Conservatory/Botanic Garden

A Visit To Allan Gardens

by Barbara-

A trip to Toronto got me really excited because it was going to be a plant-filled weekend. First, I had planned to visit Allan Gardens downtown and secondly, I was going to attend a plant sale (more on that later).

The funny thing is, I used to live only a few blocks from Allan Gardens and had no idea it existed until now that I have moved 500km away. By the way, there are no conservatories in Ottawa (and I hope that will change soon) which makes it really hard for me to get my “plant fix”. So you can understand how enthused I was to be able to visit Allan Gardens and was anxious to find what was awaiting me there. I wasn’t disappointed.


At the entrance a huge planter filled with beautiful crocuses and daffodils are waiting to greet you.

Below are a few plants commonly kept as houseplants but do not grow this big because they are usually grown in smaller planters limiting their growth size.

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Look how huge the above spider plant is?


Couldn’t help but take a picture of these cascading spider plant pups. IMG_0217

IMG_0228 IMG_0220I couldn’t get enough of this maidenhair fern. Such delicate and lush fronds.

Every one loves a Fiddle Leaf Fig!


The colours are beginning to show in Cactus and Succulent land.

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The photos below are plants I hadn’t seen before. I love it when I see and learn about new plants.


**Edited: 25/04/2015. I have been told my readers the plant above is called string of nickles or button orchid aka Dischidia nummularia.

I fell in love with the plant above right away. I assume it is some epiphytic succulent. I have not been able to identify this one and did not have a tag so any help is welcome. I have not yet identified the two plants below as well.


**Edited: 25/04/2015. This flower has been identified as being from a flowering shrub named Angel’s trumpet or Trumpet of death. The flowers are very attractive but all parts of the plant are highly toxic. No wonder it’s called trumpet of death. From the genus Brugmansia.


**Edited: 25/04/2015. This one has been identified as voodoo lily or devil’s tongue. It is very beautiful but apparently stinks like rotten meat. I guess I wasn’t standing close enough to smell it. Cheryl (a reader) who grows this plant says: “The smell attracts bugs and the flower itself holds water deep inside where the bugs drown and the plant uses them for food/supplements. They can be planted outside in the ground (and should be, unless you like the smell..LOL)”. I found an informative video by Nadia Giordana on You Tube if interested. She stated in the video the flower smells for 2 days when in full bloom and this is to attract insects. This sounds like a canivourous plant!


This spotted succulent is Agave virginica aka Manfreda virginica ‘spot’


It was the curly hairy thing that made me notice this plant, Agave filifera aka Thread Agave.

Jade Vine

These beautiful hanging turquoise flowers created a captivating scenery. I couldn’t help but stare as I inched closer to the flowers. I quickly asked a staff member who was close by what they were called. This is the Jade vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys), he replied. Up close the beautiful shapes and colours are even more mesmerizing. I think these flowers stood out to me because this colour is so rare in nature.

Jade vine closeup

The Jade vine are members of the pea family and can grow to 20m in height. A native of the Philippines, They usually grow besides streams and in damp forests. They are considered endangered because of the destruction of the habitats of their natural pollinators (bats). How sad.


Beautiful display of bromeliads. And nearby there was a waterfall and a pond full of turtles!



In another area of the conservatory…Some of the designs they had appear to be remnants of Easter celebration. For example you can see a nest with chicks in on the water in the picture below.



There were so many more plants but unfortunately I cannot show them all. Let’s end this tour with a few colourful flowers.

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sign off


Hi, I’m Barbara and I’m a little obsessed with house plants. I share my house plant adventures in the hopes of inspiring you to continue to enjoy the greens in your home. And if you have no plants (yet!) I hope this blog inspires you to add some green to your home. So go on! Try it! I think you might quite like it. And who knows? You may end up being … obsessed too.


  1. Cheryl

    The two plants you didn’t know the names of, I grow both… First one is a Angel Trumpet.. very easy to grow and the second one is a VooDoo plant.. when the bloom open has a nasty rotting smell., the smell attracts bugs and the flower itself hold water deep inside where the bugs drown and the plant uses them for food/supplements. they can be planted outside in the ground ( and should be, unless you like the smell..LOL ) I live in Zone 8

    25 . Apr . 2015
    • Barbara

      Thank you for the ID Cheryl.

      25 . Apr . 2015
  2. Sharon

    Just discovered your blog from couch magazin. I love house plants too and love your blog. Will be following you. Nice pictures by the way

    20 . Apr . 2015
    • Barbara

      Thanks Sharon. I’m honoured that they added me to their green thumb blog roll 🙂

      20 . Apr . 2015
  3. Kate

    Oh, I love Allan Garden. Its nice to have a jungle in the middle of the city. Great pictures!

    20 . Apr . 2015
    • Barbara

      I am so jealous Toronto has this and we don’t. I think i’d be there very often if it was in Ottawa.

      20 . Apr . 2015
  4. Adorablest

    Thanks for sharing your photos, always interesting! That Jade vine is just bizarrely gorgeous. I think some of your photos might be Angels Trumpet (Brugmansia) and that coin shaped plant, I looked up – maybe String of Nickels / Button Orchid (Dischidia nummularia)? It is so unique, never seen it before! The other flower perhaps some sort of arum?

    19 . Apr . 2015
    • Barbara

      Thanks a bunch. That coin shaped epiphyte truly caught my attention. Now that I know the name, (thanks to you) it’s going on my wish list 😉

      19 . Apr . 2015

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