Yesterday, after the ultrasound, between hot lemonade at Jet Fuel and Departures at the Carlton cinema (great movie, BTW; a bit of a tear-jerker, but in a genuine rather than manipulative Hollywood way, and quite moving and charming), I stopped in at Allan Gardens Conservatory to kill a few minutes and enjoy the plant life. I hadn’t been there but once, and that about 15 years ago, and was quite pleasantly surprised by the experience.
It’s in a kind of crappy spot, in the middle of what was a century ago a lovely park in a classy neighbourhood, now frequented by individuals unfettered by the chains of middle class lifestyle conventions. Although it’s got a nice off-leash doggie run too. But the conservatory itself is great, and even though absolutely free and open to the public had only a few people wandering around or sitting chatting, none of them apparently of the above genre.
Here are some of the things I saw (oh, and go easy on the shoddy photography – it was a spontaneous visit with only the cell phone camera so little accounting for things like focus and exposure).
First, there’s an entire wing filled with all kinds of chrysanthemums, and others scattered in other spots too. I don’t care what people say about mums (the basic ones are certainly ubiquitous on porches around here come October); I love them. And they do come in all sorts of lovely forms:
Then there’s the tropical/jungly wing (somewhat cool for the tropics, but pleasant when it’s only 7º C outside). Mmmm… swampy:
I missed getting pictures of the orchids in the epiphyte house, since they were in their own little glass-partitioned room. Don’t want people stealing them, maybe?
Speaking of stealing, I scavenged a couple of fallen leaves from some nifty jade plants in the succulent house, where I also so these beauties:
These round cacti which sport a nice combination of fuzzy and spiky:
This wobbly cactus with curious floral (ahem) appendage:
And this is a particularly crappy picture, but I had to share it nonetheless because I was completely charmed by the cactus with polka dots (!!):
I mean really, it’s covered in little round dots of tiny bristles. Like Roy Lichtenstein in the desert.
I’ll definitely try to go back whenever I’m in the area (which of course is practically never) and have a half hour or so free (which is shamefully frequently).
Oh, and since I know you’re wondering; no, we didn’t get a printout from the ultrasound. I mean, they all look the same at this point anyways and I’d rather wait until it’s all pink and touchable to take a gazillion pictures.