Thursday, February 21, 2013

'Successful Gardening Show'

My first stop at the International Home and Garden Show was to see how the Oakville Horticultural Society did in the Ontario Horticultural Association Floral Design and Plant Competition.  Three of our members won, but Marie Decker was the only one who listed our society as her home club.  As we've come to expect, Marie did a great job winning and placing in several different categories.

Hard to believe it's just this big.  Marie with her winning entry:

If I'd saved my geraniums - they never would have looked like this February.

Marie was working last night on the set-up of the show and admitted that many of the people of the OHA were concerned that fewer would enter given the cold and the time of year.  It was -21C with the windchill last night, but the competitors weren't deterred.  They had their plants boxed, bagged, and blanketed to get them inside in one piece.

Then of course, once they were in, the truck bay doors were left wide open to accommodate those getting their booths set up, leaving folks with tender annuals like this Solenostemon above scrambling to keep them warm.  I'd say they did an excellent job preserving their entries.  Below is Marie's winning dish garden.

So much fuzz in so little space.

When I look this plant I think of Christopher Lloyd.  Orange, bright yellow and maroon all on one plant - marvellous.

Kate's Garden was my favourite of the garden themed stores.  Lots of very attractive garden peripherals for not a lot of money.  Saw some very cute little pots for $3.00.

Here's something quite unexpected - the largest butterfly exhibit 'Flying Jewels' I'd ever seen in my life owned by John G. Powers of Cambridge Ontario.  It was remarkable.  Here's just one of many of the framed exhibits.  (Click on the photo to see how many butterflies are on the branches)

I was careful not to use my flash.  What will he do on day 2 through 4?

There weren't that many shopping opportunities.  Fewer plant and seed people compared with past years - maybe too early for them?

Not in the gardening section, but in the home section.  I think this wins the Grandma Phillips 'That's a Doozie' award:

And what home show would be complete without a good hot-tub - I don't even want to think about what all those bits and pieces do.

Altogether I spent 90 minutes doing pretty much all of the floor - so it's not a big show.  The cost is $15.00 per person - although the parking is free.  If you do go, be sure to pull coupons out of your daily paper, or buy your ticket online - there are some savings to be had.  To get the biggest bang for your buck, time your visit to see as many speakers as you can.  The Hosta, Delphinium, Violet and Toronto Cactus Societies were there and had members ready to answer your questions.  I also saw three lonely Master Gardeners, armed with their reference books, just waiting to be stumped.   

And if you want to pick up a plant or two - be sure to bring a couple of extra plastic bags to wrap around them - it's a cold walk back through the lot to the car.


Barbee' said...

WOW! Thanks for taking us along.

Knatolee said...

Wow, what gorgeous healthy plants. And that hot tub is something else....

Jennifer said...

Hi Barbara, 90 minutes to do the show? It must have been pretty modest in size. I wonder if you have foretold what we will see at Canada Blooms when you say that there were fewer people selling seeds etc. Kate's Garden is my favourite. I love their accessories and the prices are affordable.