The City of Toronto has two production greenhouses. These produce the annual plants for all city park annual displays, seasonal flowers for the three conservatories, and native plants for naturalization projects in High Park and other designated areas.
These production greenhouses are closed to the public, however the many flowers and plants grown there are on display throughout the city's parks and conservatories!
Together, High Park and Centennial Park Greenhouses have over 65,000 sq. ft. of production area under glass. Both are used to produce an amazing variety and number of plants for Toronto's park system each year.
High Park Greenhouse also produces many native plants for naturalization projects. The seed for the more than 12,000 plants grown annually are collected locally from sources in High Park
The greenhouses provide:
Integrated Pest Management is practiced in all city greenhouses. This environmentally sensitive approach to pest management relies on common-sense practices like prevention, monitoring and a range of pest control options. Biological controls are used instead of pesticides, with natural enemies released to control unwanted greenhouse pests. An example of this is the use of predatory insects like lady bugs, praying mantis and cryptolamus to control aphid, thrip and mealy bug problems.
Preparations for the popular Allan Garden and Centennial Park Conservatory Christmas flower shows are well underway in July!
After planning and design, the greenhouse staff start growing more than 5,000 plants exclusively for these shows. These include over thirty varieties of poinsettia, including some of the newest varieties- Visions of Grandeur, Ice Punch, Polar Bear and Shimmer Pink. Other featured plants include Acalypha, Helichrysum, Kalanchoe and Jerusalem cherry.
Each conservatory has a centerpiece topiary. These start with a steel framework constructed by a welder on staff. This metal structure is then filled with sphagnum moss and then meticulously planted with thousands of small plants. Ivy, Ficus, Hypoestes, Dusty Miller and Cryptanthus are used to create these unique floral masterpieces.
The shows are installed during the last week of November. They are unveiled at two festive and fun grand openings on the first Sunday in December (Allan Gardens) and on the second Sunday in December (Centennial Park).