I’m waaaay to lazy (and too impatient) to be a gardener. Or at least to be a good one. But that doesn’t mean I don’t long to have a gorgeous garden with lush plantings, whimsical decor, and luxurious spaces where I can find my zen space, or alternately entertain friends. Which is why I love visiting the annual Canada Blooms show in Toronto, where talented, creative “garden artists” put on a show that makes me green with envy.
Here is a photo roundup of some of the things that inspired me at Canada Blooms 2016:
The Art of Flower Arranging
I’m not very good at flower arranging either, so when I see things like this, I am truly awed.
Whimsical Garden Creatures
I love an element of whimsy in gardens, especially in the sculptures and hidden creatures that people often hide in them. While some of these are out of my budget (or scale), who wouldn’t love discovering these while wandering between garden ‘rooms’?
Canada Blooms 2016: mad about the Mad Hatter
It seems that this year, there was an element of Alice in Wonderland (which is how I feel at Canada Blooms shows!). With everything from Mad Hatter Tea Parties to outdoor table settings laden with goodies, Lewis Carroll would have been impressed.
Overgrown is never overdone
If my garden looked like this once the weeds took over, I’d be thrilled. It also solves the problem of what to do with old furniture once it’s outlived its indoor use!
The fanciful Victorian theme showed up in other ways besides the Mad Hatter theme, too, like with these terrarium/lanterns that felt like they were inspired by Jules Verne.
Canada Blooms is mad about modern, too
Even though there was a 19th century theme that showed up in many of the garden installations, Canada Blooms is as much about modern garden design, materials and structure, as it is about whimsy or fantasy. That shows up in everything from the products used to create these gardens, to the use of water features and eco-friendly plantings. For example, this fountain structure was crowned with a ring of tubing that formed a water cascade all around the central fountain, and used reclaimed wood beams to create the gazebo itself.
Or this ‘room’ that incorporates a green wall with evocative photography, proving that outdoor rooms can be as modern and inspired as indoor spaces.
Flowers are always in fashion
Trends come and go in gardens as much as everywhere else in life, but flowers are always in fashion, and this year’s Canada Blooms held a competition that was literally designed to showcase that fact.
Every year that I make it to Canada Blooms, I’m always inspired. I don’t know whether it’s the timing just before spring, when everyone is ready for a little colour and life to come back to the landscape, or if it’s just the joy of walking around spaces that feel lush, magical, and yet somehow attainable at the same time.
Even though I may only aspire to the kind of gardens on display here, Canada Blooms is an escape from the dull and ordinary that I look forward to every year, just like spring itself.
TIP: Canada Blooms runs in conjunction with the annual National Home Show at the Direct Energy/Enercare Centre in Toronto. So if you’re with someone who prefers to look at the latest in kitchen designs or roof tiles instead of gardens, you can both go your separate ways and meet up after an hour or two to compare notes. It’s the perfect Indoor-Outdoor date!
Jane Canapini is a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada and the North American Travel Journalists Association. She established GrownupTravels.com in 2014 to share information and tips based on personal experience so her readers could get the most out of their travels.
Beautiful Jane Wish I could have been there
Yes, next time we’ll do all our shopping trips on one-level buildings!