Tag Archives: Flowers

Canada Blooms 2019 Plant of The Year

Electric Love Weigela from VanBelle

Canada Blooms is pleased to announce its 2019 Plant of the Year – Electric Love™ Weigela from the Bloomin’ Easy® Date Night™ series from Van Belle Nursery.

The new Date Night™ Electric Love™ Weigela’s shockingly vibrant red bell-shaped flowers cover dark foliage for a unique look and rich contrast (it’s the first red-flowered, dark leaved weigela on the market). It’s a product of the world’s leading Weigela breeding program and an excellent performer in the landscape. Electric Love is compact and showy, you can easily plant it along a walkway, in mixed garden beds or as the star of a decorative patio pot. And because it’s easy to grow, you don’t need to know a thing about gardening to succeed season after season!

“Electric Love offers deep red flowers that cover very dark foliage, which is quite different than what you’ll find in garden centers today,” says Brand Manager, DeVonne Friesen. Electric Love will look great on the shelf and amazing in the landscape.”

Bloomin’ Easy® brings improved, easy-to-grow plants to the time-strapped homeowner. This line offers three simple steps to success: plant, water, and relax. It is easy for garden enthusiasts who are busy but who appreciate the value of a beautifully landscaped yard. The Electric Love Weigela and all Bloomin’ Easy® plants are resilient, colourful and low maintenance, perfect for both the novice and expert alike.

Hardiness: Zone 4, can handle temperatures down to -34 Celsius or -30 Fahrenheit
Likes: Full to part sun, or 4-6 hours of sun per day
Mature Size: 1-2′ tall and 2-3′ wide, low and mounding

For more information please contact Kevin Cramer at Van Belle
Kevin@vanbelle.com or call 1-888-826-2355

Read the Van Bell Nursery Press Release

Watch the video:

Plant Profile: Bobo® Hydrangea from Proven Winners

Bobo Hydrangea from Proven Winners

The Bobo® dwarf panicle hydrangea has been turning heads since it was first discovered in trial gardens in Belgium years ago! This variety is exceptionally floriferous with a compact frame that is smothered with large, lacy, white coned shaped blooms every summer. Held upright on strong stems, enjoy these large flowers as they continue to grow and lengthen as they bloom. The flowers age to a lovely soft pink and will be a nice addition to a vase on your table indoors too.

Bobo is hardy in zones 3-8 and will do best in full to part sun. Since it can take temperatures down to -40°C we know it will enjoy life far north! Expect it to reach a height and width of 2 ½ to 3 feet (just under a meter). Bobo hydrangea is adaptable to many soils with only moderate moisture needed, and will bloom each summer regardless of climate, soil, pH or pruning.

For more information on this hydrangea, and to find a store near you, please visit www.provenwinners.com.

Bobo Hydrangea from Proven Winners

Bobo Hydrangea from Proven Winner

 

Plant At A Glance: SUNFINITY SUNFLOWER

Sunfinity Sunflowers

Make your garden come to life with Sunfinity Sunflowers that thrive and bloom continuously all season long. Sunfinity Sunflowers have lots of blooms that can be cut and used indoors, with no mess and without damaging the outdoor plant. The outdoor plant will continue to bloom long after traditional sunflowers have bloomed and died.

Nearly a decade of effort by Syngeta Flowers has led to the creation of Sunfinity, the sunflower that revolutionizes the home garden experience. Sunfinity started with a desire to give the home gardener a more colorful, longer-lasting sunflower. Traditional sunflowers are either small potted plants or cut flowers with only one stem, a single flower head, and blooms lasting for only 7–10 days. Sunfinity was cultivated to have many stems with a multitude of blooms and season-long performance, making it truly unique and different from every other sunflower.

In order to achieve these unique characteristics, we took the best attributes of two species and created what plant breeders call an interspecific hybrid.

Throughout the season, you can cut Sunfinity sunflower stems and bring them into your home to enjoy. They leave no messy pollen on your tables and will keep for 7 days or more in tap water.

University of Guelph’s Rodger Tschanz and his team are growing over 400 Sunfinity Sunflowers for Canada Blooms, come see them this March and then look for them in your local greenhouse and nursery centres this spring.

Advice For Valentine’s Day From Mark Cullen

Roses for Valentines

I have been married for over 30 years to a wonderful, understanding woman.  This story is written with my experience, limited as it is, in mind.

As a man, there is no other annual ‘special occasion’ that tempts us to play it safe quite like Valentine’s Day.  To be clear, the celebration of our love for those nearest to us causes otherwise sane, bold men with a natural inclination to take risks to merely reach for one of the 3 safest material expressions of our affections: Roses, chocolate and lingerie.

I am here to suggest that this could be the beginning of a new decade of giving. One where you extend your desire to please and thrill your sweetie with a gift that truly is outside of the box.  One that reflects your sensitivity to her desires.

No Romeo.

My wife will tell you that I am no Romeo.  So let’s reflect together for a moment on the very popular tradition of giving long stem cut roses on Valentine’s Day.  We know that this is a crowd pleaser, but then, are you trying to please the crowd or your sweetheart?  And what is it that appeals to women about ‘a dozen’ long stem red roses?  Why a dozen?  Why red? Why cut flowers which die notoriously quickly relative to say carnations –which are cheaper and ‘stand up’ to the test of time for up to a month vs. 7 to 10 days for roses?   My answer is that I don’t know.

I am a guy too and I am equally paranoid about getting this wrong.  We are not meant to know the answers to simple questions like these.   Of greater importance is our willingness to explore the limits of our imagination together and who knows, maybe we will come up with something that is greeted as truly memorable.

It is not Giving: it is Thinking about the giving.

I do believe that it is important to understand this: your thinking of the answers can be more beneficial to your relationship than most anything else.

To get us started, some facts and suggestions:

Fact: Cut roses are not a cinch to grow.   That is why they are expensive.

Suggestion: This could be your cue to make the growing of roses as easy as possible.  Give her a rose garden.  For the price of a dozen long stems at this time of year (about $60 to $100 for quality ones) you can buy her 4 to 6 rose plants that will grow in our Canadian climate, produce not ‘a dozen’ but dozens of rose flowers at about the same cost.

Go One Step Further: Give her YOU.  Offer to dig the holes, prepare the soil for planting and if you are a real man, you will plant them for her too.

The ‘roses’ are best purchased in the form of a gift card from her favourite garden retailer.

Fact: Roses are a product of Nature.

Suggestion: maybe roses are not the be-all-and-end-all.  Maybe the attraction is the natural beauty of flowers generally.  Perhaps the ability of flowers to attract song birds, butterflies, hummingbirds and other wildlife is part of their magic.  How about giving her a garden!  Yes the whole enchilada.  I know that you are not a garden designer, but I can tell you where to find one.

Buy her a private consultation with a garden design professional [a member of Landsape Ontario] and let her take it from there.  Maybe there will be a new garden in your future, maybe not.  The point is that meeting face to face with a pro that has experience and passion for creating beautiful gardens will inspire and motivate your sweetie to plant something different this spring, to prune existing trees and shrubs with confidence, to combine plants that she would never have thought of.

Go to http://landscapeontario.com/find-a-company for a comprehensive list of garden designers.  Generally they charge a minimum of $200 to $300 per consultation and $60 to $90 an hour.

Fact: Roses are exotic.  They originated elsewhere.

Suggestion: notwithstanding the native ‘wild rose of Alberta’, roses as we know them in the garden originated in far reaching lands.  The Greeks wrote about them in poetry, Egyptians referred to them in hieroglyphics found in ancient tombs and the Chinese celebrate the rose as a source of good luck.

Give her a journey to another part of the world to see roses as neither of you have seen them before.  England is the home of modern day rose breeding.  Go to the famous rose breeding grounds of the David Austen Rose garden near Coventry (www.davidaustenroses.com).  Tour the rose gardens of Hampton Court (www.hamptoncourt.org.uk/).  If the timing works, take her to the annual Hampton Court Flower and Garden Show the first week of July.  It is the second largest exhibition of its’ kind in the world (the 1st is the Chelsea Flower Show in London, mid May).

Keep in mind that you do not actually have to travel all that far to find great rose gardens.  There is a fabulous collection of roses on the grounds of Rideau Hall in Ottawa where many of the winter hardy roses developed in Canada are on display for all to see (for free) and the Experimental Farm in Ottawa offers another colourful glimpse into rose breeding programs in Canada.

In Toronto there are some terrific rose gardens including Casa Loma (www.casaloma.org) and the formal gardens of High Park (free admission).

One more fact: it is not roses themselves that women love, it is what they represent.  More to the point, it is what giving them to her represents.  It is, after all, not something most of us do for our soul-mates on a regular basis.  So it is the extraordinary gesture of giving roses that makes the positive impression that you are hoping for.

One more suggestion: while thinking of giving her the ‘experience’ of long stem cut roses without necessarily giving a dozen of them, consider giving her 2 passes to Canada Blooms.  This is the largest and by far the most impressive annual ‘garden event’ in the country.  There will be roses, to be sure.

Give a couple of tickets to Canada’s premier flower and garden festival, a long stem red rose and maybe a dinner out.  What could be a better Valentine’s Day gift?  Except maybe your offer to accompany her to the Enercare Centre for the festival.

Dates for Canada Blooms are Friday, March 9 to Sunday March 18.

If the budget is not too tight who knows, there may be some cash left over for chocolates and lingerie.

Details at www.canadablooms.com

Article by Mark Cullen

About Mark Cullen
On July 1, 2016, Mark was awarded Member, Order of Canada ‘For his contributions to promoting and developing horticulture education in Canada and for his ability to explain how Canadians can protect the environment.’

Marks’ reaches over two million Canadians every week through various media outlets with a message that is distinctly Canadian.  He has a familiar style that people relate to.  He delivers a message that is compelling, fun, informative, inspirational – all based on his sustainable approach to gardening. Visit:  http://markcullen.com/

Mark also writes a ‘gardening feature’ column for the Toronto Star.  Look for his articles/question & answers/weekly tips in the New Homes and Condos section every Saturday. www.thestar.com/authors.cullen_mark.html

 

 

Canada Blooms Plants Of The Year

Canada Blooms/Proven Winners Plants of the Year

Canada Blooms and Proven Winners are proud to announce the Canada Blooms Plants of the Year for 2018. This year we will be showcase three amazing plants — an annual, a perennial and a shrub, and purple is the colour to look for in the spring.

These three plants selected were chosen from hundreds that were tested in the University of Guelph Trial Gardens program for hardiness suitable for growing in Ontario’s climate.

The Annual – Petunia ‘Supertunia® Bordeaux™’ has vigorous  slightly mounded growth habits that function as both fillers and spillers in containers. They are also excellent landscape plants, best suited to be placed near the front of beds. The Bordeaux has medium to large sized flowers, attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.

The Perennial – Heuchera ‘Primo Black Pearl’ has stunning black foliage with ruffled edges, rosy purple undersides, and white flowers that bloom in mid-summer. This salt-tolerant heuchera grows well in both shade and sun. It is also deer resistant and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

The Shrub – Weigela ‘Spilled Wine‘ shares the fabulous deep purple foliage and bright pink flowers of the classic Wine & Roses® weigela but with a shorter growth habit. This beautiful plant grows wider than tall, making it the perfect choice for edging beds or walkways and for incorporating under windows in your landscape design. Like all weigela, it is deer resistant and very easy to care for.

“We’re thrilled that Canada Blooms has graciously agreed to feature our three 2018 National Plants of the Year at their spring festival,” said Marshall Dirks, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Proven Winners. “In just our second year of building this effort, we’ve been pleased that growers and retailers have embraced the National Plant of the Year program, making it easier for gardeners to experience these wonderful varieties. In fact, Supertunia® Bordeaux™, our 2018 Annual of the Year™, was developed by a Canadian, Ken Lander of Sunrise Greenhouses in Pugwash, Nova Scotia.”

ProvenWinners1

Staging the Toronto Flower Show at Canada Blooms

Toronto Flower Show Set Up

Staging the Toronto Flower Show at Canada Blooms….Otherwise known as an Exercise in Madness

When do we begin planning for the next show? We start before the current show is even set up! By June of the prior year, we are in full swing – drawing up construction plans and nagging others for information so we can develop a floor plan.

Schedule writers from Horticulture and Design, Youth, Special Exhibits, Lighting consultants, and plant suppliers are but a few of the people with whom we interact, always staying in touch with Terry Caddo, General Manager of Canada Blooms, and diligently monitoring the budget throughout the whole process.

Once we receive the flower show schedule, we get together over the summer months to review the schedule for the upcoming show and to assess the sets that we have in inventory and how they can be best utilized. We collaborate on the layout of the show – changing the plan from the previous year – to enhance the displays of course, but also to entice the general public to walk through and marvel at the creativity and colours.

Firstly, we revisit the budget figures. With those in mind, and from a review of current inventory of sets, we commence designing new and replacing old sets and finding odd things like chandeliers or the Hula Hoops used in 2015 (which took a summer of many of us scouring stores). We are forever on the lookout for ideas and drive all over looking for props for use. This can take quite some time when we are looking for a specific type of item – and ones that will fit within our budget!

We work all summer to meet the deadline of September in order to have everything planned to allow the contractor/builder time to construct, paint, repair, or replace sets. The inventory is stored in a large warehouse at Landscape Ontario in Milton. In October, existing sets are pulled out to be inspected, repaired and painted with new colours. All the new construction begins.

In early March, everything that has been designated for us is transported to site. As always, there are a few glitches, but the team pulls together. We are usually on site for at least 5-6 days ahead of time before the wonderful designs, created by the members of the Garden Club of Toronto, International designers from around the world and local Horticultural Societies, are put in place. Keeping warm during this period is a challenge and sleep for us is a luxury!

However, when the Canada Blooms Festival is ready to open, we are delighted that we have this wonderful opportunity to be able to help pull the Toronto Flower Show together. In spite of the challenges, the end result is very rewarding.

Celia Roberts and Lil Taggart, Co-chairs, Staging for the TFS

Floral Design From Fluerishes by JuJu

Deisgn by JuJu

Spring time is always an exciting time of year, full of possibilities and potential: What flowers to plant in the garden? In what arrangement? And what colours? And, what theme should one choose? The latter is particularly fun, in keeping with the Canada Blooms 2018 theme of “Let’s Go To The Movies”!

So, for this festival, Floral Designer Justine De Bouvier, of Fleurishes by JuJu, thought to shake things up a bit and give Hollywood, and the visitors of the Canada Blooms Show, something to remember! Being a floral artist, Justine naturally selected Salvador Dalí’s, “Un Chien Andalou”, as her guiding design theme for this show! When there are no limits to the imagination, there will be no limits to the possibilities of floral design!

In designing her unexpected and stunning floral arrangements, Justine adheres to the following skeleton of principles, irrespective of whether it is for the garden or a container arrangement:

• Ensure the colours follow a harmonious colour scheme, such as, designing with a complementary colour scheme – that is, colours located directly opposite each other on the colour spectrum, as blue and yellow are

• Provide visual interest by varying the texture of the botanicals selected for the garden or container arrangement – contrasting textures create visual interest

• Play with space by varying the height of the flowers used in the garden or container arrangements – to move and carry the eye around the design

• Incorporate or use unexpected design elements or vessels

• Step back and look at the garden or container arrangement as a whole and, add or subtract anything that affects the overall harmonious flow of the arrangement.

Beyond these basic principles, anything is possible! Drop in to one of Justine’s demos at the show to learn how to apply these principles and elevate your botanical designs to a whole new level. Alternately, stop by our booth (number H349) to see, firsthand, our principles of botanical design. Hope to see you there!

~ Photo: A Floral Arrangement inspired by Dalí Atomicus, by Justine De Bouvier, of Fleurishes by JuJu

The Theme for 2017 is “Oh! Canada”

The theme for 2017 is “Oh! Canada” in honour of Canada’s sesquicentennial. Oh! Canada — Canada, a strong and proud Oh! Canada Badgecountry will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of Confederation and Canada Blooms is excited to kick off the Spring gardening celebrations showcasing our theme — “Oh! Canada”.
We are inviting our landscape architects, design/build experts and floral artists to dazzle us with their unique interpretations of “Oh! Canada”.
Our curiosity has been piqued. Will they shine a spotlight on the beautiful change of seasons, which makes us a popular tourist destination; our democracy or cultural diversity; our many landmarks or celebrities; or perhaps something as Canadian as hockey (even if lacrosse is the official sport)?
Oh! Canada, there is so much to be proud of, and so much to celebrate. So, mark your calendars now and join our celebration — March 10-19, 2017 at the Enercare Centre.