December 15, 2009
Denis Flanagan CLD
Director of public relations

Denis FlanaganWhenever LO members come together, it’s guaranteed that the weather will be a topic in any conversation. What might have been a wet miserable month for contractors and irrigation companies, on the other hand was a blessing for growers.

Members of the public do somewhat the same. We all have an opinion on the weather, with all of us holding the forecasters accountable.

So, it’s a natural connection that our Green for Life public relations campaign aligns our industry with the stars of weather forecasting on the TV screen. Many of our members already make appearances on The Weather Channel. We have a link on our LO website ( under the menu heading ‘Plant Resource’) to keep consumers informed.

Mark Cullen regularly entertains viewers with host Jeff Hutchinson on the CTV national network. I have joined Colleen Brown on CBC for some weather-related gardening advice this year. And, our good friend Frankie Flowers on CITY TV often promotes Landscape Ontario on his show.

Our Green for Life garden at last year’s Canada Blooms was a big hit with the media. It became a colourful set as a broadcast base. Susan Hay of Global TV used our garden as a daily location for her live presentation of the weather forecast.

At Canada Blooms, we also made a special presentation to famous weatherman, Dave Devall of CFTO, in recognition of serving over 40 years in the business. We presented him with a plaque that read, “Thank you for all those rainy day forecasts that made our gardens grow.” LO member Paul Offierski, owner of PAO Horticultural, played a major part in our display and decided it would be fitting to honour Dave’s retirement with a permanent feature. PAO donated and installed a magnificent, 40-foot sugar maple (Acer saccharum) at the CFTO/CTV studio in Agincourt. An official ceremony was held in September to celebrate Dave Devall’s lifetime achievement of having the “longest career as a weather forecaster.”  This also qualified him to enter into the Guinness Book of World Records.

This fall, if you are driving along Highway 401, look northward at McCowan Road and you will see this landmark tree ablaze in colour.

Our plan for 2010 is to continue linking our Green for Life campaign with the weather media. Who knows, maybe our persistence will result in customized weather patterns for all sectors of our industry. Now wouldn’t that be nice for all those members just about to gear-up for the winter season?
Denis Flanagan may be contacted at

Caption: Dave Devall loves his new tree.