THANKS TO ALL OUR VISITORS, EXHIBITORS, PRESENTERS, SPONSORS AND VOLUNTEERS
The Canada Blooms 2019 festival was a huge success and we certainly couldn't have done it without you. Over 151,000 visitors joined us at the co-located Canada Blooms and National Home Show. Landscape designers and builders, floral artists, Toronto Flower Show competitors and knowledgeable presenters showed off their creative side with this year's theme 'A Family Affair'.
FEATURES AND HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDED:
• The giant tree house seen at the entrance to Hall G (The Canada Blooms Garden Hall).
• Over 30 gardens celebrated families and togetherness, including small space designs from Oaks Landscape Products 'Do Up the Doorsteps' and 'Do Up the Backsteps' as well as the Balcony Gardens Showcase; also interactive Green Streets Challenge Play Area presented by Wentworth Landscapes, Come Alive Outside and Landscape Ontario and the Landscape Ontario Fusion Garden, and the Vegepod planting zone.
• The Toronto Flower Show presented by the Garden Club of Torontofeatured the best in horticulture and design, showcasing an impressive number of displays from International competitors coming from Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, France, India, Ireland, Italy,Oman, South Africa and the United Kingdom as well as Ikebana Schools and local challengers.
• The Orchid Heart Floral Display created by Bruno Duarte of Fresh Floral Creations.
• 10 professional floral designs created to reflect the theme 'We Are Family' a variation of the Festival Theme 'A Family Affair' along Floral Alley.
• 12 floral artists took part in the Canada Blooms Floral Artist of the Year Competition presented by Jennifer Harvey. • The Proven Winners Showcase of 'Must See' for 2019, showcasing a variety of plants that will be a hit in your garden this year and the introduction of the 49th Parallel Series Chinook Sunrise Rose from Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.
• The Highway of Heroes Vimy Ridge Tribute.
• The Flower Growers of Ontario Floral Market which featured colourful cut flowers and plants.
• Hundreds of FREE lectures and demonstrations on 3 stages: the Unilock Celebrity Stage, the Garden Solutions and Master Gardeners Educational Series presented by Harrowsmith Magazine, and the Marketplace Stage.
• The Gardening Experience presented by Mark's Choice which provided children from 5 to 95 the opportunity to learn about soil, planting and seeds/seedlings (courtesy of Mark's Choice, PRO-MIX, Somerville Seedlings, Ontario Seed Company and Martin Farms).
• The Garden Marketplace was filled with a wide variety of vendors promoting products and services related to gardening, landscaping, garden accents, outdoor living and everything else needed to get the garden season started.
• The Wine Lounge at CB, featuring Colio wine and beer and showcasing entertainment by Raindrop and Nicole Craig and the Isuzu Cafe whichprovided a place to sit and relax and just take in the ambiance of the festival.
Thanks again for a great festival and mark your calendars for next year:
March 13-22, 2020!
Over 30 pieces of equipment are needed to get the gardens and special features in place, including: tractors, skid steers, 20 ton wheel loaders, forklifts, telescopic handlers and utility vehicles. Most of this equipment is generously loaned by several industry dealers such as Kooy Brothers Equipment, Bobcat of Toronto Coleman Equipment, Connect Equipment, G & L Group, Green Tractors, M.K Rittenhouse, Regional Tractors and more.
CANADA BLOOMS NAMED A TOP 10 EVENT IN NORTH AMERICA
Canada Blooms has been named one of the 10 Most Amazing Shows Around the World by EscapeHere.com. We are proud join the ranks of the other shows and festivals that offer breathtaking floral displays, intricately designed gardens and fun for the whole family.
TORONTO FLOWER SHOW HAPPENINGS
The 2019 Canada Blooms theme this year 'A Family Affair' gave everyone lots of scope to interpret family dynamics fair and foul! The design classes covered everything from 'Gathering of the Clan', 'Dysfunctional', 'Family Tree', 'Family Skeletons', etc. in a variety of unusual designs such as tapestry, pave, and transparency which inspired the designers and tweaked the interest of the public. The International class 'Relatively Speaking' again exposed everyone to beautiful creative designs from far and wide. The photo competition attracted an enthusiastic audience. Our horticultural displays were well set out for maximum appreciation of both cultural excellence and education. A huge hit again this year were the many hands-on workshops in the Toronto Flower Show for kids and adults. The ‘pop-up’ demos of Horticulture and Design were well attended.
The entry way was designed to warmly welcome the public into an area, slightly larger than in previous years, of warm colours, exciting designs, activity and interaction. ‘Artists in the Garden’ were at work painting, sketching and answering questions. A huge attraction in the Flower Show were the 52 birdhouses 'A Bird’s Family Affair' decorated by children under 12 years of age. Check out the Canada Blooms schedule for 2020, available closer to the fall, and encourage your children or grandchildren to participate in this open class. The Toronto Flower Show represents many, many hours of work and pleasure for our volunteers. Thanks to all of them for making the Show shine, and thanks to all the festival visitors for coming to see 'A Family Affair'.
Photo: 1st place winning design by Sandra Williamson. Photo by Virginia Rolph
Throughout the 10 days of the festival, the Toronto Flower Show has two 5-day competitions. So the first 5 days can be completely different from the last 5 days.
GARDEN BUILDERS AT CANADA BLOOMS
This year's garden builders took on the theme 'A Family Affair' and the results were exciting, from outdoor play spaces to cozy backyard areas perfect for family get togethers.
We would like to recognize the winner of the Tony DiGiovanni Garden of the Year (Judge's Choice) Award was 'A Japanese Touch' by J. Garfield Thompson Landscape Ltd., J. Garfield Thompson also won the S.G. Ulbright Award for Outstanding Garden, medium size, The Landscape Ontario Award for Best Overall Quality of Workmanship presented by Hub International and the Ontario Landscape Award for Overall Excellence.
The winner of the Toronto Star's People's Choice Award was 'Garden Re-Mix' by Green Art Landscape Design. Green Art Landscape Design also won Outstanding Use of Artistic Elements presented by Kooy Bros. and 'Do Up The Backsteps' Feature Award presented by Oaks Landscape Products.
'The Dominio Effect' won the 'Do Up The Frontsteps' Feature Award presented by Oaks Landscape Products, and 'Colour of Love' won the Outstanding Balcony Award, both by AKa Design and MBL Landscaping.
This year we had ten impressive floral creations in Floral Alley who were challenged with the creating a display that would represent the theme 'We Are Family' and they did not disappoint. Floral Alley, the professional floral artists showcase was filled with everything from representations to the Tree of Life to Passion for Colour, there was even a display with animation.
Congratulations to the winners:
Winner of the Best Floral Representation of Floral Alley Themepresented by Highland Evergreen Supply: Jennifer Harvey
Winners of the Outstanding Use of Artistic Elements presented by Oasis Floral Products, Best Overall Quality of Workmanshippresented by Ontario Flower Growers Cooperative and CAFA Award of Excellence: Rhonda Jaxa-Aksentowics & Svetlana Papushina.
Winner of the Most Creative Use of Colourpresented by Farm To Canada and Judge's Choice for Best Floral Design: Derrick Harry Foss.
Winner of the People's Choice for Best Floral Design: Rada Ristich and Brad Higginson.
Celebrating all things floral, Floral Day also featured CAFA Couture - A Floral Fashion Show and Floral Artist Challenges held at the Unilock Celebrity Stage.
Selfies galore were taken in front of the 'Unconditional Love' Orchid Heart created by Bruno Duarte of Fresh Floral Creations, we had a floral carpet designed to represent family and Portuguese heritage by JP de Melo of Designs by JP and eight floral displays lighting your way to Hall G by Albert Graves of Bloemen Decor.
CANADA BLOOMS FLORAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR COMPETITION
The 2019 Floral Artist of The Year:
Joe Delarge from eco|stems was the winner of the 2018 Canad Blooms Floral Designer of the Year Competition,
a precursor to the Floral Artist of The Year Competition.
Canada Blooms was excited to host the 2019 Canada Blooms Floral Artists of the Year Competition presented by Jennifer Harvey.
Twelve floral artists vied for the Title in a real time design challenge. Competitors were all given the same materials and a time limit of four hours to get as creative as they could, and the results were impressive (visit our facebook page, photos by David Ohashi).
We can hardly wait until next year, where we expect to see even more competitors.
2019 participants included (Photo above): Top Row:
Crystal Hill, Floral Envy
Trudy Grantham, Garden Club of Toronto
Derrick Foss, Just Me Floral Design
Garrett Skupinski, Floral.Today
Dominique Houle, Dominique Houle Creations
Bruno Duarte, Fresh Floral Creations
Melani Nemeskovic, Floresco
Lucia Ana Holzapfel, Floral Designer
Norma Quilao, Floral Designer
Sveta Shvedenkova, Tim Clark's Flowers
Rosemary Passafiume-McLean, Garden Club of Toronto
PRESENTATIONS, DEMONSTRATIONS AND WORKSHOPS
We would like to express our appreciation to a wonderful line up of incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic presenters who took part in Canada Blooms. Visitors had an opportunity to learn about edible flowers to grow with your veggies, tips for practical and sustainable balcony space, container gardening, rain gardening, care of house plants, wildlife in your gardens and so much more.
We had a record number of authors -- Mark & Ben Cullen, Niki Jabbour, Emily Murphy, Lorraine Johnson, Carol Pasternak, Charlie Nardozzi, Frank Ferragine and father and daughter team Emma and Stephen Biggs.
Thanks to all our sponsors — Unilock, Harrowsmith Magazine, and special programming from Master Gardeners of Ontario, Toronto Botanical Garden and PRO-MIX — for making the Canada Blooms educational series one of the best in the country.
The Mark's Choice Gardening Experience was a huge success with over 2700 seeds and seedlings shared with kids and kids at heart, while teaching about the do's and don'ts of plantings and encouraging everyone to get out there and get gardening. Thanks to the Master Gardeners of Ontario for their Li'l Sprouts workshops, Jennifer Harvey (Terrariums and Centrepieces), Trudy Grantham & Dianna Kennedy (Succulent Planters), Homa Bahadouri (Botanical Painting), Tanya Smith (Air Plants), and The Veggie Guy, Bob Martin (Growing Veggies For Kids).
Thanks to Jennifer Harvey for coordinating the Floral Challenges and CAFA couture Floral Fashion Show. We would like to recognize the participants in the Celebrity Flower Arranging Challenge -- Zoomer Media's Marilyn Lightstone, Janice Fedak of Janick Fedak Colour and Design, garden experts Ben Cullen (Mark's Choice, Cullen's Foods) and Blake Harris (Vegepod), and Canada Blooms' own Board Chair Janet Ennamorato (Creative Garden Designs).
Photos (top): (t-l) Planting succulent planters in the Mark's Choice Gardening Experience Workshop, (b-l) Janice Fedak and Marilyn Lightstone preparing for Flower Arranging battle, (t-r) Floral Challenge on the Unilock Celebrity Stage (b-r) Veggies for kids with the Veggie Guy)
Janice Fedak of Janice Fedak Colour and Design, won bragging rites as the 2019 Celebrity Flower Arranger, followed closely by runner up Marilyn Lightstone of Zoomer Media.
TIPS FROM THE PROS
Our Recipe For A Healthy Lawn
Mark and Ben Cullen from Mark's Choice shares their recipe for a healthy lawn.
Step 1. Fertilize. There is a reason why your lawn looks its best early in spring. Our climate suits the needs of quality grass very well. There is lots of moisture in the ground in spring. The soil and evening air is cool. Grass is a ‘cool season’ crop.
Fertilizer enhances the elements that occur naturally at the root zone of your lawn. Fact is, the ingredients in a quality bag of lawn fertilizer are not required to make your lawn green. Mother Nature will do that for you this time of year without any help. However, ‘quality’ is the keyword and a quality product can make a world of difference over the long haul. (continue reading...)
Mark Cullen was awarded one of the country's highest civilian honours, the Order of Canada in 2016 for promoting and developing horticulture education in Canada.
CANADA BLOOMS DONATES FLOWERS
At a March 19th celebrations residents and staff of the Cummer Lodge long-term care home joined Deputy Mayor Councillor Michael Thompson (Councillor for Ward 21 Scarborough Centre) and Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee, Councillor John Filion (Ward 18 Willowdale) and celebrity gardener Ben Cullen today to accept more than 600 plants. The plants were donated by Canada Blooms and delivered by Procter's Cartage.
This is the 12th year Canada Blooms has donated plants to a long-term care home operated by the City. The donation of indoor and outdoor plants will be enjoyed by the 391 residents who live at Cummer Lodge, as well as by clients of the adult day program at Willowdale Manor Supportive Housing program and seniors in the local community. The City's Long-Term Care Homes and Services division is a leader in providing ground-breaking services for healthy aging, with a commitment to compassion, accountability, respect and excellence (CARE).
"I personally look forward to being a part of the donation every year," said Terry Caddo, General Manager of Canada Blooms. "It brings me great pleasure to see how recieving these plants and flowers delights the residents and clients in long-term care homes." (read full release)
Canada Blooms donated $10,000 worth of trees, flowers and plant material to the City of Toronto (including the Cummer Lodge donation) and the Toronto Zoo.
FOR CANADA BLOOMS NEWSLETTER
For the wonderful Canada Blooms subscribers, we are giving you the online version of our Spring
2018 Harrowsmith magazine because our content
is timeless. Just click here to view.
This year's Garden Solutions Stage presented by
Harrowsmith was designed by Melanie Rekola, of Melanie Rekola Landscape Design and
planted by talented and dedicated volunteers.
In the Horticulture Happenings Area
visitors were able to reach out to
horticulture experts from the
Ontario Horticultural Association,
North American Plant Society,
Invasive Plant Council, Butchart
Gardens and World Wildlife Fund.
Tree and Landscape expert
Neil Masson and his team from
ExperTrees also answered many questions about landscaping.
THANKS TO THE EXPERTS
We would like to recognize Master Gardener Adrienne Hanbidge and the other Members of Master Gardeners of Ontario for all their hard work in helping create a fun and unique horticultural experience at Canada Blooms.
These friendly and dedicated volunteers happily shared their vast knowledge answering over 2200 questions at the two Advice Clinic locations sponsored by Stokes Seeds, as well as through a variety of presentations and demonstrations during the four-day Master Gardeners Speaker Series on the Garden Solutions Stage presented by Harrowsmith.
The Master Gardeners offered ran Li’l Sprouts workshops offered at the Mark’s Choice Gardening Experience. This year’s workshops included creating bee houses, bird feeders, seed bombs (supplies provided by Garden Jane) and grass seed heads as well as education on pollinators and succulents. One of the main goals of the Master Gardeners is to get the next generation excited about getting their hands in the soil and growing plants and judging by the happy faces it was a great success.
If you took a garden tour, then your knowledgeable tour guide was a Master Gardener. They provided visitors with an in-depth tour of the festival gardens as well as a behind the scenes look at Canada Blooms.
Thanks to each and every one of the MG’s who volunteered their time and expertise to help visitors discover the joys of gardens. If you would like to know more about the Master Gardeners of Ontario, or to become a member, please go to their website: www.mgoi.ca.
TREASURES OF A DESERT KINGDOM AT THE ROM
Treasures of a Desert Kingdom: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India
On view at the Royal Ontario Museum through September 2, 2019
Explore the spectacular royal arts of one of India’s greatest former kingdoms, Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Alluring jewellery, lavish tents and canopies, vibrant paintings, and opulent decorative arts tell stories of kingship, strategic alliances, the role of women and life at court.
Amassed over the course of nearly four centuries, these treasures reflect the history and artistic legacy of the Rathore dynasty, one of the longest continuous royal lineages in the world, that ruled this desert kingdom until India’s independence in 1947.
Treasures of a Desert Kingdom features masterpieces drawn from the collection of the former royal family, most of which are on display outside their palace setting for the very first time. While the stunning objects highlight India’s multifaceted past, they reveal a lasting cosmopolitan culture that was sustained by a delicate balance between local and external influences, and tradition and modernity.
Save 20% off ROM admission. Buy your tickets at www.rom.on.ca and use promo code: CANADABLOOMS
We would like to extend a hearty congratulations to Marline Dotorno, winner of this year's Grand Prize, a Unilock Rivercrest Fire Pit.
Special thanks to Unilock for providing the Grand Prize for this year's festival.
You can add instant charm and appeal to your backyard with a welcoming Rivercrest Fire Pit from Unilock. The fire pit is preassembled in order to provide you with the easiest installation, with a variety of stone options to match your existing patio. Whether you are building a new patio, or adding to an existing one, this Rivercrest Fire Pit will be the ultimate gathering spot.
Have you picked up a copy of the Canadian Gardener's Guide yet? Well, here is your chance to win a copy of a book that is needed in every gardener's library.
The Canadian Gardener's Guide is a one-stop manual for both beginner and more experienced gardeners, containing all the practical techniques, inspirational ideas, and problem-solving advice you need to make and maintain a garden of any size.
Focusing on the skills you need as your garden develops, from a basic understanding of plants and their needs to planning and building the garden you want, this updated 3rd edition covers flower, vegetable, and fruit gardening, plant and garden care, advice for common problems and cold frame gardening. Canadian gardeners will find topics relevant to their needs and interests, including native Canadian plants, fruits and vegetables for a short growing season.
Why do we garden?
Why Should we?
How is gardening changing the world?
These are just some of the philosophical questions pondered in Escape to Reality from Nimbus Publishing. This book offers and informed and personal reflection on gardening from Mark and Ben Cullen. Escape to Reality goes beyond the hows that are the focus of most gardening books and explores the whys.
You can pick up a copy everywhere books are sold, and at Home Hardware.
This year's colour of the year is Pantone 16-1546 (Living Coral) so you can expect to see a number of pinky/orangy/coral plants in the garden centres this year.
Here are a few from Proven Winners to consider:
Infinity® Salmon Impatiens (Annual):
Vigorous, upright plants with large flowers; great flowering colour for shade areas. Deadheading not necessary.
Oso Easy® Mango Salsa Rose (Shrub):
The continuous blooms cover the tidy mound of dark, glossy foliage. This is a wonderful choice for mass plantings or adding unusual colour to mixed borders.
Toucan® Coral Canna (Annual):
This Canna Lily will bloom all summer, it is extremely heat tolerant - loving both heat and humidity. they can take damp conditions, but they are not especially water needy.
Pyromania® Hot and Cold
Red Hot Poker (Perennial): Bring unique drama to your landscape with the spiky flowers and upright habit of this perennial. Drought resistant and pollinator friendly.
The Green Streets Challenge Play Area at Canada Blooms
Mark’s Choice Through the Garden Gate: The Beach, is Toronto’s largest tour of private gardens organized the the Toronto Botanical Garden.
The self-guided tour enables participants to discover the gardens at their own pace following a map and garden guide that contains descriptions of each featured garden. Complimentary shuttle buses are available for participants to 'hop on and hop off' along the route.
Not only can you tour the gardens but you also have a chance to ask questions and learn something! Knowledgeable Toronto Master Gardeners will be stationed in each garden to answer questions about the plants and the design features.