Sunday, March 22, 2009

Canada Blooms

I got what I was looking for when I visited Canada Blooms yesterday - colour, and more colour. Living in the land of the great beige, it was a complete delight to smell and see such wonderful blossoms.

I was a little concerned as I descended one of many elevators to get the main hall to see how much empty space there was. Everything had been brought down to one floor - and even the main floor was not as full as any other year. The huge to die for fantasy gardens are gone and in their place are smaller replicas of tiny backyards and balconies. For anyone new to Canada Blooms, I'd say they'd just be delighted. Unfortunately for CB regulars, many feel that they're not getting as much for their money - and in all fairness they aren't. It's not an inexpensive thing to do: $18.00 admission, $16.00 parking, lunch and coffee break = $50.00. However, changes are on the horizon for next year. This will probably be the last year at the Toronto Convention Centre - too big, too expensive (rent $600,000) and too many floors. However, Tony DiGiovanni, Executive Director of Landscape Ontario and Co-Founder of the show assures us that the show will continue and talks are underway to find a more suitable venue.

While there weren't as many gardens, there is one area of fantastic improvement: The organizers almost wizard-like ability to force and have ready the most lovely flowers in our difficult, cloudy northern climate under glass.

So, enough words, the proof is in the pudding, here are lots of photos of the day:

Kathy Wood, The Muskoka Gardener, capturing some soft pink roses:

They were fantastic - about the size of my hand.
The front stoop competition - Paul Zammit's entry:

There weren't as many minimalist entries this year, but just thought I'd include one to share to make all the others look more colourful.....

A very sweet little courtyard - Grandma might kill herself when she got her cane stuck in the nice central floral feature, but I thought as long as you went easy on the drinks, this was a very sweet display.

Same garden, different angle.

One of the larger gardens - all this brick would be a killer in the summer, but here in the middle of an exhibition floor - quite pleasant. (again...not so many flowers)
Same garden, another section.

This looks a little cluttered in the photo - didn't feel that way at all when you I visited. Think the flash really picked up all the bright elements and didn't do it any favours.

Here is one of the winning amateur entries:

More amateurs:

A well cared for, prickly little creature:

This is not as photogenic as it looked - lovely colour - of those plants that were there, even I, with no clue as to how things were judged thought that this was the best of a good lot.Don't you just adore how that Home Depot bag in the corner of the shot blends with the blossoms of this crown of thorns?

Very neat looking colours even up close:

I can't even begin to think what goes through some person's mind at home when they think, ok, I'll need a few logs, a whack of orange flowers, some drippy stuff and presto voila:

Wish I had one of these to put up for those special children I used to babysit a million years ago before they went to bed.

Bark and berries:

Just to show that even the Frisbees are more fabulous in Italy - here is the winning entry in the professional international competition:

Four more weeks and my outside will look like this:

I'd never seen a variegated Acanthus:

Aside from doing a great job getting this to bloom on schedule had some more interesting plant material:

Almost 8 weeks until we'll see this in the garden:

And as always the bulbs were great:

All in all, I had a terrific time, saw lots of beautiful plants and can hardly wait until the weather matches the calendar season. Another great day at Canada Blooms.


Crafty Gardener said...

I bet you enjoyed getting your garden therapy at Canada Blooms. I've never been to the show, just done some virtual visiting by visiting blogs and websites. Thanks for sharing.

Cathy said...

You must had a great time, the flowers are just beautiful. Thanks
for sharing, I would love to have all
those orange tulips.

Barbarapc said...

Crafty - I really did. If you can time a visit to Toronto when it is on, it really is a fun thing to do. Glad I could share my photos.
Cathy - Really good time. Aren't those tulips the best?!

Teza said...

I am so glad that you had the faith to go - after last year I have called it quits. I guess it's more about plants for me than anything else.... after looking at these great photos though, I'm kind of wishing I had made the effort.
PS - that Acanthus 'Tasmanian Angel' is gorgeous, with pure pink flowers, but not hardy in our gardens! I pined over it for months last year!

Northern Shade said...

It looked like a fun way to spend a Saturday. I've never been, but wish we had something similar here. It would be relaxing to wander around, getting an early whiff of fresh earth and blooms. Were the bulb displays labelled? Did you see any new bulbs or perennials that you would like to plant?

Titania said...

Thank you Barbara that was a great tour and well explained too. I can't imagine that all the plants are growing inside even the bulbs.
A big variety to pick up some ideas for the home garden. Was it possible to buy some plants or is this just an exhibition?

Barbarapc said...

You know I didn't even look for the proper name. Thanks. I've had no luck with 2 different plain vanilla acanthus I've tried, so am always a little nervous about spending big bucks on the fancy relative of some little plant I was able to kill so easily. Should be interesting to see how CB works out next year!
NS - Yes, this year it was all very well label'd. Was a little concerned that they were using really borderline hardy (tho gorgeous) plant material - hedges of Leucothoe fontanesiana - can you say dead by November? There were a number of very pretty things, but have learned here that I have to see it growing in the soil to see how it's going to perform before I start to lust after it.
Titania - lots to purchase, but because we're still 6 weeks away from most outside gardening - it was mainly tools, furniture, potions, bulbs, and indoor plants - and of course you could buy the oddest things from all those other vendors who have money to spend on space because they want to sell to this particular demographic. B.