Unmatched marketing opportunity for plants?

March 22, 2013
Written by
March 22, 2013, Toronto — If the industry wants to reach more gardeners and grow more sales, Canada Blooms is the place to go.

The show, now in its 17th season, attracts some 200,000 visitors each year. It is held in conjunction with the National Home Show at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto.

“Growers should own this show,” said Louis Damn, of Floral Dimensions Flower Farm in Pelham.

And he’s spot on. You won’t find a more enthusiastic crowd of plant-lovers anywhere else.

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Encouraging the next generation of gardeners.

Floral Dimensions has been involved with the show for the past few years. It stepped up its participation this year by working with Fafard Inc. to host the Children’s Gardening Experience.
 
Youngsters aged five to 12 can participate in a 45-minute workshop for a fun introduction to the joys of gardening. They learn the difference between a weed and a plant, a spade and a hoe, and soil and compost.

It is estimated that over 700 children will take part. Overall, the hope is children will head home after the festival with an understanding and appreciation for gardening—understanding the role gardens play in the natural environment.

PICKONTARIO HOSTS BUSY MARKETPLACE

Floral Dimensions is located just across the aisle from the expansive PickOntario “marketplace.” Several leading Ontario growers are participating this year. It was clearly the most popular attraction on the day of our visit.

Among plants in the spotlight was ‘Medinilla Magnifica,’ a plant being exclusively grown in North America by Northend Floral in Jordan. (See photo below)

‘Medinilla Magnifica’ has established itself as a star in the horticulture world. Easy to care for, its exotic flowers bloom several times. Horticultural writer Rob Herwig calls it "the Rolls Royce of the houseplants." It was named “Favorite New Flowering Plant” at last year’s Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) show in Florida.

So why should more growers be involved in Canada Blooms? Last year’s Canada Blooms/National Home Show event attracted 203,104 guests, making it the largest home and garden event in North America and the largest consumer event in Canada. And these are keen consumers.

“Putting these events side-by-side created a situation where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Gerry Ginsberg, general manager of Canada Blooms.

“We believe this co-location allowed us to achieve a new standard of excellence and significantly enhances the customer experience for hundreds of thousands of garden and home enthusiasts that visit these events each year.”

INCREASED POPULARITY OF PLANTS


One of the biggest industry trends "is the idea of adaptable gardening in our modern world,” said Denis Flanagan of Landscape Ontario.

“The world is changing. Spaces are getting smaller, people have less time and are more concerned for the environment than ever before. As a result, gardens have had to evolve to survive."

Flanagan broke down how these changes are affecting gardening, and was able to pin-point the following four trends that have emerged as a result:
 
• Dynamic doorsteps: Flanagan predicts increased consumer interest in "containers to go" from garden centres full of tropical flower power complemented with perennial foliage and trailing ivies.

• Water: With the environment front and centre, look for more water-saving ideas, including rain barrels, smart sprinkler systems, and rain-harvesting techniques. Canada Blooms was big this year on eco-friendly waterfalls, ponds and bog gardens.

• Urban farming: From upside-down tomato planters to spuds in a tub, vegetable gardeners have more options than ever to grow and harvest their own bountiful harvest with the added comfort that they know the exact source of the produce.

• Healthy horticulture: Spending time outside benefits people of all ages, modern garden designs this year will include areas to relax, play, exercise, eat, entertain and enjoy nature. In today's stressful, modern world, heeding the sage advice "take time to smell the roses" has never been more important.

Canada Blooms/The National Home Show continues to Sunday (March 24). Click here for more information.

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"Welcome to Canada Blooms 2013!"

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PickOntario is hosting one of the most popular booths at this year's show.

5668_urban_gardening_at_floral_dimensions_at_canada_blooms_2013
Urban vegetable gardening continues to grow in popularity, according to Denis Flanagan of Landscape Ontario. Floral Dimensions (Fenwick, Ont.) displayed part of its product line at Canada Blooms.
5668_water_big_theme_at_canada_blooms_2013
'Water' themes are popular with landscapers. Do you have the plants to complement these themes?
5668_themed_display_gardens_at_canada_blooms_2013
Themed display gardens offer gardening design ideas.
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Floral Dimensions Flower Farm introduced its new wall planter product line at the show ... with plants on top and on the sides!

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PickOntario promotes Ontario-grown plants and is a program of Flowers Canada Ontario. Click here for more information.
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 Canada Blooms welcomed more than 200,000 visitors last year.
5668_canadian_institute_of_floral_design_was_prominent_at_canada_blooms_2013
 A display by the Canadian Institute of Floral Design.
5668_medinilla_magnifica_at_canada_blooms_2013
'Medinilla Magnifica' was one of the showstoppers in the PickOntario "marketplace" area.
5668_mixed_planter_winner_at_canada_blooms_2013
Here's an award-winning mixed planter design, according to the Canada Blooms judges. Can't argue with them!

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