Canada Blooms Magazine 25th Anniversary Issue

Page 1

1997~2021 The Commemorative Issue

Canada Blooms Plant Of The Year 2021





25RS OF ! S A E Y M






s we are sure you know by now, Canada Blooms has been sidelined temporarily by the pandemic. We were all set up and ready to go, when the call was made –- and rightly so, considering the nature of COVID-19 –- to close our 2020 festival with just a little more then 12 hours to go before our scheduled opening. And as much as we had hoped that a 2021 festival would take place, the cosmos have not conspired in our favour. So we put our heads together to see what we could do for this year, and this is what we came up with: The Toronto Flower Show put on a virtual Flower Show called Re-Connections in March. The winning results are posted on their website:

Canada Blooms, Mark & Ben Cullen, and Landscape Ontario, in association with Unilock and Cullen’s Foods, have created the Canada Blooms Inspiration Series, 10 videos showcasing garden makeovers and design ideas. They are available at:

2021 would have been our 25th festival, and we thought that maybe you might like to take a look back at Canada Blooms with us. We have chosen a highlight from each year, perhaps you remember them as well. There are also a few gardening tips and tricks from experts who have supported Canada Blooms throughout the years. Our festival may be on hold this year, but that hasn’t stopped us from starting to plan for next year –- which will now be our 25th. This way we still get to have a celebration, and when we finally get to see each other again, we will be ready to party!

Can’t Wait

To See You All Then!


is a not-for-profit organization that relies on many corporations, organizations and individuals to successfully present its annual celebration of gardening, floriculture and horticulture. We thank the members and staff of Landscape Ontario and the Garden Club of Toronto, our sponsors, donors and volunteers for their support and commitment in making Canada Blooms a world-class festival.

Disclaimer: Over the years, Canada Blooms has passed through many hands working hard to create a world-class festival, that as well as at least two moves, a flood and a back up hard drive that went kaput means that some archive information has been lost. We have done our best to recognize photographers, garden builders, floral artists and participants as much as possible, and if we have inadvertently missed giving you proper credit, we apologize, we just did not have all the information. We thank you all for this record of our history.


The Aurora Borealis™ Rose From Vineland

We are excited to announce the Canada Blooms Plant of the Year for 2021 - the Aurora Borealis™ rose from Vineland ’s 49th Parallel Collection. The bright dancing lights of the Aurora are captured in the blooming clusters of this dramatic sunset pink rose set against dark green and glossy foliage. This low-maintenance rose measures one-metre in height with a one-metre spread and features black spot resistance and winter hardiness across Canada. Vineland’s 49th Parallel Collection stems from Canada’s national rose program at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in collaboration with the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association. Vineland’s 49th Parallel roses are grown for both strength and beauty, and named for a Canadian natural phenomena. Visit for more information on Aurora Borealis™ as well as Yukon Sun™, the next rose scheduled for release in 2023.


About Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is a uniquely Canadian results-oriented organization dedicated to horticulture science and innovation. We deliver innovative products, solutions and services through an integrated and collaborative cross-country network to advance Canada’s research and commercialization agenda.




We are an independent, not-for-profit organization, funded in part by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

25 Years of Canada Blooms Chairs

Kathy Dembrowski 1997- 1999

Mark Thiebaud 1997- 2000

Judy Lundy 1999- 2001

Barry Benjamin 2000- 2002

Marjorie Lenz 2001- 2002

Gerald Boot 2002- 2003/ 2006- 2007

Connie Hunter 2002- 2004

Phil Charal 2003- 2006

Naneve Hawke 2004- 2006

Joyce Johnson 2006- 2008

Peter Guinane 2007- 2009

Janet Rowley 2008- 2010

Jeff Olsen 2009- 2012

Heather Fuller 2010- 2012

Arvils Lukss 2012- 2014

Mary Lou Tigert 2012- 2014

Anna van Maris 2014- 2015

Nancy Gerrard 2014- 2016

Ryan Heath 2015- 2017

Celia Roberts 2016- 2018

Janet Ennamorato 2017- 2019

Judy Zinni 2018- 2019

Lillian Taggart 2019- 2020

Lou Savoia 2019- 2022

Ellen Clark 2020- 2022

Canada Blooms Board Members Through The Years

2021-2022 Board Charlie Bancheri ~ Virginia Cooper ~ Martha Huffman ~ Lindsey Ross ~ Joe Salemi ~ Lillian Taggart Member Emeritus: Mark Cullen ~ Ex-Officio members: Tony Di Giovanni and Joy Gray-Donald


Arthur Beauregard ~ Adam Bienenstock ~ Heather Brodeur ~ Judy Conacher ~ Everette DeJong ~ Lindsay Drake Nightingale Suzanne Drinkwater ~ Beth Edney ~ Jill Fairbrother ~ Frank Ferragine ~ Marilyn Field-Marsham ~ Martha Finkelstein ~ Denis Flanagan Michel Gauthier ~ Susan Gibson ~ Janet Karn ~ Tim Kearney ~ Nancy Love ~ Mary-Jane Lovering ~ Janette MacDonald ~ Joyce McKeough Jacqui Miller ~ Joe Murgel ~ Lawson Oates ~ Marilyn Olivares ~ Warren Patterson ~ Gregg Salivan ~ Libbi Scully Dyann Sheppard ~ Elaine Solway ~ Sue Thomas ~ Jacqueline Tilford-Clarke ~ Roz Titley ~ Roger van Maris Bruce Warren ~ Anne Watkinson ~ Jeff Winkelmolen

A Growing History

From Seeds to (Canada) Blooms lmost 25 years ago, a wonderful contribution-oriented and passionate woman A named Kathy Dembroski from the Garden Club of Toronto dropped into the Landscape Ontario office with 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.

The Vision

Both organizations immediately outlined their vision for the festival. It was to be a charitable, community-based, world-class event showcasing the very best in horticulture and floriculture. It would inspire visitors with a desire to contribute to their community and environment. It would reflect the core values of community stewardship, volunteer participation, education and pursuit of excellence. Proceeds would be used for legacy garden projects in order to benefit communities and generations. I still remember Kathy’s comment before the birth of Canada Blooms. She said she “wanted Canada Blooms to be a gift to the community.” It has become a gift to Canada.

The Reality –- The Early Years

The early shows completely exceeded our expectations. We could not believe the level of creativity, design, participation and contribution. It was outstanding and overwhelming. We were very pleased. So was the public. The attendance was record breaking for a first-time show in Toronto. I remember looking out the window and witnessing fights in the parking lot because of the gridlock. The lineups were long. The police shut down the exits leading to the show from Hwy 401 because of the bottleneck. We had to arrange shuttle buses from Woodbine Centre. However, once the public made it through the entrance, something magical happened. Their moods immediately changed as they walked through the gardens. They were delighted by the fragrance and beauty. Plants and gardens can definitely reduce blood pressure; I witnessed it firsthand. All of us at Landscape Ontario and the Garden Club of Toronto were surprised at the immediate success of Canada Blooms. Many visitors told us that it rivaled the Philadelphia show.

United by Passion

Canada Blooms brought together many diverse groups. Professionals worked alongside amateur enthusiasts. There was camaraderie between the thousands of volunteers. Everyone was proud of what was accomplished by working together. Competitors helped competitors. The growers of Landscape Ontario donated over $100,000 worth of trees. We forced the trees in the association greenhouse; it was a real education. We had to experiment with heat and timing. We learned by experience. I remember a wonderful display of beautiful and fragrant flowering crabapples two months before the show; we did not always get it right. We also did not expect to make money the first year. In fact there was a fear that we could bankrupt our host organizations. Thankfully this did not happen, and we were fortunate there was enough left over to contribute to community horticultural events. Canada Blooms has contributed hundreds of thousands to community-related garden projects.

Future Vision

Currently most people plant gardens for aesthetic reasons. However those of us garden and nature enthusiasts know that plants, gardens and green infrastructure improve quality of life in many other ways. Living green infrastructure provides economic, environmental, lifestyle, therapeutic, recreational, spiritual, tourism, health and community benefits. There is no downside. Canada Blooms can help the public become more aware of the benefits of green space. It can help mobilize people across Canada to green their communities and leave a positive legacy for the future

Tony DiGiovanni, Executive Director, Landscape Ontario

Tony DiGiovanni & Kathy Dembrowski

Thanks To Our 2020-21 Sponsors


Canada Blooms would like to thank the following donors for their generous contributions of time, service and materials.

Plant Suppliers

Aldershot Greenhouses Ltd. AVK Nursery Blue Sky Nursery Ltd. Braun Nursery Limited Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Limited DiversiTree Plants Dutchmaster Nurseries Freeman Herbs J.C. Bakker & Sons Ltd Kobes Nurseries Inc. Martin Farms NVK Nursery Ontario Flower Growers Co-operative Ontario Seed Company Pioneer Flower Farms Ltd. Slappendel Green Houses Somerville Nurseries Uxbridge Nurseries Ltd. Winkelmolen Nursery Ltd.

Equipment Suppliers Bobcat of Toronto CDS Coleman Equipment Inc. Connect Equipment – Gehl Dufferin Aggregates G & L Group Green Tractors Kooy Brothers Equipment Ltd. Less Mess Enviro Bag M.K. Rittenhouse & Sons Limited Regional Tractor Sales York Region Equipment Centre

Design and Material Donors Aquascape Beaver Valley Stone Ginkgo Designs Home Smith Gardening Iron Eagle Industries Inc Landscape Ontario Oaks Landscape Products UNILOCK


Canadian Florist Magazine Denis Flanagan Enercare Centre Enterprise Canada Harrison Ice Cream Homa Bahadouri Graphic Designs Jennifer Harvey Ben Cullen Mark Cullen Stanley Roszak World Flower Council


Table Of Contents Sponsors & Donors PAGE 6

Top Picks For 2021

Each year, Landscape Trades magazine compiles a list of the most exciting plants that are about to hit the Canadian market.

All selections — annuals, perennial, roses, edibles and woody plants — are vetted with breeders in Canada. In addition, some selections were trialed earlier this year by the University of Guelph Trial Garden program.

Canada Blooms Through the Years


Iris Sibirica Black Joker, Siberian Iris Black Joker has stand-out flowers in shades of purple-black, yellow and pale blue. The grass-like foliage adds a nice upright texture even when not in bloom. Grows to 1.5 m tall. Brookdale Treeland Nurseries – Valleybrook Nursery

PAGES 9-13, 22-47

Flowers The Toronto Flower Show PAGES 14-19


Professional Floral Artists

Philodendron Shangri-La, Philodendron A super-compact version of the ever-popular philodendron, this freely-branching plant features deeply divided, fresh green leaves on many stems. Ball Ingenuity

PAGES 45-47

Gardens Feature Gardens PAGES 48-53

Gilda’s Gnome Garden


Rhododendron Electric Lights Red, Azalea Electric Lights Red has fiery red flowers in early spring, blooming just after the new foliage emerges. It grows in an upright mound and will tolerate full sun to part shade. Bailey Nurseries

PAGES 57-61

Li’l Sprouts of All Ages PAGES 62-67

Music & Juno Awards


PAGES 68-71

Vaccinium Silver Dollar, Blueberry A unique blueberry with a sweet, pineapple flavour and foliage resembling eucalyptus. White flowers in the spring turn to large blueberries. Foliage has hints of silver throughout the spring and early summer before turning to emerald green in the fall. Star Roses

Experts, Talks, Demos & Books PAGES 80-84

2020 Exhibitor List 88-89


Rosa Ringo All Star, Rose Ringo All-Star rose features single flowers with a unique colour blend of melon-orange and pink that age to lavender for a multi-coloured effect. A distinctive cherry-red eye and sunny yellow stamens make the blooms even more intriguing. Proven Winners ColorChoice - Spring Meadow Nursery

Photo Bibliography 90-91

Editorial Concepts & Illustrations, Creative Director HOMA BAHADOURI Content Manager, Editor-in-Chief LISA PASCOE Editor KIM DANIELS-OMOTO


Published by CANADA BLOOMS

For a complete list of the new 2021 plants visit: landscapeontario . com / new - plants - for -2021

Spring Tonic

A properly timed dormant spray can prevent powdery mildew, black spot, peach leaf curl and apple scab. Every year in early spring, smart gardeners spray a mixture of mineral oil and lime sulphur on susceptible plants like fruit trees berry bushes grapes roses crabapples.

Dormant spray will also help control insects such as aphids, spider mites and scale that have overwintered on plants. Charlie Dobbin,The Garden Show, Zoomer Radio – AM 740 Canada Blooms Gardening Source Guide 1998/Canadian Gardening Magazine

March 5-9, 1997

Secret Gardens R ecognizing that what was once a casual pastime has become the fastest growing outdoor leisure activity in Canada, the Garden Club of Toronto and Landscape Ontario knew that there was a need for an annual flower and garden event in Canada, comparable to flower shows held in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Boston and Chelsea.

2 • Pinch an Inch

Designed to enhance and promote the awareness of horticulture, floriculture and garden design, as well as feature the best products and services of amateur and professional participants, the event required a huge amount of volunteer talent from both organizations. 32 committees took responsibility for the project and setting very high standards for themselves, working day and night until it was perfect. The Garden Club gave (and still do) endless amounts of time and talent. Landscape Ontario members spent months planning their garden spaces and putting in 20-hour days to put it all together in just 5 days.

To Maximize Your Garden’s Blooming Potential 1 • Mix Well

Just as baking ingredients are important to the taste of a cake, good, balanced soil is instrumental to the quality, abundance and frequency of blossoms. Give your soil a nutritious start with ‘triple mix’ quality, which includes a mix of loam, manure and peat moss.

After three years of dreaming and planning, Canada Blooms: The Toronto Flower and Garden Show was born; commemorating. the 50th anniversary of the Garden Club of Toronto and the 25th anniversary of Landscape Ontario.

The first Canada Blooms literally stopped traffic. There were so many visitors to the Toronto Congress Centre that traffic was backed up along Airport Road. Over 70,000 visitors attended over five days


Divert the energy plants use to produce seeds by deadheading, another word for removing expired blossoms. Pinch back just above the new growth and remove the seed head in perennials, flowering shrubs and even annuals, such as marigolds, before planting to encourage bushiness and new blooms.

3 • Add Nutrients

Your plants and shrubs will soon be waking up, as hungry as a bear emerging from its den. Adding fertilizer now to plants can make the difference between average blooms and a fantastic display.

4 • Time Them Well

Staggering the planting times of your summer-flowering bulbs can provide you with a continuous palette of colour and blossoms. Try planting groups of gladiola bulbs two weeks apart, starting in the spring and continuing for three or four plantings. ‘Timeless Secrets’ by Boot’s Landscaping & Maintenance

Some of my perennials aren’t blooming like they used to. What can I do to encourage blooms?

There are a couple of reasons why perennials may display lackluster blooms, says Denis Flanagan. One possibility is that your perennials may be overgrown. “If that’s the case they need to be lifted and divided,” says Flanagan, who also hosts HGTV’s ‘The Indoor Gardener’.

The natural evolution of a garden can also affect your perennials. “As a garden matures it becomes shadier,” Flanagan explains. With time, shrubs and overhead trees tend to shade perennials, which may have originally received more sun. Take some time to rethink your garden. Consider moving things around and replacing the sun worshippers with shade-loving perennials. “March is a wonderful time to plan,” says Flanagan. Examining what’s working in your garden and considering other options before you buy will save you money and aggravation down the road. Leslee Mason-Gnomes Canada Blooms Magazine 2004/Canadian Gardening Magazine

5 • Plan For Next Season

Divide and replant spring flowering and summer- and fall-blooming perennials either after flowering or in early spring. This applies to plants experiencing poor performance due to overcrowding, altered growing conditions or poor soil.

6 • Choose The Right Home

Don’t expect beautiful blossoms on sun-loving plants when you plant them in shade. Select your plants carefully, read the information on the pot stick, and speak to nursery staff about growing conditions.

garian sellors

Canada Blooms Magazine 2002 Canadian Gardening Magazine


March 11-15, 1998

Spring Dreams

Canada Blooms is a horticultural heaven for garden enthusiasts


rom across the country and many corners of the globe. Last year, 71,000 visitors lined up and fought their way into the show to wander through secret gardens. The show was an overnight success with traffic jams on the highways as proof. This year the show has moved to a downtown location at the new Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building, a location fitting to the show’s ascendance to a world-class quality flower and garden show

Ted Johnston Canada Blooms Insert, Toronto Sun, March 8 1998 Sheridan Nurseries

March 10-14, 1999

A Gardener’s Getaway

A Fairytale wedding…and you can witness the magic of it all!


magine a fantasy wedding set against acres of beautiful gardens; the bride enters the hall outfitted in a lovely white gown as the piper plays the magical theme, the groom dons a tuxedo and smiles at the sight of her. The two exchange eternal vows as their families look on. Karen Sweet and Steven Zolnierczyk will realize this fantasy Saturday (March 13), in front of their families and visitors to Canada Blooms. The Fantasy Wedding will be enveloped in the sights and scents of spring blooms. This extraordinary evening has been brought to Canada Blooms by William Ashley China and promises to be a truly romantic event. The idea came to fruition two months ago when Canada Blooms and EZ Rock 97.3 FM launched a contest asking couples to write to EZ Rock and explain why they would like to be married at the show


‘Woods & Water’ by Evergreen Environments

~~Wedding Givers~~

•Wedgwood China and Waterford Crystal from William Ashley •Wedding Invitations from William Ashley •Wedding flowers by Teatro Verde •Honeymoon weekend at Langdon Hall Country House Hotel •Reception for 50 guests by Metro Toronto Convention Centre •Photography and album from Henry’s •Bridal Gown and Bridesmaid dress by Jessica McClintock •Wedding Cake from Weddings by Pat •Wedding Rings courtesy of EZ Rock 97.3 FM •A day at the Spa from The Spa at Elmwood •Limo Service by A World of Limousines •Truffles for 50 guests by Laura Secord •Ceremonies by Rev. Sarah Bunnett-Gibson •Coordinators: Marie Kennedy and Annabelle Heintzman, The Garden Club of Toronto

Liz Kohn, Canada Blooms Insert, Toronto Sun, March 7 1999

ht hlig g i e H Th f O r! Yea

March 22-26, 2000

Canada Blooms A

ccording to Judy Lundy, Co-Chair and Garden Club of Toronto member “Canada Blooms is one of the largest projects the Garden Club of Toronto is involved in.” We spend uncountable hours preparing for the show and during the run. We have a terrific partner in Landscape Ontario, they transform the centre into a garden of Eden. We’re proud to give this special gift to the City of Toronto.” This year the show is attracting a large number of out-of-town tourists. Barry Benjamin, Co-Chair and Landscape Ontario member says, “we know we’ve sold tickets to visitors from every province and the territories. It’s great because we wanted to celebrate Canadian horticulture. What better way to do that, than to have representation from all the provinces across the country ” Ted Johnston Canada Blooms Insert, Toronto Sun, March 2000


A whimsical take er Paradise on the the Canadian ho me, celebrating We began as fish rticulture. and will remain fish . Judith S. Wright As sociates/ Nice Landscape Design Ltd.

Putting the Canada

in Canada Blooms

ple Leaf a M e For h T Ev er !


Early Summer To-Do List

Garden experts Mark and Ben Cullen like to plan ahead, so here is a quick to-do list you should consider around June: Hot crops like corn, zucchini, squash (all cucurbits), peppers, and potatoes can be planted now, if you haven’t already. Those who planted in May will have a head-start. Mulch! A 5 cm layer of mulch can cut down watering by 70% and weeding by 90%. Mark uses shredded cedar or pine bark mulch, and Ben uses straw. To each their own. Fast growing flowers can be sown now wherever you have a blank space in the garden. There are lots of great wildflower mixes out there that can bring pollinators to your garden. An easy way to plant these is by pouring the seed mix into a bucket with some dry potting mix, sand or vermiculite (one packet/25 sq ft). Pour the seed/sand or soil mixture back and forth between two buckets until they are fully mixed. Broadcast the seed by hand over a bed of soil and rake it in. Roses, peonies and clematis will start flowering this month – get out there and make sure they are supported before they fall over under the weight of their massive blossoms! Containers can be planted up now with annuals. Feed them once with a feed-&-forget fertilizer (slow release) and add a healthy amount of compost to potting mix for season-long performance. Herbs can be planted right along side the rest of your containers and harvested immediately. Be careful not to over water; with the exception of Basil, most herbs like to dry out between watering. Stake your tomatoes! Getting them off the ground will double your crop. We like the Mark’s Choice Spiral Stake…not just because it has Mark’s name on it. Mark chose this product because it is the easiest way to stake. Save yourself the hassle of tying tomatoes. Connect with Mark and Ben and sign up for their free newsletter. Also, visit their facebook, twitter, instagram and podcast! 10,000 gardening questions answered•



Canada Blooms Blog

March 14-18, 2001

A Celebration

Botanical art enjoys a revival


or years, botanical art had a serious image problem. Great works in this field were

dismissed as “illustrations” by cultural critics who looked down on painters who made plants the central focus of their artwork.

Today, however, botanical art –- lifelike paintings of flowers, usually done in watercolour –- is hot. So hot, in fact, that Canada Blooms will be hosting its first-ever juried exhibit of botanical art this year. “Artists must be Canadian and their work has to be original,” says Margit Koritar, a botanical artist and the main organizer of the exhibit. Ms Koritar says the Canada Blooms exhibit is intended to “show support for the botanical art tradition ”


Canada Blooms Insert, National Post, March 10 2001

Poster designed by Heather Collins

r Korita argit by M

Planning For Spring

What do you do in the winter to plan for spring gardening? Add soil research to your list! Now is a great time to think about topdressing your lawns, amending garden beds and building new gardens. Gro-Turf® is an organic lawn topdress product used with or without seed to add organic matter to soil and help build soil life. Lawns should be topdressed with a very thin layer multiple times per year. Gro-Turf® can also be used in bare patch areas to help promote new seedlings. Remember to keep seed and seedlings moist to promote establishment. A dry seed will not germinate!

Gro Better! Gro Max!

Live Mulch® is an organic amendment used to increase organic matter in soil. Blend into existing garden beds at a rate of up to 50% by volume. Gro-Max® is a high organic premium garden soil used for annuals, perennials and small shrubs. This soil drains well and is easy to maintain. It can also be used to build up existing beds by blending into the top layer of soil. For more information about our soil, mulch and organic amendments, please visit:

Gro Max Premium Garden Soil Dark, rich soil formulated for optimal root growth and plant health.


Gro-Bark, Canada Blooms Newsletter GRO-BARK.COM


n 2022, The Garden Club of Toronto will celebrate its 75th Anniversary, as Canada Blooms celebrates its 25th. That represents a lot of years of education and pleasure for the residents of our community and beyond!

Rosemary Passafiume-Mclean 2018

Founded in 1946, the Garden Club of Toronto is a registered charitable organization. It has played a key role in designing and planting gardens that beautify the city and environs as well as providing outreach and educational programming. Since its inception, the Club has contributed close to $9 million in current dollars to all its projects, including the beautification of some of the local areas’ renowned gardens together with plantings for major public institutions. Our aims are to stimulate a knowledge and love of gardening amongst amateurs, to aid in the protection of native plants, birds, trees and soil, and to encourage civic planting.

Marisa Bergagnini 2012

In 1958, the Club founded and provided ongoing funding for the Civic Garden Centre, known today as the Toronto Botanical Garden. Together with Landscape Ontario, the Club also co-founded Canada Blooms, the highly successful Toronto Spring Flower Festival that provides excellence in horticulture and design. From the start, the Garden Club of Toronto has transformed the city’s landscape one project at a time. Some of our initiatives have an environmental focus, like the Pollinator Garden at Jane-Finch, and the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute in North York. Some of our initiatives involve community/edible gardens, like the teaching garden at Allan Gardens or the floral and edible gardens at The Helen Keller Centre. And some of our projects are landscaped gardens, like those at Spadina House, Casa Loma, June Callwood Park, and the entrance garden at the Toronto Botanical Garden. Our latest exciting project, called The Meadoway, will see a 16-kilometer park being created in a Hydro right of way that stretches from Bermondsey, south of Eglinton, to the Rouge River.

Lynda Summerville 2014

The 75 year legacy of the Garden Club of Toronto can be summed up in 3 words: Educate, Create and Transform!_

REFLECTIONS REFLECTIONS The club has been about a lot more than just one big blow-out in March. Since it began in 1946, its year-round mission has been to stimulate a knowledge and love of gardening among amateurs, to aid in the protection of native plants, trees, birds and soil and to take an interest in civic planning. The garden club’s first competitive garden show was in 1954. Based at the Civic Garden Centre, the club has raised more than $3.5 million for gardens enjoyed by Torontonians and now has some 460 members. “It’s not just about bringing your pots [to the club] and looking at the thing,” says Connie Hunter, a club member since 1989 and Canada Blooms Co-Chair. “I’ve had an opportunity to learn so much about myself. We have a diversity of interests. We have some very creative, artistic and talented people.” Canada Blooms Insert, National Post, March 9, 2009


Re-Connections 2021 A Virtual Floral Art Show

Every year at Canada Blooms, the Garden Club of Toronto stages the Toronto Flower Show, to showcase the Floral Design and Horticultural talents of members of the club and people in the community, and to provide educational opportunities for show visitors. Due to the pandemic the Garden Club of Toronto had to think mid-summer “what would we do if there was to be no Canada Blooms and no Toronto Flower Show in 2021?” Members of the Garden Club of Toronto decided to go virtual this March. They established Re-Connections, a Virtual Floral Art Show, Celebrating Friendship Through Flowers. Re-Connections was an opportunity not just for floral designers throughout Ontario, but also from coast to coast in Canada, and around the world to create a design based on several themes. They were invited to submit a photo of their design(s), which was then judged by a team of accredited local and international judges. The response was tremendous. Inspiring titles such as “Dancing on Air,” “Together Apart” and “Enough Already” brought out the best in floral designers from far and wide who responded with enthusiasm, skill, creativity and joy in their craft. We are so encouraged by the results we’re planning another show in the near future. Visit THEGARDENCLUBOFTORONTO.CA/TFS to view all the contestants and winners

2012 Festival Attendees “Floored”

Karen Smith Garden Club of Bermuda First, 2021

June Peckham Newfoundalnd Horticultural Society Floral Design Group Honourable Mention, 2021

by the fantastic Floral Carpet presented by the Garden Club of Toronto (GCT). Designed by Karen Morgan, the carpet consisted of two sections, each 18 feet long with a Himalayan Birch at each end, making a total length of 52 feet. Karen used large graph paper so her design could be transferred by some 20 GCT volunteers during twoday work sessions. Flowers were chosen for their longevity and for their harmonious colours with the sets in the Garden Hall. Predominant colours were off-white, blue/purple, lime green, dark green and yellow. Flowers used included carnations and statice including 3000 stems, mums including spider and button varieties, sea holly, coffee leaves and aspidistra. The flowers were placed in metal pans, which rested on a 3 inch sand bed, and were filled with wet and conditioned floral foam. About 1/3 of the carpet consisted of 300 potted plants which were placed directly on the floor. Show visitors were indeed “floored” by the intricate pattern of the colourful carpet and the vibrant, healthy floral and plant material!


Around THE


Show draws the best in the world! C

anada Blooms showcases the best in Canadian gardening and floral design. In addition, the week-long flower and garden show plays host to some of the top amateur floral designers from around the world. One of the highlights of the exhibit is the International Class competition. This event features participants from 10 countries competing in a flower arranging contest that is as high-powered as it is prestigious. “This is an exciting way to involve international talent. We invite people to come to Canada to demonstrate very successful flower arrangements,” says Marisa Bergagnini, who is helping organize the flower show competition at Canada Blooms

Top Designs At Blooms

Carolyn Parris-Boyce Barbados, Gold 2014

Monique van den Driessche Belgium, Gold 2018


Solange Louchene France, Gold 2008

Paola Zattera Italy, Gold 2017

The International Class event began in the late 1970’s as part of the Garden Club of Toronto’s annual flower show. International Class competitions were held in 1978, 1980 and 1982. Then the event lost its sponsorship and went into hiatus for over a decade. The event was revitalized in 1997 as part of Canada Blooms. Putting the show into Blooms makes perfect sense, say local gardening enthusiasts. “One of the founding principles of Canada Blooms was to involve people internationally,” says Heather Fuller, public relations chairwoman for the Garden Club of Toronto Canada Blooms Insert, National Post, March 10, 2001


Rosemary Smyth Ireland The Association of Irish Floral Artists

Wiqarunnisa Boolani Pakistan Floral Art Society, Islamabad Chapter



Gold Judge’s Choice Carola Keane United Kingdom Hertfordshire Flower Guild National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies

Diana Kennedy Canada Garden Clubs of Ontario



Christine de Beer Canada West National Association of Flower Arrangement Society, Vancouver BC

Annie Scicluna Malta Malta Horticultural Society

Andrea Quintyne Barbados Barbados Association of Floral Artists




Julieta Barnetche Pous Mexico Flower Arrangement Club of Mexico City

Connie Scerri Malta Malta Horticultural Society Malta Tourism

ly ed h ig d

H men m



You Be The Judge!


loral judge Helen Skinner has the inside scoop on what it takes to create a prize-winning arrangement or horticultural exhibit.

Ontario judges’ council. Canada Blooms design judges are accredited by the Garden Clubs of Ontario while horticultural judges are accredited by the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Ever wonder what it takes to produce a best of show floral design or plant entry? Puzzled about why your favourite exhibit failed to place at all? What are the judges looking for when they look at a design –- and what are their credentials, anyway?

Horticultural requirements don’t necessarily change from year to year (although common and botanical names may), but fashions in design can change radically from one season to another. Design judges generally work in threes; horticultural judges in pairs. Each group must agree on the points awarded.

Well, being a judge is not an easy job, says Helen Skinner, a member of the Garden Club of Toronto who has been judging shows in Canada and around the world for decades. “There is not a single judge who goes home feeling they’ve been perfect in all their decisions,” says Skinner who also helps train judges. Of course there are criteria to look for and rules to follow but it often comes down to an ultimate feeling about the design. “Some entries fulfill the requirements yet leave you feeling flat,” says Skinner, “while others just sing.” Unlike judges in some other arts, flower show judges have to prove they know how to do it too. Not only must they complete courses at an accredited judging school and three years of judging and exhibiting their own work (attaining first place red ribbons), but judges in each category must continue to attend lectures and take exams to maintain their membership in the

Before any final judging is done, however, the class as a whole is assessed for its general quality. The first and last entries are usually easy to spot, says Skinner. “The in-betweens are more difficult and sometimes the whole class is so good that it is very hard.” Except for first place in all design and horticultural categories, judges write comments on each entry. Generally these offer one or two positive comments as well as a negative one, which must be constructive. “Sometimes it can be difficult to find something positive to say,” attests Skinner. “The main thing is to be encouraging and help the competitors see their faults

Lorraine Hunter, Canada Blooms Magazine 2005/Canadian Gardening

In Short, The Judges Look At The Following Fundamentals Of Design: Balance: is it top-heavy or leaning to one side? Rhythm In Design: How does the eye move? Does it keep going through the whole design?

Contrast: Is there a pleasing choice and placement of

colour? Is there variety in the foliage, texture, in flower size and shape?

Dominance: Does a certain colour stand out? There should be enough colour to keep the design from being boring but not too much to drown out the rest of the design.

Proportion And Scale: Is the amount of plant material

to container in proportion? Is there enough design for the space given?

Interpretation: Does the exhibit reflect the title theme? Is it creative?

Horticultural criteria for the evaluation of plants include: ` ` ` ` ` `

Is the overall health of the foliage and flowers good? Is the exhibit clean and fresh? Does it say, “Look at me!” Is it well cared for? Is it insect and disease free? Is it a good example of its variety?

Finally, does an exhibit in a design or horticultural class follow the theme of the show? Helen Skinner


Judy Zinni First Place 2017

Floral Cake


•3 bricks of Oasis foam

(for large cake) or ½ brick for small cake Plate to put cake on Aspidistra leaves (3) for large cake Flowers and greenery U shaped pins Corsage pins Ribbon or coloured wire

• •

Instructions: 1~ Cut 1 Oasis brick in half lengthwise with a long knife. 2~ Put 2 bricks down flat side by side. 3~ Put the other 2 smaller pieces (brick that was cut in half)

down in the opposite direction and skewer together.

in the leaf (approx. 3” from the stem end).

secure with U pins.

ribbon or coloured wire around the outside.

4~ Trace the plate on the top to make a circular shape. 5~ Cut off the stem of the leaf and cut-out the hard vein 6~ Cover the sides with the Aspidistra leaves and 7~ Use decorative pins on the outside of the leaf. 8~ Decorate the top with flowers, greenery and wrap You can Google: Fresh Floral Cakes for ideas for decorating. e.g.: Xmas –- cedar on the top with acorns, red roses, small xmas balls, etc. Summer –- cut some greenery from the garden (eunonymous, cedar, leaves), flowers from the garden (daisies, etc). Jacqui Miller

Lovely Lilies

Feed, feed, feed growing lilies with the following recipe: plant bulbs in a mixture of one-third each of sand, peat, and soil, then mix bonemeal/bloodmeal/kelp or compost into the top one inch. Mulch with leaf compost to protect bulbs from summer heat, weeds, and winter cold. Spray leaves with liquid to give plants a boost of trace minerals for disease protection and growth. christine halbot, northcott gardens canada blooms gardening source guide 1998 canadian gardening magazine


I stayed up unti1 early morning working on a floral design. It was a tall, rectangular container with lucky bamboo and cymbidium orchids submerged in water. The next morning while I was working on another entry I heard a huge crack! I looked over to see my orchids and bamboo shooting out of the container -- it had broken. I didn’t have another, so I put everything back together in that one -- there was a huge “V” out of one corner. I won the red ribbon and the Founders Gold Cup for it! Later I heard that the judges wanted to know how I cut out that piece of glass. trudy grantham, garden club of toronto canada blooms magazine 2006/canadian gardening magazine

The Pick of The Crop

We know that you have probably seen the OFG Floral Market during Blooms, at the entrance to the Garden Hall, offering a wide variety of cut and potted flowers and plants grown in Ontario. OFG prides itself on offering the highest quality of customer service and is eager to decorate your life. But you probably haven’t heard of the Ontario Flower Growers Clock OFG is a wholesale organization that regularly has auctions on lots of flower and plants. Pre-pandemic, people would sit in the gallery and ‘stop the clock’ to win auction bids. The ‘clock’ is modelled after European Floral auctions –- the price starts high and spins down towards a minimum price. The first buyer to stop the clock wins the bid. It is all connected, because this could determine the price you, as the consumer, pay for your arrangements.

2005 Peter Strauss, Actor and Miracle-Gro Spokesperson

2012 Susan Hay, Global TV and MP Peter Kent

2008 Colin & Justin Television Personalities

2010 Martha Stewart Television Personality

2013 Premier Kathleen Wynne

2015 Pooja Handa CP24

ev er


Wh o

Yo u

2015 Enza “SuperModel” Anderson Canadian Politician




2010 Joe Pantalone Deputy Mayor

Kn o w

M ight See

At Bl


2018 Marilyn Lightstone Classical fm

m o o

2018 Gnomeo & Juliet

2012 Rob Ford Toronto Mayor

2018 “Tanner Z” Zipchen Cineplex Pre-Show Host

2016 Andria Case CTV

2012 “Elvis” Roy LeBlanc 2015 Pond Stars


2009 Lieutenant Governor David Onley

The Blooms Allstars Past And Present Executive Directors

Ted Johnston

Steve Barber

Gerry Gingsberg

Terry Caddo

Tony DiGovanni Acting Director

Throughout the years, the faces may have changed but each and every member of the Canada Blooms Team has thought of Canada Blooms as a labour of love rather than just a job. The hours are long and we have many times wanted to pull our hair out, but the end result was always worth it, creating an event we were and are proud to share with visitors. When Murphy’s Law inevitably happens, and it always does, thinking on your feet is definitely a requirement. But the trick is to make it appear that it was always supposed to be that way, hopefully, we pulled it off.

Design, Operations and Horticulture Dream Team

Jeff Boettcher

Colomba Fuller

Paul Day

Joe Della Rossa

Derrick Hawley

Charlie Dobbin

Lisa Pascoe

Kevin Foster

David Turnbull

2020 Staff: Executive Director: Terry Caddo, Festival Manager: Lisa Pascoe, Horticultural Director: Derrick Hawley,

Feature Gardens & Operations: Jeff Boettcher, Floral Director: Jennifer Harvey, Toronto Flower Show Project Manager: Kelly Keates, Horticultural Co-ordinator: Tanya Smith, Sponsorship Director: Kim Daniels-Omoto, Social Media: Brenda Hensley, Volunteer Co-ordinators: Barb Ginsberg and Marilyn Maleta, Art and Graphic Designer: Homa Bahadouri

Past Staff: Margaret Bilson, Gilles Bouchard, Jessica Bowes, Amy Cole, Alison Findlay, Mark Lackie, Jane Lash, Sarah Marquart,

Lorraine Pigeon, Marthe Robertson, Bruce Sudds, Julia Swieworek, Martha Walsh, Vicki Welsted, Cara Williams, Natasha Willis, Bev Whittingham

With Special Thanks to: Scott Barber, Amy Buchanan, Kim Burton, Ben Cullen, Mark Cullen, Olivia Caddo, Robert Ellidge, Denis Flanagan, Meaghan Greaves, Sally Harvey, Jennifer Howe, Lisa Kelly, Lee Ann Knudsen, Kristen McIntrye, Jaya Mootoo, Steve Moyer, Linda Nodello, David Ohashi, Kathleen Pugliese, Joe Sabatino, Lissa Schoot Uiterkamp, Ian Service, Stuart Service, Myscha Stafford, Melissa Steepe, Mike Wasilewski, Sarah Willis

March 13-17, 2002

A Walk in the Park Amusement for all visitors!


he Garden Club of Toronto, one of the co-producers of Canada Blooms, plans to bring a green-thumbed twist to its venue at the show. Called the Amusement Park, the 6,000-square-foot area will showcase the club’s annual flower and garden show, now the largest accredited show of its kind in the country with 66 different competitions showcased in a spectacular amusement park setting. The choice was partly based on the club’s decision to make itself less segregated from the rest of Canada Blooms attractions, unlike past years, says Rosemary Edwards, the park’s designer and a garden club member. “We thought, ‘What can we do that will be fun and interesting and not have walls’?” Competitions will be staged in and on a variety of park amusements. The Candy Floss competition will feature the mass design flowers class set up in a candy booth. A carousel is being built for the international class competition. There will also be a Hall of Mirrors for visitors to search out arrangements, a pond –- built by Fossil Landscaping –- on which boats filled with planting will float, a swing set for the High Flyers category and beautifully appointed picnic tables for the Fireworks competition Canada Blooms Insert, National Post, March 9, 2002

er, Bermuda Elizabeth Park


Jeanne Mervil -Blanche, Fran ce

March 12-16, 2003

A Symphony of Gardens

Blooms To Ease The Gloom Of Winter


ell gardeners to create a symphony of gardens and you will have more flowers, vines, shrubs and trees than a conductor can shake a baton at. But finding and getting many thousands of plant materials to be at their peak for the middle of March is both an art and a science. And there must be enough to fill 27 professionally designed gardens across 2.5 hectares. This year at Canada Blooms, organizers are delivering on the green goods visitors expect and bringing in new and beautiful surprises, too. Colomba Fuller, the show’s Artistic Director, has lit a fire under colour at the show. And it is no accident red is front-row centre for Canada Blooms’ own garden, which will greet visitors as they take those first breathtaking steps inside the door. “It’s an impact of colour,” Ms. Fuller says “For me, a symphony is grand, it’s beautiful and it’s majestic. Red represents that.” Visitors will see new varieties of tulips and lilies. A section of the show will be devoted to daylilies. For the first time ever, Canada Blooms has chosen its own signature show flower, a sunny yellow daylily know as Hemerocallis (Happy Returns) but re-dubbed Moondance for Canada Blooms. Some 5,000 of those have been cultivated in the greenhouse[for the show]. Among the new tulip varieties on display will be the Malak Karsh with contrasting pink and mauve. Six new hydrangea varieties will burst out of huge, four-by-four planters on display throughout the main show floor. “They’re blow-your-eyes-out colours,” with flowers sporting pinks and purply blues hues, says Charlie Dobbin, the show’s horticultural co-ordinator

Canada Blooms Insert, National Post, March 8, 2003

Plant of the Year! 2003 – Moondance Daylily

(Hemerocallis ‘Happy Returns’ renamed for Canada Blooms) is a compact, fragrant plant with a ruffled, yellow flower and has an extremely long blooming period. Top: ‘Prelude to a Symphony’ by Colomba Fuller and Toronto Chapter of Landscape Ontario Bottom: ‘A Symphony of Change’ by D.A. Gracey & Associates


March 3-7, 2004

Tides of Time

Tiptoe Through the Tulips


here are so many spring bulbs forced into bloom that you can catch a whiff of hyacinths long before you actually see any of the massive display gardens inside the Toronto Convention Center. And while the Toronto Flower Show is the largest in our area, it’s one of four upcoming flower or home and garden shows. It’s a chance to breathe in the smell of freshly spread mulch and damp earth and pretend that spring is already here. The largest and most prestigious of the shows is in Toronto. And it’s well worth the drive. Just don’t get in your car without a comfortable pair of walking shoes. “Canada Blooms” takes up more than 400,000 square feet. The display gardens alone cover six acres, and this year include a pet-safe garden, and a balcony/rooftop garden. The pet-friendly garden features both plants that can withstand trampling by pets and also plants that are nontoxic to animals. “It’s amazing how many plants are poisonous,” said Ina Elias, a landscape architect in Toronto who designed the garden, which is sponsored by Eukanuba. “We were stunned when we did the research.” Rhododendrons, daffodils and English ivy, to name a few, can make pets sick. The garden uses raised planters to protect more delicate plants from pets and create a clear boundary of where they shouldn’t go. The soil has some charcoal added to it to help filter urine. And some plants grow up through steel mesh because it deters digging and prevents a dog from uprooting the plants. The whole display will cost about $50,000(Canadian) to create, Elias said. Plan to spend a few hours wandering through the display area. There are also speakers and an international floral display competition. There’s also 50,000 square feet Plant of the Year! filled with stores selling plants and gardening 2004 – Frances Williams supplies. Save this part for last Rachael Astrachan and Lisa Haarlander, Buffalo News, Feb 27, 2004


‘Paws Awhile’ by Eukanuba & Elias + Associates

riendly Plants

5 Pet-F

•Boston Fern •Christmas Cactus •Echevaria Succulents •Nasturtium •Spider Plant


The Frances Williams Hosta is an outstanding foliage plant that is dependable and easy to grow. They generally prefer full to partial shade, and have blue-green foliage edges with a wide band of golden yellow with lavender blooms.

March 9-13, 2005

Garden Party

Hip Horticulture

Gardening has joined club culture. At least that’s the impression given by a tour through this year’s Canada Blooms, the annual indoor hort fest that gives Toronto an early hit of spring. “It’s the style that has dominated in hotel and nightclub design over the last few years,” says Gardening Life senior editor Danny Sinopoli, citing the dark rich woods and little boxy cushioned seats in the display garden by landscape architect Ron Holbrook. There’s even a bed floating in a pool of water in the garden by Parklane, he noted. “Both are the kind of spaces that beg you to have a cocktail at the end of the day,” Sinopoli says. Landscape architect Janet Rosenberg’s award-winning green garden goes even further. Like a clubland VIP room, it mixes antique statuary with sleek contemporary furniture, Miami-style tropical planters and a shimmering disco ball. The whole thing is enclosed in six-metre celadon sheer curtains. What about the gardening part? Well, besides some sculptural Anthurium hookeri in the planters, there’s the layer of Granny Smith apples covering the entire floor like lime green cobblestones

Sheree Lee Olson, Globe and Mail, March 12, 2005

Plant of the Year! Ruby Star Daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Pardon Me’) The Ruby Star Daylily is a popular re-blooming cranberry with a green and yellow throat. It is compact, vigorous, fragrant and blooms over an extremely long blooming period. Night-blooming, it opens late in the afternoon and stays open throughout the evening until morning.

‘Hesperides’ by Janet Rosenberg Landscape Architects

Just Lazing Around

You can find great labour-saving mulch laying on the ground outside and sitting in your recycling bin. To eliminate many weeds, spread a 3” layer of leaves or an eight- to ten-page layer of newspapers over soil. This method is especially effective in spring, before weed seeds germinate. Mark Cullen, Canada Blooms Gardening Source Guide 1998 / Canadian Gardening Magazine


March 8-12, 2006

Urban Mosaic

Gardens Commemorative Stamps


n March 8, 2006, in conjunction with Canada Blooms and to mark the centenary of the Ontario Horticulture Association, Canada Post will issue four domestic rate (51-cent) commemorative stamps of gardens. Designer Debbie Adams explains that the stamps feature four types of garden images, “Flower Garden, Rock Garden, Shade Garden and Water Garden –- with common horizons and four creatures that correspond to that type of garden in which they can be found –- Butterfly, Salamander, Warbler and Dragonfly –- as well as illustrates the idea that gardens can provide valuable habitat for Canada’s wildlife ” Canada Blooms Magazine 2006/Canadian Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Year! 2006 – Josephine Clematis

The Josephine Clematis is considered one of the best pink double clematis. ‘Josephine’ is a vigorous large clematis with vibrant flowers that resembles a dahlia. They are easy to grow and thrive in moist, well-drained soils.

Think Ahead

Plan in spring for a beautiful late summer and autumn garden. In addition to the chrysanthemums and asters, plant tricyrtis (toad lilies), chelone (turtlehead), eupatorium (Joe-pye-weed), cimicifuga (bugbane), ornamental grasses, and the self-seeding annuals verbena bonariensis and bidens.


Marjorie Mason, Mason House Gardens Canada Blooms Gardening Source Guide 1998 Canadian Gardening Magazine

REFLECTIONS REFLECTIONS My biggest disaster was when I was the ‘new kid on the block’ and unbeknownst to me, all the trees froze outside during an early November snap freeze. It was only when the trees were delivered that we realized they were dead and there was no green leafy canopy at the show. I swore I would never do this job again until I was given complete control over the ordering and care of the plants! Charlie Dobbin, Feature Garden Horticultural Coordinator, Canada Blooms as told to Carol Cowan Canada Blooms Magazine 2006 Canadian Gardening Magazine

Tips For Using Irrigation Water More Efficiently Watering:

t Install rain sensors on sprinkler systems.

t Adjust irrigation timers according to seasonal needs. t Detect and repair all leaks in irrigation systems.

t Water trees and shrubs, which have deep root systems, longer and less frequently than shallow-rooted plants which require smaller amounts of water more often.

t Set sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only — not the street or sidewalk.

t Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best). Do not water on windy days. t Use properly treated wastewater for irrigation where available. t Have system serviced regularly. Maintaining: t Use mulch around shrubs and garden plants to reduce evaporation from the soil surface and cut down on weed growth. t Remove thatch and aerate turf to encourage movement of water to the root zone. t Raise your lawn mower cutting height — longer grass blades help shade each other, cutting down on evaporation. They also inhibit weed growth.

Ornamental Water Features:

t Do not install or use ornamental water features unless they recycle the water


March 7-11, 2007


Sculptural Elements


culptural elements are a continual source of inspiration. Simple and pure, they can utilize natures materials and interact with the character of their location. Sculptural elements fit with their surroundings and visually offer contemplative reflection.

Shawn Gallauger Design


l a G a rd e n i n g t n e m e

Elemental Gardening illustrates the benefits of a garden where plants have been chosen for both their beauty and their healthful bounty and where natural spaces have been created for children to play safely, for friendly entertaining and as restful spot to paint, read or meditate. In this garden, experience the integration of earth, air, fire and water. The 12 moonstones of the wheel represent animal totems that appear in the garden as specially commissioned sculptures by artist Blake Richardson

Parklane Nurseries Presented by: The Home Depot Canada Blooms 2007 Guide/Canadian Gardening Magazine


With an imaginative and artful response, we create gardens that are sculptural in form

Plant of the Year! 2007 – Ruby Star Cornflower (Echinacea purpurea Rubinstern) The Ruby Star adds sparkle to any sunny garden with rosy pink daisy-like flowers that bloom throughout the summer.

March 12-16, 2008

Flower Power

The Socially Responsible Garden


he Ontario Landscapers Association [Landscape Ontario] created a beautiful display at this year’s Canada Blooms show. Dubbed “Garden Utopia” the booth showcased several strong environmentally friendly gardening trends including rain barrels, native plants and roof gardens. The booth will be on display permanently at the Toronto Zoo for all to see. Backyard Ecotopia’s objective is to promote sustainable and environmentally friendly landscape and gardening practices that are easy for homeowners to execute in their backyards. An eco-friendly garden is a good thing; however, true magic can happen when the bounty of that garden helps others Michelle Brisebois, Greenhouse Canada February 26, 2008

Plant of the Year! 2008 – Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

Gerbera daisies are bright and cheerful. Originating from South Africa they come in a variety of sizes and colours –- pink, orange, salmon, yellow and white. They thrive in full sun and sandy soil.

REFLECTIONS REFLECTIONS We put together a steering committee for the first show. There were three people from the Garden Club, three from Landscape Ontario and one outside person. We would have meetings where all the women were dressed up in little suits and the men wore big plaid shirts, and all of us were having a wonderful dialogue. Kathy Dembrowski, garden club of toronto, canada blooms magazine 2006 /canadian gardening magazine


March 18-22, 2009

From Sea to Sea

Porches and Window Boxes


iracle-Gro proudly presents Porches and Window Boxes. Six talented celebrities have create three window boxes. Whether charming, elegant or whimsical each one is specially designed to bring colour and vibrancy to enhance your visit to Canada Blooms

Top: Rex Harrington, Canadian Ballet Dancer Bottom: David Rocco, Canadian Chef

Planning Your Trip To Each year at Canada Blooms, my botanical buddy Denis Flanagan joins me for an overview of the festival. Over the years we have learned that there are a few ‘tricks’ to covering the event while making the best use of your time.

The co-location with the National Home Show makes it even more important for you to plan your day [or days] at Blooms!

t Wear flat soled shoes. There is lots of walking.

If you need a wheel chair, you can book one at the Enercare Centre.

visit will inspire you for months!

Visit the Canada Blooms website.

gardens either first thing in the morning or mid to late afternoon. Typically the evening hours are quieter and easier to navigate your way around.

are on hand to answer them as are many Landscape Ontario professionals.

to stay current on events at the festival.

avoid the possible delay at the ticket counter.

t Bring a small digital camera. Your visual record of your t Plan your day ahead of time.

t To avoid crowds and line ups, plan to visit the feature

Plant of the Year!

2009 – Parrot Tulip The petals of the parrot tulip are serrated. They bloom in the late spring and perform best in full sun and rich, fertile, medium moisture well-drained soils. They are a great addition to beds and containers.


t Bring your gardening questions. Master Gardeners t Sign up for the Canada Blooms newsletter

t Buy your tickets on-line early at to Rest up the night before as this is the largest event of it’s kind in all of North America. With over 8 acres of total space devoted to both Canada Blooms and the National Home Show, you will want to be running on all cylinders! Have fun!

Mark Cullen, Canada Blooms Newsletter

Bye-Bye Winter Blues Hel lo Springtime Colo u r!

Pla nter Po inters _Don’t be afraid to experiment and do a dry fit first,



leaving plants in their pots until you’re sure of their Welcome the beginning of another gardening season placement. Step back from time to time to examine your with a doorstep container of bright flowering bulbs and efforts and adjust the arrangement until it looks right. frost-tough annuals. _Branches cut from the garden add height and drama Gardeners have discovered the joys of outdoor for containers viewed from all sides, place them container displays that change with the onta in er Ga in the middle; for those viewed from the C rde front, place them at the back. Hardy ivy seasons. Spring containers can range in g r from sweet and simple do-it-yourself p creates a soft billowy effect around combinations to highly sophisticated the edge of a container and lasts and elegant professional from early spring to winter. Ferns, arrangements. grasses and other small It’s easy to put together a perennials add texture and can pretty spring show. You can be transferred into the garden be the first on your block later in the season. with a hardy, no-fail early _Placing sheet or long-strand combo of ranunculus and pansies sphagnum, tiny sculptures or –- plants unfazed even by a late seashells are attractive ways to snowfall –- set off with branches from add a professional finishing touch. the garden (forsythia and pussy willow _Elaborate, look-at-me arrangements work well). Later in the season, add more work best where they don’t compete for containers planted with spring bulbs and attention. In a naturally beautiful setting, other ephemerals. Out-of-season try a simple planting that frames and draws the plants, such as hydrangeas and marguerites, eye toward the view, such as a monochromatic look lovely in spring arrangements, but their blooms arrangement or a mass display of just one type of bulb. LF may be short-lived if the thermometer takes an unexpected dip. Deadhead often, and be prepared to replenish spent flowers with fresh plants as needed.

Pla nts For Spring Pla nters

1 Flowering Bulbs such as crocuses, daffodils, dwarf iris, tulips and muscari 1

add bright spots of colour. To keep your display fresh, place each type in individual pots that can be inserted into the container and removed and replaced when the flowers fade.


2 English Daisies (Bellis perennis) are diminutive pastel-coloured daisies that will bloom through any cold spell. 3 Heathers (Eric spp.) add long lasting colour and an upright form. 2

4 Ivies (Hedera spp.), especially the hardy Baltic Ivy, trail gracefully over the

edges of containers, weaving together any arrangement.


5 Osteospermums are cool-season annuals with daisy-like flowers that

feature colourful eye-catching centres.


6 Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana cvs.) can take the cold like few other annuals. Their sunny faces make them a popular springtime tradition.


7 Primulas are hardy perennials with brightly coloured flowers that are

welcome additions to any container planting.

8 Ranunculus, with its butter yellow, birth orange, candy pink or creamy white 4

flowers, mixes naturally with other cool-season flowers to make a stunning, long-lasting display. Lorraine Flanagan, Canada Blooms Magazine 2007 / Canadian Gardening Magazine


March 17-21, 2010


Canada Blooms Moves to The Direct Energy Centre


anada’s largest flower and garden festival’s new home is in Canada’s largest convention facility.

On June 12 the official announcement came at a press conference revealing that the 13th annual Canada Blooms would move to the Direct Energy Centre from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. “Canada Blooms, as a leader in the greening of Canada is pleased to move to one of the world’s most environmentally responsible exhibition facilities,” said Canada Blooms General Manager Gerry Ginsberg. Toronto Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone was on hand at the press conference to welcome Canada Blooms. Pantalone, who is also chair of the facility’s board of governors, said, “We welcome such an amazing event as Canada Blooms to this fantastic facility.” Peter Guinane, co-chair of Canada Blooms, was pleased with the improved access for garden builders, exhibitors and guests. “It provides an easy one-level access.” Many others commented on the large (7,000 vehicles) and less-expensive parking areas along with easy access off the Gardiner Expressway Canada Blooms Press Release

Plant of the Year! 2010 – Sarah Bernhardt Peony

Top: ‘Yellow Beacon’ by Scott Torrance Landscape for the Canadian Cancer Society Bottom: ‘Sea Urchins’ by Reford Gardens/Jardins de Metis


The Sarah Bernhardt Peony has large double flowers in a fresh, pastel pink and is known for its fragrance. It is deer resistant and cold hardy.

March 16-20, 2011


Landscape Ontario Builds Spectacular Entrance Garden


overing over 9,000 sq. ft., Landscape Ontario’s entranceway garden will be welcoming festival visitors to Canada Blooms. Over 40 companies, 200 volunteers and dozens of students from college horticultural programs from across the province will come together to create this masterpiece, the largest garden at Canada Blooms 2011. Contributions have been made by several designers, donating time, materials and labour. Plants valued at $250,000 are being transported from across the province, in support of a great cause and promotion of the horticultural industry. “For centuries, Europe was famous for its walled gardens, utilizing the talents of many horticulturalists and creating specialty plant collections,” said Denis Flanagan, public relations manager, Landscape Ontario. “Landscape Ontario’s Ultimate Walled Garden at Canada Blooms will follow that great tradition, as we gather our chapter members from across the province to create this masterpiece ” Landscape Ontario Press Release, February 22, 2011

Blooming On Up

Create a fruitful, colourful garden high up on the ground. Here Terry McGlade of Perennial Gardens Corp. offers his three-step plan for growing a blooming terrace or rooftop garden.


Providing adequate drainage to planters gives perennial plants a good chance to survive the winter. The key: soil that drains fast and doesn’t clot, as well as containers that allow excess water to drain out.


Choose a soil that is biodynamic (organic) and constantly re-energizing itself. Use soils that are lightweight, yet retain moisture, such as potting soil mixed with the additives vermiculite and perlite.


Plants on your rooftop will be buffeted by winds, dried out by intense heat and zapped by cold. Your rooftop garden can vary by as much as 10 degrees from the ground temperature, so choose plantings that account for the variance, such as prairie tolerant ones (good for zones 3, 4 and 5).

Here are Terry’s picks: G Perennials: town and country roses, lavender, bergenia, purple coneflowers, liatris, hosta, bachelor buttons.

G Shurbs: spiea, weigela, mock orange, honeysuckle. G Trees: japanese maple, weeping birch, lilacs, cedars, yews. Nothing that grows taller than 15-20 feet.

Terry McGlade, Canada Blooms Magazine 2003 / Canadian Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Year! 2011 – Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana)

The Saucer Magnolia is one of the most popular magnolias. It has fragrant flowers that appear mid-spring.

March 16-25, 2012

City Culture

Canada Blooms and National Home Show Co-locate


anada Blooms: The Flower and Garden Festival and the National Home Show have signed an agreement that will see the two powerhouse events taking place side by side. This will result in creating the single largest home and garden experience in North America. “Putting these events side-by-side creates a situation where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Gerry Ginsberg, General Manager of Canada Blooms. “We strongly believe this co-location will allow us to achieve a new standard of excellence and significantly enhance the customer experience for hundreds of thousands of garden and home enthusiasts throughout Ontario that visit these events each year ”

Plant of the Year! 2012 – King Alfred Daffodil (Narcissus ‘King Alfred’)

It is the largest of the trumpet daffodils with lovely golden-yellow blooms. This flower was chosen to honour the Canadian Cancer Society.

ationa l Ga rdens O n r e t f In

First International Garden at Canada Blooms From Taipei, Taiwan


n keeping with this year’s theme, ‘City Culture’, the TAIPEI garden, designed by Landscape Architect Ronald Holbrook, reflects the primary flora, landscape and iconic cultural features of the City of Taipei, Taiwan. This contemporary garden, created in black, grey, white, green and fuchsia, features landmarks of Taipei, such as Tower 101, colourful Asian paper lanterns, living green wall, water feature/hot springs and formations of pink and fuchsia flowers, shrubs, such as the pink rhododendron, the official flower of Taipei, and perennials Ron Holbrook & Associates and Royalty Landscaping


Plant of the Year! 2012 – Medinilla Magnifica

Sometimes called “Pink Lantern plant”, the Medinilla magnifica is a small evergreen shrub native to the Philippines where it is usually found growing on trees in tropical forests. By: Northend Gardens

March 15-24, 2013

The Magic of Spring

International Gardens Continue

NTDTV Chinese Culture Garden


his garden shows many key features of classical Gardens of Suzhou with constructed landscapes mimicking a natural scenery of rocks, stones, and ponds with a strategically located pagoda. It reflects the profound metaphysical importance of natural beauty in Chinese culture and their meticulous design Pacific East Landscaping & NTDTV



A Spring Gathering

Plant of the Year! 2013 – Hellebore (Helleborus x hybridus)

Sometimes called hybrid winter roses, they are bushy, clump-forming perennials and are noted for producing single, cup-shaped flowers.


arklane Nurseries Ltd. has partnered with Tourism Ireland and Royal Irish Tours to create ‘A Spring Gathering’, a garden inspired by the natural and man-made landscapes of Ireland. Parklane’s design creates a space for visitors to gather and celebrate new life, rebirth and spring. Walk the cobbled pathways set amongst the standing stones and rolling emerald hills. Then pause to consider the magic of our past…and future Parklane Nurseries & Tourism Ireland


March 14-23, 2014


Taming the Wild: The Professional Florists at Canada Blooms


loral design is the art of using plant materials and flowers to create a pleasing and balanced composition. A background search shows that evidence of refined floristry is to be found as far back as the culture of Ancient Egypt. Professional designs, arrangements or artwork incorporate the floral design elements of Line, Form, Space, Texture and Colour, as well as the Principles of Floral Design: Balance, Proportion, Rhythm, Contrast, Harmony and Unity. In addition to flower arrangements, the art of floral design includes making wreaths, nosegays garlands, boutonnières, corsages and bows. Professional florists have been a part of Canada Blooms since 1999. That first year, we delighted our visitors with colourful displays in front of a black mesh backdrop, right by the entrance to Canada Blooms. Our audience was stunned. The fervent growing group of professionals, top in their field not only in Toronto but in Ontario, come back every year to our visitor’s delight

Colomba Fuller, Canada Blooms Artistic Director, Canada Blooms Insert 2014, Toronto Star

Plant of the Year! 2014 – Wildflower Bouquet

Wild flowers grow naturally without any intentional help from people. The best are found in woodlands, prairies and mountain areas Spring, Summer & Fall.


Professional Floral Showcase Left: Bruno Duarte, Fresh Floral Creations Right: Rita Quayle, The Flower Workshop

2016 Toronto Flower Show Entry: Sandra Williamson

2018 CAFA Floral Fashion Show: Top: Designed by Brad Higginson & Inta Taurins Right: Designed by Veena Sagoo

Say Yes To The


2014 Professional Floral Showcase Designed by Jennifer Harvey

2005 Special Feature Joel-Marc Frappier

Toronto Flower Show Entries: Right: 2016 Rosemary Passafiume-Mclean Bottom: 2018 Maria Tang 2019 CAFA Floral Fashion Show Designed by Jennifer Harvey & Derrick Foss


March 13-22, 2015

Let’s Play

Parklane’s Rain Garden


n an effort to protect our fresh water resources from pollutants and run-off, the Parklane Rain Game challenges visitors to think of how each of us can capture rain in our gardens to help control stormwater run-off and recharge the water table. The visitor will see examples of how to deal with stormwater through rain gardens, a soakaway, infiltration swales, permeable paving and fun artistic downspouts. Visitors are invited to think about the watershed their home is located within and see different ways to play with rain Parklane Landscapes

A t Is a h

R a in Ga r de

n? According to the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, each year in your yard there will be run off from rain and stormwater that will come from your roof, driveway and other hard surfaces. As the water moves toward the street (and sewer system) it can pick up a number of other substances (waste, salt, oils, etc) that can be harmful to water quality and aquatic habitat. A rain garden is a much better use of the stormwater A rain garden is a planted or stone covered bed designed to receive stormwater and allow it to be slowly absorbed into the soil. Rain gardens provide a good habitat for butterflies, birds and other wildlife and it requires little upkeep because it will contain native plants. Parklane Landscapes has a great Rain Garden Calculator on their website that will help you determine the size of the rain garden you should create for your property. For more information on creating a Rain Garden visit the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority website. W

Canada Blooms Newsletter


Picture from LSRCA website.

Plant of the Year! 2015 – Canada Blooms Rose This Hybrid Tea Rose (CA28) is named especially for the Canada Blooms Festival. She has large full petals and an intoxicating fragrance. By: JC Bakker & Sons

ty & Your i l a u Q L awn r e at W The Health Of Our Lakes, Streams And Rivers Is Critically Important To The Ecosystems Around Us. The Cleaner They Are, Meaning Fewer Pollutants, The Better. In the urban environment, runoff (melting snow or rainfall not absorbed by forest, parks and lawns, is immediately ushered into storm sewers or directly into water courses. Along the way, runoff picks up pollutants such as detergents, oils, and soil particles. You might not think so, but soil particles are considered pollutants in water. Indeed whenever we have a big storm, the swollen streams and rivers are brown as a result of soil erosion from various sources, including development. As hokey as it sounds, soil belongs on the land –- not in our water. The more we can limit the amount of runoff, the cleaner our streams and rivers are.

So How Does That Big Green Blob Of Living Plants Called Your Lawn Affect Runoff And Water Quality? • In a well maintained, 3500 square foot lawn there will be 6 turf plants per square inch (25.4 millimetres), 850 turf plants per square foot (30.45 square meters) for a total of 3 million turf plants, in other words that healthy lawn, rather than letting it flow into the storm sewers is a giant sponge, that absorbs large amounts of water. Research compiled by Lakehead University showed that a properly fertilized and well maintained lawn is one of the most efficient ground covers at limiting runoff. But The Benefits Of Your Lawn Don’t Stop There. Consider These Facts: • A dense, healthy lawn prevents run-off, absorbing rainfall six times more effectively than a wheat field and four times better than a hay field. • Up to 90% of the weight of a grass plant is in its roots. • Grass clippings are approximately 90% water, by weight. • Clippings contain nutrients useable to the grass, when left on the lawn. • Turfgrass helps control pollution, trapping much of an estimated 12 million tons (10.9 million metric tons) of dust and dirt released annually into the atmosphere. • A lawn, 50 by 50 feet (15.24 by 15.24 meters) (2,500 square feet or 232 square meters) releases enough oxygen for a family of four, while absorbing carbon dioxide, ozone, hydrogen fluoride, and other airborne pollutants. • The front lawns of 8 average houses have the cooling effect of about 70 tons (68 metric tons) of air conditioning, while the average home-size central air conditioner has only a 3 to 4 ton capacity (2.7 to 3.9 metric tons). Remember: • Lawn fertilizer belongs only on the grass. Sweep up any residual granules left on your driveway or sidewalk, and redeposit on the grass. • Clippings too, belong on only your lawn. Blow clippings from your mower back onto the lawn, not on the street. For more information, visit:

March 11-20, 2016

It’s A Party

Carnival of Colour


andermeer Nursery and Earth Art Landscapes’ Carnival of Colour Garden will transport you back to your childhood, where you can enjoy a fantastic romp in this Topsy-Turvy world of wonders. This stunning garden will provide undeniable visual appeal for any gardener, the abundance of plants will astound viewers with their variety. The Carnival of Colour Garden is full of surprises, both natural and artistic, with something to catch your eye whichever way you look. You may want to make more than one trip through this entertaining garden. Visit Vandermeer Nursery, a family-owned destination garden centre just East of Toronto

Vandermeer Nursery and Earth Art Landscapes

Canada Blooms Opens Stock Exchange

Plant of the Year! 2016 – Garvinea Sweet This vibrant plant provides continuous colour from Spring, through Summer to the end of Autumn. By: Florist Holland

Tropical Plant Care

magazines to blogs, and Instagram posts in FLeafrom between, it’s hard not to notice how popular Fiddle Fig plants (Ficus lyrata) have become. But what

happens when you’re in love with the design aesthetic of a plant but not sure how to care for it? Read below for some tips from everyone’s favourite plant expert at Jill Jensen Botanicals, Randy. Ficus lyrata are surprisingly easy to care for. Like most plants they enjoy a schedule, and benefit best from sticking to one. They do best in bright but filtered light (think a west or south facing window) and need to stay moist. But what does “stay moist” actually mean? Well, throw away your measuring cups because these plants enjoy being watered well, meaning there is no sure way to water it each week. A good rule of thumb is to use your finger and place it down in the soil a few inches. Does the soil stick to your finger and leave you a bit dirty? Or, are you able to easily pull it out with little residue? If your answer is the first then you’re likely okay to wait a few more days before watering. However, if your answer is the second one, then perhaps its time to fill up a jug and give your plant baby some H20. Keep in mind it’s important that your plants have great drainage, and are not sitting in water.

into a home where the AC is on high, or the window has a draft in the winter. If it’s been a few weeks and your fiddle leaf fig doesn’t appear to be getting any happier then it may be time to re-evaluate it’s care schedule and placement. A great tip is to give your plants some fertilizer during the summer when they’re in their active growing stage. Look for a balanced houseplant fertilizer, such as a 20-20-20, and use every 4-6 weeks. Having the bottom leaves drop off during this time is completely normal as your plant is making room for new growth. We’re consistently asked about transplanting plants but tropical plants, including those beautiful fiddle leaf figs, like to be a little pot bound. The best practice is to only plant into a new pot that is 1”-2” larger than the current one. Alternatively, don’t be afraid to just place your ‘grower pot’ potted plant into a decorative pot instead. This way you can easily keep an eye on water levels and there is less stress to the plant as well. If you do need to transplant, stay away from your everyday gardening soil and purchase tropical plant soil from your local greenhouse instead. Spending a little extra money on soil could save you a lot of money on aspirin for the headaches you may have later on

Jill Jensen Botanicals Canada Blooms Blog 2017

What about consistent leaf drop? Are your leaves now soft and big brown patches appearing? Chances are this is due to over watering therefore your fiddle leaf figs needs a little less water and a little more time to dry out between waterings. Drooping leaves? Under watering may be the culprit here but careful not to suddenly give your plants a lot of water to make up for it –- too much is just as bad as too little. All plants may also go through a brief period of stress as they leave the beautiful (warm!) greenhouses they were once habituating to go


March 10-19, 2017

Oh! Canada

Secret Path Garden tells tale of Anishinaabe boy who died after running from residential school


he Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund, which supports connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, documented the building of the Secret Path Garden. “Do Something.” These words are displayed in moss on a wall at Canada Blooms, an annual flower and garden festival that runs this week in Toronto. Nearby, there are stacked river stones, with water trickling down, as if they were tears. The words and stones are close to a large pond, where there are pine trees, granite rocks, lilies and a miniature canoe, with the terrain designed to look like the Canadian Shield. White tulips ring part of the pond. All of these elements are part of the Secret Path Garden at Canada Blooms, the annual garden and flower festival, held this year at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place until Sunday. This garden is inspired by the story of a residential school student, Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old Anishinaabe boy who died after running away from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora, Ont. in October 1966. The focal point of the Secret Path Garden is its large pond. Wenjack’s story also inspired Gord Downie, lead singer of the Tragically Hip, to write 10 poems, which turned into an album, a graphic novel and animated film. Joe Genovese, president of Genoscape Inc. Landscape and Design Services, based in Markham, Ont., said the garden is part of the overall theme of Canada Blooms this year, which is ‘Oh! Canada’, to mark the country’s 150th


birthday, but he wanted to produce a display that presented a fuller picture of Canadian history. “I wanted to do something a little bit deeper in light of the theme given to us by the show organizers,” Genovese said Thursday. When Genovese began thinking about ideas for the project, Downie released his solo album, The Secret Path. “I thought, that’s perfect, that’s the story we are going to tell,” he said. ...“[T]he residential school chapter in Canadian history, which involves thousands of Indigenous children being taken from their families and has triggered years of trauma, needs to be told.” Muriel Draaisma CBC News, March 16, 2017

Plant of the Year! 2017 – Canadian Shield Rose

This versatile rose has more than a one metre spread, with plenty of full, red flowers. By: Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

March 9-18, 2018

Let’s Go To The Movies

Canada Blooms - ‘Let’s Go To The Movies’


his year’s theme, ‘Let’s Go to the Movies’, will be interpreted by designers throughout the show, from the feature gardens to the popular Floral Alley where top professional floral designers showcase their fabulous creations –- think vibrant colours, enchanting scents and loads of beautiful fresh cut flowers. In all, more than 40 feature, small space, balcony and floral gardens will be on display at Canada Blooms this year, in addition to the creations in the Toronto Flower Show. “The feature gardens at Canada Blooms are truly a

spectacle worthy of the Hollywood big screen,” says Terry Caddo, Executive Director of Canada Blooms. “The designs are innovative and creative, with unparalleled execution in landscaping and bringing the garden to life.” A tiny preview of the movie-themed gardens includes: Jungle Book, inspired by the classic Disney adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling tale with a Canadian twist. Stroll through this garden designed and built by Landscape by Evergreen and Elite Environments as characters from the story look down on you and Midnight in Paris, inspired by the Oscar-winning film, evokes a life of romantic imagination with an appreciation of landscape artistry. It is designed and built by Julie Moore Modern Landscape Designers and TriMatrix Construction

Plant of the Year!

Plant of the Year!

Hechura Black Pearl This plant thrives in sun and shade and forms a lustrous mound of ruffled foliage, and is drought tolerant.

Bordeaux This beautiful two-toned purple beauty attracts butterflies, and is a perfect addition to window boxes, hanging baskets or landscape.

2018 – Primo

By: Proven Winners

Theresa Forte, St. Catharines Standard, March 9, 2018 Front Entrance Photo-op Exhibit (above) Concept and design by Susan Sutter and Jennifer Harvey, and created with a number of dedicated volunteers. Flower Dress designed by Jennifer Harvey.

2018 – Supertunia

By: Proven Winners

Plant of the Year!

2018 – Spilled Wine Weigela This plant grows wider than tall, making it the perfect choice for edging beds or walkways. By: Proven Winners


March 10-19, 2019

A Family Affair


Floral Artist of the Year

anada Blooms, Canada’s largest flower and garden [festival], is pleased to announce Bruno Duarte of Fresh Floral Creations as [Canada Blooms] Floral Artist of the Year for 2019. Competing in the first live Floral Artist of the Year Competition, [presented by Jennifer Harvey,] at Canada Blooms on March 15th, Duarte crafted a stunning design to earn top prize of $1,000 and a coveted title. “We are ecstatic to award the title of Floral Artist of the Year to Bruno Duarte,” says Jennifer Harvey, Canadian Certified Floral Designer. “He arranged a breathtaking piece that captured the spirit of this year’s competition and really wowed the judges.”

Twelve of the nation’s top amateur and professional floral designers came out to compete for the title of Floral Artist of the Year, where they were given identical materials and four hours to create an original floral design. Competitors were also tasked to draw inspiration from the theme: ‘The Ties That Bind.’ “It is truly remarkable what competitors were able to accomplish in only a few hours,” says Harvey. “Each designer interpreted the theme from their own perspective to craft masterful displays and brought an incredible level of passion, talent and creativity to the table.”, March 18, 2019


Top: Floral Heart by Bruno Duarte Middle: ‘Cliff City’ by Ecoman, Blooms Tree House Bottom: ‘Garden Re-Mix’ by Green Art Landscape Design

Plant of the Year! 2019 – Electric Love Weigela

Spark up your outdoor space with shockingly vibrant red bell-flowers covering dark foliage for a one-of-a-kind look. It’s compact and showy, great for mixed garden beds or containers. By: Bloomin’ Easy

Presented by Jennifer Harvey with Floral Ambassador Neville Mackay from My Mother’s Bloomers 2019 Winner Floral Artist of the Year Bruno Duarte, Fresh Floral Creations

of the Year Com t s i t r A l a r o l F petiti 2019 on

Silvana Croce

Derrick Harry Foss

Crystal Hill

Trudy Grantham

Trudy Grantham

Lucia Ana Holzapfel

Dominique Houle


Melani Nemiskovic

Rosemary Passafiume-McLean Norma Quilao

2019 Floral Artist of the Year Competitors Sveta Shvedenkova


al r o l F

Garrett Skupinski


i t t i o e p n m o C r e n g i es

Hosted by Jennifer Harvey and ‘Tanner Z’ Zipchen Cineplex Pre-Show Host

2018 Winner Joseph Delarge, eco|stems

Julie Drago

Veena Sagoo

Sveta Shvedenkova

March 10-19, 2020

Birds of A Feather


All Set Up and No Place to Go


`Rada Ristich Brad Higginson

Alma Florists


Award for Most Creative Use of Floral Material

Presented by: Oasis Floral Foam

anada Blooms, Canada’s largest flower and garden festival, has had to suspend its 2020 festival.

On the recommendation of Toronto Public Health and in cooperation with the Enercare Centre and BILD, owner of the Home Show, Canada Blooms organizers have decided to suspend the Festival in the interest of public health and safety.



It is the first time since its founding 24 years ago that Canada Blooms has had to suspend operations. The health and safety of the guests and exhibitors continues to be the main priority for Canada Blooms.

Second Runner Up Award for Best Overall Use of Colour!

Canada Blooms is committed to delivering an exceptional event for our exhibitors and guests and we look forward to our next colourful and vibrant festival.

Canada Blooms Media Release, March 2020



ssional Floral Artist Win Plant of the Year! 2020- Sincerity Dahlia (Dahlia X Hybrid)

The Sincerity, a large pink and white bi-colour flower with a touch of yellow at their centre is compact and dense. The Sincerity was selected for the Editor’s Choice Medal of Excellence Award at Cultivate 2019 By: Syngenta Flowers North America

`Bruno Duarte

Fresh Floral Creations Judge’s Choice Award

First Place (Tie)

! s r ne

`Melani Nemeskovic Floresco(Instagram) @florescogirl Honourable Mention

Award for Best Representation of Floral Theme

Presented by Ontario Flower Growers Co-op



from the

(Feature Gardens) Past

Looking through the pictures of over 600 gardens over 24 years, there were so many

beautiful, colourful and unique gardens from so many talented designers, builders and architects.

We couldn’t include them all, so we chose six of our favourites. we hope you like them too!

2003 ‘The Jewel Bird’ by Mosaicultures Internationales Montreal

2001 ‘Minaki: This Beautiful Land’ by C.C. Tatham & Assoc/Landmark Design

2002 ‘Natures Bounty’ by Oriole Landscaping for Canadian Gardening Magazine

2006 ‘A City Within the Garden’ by City of Brampton

2010 ‘Get Growing Toronto!’ by City of Toronto

2014‘Wet, Wild, Canadian’ by Genoscape

2020 Gardens

Each year, Canada Blooms garden builders show not only their craftsmanship but also creativity as they attempt to build an outstanding garden while keeping the festival theme in mind. Even though Canada Blooms was cancelled, a group of industry professional volunteer judges toured and evaluated the feature gardens and winners were chosen. The Canada Blooms Professional Awards are presented by HUB International.

G11~Mark’s Potting Shed

Canada Blooms and Landscape Ontario would like to thank HUB International and the many garden builders for their efforts, including their outstanding creativity, hard work and dedication in support of this year’s festival. Many thanks also, to the volunteer judges: Bruce Warren, Jeff McMann, Ron Koudys, Rita Weerdenburg, Jon Peter and Chris Flanagan.

G1~This Space is for the Birds

A return to the suggestion of the “good old days” when gardening meant growing vegetables, herbs and flowers.

J Garfield Thompson Landscape U The Tony DiGiovanni Canada Blooms

Judge’s Choice Award for Best Overall Garden U Award for Best Overall Use of Plant Materials U Award for Outstanding Use of Trees

U Award for Outstanding Use of Natural Stone

G13~Flight of Fancy

Being able to turn your outdoor spaces into an area that enhances both biodiversity and your family’s enjoyment of your home, is a very real and fulfilling experience.

The City of Toronto Parks Department is committed to improving the City’s natural environment one plant at time.

City of Toronto |

U Award for Best Overall Creativity in a Garden Design

presented by Canadian Nursery Landscape Association U Award for Outstanding Use of Interior Plants

presented by Ontario Flower Growers Co-operative

U Award for Outstanding Use of Pre-Cast Pavers

G14~Just Be

A garden for people of all cultures to gather together with friends, family and good health.

U Award for Outstanding Use of Walkways

An early spring wetland garden, with birds, nests, grasses and trees. The display would have been filled with a variety of birds and sounds.

Stanley Roszak

U Award for Outstanding Outdoor Entertainment Area

David McEldon Landscape & Design

U Award for Best Use of Containers

G1A~The Nest

Mountainhill Landscape Professionals

G17~Wishing Well Garden Niagara College Students |

U Award for Outstanding Use of Annuals or Perennials

presented by Proven Winners


There were a few bumps on the road during set-up. Unfortunately, snow and ice storms on Thursday and Friday during move-in, resulted in a seven-hour delay of the sand delivery, and only half of the required mulch was received. It was duly noted that the only trucks to arrive on time where the plant material trucks from Brookdale Treeland Nurseries. The BTN drivers looked a little worn when they rolled in with the last trailer at mid-morning on Friday. Garden builders themselves also arrived late due to the bad weather. Ice was falling off the CN Tower, so the north entrance to the south building was closed during the entire move-in. Landscape Ontario, President’s Message 2007


Why Hire A Landscape Ontario Member?

Because Landscape Ontario Members Lead The Green Industry In Providing Quality And Value.

Commitment to high ethical standards is part of membership, and references and job reviews for some business categories are required. Landscape Ontario members strive to elevate the green industry to benefit homeowners and the trade alike. Green for Life is one indicator of LO members’ commitment to work together. Another is Use the site to find members in your area, and view member profiles containing detailed information and photos from member companies. Shop at a Green for Life garden centre, or hire a Green for Life contractor, and know you are doing business with the best. Membership Requirements To become a member in Landscape Ontario, ALL companies must first meet our criteria and have their application reviewed and approved BEFORE they can be accepted as members. In addition to having the basics, Landscape Ontario continually educates members and verifies they have achieved levels of competency and skills (both technical and business management) with various industry certification programs. Tools To Help You Landscape Ontario also exists to educate you, the consumer, with the tools and knowledge you need to make informed buying decisions, get the best value for your money, and access to the best companies to work with. By hiring a Landscape Ontario member, we have already eliminated the fly-by-night companies who do not have the proper education, experience, or insurance in place to work to industry standards. These important tools can be found in the Hire with Confidence section at Industry Awards Each year, many members enter their best work, designs, plant material and displays into a prestigious annual awards competition judged by industry experts. Competition is fierce and not everyone wins an award. The Landscape Ontario Awards of Excellence Program showcases the best work by our members. Check out stunning images of some award-winning projects on our Instagram page.

With more than 2,000 professional members, Landscape Ontario is the province’s premier horticultural trades association. Our mission is to be the leader in representing, promoting and fostering a favourable climate for the advancement of the horticulture industry in Ontario.

Landscape Ontario is a dynamic association offering professional development opportunities, industry trade shows and conferences, consumer events and cost savings benefits. Landscape Ontario is governed by an elected Provincial Board of Directors, of which its members volunteer time and effort to oversee the many programs and functions of the association.

Start Off On The Right Foot Because every job is unique and every customer has different expectations, and every member is unique in talent and experience, Landscape Ontario can not guarantee each and every plant sold and every garden installed by our members. Often different tastes and budgets affect methods used and even standards, municipal codes and bylaws vary from one city to the next. We do, however, provide a formal consumer complaint process, should you have a disagreement with the work done by one of our member companies only if you and the member hired can not come to a mutual agreement. It is important to outline your goals, expectations, budgets and requirements before having any work done to avoid any future disagreements. We aim to strengthen the relationship between our industry and their clients in an effort to promote outdoor living more green spaces and a healthier lifestyle. Visit to find a qualified landscape professionals or to get great gardening advice_


G18~Hall Tree Spading

G36~The Green Metal Garden

G19~Get Lost in a Feather

Jacob’s Gardenscape |

With tranquil sounds of water, birds and the smell of so many florals, people will relax in harmony.

UPLP Group |

U The Dig Safe Builder Award

presented by Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance

U Award for Best Lighting

presented by Landscape Ontario Lighting Sector Group

The same group of plants love to grow together.

U Award for Outstanding Use of Innovative Elements in a Garden

presented by Syngenta

Highlighted Garden G38 Access to Nature

G21~A Pair in a Par-Terre

The old saying, ‘birds of a feather, flock together’, comes to life in my garden in the form of annuals and coleus. Green Art Landscape Design U Award for Outstanding Garden, Medium Size

U The Mark’s Choice Award for Best Use of Landscape Elements U Award for Best Overall Use of Hard Landscape Elements

G22~Dig Safe Garden

Birds (& humans) need a safe world. How we build (Ontario One Call) and what we build (natives for wildlife) matter! Sean James | ORCGA |

G24~Summer Hideout

For over 30 years, Landscape by Evergreen has been committed to quality workmanship and fine detailing. Landscape By Evergreen U Perry Molema Award for Outstanding Use of Water

presented by Aquascape

G25~Haven On Earth

With all the pressures of urban living in the Greater Toronto Area we’ve created, Haven on Earth. Terraform Contracting | U The Healing Garden Award

presented by Sunnybrook Foundation

Every year our urban satyrs become more sterilized as we pave paradise to make way for new families and businesses moving to the city. Natural playgrounds act as an ecological stop over for migrating birds and insects and as a place where kids will develop their love of nature.

Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds

U Award for Outstanding Garden, Large Size

U Landscape Ontario Award for Best Overall Quality of

Workmanship presented by Hub International

U Award for Best Use of Environmental Elements U Award for Best Use of Pollinators

U Award for Outstanding Use of Structures

G39~Celine’s Garden

Families gathering together to spend quality time together in functional outdoor spaces made up of integrated, versatile components inspired this garden. Bancheri Bros | U Award for Outstanding Use of Artistic Elements in a Garden U Award for Outstanding Living Spaces U Award for Best Use of Roses

Supplier of the Year: Softscape Supplier of the Year: Hardscape To view all 2020 Gardens with pictures visit



G23D~The Birds

Don’t let lack of a large garden canvas hold you back! You can get very artistic with a pocket-size garden. Smaller gardens actually are more attractive because they can be more intimate and less expensive, a definite advantage these days. The small-space gardens featured in the Do Up the Doorsteps and Backsteps presented by Oaks Landscape Products are proof positive that you don’t have to skimp on style to get a bang for your buck. Look at how innovative our designers can be in 150-300 sq. ft.


Presented by


Inspired by the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds”, this garden displays a number of bird related metal art pieces. Dusil Design and Landscape |

Environmental awareness and the impact we have on mother nature. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” — Dr. Seuss. Willow Design Group |

U Award for Most Imaginative Garden Design

U Garden Club of Toronto Award for Best Overall Use of Colour


With Beauty and The Birds

Don’t Miss Our New Canada Blooms Inspiration Series

A small front yard can be attractively designed for beauty and curb appeal and also allow ecological systems to thrive. Janet Cox & Stone Meadow Design

G23B~Neighbourhood Flock

See how easy it is to incorporate elements like wildlife habitat, social gathering spaces and tranquil views into your own city plot. Sylvia Szot Landscape Design U Do Up The Doorstep Award

presented by Oaks Landscape Products

G23C~ Raptors of Asia

Asian gardens are meant to reflect the serenity of the natural world. Shapes are tailored and controlled, and stone and water are frequently used elements. Raptors Construction Group | 416-909-2218


G16A~Contemplation of Self Reflection

As a horticulturalist and contemporary abstract artist, our interpretation the theme is to not only look at what brings us together, but also explore what keeps us apart. ExperTrees Horticulture & Landscape Specialists U Award for Best Use of Bulbs

presented by Pioneer Flower Farms

G16C~Backyard Bird Watch

My backyard design is a space for those to gather to enjoy the flora and fauna around them. Using native plants for pollinators and providing shelter for bird and wildlife Landscapes by Jodie Munshaw | U The Unilock Award for Outstanding Garden, Small Size U Do Up The Backstep Award

presented by Oaks Landscape Products (Tie) U The Award for Outstanding

Interpretation of Festival Theme presented by Isuzu Canada

G16D~Edible Caja Garden

Selected plants can do double duty to provide food, shelter, camouflage, and habitat for bird and other pollinators. The Growing Connection U Do Up The Backstep Award

presented by Oaks Landscape Products (Tie)


“My first garden at Canada Blooms was an adventure. We were creating an eco-friendly garden, focusing on rain water and pollinator support. It was a fun challenge since we were using just about every kind of landscaping that my company–-Fern Ridge Landscaping–- did…in a very small space. I was inspired by how well everyone, all the different contractors, worked together and how helpful they all were.

We had pre-built the flagstone pathway, putting chalk arrows and numbers on the stones so it could be reconstructed like a puzzle, but we were unfamiliar with moving skids of stone from place to place and so had not wrapped it in shrink wrap. Everything was fine until it came time to unload, and the machines couldn’t reach far enough into our trailer. I had the (not so) bright idea to tip the trailer up a bit and push the stone pallet onto the forks of the machine. The skid moved about an inch and stopped and I watched in horror as the stone shifted and began to slide down the trailer. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to jump on it and hold it together. I slowwwwwly rode it down the trailer and out onto the ground. Being a giant metal box, and indoors, it boomed like an enormous drum, making everyone look my way. As I lay, face down, on the pile of stone, someone came over and asked if I was ok. I grumbled “I’m FINE!” Many chuckled. It was only after the fact that it occurred to me that I could have used the old Fog Horn Leghorn (from Bugs Bunny) line, “Fortunately I keep my feathers NUMBERED for such an occasion!” Ah well. It was a fun experience and we learned a lot (and sold a really cool job!). Sean James, Sean James Consulting & Design

Growing Great Plants for Canada Blooms


or me, Canada Blooms is all about the plants. As the Director of Horticulture I am scouting for plant material months before the feature garden builders have even presented their garden concepts. It is a fierce competition to be chosen to build a feature garden –- and, designing, building and staffing a feature garden at Canada Blooms is a ton of work.

Every year we showcase about 250,000 individual plants for 10 days. I am always on the lookout for top quality specimens, unusual varieties, and those that will most support the theme –- this year, Wild! It goes without saying, none of these trees, shrubs, roses, perennials and annuals flowers would be naturally growing blooms during mid-March. That is why we have to “force” them, or trick them into thinking spring started back at Christmas time. In the controlled environment of many greenhouses across Ontario, we launch spring just like Mother Nature does. Slow warming, gentle rain (irrigation), some fertilizer and a vigilant eye for any pests or diseases that might wake up too, is all part of the long process of forcing plants to be their best at the festival. Every year has its challenges, and this year has not been an exception. We’ve battled ice-storms, power outages, heavy snow loads and block natural sun, and furnaces that could barely keep up as the fuel tanks emptied faster than any other winter in memory. We do use artificial lights, but faux lighting never substitutes for sunlight. Charlie Dobbin, Canada Blooms Insert, Toronto Star 2014

Did You Know?

Yearly Canada Blooms brings in about ONE QUARTER OF A MILLION plants (including bulbs), valued at over $100,000 at wholesale prices. The Garden Builders bring in an additional 10,000 plants and in 2012 Canada Blooms almost DOUBLED the investment in floral materials, reinforcing our commitment to create a beautiful and unique floral experience.

Have You Ever Wondered What Happens To The Plants After the Festival? March is completely out of season for most plants that you see at Canada Blooms. There are a few greenhouse crops like ferns and azaleas, but there are certainly not enough of them to build a whole event around.

Therefore the Horticulture Director could spend up to 10 months sourcing plants through trade shows and nurseries for top-quality live material. The plants must then be housed, cared for, and forced (or at least tried to force –- nature doesn’t always cooperate), by a team of greenhouse specialists. However, through our (by this we mean the specialists) handiwork these materials are now hitting their prime in March instead of June. After the festival, if garden builders have space they will take back all they can handle until warmer weather arrives, for use in landscape projects. But because we played around with their schedule, some trees and plants will become dormant again and not useful until the following year. At the end of the festival the horticultural team and volunteers start collecting and packing the plants that have survived to head to a new home at seniors’ residences in Toronto. Gerry Ginsberg, an Executive Director of Canada Blooms started the tradition and it has carried on, only missing 2020 due to COVID concerns and 2021. Over the years, our plant material could be seen at schools or maybe you spotted some at another show that happened just after Canada Blooms. And most recently, a number of trees and plant material made its way over to the Toronto Zoo to be used in their exhibits. A perfect solution as they are able to keep the trees warm until they are ready to be planted outside.

In 2019, Deputy Mayor Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 21, Scarborough Centre) and Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee Councillor John Fillion (Ward 18 Willowdale) along with celebrity garden expert Ben Cullen distributed over 600 plants to the residents of Cummer Lodge long-term care home, donated by Canada Blooms and delivered by Procter’s Cartage. “I personally look forward to being a part of the donation every year,” said Terry Caddo, Executive Director of Canada Blooms. “It brings me great pleasure to see how receiving these plants and flowers delights the residents and clients in long-term care homes.”


2021 &Beyond Looking Forward To The Next 25 Years W

ow, we have seen some things over the past 25 years, as so much has been accomplished. The pandemic has given us a chance to reflect and think about where we would like to see 10 ces/ ourselves in the next 25 years. p o T ren There have been so many changes since 1997, and we have no idea what 2047 will look like; but nfehows h o C we can imagine Canada Blooms still going strong, still at the forefront of the garden, horticulture S Bas e Biz gazin and floriculture world. Our festival is an opportunity for people to escape the blahs of winter as Ma they experience an oasis of gardening beauty while snow is still on the ground. It is an opportunity to start planning the garden season, seeking out expert advice from horticultural specialists, en authors and industry professionals. A chance to take a break and admire the eye-candy ard G that the Toronto Flower Show and Competition, Floral Alley –- The Professional Floral Artists 10 ws ld Showcase –- and the Floral Artist of the Year Competition can provide. You can find the latest Top Sho Wor st a he and greatest tools, books, seeds, bulbs and more –- all the marketplace artisans can offer. n T nde NToday I Our festival is just a great day out and we hope that you will be joining us for Co SA many years to come. &U

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Gardens for Urban Living

Small Space Gardens offers inspiration for the small urban yard or balcony Canada is growing increasingly urban, but that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our gardens.

Increasing house density in Canadian cities means there is less outdoor space to call our own. Suburban neighbourhoods have increasingly tight frontage. More townhouses means smaller yards. Towering condominiums means more balconies and less personal green space. But with a little creativity, imagination, innovation and ingenuity, Canadians are making these small spaces work for their green thumbs. “Smart use of containers and maximizing the space available can make any space around your home into a garden,” says Denis Flanagan from Landscape Ontario. “They are just as versatile as a bigger backyard garden, whether you are planting flowers to add a splash of colour and some alluring aromas around your home or growing some delicious, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables that will get you through the summer.” Because they are portable, planter boxes and containers have a versatility that traditional gardens do not. They can be used to enhance the curb appeal of your home, to freshen up the look of your back deck or patio or bringing some greenery into apartment life. They can even come indoors during the winter to keep your garden growing all year long. Mixing planters with terrestrial gardening will give your compact space some flexibility while allowing you to incorporate some hardscaping elements as well. But when selecting the pieces that will make up your garden, award-winning professional landscape designer Melanie Rekola cautions you to choose wisely “A common mistake made by many is choosing everything in small scale for a small backyard, but this technique actually makes a small space appear smaller,” says Rekola, owner and principal designer of Melanie Rekola Landscape Design. 2018 Canada Blooms Insert, Toronto Star March 3, 2018

In 2020 Canada Blooms reached out to celebrities and artists for a fun way to bring awareness to Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto.




G arden e m

Gil d

Margaret Taylor, who is a member of the Garden Club of Toronto, an international floral design competitor and winner, an instructor, as well as a floral judge, took on the project of the Gnome Garden at Canada Blooms.

Margaret assembled a team of volunteers who reached out to celebrities and artists to see if they would be interested in painting gnomes to promote Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto in the form of a silent auction. Margaret then travelled the countryside looking for gnomes –- while she was also planning her design for the WAFA India competition which took place just before Canada Blooms (2020).

image courtesy of

It has been a journey, sometimes fun and sometimes strange –- artists were very creative when painting and finally naming their gnome(s), we lost one gnome along the way, as it was accidentally dropped (oops) and quickly replaced with a backup. One of the wonderful artists passed away suddenly, and her niece stepped in and completed the gnome as a way of honouring her aunt. Each gnome was finally completed, named and pictures taken. Then it happened –COVID-19 officially arrived forcing Canada Blooms to close the festival, much to the disappointment of staff, exhibitors and attendees.


by Angela Argentina Angela is an artist, yoga instructor and chef and vegan food consultant with Kindred Kitchens

Most of you never had to opportunity to see all the gnomes or meet the wonderful artists who donated their time and talent to create each masterpiece, so until 2022, here is a glimpse at these playful creatures and the designers who brought them to life (almost).



by Jeanne Beker Jeanne is a Canadian journalist, media personality and fashion entrepreneur. She hosts “Style Matters with Jeanne Beker” on the Shopping Channel.


by Ben Cullen & Mark Cullen Garden expert Ben is co-author of “Escape to Reality” and owner of Cullen’s Foods. Garden Guru Mark has been broadcasting and writing about the gardening experience since the early 80’s. |


by Jayne Eastwood Canadian icon and renowned actor Jayne Eastwood has showcased her comic talents on many Canadian shows. Don’t miss her web series Hey Lady. – Jayne Eastwood


by Sue Clarkson Sue is a floral designer and artist


By Bruno Duarte Bruno is a professional floral artist, who won the Canada Blooms Floral Artist of the Year 2019 as well as tons of other floral artist awards.


by Frankie “Flowers” Ferragine Frank is one of Canada’s most trusted gardening and weather experts can be seen daily on CityTV Breakfast Television.


by Denis Flangan & Landscape Ontario Team You might remember Denis from ‘One Garden, Two Looks’. Denis recently retired from Landscape Ontario, but he is still an avid gardener.



by Albert Graves Albert has been teaching at Humber College for more than 20 years and is internationally recognized as an expert in the floral design industry.

GULLIVER (somewhere in Lilliput)

by Rex Harrington Rex is one of the most accomplished and acclaimed male dancers of our era. He has been with the National Ballet of Canada for over 20 years.

by Jacquie Jacobs Jacquie is a renowned artist who has had her art displayed in Canada and many European Countries



by Judy James Judy is an artist and floral designer. She volunteers at Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto

Nicole Katsuras Nicole received her Master of Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins School of Art & Design in London.


by Anwar Knight Anwar anchored the local news briefs on CTV News. He reported on community events in the GTA. @anwarknight


by Colin Mochrie & Deb McGrath Colin is a Canadian actor, and improvisational comedian best know for “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Deb is an actress and writer known for Expecting, Getting Along Famously and The Joe Blow Show. | – Debra McGrath


by Mara Sciavetto Mara’s award-winning work has been accepted in to numerous prestigious juried shows, including the Ontario Society of Artists (OSA) and the Art Gallery of Hamilton.


by Darlene Kulig TorontoHOME and Ottawa Life Magazine have featured Darlene’s award winning work, showcasing her vibrant, coast to coast Canadian landscapes.


by Camille Muller Camille is a Certified Master Artist who has had an extensive teaching career and enjoys working in watercolours, acrylics, collage, mixed, and print making.

MARY (in memory of Mary Shaver)

by Meghan Thompson Meghan is a Visual Arts teacher with the Toronto District School Board She also creates comics and illustrations, with on-line galleries at

So That No One Faces Cancer Alone™


by Tanja Taylor Tanja is the Director, Creative Services at RBC Global Asset Management

mission of Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto ZisThe to ensure that all people impacted by any cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community. Emotional and social support are essential to a complete cancer care plan. All networking and support groups, educational workshops and social activities are provided free of charge. By supporting Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto, you are helping them ensure that no one has to face cancer alone. out more or donate, please visit ZTo


by Honourable Mayor John Tory The 65th Mayor of Toronto has spent is life giving back to the city he loves, through his tireless work in public, private sector and philanthropic roles.


by Paul Zammit Paul is a popular speaker at many garden clubs and large garden events, like Canada Blooms and the CNE.

For more bio info on the artists visit: meet-the-gildas-club-gnome-artists


1st: 2019 Vegepod Interactive Play 2nd: 2019 MGOI Educational Series, 2020 Toronto Flower Show Children’s Entries 3rd: 2018 The Veggie Guy Vegetable Workshop, 1998 TriMark Children’s Educational Garden, 2017 Bienenstock Natural Playground 4th: 2019 Green Streets/Wentworth Landscapes, 2012 Bienestock Natural Playground, 2017 Mark’s Choice Gardening Experience Workshops

Canada Blooms and their partners (Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds, Disney, Fafard, the Garden Club of Toronto, Come Alive Outside & Wentworth Landscapes, Landscape Ontario, Mark’s Choice/, Master Gardeners of Ontario, Mattel, Pro-Mix, TriMark, Vegepod, the Veggie Guy (Martin’s Farms) and more; know that getting your hands dirty with activities like gardening, educational and outside play, and enjoying nature are great building block for children to grow upon. Gardening and natural play allow children to discover responsibility and understanding through care of plants and nature; i.e. plants can die without proper care, nature can thrive if left undisturbed or with just a gentle helping hand. They also gain valuable knowledge about the weather and the environment, as well as how to be productive, which can lead to a growing self-confidence. Canada Blooms is proud to participate with partners in creating interactive workshops and demonstrations that will add to those building blocks that create more environmental stewards of tomorrow.

F & e s a n t e u d r r e a s G l i s n a a g c w S o i p h e S c m F ro

Fairy Land

Canada Blooms has partnered with Mattel to create an imaginative gardenscape just for kids. Beth Edney of W Network’s Gardening Gamble has conjured up a fantasy garden that will leave kids breathless. “The inspiration came from Barbie’s latest animated movie, Fairytopia,” says the certified landscape designer. The movie’s garden setting will come to life as Edney’s clever use of pink fabric, lights, fresh flowers and mosaics creates a shimmery, magical world. Families can stroll through the romantic cottage decorated with white-washed furniture and gauzy organza as it sits amidst the fragrant garden of tulips, hyacinths, polka dot plants and hydrangeas. “I started bouncing off the wall with ideas the moment I got the job,” says the owner of the landscaping firm Designs by the Yard. “it’s a great departure from anything I do in real life,” she says with a chuckle. The cottage’s living roof is crowned with fresh flowers, pothos and Creeping Charlie, while the plant materials around the structure are accented by 2.5-metre-high mosaic flowers that Edney cut herself.

THE BIENENSTOCK PLAYFOREST 2015 What better way to celebrate the theme of ‘PLAY’ as well as their new mission ‘to connect people to nature’ than in ‘The Bienenstock Playforest’ with The Canadian Wildlife Federation. Bienenstock’s Natural Playgrounds are now a global phenomenon. The kid in you will never want to leave.

A scavenger hunt is also new this year and is sure to be a hit with the kids, adds Edney, who spends much of the winter teaching at Humber College. “The questions relate to the feature gardens throughout the show, so we’ll ask the kids to find plants that have a pink flower, say, or one that is fragrant,” says the mother of three. “It’s a great way to keep the kids engaged while their parents are looking through the gardens with them,” says Edney. “Once the hunt is complete, the children and their families are invited to the Barbie Fairytopia Lounge, to relax with a craft project or watch the premiere of the movie. “Who knows, the children may learn something or get bit by the gardening bug themselves.” Vena Eaton, Saturday Sun, March 2005

DINOSAUR PRESERVE 2014 by Earthscapes We created a space that would be both a sensory playground and a multi-generational amenity space. In order to capture your imagination, we chose as our theme the most unique and monstrously wild creatures to have walked the face of the earth: dinosaurs

THE MAGICAL WORLD OF TINKER BELL 2010 by Beth Edney, Frank Ferragine & Team Scape for Disney Step into the magical world of Tinker Bell’s Pixie Hollow - a place Disney fairies call home and where every season is an important one. Built through the eyes of a child, this garden is meant to inspire the senses, feel the magic of pixie dust and celebrate the passion of children and their creative minds.


g n i n r a e L n To Encouraging Hands OMaking a Grass Seed Head Ingredients:

TOld stockings TSoil TGrass seed TElastics TPot or yogurt container for it to sit in

TEmbelishments like pipe cleaners, googly eyes, etc TScissors TGlue gun and glue


TTie off one end of the tights.

TPut grass 2-3 generous table spoons of

grass seed in the bottom of tights.

TAdd generous amount of earth to

make a nice sized ball in the tights.

TTie tights or close securely with elastic band. TForm a nose, tying with small elastic. TGlue on embellishments (googly eyes,

pipe cleaners) to make eyes, mouth, etc. TPlace in container. TAdd water and the tights will soak the water into the earth. Don’t make it too wet.

Now that you’ve made a new friend, you’ll have to learn how to take good care of them.

Place your seed head in a very small flower pot or empty clean yogurt container. This will make a nice place for them to live. If you watch closely, your seed head will start to sprout grass hair in 5-30 days depending on the seed used. Remember, each one of those blades of grass is an entire!


Once you’ve given your seed head a place to sit, now it needs a good spot to get light. A bright south facing windowsill is the optimal position in your house.


Add water every so often, you don’t want to keep it too wet or the features may fall off. Also, your friend may get moldy, so best to keep it moist to the touch, not soggy.

General Care

Next up, you need to find a good name to call it. After that, once the grass hair starts to grow, you may need to get your scissors out to give it a trim, again and again. Master Gardeners of Ontario |

1st: 2019 Mark’s Choice/ Gardening Experience Workshop 2nd: 2015 Bienestock Natural Playgrounds 3rd: 2019 Toronto Flower Show Pop Ups


During 2011 there will be a real focus on tree planting programs, with a new bill being passed that officially recognizes National Tree Planting Day. It’s a move to increase awareness for Arbor Week and many other initiatives. So, it seemed fitting that we celebrated tree planting at our largest consumer show, Canada Blooms. In partnership with Communities in Bloom - Ontario and the Ministry of Natural Resources, we organized an event on the main stage on Mar. 18. Many partners made the event a great success. Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey announced her Plant Local Tree Challenge to encourage native tree planting across Ontario. This was followed by the minister announcing tree planting tips as boys from the 7th Milton Scout Troop came on stage and planted tree seedlings. “In my job I see first-hand how planting trees helps us build a better Ontario,” she said. We then invited some special guests to join in the celebration. Lee Rozon from CiB - Ontario organized over 18 mayors, from communities such as Aurora, Lincoln, Tillsonburg, Lake of Bays and Ingersoll, to appear on stage for a fun competition. They were grouped into four teams, representing northern, western, eastern and southern Ontario. A team leader was chosen, and while blindfolded he or she had to plant tree seedlings into pots of compost with hollered instructions from the rest of their team. Apart from a few seedlings being planted upside down and compost spilled down the front of many of the elected officials, everyone had a great time and really got into the spirit of the cause. Several hundred attendees in the audience enthusiastically rallied behind their favourite team. As a reward, audience members were all given a seedling to take home. Denis Flanagan, Landscape Ontario 2011

Make gardening a family affair by getting the kids involved. Here, Shannon Collins, Garden Coordinator of the Teaching Garden at the Civic Garden Centre, offers her tips:

• Make it fun and educational. For example, play games where kids guess the different types of soil (clay, silt, sand, loam, etc.).

• Supply little ones with small tools and discuss ways of using them (i.e. to push the dirt, pat it, dig it).

• Loosen up soil before children start to dig so they don’t get discouraged and explain that it’s easier for the roots to crawl through looser soil (let kids break up the bigger clumps of dirt). • Plant seeds with quick results (beans, sunflowers, peas, pumpkins, nasturtiums).

• Create theme gardens, such as a pizza garden, bean bonanza (race different types of climbing beans), or butterfly garden.

• Show children that they can grow plants in almost any container (old boots, tires, etc.). • Harvest crops with kids so that they can see the whole gardening process, and eat what they grow. Canada Blooms Magazine 2002/Canadian Gardening

image courtesy of


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Canada Blooms challenged two groups of Humber College Landscape Students to each design and build an art garden which will feature planters decorated by students from Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School. High school students designed and painted 10 planters, each planter having its own category such as Math, Science, and English. They are in a totem to represent Learning, Thinking and Doing, all revolving around the festival theme of ‘Let’s Play’. See how the planters differ and also how each of the Humber College Teams created a unique display to showcase them all the while keeping the festival theme in mind. In a third and final challenge, Humber College Landscape Students were asked to design a garden to showcase the Yurt by Yurta. So what is a Yurt? And how do you build a garden around it? This was the challenge given to the team of second year students, and oh ya – also make the garden fit the festival theme. 2015 Canada Blooms Festival Guide, Homes Publishing

Humber College: A Hole in One

Based on this year’s theme ’Let’s Play’ this garden has been designed to invite visitors in to play, explore and gather, all in one place•

Humber College: Take Me Out To The Ball Game The layout is reminiscent to that of a baseball diamond, and includes a home plate and pitchers mound inlays in the patio•


Humber College: Yurta

What is a Yurta? Just see how we build a garden around it•


s l l i k S g And Learnin

n o i t i t e p m o C o i r a kills Ont

Before the Skills Ontario Competition moved to May, visitors used to have the treat of watching College and University teams build and then dismantle a landscape design project right at Canada Blooms. The Skills Ontario Competition offers a unique opportunity for top students to demonstrate that they are the best of the best in their field. Over the five days of the festival, they had an opportunity to impress not only our attendees but also educators, family, friends and prospective employers.

e r w C n e d r a G e h T

2007 University of Guelph

Gardening isn’t all pansies and petunias.

Rocks, dirt, concrete, wood –- and muscles –- also play a major role as teams of college students “landscaped” for record crowds at this year’s Canada Blooms show. “I grew up on a farm and I’m used to hard work,” says Melissa Sparling, 22, as she lugged 60-pound stones around the patio she was building, then grabbed a wheelbarrow full of bricks. She and another Fanshawe College student, Allan Campbell, 21, won the gold medal in landscape gardening awarded Sunday by Skills Canada (Ontario).

2011 Fanshawe College

As visitors celebrated spring by smelling the hyacinths and daffodils that festooned the Direct Energy Centre, students from four colleges toiled with saws and shovels to create identical stone garden structures. This part of landscaping is called “hardscape” while the plants are called “softscape.” The students were marked on their ability to follow the plans drafted by experts and execute difficult tasks such as cutting stone. Campbell, who works summers for a landscaper, says nothing is more satisfying than transforming a “blah” yard. “I love the hard work. At the beginning there is just grass and a fence and at the end of the day there is a waterfall. That’s beautiful.”

2011 Seneca College

Almost half of gardening isn’t about plants all, but the structures that decorate and support the growing part, says Fanshawe instructor Michael Pascoe. It’s a demanding field, he says. “I teach a plant identification course that uses Latin. There is math, chemistry, soil science, accounting, business management, customer service and sales.” T.J. Kotyk, 21 a landscape design student at St. Clair College, says this summer he plans to surprise his parents in Amherstburg by building “a large deck with a pergola” in their backyard. After the judging, the four teams turned around and tore down their creations, taking a lot less time than the 20 hours of construction. Trish Carford, Living Reporter, Toronto Star, 2010

2011 St. Clair College



t h y m h R . t o IG Go t Music 2003 ‘A Botanical Interlude’ with Heritage Perennials by Valleybrook Gardens

2007 ‘Elements of Flower City’ by City of Brampton

2003 ‘Urban Oasis’ by Allweather Landscape

Top 10 Songs About Flowers

Need some lively entertainment for your garden party or just some inspiration when designing an arrangement? Here are our picks: `“A Red, Red Rose” `“Tiptoe Through The Tulips” `“Edelweiss” `“Yellow Rose of Texas” `“Paper Roses” `“Honeysuckle Rose” `“Build Me Up Buttercup” `“Kiss From a Rose” `“I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” `“Roses are Red (Violets are Blue)” Canada Blooms Magazine 2003/Canadian Gardening 2011 Zoki Eclectic Floral Design

2011 ‘Symphony of Delight’ by Elite Environments

A Symphony of Flowers We all know that people are passionate about flowers: their beauty, strength, colour and fragrance inevitably stir the senses. It’s no surprise, then, that flowers have been symbolizing romance for centuries. From “A Red, Red Rose,” by 18th-century Scottish poet Robbie Burns, to more contemporary classics like “Edelweiss,” “Build Me Up Buttercup,” and Tiny Tim’s “Tiptoe Though the Tulips,” it seems only natural that songs about flowers describe the sometimes stormy path of true love. And roses – the symbol of the heart – are featured in more songs than any other flower: red roses, honeysuckle roses and rose gardens have all appeared creating a symphony not only for your ears, but for your nose as well. Suzanne Moutis, Canada Blooms Magazine 2003/Canadian Gardening Magazine


A d s l k Fo r u o C Any o h W thin g Mo re!

2012 Royal Wood

2003 Noel Banavage on saxophone, Ian Thurston on guitar and Alexandra Beard on the Harp.

2015 Canadian Institute of Floral Design

2011 Carolyn Dawn Johnson

2016 ‘Jazz Quartet’ by City of Toronto

2008 ‘Reflections’ by Vast Exteriors

2011 Creations by Gitta

2003 ‘Prelude To A Symphony’ by Colomba Fuller & Landscape Ontario

The Junos At Canada Blooms A lyrical sense of the garden

H Jully Black

Waves of purple tulips will make a fluid and dramatic statement in the garden of Jully Black. The garden designed by Sander Design Landscape Architects is inspired by the lyrics to Black’s song “Running.” “We wanted to translate the lyrics by using flow and geometry,” says Sander Freedman. Organic curving walls, vibrant colours, murals, and video screens will transform the long, thin, rectangular space. “Just like a residential garden, it’s about colour, symmetry and the flow of space.” Freedman made room for interaction in the garden so the visitors can view Jully Black’s blog and engage her on Twitter. KR


aves of purple tulips, a stacked stone wall, a river of wildflowers, the athletic branches of trees framing spring blossoms. This is how five musicians dream about the 40th anniversary of the Juno Awards. The overall theme of Canada blooms is ‘Rhythms’, and visitors will be able to feel it in the feature gardens honouring Ben Heppner, Oscar Peterson, Sarah Harmer, Jully Black and Carolyn Dawn Johnson. Called Juno Rocks, the gardens will reflect the music, spirit and interests of the five stars of the Canadian Music scene.

H Sarah Harmer

Expect to find stone, native plants and edibles in the garden of alternative singer/songwriter Sarah Harmer, designed by Oriole Landscaping. Harmer’s deep involvement in protecting the Niagara Escarpment and her personal love of horticulture will merge in a garden that is intimate and organic. Inspiration comes from limestone walls, garden gates, the shapes of planted farm fields and the rich diversity of Ontario’s plant communities. KR

H Ben Heppner

Opera, country, folk, jazz –- the Juno Rocks gardens reflect the diversity of music with the diversity of plants and creative touch designers who translate music into movement.

“Ben said opera is larger than life, it’s big and bad,” Wright says as she describes the challenge of making a small space at Canada Blooms look like a garden scene from the opera Parsifal. “I’ll use strong colours to give dimension, ornamental grasses for movement, it’s about making something small look big.” Rhododendrons will deliver the intense colour Wright needs for depth, while small grasses will contrast with the skeleton of dramatic looking trees. KR

The garden, theatrical stage that represents opera tenor Ben Heppner’s world will be interpreted by Judith Wright and built by Premier Landscaping. Kathy Renwald, Toronto Star, Saturday March 12, 2011 H Carolyn Dawn Johnson

Lou Savoia has been hunting for inspiration for the garden of country singer Carolyn Dawn Johnson. “I’ve been looking for just the right rocks, for moss, even for dead leaves,” says the president of Evergreen Environments. Talking to Johnson, Savoia learned that she loves natural plantings, water and colour. He’ll be using pink and purple tulips, blue hydrangea, evergreens and a waterfall. Johnson will perform on opening day March 16, 2011. KR

H Oscar Peterson

Social media was never a concern for jazz great Oscar Peterson, but the Juno Award winner spent his whole career engaging people in the vigour of his music. Denis Flanagan of Landscape Ontario and Oscar’s daughter-in-law Lindsay Peterson, along with the City of Toronto, collaborated on the garden which has a grand piano as its centrepiece. The garden reflects Peterson’s interest in photography and the inspiration of his music studio. KR

The Music Continued in 2012

H Sarah Slean and Royal Wood

(by The Great Garden Revival Co.). Wood and Slean are passionate believers in the idea that nature’s gifts can be bountiful for future generations if we steward them correctly. Wood and Slean have made their cultural mark with their own unique sounds, and together they reflect an appreciation for Canadian landscape and an awareness of our connection with it. The two asked for their garden to emphasize the harmonious cycle between nature and man. Rain water will be collected to feed lush vegetation that in turns feeds the soul of the visitor, ultimately creating a harmonious union in one ecosystem. Water features will be carefully built in along with reclaimed and retro man-made structures, inspired by nature’s architecture. Intimate spaces will be incorporated into the lush garden to encourage reflection and meditation. Slean will also create an original painting that will be displayed in the garden. Wood is a 2011 Juno Award nominee for Songwriter of the Year. Slean is a three-time Juno award nominee. Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery, March 1, 2012, Greenhouse Canada

H Keshia Chanté

(by Egreen Design Inc.). Chanté’s inspiration for her garden – titled Blooming System – was to bring her young, fresh personality to Canada Blooms. The garden, which was designed by Egreen Designs Inc, reflects her young, urban lifestyle, with small spaces that play on light and modern materials. The garden is sleek and modern, with stainless steel accents and bright splashes of colour. The modern aesthetic will be complemented by Chanté’s music, which will play on a screen in the garden inviting visitors to experience her and her music. Chanté is a Juno Award winner and six-time nominee. CGCN

H Feist

(by OGS Landscape Services). International break-out artist Feist will channel her musical artistry into a garden installation meant to play on our notions of time. Feist’s garden, titled Past in Present, will give the effect of a space forgotten with time, asking visitors to reminisce on their younger days. Wild, unkept, and a bit rambling, the garden landscape will feature perennials that have their own history and can be relied upon to respond to the seasons and come to you as a surprise every year. Feist has been nominated for 15 Juno Awards, and has won eight times. CGCN

H Jann Arden

(by North 44 Land Design, Tersigni Landscaping and Garden Retreats). Arden’s garden is named Meadow Unplugged, and is inspired by her beautiful country home just outside of Calgary. The garden, led by North 44 Land Design, built by Tersigni Landscaping and designed by North 44 Land Design and Garden Retreats is meant to mimic the beautiful meadow garden and the unique western Canadian landscape. This lyrical meadow garden will feature a small brook and a bench carved with lyrics. While Arden spends much of her life on the road, her garden serves as her retreat, allowing her to take in nature’s tranquil blend of colours and textures. Sometimes, on quiet mornings, deer reveal themselves in the distance. Arden has been nominated for 22 Juno Awards, and has won eight times. CGCN


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Celebrating 150 Years of Canadian Flower Horticulture with a Botanical Art Show by TM Glass Canada Blooms is excited to announce the Botanical Art Exhibition by Artist TM Glass at Canada Blooms 2017. The magical exhibition of photography will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation and 150 years of Canadian flower horticulture.

The still life imagery of TM Glass recalls human nature’s passion for the exquisite beauty that nature brings to flowers. The flower imagery is inspired by the artist’s own garden, and the vases depicted came from collections of the Royal Ontario Museum and Gardiner Ceramic Museum. Canadians became quite passionate about growing beautiful flower gardens early in the nineteenth century, around the time when Queen Victoria signed the British North America Act on July, 1867. Canada Blooms Festival Guide 2016/Homes Publishing

More Art Throughout the Years

2011 Sand Art by Karen Fralich, Bienestock Natural Playgrounds

2006 Topiary Swan City of Brampton

2014 Peacock Chair - Designer: UUFIE Fabricator: RJW Enterprises

2015 Sparklers Parklane Landscapes

2011 Juno Salute Canadian Society of Sugar Artistry

Plant Hope In


2008 Landscape Ontario Garden

2008 Groovy Garden by Garden Retreats

2012 Fountain by Sid’s Ponds

Communities in Bloom (CiB-Cef) and its partners, including the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association and Garden Centres Canada, are working together to summon everyone to create Hope Gardens for 2021. Across Canada and beyond, our goal is to see the land awash with gardens featuring yellow, the international colour of hope. Whether it’s flowers, fruits, shrubs or vegetables – just plant the seeds! From parks to playgrounds, front yards, back yards, balconies, baskets, boulevards, barrels and planters, wherever there’s an empty space to grow, there is room for a plant. Throughout 2021, anyone and everyone, including municipalities, organizations, schools, churches, colleges and universities, clubs, businesses, and individuals can participate by planting a Hope Garden. Share photos of your gardens on CiB’s social media platforms with the hashtag #hopeisgrowing. Once you’ve entered your Hope Garden, you will become eligible for national and global recognition for your efforts! You will also receive a downloadable Hope Garden sign and information about hardy plants and growing tips for success.

Just As People Around The World Took Up Gardening In Record Numbers In 2020, We Expect To See A Yellow Wash Of Hope Growing Around Every Corner In 2021! After All, The Garden Is Where Hope Is Growing! For more information visit or email

Did You Know?

Of the thousands of plants in the festival, none of them is a wallflower. Thanks to the dedication of volunteers like John Valleau in the early years, followed more recently by Master Gardeners Maureen Hulbert and Ellen Eyman, each is labelled with both common and botanical names for easy identification. 2012 Floral Design by Julie Drago


d W n o a n d d e rful l i W Th e W e i r d ,


W d o n n a d e r d f l u i l W , d The Weir

Left Page: Top: 2020 Thunderbird by Dean

McLellan & Team for the Saugeen First Nations, 2018 Rain Garden by Parklane Landscapes Middle: 2017 Snowmen by Land-Con, 2019 Jeans by Alma Florists Bottom: 2012 Curvy Garden by Reford Gardens/Jardins de Metis, 2010 Flora’s Garden by Ronald Holbrook and Associates/Royalty Landscaping

Right Page: Top: 2018 Dragon Fly by City of

Toronto, 2010 Tinkerbell Garden by Beth Edney, Frank Ferragine and Teamscape 2010 Sea Urchins by Reford Gardens Middle: 2012 NDTV Chinese Preformance, 2018 Popcorn by Julie Drago Bottom: 2018 Flowers by City of Toronto, 2006 Ballerina by City of Brampton, 2015 Fairy Garden by Vandermeer Nursery and Earth Art Landscapes•


We Love Gardening and Gardening Loves Us!



that World Naked Gardening (May 1st this year), but if you are show off your assets, you might want to Gardening Exercise Day to get started – it


Day is the first Saturday of May short on sunscreen or don’t want to hang out until June 6 which is National is warmer.

For those who love gardening it is wonderful to hear that gardening can also love us back. Not only do you get hours of enjoyment, a possible bountiful harvest, the joy of being outside, but you might also find that you are helping your health as well. Numerous studies and research have shown that being outside around nature reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune systems, and improves your mood and sleep. Gardening is considered a low-level physical activity, but it is definitely a great workout. Through gardening and lawn care you could be walking, repeatedly moving up and down, pushing a mower, squatting to pick up a wheelbarrow, lifting bags of soil. These strengthen muscles and can increase heart and lung fitness, which then in turn lowers risk of heart disease and stroke, stretching could also reduce injuries in non-garden related activities. We know that gardening can bring peace of mind which can impact your overall health. Caring for something (single plant or whole garden) lets people focus on something new, this can be exciting which enhances your feelings of well being. Seeing a plant come to fruition can be fulfilling (eating your first tomato or pepper), and can also make people very social as they share their bounty, or at least bragging about their bounty, with friends and family. According to Psychology Today*, gardening in particular works to decrease anxiety making you feel better and able to take on challenges. Being outside lifts your spirits, reduces blood pressure helping keep your heart healthy, and helps you sleep better making it easier to cope with life’s problems. Edible gardening encourages healthy eating, by providing only quality food and fresh herbs and vegetables, as well as providing a good impact on the environment – less driving to grocery store, less waste and all those plants clean the air. So, get out there and get gardening!

When You Go Outside Remember To: Y cover up – wear sunscreen, long sleeved shirts and/or hats Y hydrate regularly – drink enough, you are outside working and sweating

Y before starting, walk around your garden determining what needs to be done, this is a good warm up before lifting, stretching or bending Y know your limits – don’t overdo it, split up jobs over time or take a break out of the sun

Y change positions regularly – save your back maybe add a stool instead of bending over


*, Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D., 10 Mental Health Benefits of Gardening

Canada Blooms volunteers are worth their weight in gold! Like many other not-for-profit organizations raising money for good causes, Canada Blooms could only be done with the help of volunteers who have come together working countless hours, to promote horticulture and floriculture at our world-class festival. They generously share their time, talent and expertise, and we want to give a heartfelt acknowledgment of their contributions They are the backbone of our festival and we truly value each and every one. Each year 800- 1100 volunteers join us, bringing with them his or her own unique skills, as they donate their time and energy during the festival, as well as during pre-planning months ahead. Many have been volunteering since the very first festival, and some even volunteer each day of the festival. Our volunteers tell us that not only do they enjoy getting to see the festival after their shifts, but they can meet a great bunch of new friends. Volunteers are asked to participate in a minimum of one 3-4 hour shift. If you are interested, please visit our website: anytime after December 1st to register for the next festival.


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REFLECTIONS REFLECTIONS Those early days were such a wonder for us gardeners and the show continues to exceed everyone’s expectations. Along with other duties, the Ice Cream hostess is still an all time favourite position –- selling ‘Happiness on a Stick’. Sandy Ferry, Volunteer Sandy has been volunteering at Canada Blooms since the very first show!

REFLECTIONS REFLECTIONS Canada Blooms is the one and only walking, talking guide to horticulture and gardening that you’ll ever need. Space allows a naturalistic landscape to be created within and foliage plants provide a lush frame work that is offset by the blooms of flowering plants in all the colours of the rainbow. Maneck Sattha, Volunteer

C a n a da Blo o m s Wi t h

V o l unt e e r s

What visitors to Canada Blooms do not see is the preparation and construction in the days before the show. About 600 volunteers work six days and six nights to put the show together. Untold numbers of trucks dump sand, soil, mulch and bark to begin the construction process. “Crews work around the clock to transform the South Building, of the [Metro Toronto Convention Centre] into a springtime paradise” says Marjorie Lenz, Canada Blooms co-chair and member of the Garden Club of Toronto. “Without the dedication and hard work of both organizations and those that come from across Ontario and Canada, we could not give this gift of spring to Toronto.”

There are volunteers representing each province of the country. Some come for two or three days, work a three-hour shift and see the show for free. The show is always looking for more volunteers to work during the run. “It’s a great way to be part of the celebration,” says Jill Farrow, volunteer co-ordinator and Garden Club of Toronto member, “The more the merrier!” Canada Blooms Insert, Globe & Mail , March 10, 2010


How Do The Garden Designers Create Their Gardens (With Live Material) On The Show Floor Of The [Metro Toronto Convention Centre] In Early March? When you see the vast gardens and array of beautiful displays, it’s hard to imagine that the [Convention Centre] is simply an expanse of bare walls and concrete floors just four-and-a-half days before show opening. The speedy transformation is the work of experts and volunteers, including Charlie Dobbin, horticultural coordinator for Canada Blooms. Dobbin –- who spent 18 years working for one of Canada’s largest plant retailers –- and her colleague David Turnbull rely on a small, dedicated team of about 12 volunteers to get everything in place. Using forklifts and other large machinery, as well as good old-fashioned legwork, the team carries in all the live material, including up to 270 trees –- some as tall as 18 feet –- shrubs, bulbs and more than 2,500 perennials. Meanwhile, landscapers are busy doing the ‘hard’ installations –- erecting walls, mountains, ponds and buildings, and structurally preparing for the live material to come, says Dobbin. It’s a job that requires a lot of help. “There are 30-plus gardens this year, with an approximate crew size of 12 people per garden.” Once each live piece has been delivered to its respective garden and designed, it’s quickly installed. A few tweaks here and there and it’s show time. “It’s phenomenally hard work,” says Dobbin, “but it’s really rewarding.” Leslee Mason-Gnomes CanadaBlooms Magazine 2004 Canadian Gardening Magazine

Did You Know?

REFLECTIONS REFLECTIONS John Wright of Wright Lawn Care Services, is one of Canada Blooms most enthusiast volunteers. His major contribution is operating a forklift that moves pallets of materials, large rocks and virtual truckloads of balled trees into position on the exhibit floor. He coaches newcomers, looks out for safety on the job, and enjoys the challenges that crop up. Helen Keeler, Canada Blooms Magazine 2005/Canadian Gardening

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, Bobcat of Toronto, Coleman Equipment, Connect Equipment, G & L Group, Green Tractors, M.K Rittenhouse, Regional Tractors and more

Do You Have A Garden Dilemma? Why Not

Ask The Experts?


anada Blooms has some of the top experts in Canada (and even a few from the US), who are on-site at the festival to answer floral, garden and landscape questions. You have access to Master Gardeners, Landscape Professionals, Garden Builders, Horticultural Societies, Garden Club and Landscape Ontario Members, and best of all, they are all in one spot and included in the price of admission.

Expert Advice from Horticultural Specialists The Master Gardeners are on hand to offer expert advice. They invite visitors to bring plans, pictures, and quandaries to skilled horticulturalists, and they will soon have you walking away with a number of solutions. They usually have two advice clinics –- one is a drop by, and the other offers a20 minute in depth conversation. The Master Gardeners also teach children’s hands on workshops and demonstrations throughout the festival.

Have a Garden or Landscape Question? Neil Masson from ExperTrees: Landscape, Consultation, Design and Installation ( is on-site most days and available to answer questions about landscape design or tree care. You can also visit with any one of the Canada Blooms feature garden builders, they are considered the best in the business.

Horticultural Happenings This area features organizations who specialize in horticulture, agriculture and nature. One of the cornerstones of Horticultural Happenings is the Ontario Horticultural Association, whose members are the who’s who in garden and horticulture expertise. Other groups who would have been available in 2020 were: The Butchart Gardens, FLAP – Fatal Light Awareness Program, The Gardener Magazine, North American Native Plant Society, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, and World Wildlife Fund Canada.

Garden Club of Toronto The Garden Club of Toronto’s ‘Pop-up’ educational programs take place in the Toronto Flower Show & Competition area. These pop-ups are designed for both children and adults. Not to mention, Garden Club members are some of the best experts when it comes to gardening, so they will never steer you wrong.


As excited as we may be for the arrival of spring, our gardens will need some time and effort to get ready,” says Charlie Dobbin, Director of Horticulture for Canada Blooms. “It is important gardeners still heed the weather and accept that we do live in Canada where a spring frost and snowfall is not unrealistic. We need to choose our plants and prepare accordingly.”

Some Tips For Preparing Your Garden Include:

Get your compost ready. Either stockpile bags from your local garden centre or ensure your home compost is turned and ready. This is vital for a healthy garden.

Start collecting small containers where you can start your seedlings. Get your seeds growing immediately so they are ready to get outside and in the ground by May.

Start browsing on-line, leafing through catalogues or visiting your local garden centre for your seeds, thinking about the colours you want to display and the delicious food you want to grow.


During warmer periods, get out and start prepping your soil. Break it up, get it turned now to save yourself some work during warmer days in late April and early May.

Take a peek in your garage or garden shed and take stock of your garden tools. Make sure everything is in working order, and take note of implements that may need to be replaced.

Clear a space for your potting area, whether it is a corner in your garage or out on your patio. Clean up an old table, maybe give it a fresh coat of paint and when the sunny days are here for good you will have a new potting area ready. Plants like pansies, ranunculus and primula are ideal for early spring planting. They either flourish in cooler temperatures, or use the moist, cool soil to firmly establish themselves for a summer of vibrant colours.

Putting spring bulbs in the ground now will ensure blooms all summer long. Consider bulbs like Gladiolus, Dahlias and Caladiums — although the latter are best planted later in the spring. Canada Blooms Media Release 2014

REFLECTIONS REFLECTIONS This past weekend, I traveled to Toronto, Ontario to attend Canada Blooms, the fabulous and prestigious flower and garden festival. It was truly spectacular with six acres of amazing gardens in full bloom and plenty of vendors selling all of the finest plant materials and products for the garden. Throughout the five days of the show, more than 200 hours of seminars, workshops, and demonstrations are offered from some of the finest garden experts in North America. Canada Blooms is presented by The Home Depot and I was asked to attend to introduce my new Martha Stewart Living line of products, which are sold exclusively at The Home Depot. I demonstrated gardening, planting projects, and ideas for arranging a beautiful outdoor space. Martha Stewart, 2010/03/a-visit-to-canada-blooms.html


Canada Blooms has some of the most world-renowned speakers and prestigious horticultural experts of any Canadian garden festival. These pros donate their time and talent to provide presentations on how-tos, new ideas and a variety of garden-related topics to give visitors a great start to their gardening season. Melissa Achal

Co-owner of Niagara Essential Oils and Blends (Neob Lavender).

Carson Arthur

Landscape designer & tv personality with several shows seen around the world.

Karin Banerd

Karin is a plant and garden consultant.

Helen Battersby

Helen has contributed writing to Garden Making and Trellis magazines, the UK digital magazine IntoGardens, and US With her sister Sarah, she writes the award-winning blog.

Penelope Beaudrow

Penelope is an author, herbal educator and registered herbalist. She is Product Development Specialist and Herbal Educator at Faunus Herbs.

Emma Biggs

Emma Biggs is a young gardener, garden communicator and author who shares her passion for gardening with both adults and youth in talks, on radio, in print, and on video.

Steven Biggs

Steven Biggs is a horticulturalist and writer specializing in gardening, farming, and food production.

Joanna Blanchard

Before she retired, Joanna found gardening a welcome respite from the frustrations of her workday, and she highly recommends “plant therapy” to everyone. She is currently very busy being the Executive Coordinator of the Toronto Master Gardeners.

Wolf Bonham

Wolf is a Landscape Designer and owner of Peace, Love and Landscaping. He has also had the opportunity to study Japanese Garden Design in Japan, and is a certified Feng Shui consultant.

Ken Brown

Ken Brown is a horticultural consultant, writer and photographer. Ken’s been published in several magazines, papers and his blog: has great gardening tips.

Veronica Callinan

Veronica has been a Master Gardener since 2008. Her home garden is a Certified Backyard Habitat, recognized by the Canadian Wildlife Federation.

Tina Cesaroni

Tina has been an active member of the Toronto Master Gardeners for 8 years and helped establish the “Best Practices” policy for their group. Always learning, she loves to share reliable resources that will help urban gardeners develop an eco-friendly space.

Darryl Cheng

If you’ve ever tried to Google houseplant care advice, you’ll probably be left with more questions than answers. Darryl Cheng, author of ‘The New Plant Parent” and creator of House Plant Journal, is here to help!

Colleen Cirillo

Colleen is an avid native plant gardener, and was director of Education at the Toronto Botanical Garden.

Ben Cullen

Ben is a fourth generation gardener, author of “Escape to Reality” and owner of Cullen’s Foods

Mark Cullen

Garden guru, author of 23 books including “Escape to Reality”. Mark was inducted into the Order of Canada.

Pat de Valence

Pat de Valence has been gardening in the Greater Toronto area for over 25 years and has been a Master Gardener for more than ten.

Bruno Duarte

Floral artist and owner of Fresh Floral Creations. Bruno recently won Floral Artist of the year 2019 at Canada Blooms, and second place at Maple Leaf Cup 2019.

Karen Durnin

Karen has been with the Durham Master Gardeners since 2011. She has a certificate in Horticulture from the University of Guelph. Karen enjoys talking with other gardeners interested in increasing biodiversity in their own yards.

Peter Ewins

Pete is the Senior Officer, Species at WWF-Canada.

Frank Ferragine

Frankie Flowers reaches over one million Canadians each week as the gardening expert for BTToronto, CityLine and CityTV News. Frank has authored three bestselling gardening books, “Get Growing”, “Pot it Up!” and his newest, “Power Plants”, on sale everywhere.

Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD

Hitomi is a Japanese Canadian floral artist, demonstrator & educator in the art of floral design. She has guest designed extensively throughout the world.

Jesse Goldfarb

Jesse (a.k.a Teeny Tiny Terra), is a Toronto based houseplant designer and collector. He creates custom terrariums and plant art that add a touch of nature to any living space.

Blake Harris

Young Aussie Blake Harris brings the family business of Vegepod to Canada in 2019. From a small family business which started 10 years ago has now grown to over 10 Countries globally.

Jennifer Harvey CAFA, CFD, AIFD Jennifer has been in the floral industry for almost 20 years, freelancing, consulting and managing several shops across Canada.

Monika Hibbs

Monika is the creative director of the blog and one of Canada’s most influential lifestyle trend setters. Known for gorgeous and inspirational content, the award-winning blog provides a lush landscape rich with the latest trends in entertaining, home decor/interior design, beauty & fashion.

Stacey Hirvela

At Spring Meadow Nursery, Stacey aims to educate and inspire gardeners of all levels of experience. Stacey’s first book, “Edible Spots and Pots”, was published in March 2014 by Rodale.

Joyce Hostyn

Joyce teaches and writes about edible landscaping, forest gardening and renaturing our cities. She has an interest in finding a new approach to gardening in a changing climate.

Maureen Hulbert

As a Toronto Master Gardener since 2008. Maureen enjoys speaking to groups to share her love of the always-fascinating world of plants. She ran Down to Earth Gardens & Design in Toronto for 12 years.

Sean James

Master Gardener, writer and teacher, he has been named by GardenMaking magazine as one of “20 Making a Difference”, gardening has been Sean’s hobby and profession for over 35 years.

Ingrid Janssen

Ingrid has been an avid gardener for most of her life and is a passionate, some would say “crazy gardener”. She is the current co-coordinator of the Durham Master Gardener group.

Lorraine Johnson

Jim Mackiewicz

Jim and wife Lynda own the Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in Toronto. They are instructors in Project Wild/Project Zero sponsored by Can. Wildlife Fed.

Marjorie Mason

Marjorie Mason is an enthusiastic gardener who enjoys sharing her ideas with others. Marjorie hosts “Let’s Get Growing” every Saturday morning from 9-10am on 1580 CKDO and 107.7 FM.

Jeff McMann

Jeff is an ISA certified arborist as well as a graduate of the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture. Jeff has been asked to judge for many programs including the Landscape Awards of Excellence, Canadian Nursery Landscape Assoc. National Awards and Canada Blooms.

Jeanne McRight

Jeanne has been gardening in many conditions for 50 years and is a committed advocate for environmentally sustainable horticultural practices.

Lorraine was the president of the North American Native Plant Society and is the author of numerous books “The Gardener’s Manifesto”, and “City Farmer: Adventures in Urban Food Growing”.

Charlie Nardozzi

Martha, a member of the Mississauga Master Gardeners, has been passionate about container gardening, both the edible and ornamental. Her Mediterranean inspired, container filled patio won an award from Mississauga Blooms.

Tara is a garden writer, editor and author, as well as one quarter of the popular website Savvy Gardening.

Martha Kantorcyzk

Catherine Kavassalis

Catherine is a passionate gardener and conservationist. A scientist, educator and inspirational speaker, Catherine endeavours to stimulate interest and awe in the living world. Catherine has had her own eclectic organic garden featured on several tours.

Signe Langford

A former (self-taught) restaurant chef-owner, Signe now writes and creates recipes for such publications as: The Food Network, GardenMaking and others. Her first book “Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs” was published in 2015; she’s working on her second.

Rebecca Last

Rebecca has been gardening since age 8 and has been a member of Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton since 2005. Her small suburban garden is certified by the Canadian Wildlife Federation as a wildlife habitat.

Charlie is an award winning garden speaker, radio and TV host. He delights in making gardening easy, simple and approachable for all ages. He’s authored 6 books, has radio and TV shows in the Northern US.

Tara Nolan

Carol Pasternak

Carol Pasternak is a highly acclaimed monarch enthusiast, author, teacher, and photographer. Her expertise includes raising common butterflies and moths, and how to bring them to your garden. @monarchcrusader

Gini Sage

Gini Sage has over 30 years of gardening experience in urban and country settings. She graduated from Michigan State University with Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry and earned a diploma in Landscape Design from the University of Guelph.

Kate Seaver M.Sc.

Kate is a Horticulturist, Floral Designer and Garden Décor Expert. She is owner of Kate’s Garden.

Stephen Smith

Stephen works with Urban Forest Associates.

Tony Spencer

Writer by profession and planting designer by passion, Tony Spencer is the creative force behind, an award winning blog exploring the frontiers of naturalistic garden design.

Sylvia Abols Szot

Sylvia has been an avid gardener since she was a young child and has been involved and employed in the horticulture industry for over 30 years. She is a landscape designer. @sylviaszot

Rodger Tschanz

Rodger works in the field of horticulture at the University of Guelph. For over 10 years he has supervised the Ornamental Trial Garden program at the University.

Suzanne Zacharczyk

Suzanne is an active member of the Etobicoke Master Gardeners since September 2009 and is currently their Co-ordinator. She also holds the position Director of Operations for the Master Gardeners of Ontario (MGOI).

Robert Pavlis

Robert is a well-known speaker, author and educator with over 40 years of gardening experience. He publishes the gardening blogs; and

Donna Robertson

Donna Robertson has been involved with Beauti-Tone paint for over 20 years. In that time she has gone from sales to home consultations to becoming a Certified Architectural Technologist.

Stephanie Rose

Stephanie Rose’s most recent book “Garden Alchemy: 80 Recipes and Concoctions for Organic Fertilizers, Plant Elixirs, Potting Mixes, Pest Deterrents and More” came out in 2020. She created the popular blog, where you will find hundreds of DIY garden-related projects.




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Gardening With Emma: Grow and Have Fun Emma Biggs (along with Dad Steven), 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 bean 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. Get your copy at Amazon or Chapters.

Gardening Your Front Yard With her unique combination of DIY/building savvy and gardening expertise, author Tara Nolan (Raised Bed Revolution) of weaves you past the main pitfalls you may encounter when trying to fit a garden or gardens between your home and the street. This beautiful and comprehensive book features inspiration on projects from rain gardens and raised beds to flowers and seating options. Visit or pick up a copy at Amazon or Chapters. Growing Under Cover: Techniques for a More Productive, Weather-Resistant, Pest-Free Garden Increasingly unpredictable weather patterns and pest infestations are challenging today’s vegetable gardeners. But best-selling author Niki Jabbour has a solution: Growing Under Cover. In this in-depth guide, Jabbour shows how to use row covers, shade cloth, low tunnels, cold frames, hoop houses, and other protective structures to create controlled growing spaces for vegetables to thrive. Jabbour highlights the many benefits of using protective covers to plant earlier, eliminate pests, and harvest a healthier, heartier bounty year round. Also check out Niki’s other books “Year Round Veggie Gardener” and “Veggie Garden Re-Mix”. Visit for these and more books, as well as tons of gardening advice. The New Plant Parent: Develop Your Green Thumb and Care for Your House-Plant Family For indoor gardeners everywhere, Darryl Cheng, creator of @HousePlantJournal, offers a new way to grow healthy house plants. He teaches the art of understanding a plant’s needs and giving it a home with the right balance of light, water, and nutrients. After reading this book, the indoor gardener will be far less the passive follower of rules for the care of each species and much more the confident, active grower, relying on observation and insight. And in the process, the plant owner becomes a plant lover, bonded to these beautiful living things by a simple love and appreciation of nature. The New Plant Parent covers all of the basics of growing house plants. Visit:, Amazon or Chapters to get your copy.

For bios on the authors scheduled Canada Blooms 2020 visit:

Pantone Colour(s) of The Year 2021

This year’s Pantone Colour of the Year is actually two colours –– Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (yellow). It somehow seems fitting after everything we have been through in 2020 and 2021 that the colours would highlight strength and hope. The Pantone Colour Institute says Ultimate Gray (PANTONE 17-5104) represents practicality and being rock solid while Illuminating (PANTONE 13-0647) Yellow is optimistic, these two independent colours highlight how different elements come together to support one another. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute states “the union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. So whether you have a small or large garden, it is easy to imagine beautiful sunny flowers surrounded by slate/gray edging.

Here are some picks from Proven Winners (Annuals):

Flambe® Yellow Strawflower Chrysocephalum apiculatum

Double Delight™ Primrose Begonia hybrid

Golden Butterfly® Marguerite Daisy

Proven Accents® Silver Bullet® Artemisia

This bright plant has been known to steal the garden with tufted yellow flowers on silvery foliage. They are very heat and drought tolerant. Spring-Fall (Sun)

This is the golden yellow version of venerable Butterfly Marguerite Daisy, with large daisy flowers that thoroughly cover the plants all summer, no deadheading needed. Spring-Fall (Sun/Part Sun)

Do you believe in love at first sight? This spectacular fragrant variety of begonia makes the ideal hanging basket plant, producing an abundance of scented double flowers. Spring-Summer (Sun/Part Sun)

Fancy yet unfussy, this silver foliage requires little maintenance. Resists deer and rabbits. Spring-Fall (Sun)

Proven Accents® White Licorice Helichrysum

It’s OK to play favourites. Do a little, get a lot. Licorice plants are exceptionally easy to grow. They don’t need much in the way of fertilizers. This vigorous growth and elegant silver-frosted foliage. Spring-Summer (Sun/Part Sun)

Check out these at your local garden centres. For some more ideas visit the Proven Winners website: provenwinners . com

A Flower Bed Too Deep?

The biggest mistake I made in my own perennial garden was to create beds that were too deep to easily control weeds, deadhead blooms, and stake taller perennials at the back. My advice if you’re designing a medium to large border, at strategic spots, create maintenance paths that are sort-of-secret hidden accesses that allow you to get in to do whatever needs to be done. John Valleau, Heritage Perennials by Valleybrook Gardens Canada Blooms Gardening Source Guide 1998/Canadian Gardening Magazine


Canada Has Some Of The Best Gardens In The World! From British Columbia to Newfoundland and everywhere in between you can see a wide array of botanical displays, public gardens and horticultural phenomena. Here are a few of our favourites:


5 Historic Gardens


A Sampling Of Canada’s Most Prestigious Gardens


t UBC Botanical Garden [Vancouver, BC]. Botanical gardens came late to Canada, as many provinces had trouble raising sufficient funds to under take them until the second half of the 20th century. Established in 1916. UBC Botanical garden was the first, and it flourished under the directorship of John Davidson, British Columbia’s first provincial botanist. Its original mission was to research the native flora of the province.


t The Butchart Gardens [Brentwood Bay, BC]. In 1904, Jennie Butchart began to cultivate a quarry site on Vancouver Island, which was where her husband had once produced cement. Now 100 years later, this 55-acre site draws visitors from all over the globe. The family also continues to enhance the exquisite gardens, which include a Sunken Garden and a charming Rose Garden. HK

3 4 5

*Did you know? The gardens were the inspiration for the Canadian Pavilion at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Florida in 1982. There are 6 gardens to explore including the Japanese Garden, Italian Garden and Mediterranean Garden.

t Allan Gardens [Toronto, ON] began in 1858 when the Honourable George William Allan, a prominent local politician and cultural leader, offered a five-acre oval of land at Sherbourne and Carlton streets to the Toronto Horticultural Society. A greenhouse with fabulous plants helps make this amazing garden a must-see all year-round. t Reford Gardens/Les Jardins De Metis [Prince, QC], located at the confluence of the metis and St. Lawrence rivers, was founded by Elise Reford, who transformed her riverside property into a garden. From 1920 to 1950. She designed and developed a garden that is renowned for its unique botanical collection and careful integration of plants in a naturalistic setting. t Halifax Public Gardens [Halifax, NS], designed in the 1830s as a private garden, is an authentic Victorian garden. It was developed over a number of decades, first seeing expansion over the next 20 years. Later, in the 1870s Richard Power, a well-known Scottish gardener, designed the large sloping serpentine beds and brought the park’s four quadrants together under one overall plan. In the following two decades, stone bridges, fountains, statuary and other embellishments ere added and preserved.


Helen Keeler, Canada Blooms Magazine 2004, Canadian Gardening Magazine

*10 facts about Butchart Gardens | Vancouver Island, Note: The Butchart Gardens photo courtesy of the Butchart Gardens

All photos and garden descriptions on page 87 are from Canada’s Garden Route/

A Few More to Consider

These Gardens Might Not Be As Old, But They Are Definitely Worth Seeing! t Royal Botanical Gardens [Burlington, ON]. The Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) is Canada’s largest botanical garden, boasting five distinct cultivated garden areas that feature dozens of celebrated collections representing approximately 40,000 plants. Natural areas provide over 27 kilometres of scenic nature trails brimming with thousands of native plant and animal species. Recognized as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, RBG protects and preserves 2,400 acres of environmentally sensitive nature sanctuaries, ensuring a balanced relationship between people and nature, connecting us to natural spaces where plant and animal life can thrive. t Jardin botanique de Montréal [Montreal, QC]. One of the city’s jewels and recognized as one of the world’s greatest botanical gardens, the Jardin botanique de Montréal, with its 75 hectares, presents a remarkably diverse array of plants. Explore its beauty through its more than 30 themed gardens. Located just minutes from downtown Montréal, right near the Olympic Park and the Pie-IX métro station, the Jardin botanique de Montréal is the perfect place to enjoy fresh air and natural beauty. t Kingsbrae Garden [St. Andrews, NB]. Kingsbrae Garden is a magnificent, 11-hectare horticultural masterpiece, nestled within the heart of St. Andrews. It is open daily for all to enjoy, from mid-May until mid-October. The constantly changing Garden has over 50,000 trees, shrubs and perennials in numerous themed gardens, a genuine 1/3 scale Dutch windmill, ponds, streams and woodland trails, extending a natural invitation to return again and again, as the seasons change. The Garden Café offers light meals indoors or on the terrace, with a stunning view of Ministers Island and Passamaquoddy Bay.

t Toronto Botanical Garden [Toronto, ON]. The Toronto Botanical Garden offers an array of 17 award-winning themed gardens spanning nearly four acres, designed to educate and inspire. You’ll also find a complete range of innovative indoor and outdoor learning experiences for all ages including programs, garden tours, nature day camps, field trips and an extensive horticultural library; LEED Silver Certified Building with an energy-efficient sloping green roof and award-winning ecologically conscious design; rental facilities; garden shop and seasonal café.

There are so many of beautiful gardens, horticultural exhibits and garden related events to discover in Canada, and if you are looking for a comprehensive list of Canadian gardens and garden experiences then you must explore Canada’s Garden Route. This guide will help you plan your next trip to some of the best examples of ornamental horticulture the country has to offer.


Happy Bees Apiary

Harrison Ice Cream Hoff Eco-Mercantile

Holland Bulb Market

Advanced Tree Care

Crate 61 Organics

AM740/Zoomer Radio


Horticultural Happenings

Arctic Acres

David McEldon Landscaping

Arctic Finland House

Deck Store, The

Art of Nova Scotia, The


LEAF – Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests

Ashford Twist, The

Dig Safe

Ontario Horticultural Association

Atlas Trove


North American Native Plant Society

Autism Speaks Canada Bancheri Bros


World Wildlife Fund/Carolinian Canada Coalition

Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds

Flexstone Ontario

Florabunda Seeds

Butchart Gardens

FLAP – Fatal Light Awareness Program


IOBIONICS Automatic Grow System

Bosman Home Front

Floral Alley

Isuzu Canada

Cabana Landscaping



Flower Workshop

Canada Tree Service Canadian Garden Council

Fresh Floral Creations

Canadian Nursery Landscape Assoc.

Gatto Flowers

Canadian Assoc. of Retired Persons

Joezel Yumul


Kawa Canada Corp

CCS Construction Group

G. C. Duke Equipment

Ladder Be Gone

Century Architexture

Garage Floors 4 Less


City of Toronto

Gilda’s Club Gnome Garden

Landscape by Evergreen

Classical 96.3 Radio


Landscape Ontario Design Group

Concrete Craft

Green Art Landscape Design

Lavender Cart, The

Condo Handyman

GRO4 Organics

Lavender Hills

Condo Kandy

Guzel Lights


Hall Tree Spading/Beech Nursery Group

Limestone Trail Co.

Bonheur Exotic Wood Timepieces


Alma Florist Floresco @GuzelLights

J. Garfield Thompson Landscape

Jacob’s Gardenscape

JB Kim Landscaping

Just Verticals

Kate’s Garden

Mark’s Choice Gardening Experience

Master Gardener’s Advice Clinics

Mountainhill Landscape

Niagara College Students

Neob Lavender

Northern Marketing

Oaks Landscape Products DO UP THE DOORSTEPS & BACKSTEPS Dusil Design & Landscaping

Janet Cox -Stone Meadow Design @stonemeadow.designs

Raptor Construction Sylvia Szot Landscape Design @sylviaszot

Willow Design


Landscape Design by Jodie Munshaw

Roses Without Thorns

Tropical Expressions

Rossi’s Wood

Tung Hoi Aquarium Unilock

Royal Ontario Museum

Sculptures in Bronze

Sean James Consulting

Select Marketing Canada Limited

Ontario Flower Growers Co-op.

Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance

Paradigm Electronics

Perfect Sealing

Practical Art

Protégé Casual Outdoor Living

Proven Winners

ROCA Construction

Urban Harvest Organic Seeds


Water Doctor

Sprout Growers

Wee Tartan Shop, The

Suncoast Enclosures

Wild Birds Unlimited

Surf & Turf Instant Shelters

Symphony Garden Design @symphonygardendesign


Terraform Contracting

Tiny Homes & Gardens

Laneway Suites She Shed by Beauti-Tone

Something Extra

One Alliance Group One Floral

UPLP Group

Vineland Research & Innovation Centre

Bonneville Homes

Shenzhen Kimco

The Growing Connection en/beauti-tone

True North Tiny Homes

Tiki Dave



Toronto Botanical Garden

Toronto Flower Show

Toronto Star


Aurora Borealis Vineland Research & Innovation Centre

Page 8

Top picks for 2021 Landscape Ontario


‘Timeless Secrets’ by Boot’s Landscaping & Maintenance/Len Hordyk Landscape Ontario

Page 10

1998 Garden Sheridan Nurseries Michelle C. Dunn 1999 Garden ‘Woods & Water’ by Evergreen Environments Michelle C Dunn Karen & Steven Image Silvia Pecota,Toronto Sun, Mar 7/99

Page 11

Maple Leaf Forever 2012 Maple Leaf by Landscape Ontario Landscape Ontario 2001 Maple Leaf Wall by Rainbow Greenhouses Unknown 2017 City of Toronto 150 Canadian Institute of Floral Design and 150 Logo in Flowers Canada Blooms

Page 14

Toronto Flower Show Rosemary Passafiume -Mclean Entry Ursula Eley Marisa Bergagnini and Lynda Summerville Entries Garden Club of Toronto

Page 15

Re-Connections Leaf & Chain James Tovey Karen Smith Entry Karen Smith June Peckham Entry June Peckham Floral Carpet David Ohashi

Page 16

International Entries Ursula Eley

Page 17

2020 International Entries Virginia Rolf


Page 18

Judy Zinni Entry Ursula Eley

Page 19

Workshop & Floral Cakes Jacqui Miller

Page 20

Guests at Canada Blooms Justin & Colin and David Onley Tom Sandler Pooja Handa, Susan Hay & Peter Kent, Marilyn Lightstone, Enza ‘SuperModel’ Anderson, Kathleen Wynne, Martha Stewart, Joe Pantelone, Tanner Zipchen, Rob Ford, Andria Case, Gnomeo & Juliet, ‘Elvis’ Roy LeBlanc David Ohashi Peter Strauss Bruce Zinger Pond Stars Pond Stars

Page 22

Flower Show Amusement Park Unknown

Page 23

‘Prelude to a Symphony’ by Colomba Fuller & Landscape Ontario and ‘A Symphony of Change’ by D.A. Gracey & Associates Unknown

Page 24

‘Paws Awhile’ by Elias + Assoc. and Ekanuba Bruce Zinger

Page 25

2005 Poster Image Karen Lim ‘Hesperides’ by Janet Rosenberg and Assoc. for Loblaws Unknown

Page 26

2006 Poster Image Karen Lim Stamp Images Debbie Adams/ Canada Post

Page 28

2007 Poster Image Karen Lim ‘Sculptural Elements by Shawn Gallaugher Unknown

Page 29

Ecotopia Garden Unknown

Page 30

Window Boxes Rex Harrington & David Rocco Tom Sandler

Page 31

Centre Planter Landscape Ontario

Page 32

‘Yellow Beacon’ by Scott Torrance LA Inc. for the Canadian Cancer Society and ‘Sea Urchins’ by Reford Gardens/Jardins de Metis Landscape Ontario

Page 33

2011 Poster Magnolia Bruno Crescia Kalanchoe Wall Entrance by Landscape Ontario David Ohashi

Page 34

‘International Garden’ by Ronald Holbrook & Associates/Royalty Landscaping for Taipei, Taiwan David Ohashi

Page 35

2013 Poster Hellebore Rob Price

Flower Fashion Show: Jennifer Harvey & Derrick Foss David Ohashi Joel-Mark Frappier Dress Martin Charette

Page 38

‘Rain Garden’ by Parklane Landscapes David Ohashi How Does A Rain Garden Work? Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

Page 40

‘Carnival of Colour’ by Vandermeer Nursery and Earth Art Landscapes Shoot Photographic Canada Blooms Opens TSX Canada Blooms

Page 41

‘Secret Path’ by Genoscape for the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund David Ohashi

Page 42

Let’s Go to the Movies David Ohashi

Page 44

Bruno Duarte Floral Heart, ‘Cliff City’ by Ecoman, and Tree House David Ohashi ‘Garden Re-Mix’ by Green Art Landscape Design Shoot Photographic

‘Chinese Culture Garden’ by Pacific East Landscaping for NDTTV, NDTTV, Cultural Evening Performer,and ‘A Spring Gathering’ by Parklane Landscape for Tourism Ireland,and Tourism Ireland Performers David Ohashi

Page 45 &46

Page 36

2020 Professional Floral Artist Entries David Ohashi

Professional Floral Showcase Fresh Floral Creations & The Flower Workshop Rebecca Freeman

Page 37

Name the Dress Toronto Flower Show Entry: Sandra Williamson, CAFA Fashion Show: Designed by Brad Higginson & Inta Taurins and Designed by Veena Sagoo and Professional Floral Showcase: Designed by Jennifer Harvey Toronto Flower Show Entries: Rosemary Passafiume-McLean & Maria Tang, and CAFA

Jennifer Harvey Jennifer Harvey Neville Mackay Limelight Group Floral Artist & Designer Entries 2018/2019 David Ohashi

Page 47

Page 48

‘Jewel Bird’ by Mosaiculture Internationales Montreal and ‘A City Within the Garden’ by City of Brampton Bruce Zinger ‘Minaki: This Beautiful Land’ by C.C. Tatham & Assoc/Landmark Design and ‘Natures Bounty’ by Oriole Landscaping Unknown ‘Get Growing Toronto!’ by City of Toronto Shoot Photographic

2014‘Wet, Wild, Canadian’ by Genoscape Rebecca Freeman

Page 49

‘This Space is for the Birds’ by City of Toronto Sonya Dittkrist Mark’s Potting Shed by J Garfield Thompson Landscape for Mark Cullen David Ohashi

Page 50

2011 ‘Green For Life’ by Landscape Ontario David Ohashi

Page 51

‘A Pair in Par-Terre’ by Green Art Landscaping Sonya Dittkrist ‘Access to Nature’ by Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds Rendering Natural Playgrounds

Page 52

Shoes (modified) Original Entry: Judy James Original Photo Trish Symons ‘Unless’ by Willow Design Group Sonya Dittkrist

Page 53

Shoes (modified) Original Entry by Rosemary Smyth Original Photo Trish Symons ‘Backyard Bird Watch’ by Landscapes by Jodie Munshaw Sonya Dittkrist Edible Caja Garden by The Growing Connection David Ohashi

Page 54 & 55

Coleus and Roses at Otter Greenhouses David Turnbull Cummer Lodge Donation City of Toronto

Page 57 & 61

Gilda’s Gnome Garden Sayeh Sun Studio

Page 62

Vegepod Interactive Play Unknown MGOI Educational Series, The Veggie Guy Workshop, Mark’s Choice Gardening Experience Workshop Canada Blooms Toronto FlowerShow Children’s Entries Sonya Dittkrist TriMark Children’s Educational Garden Michelle C Dunn

Bienenstock Natural Playground (x2) David Ohashi Green Streets Play Zone/Wentworth Landscapes Shoot Photographic

Page 63

‘Bienenstock PlayForest’ by Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds and ‘Dinosaur Preserve’ by Earthscapes David Ohashi ‘Magical World of Tinkerbell’ Rendering Beth Edney, Frank Ferragine & Teamscape

Page 64

Toronto Flower Show ‘Pop Ups’, Mark’s Choice Gardening Experience, and Bienenstock Natural PlayForest David Ohashi

Page 65

Boyscouts at Blooms Landscape Ontario

Page 66

Science Fair Rodger Tschanz Humber College Entries David Ohashi

Page 67

Skills 2011 Fanshawe College, Seneca College and St. Clair College David Ohashi 2007 University of Guelph Unknown

Page 68 & 69

‘Elements of Flower City’ by City of Brampton Piano, ‘Urban Oasis’ by Allweather Brass Fountain and ‘Prelude to A Symphony’ by Colomba Fuller and Landscape Ontario

Unknown ‘Symphony of Delight’ by Elite Environments, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, ‘Cork Jazz Quartet’ by City of Toronto, Floral Design by Creations by Gitta and Royal Wood David Ohashi ‘A Botanical Interlude’ Heritage Rendering Valleyview Zoki Eclectic Treble Clef Canadian Institute of Floral Design Treble Clef Canada Blooms Noel Banavage, Ian Thurston and Alexandra Beard Noel Banavage

‘Reflections’ by Vast Exteriors Artwork Jody Guser

Page 70 & 71

Juno Awards ‘Running’ by Jully Black and Sander Design Landscape, ‘Sarah’s Garden’ by Sarah Harmer and Oriole Landscaping, ‘Ben’s World’ by Ben Heppner and Judith Wright & Associates, ‘Teach Me’ by Carolyn Dawn Johnson & Evergreen Environments, and ‘Tribute to Oscar Peterson’ by Lindsay Peterson and Denis Flanagan Jully Black Image Di Mora Sarah Harmer Image Anita Doran Ben Heppner Image @Sebastian Hanel/DG Carolyn Dawn Johnson Image Kristen Barlow Oscar Peterson Image Plum Communications/ ‘Bountiful’ by Royal Wood, Sarah Slean and Great Garden Revival, ‘Blooming System’ by Keshia Chanté and Egreen Design, ‘Past in Present’ by Feist and OSG Landscaping, ‘Meadow Unplugged’ by Jann Arden,North 44 Land Design, Tersigni Landscaping and Garden Retreats David Ohashi Royal Wood & Sarah Slean Images Ivan Otis Keshia Chanté Image Rayan Ayash Feist Image Mari Rozzi Jann Arden Image Andrew MacNaughtan

Page 72 & 73

Blooming Art Botanical Art Show by TM Glass TM Glass ‘A City Within the Garden’ by City of Brampton Swan Bruce Zinger Sand Art Bear by Karen Fralich in Beinenstock Natural Playgrounds, Peacock Chair designed by UUFIE/RJW Enterprises, ‘Rain Garden’ by Parklane

Sparklers, Canadian Society of Sugar Artistry salute to Junos David Ohashi Tools in Landscape Ontario Garden and ‘Groovy Garden’ by Garden Retreats Landscape Ontario Water Fountain by Sid’s Ponds David Ohashi Floral Design by Julie Drago Martins Flowers

Page 74 & 75

Weird, Wild & Wonderful Dry Stone Wall by Dry Stone Guild for Saugeen First Nations, ‘Year Round Fun’ by Land-Con Snowmen, ‘Jeans’ by Rita Ristich and Brad Higginson, Curvy Garden by Reford Gardens/Jardins de Metis, Tinkerbell by Beth Edney, Frank Ferragine & Teamscape, NDTV Chinese Dragon, Popcorn by Julie Drago,

and ‘Fairy Frolic’ by Vandermeer Nursery and Earth Art Landscaping David Ohashi ‘Rain Garden’ by Parklane Landscapes, ‘The Pollinator’ by City of Toronto Dragonfly and Large Flowers Shoot Photographic ‘Flora’s Garden’ by Ronald Holbrook & Associates and Royalty Landscaping and Sea Urchins by Reford Gardens/Jardins de Metis Landscape Ontario

‘A City Within the Garden’ by City of Brampton Ballerina Topiary Bruce Zinger

Page 78 & 79

Volunteers 1- David Ohashi 2- Bruce Zinger 3- Canada Blooms Equipment & Set Up 1,2,3 - David Ohashi 4- David Turnbull

Page 80

Ask The Experts Master Gardeners of Ontario, Landscape Experts ExperTrees and Ontario Horticultural Society David Ohashi

Page 85

Pantone Colours of the Year/Proven Winners Picks Proven Winners

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