April 15, 2012
Team LO delivers practical and relevant Canada Blooms
The Canadian flag created from kalanchoe grabbed a great deal of attention at LO’s feature garden at Canada Blooms.
By Paul Doornbos CLP, CLT
LO garden site supervisor

Champion of the LO feature garden for the past three years, Tim Kearney CLP, always speaks of “esprit de corps.” It was alive and well at Canada Blooms this year. Those who participated in the 2012 build know exactly what he means.

As mentioned in previous articles, executive director Tony DiGiovanni will tell you that his counterparts across the horticultural industry are blown away with amazement and even somewhat flabbergasted, to conceive the notion of industry competitors coming together in collaboration to produce gardens of distinction.

LO president Phil Charal has challenged us to build on the theme of engagement with a focus on relevance. Team LO stepped up to the challenge and delivered again this year at Canada Blooms 2012, with a practical and relevant garden of distinction.

This year, Team LO decided to take our own advice by building a smaller garden with a sustainable build process that delivered creativity, presence and relevance that will easily be repeated going forward. As an association, we advocate work/life balance, and this year’s LO garden reflects that mantra and goal very well. That philosophy was conveyed not just to members, but the public as well. The space invited visitors to “Take time to listen to the water and wind, appreciate the smells of the flora and fauna, and feel the blades of grass between your toes.”

Many readers may wonder what possesses fellow members to dedicate so much time, effort and dedication to the production and building of a garden at Canada Blooms for the association. Those involved spend hours on the phone and in meetings that involve planning, discussing, drawing and redrawing, while spending time away from family and business, and then moving to Toronto for seven  days to live in a hotel and work long days. And it’s all for absolutely no pay.

But for them, there is considerable return on investment in so many ways. The answer lies in this year’s theme “Take time to…..” The build team took time to produce another legacy garden that allowed Canada Blooms visitors to take time to appreciate all that this industry has to offer. We saw the opportunity to give and didn’t look back.

Participating in a garden build at Canada Blooms for the association starts out as a commitment and metamorphoses into something that you cannot expect. Along the way, commitment changes into passion, friendship, enjoyment, and getting to know your fellow colleagues, staff and industry participants who share the same daily struggles that you do.

You see, building gardens at Canada Blooms isn’t so much about the work, but rather about the moments that make up our life. They are the important details that occur between the day we are born and the day we pass on. The experience of the LO garden build teaches us this like no other opportunity in our professional and industry lives.

We invite you to step up and take the challenge in one of the gardens of the future. Be a part of the LO garden build experience and remember the 2012 theme, “Take time to……,” and really appreciate the moments of discovery of why we’re all in this industry.  Rediscover the love of what we do, why we do it and the people who make up our industry.

The LO Canada Blooms Design/Build Committee 2012 wishes to thank all who are listed on page 8, for their passion, efforts, dedication, commitment, and above all else for ‘Taking time to…...’ make this year a resounding success and delivering once again a practical garden that showed off the talents of our industry, reflected the engagement of our members, while continuing to build our relevance within our provincial and national community.