After years of hearing about it, yesterday I headed down to Toronto with high expectations. Two tickets in hand, I met up with a great friend and after a leisurely fresh breakfast, we toddled over to the old CNE grounds for our day of adventure and inspiration.
To get to Canada Blooms first visitors have to navigate the crazy construction on the grounds of the EX, requiring creative approaches to finding parking, and quick stepping across four lanes of traffic. Once in the building (which is rather magnificent, with a glass entryway along its entire southern face), we traversed the home show to reach the first flowery bower.
Greeting us at the entrance was a giant mossy garden gnome, with instructions to take his picture and post. I may not be the best at following all instructions.
From there, displays lay in front of us, along corridors gridding the show floor. Feeling adventurous, we ignored the floor plans we had picked up on the way in and went exploring.
The first thing to catch our eyes were the displays of lenten rose or hellebores, a perennial for slightly warmer climates than Northern Ontario’s but striking for those in the Toronto area or similar southerly locations. They came in three colours, white, pale rose, and a lovely red wine. Available for purchase at the fabulous price of $20, we both resisted, waiting to see what else was available.
As we wandered, we both noted that there seemed to be a recurring theme in terms of the plants on display – hellebores, ranunculus
(a bulb based flower that looks like a very full rose), orchids, and amaryllis. Admittedly, there was a wider variety when we came to the flower arrangements. However most of the floor area was dedicated to landscaping — designs for pergolas, walkways, barbecue areas, and outdoor living areas. Unfortunately for my preference, there was a lack of focus on gardening or on plants. I guess I expected to see horticultural rather than structural exhibits, gardener suppliers including growers, greenhouses, and garden tool specialists such as Lee Valley.
Nonetheless, it was a great day and fabulous company, and I took along my camera so I could share with you the sights of the show.
I have created an album of my favourite pictures. I hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your observations.