to the dry climates of the world.
In this beautiful planting of succulents, the red flowers are from Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, a tender succulent originally from Madagascar but now grown all over the world for its beautiful flowers.
These very unusual fruits are from Pereskia aculeata, which, despite not looking like it, is actually in the cactus family! Yes, some cacti actually have leaves, not just the thickened, leafless stems we’re used to seeing on most members of that family. These orange fruits are edible.
The colorful blooms of an Aloe species
Philodendron is a familiar genus of houseplants, and this is the very unusual-looking stem of Philodendron bipinnatifidum, which gets to be huge, and as each old leaf drops off, it leaves this beautiful pattern behind on the stem.
A quiet moment in the conservatory—still, green, and beautiful.
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