It was great to get out in spite of the frigid weather to learn about this year's Canada Blooms 14-23 March at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto. We were treated to wine and delicious nibbles by Blooms' sponsor the InterContinental Hotel Toronto Centre. They're offering a discounted rate during the conference starting at $115 - which is a really decent price for a downtown Toronto hotel. http://canadablooms.com/getting-here/hotel-intercontinental-toronto-centre/.
Colomba Fuller, Artistic Director of Blooms, (in red) gave us background to this event explaining the role of Toronto Garden Club and the $3MM they have raised for charity over the years. As is customary at all Blooms, there will be lots of floral arranging competition, splashy professional display, and an abundance of gobsmacking international decorative features to see.
To whet our appetite, she staged a friendly, pre-show competition between several participating designers giving them a mystery bucket of flowers and 8 minutes to see what they could do:
It was amazing what they were able to produce in such a short amount of time - no doubt we'll be thoroughly enchanted with their displays that they'll have time to perfect.
This year's theme is Wild! Which is really kind of a fun theme I thought. Unfortunately it would appear that most of the designers have chosen to ignore the theme and do precisely what they want. The builders and designers were given a short period of time to explain how they interpreted the theme. At least three of them just pointed out the features of their garden (there's a pool, a trellis, and some interlock brick) and then capped off their presentation with the sentence, "It's really Wild!" Not even the Toronto Botanical Garden played along, choosing to put together a vegetable garden. Interesting, yes. Wild!, no. The exceptions to this were Adam Bienenstock and Genoscape who have a lovely design and are using native plant material and Janet Ennamorato of Creative Garden Designs who is doing a Vibrant Urban Wilderness complete with urban art.
I'm wondering if there is less concern about conforming to a theme because National Home Show and Canada Blooms are combined? I've spoken with volunteers who have been charge of watching over the display gardens. They've said that the NHS folks, really don't have a clue (or care) about flowers. So perhaps the designers/builders, who are in the business of making money and feeding their families, know that a display that demonstrates their work, rather than enchanting a gardener is a better use of their time and ultimately their bottom line.
Anyway, as we all know, it's Canada Blooms, so: There will be flowers. There will be excellent landscape architecture. It will be March, and we'll be starved for anything that hints at spring. It just won't be as Wild! as we gardeners might have liked it all to be. In any event you can be certain, that I'll be there, and I'll be delighted to attend.