Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Landscape Ontario Congress 2012

This is what our winter has looked like so far.  The only clue that we're in a colder month here is the unbelievably longggggg shadows.  It has been an absolute breeze getting around.  In fact Kevin didn't even have the shovel at the front door until last Friday when we

awoke to this....  Although as you can see - the road wasn't completely covered, just a bit greasy.

Today the warm temperatures have returned, the grass is all back and the ground has the texture of stodgy lentil soup - an excellent day to be at home and at my computer.

Last week I had the good fortune to go to Landscape Ontario's Congress 2012 - an eight acre playground of trucks, plants and all things for the landscape.

Here's some of what I saw when I was there:

Things that are made out of tires.  Yes, making things out of tires is a good idea.  Unfortunately, things made out of tires, smell like tires.  And if they smell, they're emitting gases, which means not only would this mulch be stinky, it would be leaching petrochemicals into my garden.  Good idea for someone, just not for me and definitely nothing I'd recommend for any of my garden friends.

Cool things made by men with power tools.  If I didn't mind the noise, I'd almost be tempted.

I remember all the massive melters in Montreal; there was a melter just below the train station, where I dodged the giant trucks filled with snow and ice.  All winter long there'd be clouds of cold steam and rivers of slushy slime that oozed over the sidewalk.  This little darling is for parking lots - so fewer parking spaces are lost to piles of snow.

Very cool furniture.  These are cast concrete - the colour (and there are more to choose from) goes all the way through the product - so no problems with dings and bashes.  These products are manufactured in Winnipeg - so you can leave them out over winter.  There are magnets in the pillows and padding and some metallic magic in the chairs to make them stick.  Delivery is 3-4 weeks.

This is Rachelle, one of the Toronto Argonaut cheerleaders.  She was my assistant for the bean bag game.  Sadly with my poor bean-bag performance I won't be attending an Argos games any time soon.

If you like chain-saws and men in cages - is this the trade show for you!

The weather on both days I attended was fabulous.  I've attended shows that seem to empty out by magic when the weather turns and everyone with a plow on the front of his truck has to go to work.

New shade wildflower seed from OSC.  Very pleased to see that they're thinking of us shade gardeners.  Jim of OSC was kind enough to hold the container so I could get a photo.  I told him he'd be in my blog and asked if he was single.  He said,  "Sure put that out there!"

 I can only think of two instances when I would have needed a machine like this, but heck if I win the Lotto and get a new garage, I think I'm going to buy one, it's just so dark cute.

The folks from Kubota brought their own touring truck.

Just think of the fun you could have with this little machine at the grocery store.  Beep beep.

At the trade show there were just a few newer plants on display.  This Acanthus is just lovely.

See how it shows up in the midst of all the other polished and primped plants.

One of my favourite stops is always at Q&Z Nursery Inc., or Hosta Central as I think of them.  I spoke with Tom Toman from Q&Z Nursery.  I have the Hosta reference book written by Mark Zillis - the Z in Q&Z.  Their tiny booth was full of little liners and displays of miniatures.  (That I don't seem to have a photo of....)  They are introducing a jaw-dropping 62 new cultivars of Hosta.  So I asked Tom who is in charge of sales, what he'd order of the new 62 if he only had three choices.  His three were 'American Choo Choo', 'Liberty' and 'Spartacus'.

'American Choo Choo' is 22"x56" wide, has green centred leaves with heavily rippled 3" wide gold margins.  The flowers are lavender and bloom from June into mid-July  (sport of Choo Choo Train)

'Liberty' is the American Hosta Grower's Association 2012 Hosta of the year.  It grows 26" x 63" wide.  The leaves have dark green centres with a 2-2-1/2" wide margin that changes from yellow to creamy white during the growing season.  The flowers are pale lavender and bloom from mid-July into early August.  (sport of Sagae)

'Spartacus' is 26" x 51" wide with medium green centres with rippled 1" wide gold margin.  The flowers are near white and appear from late June into mode July.  (sport of 'Sea Gulf Stream').

So that's all from the show for today - more later in the week.


scottweberpdx said...

The snow was certainly pretty while it lasted...that's the best kind...the kind you don't have to shovel! I can't wait for the start of Garden Show season!

Barry said...

The temp has dropped 10 degrees in the past three hours, and it looks like snow! Definitely some tools for the boys, but was happy to see a few plants in your post. Acanthus 'Whitewater' is Zone 7, and as such is sitting in a pot in my room - it will take time, but I am sure one day it will look like the one in your photo. And the pink flower spikes...... divine!

Barbarapc said...

Scott - it was indeed, although must admit I'm sort of happy to see it go. Will be interesting once again to see how the plants adapt to this oddball season.
Barry, PINK FLOWER SPIKES - the photo showed white. How lovely. And, what a wonderful companion for the winter!

garden muses said...

Haven't gone to Congress since my school days at Humber College, nice to see that nothing's changed re: the big boy toys. (Although, I don't remember see a cheerleader then!) I agree with you about the tire mulch, something inherently wrong with the concept. Thanks for posting!