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Canada Blooms Newsletter Header Summer 2020

J Garfield Thompson Landscape for Mark's Choice 2020


If you have ever considered building a garden feature at Canada Blooms, now is the time to let us know.

Canada Blooms is looking for Landscape Designers, Builders and Architects who can create spectacular, memorable and inspirational gardens based on the current year's theme "Secret Garden". Build a garden at Canada Blooms and create an impression that will last a lifetime.

Come showcase your talent, creativity, craftsmanship and professionalism at Canada Blooms – March 12-21, 2021. If you are interested in submitting an application visit our website or contact Executive Director, Terry Caddo for more details.

Notice of intent to build should be received by September 15th.

The Toronto Flower Show is hard at work on the Competitors' Schedule for 2021, and it should be up online after September 30th. In the meantime, take a look at a helpful checklist to achieving a winning horticulture entry. 

Judge's Scorecard:

Form: The species' or cultivars' normal form or ideal shape. It must be true to the type of flower or plant and should be at its normal shape at the peak of maturity. If multiple blooms have been called for, they should all be as close as possible to the same stage of maturity.

Colour: The natural colour for the plant's type. Judges are looking for perfection in purity, clarity and brilliance. Plants should not be dull, flat, fading or browning.

Size: That which closely resembles the variety or type being judged. Size is judged along with proportion and scale. For example, miniature roses should show daintiness.

Stem and Foliage: The stem is a major supporting plant structure and must be in proportion to the flowers, bud and leaves of its variety and species; it must carry the bloom with strength and stiffness and must not show weakness or immaturity. Foliage must be attached and not damaged or discoloured, and free of pests/disease.

Stage of Development: All exhibits should be at their peak of maturity.

Uniformity: Specimens in an entry of a given cultivar should be as uniform as possible in size, form, colour and stage of development.

Substance: An entry must look fresh, and turgid, demonstrating lasting quality.

Grooming and Condition: Pots should be clean, the earth loosened and fresh looking; all damaged, dead or off-colour leaves and flowers should be removed. The entry must be free of dirt, debris, pollen and any other foreign material. Flower and foliage should show evidence of good culture.

Foreign Substances: Unless it's stated in the schedule, no wiring, oiling, spraying and artificial colouring is allowed in competition.

— Mary Jean Potter, Garden Club of Toronto

Photos (T & M) Toronto Flower Show Entries, photos by JulesDesign.ca,
(B) Amaryllis by Donalda Kelk TFS Entry, Photo by Garden Club

Horticultural Entries 2020

Jennifer Harvey CFD, AIFD

Congratulations to Canada Blooms Floral Director Jennifer Harvey AIFD, CFD for being awarded the floral industry’s coveted Accredited in Floral Design (“AIFD”) designation and for being inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers® (AIFD®).

A virtual induction celebration took place on Facebook Live on Sunday, July 5 to honour Jennifer and the other 60 newly accredited members of the AIFD Class of 2020. The event drew over 300 viewers and accolades were shared from industry icons and partners.

AIFD is a non-profit education association committed to the advancement of professional floral design through leadership and education. AIFD Accredited membership is regarded as a high honour in the floral industry. Members of the 55 year old association are distinguished by the use of the “AIFD” mark as an addendum to their name. They are further considered to be a Certified Floral Designer (CFD®).

With over 2,000 members worldwide, AIFD recognizes those who have excelled in their professional floral design skills. Candidates become accredited by successfully demonstrating their advanced creative abilities before an international panel of AIFD Certified Evaluators.

Around The Acres with Mark & Ben

This week marks the peak performance of your garden. From this day forward, through the fading days of autumn, your garden will be in decline. While there are some fabulous early spring flowering plants that you have enjoyed and other plants that bloom best in October that are ahead of you, many vegetable and fruit crops are yet to reach the crescendo of their ripeness. The best of their season lies before us. We are standing on the Continental Divide of the gardening season: on your right is the past 4 months where planting is history. On your left is the next 4 months. Your job is to manage the flow of the season in your favour.

Where sowing seeds, planting, and weed control dominated your thoughts and actions previously, things are now about to change dramatically. Fact is, the real productivity in your garden lies ahead of you.

What gardeners busied themselves with from April through July is now done. If you didn’t plant, sow, or weed before this, there is not much point in getting at it now, unless (...continue reading)

4 Reasons To Choose UNILOCK®
Unilock Patio

The Original and Still The Best!

1.   has Styles You Can't Get Anywhere Else
      - from the sleek contemporary look of Umbriano, to
        the timeless feel of weathered Cobblestone
2.   has Exceptional Quality
- for over 45 years, designers and contractors have
        relied on Unilock products to stand the test of time
3.   has Transferrable Lifetime Guarantee
      - Unilock was the first concrete paver manufacture
        to in North America to offer a Lifetime Guarantee
4.   Experts Continue to Choose Unilock
      - Architects, Landscape Architects and Engineers 
        have relied on Unilock products for decades

(read the full article)

Drop by the UNILOCK® Idea Centre in Georgetown to explore project ideas and get helpful advice

Vincent van Gross the Corpse Flower at the Toronto Zoo 2020

The Toronto Zoo remains a top destination for both plant and animal lovers, with an expansive plant collection that can be currently seen both in all the indoor tropical pavilions and outdoors along the over 10 km of walking trails. Here at your Toronto Zoo we are committed to connecting people, animals and conservation science to fight extinction. In most recent plant news, our horticulture team started to notice the growth and development of one of our corpse plants (Amorphophallus titanium). Some may remember that back in September of 2018 our beloved corpse flower, Pablo Pewcasso, bloomed and drew many people from far and wide. We have been excited to watch the journey of this newest corpse flower -- Vincent van Gross, with it’s most fowl smell, as it came into bloom.

Amani the Baby Giraffe and Mom at the Toronto Zoo 2020

As with so many, we have had an unexpected and challenging year. On March 14, 2020 we had to close our doors to our guests, as supported by Toronto Public Health in order to help halt the spread of COVID-19 in the community.During this time, Zoo staff were committed to ensuring the safety and well being of our 5,000 animals that call the Zoo home, and the health and safety of our staff and volunteers. While closed to the public, we quickly acted to enhance our online engagement as this was the only way the public could stay connected to our Zoo. We took this opportunity to offer our guests a look at the work being done behind-the-scenes with daily Facebook Lives, which we still have available every day at 1:00 pm. We also provided virtual resources such as online live “Zoo School To You” classroom lessons twice weekly, including activity sheets for kids, and multiple virtual camp outs, where our guests could visit with us for the long weekends and participate in fun at-home activities. Our social media and online storytelling grew by leaps and bounds, with even more animal photos and videos to keep our guests connected to their favourite animals, including special enrichment feedings for our animals and even a Toronto Star live cam to give the public real-time access to our lemurs, gorillas and giraffes.

Our giraffes were extra special this year as our new baby, cheekily named as “Baby Long Legs”, was able to be seen on live camera before we reopened to the public. While we would always agree that online isn’t the same as seeing our amazing animals in real-life, it was certainly the next best thing! Since then, she has been named “Amani” meaning “peace”, which was announced during a Facebook Live to the delight of thousands of viewers. We now have a new way you can see Amani from home with a “Twitch Live Cam” where you can actually take control of the camera to follow her throughout her habitat!
(continue reading)

Amani the Baby Giraffe at the Toronto Zoo 2020

Visit our Contest Page to win passes to the Toronto Zoo.

Unique Container Ideas


If you like what you read, why not subscribe?

It's easy! Go to harrowsmithmag.com/subscribe and for just $34 a year, you can enjoy Harrowsmith all year long!

This issue is for the garden junkies! Mark and Ben Cullen dig deep with an informative composting tutorial and tip toe through the tulips. The Cullens’ take us behind-the-scenes of the historical and joy-boosting Canadian Tulip Festival that took place in Ottawa last year. Steve Maxwell, our Home and Property Editor, shares a fool-proof primer on exterior wood finishes and concise plans for a DIY garden pergola.  

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Harrowsmith Radio


This episode takes us down on the farms – first to a sheep farm near Perth where we learn about the capricious rhythms of Mother Nature from a farmer and cello instructor. Next, to Dr. Dolittle of a farm – Caberneigh Farms – jubilant with animals and abuzz with newly hived bees.

Now, with Harrowsmith Radio, Harrowsmith is telling those great stories a new way – via podcasts that put those stories right between your ears.

Subscribe now on the Apple podcast app or whatever you get your fine podcasts, or listen on the Harrowsmith website.

Dr. Anne-Marie Zajdlik, Front Line Worker

Landscape Ontario is sharing stories of frontline heroes who have gone above and beyond to support their community during the Covid-19 pandemic. Garden Makeover Finalists have a chance to win the grand prize $25,000 garden makeover or one of nine valued at $5,000 — one in each of Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association's regional chapters. Nominate your frontline hero using the link below.

This week, LO spotlights the inspiring story of Dr. Anne-Marie Zajdlik.
Dr. Zajdik is a family physician and regional HIV specialist in Guelph, Ont. She has harnessed the knowledge and experience she gained over decades battling HIV/AIDs to serve her community during the Covid-19 pandemic. Zajdik has also been an active voice on social media, where she takes on misinformation and anti-mask trolls to share facts and science with the public.
Read her story online.


Landscape Ontario Frontline Worker Contest

Do you know a deserving frontline worker?
Nominate your hero for a $25,000 garden makeover!

Landscape Ontario wants you to share stories of friends, neighbours or family members who have helped to improve the lives of those in their community throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Nominees have a chance to win the grand prize $25,000 garden makeover or one of nine valued at $5,000 — one in each of Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association's regional chapters. Help Landscape Ontario to celebrate the dedication of healthcare professionals and frontline workers and nominate your local hero today!

Nomination Criteria: Must work in a healthcare or frontline position

Winners will be selected in each of Landscape Ontario's 9 regional chapters:
Georgian Lakelands (Barrie, Huntsville, Collingwood, etc.)
Golden Horseshoe (Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford, Niagara)
Upper Canada (Belleville, Kingston)
Waterloo Windsor

In addition, Landscape Ontario will conduct a provincial makeover project worth $25,000.

Nominate Your Frontline Worker Here

Written for kids by a kid.

13-year-old, Emma Biggs, shows young gardeners how to grow healthy food, raise cool plants, and have fun outdoors in the garden. There are tips for making fun garden hideaways such as a sunflower house or been tee-pee. Learn how to make a bug vacuum. And get ideas for kid-friendly theme gardens including a rainbow garden, a sound garden, and a tickling garden.

Click here to take a look at Gardening with Emma on the Storey Publishing website.

About The Authors
Emma Biggs is the coauthor, with her father Steven Biggs, of Gardening with Emma. A 15-year-old with a passion for gardening, she shares kid-focused gardening ideas at events, on radio shows, and on her blog. In 2019, she grew 120 different varieties of tomatoes. She lives with her family in Toronto.

Steven Biggs  is a writer specializing in gardening, farming, and food production, and has published articles in magazines including Trellis, Small Farm Canada, Garden Making, and Edible Toronto. He lectures frequently at gardening events across Canada and blogs at www.stevenbiggs.ca. Biggs lives with his family in Toronto.

To get your copy of Gardening With Emma, visit Amazon or Chapters.

Gardening With Emma - Emma & Steven Biggs

Flower of the Year contest

In honour of our 25th festival, we are taking a look back at our past festivals, and we have a question for you.  Which flower/plant of the year do you like best?  Visit our contest page to give us your answer and you will be entered for a chance to one of 4 family packs of tickets to Canada Blooms 2021.

Remember to check the contest page regularly for more contests, challenges and special offers.

Unsolicited Seeds from China 2020

According to a statement by the Government of Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is investigating reports of individuals receiving unsolicited packages of seeds.

DO NOT PLANT SEEDS FROM UNKNOWN ORIGINS. Unauthorized seeds could be the seeds of invasive plants, or carry plant pests, which can be harmful when introduced into Canada. These species can invade agricultural and natural areas, causing serious damage to our plant resources.

If you receive a seed package that you did not order, please contact your regional CFIA office immediately. Keep the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label until a CFIA inspector contacts you with further instructions.

Royal Ontario Museum Mummy Exhibit 2020

The Royal Ontario Museum is open to the public.

Upcoming Exhibit: Sept 19, 2020 - Mar 21, 2021
Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Lives. New Discoveries.

presents unique insights into six mummies spanning 900 BCE to CE 180 including a priest’s daughter, a temple singer and a young child. Combining CT scans, digital visualizations and the latest research, this exhibition offers a fascinating glimpse into these ancient lives. Each mummy has a story to tell. #ROMmummies

Save 15% off ROM admission. Buy tickets at www.rom.on.ca and use promo code CANADABLOOMS


Our address is:
7856 Fifth Line South, Milton, ON L9T 2X8

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Canada Blooms was founded by the Garden Club of Toronto and Landscape Ontario
Garden Club of Toronto Landscape Ontario

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