Garden Notebook for Spring Prelude
by Rick Los, Director of Horticulture
Spring Prelude 2013
This year marks the 15th edition of our spectacular Spring Prelude indoor garden display.
The Spring Prelude display was created to provide our visitors with a colourful and intimate indoor garden experience during the shorter days of winter. This also provides you with a small taste of what you can expect to experience once the actual garden comes alive in the spring.
Although colour plays a large part in the makeup of the display, perhaps the most striking elements in this garden are the original water features and sculpture produced by our very talented and creative staff. Each year the features change as the designers collaborate and experiment with various elements to be incorporated into the display. The garden doesn’t cover an overly large area so it is always a challenge to keep the best of the old ideas as well as incorporating some new ones.
There are a few different themes in our Spring Prelude ranging from tropical borders accented with orchids to a temperate area which features an amazing range of plant material forced into bloom. The display also features an intimate Asian themed courtyard centered on a dazzling water wall as well as a garden area designed specifically for wedding ceremonies.
The Spring Prelude display provides waves and layers of colour, intoxicating fragrance and the sounds and movement of water all together in the intimacy of a cleverly crafted indoor garden.
|In only 7 days, the Blue Poppy Restaurant is turned...||...into a stunning, large flower filled indoor garden|
In the garden
During the earliest days of the year you can still find flowers in the garden regardless of what the weather conditions may be. However, I must make it clear you do have to look for them as they don’t come looking for you. In some cases, plants such as Mahonia, Hamamelis, Viburnum bodnantense, Sarcococca and Hellebore can start blooming for us in December if the weather conditions are favorable.
As we move through January and February the anticipation of spring builds as colourful changes in the garden become evident on a daily basis. Each year we plant thousands of naturalizing bulbs for early colour. Bulbs such as Chionodoxa, Crocus, Scilla, Muscari, Galanthus and Iris can be found planted in flowing drifts and small patches (also in containers) throughout the gardens. The earliest of our cherry trees begin to bloom early in March and by the time the first day of spring arrives you’ll see an abundance of spring blossoms including the first tulips of the season.
There are no major garden projects planned for this winter, but we are always busy making subtle upgrades. These upgrades include improvements to our irrigation systems, drainage systems and paths as well as the continuous editing of our shrub and perennial borders.