Canada Blooms 2015

Canada Blooms

Some people say that seeing a Robin outside their window is the first sign of Spring, while others swear by sprouts appearing where they have planted their flowering bulbs.  For me it’s always the week leading up to Canada Blooms that really signifies the end of our harsh winter and the hope of brighter, greener things.  It is a week that historically brings on a warm snap, where snowbanks dwindle away and winter coats are shed for their lighter, cooler counterparts.  Realistically I know we will still get a snowfall or two and I shouldn’t be dusting off the patio furniture. Yet the air feels less crisp, less damp and the promise of warmer days is just around the next corner.

Canada Blooms

This year Canada Blooms is 19 years old.  When I hear that I can’t help but cringe a little, it reminds me how time has past since I started in the field of Horticulture. I worked at the event when it was located out near the Toronto airport, back  before the show was aligned with The National Home Show.  It was close to the second or third annual flower show and I was representing at a booth for my first ever Horticulture job in the years between my college program.  The first thing I remember was how exhausted I was at the end of each day and oh how my feet throbbed.  Most importantly I remember how big and beautiful it was.  Garden vendors lined up row upon row through the cavernous building.  Gardens overflowing with blooms, waterfalls reaching towards the ceiling.  As a beginner in the industry it was awe inspiring as well as intimidating.

Canada Blooms

Year after year I returned, as a guest this time as it moved downtown, then joined the Home Show then moved again.  Each year I’ve watched its evolution from a huge show, to a show slightly on the edge of desperation, to a renewed breath of fresh air, and in the last couple years to the show it currently has become.  I am very undecided on how I really feel about all the change.  The marketplace is disappointingly small compared to the original concepts years ago.  There are some seed and plant companies selling their products, though I question the authenticity of the orchid grower selling plants in colours that don’t naturally exist.

Canada Blooms

The garden displays continue to be impressive however focusing more on hardscaping trends and less about the “blooms”.  For anyone missing the green of the warmer days and brighter months you can definitely get back that feeling the minute you step through the doors.  Flowers Canada fills the gap where local nurseries and the late great White Rose used to laden down our arms with wares.  Maybe the focus on the everyday gardener is what I feel is missing.  There is no doubt lots of inspiration to be had.  Lots of great speakers are on hand to give you helpful tips and tricks you can accomplish in your own home.  But unless you are about to completely overhaul your whole property you may only leave the show with ideas and beautiful pictures and maybe not with the hot new plant of the year.

Canada Blooms

Despite my hesitation I continue to come back each year because the gardens are awe inspiring showcasing immeasurable talent in our country. This year the theme “Let’s Play” is beautifully shown with whimsical fairy gardens and over the top playgrounds for the kids while outdoor retreats and expansive entertaining spaces draw in the adults.  As you will see through my photos everything is stunning.  Everything is perfectly executed.  And as I return several more times over the week the show is on I know I will continue to find new things to ooh and aah over.  While the cynical older me just wishes for more, I already can’t wait for next year.

Canada Blooms runs from March 13-22

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