Phantasmagoria: 1. a shifting series of phantasms, illusions, or deceptive appearances, as in a dream or as created by the imagination.
2. a changing scene made up of many elements.
While the second definition is an adequate description of the experience of Toronto’s March Garden event, the first one is more apt, and I’ll explain why.
Nowhere but in a dream could the staged gardens of Canada Blooms exist. And that’s not even if you’ve got the trillions of dollars for the landscaping that most of these gardens boast. Sadly, in most cases, not even a millionaire with a landscaping company on speed-dial could “try this at home”. That’s because all the plants are grown to order, and plantings, more often than not, contain species that in real life would never bloom together. It’s one big phantasmagorical fakeout.
So the winter-weary gardener would be well advised not to go to Canada Blooms looking for “ideas”. No, go to Canada Blooms just for the pure shock of seeing leaves on trees, and ideally, in a good year, the aromatherapy rush you get from being in a room with ten thousand hyacinths growing in pots. But don’t go expecting to re-create the improbable pairings of plant material that you’ll see in the model gardens.
Remember that Canada Blooms is a dream world. Imagine this: you are out having coffee at the Sunset Grill on the Danforth. There are large boulders everywhere you look. Then, Russell Crowe walks by the plate glass window, and you instantly remember you went to high school together.
He recognizes you, and enters the cafe, and you talk like old pals. He is wearing his Gladiator costume. The waiter brings you a fruit plate. But the fruit plate has some weird stuff in it that you didn’t order, so you complain. When the waiter approaches the table, Russell Crowe takes out 2 swords and, with a majestic flourish, chops off his head. The head rolls off, leading you towards a grove of pine trees, with hyacinths blooming amid the dahlias.
Are you not entertained??!!!!
Canada Blooms is like that.
Sarah, you have captured “Canada Blooms Effect” to a T — of course, we wouldn’t miss a year. Perhaps we can do an early-morning tour together , as civilians this time?