January 24, 2010

Landscape Ontario Congress - face2face

January 12, 2010

Landscape Ontario does two major trade shows at the Congress Centre. The first is the Floral and Garden Expo in the fall, and the second is the Landscape Ontario Congress in the middle of the winter.

To my mind the first is more oriented to the Nursery and Floral trade, while the second is most definitely centred on the Landscape industry. In fact, many people in the horticultural milieu will attend the first but not the second. “It's all big trucks and testosterone!” I've heard said about Landscape Ontario Congress.

I would say there is a lot of truth in that but not completely. While new equipment does take centre stage, there is a great deal of emphasis on design.

When I arrived I took a quick stroll through trying to figure out how best to photograph the show. Eventually, I ran into Lorraine Pigeon-Ivanoff. I got to know Lorraine when I covered the Garden and Floral Expo. I was lucky that she was on her way to do a quick tour of the show for her show assistant, Anna DiCarlo. I tagged along and got the full benefit of this private tour.

We started the tour by orienting our selves to the layout. The first landscape design installation we came across was Niagara College Garden.

Landscape Ontario Congress

Bendale Business & Technical Institute created a design that dealt with water conservation and composting within the context of a European style walled garden.

Landscape Ontario Congress

The centrepiece of the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus, display was the green roof on the shed.

Landscape Ontario Congress

The Fanshawe College Garden entry was really the grand standout of the show. First of all it was huge. Secondly it was filled with the most amazing cactus and succulents.

I guess the idea was to create a garden that needed very little watering. I don't know what conservatory they raided for the plant material but it was pretty impressive.

Landscape Ontario Congress

Here you can see Anna and Lorraine in the central arbour. Just consider the amount of work that went into creating this structure, all for a three-day event.

Landscape Ontario Congress
Landscape Ontario Congress

Right adjacent to the Fanshawe College entry was the new product showcase. The products highlighted green technology. Husqvarna Canada displayed a Solar Hybrid Automower. So the battery could be charged the traditional way but also with the built-in solar panels.

Landscape Ontario Congress

Bosman Home Front Inc displayed their Adirondack Chair made to last a lifetime out of recycled plastics with the look and feel of real wood.

Landscape Ontario Congress

We then went on to see the St. Clair College courtyard installation.

Landscape Ontario Congress

The Humber College Garden was situated near one of the entrances and to me had a very Canadian feel to it.

Landscape Ontario Congress

This did not stop them from using some very interesting and unusual plant material, Copper Leaf (Acalypha wilensiana.)

Landscape Ontario Congress

After that we toured some of the wholesaler booths and ran into Tom Intven of Canadale Nurseries.

Landscape Ontario Congress

Later we met up with Cathy Swain of Van Noort Bulbs. Van Noort's always has beautiful things to see. They have some really gorgeous bulbs and perennials. Too bad none of it was for sale at the show!

Landscape Ontario Congress

Another beauty that Cathy was teasing people with was this new Acanthus 'Tasmanian Angel'.

Landscape Ontario Congress

While it isn't for sale just yet, we hope to see it on the market soon. It may be hardy in downtown Toronto or on the north shore of Lake Erie.

Landscape Ontario Congress

Finally I ended my tour at the Adamson's Heritage Nursery booth. Dave Adamson and Ken Knechtel were pleased to show me the new 'Michel Trudeau' rose.

Landscape Ontario Congress

If you are hosting a garden related event in the GTA and would like it covered in gardentoronto.ca or would like to place an e-poster about it on our Events Calendar, just contact me. I am always delighted to promote anything gardening in Toronto.

Mark

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