Tag Archives: Toronto Flower Show

What makes Canada Blooms an International Event?

Canada Blooms 2017 Toronto Flower Show International Competition

Family Affair is the theme for the Toronto Flower Show 2019. You will see many interesting interpretations of family life and relationships. Think about how you would portray “Gathering of the Clan”, “Sunday Best”, “Family Tree”, “Family Game Night”, “Dysfunctional”, Family Feud” and many more. Many of the designs call for techniques which you will not have seen.

What makes Canada Blooms an International Event? It is the competitors that come from around the world to enter a design. The 2019 International Class title is “Relatively Speaking”.

Ten countries are confirmed; Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, France, Italy, Oman, India, NAFAS Great Britain, South Africa, and the USA. These very talented women spend a lot of time and effort preparing for their visit to Canada Blooms. Some are chosen by their country to come as an award for winning top honours in their own country, others are invited because of their special skills/talent. Once confirmed, they immediately start planning their design. They consider the title, the space allotted, the colour of the set and background, learn which plant material they are allowed to bring into Canada from their particular country and which might be readily available here. We have had competitors arrive at Pearson Airport with boxes of material they intended to use only to have it confiscated at customs and immigration. Imagine the heartbreak and anxiety of having to rethink your design at the last minute!

Once here, they are well looked after. Billeted by members of the Garden Club of Toronto, they are treated as special guests in our country. There are dinners, often a trip to Niagara Falls and / or other attraction(s) and a good dollop of Canadian hospitality. Meeting these women at functions in other countries, they never fail to tell us what a good time they had in Toronto.

Make sure you come to meet them and to see their interpretation of “Relatively Speaking”. Each country will have its own unique idea of family relations. The International designs are shown for the first five days only (March 8th -12th) so make sure you come to the show early. If you come after March 12th, photographs of the international entries will be on display.

Don’t forget to bring your family, after all it is a Family Affair!

∼ Donalda Kelk, Toronto Flower Show

Good Things Come in Small Packages

Miniature Design from Pinterest

You have heard the phrase “good things come in small packages”, well whoever coined the phrase must have been thinking about miniatures. You know, those little arrangements that capture the imagination and fit into our ever-growing smaller living accommodations.

What is a miniature design you ask? A miniature is “a design with maximum dimensions of 13.3 cm (5 1/4″) in any direction (height, width, depth and diagonal). For good proportion, the container should not exceed 3.5cm (1 1/2″) in height. Appeal is greatly enhanced when exhibited in appropriately sized niches. Niche size 14 cm (5 3/4″) wide x 15cm (6″) high and 13.3 cm (5 1/4″) deep is recommended. To be viewed at eye level.” Ontario Judging Standards.

The most important element when creating a miniature floral design is scale. You must pay close attention to the relationship of size in each part of the design, each flower should be compared to the others in the arrangement, the flower(s) should be compared to the containers; any base or accessories should be compared to the container and the design as a whole. And the size of the whole design should be compared to the niche in which it will be displayed. No flower should be more than one-third the size of the container.

Here are some tips for miniatures:

  • Look for containers that are not too large but will hold enough water to keep the design fresh
  • Consider creating a cardboard template so that the design stays within size limits
  • Remember scale is the most important aspect of the design, consider using only three-quarters of the five-inch space to ensure lots of room around the design
  • Select plant material carefully, consider cedar, ivies, spirea, barberry, heather, Hydrangea florets, artemisia, cedar, baby’s breath, grasses, coral bells, miniature roses, ferns, hers like thyme and parsley, Queen Anne’s lace, and mosses, things that will be in scale with your container.
  • Condition fresh materials before you start.
  • For beginners, grey or black are the easiest colours to work with
  • Caps off toothpaste tubes or pump aerosol containers can be painted a colour to harmonize or contrast with your design.
  • For stability, use stickum to affix a button under the cap

Items you will need:

  • Floral Foam
  • Fresh or Dried Flowers
  • Manicure or Embroidery Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Eyedropper or Syringe for Watering
  • Stickum or Dollhouse Wax
  • Wire
  • Toothpicks
  • Container appropriate to type of design you wish to create

Once done, put your masterpiece eye level where it can be seen and frame the design in a small shadow box of the appropriate dimensions.

If you are a Garden Club of Toronto member consider entering a miniature design in the Toronto Flower Show at Canada Blooms. The schedule will be online by the beginning of November, so start planning now!  And if you aren’t a member, come and try your hand at making one during one of Toronto Flower Show’s pop-up demonstration/mini workshops. Watch the web site or newsletter for the dates and times closer to the festival!

Miniature floral arrangement photo borrowed from Pinterest

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

Life Is A Celebration Worthy of Flowers

Toronto Flower Show International Exhibits

TORONTO, Ont. —Flowers are used to celebrate every occasion. Whether it is a birthday, wedding, or a special holiday, flowers show loved ones we care, and help celebrate life’s important milestones. During Canada Bloom’s 20th anniversary, the festival will showcase that ‘Life is a Celebration,’ and flowers are there every step of the way to help celebrate.

“Presented by The Garden Club of Toronto, the Flower Show will present another year of competitions amongst amateur floral designers and garden club members at Canada Blooms. The competitors enter  classes competing in horticulture, special exhibits, floral design and photography. International competitors from around the world have been invited to participate for the first 5 days. Artists in the garden will provide a new focus on floral painting. Arrangements  will be on display throughout the duration of the show providing guests with a colourful, bright and exciting look at how flowers can be used in a variety of ways.

“The arrangements produced by our florists during the show always go above and beyond our expectations,” says Terry Caddo, General Manager of Canada Blooms. “They really help give Canada Blooms a necessary surge of colour that helps drive away the winter blues.”

Also adding a pop of colour to Canada Blooms will be Bayview Flowers Floral Alley where six professional floral artists will showcase their take on the different ‘Seasons of Life.’  These floral artists include:

-Students from the Canadian Institute of Floral Design
-Opening Night Flowers
-Alma Florists
-LadyBug Florist
-Fresh Floral Creations
-Jennifer Harvey Designs

“Continuing with this year’s theme of ‘It’s a Party,’ floral artists will create designs focusing on the different ‘Seasons of Life,’” says Caddo. “Every season of life is a celebration, and that is what we are asking our professional designers to focus on.”

Awards for the Flower Show will be handed out on March 20, 2016, at 3:00 p.m. on the Canada Blooms main stage.

Canada Blooms will be held from March 11th to 20th, 2016, at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place in Toronto. The schedule for the show is available at canadablooms.com for anyone wishing to enter, as well as being found on the Garden Club of Toronto website.

For more information or for tickets, please visit canadablooms.com. Follow Canada Blooms on Twitter @CanadaBlooms and Like it on Facebook.

About Canada Blooms

Canada Blooms is an annual world-class festival that connects people to the joys and benefits of nature through experiences with gardens and flowers by promoting, educating, inspiring and celebrating all aspects of horticulture. Co-locating with the National Home show to create North America’s Largest Home and Garden event, Canada Blooms is a not-for-profit organization that gives back to the community throughout the year by funding community garden projects around Ontario, Canada Blooms is also dedicated to providing the community with horticulture expertise, education and resources on an ongoing basis.

Now in its 20th year, Canada Blooms was founded by Landscape Ontario and The Garden Club of Toronto. Each year it is supported by a committed group of partners, sponsors and volunteers.

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