Over 25 years ago, a wonderful contribution-oriented and passionate woman named Kathy Dembrowski from the Garden Club of Toronto dropped into the Landscape Ontario office to speak with Executive Director Tony DiGiovanni about an idea to create a world-class Flower and Garden Show. This was the genesis for a wonderful partnership between both organizations and the creation of Canada Blooms.
After three years of dreaming and planning, Canada Blooms: The Flower and Garden Show was born; commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Garden Club of Toronto and 25th anniversary of Landscape Ontario.
This year the Garden Club of Toronto is celebrating their Diamond Anniversary (75 Years!). Since its inception in 1946, the club has showcased the best of design and horticulture, and have directed nearly $9 million to the beautification of some the local areas' renowned gardens and plantings for major public institutions.
In 2023 Landscape Ontario -- the industry association for horticulture in Ontario -- will be recognizing a milestone of their own. Expect the year to get off to a thrilling start with the Congress, their industry trade show that takes place in January. You can expect their Golden Anniversary (50th) to be an affair to remember.
That brings us to Canada Blooms. This year marks our official 25th Anniversary, but you better believe we are going to extend celebration right through until our 2023 festival, where we are going to kick up our heels as we recognize; not one, not two, but all three special occasions!
So, start getting ready now. You have a little less than a year to find your best vintage hat to wear at the Canada Blooms as we commemorate the Garden Club of Toronto's 75th anniversary at festival next Spring. (We will provide your with more details closer to the festival. For now, just know you should have a hat, maybe even one with a flower on it.)
Hope to see you all there in your finest head topper next Spring!
THE GARDEN CLUB OF TORONTO HAPPENINGS
In January 2022 the Garden Club of Toronto (GCT) launched its 75 Anniversary of Giving and Growing in the City of Toronto with Mayor John Tory as our special guest speaker. Mayor Tory talked about the important contributions the GCT has made to the City over its 75 year history and the importance of gardens and greenspace for the health of Torontonians. He congratulated the Club on its commitment to the environment and sustainability and joined President, Joy Gray-Donald, and the 150 members present at the virtual launch, in a toast to our future.
We were honoured to have the Honorable Elisabeth Dowdswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario join us at our meeting. In her remarks, the Lieutenant Governor also commented on the leadership role the Garden Club is playing in the area of sustainability. You will find the Lieutenant Governor’s stirring and heartfelt message of congratulations on our website at www.thegardencluboftoronto.ca.
Since 1946, the Garden Club of Toronto (GCT) has pioneered major horticultural, garden-related, floral artistry, environmental and educational projects. True to its vision of sharing the wonder of nature through education, engagement and creativity, GCT stimulates a knowledge and love of gardening among amateurs; aids in the protection of native plants, trees, birds and soil; and has contributed to civic planting. GCT played a major role in the creation of the Toronto Botanical Garden (formerly The Civic Garden Centre) and co-founded the annual Canada Blooms event. GCT counts among its more than 50 garden projects the Gardens of Casa Loma, the 19th Century Garden in St. James Park, and the Teaching Garden in the Toronto Botanical Garden. A registered charity, GCT has contributed close to $9 million in current dollars to all its projects.
After the meeting, in which members wore vintage hats in commemoration of the 75 years, the Mayor tweeted this screen shot and said “Pleasure to join the Garden Club of Toronto today on the launch of their 75th Anniversary. I shared my appreciation for their partnership over the years - united by the shared goal of creating a more beautiful, more green and livable city."
≈ Darlene Frampton, Chair 75th Anniversary Committee Garden Club of Toronto
GARDEN CLUB OF TORONTO VIRTUAL FLOWER SHOW
Celebrate! The Virtual Flower Show
During the last 2 years, The Garden Club of Toronto has run 2 very successful virtual floral art shows. Entrants from across Canada and around the world sent in photos of designs they had created guided by a title. To help celebrate the 75th Anniversary of The Garden Club of Toronto, we are presenting our latest virtual show, Celebrate! Entrants must register ahead of time, and this year the deadline for entries is April 11, 2022. We are expecting to see more wonderful creations from entrants who are interpreting titles like Friends, Celebrating the Art of Nature, Looking Back/Looking Forward. Any non-professional floral artist is welcome to join in this celebration. Rules and regulations are available in the schedule.
Watch for results and some truly fabulous designs after May 1 on the Facebook page of the Garden Club of Toronto, and on our website: TheGardenClubofToronto/TFS
AN EARLY START WITH SUMMER FLOWERING BULBS
If you are itching to start your spring planting, pot up some summer flowering bulbs indoors. Not to be confused with ‘spring’ flowering bulbs like tulips and daffodils, which you plant in the fall. Summer flowering bulbs are planted any time now through spring, for the most part. Two of our favourites for early spring ‘potting up’ are tuberous begonias and dahlias.
We just love tuberous begonias. If you have some shaded areas in your garden, give them a try. They perform best in ‘dappled’ shade. Avoid total or dense shade. We are sure they'll impress you with their bloom.
Tuberous begonias provide a wide range of flower and leaf colour in low light areas of your garden ALL summer long. They aren't difficult to care for, and if you pay a little attention to them you'll be rewarded with luxuriant plant growth. With large double blossoms, we consider them the ‘roses’ of the shade garden.
The time to start tuberous begonias indoors is in the month of March. They should have two to three months head start before setting them outside at the end of May.
Make sure the tubers are in good shape when you purchase them. Pick up some peat moss and a shallow growing tray if you don't have them at home. You'll also need clay pots that are four inches in diameter (one for each tuber), some quality potting soil and a good water-soluble fertilizer for flowering plants.
How to Start
Spread a layer of peat moss in the bottom of your shallow growing tray, then place the begonia tubers hollow (concave) side up in the peat moss. Sprinkle enough peat moss in another layer to just cover the bulbs. Keep the peat moss lightly moist until the tubers (or bulbs) have developed substantial roots (about an inch long). Place the tray in a warm spot [the top of the refrigerator works well] while the roots are forming. Once white roots have reached 2 or 3 centimeters long, pot each tuber up in a 4" clay pot with good drainage and sterilized potting soil. Place the pots in a sunny window until top growth starts and then pull them back from the light if it's too bright.
Fertilize your new begonia plants every three weeks with Plant Prod 20-20-20 and keep them well watered but not soggy.
At the end of May plant the begonias in shaded, protected areas of your garden or in pots and keep them reasonably watered all summer long.
Tuberous begonias are wonderful in hanging baskets or in large, half-baskets affixed to a wall or fence. Pot some up now and we’re sure you'll be pleased!
Unlike shade-loving begonias, dahlias love the heat and sunshine. To get the best show out of dahlias you should really start them in March in large, gallon sized pots. Use quality potting soil and place them in a sunny window to put down roots and sprout before your very eyes.
If you have dahlia tubers stored in the basement from last year’s crop then: bring them upstairs, separate the viable/healthy tubers and get potting. What you cannot accommodate in your house you can give to willing recipients in the family or on the street.
Not all summer flowering bulbs require an early start. Gladiolas will perform much better planted directly in the ground come late April. Space the plantings apart by about 2 weeks over a couple of months to create a succession of bloom.
Give summer flowering bulbs a try this spring for a great show all summer.
These homemade plant pots are biodegradable and can be planted straight into the ground along with the new plant. This means that the plant’s roots won’t be disturbed or shocked when it comes time to add them to the garden.
Find the instructions at harrowsmithmag.com/eco-pots. Don’t miss a single issue of Harrowsmith's gardening, cooking, sustainable living and DIY projects.
Our spring issue — on newsstands now! — features recipes made from magnolia flowers, off-grid energy know how, nature crafts, the Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Food Organically from Mark and Ben Cullen & so much more!
In the past year, we have hit the refresh button on our program to ensure that it remains relevant, and continues to be a critical guide for our participants to use as they weather the storms and work to provide safe, secure, and sustainable communities for all residents and businesses.
One of our primary objectives in the past quarter of a century has been to help grow great places together through the CiB program, helping communities to be the best they can be whatever the weather.
Please have a look at our short promotional video to learn more about our program
Green Cities Foundation
Steamworks Brewing Company, British Columbia Nursery and Landscape Association members and the Green Cities Foundation partnered to renovate an ignored and underutilized area in Burnaby, BC to transform it into a public greenspace for the benefit and enjoyment of North Burnaby Neighbours and visitors of the area. Check out our video and contact us if you are interested in partnering on a green space renovation in your city!
Last year, Communities in Blooms inspired us to plant yellow in our gardens as a symbol of hope. This year Canadians are invited to Plant Red to express their Canadian garden pride and join the Year of the Garden 2022 celebrations.
Across Canada, the goal is to see the land awash with gardens featuring red, Canada's colour. Flowers, fruit, shrubs, vegetables -- just PLANT RED! From parks to playgrounds, front yards, back yards, balconies, baskets, boulevards and planters, wherever there is an empty space there is room to Plant Red!
In 2022, anyone and everyone, including municipalities, organizations, schools, churches, colleges and universities, clubs, businesses, and individuals can participate by Planting Red and showing their Canadian Pride. Share photos of what you have planted on Year of the Garden's social media platforms with the hashtag #PlantRed.
Plant Red and Show Your Canadian Gardening Pride Campaign is a rallying point that is simple, inclusive, easy, and fun with a positive outcome for whoever participates.
A fun way to acknowledge how gardens and gardening have contributed and continue to contribute so much to our life and who we are.
Canadians to celebrate the influence gardening and gardens have on our health, environment and quality of life
Canada’s politicians came together in the House of Commons on March 23, 2022 to celebrate the arrival of spring by unanimously adopting a motion to officially make 2022 the Year of the Garden.
The Year of the Garden 2022 is dedicated to honouring Canada’s rich garden heritage and celebrating our vibrant garden culture and the centennial of the Canadian ornamental horticulture sector, marked by the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association.
The Year of the Garden invites Canadians to 'Live the Garden Life' and discover the numerous positive benefits of gardening and gardens and how they contribute to maintaining the health of Canadians, our cities and the environment.
As Canada begins to recover and approach a post-pandemic life, it's hard to ignore the positive influence gardening has had over the past two years. Research shows a significant increase in gardening interest among Canadians in 2020 and 2021 and reveals that 80 per cent of Canadians are in favour of proclaiming 2022 as Canada's Year of the Garden. (continue reading)
LISTEN TO THE GREEN FILE
The Year of the Garden 2022
In this episode, Mark and Ben Cullen
discuss the Year fo the Garden
Are you or someone in your family graduating this year?
With the school year coming to an end, it’s never been more important to have a plan.
Have you considered an exciting career as a Horticultural Technician?
The landscape horticulture industry has a wide range of opportunities for individuals who:
care about the environment
enjoy growing, designing, installing and maintaining green infrastructure
are looking to develop their creativity and problem-solving skills
are passionate about working with plants indoors and outside
One of the best paths to start your career with is the Horticultural Technician Apprenticeship 441C Program. From day one you will be earning a pay cheque, learning from experienced mentors and well on your way to a Red Seal and Journeyperson designation. Best of all, Landscape Ontario is here to help guide apprentices and their employers every step of the Apprenticeship Journey.
Visit Landscape.Jobs, the online job board for the landscape horticulture industry, today to find employers who are seeking workers. Don't forget to look for the red leaf, it indicates employers who currently participate in the apprenticeship program. Then once hired, ask to be registered as an apprentice.
Additionally, visit Landscape.Jobs- the online job board for the landscape horticulture industry. Find open jobs from various employers across Ontario.
Don't forget to look for the green leaf and/or orange tree, these icons indicate employers who currently participate in the Horticultural Technician Apprenticeship and GROW program.
GROW TRAINING RETURNS
Landscape Ontario's GROW Training Returns May 2022
FREE training from Landscape Ontario’s GROW Program returns this May thanks to the Skills Development Fund!
GROW training programs support new workers wishing to begin their careers, current professionals seeking to expand their skills, and employers striving to enhance their ability to attract and retain the best possible teams.
Developed and delivered by Landscape Ontario, GROW offers participants an unparalleled opportunity to learn from the province's largest network of landscape and horticultural professionals.
Our Canada Blooms family has lost a staunch supporter.
Celia Roberts, a tireless volunteer passed away December 20, 2021. Celia sat on the Board of Canada Blooms for 4 years and served as Chair of the CB Board for one year. As part of the Festival Committee for 5 years, she actively shared ideas, knowledge and experience. She worked tirelessly as co-chair of the staging committee for the Toronto Flower Show at Canada Blooms. She could be found helping to build sets, moving things, cleaning whatever needed cleaning and still manage to appear on stage with Denis Flanagan or Mark Cullen looking neat as a pin.
Her experience as an Accredited and Certified Design and Horticultural Judge made her an ideal choice to serve on the Judging Panel for the Professional Florists entries. Celia’s volunteerism extended far beyond Blooms! She was a member of the Garden Club of Toronto, and the Oakville Horticultural Society where she served in many positions, including president. She was on the board of the Ontario Horticultural Association for 6 years, spoke, demonstrated, taught and judged for many local Hort Societies and Garden Clubs. In 2017 she was awarded the OHA Order of Merit. Her bright spirit and endless energy will be missed.
Maneck Sattha had volunteered at Canada Blooms for over 10 years. He once told us that “Canada Blooms was the one and only walking, talking guide to horticulture and gardening that you will ever need.”
Each year he told us he looked forward to volunteering at the festival, and we never once saw him without a smile and warm words of encouragement on those long days at the festival.
Maneck passed away on February 20, 2022, and he will be missed by the staff and volunteers at Canada Blooms and by all who had the pleasure to meet and know him.
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 fourth video "Food Gardening". 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.
EGG CUP PLANTER
Looking for a fun craft to do with kids to for Easter?
MadeWithHappy.com has a bright, fun and easy way to spend a few hours with your little ones, either for Easter or just to welcome spring.
You will need:
Plastic Easter Eggs
Glue Gun & Glue
A Small Amount of Soil
Using hot glue, glue ends of Easter eggs together.
Add a small amount of dirt
Add flowers (you may need to remove part of the root ball for flowers to fit)
The Library at Night is an immersive and sensory virtual-reality journey that whisks you away to ten libraries, real or imagined, throughout time and across the globe – from Mexico to Japan, Copenhagen, Sarajevo and beyond.
This virtual experience created by Robert Lepage and inspired by Alberto Manguel’s book of the same name surrounds you in the wonder and whimsy of iconic and mythical libraries throughout history. The Library at Night will immerse you in these libraries like never before. Step inside, explore, discover.