Toronto Music Garden in Spring

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 25 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #75. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

This week I welcomed summer arrival in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21. As if on cue, Toronto had a heat event on June 21 and 22 with maximum temperatures reached 33C (91F), and felt like 39C (102F) with humidity. It was sunny and warm the rest of the week.

To pay tribute to a beautiful spring that I had, I’m taking you on an easy stroll in the Toronto Music Garden in spring. Aside from the gorgeous tall trees, let’s see colourful flowers, listen to birdsong, and smell the gentle floral scent.

The Toronto Music Garden springs from the imagination of renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and garden designer Julie Moir Messervy. Inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach’s First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello, the garden is made up of six “movements” whose forms and feelings correspond to that suggested in the music: Prélude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Menuett, and Gigue.

Click on any image in the gallery to see its bigger version and image name.

1. Prélude

This section imparts the feeling of a flowing river. Granite boulders that came from the Canadian Shield represent a stream bed. Low-growing plants soften its banks. Circular designs on the ground and at the edge of the boulders represent the water movements. The trees with straight trunks are native Hackberry trees. This is the only section in the garden that is not a dance form.

2. Allemande

This section imparts the feeling of a forest grove of wandering trails. The allemande is an ancient German dance. The trails swirl inward and move higher and higher up the hillside. A circle of dawn redwood trees and a small birch forest provide shades to the various contemplative sitting areas that look over the harbour.

3. Courante

This section imparts the feeling of a swirling path through a wildflower meadow. The courante is an exuberant Italian and French dance form. The trails swirl upward in a spiral form, through a lush field of grasses and brightly-coloured perennials that attract bees, birds, and butterflies. At the top of the swirling path is the maypole, with Celtic-patterned spirals and iron wheel, designed by Anne Roberts.

4. Sarabande

This section is envisioned as a poet’s corner with a centerpiece. The sarabande is based on an ancient Spanish dance form. The trails go in an inward-arcing circle that is enclosed by tall needle-leaf evergreen trees. Japanese maple trees are also grown here. The centerpiece is a huge stone that acts as a stage for readings, and holds a small pool with water that reflects the sky.

5. Menuett

This section imparts the feeling of a formal parterre garden of flowers. The menuett is a French dance movement. Its formality and grace are reflected in the symmetry and geometry of a circular pavilion. The pavilion is hand-crafted with ornamental steel by Tom Tollefson. It is designed to shelter small musical ensembles or dance groups.

6. Gigue

Gigue section imparts the feeling of a series of giant grass steps that offer views onto the harbour. The gigue, or “jog”, is an English dance. The steps form a curved amphitheatre that focus on a stone stage set under a weeping willow tree.

In spring, the Toronto Music Garden is a wonderful place to stroll, check out what’s blooming, watch birds, listen to birdsong, and reconnect with nature. Benches are available throughout the garden to sit and enjoy the scenery.

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82 thoughts on “Toronto Music Garden in Spring

  1. Dan Antion June 24, 2022 / 8:22 am

    This looks like a fascinating and wonderful place to walk, or sit and listen to nature. It’s a great idea. I love the shadows formed by the structure in Menuett. I hope you have a great weekend, Natalie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 24, 2022 / 9:42 am

      Dan, This garden is well-maintained and looks beautiful year round. I’m glad you love the frame of the Menuett pavilion. Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ThingsHelenLoves June 24, 2022 / 8:25 am

    Love the wild tulips and pheasant eye daffs- although I had no idea that’s what they were called!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 24, 2022 / 9:45 am

      Helen, Welcome to my blog and thank you for your comment. The Toronto Music Garden has about six different types of daffodils planted. The pheasant’s eye daffodil name and appearance made me smile. I’m glad you love them and the wild tulips.


  3. leannelc June 24, 2022 / 9:18 am

    Oh Natalie what a beautiful spot! Thanks for all the flower photos and I almost felt like I was wandering through the park with you. Certainly a lovely place to spend a Spring (or Summer) day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 24, 2022 / 9:48 am

      Hi Leanne, I’m glad you enjoyed the virtual garden walk. The plants and flowers in this garden change with the seasons. The gardeners do a fantastic job keeping everything beautiful year round.


    • Natalie June 24, 2022 / 12:09 pm

      Thanks, JP, for your comment. The Toronto Music Garden is well-designed and maintained. It’s a beautiful gift to the city.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Retirement Reflections June 24, 2022 / 2:03 pm

    Hi, Natalie – The Toronto Music Gardens looks like a beautiful place to visit. I have added it to places to see the next time that I am in Toronto!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 24, 2022 / 2:17 pm

      Hi Donna, The Toronto Music Garden is open year round and is beautiful from spring to fall. I hope to see you the next time that you are in Toronto.


  5. Ally Bean June 24, 2022 / 2:16 pm

    This looks like a wonderful place to visit. So pretty, I’m particularly taken with the Koreanspice Viburnum. Our viburnum need to up their game. Toronto is endlessly fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 24, 2022 / 2:23 pm

      Ally, That’s amazing that you have viburnum in your garden. The Toronto Music Garden has a few Koreanspice Viburnum plants. They look and smell amazing in the spring. I’m sure you’ll enjoy a visit to this garden.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 24, 2022 / 5:29 pm

      I’m pleased you love the Toronto Music Garden. It’s a beautiful place.


  6. Lydia C. Lee June 24, 2022 / 5:38 pm

    I love the way you make such use of you’re public spaces, It really is worth the effort. They’re so lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 24, 2022 / 6:07 pm

      Yes, Toronto has many beautiful parks and gardens with public at as part of the landscape.


    • Natalie June 24, 2022 / 6:58 pm

      You’re welcome, Lizl. I’m glad you enjoyed the flowers. It’s wonderful that you had your own Poet’s Narcissus or Pheasant’s eyes.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Debbie June 24, 2022 / 7:21 pm

    Wow, that is really cool Natalie! I’ve not heard of a music garden before and it’s very clever – lovely photos too! My week has been great warm winter sunshine in Queensland at about 22-23 degrees C which is just delightful compared to our real winter weather back at home. Heading home soon and I’ll miss the warmth! Your temps sound delightful too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 24, 2022 / 7:33 pm

      Debbie, I’m glad to hear you had a nice and sunny winter break in Queensland. Have a safe trip home! Your next adventure awaits 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 24, 2022 / 8:06 pm

      Janis, When my cousin and his family visited me in 2019, I took them to the Toronto Music Garden and they loved it. It opens year round with no entry fee and is beautiful from spring through fall.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ju-Lyn June 24, 2022 / 9:22 pm

    And just like that, it’s summer!!!
    The Music Garden is glorious! I love that it is inspired by music & its movements, just like the trees & flowers move through the seasons. And spring in these gardens are truly stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 24, 2022 / 9:57 pm

      I’m pleased you love the Toronto Music Garden. It’s well-designed and well-kept year round.


  9. Antoinette Truglio Martin June 25, 2022 / 8:51 am

    Such a lovely spot to enjoy community and music and natural beauty. Thanks for the tour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 25, 2022 / 12:13 pm

      Antoinette, Thank you for joining me on this virtual walk.


  10. trentpmcd June 25, 2022 / 9:01 am

    Ah, Bach… (sorry, a line from the TV show MASH). Anyway, beautiful gardens inspired by beautiful music. I think it is a great idea to have one art inspire another, and cool that they interpreted the music in flowers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie June 25, 2022 / 12:15 pm

      Trent, I agree it’s a great idea to have one art inspire another. This garden is well-designed and well-kept.

      Liked by 1 person

      • trentpmcd June 25, 2022 / 8:35 pm

        Poor Radar… I do love Bach, but can’t hear the name with out thinking of that episode.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 25, 2022 / 12:15 pm

      Toronto is fortunate to have this garden for everyone to enjoy.


    • Natalie June 25, 2022 / 10:06 pm

      Thank you for your weekend coffee share. I hope the rain was good for your garden.


  11. Marsha June 25, 2022 / 6:37 pm

    What an interesting way to organize a garden. It took a bit of imagination to come up with it, but it is beautiful. Your flower photos are so colorful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 25, 2022 / 6:45 pm

      Marsha, I love colours and this garden gives me many beautiful objects to photograph 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marsha June 25, 2022 / 6:46 pm

        I can see that it is a gorgeous place. Your posts amaze me each week. 🙂


        • Natalie June 25, 2022 / 6:49 pm

          Marsha, Thank you for your compliment about my posts. So many wonderful things to write about and so little time.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Janet Alcorn June 25, 2022 / 7:48 pm

    Oh, those lilacs! I can practically smell them through my screen! What a lovely place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 25, 2022 / 9:58 pm

      This garden has a path lined with lilacs and they smell amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. csuhpat1 June 25, 2022 / 8:09 pm

    What a beautiful park. It looks like such a wonderful place to hang out and to walk. Very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 25, 2022 / 10:00 pm

      Yes, this garden is a beautiful place to hang out and to walk.


  14. Jennifer Jones June 25, 2022 / 8:29 pm

    This beautiful garden looks so peaceful Natalie. I can see me having a relaxing time there. I wasn’t able to join #weekendcoffee this weekend as I have been unwell after my covid booster. Will be back next week

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 25, 2022 / 10:01 pm

      Jennifer, Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’re feeling better. I look forward to your post next week.


  15. Maria June 26, 2022 / 5:41 am

    Toronto music garden looks absolutely lovely. Thank you for taking us there. This has been a wonderful, fun and intense week for me so far. I am working on a coffee share. I am afraid it’s going to be longer than usual. I just came back from a trip to Gothenburg last night. Thank you for the coffee!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 26, 2022 / 8:46 am

      Maria, I’m glad you had a wonderful week and trip to Gothenburg. I look forward to reading your coffee share.


    • Natalie June 26, 2022 / 11:40 am

      Pam, Thank you for joining me. The bleeding hearts are very pretty. They look like drop earrings to me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 26, 2022 / 2:06 pm

      Isadora, Welcome to my blog and thank you for your comment and for participating in the Weekend Coffee Share linkup. I’m glad you enjoyed the visual walk. I’ll be over to your blog soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Anne Fraser June 26, 2022 / 5:25 pm

    I would love to visit that garden. I was puzzled by the word jog and then it suddenly clicked we say jig for a dance and jog for a slow run.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 26, 2022 / 7:08 pm

      Anne, I believe that you’d enjoy this garden. Jig and jog are such fun words. Have a great week!


  17. Julie June 27, 2022 / 3:38 pm

    The idea of a music garden sounds so interesting. Do they have speakers in each section playing the movement?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 27, 2022 / 4:38 pm

      There is no speaker in the garden, however, on guided tours, some tour leaders play Bach’s music that inspired the design of the garden.


  18. kirstin June 27, 2022 / 7:13 pm

    Ohh I love this. How pretty and what fun to tour the different gardens. I love all the flower photos. You inspired me to take a walking tour to find murals in a nearby city last weekend. I’m working on a post for it because I found so many.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 27, 2022 / 7:38 pm

      Kirstin, I’m flattered to hear I inspired you to take a walking tour. I look forward to viewing your mural photos.


  19. Annika Perry June 28, 2022 / 11:06 am

    Wow! Natalia, what an inspiring garden and I just LOVE how you capture all the elements of The Toronto Music Garden. I feel as if I was with you … and I wonder if there is anything similar in the UK. A beautiful and magical post which has given me a real boost today. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 28, 2022 / 2:42 pm

      You’re welcome, Annika. I’m glad you like the Toronto Music Garden. Gardens like this are so good for our health, heart and soul. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Gary A Wilson June 29, 2022 / 9:21 am

    Sorry for being so late this week Natalie. I had distractions.
    This essay was a very unique and clever way to welcome summer.
    Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie June 29, 2022 / 10:35 am

      Thank you, Gary. I hope your weekend went well. I’m catching up on blogging, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. mconley14 September 4, 2022 / 11:01 pm

    Love it. This reminds me of the article i wrote on the Japanese maple. Amazing!


    • Natalie September 5, 2022 / 9:11 am

      Thank you Michael for your visit and comment. The Japanese maple has beautiful colour and leaf shape.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mconley14 September 5, 2022 / 9:54 am

        It sure does. One of my favorite trees by far!

        Liked by 1 person

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