After March 2020, Harbord Village gardeners could no longer gather for weekly strolls around the neighbourhood. But we still walk around the neighbourhood on our own, admiring local gardens as well as enjoying our own patches. This page displays selected photos, grouped in reverse chronological order. The sequence shows seasonal changes and celebrates the range of local gardens and laneways.
Thanks to all the gardeners who created the works of art depicted here!
And thanks to the photographers: Carly Basian, Leslie Carlin, Janice Dembo, Lindsay Duncan, Elaine Ford, Amy Furness, Sarah Hastie, Kurt Krumme, Elinor Levine, Richard Longley, Marilyn Martin, Angela Miles, Margaret Procter, Susan Purvis, Diane Roblin, Regine Schmid, Nicole Schulman, Merrill Swain, Mina Tommasi, Norman Track, and others.
A few flowers remain, but mostly in pots, sometimes indoors. Now it’s trees and shrubs that give colour, even through several early snowfalls.
One red rose remains
This is the season for witchhazel blooms
Mandevilla and mums bring colour to a porch
Thriving inside, by a window on a snowy day
Contrasting coloured leaves
Japanese maple aglow with fall colour
Closeup of Japanese maple leaves
Janice Dembo's cat Venus looks discouraged by an early snowfall
New kinds of flowers come into their own as a warm fall takes hold; some blooms appear unexpectedly. Roses are giving way to rose hips, but kale goes on forever. Time to bring some plants indoors?
Autumn crocuses jumping up among nasturtiums
Wild asters on parade
Monkshood is handsome but poisonous (presumably not to bees).
Red valerian makes a dramatic stand
Nicole Schulman's potted Mandevilla suddenly started flowering.
Margaret Procter's morning glories are finally in bloom
Bees are happy to find pollen in the lowly garlic chive
Rose hips on cane roses are starting to ripen
Butterfly bush (Buddleia) blooms until frost, though it begins to look tired
Two kinds of kale are still in full leaf, while asters bloom in the background.
Nicole has brought in some plants from outside
Colourful blooms continue to feed bees and butterflies, with fruits and seed plumes adding to the dramatic effects.
Monarch butterflies find the nectar they need in large yellow flowers
Pollen is still available in late-season flowers like these Japanese anemones. (Is that a honeybee or a wasp?)
Red and yellow African daisy combines colours in each bloom
This strange hot-pink bloom, often called chenille plant, is a type of amaranth.
Amazingly perfect pink zinnia
A coral double rose
Hibiscus blossom contrasts white and deep burgundy
A dramatic blue hibiscus
Pinkish plumes create sculptural interest
A tomato ripens on its vine
Young cones form on a cedar shrub
An amazing array of bright and interesting flowers, plants, and shrubs, including the sunflowers and goldenrod we’ve been waiting for. Some of the most striking are wild, often in laneways.
Wild single roses with unusual variegation
Delicate flowers of wild amaranth
Wild bluebells brighten gardens and attract bees
Delicate nightshade flowers show up in a laneway -- pretty but poisonous
An array of bright garden flowers
Diane Roblin justifiably titled this photo "I love my little back yard"
A second flush of Hope for Humanity roses in Nicole Schulman's back garden
Nicole Schulman has had this Lily Pons rose for 17 years
Goldenrod: worth cultivating for its beauty and the pollen it gives bees. This is NOT the plant that causes hayfever -- that's ragweed, with colourless small flowers.
Six-foot-high sunflowers on a Brunswick Avenue boulevard
A dramatic closeup of mountain-ash berrries
A smokebush in bloom
July Glories 2021
Now we see day lilies and other bright midsummer blooms, with unexpected gardens in laneways. Some fruits are ripening, and animal residents become evident: possums are no longer exotic, and wild bees that Lydia Wong studies have deposited their egg packages in her “bee hotels.”
Hibiscus leaning over fence on Borden St
Purple clematis, closeup
Honeybee on globe thistle
Blue-purple delphinium and lavender in a small front-yard plot
Day lilies brighten back yard vegetable garden
Raindrops glisten on the leaves of Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla)
Mock orange bush fills a side yard on Ulster west of Bathurst
Sunflowers planted on Louie Laki Lane in honour of late neighbour Tony
Neatly planted garden bed, Louie Laki Lane
Peaches starting to ripen on front-yard tree, lower Major St.
Redcurrants starting to ripen on backyard bush
Possum photographed by Marilyn Martin
A leafcutter bee has created round pieces of leaves and deposited packages, each with an egg and enough pollen to nourish it, in one of Lydia Wong's "bee hotels"
Even More Bloom: Late June 2021
Roses still dominate, but peonies also compete. Astrantia and lavender give delicacy to the show, and clematis and lilies add more drama.
Arbour on Lippincott--pink and white roses with purple clematis
Full pink roses, white peonies in background
Fence lined with single roses--large pink and miniature white
Rugosa roses fully open
Large old-fashioned red, white and pink roses on Robert Street
White and pink peonies spilling through a picket fence
Pink peonies enhancing a chain-link fence
Huge pink peonies in full bloom
Lavender lining a stone walkway
Purple clematis in full bloom on lower Major Street
Pink astrantia closeup
A raised bed at Central Tech, blocked by a huge abandoned dumpster--until teacher Susan Purvis complained to the dumpster company and had it removed.
Teacher Susan Purvis anjoying the gift of a "Forever Susan" lily in the Central Tech garden
Amazing June 2021
Now everything is bursting out in the full range of colours, sizes, shapes, and types. Roses in many variations, of course, and vines and trees have been spectacular too. Many of these photos were taken from the sidewalk, and show how blooms complement our fences and hardscaping.
Celandine poppy (yellow) and Siberian iris (blue) in shady area
Delphinium and lavender in mini-garden
Norman Track's roses do it again in Barbara Godard Lane
Single white roses hold their own in tangle of greenery
Luxuriant pink rosebush in narrow box -- a downtown garden
Yellow roses rising above a back-yard arbor
Single roses brightening a picket fence
Salmon pink rose and light salmon-pink peony
Array of peonies and irises, with a glimpse of lavender
Climbing hydrangea, profuse white flowers
Closeup of flower, Japanese dogwood
Huge flowering catalpa, upper Major Street
Glories of May 2021
With several shots of warm weather, the season roared through our gardens in May. Tree peonies and rhododendrons showed off huge blooms and delicate colours, with other flowers adding mauve and purple to the palette. More trees are flowering too.
White tulips and pink wild geraniums, with other spring foliage
White-pink peony about to open
Pale pink tree peony
Bright pink Japanese tree peony, Diane Roblin's pride and joy; plant dug up and stolen overnight
Pink tree peonies in Janice Dembo's garden
Perennial bachelor's buttons
River of creeping phlox
Purple irises in shady garden
Wisteria and iris -- purple!
Flowering dogwood tree, still in bloom after 2 weeks.
Spring 2021 Interrupted and Continuing
The snowfall on April 21 melted almost right away (between 8am and 12 noon in the first two photos here), and spring blossoms then continued apace and mostly unharmed. The famous Sakura cherry blossoms outside Robarts Library recovered perfectly, and the forsythia, tulips and daffodils in Nicole’s sheltered back garden kept bursting with colour.
Early Spring 2021: From Solitary Flowers to Colourful Arrays