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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Spring flower shows offer a blooming good time

   One-Tank Trip for Feb. 14/15

   (c) By Jim Fox
Everything’s coming up roses, tulips, daffodils, lilies, chrysanthemums, daisies – and even orchids – at flower shows in Stratford, Toronto and the Royal Botanical Gardens.
   Savour this early taste of spring with a cavalcade of colours and earthy scents.

   Zoom, zoom
   It’s “Blooming Beautiful” at the Stratford Garden Festival from March 5 to 8 at the Rotary Complex.
   A 1926 Model T will be the focal point for Richard Ivey, of Richard’s Lawn and Garden Care, while Sebringville Garden Centre will have a “fairy glen of leafy ferns and cool moss, the perfect home for magical inhabitants,” said Deedee Herman of the sponsoring Lung Association.
   “Visitors to the Caribbean-themed garden, created by A Touch of Dutch Landscaping, will relax among tiki umbrellas, gorgeous blooms and water features,” she added.
   Eight gardens will showcase the talent and creativity of area landscapers and offer inspiration for the gardening season ahead.
Colourful blooms and spring fragrances fill the air at the Stratford Garden Festival.
   Visitors will discover ideas to apply to their own gardens including water features, colour and form to designing a quiet green oasis and creating a modern entertaining setting.
   There will also be beautifully designed planters on display while the show’s Marketplace will be bursting with items to tempt the garden enthusiast.
   Speakers sharing their knowledge include Frankie Flowers; Carson Arthur; Sean James; Miriam Goldberger; David Hobson; and Beckie Fox.
Inviting and creative settings can be found at the Stratford Garden Festival.
   There’s a Seniors’ Tea on March 5 and that night from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. is the Opening Garden Party with live music, an auction, food and drink (tickets are $30).
   Family Fun Night is March 6 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with Bogle the Clown and children can create a garden craft, take part in story-telling, a scavenger hunt, face painting and enjoy free refreshments.
   The Stratford Rotary Complex is at 353 McCarthy Rd. Tickets are $9 (free to children to age 12); $20, four-day pass.
   Hours are March 5, noon to 5 p.m.; March 6, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; March 7, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and March 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. stratfordgardenfestival.com; (519) 271-7500

   Slip away
   Canada Blooms, from March 13 to 22 at National Home Show at Exhibition Place in Toronto, offers an escape from winter with “inspiring and engaging fantasy gardens.”
   As Canada’s largest flower and garden festival, it will have a whole new look and feel, moving to a new location in the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place.
Canada Blooms is an escape from winter with inspiring and engaging fantasy gardens.
   “Canada Blooms is sure to brighten up your day and leave you with a new appreciation for the beauty of garden landscapes,” said Terry Caddo, general manager.
   The Let’s Play theme will “inspire our garden designers and builders to create acres of fantasy gardens that capture the imagination.”
   Visitors will see “stunning showcases” with vibrant colours, alluring fragrances and captivating designs while Landscape Ontario incorporates a natural climbing wall in its Otium Garden.
   For inspiration on edible landscapes, industry experts will show how to grow vegetables while seminar hosts include the Pond Stars from National Geographic and TV gardening experts Mark Cullen and Frankie Flowers.
Canada Blooms displays "stunning showcases."
   Floral Alley is another highlight that changes and blooms daily, and specialty nurseries will showcase the hottest garden trends, tools and unusual varieties and colours of plants and flowers.
   Kids can get their hands dirty by learning how to garden and take home vegetables and flowers.
   Show hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, March 15, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, March 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
   Tickets are $20; $17, seniors; $16, students; free to age 12 (discounted online). canadablooms.com

   Blooming nice
   The Orchid Society’s annual show is on Feb. 28 (noon to 5 p.m.) and March 1 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the Royal Botanical Gardens (680 Plains Rd. W.) in Burlington.
   There will be thousands of orchid blooms, artistic displays, plants and gift items for sale, art and photography displays, and seminars.
   A frog exhibit is a “ribbitting” show at the Royal Botanical Gardens about colourful creatures including this ornate horned frog.
   On through April 12 is the exhibition Frogs: A Chorus of Colours, a “ribbitting” show about these colourful creatures “whose beauty and elegance are often overlooked.”
   The shows are included with gardens’ admission at $12.50; $10.50, seniors/students; $7.50, ages four to 12; $30.50, family. Discounts online rbg.ca; 1-800-694-4769


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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