Canada Blooms: A Learning Experience in Spring

Canada Blooms is a learning experience as well as a treat for the senses.

Canada Blooms is a learning experience as well as a treat for the senses.

Canada Blooms, starting this Friday, March 11th, isn’t merely a spring exhibit of gardens and a chance to smell hyacinths en masse weeks before they actually bloom in Toronto. (Although that is one of the best reasons to go: breathing in the glorious scent of spring.) One of the lesser known, but most valuable aspects of Canada Blooms is its educational opportunities from the many speakers and workshops at the event. Your show ticket gives you free access to Canada Bloom’s excellent speaker series which includes garden experts from around the horticultural world. Expert garden speakers this year cover topics like native species, pest and diseases, growing herbs for teas, planting for pollinators, fabulous foliage, (especially for shade gardens – insiders note, this will be a great one, it’s by gardener/photographer/Toronto Gardens blogger Helen Battersby who has awesome photos) growing vegetables and ornamentals in containers, butterfly gardens, low-maintenance gardening, gardening with kids, floral design, including wedding arrangements, small-space and schoolyard gardens, the importance of soil in gardens, gardening for wildlife, biodiversity and monarch butterflies, and landscaping, among many others.

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Preserving Toronto’s Bounty

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It is no secret that Toronto, “A City Within a Park” is justifiably proud of its urban forest. Just last week, the Globe and Mail reported that the one hundred and sixteen species of trees that make up the city’s ten million trees are worth an estimated seven billion dollars, that is, 10 million trees at a replacement cost of 700 dollars per tree. According to the Globe, the urban forest provides the city with 80 million dollars in environmental and cost savings per year, broken down as follows:

  • $53.95-million from the reduced strain on water transportation and infrastructure thanks to rain and wet-weather flow interception
  • $19.09-million from air pollutants absorbed, removed and avoided by street trees
  • $6.42-million from energy saved through shading and climate moderation
  • $1.24-million from carbon sequestration and emissions avoided through energy savings

The amount of particulate matter removed annually by Toronto’s urban forest is equivalent to the amount released by over one million cars or 100,000 single family homes, the report calculates.- Globe and Mail Continue »

The Green Living Show Starts Today

We have always been big supporters of the Green Living Show because they are big supporters of local food and supporting local farmers. It is Canada’s largest consumer show for people who want to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. It is for people who care about the earth. Here we want to introduce some of the new programming they’ve got planned that should entice you to attend this weekend.

Allan Gardens Christmas Flower Show 2013


When December in the city is gloomy, there’s no snow on the ground, and the sun disappears at four o’clock, Allan Gardens is a favourite winter destination. The Christmas Flower Show at Allan Gardens Conservatory does more than get you in the holiday mood. As soon as you walk in the door, the scent of flowers and thousands of growing things soothes your spirit. As you walk through the winding paths, a non-stop display of greenery and flowers unfolds. 

Poinsettias and other greenery at Allan Gardens.

Poinsettias and other greenery at Allan Gardens.

Right now, the show boasts a sea of poinsettias, massed in bands of colour: pinks, white, scarlet red and deep wine. I’ve ever seen so many poinsettias in one location, there are absolute rivers of them. If you’ve ever been underwhelmed by a single “office poinsettia” in a pot, do yourself the favour of experiencing them this way:  They’re really at their best in this kind of abundance.

Pink cyclamen, scarlet fuchsia, and orange solanum pseudocapiscum

Pink cyclamen, scarlet fuchsia, and orange solanum pseudocapiscum

Other seasonal flowers brighten the space too. Delicate white, pink and red cyclamen flowers shimmer over whorls of patterned leaves. Paperwhite narcissus flowers perfume the air. Tiny orange globes of Solanum pseudo capsicum make an unexpected colour contrast with the pinks and reds. The way the floral designers combine plants is constantly surprising. I kept finding new colour and texture combinations everywhere I looked. 

Topiaries and obelisks in Victorian themes, and evening candlelight add to the charm of the show. In the main palm room, a special display of green people sporting gorgeous duds made of succulents and moss stand next to a grand piano. Come often, every time you visit it’s likely to be a bit different, with new plant varieties coming into bloom. Admission is free. The show runs till January 12th.


Fundraiser For Skyline Farms

On Thursday,October10,2013 partners,industry professionals,sustainability advocates, corporate sponsors and guests will gather for Skyline Farms Launch Party and Fundraising event at The Great Hall.




Skyline Farms is a Toronto-‐based urban agriculture company that is redefining the term, “locally grown.” Founded by two graduates of Humber College’s Sustainable Energy and Green Building Program, Skyline Farms,-partnered with My Food My Way, a joint initiative between TDSB, TEW and Humber College- is committed to address the bigger sustainability picture: environmental, health, community, and economic viability by changing connections to food and each other. Continue »