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An exclusive peek at Canada Blooms: The Flower & Garden Festival

1 Ticket, 2 Events

Festival and Events OntarioCanada Blooms has been designated as One fo the Top 100 Events in Ontario by Festival and Events Ontario.
This is a distinction presented to a select few of the over three thousand festivals and community events that occur annually across the province of Ontario. Canada Blooms was also recognized as a Festival of Distinction, an honour presented to a selected group of themost well-known and respected celebrations in Ontario.
Click here for a copy of the Festival and Events Guide.

WAFA IrelandOn June 18th, 2014,  the 11th World Flower Show of the World Association of Floral Artists took place in Ireland. What a spectacular event—31 countries were represented by 670 competitors in 31 classes. The class size ranged from 15 to 34 competitors with the average being 20 entrants per class.  Eleven Garden Club of Toronto members had the courage to accept the challenge to compete on the world stage. Canada had 26 entrants in total with 5 placements.
Each member country is invited to present a “national” exhibit which is not judged, but forms the entry to the show. Our representative designer was Trudy Grantham, who repeated her award-winning design from the GCO Flower Show of 2013, depicting Canada in pine sticks with red anthuriums from sea to sea to sea. The 670 competitors exhibited in two large halls of the Royal Dublin Society in 31 classes, ranging from small designs to abstract ones to children’s designs. Garden Club members Celia Roberts placed 2nd in class “Conundrum, Line,” (see photograph) and Rosemary Passafiume-McLean took honourable mention in the imposed class “Spontaneous Approach.” Congratulations to all- this is like winning an Olympic medal!
Canada Blooms is such a highly respected flower show on the “International Flower Show Circuit.” Many people spoken to had competed at or attended Canada Blooms, and many more want to come. As competitors, they raved about our hospitality, and for sure a big part of that credit goes to the Garden Club’s Floral Design Committee, which organizes all the events for the “Internationals” every year.
Picture Celia Roberts 2nd place submission courtesy of

Harrowsmith AlmanacTwo in the Bush
If you really want to feed birds all winter, plant berry bushes
By Bridget Wayland
We are not the only creatures who feast on cranberries around Christmas time. Birds also depend on Canada’s bright, bounteous native fruits–strawberries, hackberries, haws and many more–to see them through the cold months.
And who can blame them? There’s not much else to eat in the wintertime: the seed bearing grasses of summer are long gone; most ripe seeds and nuts have been covered up by fallen leaves and snow; the frozen ground yields no worms or tasty insects.
In that defoliated context, Harrowsmith's Almanacwild berries are easy to spot: their vivid reds, pinks and purples leap out against winter’s drab backdrop. And even fruit that’s unpalatable in the summertime becomes the perfect feast for our feathered friends after a few fall frosts.
For more on this, as well as any number of subjects, from weather to gardening to what to expect in the year ahead, pick up a copy of the 2015 Harrowsmith’s Almanac.

October means cooler days and falling leaves and even if the weather doesn’t always agree, there is lots to do throughout the month.

Below is a handy guide to October tasks:
  • Transplant shrubs or young trees to new locations.
  • Cut diseased areas out of perennials. Do not compost.
  • Rake and compost any fallen leaves.
  • Clean up garden debris. Remove all vegetable plants and fallen fruit.
  • Remove dead annuals from the garden, after a frost. Landscape Ontario
  • Cut back perennial foliage to discourage over wintering pests. Leave flowers with seeds for the birds.
  • Continue watering trees and shrubs until the ground freezes.
  • Sharpen lawn mower blade and pruners.
  • Trim tall grass away from trees and corners of your home to discourage small rodents from creating nests.
  • Dig up tender bulbs such as dahlia, canna and gladiola. Wrap them in moist material and store in a cool, dark space.
-- By Landscape Ontario. For a full Fall Checklist visit:
Did you know that the Irish brought the carving of the Jack O’ Lanterns to North America?
And they weren’t originally pumpkins, they were turnips.

According to legend, Stringy Jack a disreputable miser was drinking with the devil and when it came time
to pay the bill he convinced the devil to turn himself into a coin. Jack then pocketed the coin putting it next to
a silver cross which prevented the devil from turning back. Jack took pity on the devil and released him
under the assurance that the devil wouldn't bother him for some time (the time frame varies).
When the devil returned years later Jack again tricked him allowing Jack to keep his soul. When Jack eventually
died, St. Peter rejected him at the pearly gates and he had to roam in purgatory. Jack was given a lump of
burning coal to light is way and he carried it in a hollowed out turnip (a Jack O' Lantern).
Irish families put their own carved turnips in the windows to prevent Stringy Jack and ghouls
from entering their home. They used frightening faces to scare newcomers.

Today we get creative with pumpkins, using everything from carving knives to thumbtacks,
drills and cookie cutters to chalkboard paint and glitter. Check out Better Home and Gardens
and Good Housekeeping for some great and less scary No-Carve decorating ideas.
Pics: Left & Right: Good Housekeeping, Middle: Better Home and Gardens
Gardeners FareGardeners Fare is the feature of the Canada Blooms Festival that is especially dedicated to garden clubs, horticultural societies, and not-for-profit organizations which reflect our festival's commitment to cultivate gardeners and keep them informed.
Participants in Gardener's Fare are enthusiastic volunteers who are happy to share a wealth of information from each of their specialties to interested festival goers.
In the past, Canada Blooms has welcomed members from the African Violet Society, the Rose Society, the Ontario Horticulture Society, the Botanical Arts Society, Communities in Bloom, the Rhododendron Society, the Horticultural Societies of Parkdale and Toronto, and the North American Native Plant Society just to name a few.
Please note that there are a limited number of spaces available. If you are interested, please complete the application and return it to the Canada Blooms office by December 15th. Entrants who qualify and are chosen will be notified by January 5th.
If you require more information, please contact Lisa Pascoe.
Aster Award RecipientsAster Awards Toronto Botanical Garden is pleased to announce its second annual Aster Awards event on Thursday, November 20 at 6:30 p.m. “Aster” is inspired by the Greek word for “star”. Three of our Canadian stars, whose achievements in arts and science inspire us to preserve nature, will be honoured during the evening’s cocktail reception ceremony. The event will be hosted by one of Canada’s leading garden writers, Marjorie Harris, along with honourary co-chairs - renowned artist Charles Pachter.  This year’s Aster Award honourees are Margaret Atwood, renowned Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist and environmental activist, and Dr. Paul Hebert, Scientific Director of the International Barcode of Life project, Director of the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario and Canada Research Chair in Molecular Biodiversity, University of Guelph. The “Rising Star” Award recipient will be announced soon.
Tickets for the 2014 Aster Awards are $125 each ($1000 for 10), available online at
or by phone 416-397-1321.  
Congratulations:Orchid Society Coupon
to Brenda Platt of Brampton, the winner of tickets to the Fall Home Show which took place on September 18-21 at the Better Living Building.

There is still time to enter the Win a Trip to Canada Blooms 2015
Garden centres and floral design shops across Canada are participating in a contest that will allow one lucky winner to enjoy a grand prize package which includes: round trip train travel for two Canada's Garden Route and VIA Rail, 3 nights hotel accommodation courtesy of InterContinental Toronto Centre and tickets for each of the 4 days to Canada Blooms.
Visit one of the participating Garden Centres or Floral Design Shops and ask for their code, then go online to enter. Click here to enter.
The contest runs until October 31st.

Upcoming Events

TBG Organic Farmer's Market Open Year Round
Thursday's from 2 to 7pm, visit: for details.


If you have an upcoming garden related event that is of interest to our readers let us know at and we might include it in upcoming issues of our newsletter.

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