As I look out my window today on the 14+ centimetres of snow Mother Nature threw at us last night (a somewhat tardy April’s Fools Day joke), I think back to my last trip to the Experimental Farm’s tropical greenhouse a few weeks ago.
If you’re going to visit, wear a t-shirt under all the other winter-early spring layers as you’re going to need to strip down the moment you enter the rainforest-like warmth and humidity of the greenhouse. If you can’t afford a hot-weather getaway, this is really the next best thing.
Given the small size of the building, it’s even more wondrous to see the variety inside: citrus, enormous cacti, vines, coleus, and various plants I recognize as houseplants I have at home.
The building itself is quite elegant. One can easily picture ladies in long dresses and men in high collars sipping tea and eating scones. The greenhouse was originally built at Major’s Hill Park and moved to the Experimental Farm in 1938 to be used for horticultural research. It’s now a heritage building and opened to the public as a tropical garden in the 1970s.
A highly recommended stop on any tour of the farm this spring, the greenhouse is on Maple Drive, about midway between Carling Avenue and the farm parkway.