Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Visit to Canada Blooms

Canada Blooms is a flower and garden design show that is put on yearly in Toronto.  Last year the orchid was the flower that was in almost every one's display garden, too much so. This year it is the hellebore and the rhododendron. I don't know how this happens but it is disappointing to see the same flowers in most of the large displays.
My favorite part of the show are the juried floral designs. It never used to be so but perhaps I have seen everything there is to see in garden / landscape design (ha ha).
Anyway, see for yourself.

branches filled with sedums

lovely orchids

a gorgeous window, right next to ...

A few vegetables and herbs in planters: swiss chard, sweet potato vine, basil, violets and cabbage

Veggies planted below

An interesting booth was that of Tourism Ireland. It had four standing stones as focal points and some great  ironwork interspersed.


And then finally a few of my favorite juried floral displays.

I realize you have not seen any hellebores or rhododendrons yet so here are a couple of photos just to prove they were there


an interesting combination

It was an interesting show however I was disappointed in the lack of nurseries selling plants. Hellebores, mandevillas, orchids, dahlias tubers, lilies and air plants seemed to be the main ones. You would think that with our ability to force almost any plant these days that there would be more variety, wouldn't you? Oh, and not a native plant in sight for me.

In case you would like to see last years photos here is the link.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Snowdrop Parade

There has been an exuberant barrage of posts on the snowdrop that have cropped up lately. Spring is reaching our gardens -finally- and we happy gardeners can't wait to register the first blooms of spring where we live. 

While I do not love the snowdrop like some, I am thrilled to see it in the garden. They sort of pop up when you are not looking. Aha, there they are! My garden is not exempt from these spring beauties and I have come to realize that I have not one, but two types of snowdrops. What types they are I have no idea; I expect my readers to tell me what I have.

So here they are, my contribution to the spring snowdrop parade.

For lack of... Snowdrop #1

# 1

Snowdrop # 2

many petals of # 2

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Book Review: 100 Easy to Grow Native Plants

The first book I bought on native plants was 100 Easy to Grow Native Plants: For Canadian Gardens. It is written by Lorraine Johnson who lectures on native plant ecosystems at York University and is the author of numerous books on gardening and environmental issues. She is well known for her bright sneakers (usually red) and funky earrings.

It was the perfect book for me, at the time a novice native plant enthusiast. The size is on the small side, with full colour photos on every page, and loads of practical information. It is divided in areas such as prairie, woodland and wet soil types, as well as, northeast, central and western. But of course since no plant exists on its own many cross over from one type of habitat to another. If, for example, you decide to check out Adiantum pedatum the maidenhair fern which is primarily an eastern fern, she will direct you to the western maidenhair fern (A. aleuticum) in case you live in the west. There are also multiple suggestions for good companion plants.

It is not a preachy book, just straight forward. The plants are easy to grow and easy to find at the nursery too. I have owned this book for more than 10 years and I still pull it out now and again for reference and ideas. So if you want to try your luck at growing native plants this is a great book with which to get started.