We've gotten off very easily so far this winter. While freezing rain is predicted, at the moment the eerie fingernail clatter of frozen pellets against the window has yet to start. And, who knows, perhaps it won't. January swished by with warm weather and lots of rain rather than snow. The driving has been easy - no shovelling, car cleaning, or other winter irritants. However, I will now exercise my Canadian right of weather-complaining and apologize in advance - it was unbelievably dark. Very little sunshine and without the snow to reflect the existing light, awfully gloomy.
We got a dusting of snow this w/e - just look at the difference it makes. What a great walk down to the Lake:
Just so you can see how easy winter has been so far - this photo was taken in November:
Same spot at the beginning of February:
I really had to go on a hunt to find something that looks a little cold and icy.
The second week of January marks one of the biggest trade shows in North America - Landscape Ontario's Congress 2017. There are acres of trucks, and rocks, and fences, and everything to do with the landscape trade. In years past, I've travelled hours to get there and home in horrific storms. This year I travelled for close to an hour, but only because Stephanie Morris and I were happily gabbing away and completely missed several turns.
Got there just in the nick of time to make my GWA meeting and then met up with Stephanie to do the floor of the trade show. In the New Products section, a little lawn-mowing robot (the little naughty kid in me always wants to pick them up and make a run for it when I see them at work in the neighbourhood):
A resin chair that looks like it already has a wee bit of mildew that I think takes the "make it looks just like real" a bit too far:
Paving products. I'm always up for more grass. Hopefully this sort of prefab product will make grassy lawn/drives a little more affordable.
They are getting better and better at wall mounted "containers":
I like the fact that the potted plants fit in so nicely,
and so easy to water - just unplug and fill as shown by this display at Sheridan Nurseries.
What gal wouldn't want a real utility vehicle?! No doubt Stephanie will have this one on her wish list.
Here's something to look for this spring at your local nursery and Home Depot:
Medallion Plants has teamed with the Canadian Wildlife Federation to grow and sell a pollinator collection. Each kit contains 4 plants that have alluring qualities for different types of wildlife....
Monarch: Asclepias tuberosa x2, Salvia sp., Echinacea purpurea
Butterfly Kit: Asclepias tuberosa x2, Coreopsis verticilata, Liatris spicata
Hummingbird Kit: Agastache foeniculum, Aquilegia canadensis, Lobelia cardinalis, Penstemon
Bees Kit: Gaillardia sp., Lavandula angustifolia, Monarda dydima, Perovskia atriplicifolia
Song Bird Kit: Andropogon gerardii, Echinacea sp., Helianthus, Rudbeckia hirta
Each kit will be about $12-15 (including tax) with $1.00 directed to support the Canadian Wildlife Federation. I like the fact that most of these plants should be perennial to us and that they've thought about providing plants that set seed for food. The kits are brightly coloured with good instructions. And, there's a website for more information.
All the usual suspects were there as well - look at the crush at Kubota:
How much Mary Kay do you have to sell to get one of these?
The following week was the IDS (International Design Show):
I want these for my next garden design. The poor designer was horrified when I asked if they could be used outside, "They'd get dirty!!!!" I think they'd be cool. Disappearing during the day, and glowing in the garden at night. Perhaps I can coax someone to make an outside model.
You can sort of see the wire that is inside the clear plastic product:
So much more creativity in interior products at the moment.
Even fancy too-cool-for-school designers can't resist crayoning. Premier Paint's booth. This is the man with the colouring devices:
With Canada Blooms just a month away, seed catalogues on my coffee table and a bit more light bookending my days, I'm starting to look forward to this upcoming gardening season. I want to do something to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday - probably a couple of containers with red and white flowers. What would be your choice for a good Canadian-red flower?