March 10, 2017 – It is cold outside, but blooming like springtime at Toronto’s Enercare Centre where the annual Canada Blooms festival is in full swing. Canada Blooms is Canada’s largest garden and flower festival, a non-profit event sponsored by the Garden Club of Toronto and Landscape Ontario, showcasing floral and landscape designs, products and services. The theme for this year’s event is Oh! Canada in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, and booths are not shy about showcasing their patriotism. Canada Blooms is co-located with the National Home Show, making it a must-see event for anyone interested in renovations both inside and outside of the home.
A highlight of this year’s event was the Secret Path Garden, a feature garden and exhibit by Genoscape with the Gord Downie-Chanie Wenjack Foundation. A beautiful tribute that tells the story of 12-year old Chanie Wenjack. In 1966, Chanie ran away from Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora Ontario, and tried to walk home to Ogoki Post – 600 kilometres away. Unfortunately, young Chanie didn’t make it and died along the railway tracks. In this beautiful garden, a winding path will lead you past gentle waterways to a railroad track. Here you will find a glass jar of matches (an item found with Chanie) while a black raven is perched in tree overlooking the scene. Overhead, The Secret Path film is playing.
The purpose of this moving exhibit is to create awareness for Gord Downie-Chanie Wenjack Foundation. I highly recommend you spend some quality time in this exhibit to take in all of the details. During the festival opening, the Garden hosted a smudging ceremony which that was done to the heartbeat of a native drum, and finished with a song. Beautiful.
New for this year is A Botanical Art Exhibition by TM Glass. A central theme of the artist’s work is “the beauty of nature and the nature of beauty”. Each picture is created by using three types of computer software to merge together separate photographs of vases (from the Royal Ontario Museum and the Gardiner Ceramic Museum) and fresh cut flowers. They are works of art and absolutely stunning! More than a photo, they have a painterly effect. To learn more about TM Glass’s work, visit her website: https://www.tmglass.com/ Also, if you represent a gallery that showcases Canadian art, I recommend you contact her.
In addition to the ones I mentioned above, here are some must-see gardens and exhibits:
- Highway of Heroes Living Tribute Gardens by Brydges Landscape Architecture and the Landscape Ontario Team. In case you didn’t know, the Highway of Heroes campaign is planning 117,000 trees along a 170km stretch of Highway 401 to honour each of Canada’s war dead. Visit this garden to find out how you can be a part of this historic tribute and #150Tree program.
- Muskoka At Home, by Jackson Pond, who provides landscape inspiration from the natural beauty of Canada’s streams and waterfalls.
- All That Jazz, By Creative Garden Designs and Lakeridge Landscaping are providing a Canadian melodic retreat during the festival.
- My Tiny Backyard Getaway, By Green Art Landscape Design. Discover a cozy backyard retreat where you can relax. Perfect for urban homeowners with smallish outdoor spaces.
- The Canadian Kaleidoscope by Ida’s Designs. Canada is cohesive with a diverse culture that allows for a starburst of various creative talents.
- Botanical Bar, by Toronto Botanical Garden, is full of natural beauty, country charm and wild elixirs that will raise your spirits and feed your soul.
- Canada Blooms Marketplace offers everything you need to start your gardening season off right.
We highly recommend you escape Toronto’s cold and head to Canada Blooms! Weekends tend to get busy so plan accordingly. Canada Blooms runs from March 10-19th. To learn more and to buy your tickets online, visit http://canadablooms.com/
Here are some additional photos you might enjoy!