Get Outside: Plant Field Trips For The Ever Curious
So you recently got into houseplants and compulsively collected as many as you could like Pokémon. It was probably a lot of fun and you’ve collected your way into a plant- filled sanctuary. Now you're out of room but you're still jonesing for that plant fix. Remember the outdoors? It’s that elusive thing we've been flirting with since 2020. Happily things are opening back up again and we're allowed to be outdoor cats once again! Here are 5 plant-related things you can do that don't involve buying new plants:
We present to you, the plant field trip. A little inner-child date never hurt anyone.
1. Allan Gardens
160 Gerrard Street East
Established in 1858, this downtown conservatory is an oasis under glass. It’s made up of many rooms featuring different climates from desert to rainforest. Spend the afternoon discovering how large your houseplants can grow when given ample room! It's the perfect staycation on a cold Toronto day when you need a little mood boost. It also makes a great date to catch up with a friend!
You can become a friend of Allan Gardens if you wish to volunteer.
Allan Gardens is open to the public 7 days a week and admission is free.
Image by Janet Davis
2. Toronto Botanical Gardens/Edwards Gardens
777 Lawrence Ave East
Made up of 17 gardens over 4 acres in mid-town, the Toronto Botanical Gardens offer an escape from our concrete jungle. There are many themed lectures and educational programs available to those who wish to learn more about a range of horticultural topics. Plus they have a great cafe and gift shop. Check out their website for a list of events.
Edward's Gardens is right next door. It was a stately property with an extensive garden that was purchased by the Botanical Gardens. They offer free tours throughout the summer.
Image by David Allen
3. High Park Cherry Blossoms
1873 Bloor Street West
This is an event that draws thousands of tourists every year. In 1959, the first Japanese Somei-Yoshino Cherry Tree was planted in High Park, a gift from the citizens of Tokyo. Now, with over 2000 cherry trees, the hill looking over Grenadier Pond is a gorgeous sight to behold as it becomes an ocean of pink in late April and early May. Pack a lunch and expect a long line up to use the bathroom. Experience community, it's been a while.
Follow sakurainhighpark.com for updates on peak cherry blossom viewing.
Image by The Toronto Zoo
4. Toronto Zoo
2000 Meadowvale Rd
We all know that the Toronto Zoo is a fantastic place to see animals from around the world. But trust us when we say that it's just as magical when you go there with your plant hat on. There are several pavilions that feature endemic flora and fauna. They even have some specialized events like the corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) bloom that happened in 2018.
Image by Ontario Hiking
5. Toronto hiking trails
Whether you are walking, running, or biking, Toronto and the GTA have no shortage of trails for people of any ability. It's the perfect blend of exercise and fresh air.
Check out the website www.alltrails.com for a complete list.
Toronto Cloud Gardens
14 Temperance St
This small greenhouse in the heart of the Financial District recreates the cool foggy mountains of the rainforest. Expect to see giant anthuriums and tree ferns against the backdrop of a waterfall. And good god, is THAT what a maidenhair fern looks like when it's not dying in my home?!?
The Cloud Gardens are presently closed for renovations but are slated to reopen in Autumn 2022.
Don't forget the joy of exploring different neighbourhoods. Some of our favourites are Cabbagetown, Rosedale, and The Beaches. We love to see the gardens bursting with spring bulbs or under a canopy of vibrant fall leaves. And as a bonus it's great inspiration for how to add some curb appeal to your own home or zhuzh your balcony.