Each year, Toronto hosts the largest garden & flower festival in Canada and 2nd largest in North America – Canada Blooms. This year, the theme was “It’s a Family Affair” which was reflected in the numerous kid friendly areas and playstations, as well as the garden designs that encourage time spent outdoors with the whole family.
Giant "outdoor" games drew in both kids
and those that were still kids at heart
My Favourite Display - “The Growroom”
The Growroom display was a collaboration between Ikea and Arrel Food Institute at the University of Guelph. It was developed in Ikea’s future living lab which is exactly what it sounds like - a lab where they come up with innovative ideas for a more sustainable way of life.
Check out the wrap-around bench - what an awesome "green" space!
The vision for this spherical "green"house is that it can be set up as a neighbourhood garden to supply sustainably grown food. It doesn't have an irrigation system, however, so I’m not sure how practical it would be, especially during the super hot summers we've had lately. It’s also a bit too tall for easy access to those top tiers - although I suppose you could stick with ornamentals up there and use a wand to water. Nonetheless, I simply LOVE the overall concept and can see it being the impetus for a lot of creative growing in the future, both indoors and out.
Cliff City by Ecoman
Cliff City equates the dry, rocky conditions that exist in areas such as the Niagara Escarpment to today's concrete jungles. An inner city balcony is seen as a very similar environment to the edge of a cliff – hot, windy, and dry - so why not look to the species that thrive in those conditions when we green our balconies? Wild Geranium (geranium maculatum), Harebell (campanula rotundifolia), Christmas fern (polystichum acrostichoides) and Nodding Onion (allium cernuum) are only a few of the options presented.
Now look at this representation of the Cliff City vision:
Hypertufa towers house plants that thrive in dry, rocky conditions
Fusion Garden by Landscape Ontario
Fusion gardens are all about creating a beautiful garden in an environmentally responsible manner. Last years Fusion Garden at Canada Blooms was amongst my favourites and this year is no different. What really blew me away this time round was the ingenious way in which they've dealt with water runoff.
How cool is that? And I LOVE the moss at the bottom of the falls
The water flows underneath the walkway towards
a "river" bed that ends at the rain garden
Flower Show presented by the Garden Club of Toronto
I’m not much one for flower shows as I find most displays too formal for my tastes - I suppose it’s the nature of the beast when you have to abide by so many rules. But that didn't stop me from poking my head in at the Flower Show and I’m glad that I did – a few of the exhibits were right up my alley. First up were a couple of succulent planters – not a surprise, really, as I’m a sucker for succulents!
When I went to the section on “forced” plants, there were the standard paperwhites and forsythias…and then there was this guy:
Butterfly Habitat by City of Toronto
The City of Toronto created a butterfly habitat display and one thing in their presentation really had tongues wagging (I know this because of my nonchalant eavesdropping ways 😉):
Goodies Brought Home
I can’t talk about Canada Blooms without doing a bit of show and tell about what I brought home.
First – look at this beauty:
|Mark's Choice Round Point Shovel|
We had our GardenComm meeting at Canada Blooms and I was lucky enough to win this Mark’s Choice shovel - with a stainless steel blade and hardwood handle, this is one solid, heavy-duty piece of equipment. If you don’t live in Canada, you may not have heard of Mark’s Choice as it’s a Canadian brand available only at Home Hardware (a 100% Canadian owned company). If you live in Canada, however, Mark Cullen has been a household name in the gardening world for decades.
You know what’s really weird about winning this shovel? Our round point shovel – which is the one that gets used the most, by far - broke last year (dang bamboo grass!) so a new one had been on the list. What are the odds?
I also received a copy of “Gardening with Emma” – a kid to kid gardening guide. I have been looking forward to giving this book a look-see ever since I had a sneak peak a couple of months ago and I’ll be doing a review on a future post.
Of course, every garden show is filled with temptation in the form of seeds, plants and a plethora of other items. This succulent shop was incredible!
I purchased tubers for 4 different dahlias – one waterlily type, two decoratives and a collerette.
|This packet contains two dahlias: Chianti and Chocolate & Candy|
|Edge of Joy|
And last, but most definitely not least, is something I have wanted to purchase for a few years now but I just never seemed to come across at any of my local garden centres. A gorgeous Hellebore:
Notice all the snow still!
We are supposed to have a good warmup tomorrow - hopefully it's enough to melt the lingering ice and snow. As is the case every year at about this time, I'm pretty much done with winter and am very much looking forward to spring's arrival!