April 15, 2014
Tony DiGiovanni CHT
LO executive director

Tony DiGiovanni There is a very popular saying, “People will never forget how you made them feel.”

If you reflect on your own life experiences, you will probably agree. I still remember my grade one teacher because of how caring she was to me.  
Artists and poets are skilled at communicating on a ‘feeling’ level. I once heard LO member Randy Tumber CLD say to an audience that the goal of his work was to communicate at an emotional level.

This experiential goal is the essence of Canada Blooms. It is our industry’s opportunity to communicate at an emotional level. It is our chance to deliver an impression that will last a lifetime. Canada Blooms gives us the opportunity to emotionally connect with hundreds of thousands of people. By providing the public a memorable experience, we are able to communicate in a simple way the diverse, complex and profound environmental, social, aesthetic, economic, therapeutic and spiritual benefits of our great industry.

Marketers and media professionals use the term “cost per thousand impressions” when measuring the effectiveness of a communication campaign. The cost per impression of a Canada Blooms garden is negligible when measured using a ‘lifetime’ scale. The value of the impression is also at the highest level. 
All members of the industry owe a debt of gratitude to members, volunteers and staff participating in Canada Blooms garden build. Their hard work, creativity, passion, ingenuity, craftsmanship and skill reflect the highest standard of professionalism, contribution and competency. Their work makes an entire industry look good.   

A special thank you to those involved in the Landscape Ontario Green for Life Garden. The theme was “Come Alive Outside”. The message was about the importance of outdoor living especially in an age of unhealthy sedentary lifestyles. “Come Alive Outside” aligns perfectly with our Green for Life message. It also elevates our work, because it gives us the sense that we are part of a greater movement to reconnect people (especially children) and nature. Our members are the specialists that provide, maintain and are stewards of outdoor living spaces.

Scott Wentworth Landscape Group’s contribution to the garden was amazing and inspiring. Many team members spent hours designing, pre-building, installing and interpreting the garden to visitors each day. They went way beyond the call of duty and did so in a professional, humble and unassuming way. Thank you Jim Philip, Tara Galpin, Andrew Wentworth, Brian Ferreira, Cameron Trudeau, Terry Moffat, Steve Ferreira, Matt Ferreira, Andrew Wilson, Chuck Turner, Diane Hill, Jay Middelton, Jason Partridge, Sian Pritchard (and others), and especially Scott Wentworth.   

The wonderful drystone wall was built by a talented and passionate team led by Dean McLellan, and included Patrick Callon, Ken Davies, Dale Thomas, Andre Lemieux, Jeff Lee and Menno Braam.  

James D’atri, Mike Wade Henry and Matt Wolfe, students from Saugeen First Nation #29, also joined in the build. Jennifer Kewageshig was the program manager who arranged for them to come down. The students are learning the drystone walling craft so that they can participate in the enhancement of the Saugeen Shores Ampitheatre.

A talented and professional team from Edengrove Landscapes participated in the construction of the log wall and Hardscape elements. Thank you, David Kampen, Joshua Mcarthy, John Hordyk, Justine Lodder, Sean Kampen, Dave Kok and Jason Beatty. The Wentworth staff had high praise and really enjoyed working with you.    

Coordinator Michael Pascoe CLT sent along wonderful students from the Fanshawe College Horticulture Program to participate in the build. If I had to judge the future of our industry by the calibre of students, I am happy to say the industry has a very bright future. Michael told me that the students volunteered to help out. This makes their contribution extra special. Thank you to Evan MacAdam, Eric Abram, Mark Muehmer, Brandy Suchostowsky, Corey Leader, Dylan Mcleod, Jaimi Uram, David Comfort, Emily Lougheed, Kyle Haskett, Morwyn Griffith, Jessica Rowland and especially Michael Pascoe.

The lawn care group and the Nursery Sod Growers of Ontario Association are tireless promoters of the benefits of turf. They made sure that turf was available to use in the garden. It certainly fit the “Come Alive Outside” theme.  Reporters were lying on the grass. Children were playing on the grass. Thank you to Ken Pavely CLT, Steve Tschanz, Alan White, Claus Zander, Kyle Tobin, Paul Grotier, Don Voorhees, Don McQueen and the Nursery Sod Growers of Ontario. Your passion for turf shines. Alexander Dickie, Matt Gauthier, Tom Bayford, Steve Tschanz, Don McQueen CIT, Ken Pavely, Kyle Tobin and Lee Ratcliffe acted as the turf education team at the learning stage.  

There were many other contributors to the garden build. I hope I didn’t forget anyone. Tiffany Byrd and Paul Brydges helped with the design. Don Voorhees came down on numerous occasions to help the public understand what the garden was all about. Jeff Lee helped out on many elements, especially the stone pillars and the recognition wall. John Higo, Brad Willis, Scott Sim CIT and Gord White from Turf Care Products Canada created drama and emotion using their illumination skills. Moonstruck Landscape Lighting participated, as well.

The talented Beth Edney CLD helped with the creative detailing. Caroline de Vries, Steve Tschanz, Michael Pascoe, Chaz Morenz CLP and Gregory Sumsion helped with floral rotation. There were also many members who helped with tear down. Thanks Tim Kraemer and members from the Georgian Lakelands and London Chapters.  

On the staff side, high praise goes to Sally Harvey CLP, CLT for her detailed organizational skills and multi-tasking ability, and Darryl Bond for his wonderful contributions to the recognition wall and other elements. Darryl was also instrumental in helping with other Canada Blooms displays. One of the Canada Blooms staff described Darryl as a Godsend. Our newest staff member Allie McInnes was amazing during the long build process. Her work ethic, cheerful attitude, organizational ability and ever-present smile helped to create a family feel. Denis Flanagan CLD is one of the most effective communicators in the garden industry. He is a true professional. His educational messages inspire thousands of people to “come alive outside” in the garden. He reflects LO extremely well. Ian Service and Robert Ellidge did an amazing job at social media, photography and web messaging. Lee Ann Knudsen CLP was always in the background making sure our communications worked at the highest level. Our resident visual communication expert Kim Burton made sure we looked good in print. This note includes only the staff involved in the garden build. All of our staff was involved in Canada Blooms in some way.   Space does not allow a full recognition. I am very proud of our team.  
Last, but certainly not least, please join me in thanking our wonderful garden sponsors.

Beaver Valley Stone
Boots Landscaping and Maintenance
Connon Nurseries C.B. Vanderkruk Holdings Ltd.
Designs By the Yard - Design Studio & Boutique
Global Arch
Grenville Stone Company
Ground Effects Landscapes
JP Horizons
Limberlost Stone
Nicholson and Cates
Nursery Sod Growers Association of Ontario
Outdoor Kitchens Canada
Picton Home Hardware Building Centre
Plant Products
Stonescape Quarry and Fabrication
The Branch Ranch
The Cutting Garden
Turf Care Products Canada
Upper Canada Stone Company
Dufferin Aggregates 
Tony DiGiovanni may be contacted at tony@landscapeontario.com, or at 1-800-265-5656, ext. 304.