Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Landscape Ontario Congress 2015

This 8-acre green industry trade show and conference is a great way to start the new year - it is always on the first full week of the new year, giving you the perfect opportunity (as the promotional literature says) to, "re-connect, re-invent, re-energize".  Last week's conference was one of my favourites.  The first speaker I heard was Evelyn Browning-Garriss and she spoke on "Our Changing Climate:  the Impact on Horticulture".  She is a climate historian who has traced climate influences and historical events using raw data such as early monks' ancient records, Hudson Bay Company's trade outpost diaries, Nordic herring records combined with natural events such as volcanoes, ocean temperatures, and polar ice levels.  Her newsletter is sadly out of my snack-bracket for something that is just an interest/want, rather than a crucial/need.   The Browning Newsletter promotes the idea that by "understanding climate conditions, you can use the momentum of change to your advantage in the future." (Congress 2015 Speakers)  Her clients are economists at world banking institutions, insurance brokers, cattle ranchers, etc - anyone who has a financial stake in knowing what weather is going to do. While she briefly mentioned man-made global influences (ruinous crop practices of burning forests, overheating of cities (They're deathtraps!) and the ooze of ill-weather 40-50 miles downwind from large cities that creates a worsening effect of storms), her main focus during the short period she spoke was on weather cycles and how combined with numerous other events overlay to create our climate.

From Evelyn B-G:

We are in a climate cycle that will likely provide hotter summers (except during summers with major volcanic cooling) and stormier spring and summers around the Great Lakes and in the Eastern provinces.  Expect hurricanes to travel further north, even into Canada, just like they did in the 1950s when Toronto experienced hurricane Hazel (killing 81 in Ontario in 1954) and double in number. This current effect/cycle should last 15-20 years.  Former drought-afflicted areas in Australia will understand why some homes were built on stilts many years ago - and those on the coast of North Carolina, who have built beautiful large homes during a period of benevolent weather, will learn how Cape Fear got its name.  There will be more floods and drought around the world and there is an increased probability of dry weather in Eastern Canada.

So, one more thing to add to my pile of considerations for my new garden design - something that will handle flash-flooding, wind, drought - oh, and the circumpolar winds are weaker, so factor some of that escaped cold air into the mix and chose plants that will handle colder weather.  The good news is that if I get it right, I won't have to do anything else other than a bit of tweaking, because this 15-20 year cycle should take me right to the end of my life-cycle of wanting to garden on a 50x150ft lot!

More on other speakers later - here are a few things I spied on the trade show floor.  There were fewer plants sadly, because the growers have migrated to the October show - but still lots of trucks, tractors, and landscaping gizmos:

Some of the colleges with landscaping schools exhibited some of their handiwork:

Niagara College's garden featured some cool ideas where you can un-Wine...

I'd like to see this in action, wouldn't you?

Over in the New Products area - I've found a new Rittenhouse gizmo I want to play with:  Frostbite.  I defy you to find anything more comic-book in your quest to rid your garden of those dastardly weeds!

Custom-zippered-burlap. Now your trees can know the angst of a putting on a little too much around the middle...."No Mr. Evergreen, the cover did not shrink in the garage over the summer."  (Note to self....it must be time for a new burlap crimes post.)

A couple of pretty cheerleaders with the Grey Cup - which is awarded annually to the winner of the Canadian Football League championship game.

Good to find something for properties looking to add shade on open lots.  This Nesling shade curtain operates with a simple pulley.

Am always on the look out for planters for my clients - these large permanent planters from Greenville Designs can be used inside as pot-covers or outside - drilled with drainage holes.  Look at the colours (car-paint) they come in.  Black is classy, but what fun to do something wild with one of the brighter colours.

No more cheerleaders in front of Kubota - but still lots of great colour - and who can't use a nice new bag?

These are the prettiest, softest, loveliest garden kneelers (Kneelo) I've ever seen & they're washable:

You can buy them at Terra in Ontario this year.

They're not just growing tomatoes up-side-down - it looks like this company is growing all their nursery products that way!  Actually, no they're not, Braun is just looking for a bit of attention and kudos to them on their head-turning booth for their nursery basket system.

That's it for now - more later - am headed out into that -30C with the wind-chill.  Which is so much easier to face now that I know why - weaker circumpolar winds - and what to do about it - new hat and wooly mitts.  Me & Bart on Sunday (-1C) at the Royal Botanical Gardens Cherry Hill Trail - bird feeding:


CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hi Barb and Happy New Year back attcha' girl !
Wow .. there are a lot of cool ideas from this show .. re-purposing the wine barrels and any industrial objects for garden usage is great .. I would like to see that fire frame in use too .. roasting some marshmallows right now would be a good thing !
Love seeing the chick-a-dee (spelling?) they are one of my favorite birds.
Spring is so far away it is scary .. but I will soldier on ! haha
Great post girl !
Joy : )

Jennifer said...

Happy New Year Barbara! I thought back to my fall visit home when I read the prediction that the east coast will be drier in future. I have never heard rain fall here in Ontario like I heard it fall one night when I lay in bed during my visit. They get so much more rain generally speaking than we do.
I personally think weather is just going to be more extreme as a result of climate change. Anyway... it was an interesting talk I am sure.
Chickadees are my favourite birds. Amazing that one of the them flew to your hand in the wilds of the botanical garden.
See you were down south. Lucky you!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Is that your hand feeding the little chick-a-dee. Very cute.