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Canada Blooms Prepares For Festival

Plants at Otter

Well it is that time of year again.
Canada Blooms Horticultural Director, David Turnbull and his team have been gearing up for the 2018 festival by transporting trees, shrubs and various plants to Otter Greenhouses. Otter has set aside 16,000 sq. ft. of greenhouse space to grow these plants over the winter months to be ready for the festival in March.

Along with Otter, there are a huge number of plants that will be growing under the watchful eye of Rodger Tschanz and the University of Guelph team. Rodger, a teacher at U of Guelph, and a frequent speaker at Canada Blooms, created and manages the University’s Ornamental Trial Garden Program.

One week before opening, the trees, shrubs and plants will be transported to the Enercare Centre and then arranged into gorgeous gardens and special feature displays. David says we should expect to see the following shipped just in time for opening day:
200 trees, including Crimson Frost Birch and Kindred Pyromidal Oak
1300 large and small flowering shrubs, including Japanese Maples and All That Glitters Virburnum
900 evergreens, such as Red Rhododendrons and Weeping Larch
1500 perennials and water plants, such as Lavender, Liriope, Little Blue Stem
300+ cubic yards of bark/mulch
1700+ tonnes of sand
2000+ bulbs of every kind

So come on out to this year's festival and leave winter behind you. Enjoy the your first breath of Spring by discovering the sights and smells of thousands of trees, shrubs and plants in March.

Toronto Flower Show

Toronto Flower Show Set Up

Plants are being groomed, entries are being planned, and international exhibitors are thinking about their trip to Toronto for The Toronto Flower Show at Canada Blooms in March, 2018. There are lots of opportunities for amateur growers and horticulturalists to enter their carefully tended plants in the Open Horticultural exhibits. There are a couple of classes for floral designers who belong to Garden Clubs or Horticultural societies other than the Garden Club of Toronto to show off their skills.  Details for exhibitors are in the online schedule.

The photography competition is open to all. You can see the rules and the classes online in the schedule. You might choose to enter a photo in 1, 2, 3, or all 4 classes: Life is beautiful; The Odd Couple, Gone With The Wind; It’s a Wonderful World.

There will be a new feature at the Toronto Flower Show this year. In October 2017 the talented members of the Garden Club of Toronto presented a show filled with floral designs honouring 10 notable female Canadians. We honoured astronaut Roberta Bondar, activist Nellie McClung, and Innuit artist Kenojuak Ashevik among others. Our grand finale was the exquisite design created by Marisa Berganini and Celia Roberts, representing all the women of the Garden Club of Toronto, past, present and future. We are wrapping up our year-long celebrations of our 70th Anniversary and this design was a wonderful tribute, artfully designed and created. You can see it in a modified form using different flowers at the Toronto Flower Show in March 2018, where you will be able to pose and take selfies. A great photo op!

Click Here for More About The Garden Club of Toronto
Click Here for The Toronto Flower Show
Competition Schedule

Tips From The Pros

Master Gardener's
Perfect Time To Plant Amaryllis


Well the months roll around quickly and it's time once again to get your Amaryllis bulbs potted up if you want spectacular blooms for the holiday season. Many different colour options can be found in your local nursery or grocery store right now, so take a look and see what fits into your decorating scheme. Simply follow the potting and care instructions on the package and you won't be disappointed. If you've never grown Amaryllis before, go ahead and take the plunge, they're easier than you think.

If Amaryllis aren't your thing, Paperwhite Narcissus are lovely bulbs to plant indoors in pots this time of year. They make a lovely fresh statement in a home over the holidays and because of their colour, will go with almost all decorations.

Also, don't forget those other holiday favourites, Poinsettias. Once again, the growers promise us new and exciting varieties, so look out for plants with wonderfully colourful bracts and not just the standard red or white. We should see these make an appearance in stores very shortly.MGOI logo

If you have questions regarding any of these plants, visit our website at: www.mgoi.ca
Happy Holidays from your Master Gardeners of Ontario

Click Here for More About the Master Gardeners of Ontario

Jill Jensen Botanicals'
Decking The Hall With Plants Of Jolly

Jill Jensen Botanical Tropicals

Ah the Holiday Season. Cool weather, warm fireplaces and time to decorate your home for the holidays! We all know the tried and true holiday plants (poinsettias, cyclamen and mistletoe just to name a few), but with a wide range of plants out there, lets look at some great alternatives that can be used year-round and dressed up or down depending on your style needs.

Agalonema ‘Osaka’ (top right)
Commonly referred to as a ‘Chinese Evergreen’, this beautiful tropical plant thrives in low to medium light and easy to care for.

‘Blue Ellwoodii’ Cypress (bottom left)
Who wouldn’t want this cute green-blue conifer plant for the holidays? Dress it up in a minimalist concrete pot and you have a beautiful piece of the outdoors to enjoy inside during the cold months.

Anthurium ‘Flamingo Flower’ (centre)
A true tropical plant, Anthuriums love a bight, indirectly lit area. Great year round, they come in a variety of stunning colours such as red, coral and bright pink.

Selaginella Fern ‘Spikemoss Jori’ (bottom right)
Easy care? Check. Colour changing foliage? Check. Not quite the same as the common “frosty fern” selaginella, ‘Jori’ is great as it offers beautiful green foliage that gets lighter and lighter as it cools.

Pteris ‘Silver Lace’ Fern (top left)
Delicate silver-green leaves are the standard for this fern. Pteris are good for low to medium light levels meaning they’re easy to place through out the home or office.

Read full article....

Jill Jensen Botanicals at Canada BloomsWith the holidays around the corner it’s easy to forget to care for your green friends in all the hustle and bustle. If you’re going away for a few days or longer it might be a good idea to water your plants before you leave, or consider doing a pebble tray. Happy Holidays from the Jensen’s Team, and we look forward to seeing everyone at Canada Blooms in the new year!

Click Here for More Info About Jill Jensen Botanicals

Harrowsmith's Cookie Contest

Harrowsmith New Look

Chocolate Chip Cookies in time for the holidays! Here is the Harrowsmith team's favourite, which can be found on the NEW Harrowsmith website.

Share your cookie recipeSend your recipe and high-resolution photo to Harrowsmith's winter edition editor, Catalina, by December 15th, 2017. The sweetest contenders will have their recipes published in the Winter 2018-2019 issue and receive a copy of Dan Needles’ funny and affectionate chronicle of rural life, True Confessions from the Ninth Concession. The perfect pairing for a plate of just-baked cookies!


2 cups large-flake rolled oats                                    2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder                                        1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut (120 mL)         1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter at room temperature (240 mL)              1/4 cup white sugar (60 mL)
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed (240 mL)              2 tsp vanilla extract (10 mL)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (240 mL)              2 large eggs  
1 cup white chocolate chips (240 mL)                       2 tbsp corn syrup (30 mL)         
1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted (240 mL)         4 oz milk chocolate, grated (113 g)

• Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
• Lightly oil two baking sheets, or line with baking parchment.
• Place the oats in the bowl of a food processor and whirl until very fine.
• In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then, stir in the coconut. Set aside.
• Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the brown sugar, white sugar and corn syrup until well mixed and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture and grated chocolate. Add both chocolate chips and pecans and stir until well combined.
• Roll the dough into 28 balls and place each on a baking sheet and flatten to 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick, leaving lots of space between each cookie.
• Bake until just golden brown on the edges, 9 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on racks.

Discover more Harrowsmith
The NEW Harrowsmith website serves up more of what you crave.
• Read exclusive content found only online.
• Watch videos that bring our unique stories and eclectic cast of characters to life.
• Delve deeper with longer narratives.
• Explore more—with maps, a rich tapestry of photo albums, recipes and gardening tips!

It’s all here waiting for you
Go online to discover more about your favourite topics:
                        • Gardening    • Home & Design   • Travel & Culture  
                                      • Food & Recipes   • Environment
Visit today. Visit often.

Click Here to Discover More About Harrowsmith

Canada Blooms Tickets

Season's Greetings

Are you looking for a great Holiday Gift?
Give that special someone Canada Blooms Festival Tickets.
Regular Admission tickets are available online,
at the Canada Blooms Head Office as well as
some great companies near you.
Visit our ticket seller page for a complete list.
...and they make great Stocking Stuffers.

As a special thank you to all our supporters, exhibitors and volunteers
we invite you to take advantage of our 2-for-1 holiday special
Now until December 31st you can purchase up to
4 Adult Admission tickets (2 x 2-for-1) for 50% off.
(Note Children 12 and under are FREE).
Use the ticket link below and enter Promo Code: MERRY.

Thanks to all the sponsors, speakers, exhibitors and volunteers
who make Canada Blooms the most wonderful gardening experience of the spring.
We appreciate all your support!

Happy Holidays
Click Here to Purchase 2-for-1 Canada Blooms Tickets (Adult Admission) with Promo Code: MERRY

GTA Home & Reno Show

GTA Home & Reno Show

Be an early bird & save!
Toronto Home Shows is offering a 2-for-1 early bird discount* from now until Dec. 26 for the GTA Home & Reno Show. Enter promotional code “EARLYBIRD” in check-out to save.

GTA Home & Reno Show Feb. 16 - 19, 2018
Of course you can! Visit the GTA Home & Reno Show to get all the advice and inspiration you need to tackle any upcoming home renovation project. Use the link below to get your 2-for-1 tickets.*
*Discount is valid on adult admission only. Discount ends Dec. 26, 2017.

Click Here for 2-for-1 Tickets
Regular Adult Admission
with Promo Code: EARLYBIRD
Enter to Win a 4 pack of Tickets
to the GTA Home & Reno Show

DIY Christmas Swag

DIY Holiday Swag

How to Make a Christmas Swag
From FlynnDesigns.com
To start you will need to gather a few swag making supplies

  • Coat hanger
  • Balsam Fir, Pine, Cedar, holly clippings (swag picture in that order)
  • Garden pruners
  • Floral wire
  • Wire snippers
  • Decorations/floral picks
  • Floral sticks (cut skewers work too)
  • Ribbon

1) Push the sides of the coat hanger to the centre, stretching it into a long line. Using a pair of pliers, bend the hook of the hanger into a loop for easy hanging.
2) Start with a long sturdy fir branch that is approx 18″ long, for the swag base.
3) Layer the bottom branch with two additional sturdy pieces approx 16″ long.
4) Make a similar arrangement of three branches, with the ends pointing in the opposite direction measuring approx 10- 12″ long.
5) Twist the end of the floral wire around the coat hanger to secure.
6) Layer the six fir branches together on top of the coat hanger. Twist the wire around the entire bunch of greenery multiple times, securing it to the hanger.
7) Add in additional layers of cedar/ pine/ holly in the same manner as you desire. Secure with a wrap of wire with each additional layer.
8) Embellish with ribbon, bells, pinecones, and small ornaments.

Have fun.

Swag steps
Click Here for Full Flynn Designs Article

Gentiana Septemfida

Fall Colours in Alberta

Hardiness: ZONE 2
Size: 15–20 cm (6–8 in.) tall, 30–40 cm (12–16 in.) wide
Bloom season: LATE SUMMER
Maintenance: LOW

Plants form low, spreading mounds that seem to roll across the ground. Although not particularly ornamental, the deep green, finely textured foliage can be used to balance out larger and coarser textured plants.

Gentiana is a very easy to grow perennial under average garden conditions. It performs well in full sun or dappled shade. It is not fussy about soil type, but prefers rich organic soil. It is adaptable to moist or dry conditions, as long as soil is well-drained. Gentiana is prone to slugs and can be susceptible to powdery mildew in shady areas, but is not otherwise susceptible to significant insect or disease issues.

Its slow growth rate means it will not take over like some aggressive ground covers, but if planted closely enough it will create a dense enough cover to keep most weeds at bay. It is easy to divide in early spring, but again because it is slow growing, it doesn’t need dividing often.

Gentiana is a great rock garden or alpine trough plant. Its somewhat spreading/trailing form drapes gracefully over stone ledges and around rocks or other larger perennials. I like to use it in groupings as a ground cover, particularly in a woodland garden or near other perennials that have finished blooming for the season. Divisions can be added to containers for late season colour or used as an attractive accent in the late season perennial garden.

Summer gentian is not an easy to find perennial. It is unlikely that you’ll find it at big boxstores, and I rarely see it at independent garden centres, but it is worth searching out. It might be most easily purchased as seed from online specialty seed sources. Or, if you know of a clump growing somewhere, collect your own seed in the The Gardener Logoautumn once seed pods have dried.

Article courtesy of William Hrycan, Horticultural Editor of The Gardener for Canadian Climates magazine.

Click for More Info on the Gardener Magazine
Enter to Win a Year Subscription

Holiday Gift Ideas

No Carve Pumpkins

The journey of a lifetime begins with the turning of a page -- Rachel Anders

Is there a garden enthusiast on your holiday list that has you stumped? Need and awesome gift? Well, why not give them the gift of knowledge. There is something for every gardener in your life, from expert to novice, all will be delighted with these wonderful books from Canada's top experts (who will be joining us at Canada Blooms in 2018).

NEW for 2017/2018
• 100 Easy-To-Grow Native Plants for Canadian Gardens by Lorraine Johnson, Douglas & McIntyre, available at Chapters/Indigo and Amazon.ca.
• Garden Renovation by Bobbie Schwartz, Timber Press, available at Chapters/Indigo and Amazon.ca.
• Gardener's Gratitude Journal by Donna Balzer, available for pre-order at DonnaBalzer.com.
• Grow What You Love by Emily Murphy, Firefly Books, will be available at Chapters/Indigo and Amazon.ca.
• Niki Jabbour's Veggie Garden Remix by Niki Jabbour, Storey Publishing, available for pre-order at Chapters/Indigo.

• Food To Grow, Pot It Up and Power Plants by Frankie Flowers, Harper Collins can be purchased at Chapters/Indigo and Amazon. Visit FrankieFlowers.com for more information.
• Groundbreaking Food Gardens and The Year Round Veggie Gardener by Niki Jabbour, Storey Publishing, available at Chapters/Indigo, Visit SavvyGardening.com or NikiJabbour.com for more information.
• The New Canadian Garden by Mark Cullen, Dundurn Press, available at Chapters, Home Hardware and local bookstores. Visit MarkCullen.com for more information.
• No Guff Vegetable Gardening by Donna Balzer and Stephen Biggs, No Guff Press, visit DonnaBalzer.com for more information.
• Raised Bed Revolution by Tara Nolan, Cool Spring Press, available at Chapters/Indigo. Visit SavvyGardening.com for more details.

Come out and meet your favourite authors at Canada Blooms (these books will all be available at the festival in March as well).

101 Easy to Grow Native Plants Garden Renovation Gardener's Gratitude Journal
Grow What You Love Veggie Garden Remix Food To Grow
Groundbreaking Food Gardens The New Canadian Garden No Guff Vegetable Gardening
Power Plants Raised Bed Revolutions Year Round Vegetable Gardener
Click Here to Win a Copy of "Raised Bed Revolution"

Revisit The Gardens Of 2017

Land Con at Canada Blooms 2017

Bancheri Bros. created the 'True North, Strong and Free' which was designed to celebrating Canada's roots.

Host Hotel For Canada Blooms 2018

The Hyatt Regency Toronto

Canada Blooms welcomes the Hyatt Regency Toronto as our host hotel for 2018.

Hyatt Regency Toronto is located in the Heart of Entertainment District close to the Canada Blooms event Venue and steps from the business and financial district and all that makes the city a vibrant destination. With access to the Metro Toronto Convention Center, you can explore the CN Tower, Rogers Centre, Royal Ontario Museum, and Princess of Wales Theatre. Enjoy the fashionable shopping and dining scene within walking distance of our hotel. At the Hyatt Regency, you are immersed in the creative urban energy of Toronto.

To book your room for Canada Blooms visit our Hotel page for the booking link or call 1-877-806-0006 and quote Canada Blooms 2018.

Click Here to Visit Our Hotel Page

Volunteer To Be An Ambassador


Canada Blooms is looking for volunteers!

The Volunteer program is open to volunteers age 14 and older who are interested in being an ambassador from March 9-18, 2018 (there are some pre- and post-festival positions available as well). Students in Ontario can earn credits toward community hours.

There are a number of positions available, from greeting guests, providing directional information, to providing support to floral and stage programs, with many other roles in between.

Volunteers MUST be able to commit to a minimum 4 hour shift during the ten day festival. Successful candidates will recieve a Canada Blooms ticket (1 per shift to a max of 3), and will be invited to attend a thank you event as well as other perks during the festival.

So, come join us for a Gardener’s Getaway! Work a little, play a little and share in the excitement. If you volunteered last year, invite a friend or two to join you.

Visit our website and sign up today!
If you have any questions please contact:
General Volunteer Coordinator: Martha Walsh
at bloomsvolunteers@gmail.com or call Lisa Pascoe 416-447-8655 x 7721

If you are interested in pre-festival plant organizing and planting, change over and post-festival cleanup, then please contact:
Horticultural Volunteer Coordinator: Tanya Smith
at bloomshortvolunteers@gmail.com or call David Turnbull at 416-447-8655 x 7730

If you are a Garden Club of Toronto member and would like to volunteer for the Toronto Flower Show please contact: Judy Carpenter or Renee Clegg via gardencluboftoronto@on.aibn.com

Come volunteer, Canada Blooms needs you to flourish.
Please note that both the TTC and GO Train have stops near the Enercare Centre,
also from Monday – Friday Parking will be FREE after 4:00 pm.

Visit Our Volunteer Page


Where Are Tomlin & Tansi?

Tomlin & Tansi Contest

Our garden gnomes Tomlin and Tansi have set out on a trip to see the best gardens of the world.

Every couple of weeks they send us a postcard to let us know where they are. Can you help us find them, If you can guess their location correctly you could win tickets to Canada Blooms 2018.

1st location: Kingsbrae Gardens in, New Brunswick, Canada. Congrats to Dylan Westlake
2nd: Gardens of Versailles, France. Congrats to Lucia Rostirolla.
3rd: Keukenhof Holland, Netherlands. Congrats to Christa Scott
4th: Butchart Gardens, British Columbia, Canada. Congrats to Christine Robotham.

Look for the newest location on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as our contest page, and you might win tickets as well.
Also Congrats to:
Irene Brinkmann & Willa Wettlaufer
who correctly answered all the Movie Poster Challenge questions as well as runner ups - Virginia Brown, Mimi Price, Winifred Heung and Diane Hack, who won tickets to Canada Blooms
Yuna Lee who won tickets to the Seasons Christmas Show.

Visit Our Contest Page

Upcoming Events
Christmas Flower Show At Allan Gardens

CAFA Celerating 25 Years

Don't miss the annual Christmas Flower Show at Allan Gardens Conservatory. From December 3rd to January 7th the Conservatory will be decorated and filled with thousands of plants including over 30 varieties of poinsettia.

Also, the Centennial Park Conservatory will have their annual Christmas Flower Show starting on December 11th.

Drop by and visit, entrance is free and it is a wonder to see.

Tours And Tickets

Are you looking for a bus tour coming to Canada Blooms?
Visit our Bus Tour listing page for a full listing.

Are you looking for tickets to Canada Blooms?

Tickets can be purchased in advance, online or at a number of outlets, please visit our ticket page for a list of outlets. Tickets can also be purchased at the door once the festival has begun. Remember to check back for updates to each list.

Visit the Canada Blooms Bus Tour Listing Page

Visit the Canada Blooms Ticket Page

Our address is:
7856 Fifth Line South, Milton, ON L9T 2X8

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Canada Blooms was founded by the Garden Club of Toronto and Landscape Ontario
Garden Club of Toronto Landscape Ontario

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