WALATing at Casa Loma (photo heavy)

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)July 7, 2009

We were in Toronto this afternoon and decided to stop in and check out the garden at Casa Loma - admission is free to the garden after 4:00 when the house closes.

In case you don't know what Casa Loma is, see the link below...

It's a sort of fairy-tale-looking castle in the middle of Toronto.

This is a view of the front entrance (you can see on the left side that one wing is covered with scaffolding so some repairs are obvoiusly being made to something...)


And another view from the east side:

In the front entrance picture you can see some pink roses. There were a number of them in the front. I'm not sure what their name is but I really liked them. The beds they were in were edged in some places with matching pale pink annual geraniums and something silver; it other places there was lavender edging. Here are a couple of views of them:



In the front entrance picture, you can also see a bit of stone wall. The castle is surrounded by a very interesting stone wall. Here is a view of a piece of the wall:

Unfortunately, of the main garden areas, only the lower terrace was accessible for me. There is a fairly extensive forest/woodland garden but, since it is on a hill, there is a lot of stairs and steep slopes so I couldn't go there. Also, much of it is a spring garden so its primary showy season is over now.

The terrace garden is a more formal layout, but asymetrical in that there is a prominent pool and fountain but it's not in the center. Looking at the main beds on the lower terrace garden from the upper terrace:

The pool and fountain viewed through the upper terrace wall:

The steps leading down to the wooded areas lead off from left of the pool, past a wall covered in climbing hydrangea:


I was hoping that there would be a larger part of the garden that would be accessible for me... The recreating (not a true restoration) of the gardens didn't start until 1987 or so and I think the last time I had been to Casa Loma was before that! So I wasn't sure what to expect.... If you're ever in Toronto, Casa Loma is well worth a visit.

Here is a link that might be useful: Casa Loma

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saucydog(z5MA)

I'm not sure how I'd feel about the assymetrical in the terrace garden - I'd like to see for myself whether it would give me an "off" feeling, like things should be righted. Sometimes I'm like that in the house (for example we have a room where the windows aren't centered on a wall, but they make the exterior "right").

Wow, that hydrangea petiolaris is gorgeous!

Looks like a great place to visit! Thank you for taking us along.

Saucy

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 6:41AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Saucy - the asymetrical garden doesn't look bad - it sort of took me a while to even notice because there's so much going on with the castle being a big distraction in the view! The link below should take you to a drawing of the property so you can see the terrace garden layout.

Here is a link that might be useful: Casa Loma garden - plan view

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 9:00AM
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gardeningmary

Woody

What a neat place to visit - I had no idea it was tucked away inside Toronto. I am familiar only with the fake castle used for Medieval Times (something the kids adore but very different). The gardens look lovely and are definitely something to put on my "must do" list next time we are in Toronto.

Thank you for sharing with us.

Mary

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 3:32PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Woody, what an attractive looking castle. It seems much more livable then what you usually see. I've never seen a wall like that either. You took some nice photos, I especially like the second from the top and the second from the bottom. Isn't that an agave in the photo of the pool? A pretty one. Enjoyed the tour! :-)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 5:09PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

What an interesting place. The castle reminds me of one in Portland, Oregon, that I have seen from the road when visiting my brother. I am sorry there was not more that was accessible to you.
Thank you for posting these pics.

Marian

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 5:12PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

PM - I have no idea what that is in the pot! But I figured it might be something that would appeal to Idylls who like spiky plants :-) I was looking for some nice pots to take pictures of but the gardeners need to take some lessons from Deanne because there weren't any pots that were anything other than mundane!

The story of Casa Loma is quite interesting so, if you haven't read the stuff on the link, you might enjoy the history pages linked below - keep clicking the 'next' buttom to read the story. It's much more interesting to see it in person and hear the story from the guides in the castle. Mary - I'm sure you and the kids would enjoy a visit there. Click on the 'Seasonal Events' link on the left side of the main page to see if there is anything of interest to plan a visit around.

Here is a link that might be useful: Casa Loma history

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 5:33PM
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dodgerdudette

Woody, at first I thought the rose might be Bonica, but when I read the info on the website it mentioned a 'Casa Loma' rose, one that was developed and named for the house.

Marian, the house you mentioned in Portland is the Pittock Mansion ? There are similarities but the Toronto Estate seems more 'castle-like'.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 12:09AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Kathy - I first thought it might be that too but the Casa Loma rose is supposed to be a deep pink and those defintely were a pale pink. I think the roses in the second picture I posted are the Casa Loma ones. Bonica looks like a better bet for the pale ones....

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 9:14AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, I looked up the Pittock Mansion, and do not think that is what I was remembering. It may of been the Canterbury Castle, but it does not look right either. But since it was at least 35 years ago that I was last there....who knows?? Mostly what I remember is that it was up above the road we were on. :-)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 10:48AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Wow Woody...spectacular pictures! I thought for a second they were pics from England. How neat to have something like that right in the middle of Toronto.

Thanks for sharing!

Eileen

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 10:55AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

How gorgeous Woody! Thanks for sharing these. Those pink roses remind me of 'The Fairy'. I just love that lavender with those roses.

Deanne

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 4:08PM
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