Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Diary April 2007 - Canada Blooms

By late winter, most gardeners I know are getting pretty antsy!! It’s still too cold to do anything outside. Warm days get our hopes up then the same hopes get dashed when a snowfall hits and temperatures drop.
What to do? Go to Canada Blooms, of course!
It’s billed as “Canada’s biggest and most extravagant indoor garden show” and so it is! 250 exhibitors, 40 feature gardens, 80,000 flower bulbs and more than 3, 000 perennials.
I hadn’t been to the show for several years so I was really looking forward to it! Plus my talented cousin Laila, a landscape architect, had been instrumental in putting together one of the exhibits so I was eager to see it.
The mood was set by a beautiful sculpture/flower design at the top of the escalator before heading down to the main show:

At the bottom of the long escalator, we purchased tickets, checked coats and were greeted by bright beautiful colours:

Then into the show we went!
It’s not only the colours that greet you but also the gorgeous fragrances:

This year’s theme was Elements, the transformation of earth, wind, fire and water into garden creations. Each of the exhibit gardens incorporated the theme in its own way. Here are a few examples:

My cousin Laila’s marvelous creation won “Outstanding Use of Structure” It’s easy to see why!

For many days prior to the show, all material was brought into the Convention Centre. Ponds, pools, waterfalls, brick walls and walkways were built on a sand base. Then the plant material was placed according to the design.
Laila told me they set up in freezing conditions. I later read an article by Art Drysdale where he explained how this came about:
We had an ice storm prior to the show installation. Then as the weather warmed slightly and the winds picked up, there was fear that sheets of ice would fall off the Toronto skyscrapers, including the CN Tower! Streets were roped off - even a section of the Gardiner Expressway was closed! For one day, there was no access to the Hall. On the final move-in day, the back doors were kept open longer than usual to accommodate the backlog. Exhibitors worked in icy cold conditions and some plant material was damaged (we saw some very sad-looking orchids).
Bravo to all exhibitors and builders who braved these circumstances to create a most wonderful show which included unbelievable floral arrangements

and wonderful stretches of spring bulbs.
Shows like Canada Blooms inspire and give hope to gardeners like myself who can hardly wait to get “out there” and get planting!!

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