Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Landscape Ontario Congress 2014

I had planned to go yesterday to Landscape Ontario's Congress, unfortunately it was -4000 with the windchill.  So instead I installed Netflix - added a gizmo to the old basement TV (had to change around whole room because the firewall blocked the signal) and then vowed to watch TV for the rest of the winter.  These crows I caught in my neighbour's tree no doubt are waiting for my carcass to be removed in April.

Fortunately the weather improved.  I came to the end of the show with all the female prisoners.  And I'm not permitted to watch Kevin Spacey's show without Kevin - so what's a girl to do?  Fire up my old car and take myself directly to my favourite big trade show of the season.  You can't imagine my surprise to find the parking lot 75% empty.  Usually if you arrive shortly after nine, pleasant men in snow pants and parkas direct you to take your car to the outer regions of the parking lot.  This year, no men, and parking literally steps to the door.  Fabulous for me - not so good for the show.  But, as the weather improved today, so did the attendance.  At 3:00 when I left, the lot was chock-a-block.

The Keynote Speaker was Diarmuid Gavin on The Evolution of Garden Style:  A Romp Through History and a Peek at the Future of our Gardens.  It wasn't really a keynote (speech that sets the tone for the conference) but it was entertaining and I appreciated that rather insisting all design ended with the grand gardens of Europe, he continued on showing examples from Mexico, Disney, Expo 67, the influence of  Hollywood and outdoor living, the 'burbs and then flew through examples that brought us straight through to today.  

Photo shows just how quiet it was shortly before Diarmuid began….


Even though there were very few crowds, plastic grass had the biggest draw early in the day.

Unlike the show in the fall that is more decorative, this is definitely the show for people who are doing the work.

Start your engines:

Q&Z Nursery, Inc. specialist in Hosta were there.  Lots of new varieties for those collectors:

And of special interest to those of you out there who want a good grower with great colour that does well (colours nicely in deep shade), look no further than the photo below of the Hosta 'Smash Hit'.

Precious few real live, growing plants at this time of year, so I'm always so happy to find a little bit of spring promise.

Thought this was very cool.  They have the ability to take a photograph and make it into decorative art. Quite dramatic and pretty.

Other new products - exterior porcelain tiles - good to -50C.  Each tile is 2cm thick.  It's manufactured in China.  The colour runs through the product, so there are no problems with chipping.  (

The trend for more colour continues - plastic pots large and small:

If I didn't have a blue wheelbarrow, I would have tried to take this one home.  How could you not love a wheelbarrow with an orange and yellow tire.

In what's new, it would appear that things that change colour are still up and coming:

I'm a little more staid with my lighting  - think that these would be very attractive - hope to visit the exhibitor tomorrow.

Good idea?  Not so good?  If you're a careful waterer, these colourful waterproof cloth inserts would look pretty all season.  If you're slightly klutzy, or water while drinking wine in the evening and have a tendency to overflow, maybe not so good.

So I bid the shiny power mowers goodbye, and look forward to visiting again tomorrow.  Until then…..


Gail said...

Looks like you had a fun time...

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Barb you are too funny !
You made me giggle a lot as I read through this and I am totally in love with that orange wheel barrow!
This was the first year we forget to empty our water barrel and it raged at us until it gave a thunderous CRACK and split .. now a new item is on the list to bump the budget.
Great to find such a fantastic parking spot eh girl ? LOL

Barbarapc said...

Gail - I did indeed. Good speakers, exhibits, information and lots of trucks….and tall men who drive trucks - what more could a gal want?
Joy - I'm glad we need a giggle after all this weather we've been having. That's tragic about the rain barrel - who is the manufacturer? Wonder if you might get a credit if you write a letter. Worth a try - perhaps they might give you a coupon if you're considering the same brand. Nothing better than a great parking spot in -6000 degree weather. Set the entire tone for a very good day.