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Canada Blooms booms for another ten-day gardening extravaganza
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale


Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at

May 7, 2017

Above, Canada Blooms’ Canada 150 symbol done in spring-flowering bulbs. Below, George Carpenter, a resident of Toronto’s Kipling Acres long-term care home receives a pot of tulips from Terry Caddo, the show’s general manager.
Photos by Canada Blooms.




The now extended Canada Blooms (the Toronto flower and garden show) was held March 9 to 18 at the Enercare Centre in Exhibition Place, in conjunction with the National Home Show.

The Show tells us the attendance was 174,000 over the ten days. Over 30 gardens, including the Oaks by Brampton Brick 'Do Up the Doorsteps' and 'Do Up the Backsteps’ which showed visitors what could be accomplished in a small (9.3 to 18.6 m2 space (100-200 sq. ft.) setting; also the impressive Secret Path garden by Genoscape with the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack fund, as well as beautiful displays by top garden builders designed to celebrate Canada's sesquicentennial.

The Toronto Flower Show presented by the Garden Club of Toronto featured the best in Horticulture and Design, showcasing an impressive number of displays from International competitors (through the WAFA [World Association of Flower Arrangers] organization; coming from South Africa, Canada, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Italy, Ireland and United States, as well as Ikebana Schools and local challengers. Eight professional floral artists showcased their interpretation of the theme "Coast to Coast".

The Canada Blooms version of the Canada 150 logo welcomed visitors to the Garden Hall. The logo was packed with bright spring flowering bulbs donated by Pioneer Flower Farms.

The Gardening Experience by Fafard Peat provided children from 5 to 95 the opportunity to learn about soil, planting and seeds/seedlings (courtesy of Somerville Seedlings, Ontario Seed Company and Martin Farms).

The Garden Marketplace was filled with a wide variety of vendors promoting products and ser-vices related to gardening, landscaping, garden accents, outdoor living and everything else needed to get the garden season started.

The winner of the Tony DiGiovannin Garden of the Year (Judge's Choice) Award was Tranquility by J. Garfield Thompson Landscape, who also won the S.G. Ulbright Award for out-standing garden, medium size and the Leslie L. Solty Memorial Award for best overall creativity in garden design.

The winner of the Toronto Star's People's Choice Award was The Secret Path by Genoscape in association with the Gord Downie/Chanie Wenjack Foundation and Vineland Research & Innovation Centre. Genoscape also won The Gordon A. MacEachern Award for outstanding garden, large size and outstanding use of walkways.

This year's Canada Blooms stages saw everything from small space gardening with Paul Zammit's Designing with Succulents, Owen Reeves' Edible Container Gardens, Jennifer Reynold's Having Fun with Container Gardens and Ken Brown's Vertical Vegetables to cooking ideas from Signe Langford's Fresh Eggs and Happy Chickens and Yvonne Tremblay's Cooking with Fresh Coriander to Pollinators, Gardens from Around Canada and the World, Tree Care and proper care of garden tools with Troy-Bilt.

Spring blossomed at one long-term care home in Etobicoke, thanks to the donation of hundreds of plants from Canada's largest flower and garden festival.

On Tuesday, March 21, Canada Blooms helped bring a little taste of spring to the lives of Kipling Acres residents with a delivery of more than 600 colourful flowers, plants and bulbs.

"I'm so pleased that we've been able to carry on this tradition for a full decade," Canada Blooms General Manager Terry Caddo said in a statement, noting that 2017 marks the tenth year the festival has brought the joy of spring to a City of Toronto long-term care home.

"Every year, after the success of the Canada Blooms festival, I look forward to seeing the joy that this donation brings to the residents."

Visitors at Canada Blooms were asked to vote for their favourite Feature Garden and Floral Display, in the Toronto Star "People's Choice" Award, for an opportunity to win a trip to Victoria, BC. Prize included a two night stay at the Oswego Hotel, airfare and a delightful afternoon tea at the majestic Butchart Gardens. Congratulations to the winner, Mike Intven, St. Thomas, Ontario.

As part of Earth Day celebrations on April 23, 2017, the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute enlisted the help of volunteers to honour the Canadian men and women who both served and gave their lives for their country. Volunteers witnessed a special ceremony, hosted by Ziya Tong of Discovery's flagship program, Daily Planet, which also featured a special performance by JUNO Award winning group, The Trews, who performed the hit song, Highway of Heroes.


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