April 15, 2010
Canada Blooms 14th edition results in many great memories
Green for Life garden.
This 2010 version of Canada Blooms created some of the best memories ever in the 14-year history of the spring festival.

It was the year Canada’s largest garden and flower festival changed homes, moving from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to the Direct Energy Centre.

It was the year that media icon Martha Stewart brought her divaness to Canada Blooms.

And, it was a first when over 40 companies came together to build the Landscape Ontario garden, creating a super team of volunteers. A team that set the bar at an extremely high level for those who take on the task to design and build future display gardens at Canada Blooms. The LO Green for Life garden had the Wow Factor covered, from top to bottom.

Garden features waterfalls

The garden featured a spectacular waterfall, fronted by an amazing dry stone wall that carried steel letters reading landscapeontario.com. Two silos were covered in sedum which grabbed the attention of most visitors.  Inside were spectacular plants, unique hardscaping materials and a reflection pool.
Beth Edney, one of the main driving forces behind the Green for Life garden, said, “I am thrilled that Landscape Ontario was recognized for The Most Imaginative Garden Design and the Garden Club of Toronto’s Award for The Best Overall Use of Colour and the Certified Landscape Designer’s Award for The Most Outstanding Garden Design. The 46 companies that participated in the design and build of this feature garden at Canada Blooms exemplified the skill and knowledge that our members possess. Pride was taken during every process, from planning to execution and even during the dismantling of the garden. I am truly honoured to have been the lead designer on such a wonderful accomplishment.”

It is estimated that it took 160 hours and $50,000 worth of materials donated by industry and LO members to create the garden. For a complete list of volunteers and sponsors, see page 13. Read project manager Tim Kearney’s words about the garden on page 11.

The booth was the first garden to greet visitors at the event. And, those visitors were many. This year’s attendance is estimated at 90,000, up 20 per cent over last year, according to Gerry Ginsberg, the show’s general manager. “We are extremely pleased with the success of Canada Blooms this year.”

Many of the visitors, when asked their opinion about The Direct Energy Centre, praised the new facility. Most commented on  of easy access to the show.

Great media coverage

The 14th annual event attracted a huge amount of media attention in both print and electronic news outlets.  A story in the Globe & Mail stated, “You won’t be rattled by Canada Blooms 2010, but you just might be inspired. The boffo $350,000 garden sponsored by Landscape Ontario represents money well spent.”

Canadian Gardening’s Tara Nolan wrote, “It took 700 tonnes of sand, 500 cubic yards of mulch, 40 trailers-worth of stone and pre-cast materials, tens of thousands of bulbs and nine-million-dollars-worth of labour, plant materials, design expertise and plants to pull off this year’s Canada Blooms. I’d say it was worth it. The new venue (the Direct Energy Centre) is fantastic and the gardens really are spectacular.”

Martha Stewart was a main attraction on Saturday at this year’s show. In her blog, she wrote, “This past weekend, I traveled to Toronto, 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.”

Visitors voted for favourite garden

Each year visitors and industry contributors to Canada Blooms are invited to participate in voting for their favourite display and gardens.  This year, the People’s Choice Garden Award winner was The Disney Garden, created by the team of Beth Edney CLD of Designs by The Yard, Frank Ferragine, a.k.a. Frankie Flowers of CityTV, and Jordan Murfin BLA of Vast Exteriors. The finalists for the People’s Choice Garden Award were Green for Life and The Cellar, created by D.A. Gracey.

Gerry Ginsberg stated that many people continued to enjoy the gardens that were on display, since all of the plant and building materials used to create the spectacular gardens were reused and recycled. “The plants and flowers left over have been, once again, donated to the City of Toronto,” said Ginsberg. Over 500 spring blooms and shrubs were given to seniors living at Fudger House, one of the City of Toronto’s long-term care homes. Flowers have also been made available to seniors’ facilities and programs including Belmont House, Fellowship Towers, Rekai Centre, Seniors Pride Network, Dixon Hall, Toronto Tamil Seniors Association, True Davidson Acres Meals on Wheels, Winchester Square and Home Makers and Nurses Services clients. A total of 40 trees from the show will be planted in Toronto parks this spring.

But lasting even longer will be the many great memories that made the 2010 version of Canada Blooms one for the history books.