Canada Blooms 2011 – Part 2

A garden gate to swing on, lean on, and peek through.

An antique metal garden gate painted red is the image that stayed in my mind after my visit to Canada Blooms. It was the entry to a garden inspired by Sarah Harmer, in one of the Juno Rocks gardens. There was something delightfully homey about this one, with its piles of well-used tools and a garden hose coiled up on the ground. It felt like a real garden where I could stoop to pull a few weeds. It was small, human sized, and the little potting shed at the back beckoned you to walk in.

I’ve never seen crassula put to such good use. Stunning wall of colour.

Landscape Ontario’s entrance garden was powerfully dominant, with a massive curved wall planted solid with crassula in bloom, thousands of them, in brilliant warm colours. Landscape Ontario’s garden designs tend lean towards the monumental in some way, with the use of a gigantic oak tree a couple of years ago, and last year’s humungous circular wall structures that reminded me of Medieval castle turrets. Mass plantings of tulips fanned out next to the wall, and a beehive-shaped stone structure beehive stood sentry at one end.

Why NOT paint the bench to match the magnolias and tulips?

The garden for children had a pathway with art and music activities along its length, and the entrance was flanked with 2 massive 200 year old willow tree trunks, one of which hid an angry beaver.

“Are you looking at me? Well, I don’t see anyone else here. Are you lookin’ at me?”

There was a hollowed out tree trunk for children to crawl through and tree branches to paint to create a colourful tree. Holes are drilled in the sides of a solid wood column and branches are simply stuck in.

I can imagine bird feeders hanging on this painted faux tree.

The sand artist had carved up a storm. The artist moulds the sand first then carves away like Michaelangelo to reveal the forest creatures hidden inside.

I think there’s some sand in my shoe. And my hat.


Landscape Ontario’s suspended panels with green-roof plantings in checkerboard.

A traditional garden with a covered arched patio was the only truly formal garden. Its pool with spheres bubbling with water was impressive, and the large crystal chandelier caught my magpie’s eye. Sparkly! Glass panels made the number of spheres double with a lovely symmetry.

Can you spot the mirror double trick?

My favourite part of Canada Blooms is often the Toronto Garden Club’s horticultural exhibit area, with house plants, dozens of mixed planters and flower arrangements competing for ribbons in specific themes and categories. The creativity and horticultural mastery is awe inspiring, and reading the judges snippy comments is entertaining and even educational. Yes, that container is bottom heavy, isn’t it? (I don’t mean this one below, it’s perfect!)

Lime green and purple, can’t go wrong with this scheme.

Edibles have made their way into this collection, and lusty tomatoes and zucchini starts were going home with red ribbons. I hope the owner has a large greenhouse because it’s a few weeks before this baby can go into the ground. Did you see Canada Blooms this year? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.


  1. The home depot garden had what looked like brick paving, but they were recycled rubbery tiles – like the spongey ground at jungle gyms – I was so delighted by it!

  2. Hi, twitter-mate Sarah! Beautiful website you have. That sand-sculpture is stunning. What a job! Although I'll admit the child does look a little creepy.

    The Hudson Valley Garden Show starts this weekend…I can't wait.

  3. Nice! Well, I mean really fantastic! Our local show hadn't the wow factor that yours had~Love the painted bench and the red gate! gail

  4. Beautiful shots.

    Nice work. I came across your blog while “blog surfing” using the Next Blog button on the blue Nav Bar located at the top of my site. I frequently just travel around looking for other blogs which exist on the Internet, and the various, creative ways in which people express themselves. Thanks for sharing.

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