May 15, 2015
Ottawa Dream Garden is truly an LO family affair
A collaborative team effort by Ottawa Chapter created a colourful one-of-a-kind garden at the Ottawa Home and Garden Show.
By Martha Walsh
Ottawa Chapter Coordinator

When the Ottawa Chapter was approached in the fall of 2014 to create a 2,800 square foot dream garden at the Ottawa Home and Garden show, planning began immediately.  

This project would be the first and largest garden of its kind for the Ottawa Chapter using a collaborative team approach. The show took place at the EY Centre in Ottawa from Mar. 26 to 29.

Under the lead of Ottawa Chapter publicity committee chairs Michael Fulcher and Sundaura Alford, a call went out to interested Ottawa and Upper Canada area suppliers and designers to take part in creating a one-of-a-kind garden that would celebrate Canadian landscapes, along with the 70th anniversary of the donation of tulips from the Dutch government. It was decided that the theme of tulips was to be part of the garden, following the successful celebration of Ottawa’s GreenTrade Expo 2015, which used a similar theme.

The garden was divided into four distinct regions: Northern designed by Karla Narraway CLD, Mountain by Welwyn Wong CLD, Urban by Sundaura Alford CLD, and Wetlands by Ashley Cochrane BLA.

Each region was designed to highlight the environment through the use of horticultural and landscape materials and images to enhance the design. Each design included a focal point. A water garden feature used natural stone in the Mountain Garden, while a pavilion patio was installed in the Urban Garden. A floating bed was the focal point in the Northern Garden, and a marsh area went into the Wetland Garden.  

A curved walkway was designed to allow the public to walk through the dream garden area, allowing a full view of each design. A hand-painted backdrop was created to provide support to continue the theme for the Northern and Wetlands gardens.

Les Enterprises Marechal took the lead on the installation of the design.  Twelve truckloads of sand were transported to the EY Centre, and used to create the 2,800 square foot base. Along with Les Entreprises Marechal, the gardens were created and installed by Clintar Landscape Management; Hansen Lawn and Garden; Natural Impressions Landscaping; Nature’s Way Landscaping (Upper Canada Chapter); Cityscape Group of Companies; Lanark Cedar; Eco Landscaping; Algonquin College Horticultural Industries students, under the supervision of supervisor Steve Neumann; Natural Impressions Landscaping; A Cultivated Art and Permacon Ottawa.

For the garden build, underlay fabric was donated by Geosynthetic Systems, while the mulch for the gardens was given by Greely Sand and Gravel. Stone was donated by Cohen and Cohen Natural Stone. Aquascape provided the product for the mountain water feature, and Lanark Cedar designed and built the pavilion patio on site, over the three-and-a-half-day build. The hand-painted artistic backdrop was created and installed by Mural Unique on the last day of the build.  

Canada Blooms supplied large white planters, which included floral products designed and installed by Peter Knippel Nursery. The planters were used throughout the show floor to continue the floral theme. As well, copies of LO’s Garden Inspiration magazine, fresh off its debut at Canada Blooms, were distributed at the show.

Plant material comprised an integral part of the garden. Along with the thousands of tulips, which lined the hardscape walkway and surrounded the entrance, plant material was received from Canada Blooms, as well as Pioneer Flower Farms, Connon NVK, Connon Nurseries CBV Holdings, Highland Evergreen Supplies and Sheridan Nurseries.

Each designer kept true to the theme and included plants that would be found in their zones. Each tree, shrub and plant included a label for the public’s information.

All in all, over 150 Ottawa Chapter members participated in some aspect of the design and build of this year’s Dream Garden. The Board of Directors thank the following Ottawa Chapter members for all of their support: Les Enterprises Marechal, Clintar Landscape Management, Hansen Lawn and Garden, Natural Impressions Landscaping, Nature’s Way Landscaping, Cityscape Group of Companies, Peter Knippel Nursery, Geosynthetic Systems, Lanark Cedar, Eco Landscaping,  Algonquin College Horticultural Industries students, Steve Neumann, Sundaura Alford, Ashley Cochrane, Welwyn Wong, Karla Narraway, Mike Fulcher, and special volunteers Laura Dove and Jerome Hamilton.

Plans for the 2016 Ottawa Home and Garden show are currently being discussed, with the hope that there will be more gardens and more Landscape Ontario member involvement.