No more nay-sayers, please. There’s always something to see at Canada Blooms, if you look for it. Often, you don’t need to look too hard. Here are a few of the things I’ve pointed out on the early-morning tours I’ve led this year.
The big gardens are often exquisitely done, and this year is no exception. Standouts were the Genoscape Highway of Heroes garden. Keep your eyes open for the small, soldierly water feature. Our covergirl, Julie Moore’s Midnight in Paris garden was just a dream, especially that Victorian greenhouse, doubling as an artist’s studio. And, as always, John Thompson excelled at creating a tranquil setting for his Last Samurai garden.
Yes, Let’s Go to the Movies is this year’s theme.
The Small Gardens
Loved the little guys, too. Designers showed what could be done in gardens of 150-300 square feet and even balcony gardens, including a veggie garden. There were big-money gardens and budget gardens, like Skai Leja and Ecoman’s found-object garden, with its home-made rain chain made of key and binder rings. Creative!
New introductions from Proven Winners were there, plus plenty of roses such as the new Double Knockout Rose (because roses proved easy to force this overcast winter). Notable are all the columnar trees, including not-the-usuals like sweetgum (Liquidambar) and pin oak (Quercus palustris). Narrow trees are ideal for small spaces. Great labelling on the plant material, team!
A big educational component proved you can be eco-wise and beautiful, too. Landscape Ontario worked with Parklane to create the cool Fusion Garden, labelled to explain what you’re looking at. Be sure to pop round the back on the wine garden side to see the Rube Goldberg-esque water feature feeding a “self-watering” veggie plot, all designed by Bufco. Envirolok bags got a new look in the call-before-y0u dig garden, making them more design-friendly. You’ll see ideas for small-space vegetable growing and living walls, too.
Once again, the florists and floral designers almost steal the show. My pictures are from the first round of competitors in the Toronto Flower Show. Do spend some time looking at the creative ideas they pull together – sometimes with a time limit.
Have you been to the show this year? What stood out for you?