Geneoscape Inc. is designing a feature garden inspired by the hearbreaking story of Chanie Wenjack.
It was October 16, 1966, and Chanie, all of 12 years old and, for lack of a better word, stranded some 650 kilometres away from his family at the Cecilia Jeffery Indian Residential School, did what so many Aboriginal children in residential schools did - he ran away. For six days, he and some friends made their way north. Then he went out on his own, determined, but ill-equipped for the unforgiving terrain of Northern Ontario and the freezing temperatures, rain and snow. Chanie's lifeless body was found by some railroad tracks, some 50 kilometres from the school he fled, on October 22, 1966.
The heartbreaking story, first chronicled in Maclean's Magazine in 1967, was the inspiration behind The Secret Path, an album and graphic novel project of Tragically Hip front man Gord Downie that was released last year. The story will be interpreted as a feature garden at Canada Blooms 2017.
Once again the Toronto Flower Show at Canada Blooms is excited to be hosting International exhibitors, who always wow us with new techniques and designs from their home country.
In the past we have welcomed floral designers from Italy, South Africa, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Barbados and Jamaica, amongst other countries. Why would an International floral designer choose to come to Canada In March? Past participants have raved about the hospitality of the Garden Club of Toronto who act as hosts, welcomed the experience of getting to know other creative designers from around the world, renewed acquaintances from past flower shows, made new friends, and yes, even enjoyed touring in Toronto in late winter! In the words of one previous entrant,” if the call to be an International entrant comes, say yes!”
The International Designs are on view in the Toronto Flower Show at Canada Blooms for the first five days of the festival (Friday-Tuesday). This year's confirmed competitors will travel all the way from Belgium, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Pakistan, South Africa, the United States and Canada. These competitors know about designing beautiful floral creations and the skill it takes to bring them to life, so drop by and see what is happening from around the world.
Don't miss the International Competitors on the Unilock Celebrity Stage on Monday, March 13 at 1pm as they show off their design talents. ~ Photos of International Competitors Displays at Canada Blooms 2015-2016, from the Garden Club of Toronto
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Did you know that your ticket into
the festival also allows you to enjoy
seminars and how to sessions?
Learn From The Experts
Canada Blooms has a line up of top industry experts on three stages. With topics about small space and container gardening to 'Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs', Bees to Rain Gardens and everything in between. Find out about this year's plant of the year, the Canadian Shield™ Rose, from the 49th Parallel Collection from Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, and discover why the Trial Gardens are so important with Rodger Tschanz from the University of Guelph.
The Unilock Celebrity Stage will feature Mark Cullen, Denis Flanagan, Frank Ferragine, Jennifer Reynolds and so many more. The Hortus TV Garden Solutions Stage presented by Harrowsmith gets down to basics on lawn care, gardening with children, winning the war on weeds, vertical vegetables and more with Owen Reeves, Paul Zammit, Jeff McMann, Sean James, special Hortus TV guests and the Master Gardener's Speaker Series. The Garden Marketplace Stage presented by OTS will give practical information from Humber Nurseries, Kates Gardens and more.
You won't want to miss the PRO-MIX special activation with Mark Cullen and Denis Flanagan on Saturday, March 11, Monday, March 13 and Tuesday, March 14 and with Owen Reeves on Saturday, March 18. Check schedule for stages and times.
The Fafard Gardening Experience
Demo, Workshops And More
C'mon and get dirty! Canada Blooms is excited to announce the return of the Fafard Gardening Experience, back with expanding programming.
The Fafard Gardening Experience is perfect for kids from 5 to 95. Come play in the dirt and discover the do's and don'ts of planting and you can leave with a seed or seedling that you can take home to practice your new learned skills.
Learn hands-on from industry professionals with a fresh new line up of workshops and demonstrations which are available in the workshop area of the Fafard Gardening Experience. Demos are offered as on a first come, first serve basis, so if you are interested, complete the Demo booking form to reserve your place. Special Workshops are offered for an additional fee as they are Make & Take projects, the fee includes your admission, instruction and material costs, these are also offered on a first come, first served basis and must be ordered through the ticket page.
Demos include: Veggies for Kids, How to Create a Pizza Garden and Corsage 101
Workshops include: Make a Terrarium, Create a Pollinator Garden presented by Medallion Plants, Create an Easter Centerpiece, Floral Fairy Garden and more.
Have you been searching for gardening programs to watch? Then Hortus TV is your solution!
Hortus TV is the web-based service that offers TV shows about gardening, providing access to more than 900 videos of British and Canadian garden programs for a $6.99 a month that can be viewed across a number of devices.
Some of the more popular shows include the Canadian series “Gardener’s Journal” and “The Secret World of Gardens”, as well as the British programs with Monty Don and Alan Titchmarsh.
Several new series are being added to the HortusTV library, including more beautiful shows from the BBC, such as Monty Don’s “Big Dreams, Small Spaces”, Charlie Dimmock’s “Wildlife Gardens,” Matt James’s “Eco-Eden” and design-focused “Planet Patio.” A favourite new series, “Christine’s Garden,” features horticulturist Christine Walkden with her practical down-to-earth style. Also, additional seasons are being added for “Gardeners’ World” and “The Flying Gardener.”
If you would like more information on Hortus TV, drop by the Hortus TV Garden Solutions Stage presented by Harrowsmith at Canada Blooms and talk to founder Liza Drozdov. Liza or one of her helpers can personally explain her new service and answer your questions.
Now here's a win-win situation. Lots of great prizes just for filling out out Harrowsmith’s survey!
Some lucky dog will win a slick Apple watch or $250 of fertilizer swag from Premier Tech Home and Garden. We're also sweetening the deal by offering four signed copies of Mark Cullen's The New Canadian Garden.
Join Mark Cullen as he explores new trends, horticultural innovations and the creativity that has been tapped by a generation of younger gardeners. He chronicles the significant changes that are redefining today’s gardening experiences.
And, thank you from the Harrowsmith team!
Some may think gardening activities end once winter arrives, but it is actually the perfect time to start planning and preparing your garden for spring. When all the plants are gone, it's easy to see the framework of your garden and imagine what it might look like in the coming year. If you start your garden preparation early, you'll be ready to execute your plan when spring arrives.
Spring Gardening To-Do List:
• Clean and repair your garden tools.
Winter is an ideal time for stripping down tools for sharpening, lubricating, removing rust, replacing broken handles and other repair jobs. Inspect hoses and nozzles for any holes or tears, and don't forget to check the lawn mower.
• Order seeds in advance.
Check out seed catalogs in the winter and begin ordering the ones that interest you. Remember to order seeds early as this ensures that you will get the seeds you want.
• Take inventory of gardening materials.
Knowing how much potting soil, mulch, fertilizer and other miscellaneous materials you still have in your garage or shed will help you determine which products you can use from last year and which will need to be replaced.
If you haven't already done so, consider mulching your garden, especially with crushed leaves. The compost will nourish plants' roots and help control weeds.
• Get to know your soil.
A soil test is one of the best things a gardener can do, and winter is a great time to do it. This will determine if your soil needs a pH or soil acidity adjustment, and now is the time to modify it.
• Weed control.
As the weather continues to warm, baby spring weeds will crop up. If left unattended, they will quickly grow to be a nusiance come spring gardening season. Use a hoe for quick and easy removal.
When the ground has thawed and you're closer to planting, till your garden to aerate the soil and prepare a smooth, loose seedbed. You can tell the soil is ready when a clump of it breaks apart in your hands. If you have a larger garden to prepare, the Troy-Bilt® Front Tine Tiller is designed for premium soil preparation. With adjustable tilling widths and the ability to till up to 7 inches deep, it cuts through the ground with ease, resulting in finely tilled, well-aerated soil.
We are excited to announce our sponsorship of CanadaBlooms 2017. Make sure you visit our booth in Hall G (G19) for a chance to WIN $1000 in Troy-Bilt products! To learn more about our products visit troybilt.ca.
Save 20% off admission at the Royal Ontario Museum
Special Exhibit On Now:Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Discover striking wildlife and captivating landscapes as Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the longest-running and most prestigious nature photography competition in the world, returns to the ROM for its fourth year. Whether you're a nature lover, aspiring photographer, or simply love a perfectly captured moment, come explore the natural world, wildlife and the very best in nature photography.
Drop by the Royal Art Museum's booth (G17) at Canada Blooms in Hall G and see what other exhibits are coming up. Friendly staff will be happy to answer all your questions.
While Valentine's Day is one of the most romantic days of the year, it can also be the most stressful; but don't worry - finding the perfect gift that says “I love you" can be as simple as selecting the right flower. "Flowers have been part of the Valentine's Day tradition for as long as anyone can remember," says Terry Caddo, General Manager of Canada Blooms. "While everyone knows that long-stemmed red roses mean love, there are so many other varieties of flowers that will show your loved ones how much you care. They will appreciate the unique Valentine's gift."
With that in mind, Canada Blooms has created a list of Valentine's flowers and what each flower says about you and your relationship. Red Tulips: When most people think of tulips they think of spring, but red tulips are considered a declaration of love. Gift your sweetheart with a bouquet of red tulips to show your love this year. Daffodils: Daffodils symbolize new beginnings. This is the perfect flower to give at the start of a new relationship or friendship. Orchids: These rare blossoms symbolize love, beauty, strength and luxury. Gifting someone an exotic orchid lets them know that you are a bold person who likes to take chances. Sunflowers: These flowers represent warmth, happiness and loyalty. While most people associate sunflowers with summertime, they are available all year round and are the perfect gift for that special person who lights up your day. Gerbera Daisies: Symbolizing beauty, innocence and cheerfulness, gerbera daisies are a great gift for anyone, including mom. They also have beautiful large flowering heads and ability to last longer than other cut flowers.
"Valentine's Day is a special day to show your loved ones how much they mean to you," says Caddo. "By thinking outside the box and breaking from the ordinary, gifting them with flowers that have a special meaning will ensure they know that they are worth the extra effort.”
Canada Blooms Garden Tours
See the beautiful Feature Gardens before the crowds!
Canada Blooms enthusiasts know that Morning Garden Tours are the best way to start off your visit to the festival. Discover the "inside secrets" of how those magnificent gardens are put together. Tours begin at 8:15 am, giving you time to enjoy each garden at your liesure before the festival opens. Tickets are available for only $40 and include all day admission to the festival as well as the National Home Show. A limited number of tickets are available for Friday, Saturday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Please note tickets must be purchased in advance.
Special for 2017: Mandarin & Cantonese Tours
On Saturday, March 11 there will be a special tour offered for Mandarin speaking visitors and on Saturday, March 18 there will be a special tour offered for Cantonese speaking visitors. Tours begin at 8:15 am and space is limited so purchase your tickets early.
This is a great way to see the gardens along with experienced guides who are Master Gardeners or horticultural specialists.
It is an exciting time to be a prairie (or Canadian) gardener.
A remarkable potpourri of herb and spice plants are available these days, and gardeners are breaking the bounds of our northern climate growing amazing, diverse selections.
The upcoming Prairie Garden book is dedicated to this goal: connecting gardeners with local information on how to successfully grow everything from culinary classics right on through to exotic spices such as ginger, allspice and even potted cinnamon trees. Local gardeners will love the prairie-centric voice of our contributing authors who intimately understand that info about herbs is all-too-often covered in warmer climate terms... and that is just frustrating.
The plants highlighted in the newest Prairie Garden book reflect a wide range of fragrance, flavors and uses, and our contributors offer an inspiring look at the many ways that herbs and spices weave into our lives. This year’s book also features a comprehensive herb and spice compendium with full color pictures and prairie-specific growing details.
Gardens across the prairies (and Canada) are going to be seasoned to perfection this spring!
Drop by the Prairie Garden booth at Canada Blooms and discover information that is important not just for the Priarie Garden but for gardens across Canada.
Enter for your Chance to win a copy of Prairie Garden's Herbs and Spices by clicking below.
If you’ve ever contemplated gardening in a raised bed, writer Tara Nolan has just the book for you. Raised Bed Revolution: Build It, Fill It, Plant It… Garden Anywhere (Cool Springs Press, May 2016) tells you how to add raised beds to any space—from a tiny patio or balcony to a suburban backyard. It includes:
project plans and step-by-step instruction to build a variety of raised beds;
easy ideas, from recycling to kits, for those who don’t consider themselves handy;
inspirational photos and anecdotes about green thumbs who have built their own raised beds;
the benefits of growing edibles in raised beds, such as enjoying an earlier or later growing season, choosing the perfect soil blend, accessibility and more;
why combining edibles and ornamentals in your raised beds can boost your yield.
Tara recommends combining edibles and ornamentals in raised beds, not only to attract valuable pollinators, but also for such practical reasons as pest control.
“Raised beds aren’t a new invention, but they have certainly become more prevalent with the movement to grow fresh produce. And, they’ve helped to modernize the way we garden,” says Tara, a freelance writer, editor, digital consultant and co-founder of SavvyGardening.com.
Tara will be at Canada Blooms on Friday, March 10 at 1pm on the Hortus TV Garden Solutions Stage presented by Harrowsmith. Drop by, say hi and pick up a copy of Tara's new book at the Toronto Botanical Garden Booth.
In early January, Master Gardeners from across the province gathered at the Toronto Botanical Garden for the daylong Technical Update hosted by the Toronto Master Gardeners. The topic for this educational day was "Gardening without Chemicals" and featured speakers Mark Cullen, Lisa McLean, Sean James and Paul Zammit.
Master Gardeners are a fount of knowledge and experience, but they continually attend events like this in order to stay up-to-date with current science and new practices in the horticultural world.
So, stop by the two Master Gardener Advice Clinic locations at Canada Blooms and take advantage of these well educated, resourceful, practical and very friendly gardeners. Bring your questions and be prepared to get straight answers.
GTA Home & Reno Show Feb. 17 - 20, 2017
Visit the GTA Home & Reno Show for innovative products and great advice from real pros including Damon Bennett. Looking to scratch a few things off your to-do list, update the kitchen perhaps? Not to worry, all the advice and inspiration you need are waiting for you at the show.
Congratulations to Ticket Winner: Lisa Van Camp
Didn't win? Use promo code BLOOMS to save $4 off the adult admission.
Every Monday between November 14 and March 6 we will be giving away two Canada Blooms Tickets away to our newsletter subscribers. So check your email each Monday to see if you have won! Congratulations to winners:
Erez Cohen, Ayr, ON
Gisele Reles, Wainfleet, ON
Joy Waldie, Toronto, ON
Bob Farnell, Brantford, ON
Yoji Murase, Mississauga, ON
Get The Jump On Spring
Saturday, February 18, 2017 Toronto Botanical Garden Annual Horticultural Open House presented by a committee of volunteers along with the Toronto Botanical Garden and the Ontario Horticultural Association. 10am-4pm, Free Admission, Free Parking, $2 Donation appreciated.
777 Lawrence Ave. E., Toronto, ON
Seedy Saturday Saturday, February 25, 2017 Milton District Horticultural Society
Enjoy exhibits, seed displays and exchanges, horticultural vendors and kids activations.
10am-3pm at Landscape Ontario, 7856 Fifth Line S., Milton, ON
Toronto Botanical Garden
Bring your open-pollinated (non-hybrid) and heirloom seed to TBG’s second annual Seedy Saturday and go home with a collection of new seed. After registering your seeds, they will go on the seed exchange tables for swapping. Leftover seed from this event will be added to the TBG Seed Library.
10am-3pm at 777 Lawrence Ave. E, Toronto, ON