I love Canada Blooms (the largest Canadian Flower “festival” in the country) because in March I need a hit of spring. Especially this year. The weather has been cold for months and it’s a damp miserable cold. I’m fed up with it. But one step onto the showroom floor at Canada Blooms and the scent transports me to a field of flowers. That alone is worth the price of admission (and the exorbitant parking cost). Once I spend a few moments swooning I get down to some serious looking-about. I’m very methodical about this, not wanting to overlook a thing. I start with the display gardens, then I head for the floral design competition. Lastly I linger in the market place.
The Canadian Wildlife Federation’s display garden was not really a garden in the true sense, to me at least, but rather a wooded area outfitted as a playground. The structures were all fashioned out of natural materials. The slide made out of a tree trunk was irresistible. If there had not been so many people around, I’d have had a go at it.
One of the display gardens featured a doghouse with a green roof. Wonderful idea. I could see my dogs forgetting about the doghouse and settling on the roof…so much for the plantings.
I loved the “Ode to the Humble Maple Syrup Bucket”, an art installation by Emmy Tougas for Reford Gardens…a fetching study in colour .
I liked the Otium garden, a space designed for those who would like to exercise outside…yoga comes to mind, but not so practical though in our Canadian climate. Great in California when you could use it year round.
A table laden with old bottles containing stems of orange poppies created a wonderful composed floral design. Anyone can do this with most garden flowers and achieve a similar look. You don’t need any floral design training. Though if you use poppies, you must sear the ends to keep the sticky, milky stuff from seeping out otherwise the stems will not stay turgid (how’s that for a word).
If you like a contemporary look, the Spring in a Box design is appealing. With straight lines, it is fresh and clean looking. I love the natural stone wall with the red cut outs.
The floral competition is a real magnet for me. I used to exhibit designs in these types of competitions and I know the amount of time and effort that goes into putting a design together. The creativity shown is always inspiring.
And of course the marketplace is a shopper’s paradise. The Toronto Botanical Garden set itself apart from the other marketplace vendors by having its booth close to the design gardens. What a booth! Fun and funky with great products.
My favourite garden centre, John’s Garden Centre from Uxbridge was at the marketplace with a great selection of bulbs and tubers. And, I could not resist buying yet another primrose.
This one is Blue Zebra. Aptly named it is navy blue with yellow stripes. John’s Garden Centre is unique. Set in a forest, he offers unusual plants, trees and shrubs (and more) at excellent prices and he knows his stuff.