Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Between the Frozen Raindrops

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? 


Kathy said...

I have never seen one of those robotic lawn mowers in the flesh (so to speak) and you made it sound like they are common in your neighborhood. I have red poppies (P. rhoeas), red blooming coral bells, and red roses, but none of those are container plants. I bet just wandering around your favorite garden center the right plants will jump into your cart.

Barbarapc said...

No, not common, but certainly around. Folks here are more likely to have a service to do their lawns. I'm very old school with my reel mower. I'm going to try to have a bit of red and white throughout the summer in the garden - I've lost a couple of roses, so perhaps a good bright one should find a place. Poppies too! There's always geraniums and zinnias and petunias - looks like the seed folks are really pushing those. As you say, take one empty cart, and roll around a garden centre - sounds wonderfully dangerous and fun! B.

Beth @ PlantPostings said...

Oh, your photos are beautiful--especially the ones near the lake. We've had a mildish winter, too. No complaints, except that it's winter. ;-) Looks like you had fun at the garden show. I'm trying to figure out if I want to go to the Madison Garden Expo this next weekend. It's fun, but not sure if I want to spend the time. It is fun to see all the new garden trends, crafts, and gadgets.

Paul Jung said...

Lol, your Mary Kay comment about the pink mini-front loader. The softer side of landscape construction maybe? I haven't been to Congress for a few years. There were cheerleaders there then, how about this year?

Luckily, the frozen raindrops have come and gone...