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Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Lung Association presents the 2014 Stratford Garden Festival

February 27– March 2, 2014 The Stratford Rotary Complex

“Beyond the Garden Gate”
Few things are as enticing as an open gate.  The image is an invitation to enter the space beyond and explore what surprises might await.

The image created for the 2014 Stratford Garden Festival by artist Lasha Mutual conveys that sense of anticipation and discovery that people will experience as they wonder through beautiful display gardens inspired by the theme, “Beyond the Garden Gate”.

Presented by The Lung Association and sponsored by Orr Insurance and Investment, The Stratford Garden Festival is now in its 14th year.

Since its beginning in 2001, a net of more than $750,000 has been raised through this event to support The Lung Association in its medical research commitments and lung health initiatives around asthma and COPD, such as the Asthma Action Program, BreathWorks and Your Healthy Home.

With as many as one in five people in the province living with some kind of breathing problem, the work of The Lung Association is more important than ever. 

The Gardens
Eight garden designers will interpret the theme “Beyond the Garden Gate” in a variety of ways, but all will convey the sense of discovery inherent to the theme.

Not only will visitors be delighted with the taste of spring the gardens deliver, they will also take away ideas to apply to their own gardens -  from water features to the use of colour and form, from designing a quiet green oasis to creating a modern setting for outdoor entertaining.
The Sebringville Garden Centre display last year. This year features a fairy garden.
 Each garden will delight the senses with a kaleidoscope of floral colour and the heady fragrance of blooming flowers and mulch.
A number of beautifully-designed planters on display in the lobby will create a sense of anticipation of more to come.

The Marketplace
The Stratford Garden Festival offers a Marketplace bursting with items to tempt the garden enthusiast.  From the latest in plants and seeds to hand-crafted pottery, from garden accessories to whimsical bird houses, and from metal work to garden furniture, there is something to suit every taste and budget.  The Marketplace will feature a number of exhibitors new to the Stratford Garden Festival in 2014 as well as many returning favourites.
This friendly fellow was part of the garden designed by Daniel Shoag Landscaping
The Speaker Series
Everyone from the gardening novice to the seasoned green thumb will learn something at the ongoing Speaker Series where Ontario’s top garden gurus will give you the real dirt on gardening.  

Frank Ferragine (aka “Frankie Flowers”) of Breakfast Television has an intriguing presentation with “Power Plants – The Tops 10 Plants You Can Grow For Your Own Individual Health”.

Carson Arthur of HGTV’s  coming show, Critical Listings, will advise on where best to invest your gardening and landscaping dollars in “Show Me More Money”.
Pottery by Richard Mund
Lorraine Johnson will discuss combining vegetables in an ornamental garden while garden writer and columnist David Hobson will share “Best of British Gardens”.

Garden Making Magazines’ Beckie Fox will reveal her “Plant and Design Ideas for Beautiful Efficient Landscapers” and the energetic and informative Paul Zammit of the Toronto Botanical Gardens will be on hand to share his expertise.

Other presentations during the four days include “Lotsa Hosta”, Ornamental Grasses, Gardens of the Stratford Festival, Crops that Wow, Pruning Made Easy, and Japanese Maples, well as Seasonal Flower Arranging demonstrations.

Looks like spring
Seniors Tea – February 27
The Garden Festival is open to everyone today but gardening aficionados 65 and over are encouraged to come out on Thursday, February 27.  This is an opportunity to enjoy the gardens, visit the Marketplace and take in the speakers when the show tends to be less crowded.  With their $9 general admission, seniors will receive a complimentary gourmet cookie and cup of tea.

Opening Garden Party – February 27
The Opening Garden Party is the ultimate sneak peek.   From 6 - 8:30 pm guests can mingle with friends, wander through beautiful gardens and browse the Marketplace while enjoying a glass of red or white from Pelee Island Winery, a new cocktail from Diageo or a thirst-quencher from Sleeman Breweries .  A wonderful selection of canapés showcasing the Flavours of Perth prepared by local restaurants will tempt the palate and live music in the gardens will add to the fun.

Auctioneer extraordinaire Stratford mayor Dan Mathieson and emcee Kevin Hulley will get the bids going on a host of things both fun and fabulous, including two tickets to Vancouver courtesy of Westjet and tickets to the VanDusen Botanical Garden, a L.A. Kings jersey signed by Jeff Carter, the original painting for this year’s Garden Festival, “Beyond the Garden Gate” by artist Lasha Mutual, dinner and theatre packages.

Family Fun Night – February 28
Family Fun Night, from 5 - 8 pm, offers a rollicking good time for the whole family.  While their parents take in the gardens and Marketplace, the “little sprouts” can create a garden craft, enjoy story-telling and face painting, munch on free refreshments and take part in a scavenger hunt.  As always, kids are admitted free.

Admission to the Stratford Garden Festival is $9. at the door.  Children twelve and under are free.  Tickets to the Opening Garden Party can be ordered by calling The Lung Association at 519-271-7500.

More information on directions, group discounts, special events and speaker schedule is available at www.stratfordgardenfestival.com  or by calling The Lung Association.

At A Glance

Event:                         The Stratford Garden Festival

Date:                           February 27 – March 2

Hours:                                    Thursday, February 27                        12 noon - 5 pm
Friday, February 28                              10 am - 8 pm
Saturday, March 1                                 10 am - 6 pm
Sunday, March 2                                   10 am - 5pm

Where:                        Stratford Rotary Complex, 353 McCarthy Road, Stratford - directions on website www.stratfordgardenfestival.com

Admission:                $9. at the door.  Children 12 and under free
Group Rate:               Pre-arranged groups of 12 or more are $7/person

Theme:                       “Beyond the Garden Gate”

Presented by:            A fundraiser to support the work of The Lung Association

Event Sponsor:         Orr Insurance and Investment

Website:                     www.stratfordgardenfestival.com

Email:                         dherman@on.lung.ca

Phone:                        519-271-7500

Contact:                     Deedee Herman, Area Manager

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