Friday, October 19, 2012

Trend Spotting at Landscape Ontario's Expo

Landscape Ontario's fall show 'Expo' is a fun show.  It's not too big.  There's lots to see.  And, it's in one of the coolest buildings ever. 

And, if that wasn't good enough, the garden writers were given great big buttons to wear that designated us as 'Trend Spotters'.  Who doesn't like to be told that your opinion counts?  Why I think it was even better than being given a tiara and a working wand. 

I'm going to divide the post into two - too much for just one.  There were lots of products and plants of note.  You may remember me mentioning the Mighty 'Mato that Loblaw will be selling next year.  These are grafted plants that produce earlier and in greater abundance.  This is a fantastic improvement for those of us who like to grow some of the older varieties, but get a bit fed up waiting for tomatoes until August.   Wholesale grower Valleybrook are looking to produce nine heirloom varieties:
Beefsteak, Brandywine, Copia, Julia Child (heirloom? hmmmm.), Tangerine, Cherokee Purple, Chocolate Stripes, Green Zebra (my fav) and Mortgage Lifter.  Other varieties include Early Girl, Heat Wave deux, Indigo Rose, Sun Sugar, Berkeley Tie Dye, Momotaro, Sweet Million (just think, I'd be able to pull out my old Barbies and do a miniature Oakville Tomatina and save the ticket to Spain!).

Not only are they grafting Tomatoes - Eggplants and Peppers are slated for the program.  Just remember for all these cool grafted plants - the graft stays above the soil line.

And, if you're like Keith's mother of Bonadea Gardens you could use these water filled Kozy Coats to start those tomatoes in April (Lee Valley Tools).  Coming from a cold climate, I was interested to learn that they're also sold in hot climates like Texas to keep the plants cooler.

This booth was filled with Agapanthus that the exhibitor took from his mother's front porch.  He told me the secret for her success was be a little crueler than kind - overwinter at about 5C and don't fertilize so much.  Which means rather than pitch mine, I'm going to be a bit nasty, and hope for better results next year.

Here's a potted plant that deserves to be more widely grown - Alstromeria - or Princess Lilies.  They bloom all summer and also like it rough.  As the grower explained, don't just gently pull off the spent blooms, pull off the whole stem and they'll reward you with growth and blossoms.  They can be found at Canadian Tire of all places and retain anywhere from $15.99 to $21.99 for an 8" pot.

You know me and seeds.  Paul from Burpee told me that they have developed a waterproof seed package which means you should start seeing seeds in some parking lot nurseries (you know where....).  There's a good selection and the pricing is great at $1.79/$1.99 and$2.49.  This is an old American seed house.  We won't have the full selection of seeds at national retailers because of the requirements to provide bilingual packaging, but you will find some of the English only packages at nurseries across the country.  Paul is holding a seed starting kit with a weeping mat that retails for $19.99 - it's reusable and terrific for those of us who go away for a week in March and don't want to worry about those little kids we've just started on the light table.

Next year:  Grow tropicals.  Put them in your garden.  

Imagine how ordinary this would look without this marvellous beast of a plant.  This was one of my favourite displays and MapleLeaf Nurseries (wholesaler) won an award for it.  I didn't get a photo of the bananas on the other side, but again, what a simple, grand and gorgeous statement.

ok.  I saw this and had to take a picture.  Is that fertilizer?  no. no. no.  It is plastic grass and plastic grass cleaner.  Who doesn't need more stuff to clean?

Isn't this pretty?

 I've always liked growing Amaryllis, but am challenged as far as getting them to bloom at the right time.  I think I may just skip the growing part and go right to the bloom part.  Ontario Grower Prins Grow Inc out of Jordan have a great little site so you can get ideas on care and arrangements.  (get ready to turn off the music.....  You'll be able to buy a them for about $15.00 or so - $1.00/day if you get them just as they're starting to open.

I'll leave you today with a pretty combination - Heuchera Blackberry Crisp and Anemone Pretty Lady Emily brought to you by Brownridge Greenhouses:

plus a small section of their annual floral display:

More from Expo coming soon!  Have a great w/e.


Northern Shade said...

Bart look svery stylish. Perhaps he's more of a trend starter tnan trend spotter. :)

I really wish we had interesing garden shows here like yo do. There isn't an equivalent in Edmonton for looking at displays, seeing new plants, and getting your gardening spirit all revved up.

I enjoy some good folaige and an enormous leaf, so the Mapleleaf nursery display looks wery interesting.

Northern Shade said...

Wow, I should have looked more carefully at the comment before hitting publish. Hope you can read it past all of the typos.

Barbarapc said...

Absolutely! You can't imagine what my phone texts look like. The day I can find a phone with a full sized key-board, I'm so there!

MapleLeaf said they'll keep in touch - I've got several designs where I think they would look simply amazing.

Kim and Victoria said...

Great looking expo. Love the button on your cute dog!

Barbarapc said...

Didn't think he'd hold still, but probably feared if he ran away, he wouldn't be able to remove it himself. It was a great expo.

Jennifer said...

Barbara, The picture of your trend spotter is priceless! I have never heard of this show before. It looks interesting and would be a nice way to get a preview of what will be available for next year's gardens.