After lots of thought and planning, we have decided to wait a little longer for the next Canada Blooms Flower and Garden Festival.
We are thrilled the government has finally eased up on a number of restrictions that will allow events to open up again, as we have all been missing the fun that shows and events provide. But many of Canada Blooms participants and visitors are just not comfortable in large crowds yet. The thought of visitors being limited to certain times, long lineups at the gardens or Toronto Flower Show, presentations with many constraints; feels like the enjoyment would also be limited
...and this is just not the feel we want for the Canada Blooms Festival.
We, like you, are so very disappointed, we have been planning our big 25th Anniversary party for two years now and we have to wait another year -- again. We miss all of you! We miss all of our partners, garden builders, floral artists, exhibitors and especially the over 800 volunteers that join us every year. But, there is no sense having a celebration if it can't be done right.
So let's do it right. We will wait one more year and plan for the 25th Canada Blooms Festival taking place in 2023.
Oh by the way, there is some changes coming. So stay tuned because we will have details for you in February.
TORONTO FLOWER SHOW HAPPENINGS
KALEIDOSCOPE 2021: A Virtual Floral Art Show
Kaleidoscope – the Garden Club of Toronto’s second International virtual floral art show, celebrating friendship through flowers.
Floral artists at the Garden Club of Toronto have had a busy summer. Following the overwhelming success in early 2021 of our first International virtual floral art show, Re-Connections, we were excited to offer another opportunity for creating and connecting to floral artist friends in Canada and around the world. Results are now in for Kaleidoscope, the Garden Club of Toronto’s second International virtual floral art show, celebrating friendship through flowers.
Once again, entries arrived from places far and near. In addition to entries from all over Ontario, and from Newfoundland and Labrador, the International entries came from Kenya, Australia, Pakistan, Costa Rica, India, Australia, The UK, Bermuda, Ireland, and the USA. Again, our team of Canadian and International judges had to make difficult choices amongst the wonderful, innovative and creative designs. The award for Best in Show was won by Pritesh Shah from Kenya.
In addition to showcasing creativity with flowers, a virtual show fosters friendships during this time when seeing each other in person has been impossible. We are acquainting or reacquainting ourselves with floral artist friends around the world, and learning about new and innovative techniques and trends they are using. New skills are required as we navigate logistics, and try to figure out how best to photograph our designs. Many Canadian floral artists are finding opportunities to participate in international virtual shows presented by other organizations, and having fun! at the same time.
The easiest way to get a great-looking garden next spring? Prep it this fall!
From fertilizing your lawn and digging up your root veggies to planting your spring-flowering bulbs and composting fallen leaves, Harrowsmith magazine’s gardening experts Mark and Ben Cullen share their autumn must-dos for putting your garden to bed for the season:
To help you get a grip on fall, I offer you my comprehensive to-do list for gardeners. It is designed to be clipped and hung on the refrigerator, or wherever. Put it somewhere that it will remind you regularly what you need to consider in order to enjoy a great looking garden come spring.
If you would really rather just sit indoors and watch football, look at it this way: Your investment in a great looking garden is a partnership between you and nature. Without your cooperation, she is in charge. To get the results that you are looking for you need to do your part. For the next 6 to 8 weeks or so, this is it:
Fertilize your lawn – this is the most important application of the year. The nutrition that your lawn receives this time of year will not produce a great looking lawn this fall, but it will strengthen the grass roots and prepare the plants for a fast green up come spring. The results are less snow mould and a stronger, green lawn after the spring melt. Look for a slow release nitrogen product, like Golfgreen winterizer formula, for best results. (continue reading)
Don’t miss an issue of Harrowsmith’s gardening, cooking, sustainable living and DIY tips. Find the 100% Canadian Fall Almanac on newsstands now and subscribe at www.harrowsmithmag.com/subscribe.
LISTEN TO HARROWSMITH RADIO
The Weather Wizard and the Jungle Farm Queen
In this episode, we spend a little time under a virtual umbrella with Harrowsmith’s go-to weatherman, Mark Sirois. Mark’s been doing long-range forecasting for the Harrowsmith Almanac and extreme weather prediction for Southern Quebec for years. Now a modern home weather station has empowered him to think big and broad. Next up Alberta farmer Leona Staples on how entrepreneurship and innovation have kept her farm alive and adapting for generations.
Subscribe now on the Apple podcast app or wherever you get your fine podcasts, or listen on our the Harrowsmith Website.
THE MASTER GARDENERS OF ONTARIO ARE AS ACTIVE AS EVER
While the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a factor in all our lives, Master Gardener groups have come up with innovative and safe ways of providing up-to-date, sound, practical horticultural information and education to the general public.
Many groups have also been successful in fulfilling outdoor commitments to seniors' homes, parks and community gardens. The list of achievements is long but, online chats, forums and advice clinics, educational online lectures, socially distanced seed exchanges, plant sales and small garden tours have been immensely popular.
Our Facebook page has seen a tremendous increase in activity with thousands of questions posed and answered by knowledgeable gardeners - log in to see what's going on there. Or, if Facebook isn't your thing, follow us on twitter - just put in MGOI and you'll easily locate us.
To reach the Master Gardener group nearest you or to find out what events or activities are upcoming, go to the MGOI website at www.mgoi.ca.
UNILOCK'S TOP 5 TRENDS FOR OUTDOOR SPACES
The outdoor season is never long enough, is it? Homeowners are always looking for ways to create outside spaces that are unique, comfortable and help them make the most of their sunny days and warm evenings. From outdoor kitchens and living rooms to retro-shape pavers making a comeback, to new environmentally conscious choices, check out the top 5 trends that are making an impression outdoors.
Decked-out living spaces– Homeowners are extending the use of their outdoor space by moving indoor rooms outside. Al fresco kitchens are extensively equipped with appliances, preparation counters, pizza ovens and grill islands. The outdoor living room is complete with fireplace, cozy seating, area rug and big screen TV. A creative use of pavers such as different styles and colors, contrasting borders, and vertical elements like steps, low walls and pillars will help to define your inviting gathering space.
Mix and match – Play with an array of pavers in different shapes, textures, sizes and colors to add unique style and character to your outdoor patio. Mix and match them to create different patterns or a pixelated effect that are not only visually interesting, but also hide stains and marks.
Put a hex on it – Making a comeback everywhere in bathroom and kitchen backsplashes and in wallpaper patterns is the hexagon shape. Now the six-sided paver shape such as Granito can be found in outdoor patios and walkways. For an atypical look, honor the geometric pattern by leaving the pavers whole on the edges of your project.
Think permeable – Permeable pavers help to reduce the amount of water that flows into public drains, which can get overstressed in a major storm event. Water flows through the paver joints into a gravel base below where it is naturally absorbed back into the ecosystem. As more municipalities are limiting the amount of impervious surface space you are allowed to have on your property, permeable pavers make sense for a large patio, pool deck or driveway.
Take a seat on a wall – Low seat walls are a simple, stunning way to provide additional seating around a fire pit, water feature, small-space patio, flower bed or raised garden to make tending the garden easier and more comfortable. Build your own with a versatile system like the U-Cara Multi-Face Wall System for a seat wall that is not only functional, but also adds visual interest to your outdoor project.
What inspirational trends in pavers have you noticed? Unilock can help you make it happen. Connect with an Authorized Contractor for a free estimate or design consultation, visit: Unilock.com.
THE COMMUNITIES IN BLOOM VIRTUAL AUCTION
This year Communities in Bloom are hosting an online auction that will start October 8th and conclude October 18th.
The CiB Virtual Auction is a special fundraiser that serves a two-fold purpose: the opportunity to showcase places and spaces in your community and a chance to support the Communities in Bloom Foundation. All proceeds will go to the Foundation, which supports: student bursaries in post-secondary education programs, youth initiatives, green initiatives, workshops, seminars, articles and other educational content on the value of green spaces in society.
From garden products to vacation properties and hotel stays, unique gift ideas and gift cards - We are asking for YOUR support to help ensure that this fundraiser is a memorable one!
As volunteers from the Toronto Chapter of Landscape Ontario break ground on a new patio and garden at Participation House in Markham, Ont., an audience gathers at the adjacent window.
While landscaping isn’t typically a spectator sport, new experiences have been few and far between for Participation House residents. The home for adults with developmental and physical disabilities was hit particularly hard by COVID-19, while lockdown measures translated to the cancellation of day trips and excursions.
"With COVID, just like the rest of the world, they miss activity. So, with all this activity happening with coloured machines and everything, the windows were standing room only,” said Shelley Brillinger, executive director of Participation House. “All the chairs were lined up on the inside of the glass and they were watching. They were so excited to see something happening.”
The project was made possible through Landscape Ontario’s Garden Makeover program, which was created to recognize the dedication of frontline workers across the province. The program received more than 1,000 nominations, and Brillinger was one of 10 recipients awarded a $5,000 garden makeover from the association.
“This frontline worker dealt with an outbreak of COVID-19 in her facility. She managed the crisis and dealt with the media, but never once lost sight of the fact that the people she cares for are a priority,” Laura Mason wrote in her nomination for Brillinger. “She dealt with significant loss of people she has cared for over years. She managed the situation with professionalism and grace, but most of all with compassion for the residents, the staff and the families.” (continue reading)
THANKSGIVING TABLE DECOR
There is so much to be thankful for.
With vaccination rates increasing, at least in Ontario, we might be able to do a little celebrating this year with our families -- provided it is done safely following the proper precautions. If we do get to enjoy each others company in person, here are a few ideas for Thanksgiving table decor from HouseBeautiful.com, if not, save them for next year.
National Tree Day serves as a celebration for all Canadians to appreciate the great benefits that trees provide us - clean air, wildlife habitat, reducing energy demand and connecting with nature.
To celebrate trees, the House of Commons passed a private members motion on March 2, 2011 declaring the Wednesday of National Forest Week as National Tree Day. At the insistence of Tree Canada, this special day was created to give Canadians the opportunity to learn more about the great benefits of trees while encouraging them to celebrate our country’s forest heritage. Communities across the country explored nature, enjoying its beauty, and also helped nourish it by planting new trees.
The Canada Blooms team also joined in the celebration by planting a Freeman Maple near our office. It will be enjoyed for years to come.
Past Trees Planted - 2015 Oak, 2016 Maple, 2017 Maple, 2018 Maple, 2019 Willow, 2020 Chinese Beech
CANADA BLOOMS INSPIRATIONAL VIDEO SERIES
While we are waiting to celebrate our 25th Festival in person, we are taking a look back at 25 exciting years as Canada's premier Flower and Garden Festival. Canada Blooms along with Landscape Ontario and Mark and Ben Cullen in association with Unilock and Cullens Foods have created the 'Canada Blooms Inspirational Series', 10 Videos showcasing different garden and design ideas.This series takes a fun look back at past exhibitors, garden builders and floral artists while talking about timely topics.
Below is our second video "Play in the Garden". Find the full series videos along with other gardening information you find helpful linked to our new web page: Getting The Most From Your Garden.