Landscape Ontario's annual Congress celebrates its 40th anniversary this year - and headed into middle age it's still the show you want to attend if you're involved in the industry: 8 acres of displays, educational components, trade-related conference and a marvellous opportunity to catch up with suppliers and colleagues.
The parking lot was full as usual - but not as many trucks and more people sharing rides. Can't remember other years where I've seen so many small, fuel efficient cars disgorging so many tall landscapers. Definitely no snow shovels on the front of those trucks as we're headed into a spectacular January thaw - 12C (54F) this weekend - I know global warming isn't good, but without a plane ticket, this is as close to a sun vacation as I'm going to come to this winter.
I really appreciate that they've put the 'what's new' section right as you enter the trade floor - saw this adorable Stihl battery operated mower. It is lightweight (made from polypropylene), small and uses a lithium-ion battery that can be used on its leaf blower and trimmer. Ideally it's for city-sized lots with lawns about the size of a tennis court - but if you buy the 2-battery package - you'll be fine for many suburban-sized lots. And, of course, we won't be running it with the grass catcher - those clippings add valuable nutrients to the lawn - but it does make the whole thing look rather stylish - sort of like that cape you buy, but never wear.
Oh, if only the landscapers in my 'hood would get themselves some of these - every day a new crew shows up - every day, I scramble to find earplugs - doesn't this look cool - will go back either today or tomorrow to talk to the supplier, wonder how quiet Mr. Billy Goat is? Wonder how it works on dog fur?
There isn't a tonne of plant material because of the time of year, but it was lovely of Connon to bring this specimen: Picea orientalis 'Skylands' (11M x 2M).
The flash was washing out the yellow colour - what a good contrast plant this would make if you like the colour yellow - and I do....
Every truck, every tractor, every piece of equipment is just so shiny and new.
You know, I really don't think of yellow when I think of Ilex, but this is quite a good winter paring with the blue.
My annual photograph of James of OSC. They're introducing a new line of greens for the garden. An excellent starter seed for new gardeners - they're quick and delicious. In less than 50 days you've got salad - and you can't beat their prices starting at $1.89.
It's always fun to see what Q&Z are up to. It would appear that the little-teeny-weeny hosta market continues to be strong. And look at all their new introductions.....how to chose? Judging from the photographs here are some that stood out: 'Pie a la Mode' (20" x 45") - leaves 10" x 8" and 3/4" margins looks quite splashy; 'Ruffled Mouse Ears' is a tiny wiggly blue; 'Nifty Fifty' is a large (24" x 60") dark green with white margins and near white flowers into mid-July; 'Broad Street' looks a little like White Stripe (18" x 43") medium sized mound of foliage but with green leaves with a narrow yellow centre and a dense mound habit. Whether you decide to buy by name, size or colour - rest assured those wonderful hosta breeders will have something new for you to collect this coming year.
Looks like this guy's going to be taking this one home for his rec room - comfy, shiny and if anyone asks you to do something, heck, you can just start 'er up and make your escape pronto.
Can hardly wait to see what I find today and tomorrow at Landscape Ontario's Congress 2013