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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Everything's coming up roses . . .

   One-Tank Trip for Feb. 20/16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Can you “dig it?”
   Shake off those recent wintry chills with a blooming good time at area flower shows.
   There’s the Stratford Garden Festival, Canada Blooms in Toronto and the Spring Orchid Show and Sale at the Royal Botanical Gardens.
   Libations offered at the opening party for the Stratford Garden Festival.
   Everything’s coming up roses, tulips, gardenias, petunias, daisies, mums and more at the Stratford show, March 3 to 6, presented by the Lung Association.
   This 16th annual event at the Stratford Rotary Complex (353 McCarthy Rd.) has the theme “Dig It!” and is the “celebration of all things gardening,” said Deedee Herman of the association.
   The show features nine gardens that “showcase the talent and creativity of area landscapers and offer inspiration for the gardening season ahead,” she added.
   Visitors will discover ideas to apply to their own gardens – from water features to the use of colour and form.
   Learn about designing a quiet green oasis, creating a modern setting for outdoor entertaining and meet experts who can assist “creating that magic at home.”

Flowers of all types will be on display in Stratford.
   Visitors will find the Marketplace bursting with items for garden enthusiasts.

   This includes the latest in plants and seeds, hand-crafted pottery, garden accessories, whimsical bird houses, metalwork and local honey, garlic and jams.
   The Speaker Series will appeal to “everyone from the gardening novice to the seasoned green thumb” where garden gurus give the real dirt on gardening.
   Carson Arthur of HGTV asks “Where did the G in HGTV go?” while Sean James will speak about “bulletproof” garden plants and Lorraine Johnson will discuss growing edible native varieties.
Get growing at the Stratford Garden Festival.
   Garden writer David Hobson discusses the Chelsea Flower Show, Frank Ferragine (“Frankie Flowers”) of Breakfast Television talks about “Food to Grow” and Beckie Fox offers garden design inspiration.
   Other topics include habits of successful vegetable growers, all about lavender, challenges of urban soil, myths and facts of gardening, foraging toward the culinary, European gardening trends and seasonal flower arranging.
Gardening enthusiasts can find items of interest at Stratford’s Marketplace.
   There’s a Seniors’ Tea on March 3 from noon to 5 p.m., costing $9, while the Opening Garden Party that night from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. has food, drinks, music and an auction ($30).
   Family Fun Night on March 4 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. has activities for children (tickets, $9, children, free).
   The Canadian Grub Cafe offers light lunch items by Chef Robert Rose.
   Tickets cost $9, free for children through age 12; $20, four-day pass.
   Hours are March 3, noon to 5 p.m.; March 4, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; March 5, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and March 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. stratfordgardenfestival.com; (519) 271-7500

   Blooming good time
   Canada Blooms, the country’s largest flower and garden festival attracting 200,000 people, is marking its 20th anniversary with a theme “It’s a Party!”
   The show runs from March 11 to 20 at the Enercare Centre (100 Princes’ Blvd.), Exhibition Place in Toronto.

  A blooming nice display at Toronto’s Canada Blooms.
   “This year’s theme is sure to inspire our garden designers and builders to create acres of fantasy gardens that capture the imagination,” organizers said.
   Visitors can expect to see “stunning showcases with vibrant colours, alluring fragrances and captivating designs that will overtake your senses.”
   The show has chosen the “Garvinea Sweet” series of gerberas as its plant of the year as the long-time favourite houseplant and cut-flower is now available for outdoors.
   There are also flower competitions by amateur floral arrangers and garden club members, designs by professional florists and experts giving presentations and workshops. canadablooms.com; (416) 447-8655

   Orchids galore
   The 35th annual Spring Orchid Show and Sale takes place Feb. 27 and 28 at the
Royal Botanical Gardens (680 Plains Rd. W.) in Burlington.
   Presented by the Orchid Society, this “showcases the beauty and diversity” of the flowers.
   The judged show features orchid displays by societies and growers from across Canada and the U.S.
   As well, there are exhibits of flower arrangements, painting, photographs and plant sales.
   Show hours are Feb. 27, noon to 5 p.m., and Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Photographers are “permitted” on Feb. 28 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. 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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