“I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of dancing Daffodils”
- William Wordsworth
I’m getting quite an education in narcissus this year. Although, not just in the botanical sense, come to think of it. Har har.
It seems that as I familiarize myself with the various types, sizes, shapes, and colours that are out there, my attentions have been turning more towards the teeny, tiny, diorama-sized daffodils, like this Narcissus juncifolius I came upon the other day growing in the rock garden section of the Montreal Botanical Gardens. These bright little flowers were one of the highlights of my trip and I spent quite a lot of time documenting them with various cameras.
According to “Gardener’s Latin,” the species name juncifolius refers to the leaves, which are thin and cylindrical like the a grassy rush, aka juncus.
I offer you this photo of one of the flowers next to Davin’s thumb so that you can get a better gauge of their scale.
Tiny but eye-catching.
Last month, I spoke and signed books at the Annual Montreal Seed Fair held at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. When things got a bit harried at the event, I took the opportunity to relax with walks through the greenhouses.
Inhale deeply. Exhale deeply.
I’ve said it at least a dozen times, but of the greenhouses I’ve visited, those at the Montreal Botanical Gardens remain my favourite to date and always a highlight of any trip to Montreal. Oh how I wish we had greenhouses this inspiring here in Toronto! [Speaking of which... the super amazing Drawn & Quarterly bookstore is hosting an event for the book next month so I'll be headed back there soon. Stay tuned.]
The orchid conservatory was in full form during my trip, and possibly the best I have ever seen it. I took a ton of photos. Here are just a few of the orchids that caught my interest that day.
Jade Slipper Orchid (Paphiopedilum malipoense)
Ludisia discolor ‘Alba’
Phragmipedium ‘Court Jester’
Paphiopedilum ‘Green Mantle’
Several plants in the peperomia genus are grown as common houseplants here in North America, but have you ever seen one like this?
I was first introduced to this particular plant in Dominica, where it goes by the local names JiwonflÃƒÂ¨*, JonflÃƒÂ¨, or Giron Fleur**. It is most often found in very damp and dark places, and as a result most of my photos were lousy. Last month I found it again (as seen here), on display in the Tropical Rainforest Conservatory at the Montreal Botanical Gardens and was able to get a better photo.
JiwonflÃƒÂ¨ is a tiny trailing succulent that grows as an epiphyte, hanging from the branches of trees, most commonly cocao and grapefruit. In Dominica, the plant is brewed into an herbal cold remedy but what’s most fascinating is the smell. When you crush the leaves, it emits a soft green peppercorn aroma. I suppose this shouldn’t be too surprising since peperomia is in the same family as black peppercorns (Piperaceae).