And oh garden shows. I get more pleasure looking at the
first spring ephemerals emerging in my front yard than I do from most garden
shows, but Canada Blooms in Toronto is always a temptation. Measured by
attendance, CB is one of the big ones, right up there with Philadelphia,
Seattle, San Francisco, and so on. I did not see Martha Stewart in action during her brief visit
yesterday, but managed a brisk walkthrough of the show Wednesday.
Though the display gardens in Canada Blooms are, for the
most part, reasonably sophisticated and occasionally beautiful, only rarely do
they transcend their components of various pavements, some sort of water
feature, and a surrounding frame of evergreens, spring perennials and bulbs. What
I miss in garden show display gardens are the plants, which is unreasonable,
for sure. Everything must be forced and as a result the palette has to be
But that’s fine because what I like about Canada Blooms is
not the authenticity but the artifice. CB is, as its name suggests, a flower
show as well as a garden show and I love seeing the extravagant goofiness of
the floral displays. They, more than anything else, evoke the color, fragrance,
and abundance I’m looking forward to in my summer garden, whether I happen to
grow the particular flowers or not.
There is a section of more-or-less conservatively arranged flowers and
then a gallery of flower sculptures—some of which are pretty wacky. Lots of fun
Elsewhere, I appreciated the attempt to bring edible gardening
into the mix, and the considerable amount of real estate dedicated to education
about sustainable lawns and gardens. As you know, most provinces in Canada have
some kind of pesticide ban in place (Ontario’s is the toughest), so they have
to walk the walk.
The Stewart appearance seemed to go over well, according to
visitor comments. “Kind of humble, “more impressed than I thought I’d be,” and “down
to earth” were what I heard members of her audience say on a web news source last night.