"Wishin' and hopin'
and thinkin' and prayin'
plannin' and dreamin'..." *
If only it was that easy.
Everyone involved with the Canada Blooms festival from staff to board members, from the many dedicated volunteers to exhibitors, garden builders, florists and attendees have all been wishing for the return of our much loved festival.
Unfortunately at this time we are still recovering from the full effects of Covid's long reach and we are just not in a position to return to the limelight. We are not gone -- the Canada Blooms Horticultural Society still exists, but for now, we have to go on a hiatus as we continue to explore our options for the future.
Until then, you will have to do what we've been doing "...laugh a little, cry a little, until the clouds roll by a little"** as we regroup and make our plans for the future.
Something this great can't just disappear, and we will still keep you up to date on horticultural news, events and things you should know about through our newsletters and social media platforms. We expect our time away to be brief and when we are ready to step back into the spotlight, you better believe that we will be back with a bang.
Until then, we thank everyone who helped support us as we strived to present a world class garden festival for each and every one of our 25 years. We couldn't have done it without all of you and we look forward to presenting the next one in the near future.
When we think of floral presentations or exhibits we think of grand arrangements that display bouquets or various flower compilations. Often they are displayed in arenas, for large events or venue presentations. Canada Blooms has worked alongside Albert Graves since 1998 and since then he has branched into larger, more personal projects that never cease to amaze a viewer's imagination.
Albert has a vast history of horticulture displays in Canada since 1987. Prior to that Graves was trained in Holland, the home of horticulture and design. He has displayed his work internationally - from completing projects for Keith Richards to assisting in the floral art for the Canadian team in the World Cup. His art has been admired through various presentations, such as Home shows, The Women's Show, and various events world wide. Graves has been actively involved in projects with the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) since 2013 which has included stunning exhibit pieces of giant gnomes, to life size polar bears. His most photographed piece,(the most photographed piece to date at the CNEhosting upwards of 30,000 photos), is a rainbow constructed from bright bold flowers that captures your attention from as far as the eye can see. This project is what led Albert into his newest project “My Big Aquarium”.
Graves wanted to build an immersive exhibit that he would expand on yearly to grab the attention of his fellow plant and art lovers. My Big Aquarium is a tropical wonderland hosting seahorses, sharks and fish entirely made from bright, bold and unique flowers. The giant sized creatures allow the viewer to be completely engulfed by lights, music and sound to create this one of a kind experience. Albert intends to build on My Big Aquarium seasonally to allow visitors that unique experience each year.
Albert Graves and My Big Aquarium would like to give away a pair of free tickets to experience this exhibit at the 2023 CNE Toronto.
To enter the contest follow @mybigaquarium on Instagram, Tik Toc or The winner will be drawn on August 17, 2023.
The Canadian National Exhibition runs August 18th 2023 - September 5th 2023 at The Ex fairgrounds downtown Toronto.
Video by: Albert Graves
LANDSCAPE ONTARIO OPEN HOUSE COMMUNITY EVENT
Landscape Ontario is having an Open House on Saturday, August 19th from 10am-3pm, 7856 Fifth Line South, Milton, ON (Fifth Line South, between Steeles and Main)
We invite you, your family, and your friends to come out and join us at our FREE community event featuring:
Guided University of Guelph Trial Garden Tours (11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm)
Horticultural Happenings Vendor Area
Touch a Truck Experience
Li’l Sprouts Planting Area
Discover All About Monarch Butterflies
Vote For Your Favourite Barbie Pink Flower – visitors, participants and volunteers are invited to vote for their favourite pink flower from the Trial Garden to be the unofficial “Barbie Flower”
Robotic Lawnmower demonstrations
Scavenger Hunt Bingo, games and more.
Have a gardening dilemma? Drop by and ask a Master Gardener for advice. Check out some creative container gardens and you might even win a door prize or two.
The first 100 guests will receive a complimentary plant.
If you have any questions, please contact lisa at lpascoe [at] landscapeontario.com.
THE MAGIC OF MULCH
By Gail Pope Journalism Intern, Landscape Ontario
Did you know mulch is one of the most effective ways to boost your soil health and plant longevity?
But what is mulch? Depending on the variety, mulch is a mixture of finely or roughly ground woods that can be spread on the top of your garden. Many gardeners love the aesthetics of mulch, with bold colours like red and black adding dramatic contrast, while earthy brown tones provide a more natural look.
However, mulch offers a whole lot more than design value. Jon Durzi from Miller Compost says natural mulch provides many benefits.
“There are a lot of manufacturers that will bring in spare wood and what they do is they grind that wood and colour it,” Durzi said. “That would be considered a recycled wood chip and it really has no benefit except adding aesthetics. Natural wood cedar or pine are mainly the bark. When you get into mixing hardwood and softwood, this tends to have many benefits.”
The first benefit is that natural mulch adds much needed organic matter to the soil. Organic matter promotes growing conditions by providing nutrients and habitat for helpful organisms.
“Most bark is very high in organic matter and low in pH, so as it breaks down it is just adding all of the organic matter to the soil,” Durzi explained.
Mulch is able to absorb a lot of water while also making the surrounding soil more porous. This helps the soil retain water for longer and breaks down clumpy areas. (continue reading)
GREEN YOUR COMMUNITY
The Green Cities Foundation wants to work together with you and your community to Green Your City by offering a grant to support urban green space renovation projects!
The Green Cities Foundation is a private foundation with a mission to connect plants and people for a greener, healthier urban climate. Established by the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) in 2018, the Foundation has a vision to protect, nurture and grow urban green spaces for the health and well-being of all.
Protect: We commit to protect our green spaces and the plants within them. Nurture: We commit to care for and support green spaces for the benefit of all. Grow: We commit to expanding green spaces, and people’s participation in them, across Canada.
What is #GreenMyCity?
It’s a collaboration between donors, volunteers and the Foundation to design and build urban green spaces.
Where & When?
We are taking on new projects all the time for the #GreenMyCity program. Apply today and your community could be next!
To reduce the effects of climate change. To help people breathe. To improve the quality of life in Canadian cities.
The #GreenMyCity program supports the restoration and build of public urban green spaces, serving different populations and in different environments across Canada. These spaces include parks, community gardens, sports fields, playgrounds, open public spaces and more. Together we can #GreenMyCity, one green space at a time!
The #GreenMyCity program will fund up to 50% matching funds through cash and/or in kind material/labour donations to support urban green space renovation projects in your neighbourhood. Each project will be evaluated on its own merit and based on its ability to fulfill our mission.
Did you know?
Greenery is a critically important part of the restoration and build of urban public green spaces, as it provides green infrastructure helping make communities more resilient and healthier by:
• Slowing down climate change through storing away carbon
• Managing stormwater areas to prevent flooding
• Providing local wildlife with habitat essential to their survival
• Increasing individual mental and physical well-being
The Green Cities Foundation wants to work together with you and your community to Green Your City! With this grant opportunity we encourage you to submit your project application today!
Applications will be reviewed and awarded based on its ability to fulfill our mission, and on a first come, first served basis.
A PATH TO A GREEN CAREER
Are you looking for an exciting career in the green industry?
You should consider becoming a Horticultural Technician.
It is great fit for people who like to: • Grow, design, install and maintain green infrastructure
• Be creative and solve problems
• Love to work outside
• Want to make an environmental impact
One of the best pathways to kick-start your career in landscaping and horticulture is the Horticultural Technician Apprenticeship Program.
From day one apprentices actively work, earning a paycheque and gaining workplace experience from professional trainers and instructors. You will also be on your way to a post-secondary certification and a Red Seal journeyperson designation.
Must be a minimum of 18 years of age, have your Grade 12 or equivalent, and be legally able to work in Canada.
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 third video "Art 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.