March 15, 2013
phil charalBy Phil Charal
LO president

Canada Blooms will embark on its 17th year by celebrating with the theme The Magic of Spring, when Canada’s largest garden and flower festival will return to Toronto’s Direct Energy Centre, March 15 - 24.

This will be the second year the garden festival co-locates with the National Home Show. It is now North America’s largest home and garden event.

Canada Blooms has always been the first sign of spring for Canadian garden lovers, and this year’s festival promises to be one of the best yet. Some of the attractions this year include:
  • Six acres of glorious gardens in full bloom.
  • Works displayed by national and international professional florists in the Floral Hall competition.
  • Over 200 hours of seminars, workshops and demonstrations.
  • The new product showcase, featuring many innovative and exciting garden products.
  • An Ontario wine tasting area in the sensory garden put on by Reif Estate Winery and Mori Gardens.
Some of the feature garden builders, designers and landscape architects include Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds, Creative Garden Design, D.A. Gracey, Elite Landscaping, Genoscape, Landscapes by Lucin, Near North Landscaping, Parklane, Ron Holbrook and Associates, Royal Stone Landscaping and Design, Brydges Landscape Architecture, Forestell Designed Landscapes, Miyabi Landscape Design, Mori Gardens and Kent Ford Design Group.

The floral image for this year’s Canada Blooms is the hellebore, which is thought to be a harbinger of spring. The early spring bloom is appreciated by gardeners, designers and the general public. It comes in beautiful colours and the blooms tend to last for months. This is the perfect flower for Canada Blooms and its celebration of the ‘magic of spring.’

Again this year, one ticket gets you into two great events. You receive same-day admission to the National Home Show and Canada Blooms.  

Landscape Ontario members may purchase tickets at $12 each, instead of the regular rate of $20. The tickets come in packages of 20, and LO members will be invoiced after the show for only for the tickets that were presented at the event. Contact Kathleen Pugliese at 1-800-265-5656, ext. 309, or for more information.

Having been involved with Canada Blooms since its beginning, I never get tired of seeing the great pleasure that attendees receive from the incredible gardens built by Landscape Ontario members.

The promotion of our industry is the wonderful result of Blooms, and we all benefit in some way from the enormous effort that is put into making Canada Blooms a very special happening. The festival relies on the generosity of industry volunteers to ensure its success. Blooms is a not-for-profit organization that has donated over $600,000 to gardening and horticultural projects. The most recent donation of $50,000 went to the creation of the June Callwood Park in Toronto last year.

To volunteer in any capacity, please call the Canada Blooms office at 416-447-8655, or go to

I encourage all Landscape Ontario members to attend Industry Night at Blooms on Thurs., Mar. 21. This is a special event that honours the companies and individuals who have designed and built award-winning gardens.

Industry Night also gives you an opportunity to visit the show and experience the gardens, along with mixing with your fellow LO members. The event begins at 5 p.m., with free parking available after 4 p.m.

I really hope you all can make it to Blooms. Don’t miss this great opportunity to visit and support this amazing event.
Phil Charal may be reached at