Terrace (container) gardening in downtown Toronto


                    The terrace in March of 2011

This is the tenth year that we have container-gardened on our terrace in downtown Toronto. We have found that the larger the container, the more success we have in wintering plants, as it reduces the alternate freezing and thawing that kills perennial flowers, bushes and evergreens. The Alberta spruce are double-potted. This entails planting them in a large pot, and then inserting the pot into a second (larger) pot. The air trapped between the pots insulates the inner pot and helps prevent the soil in it from thawing on mild winter days.

        The Terrace in the Summer of 2011


The clematis were late this year, blooming in early June. These plants have survived four winters, and continue to expand. They are in containers that measure 2 1/2’ by 2 1/2 feet, and about 15 inches deep. As of August 1st, they are still blooming.

lilacs, June 2011 lilacs

The lilac bushes remain healthy after eight successive winters. They are in a square container 18” by 18” and 14” deep.


The west side of the terrace at the end of the first week of July. The clematis are on the divider wall, and the lilacs, which are no longer in bloom, are on the upper left of the picture. On the table is portulaca, in a herb pot with three tiers.


East side of the terrace, with ivy on the wall and a chokeberry bush to the right of the CN Tower. The terrace totals 220 square feet, and has an automatic watering system that cost in total about $150. It remains outside all winter, and is working well after nine years.


       begonias and scaevola (purple flowers in foreground) in bloom

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                Night view of downtown Toronto from the terrace.


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