I visited Canada Blooms this Saturday and had a wonderful time. The show is co-located with the Home Show - although this year, those hot tubs a.k.a. Man Stew Pools, were hidden behind a wall on the dark side..... While a ticket is good for both events, it was so nice to wander around and pretend the man with the cookery gear and those magic sponges weren't there at all.
The show is less commercial in feel - a good thing from my point of view. The gardens have been inched closer to each other, so there is a feeling of abundance rather than sparsity of display gardens. Now, is the show as good as the good old Loblaw sponsorship days? - no. But is it better than last year, and did I enjoy it? - yes.
Trends I picked up:
Reuse it: Lots of reused barn board, posts and beams, re-engineered and incorporated giving the gardens a good start at looking older and well established:
Less fairies and pixillated design - if there were bits of colour, it was used in teaspoon amounts rather than gallon jugs.
Oh how I wanted to try out this glossy slide.
This was one of the very well received exhibits - Sheridan Nurseries is 100 - and they really put together a pretty garden.
This was the outside - the ivy walls are aces for folks with little room who want instant privacy. You buy them as a 6-foot unit. Last year I spoke to the grower and he had someone in Quebec who had great success with them - a mild year, but still gives you an indication that these living walls are for gardeners beyond Southern Ontario.
Our guide said there would be less tulips and there were. Who in their right might would ever want less tulips at a display garden?
After function, proportion is key in design. There were a series of photographs with little display gardens in front - standing back first, and then a little closer. Can't imagine the equipment necessary to load a truck for rock of this size for a real home....
And for those of us who prefer not to polish - here's a great fire pit that's rusty right off the bat. Again, following the trend of older, used and established.
For those who like to read words on their kitchen walls - Eat; bedroom - Relax; now you can tip your eyes from your electronic device and see - LIVE OUTSIDE..... Do like the dark wall with the spent grass in front though.
Most pet-able adorable blue plant: Pinus flexilis 'Vanderwolf's Pyramid' - so blue and pretty.
The big surprise for me was Parklane - who does very high end work ($100k+) has always done a city style garden of gazebo. Sadly my pictures don't do it justice, it was a really cool garden, with lots to see.
Imagine how pretty a bit of subtle stone carving would look in a small garden:
Here's David Hobson capturing a copper pipe. A little too sparse and unfinished for me. But, it is an idea-generator - I'm thinking maybe drilling a hole in one of my lovely volcanic rocks and inserting a pipe.
The workmanship in this exhibit was beautiful. Imagine having the coin to engage an artist to create an image in glass of your favourite plant.
Here's the stone work:
Fewer rhodos, but those that were there were lovely and fluffy.
Here's something else that could be used to advantage in gardens - etched glass. Imagine the designs you could add.
This garden combines exercise and being in the garden. In the old days, you might use a lawn mower, shovel, and clippers.
Today, I guess you hire someone to take care of the garden and you do weights in front of a mirror - sadly this photo didn't turn out - Marnie Wright, Kathy Wood of Bracebridge who joined me were obliterated by the ill positioned decorative work:
I just have to laugh. I've never taken an exercise class that has left me as completely spent as when I work in the garden.
When you make a water feature - the very second thing on your must-have list has got to be good lighting.
A number of new Coleus - Solenostemon?
I wasn't the only one fondling this Colorblaze Keystone Kopper. Magnificent. Again, the photo doesn't do it justice.
I'm going to put this post on pause for the moment - am having trouble saving - too many photos? So here's one more photo of my good buddies Kathy and Marnie who were transfixed by this display of little poppies and ferns. More Blooms coming soon.