Garden Clippings for July 13, 2019

Ben, our youngest, has a season’s membership at The Royal Botanical Garden in Burlington and uses it frequently.  Each time he goes, he shoots me a photo of a tree, flower, bud, or branch expecting me to properly identify the variety and species.

Not to brag, but most are easy.  Even in the middle of winter, when there are no leaves or flowers, I can identify plants by examining their shape, texture, branching pattern, bark, bud, size and form.

Scotch Pine, for example has scaly bark.  The bark on the lower part of the tree is brown, but as you look upward, the bark becomes noticeably orange.  Another easy one is Sycamore, with its mottled silver-grey bark that is interrupted with green patches and even more patches that are brown and peeling.

Most difficult are the photos he sends me of trees from a distance away.  Ben had me stumped when I mistook a huge Katsura tree for a Tulip Tree.

On Sunday, Cheryl and I took the 2-hour drive to Burlington, at the edge of Hamilton to accompany Ben on a short tour of 3 garden areas within RBG.  I hadn’t been in several years, and I quickly realized that I should soon return for a more thorough visit.

RBG is the largest botanical garden in Canada and is a National Historic Site.  Its mandate is to bring people, plants and nature together.  RBG is best described as a living museum and is a must see for plant enthusiasts, landscape architects, nature lovers and ordinary folks who want to see amazing gardens and an endless variety of plants.