{ Archive for the ‘gardening events’ Category }

Garden decor I’ll be checking out at the One of a Kind Show

This Wednesday I’ll be heading down to the One of a Kind Spring Show + Sale in Toronto with my friend and colleague, Heather Camlot. We’ll be checking out all the crafty amazingness for our respective writing gigs, but also because we’re pretty crafty ourselves and always come away feeling inspired. I really enjoy the spring show because there tends to be more outdoorsy stuff. And since I’m in the midst of creating spring gardening content, the show couldn’t come at a better time. There are also lots of other cheerful things you can pick up for spring, like clothing (I’m always on the lookout for cute frocks), jewelry and Easter gifts.

The show starts this Wednesday, March 30 and runs until April 3. Details (ticket prices, directions, hours, etc.) can be found here on the One of a Kind Show website.

Here’s a preview of some of the outdoor furniture and accessories I’ll be checking out:

Peter Trollope has modernized the Muskoka chair with an easy-to-assemble design. The seat is like a puzzle (no nuts and bolts required), which makes for easy storage.

Chad Arney scours his adopted hometown of Muskoka for old junk that he can recycle into some interesting garden sculptures. I love the idea of displaying art alongside your bushes and blooms in the garden. It looks as though you could put tea lights in the lanterns hanging from the little bird on the right.

These colourful chairs by Jardinique remind me of the wooden chairs I used to curl up on as a kid on the deck at the cottage.

Abundant inspiration at Canada Blooms

I’ve already been to Canada Blooms twice this week and I’ll be there again tomorrow for the Garden Writers Association annual luncheon and meeting. Am I sick of it yet? Not a chance! Tuesday night was the preview party. We were greeted at the entrance by characters from Cirque du Soleil’s new production called Totem and then allowed to walk freely around the display gardens. My date for the night, my friend and colleague Alyssa Schwartz from MSN, had a great time bumping into some familiar faces and getting a sneak peek at the lovely gardens. Wednesday morning I was up bright and early for the media breakfast where I got to hear about all the amazing ideas and hard work that went into this year’s show. My parents met me at the show mid-morning and we walked around together. They were very patient while I took pictures and chatted up some of the garden designers. I’ve started my highlight roundup and will be adding to it over the coming days. You have until Sunday, March 20 to visit. Here are a few more pics, as well!

Alyssa and I. I bought flower tights for the occasion!

The opening night party featured characters from Cirque du Soleil’s new show Totem wandering around, as well as a show on the main stage.

A wheel of hydroponic lettuce from Aden Earthworks.

A Fiat filled with blooms. Apparently my dad owned one just like this when he first met my mom!

What to bring to Canada Blooms

Tomorrow Canada Blooms, the annual gardening extravaganza, kicks off at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto. Last week I put together a little preview of what I’m excited to see though realistically I’m excited to see it all.

Tomorrow morning I will be there bright and early to take it all in. I put together a quick little list of what you should bring/wear so that you have the best possible time:

  • A notebook and pen: You will gain countless ideas and tips that you can apply to your own gardens. Best to write them down. I do!
  • A camera: Again, you’ll be brimming with ideas as you stroll through the stunning displays. You’ll want to visually capture some of that inspiration for your garden journal. Also you never know who you’ll run into! Martha Stewart took a stroll through last year’s show.
  • Comfortable walking shoes: You’ll be walking on concrete for x number of hours. I speak from experience when I say “wear sneakers.”
  • A watch: You don’t want to miss any interesting seminars or presentations.
  • Cash: The shopping is pretty irresistible. You can buy everything from exotic plants to organic seeds to rain boots to magazine subscriptions (like to Canadian Gardening, wink wink).
  • Reusable shopping bags: For your loot. Some people even bring those little bags on wheels.
  • Also, empty your purse of non-essentials. There is nothing worse than lugging around a ton of bricks for five hours.

It’s that time of year! The One of a Kind Show – do you want to go?

Retail stores may start thinking Christmas the day after Halloween, but I start thinking Christmas once I’ve been to the annual One of a Kind Christmas Show & Sale. For the last few years, my friend and colleague Heather and myself have made it a tradition to attend together. There are always three reasons we go: to discover interesting gift finds for the publications we write for, to inspire ourselves to come up with our own creations as we’ve been known to be pretty crafty ourselves, and to Christmas shop. Ok, I lied, four reasons. We may sometimes pick up one or two treats for ourselves. How can you not? While a few of the artisans now recognize us, there are always new treasures to discover. What are you looking forward to seeing at the One of a Kind Show? Drop me a line below to tell me, and I will randomly draw one name to receive two tickets to the One of a Kind Show that runs from November 25 to December 5. I’ll be drawing tomorrow at noon. Good luck!

*Contest closes November 25, 2010 at 12 pm EST. Open to all residents of Canada, except those in Quebec. Not open to any Transcontinental Media employees, their families, or any other persons with whom they reside.*

Savour delicious soups and support a good cause at Soupalicious

Last week I was invited to “sip, slurp and savour” a variety of soups cooked up by a medley of Toronto chefs. The event was a preview of what the general public will taste if they attend Soupalicious next Saturday, October 9 (from 11 to 4) at Heritage Court in Exhibition Place. Over 35 restaurants, chefs and local farmers will be stirring local produce into cauldrons of soup for the crowd as well as for various charities. The proceeds from this soup festival ($10 for 10 cups of soup, $15 at the door) will go towards supporting the Plant a Row – Grow a Row program, an organization that encourages gardeners to plant an extra row of veggies so that they can share their bounty with those in need. The program is spearheaded by The Compost Council of Canada and the Garden Writers Association, and supported by local food banks. Visitors are also encouraged to bring a food donation next weekend to help support local food banks.

Here are some of the delicious soups I tasted – I would have like to try them all, but I was full after six!

  • The Annex HodgePodge Bistro & Catering: Curried Carrot & Ginger
  • Arvinda’s: Red Lentil and Carrot
  • Le Papillon: French Onion
  • Torito: The Latin Caldo de Puerco
  • The Gladstone: Cauliflower Soup with Leek Compote and a drizzle of curry-infused cold pressed soy oil
  • Room Service: Red Pea Soup with coconut cream and chicken

This weekend: Learn about ikebana

One of the things I love about my job is learning about something that inspires me to try it. This week on CanadianGardening.com, I posted an article about ikebana, the Japanese style of flower arranging by Suzanne Hartmann. I find the whole discipline so fascinating and was interested to learn that ikebana featured prominently at the recent G8 and G20 summits. Then, I got a note from Suzanne informing me about the 42nd Anniversary Floral Art Show of the Hamilton Chapter International Ikenobo Ikebana Society. It is this Sunday (September 19) from 1 to 5 at the Royal Botanical Gardens. At 2 pm there will be a demonstration by Prof. Masakazu Nakamura from Kyoto, Japan. I’m bringing my sister, who taught in Japan for three years, and look forward to learning more about this floral art form.

Introducing our new blogger, April Demes

april-demesBack in the winter, CanadianGardening.com hosted a contest called So You Think You Can Garden. The winner received a prize package along with an opportunity to blog on the site. After receving an overwhelming amount of entries, we finally chose April Demes to be our winner. April was scheduled to start blogging for us in May, but we’ve been waiting for our developers to launch a shiny new blog format for us. Since we’re still waiting and it’s July, I thought I could publish April’s posts for the time being under my blog. I will clearly mark these entries so you can follow April’s adventures in her own garden until we can publish her posts separately.

Here’s a link to April’s winning entry.

The Scugog Spring Garden Show

Yesterday morning, I got up bright and early to drive to my hometown of Port Perry to visit the Scugog Spring Garden Show with my mom and dad. This was my first time attending the show and it was a pleasure to visit all the local vendors and run into some familiar faces, like my Grade 8 math teacher, Mr. Philip, who works at the Greenbank Garden Centre. Speakers at this year’s event included Marjorie Mason of Mason House Gardens, Charlie Dobbin and Breakfast Television Toronto’s Frankie Flowers.

I actually purchased more at this show than I did at Canada Blooms! I came home with asparagus and rhubarb to grow along the fence by my garage. Vendor “Perennial John” from John’s Garden in Uxbridge, Ont., was very helpful explaining to this budding gardener when and how to plant them. I also bought a beautiful plant cage from Branching Out, a new floral boutique that opened in November on Water Street in Port Perry. Visitors were lining up to purchase their cheerful bouquets of candy-coloured flowers. My mom bought a gorgeous stone table imprinted with maple leaves from Evergreen Cast Stone. Designer Deb Webster uses the leaves from her garden to create bird baths, wall hangings and tables. I’ve included a photo below as well as some others from the show.

Branching Out's booth was filled with fresh floral arrangements and gorgeous garden accessories.

Branching Out's booth was filled with fresh floral arrangements and gorgeous garden accessories.

My mom's new table from Evergreen Cast Stone.

My mom's new table from Evergreen Cast Stone.

Bell's Flowers Garden Boutique in Cannington is one of my mom's favourite garden stores.

Bell's Flowers Garden Boutique in Cannington is one of my mom's favourite garden stores.

My Canada Blooms to-do list

Shop, look and learn. That about sums up my to-do list,because I’ll be taking it all in this week at Canada Blooms. Noticed how I put ‘shop’ first? Sigh, it’s a huge problem. But I find any market of interesting finds simply irresistible. Last year I wrote a blog post in anticipation of my first visit ever. This year, I had too much to say for a blog, so I put it in an article: What I’m excited to see at Canada Blooms 2010. Are you attending this week? What are your favourite parts of Canada Blooms?

The Grow Great Grub book launch party

Last night my sister and I headed to Lula Lounge here in Toronto for the Grow Great Grub book launch party. Once there we enjoyed some tasty vegan treats, planted some Black Zebra tomatoes at the seed-starting table and I finally got to meet author Gayla Trail. I also chatted with fellow gardening writer Mark Disero of gardentoronto.ca and my sister was quite chuffed to win one of the raffle prizes. By the way, after only reading a few pages of the book, I was inspired to try growing some microgreens on my windowsill. Will let you know how they turn out!

My sister Hilary planting seeds.

My sister Hilary planting seeds.

Can't wait to taste this new-to-me tomato... love the added touch of the You Grow Girl stamp on the seed cups.

Can't wait to taste this new-to-me tomato... love the added touch of the You Grow Girl stamp on the seed cups.

My sister's prize with her copy of the book.

My sister's prize with her copy of the book.

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