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Trend spotting at Expo 2012

October 3, 2012  By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Oct. 3, 2012, Toronto — Landscape Ontario's annual Expo trade show is back, bringing all the latest and greatest plants, products, services and retail business strategists together in one location.

This year's Expo will showcase hot and emerging trends that can be found at various exhibitors’ booths and in the New Product Showcase. Members of the Garden Writers Association will also patrol the floor with their purple "Trend Spotter" buttons, on the hunt for items of interest to their garden enthused followers.

“Vendors should be sure to bring their most innovative and unique products to capture the eyes and fire the imaginations of this important and influential group of journalists,” said Heather MacRae, Expo 2012 show manager. “EXPO provides an excellent opportunity to expand product awareness, pitch services, make new contacts and build your garden or nursery business.”


The New Product Showcase is just one of the many features that will shine during this year’s show. Attendees will not want to miss the demonstrations taking place at the Destination Inspiration Theatre, as well as valuable retail business strategy tools, tips and professional development programs offered at the Landscape Ontario Resource Centre, which will have copies of the retail garden centre employee handbook available.

Retailers hoping to attract young and knowledgeable employees will find the Landscape Ontario job board a valuable resource. The new and improved job board, making its Expo debut, enables Landscape Ontario members to post both job openings and resumes on site at the show.

“There is a growing need for labour in the garden retail sector,” said Denis Flanagan, director of public relations at Landscape Ontario. “The all-new employment board for job opportunities and resumes is an excellent way to get hundreds of eyes to see what retail and nursery positions are available and learn about the skill sets being sought by potential employers.”

Excitement is also building for the announcement of the winners of the annual Awards of Excellence in the retail and grower categories. The ceremony, on Oct. 17, is held in conjunction with the breakfast event hosted by Landscape Ontario Garden Centre Sector Group at Expo 2012.

The renowned panel of judges for this year’s Retail Awards of Excellence are:

  • Carol Cowan, who spent 10 years as the Canadian publicist for the Dutch flowerbulb industry. During this time she became one of Canada’s most prolific garden writers. Today, Cowan co-manages, implements and develops horticultural tourism initiatives like Canada’s Garden Route, the Ontario Garden Tourism Coalition, the Garden Tourism Conference and Flora Niagara 2017.
  • Lorraine Flanigan, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for gardening. She is currently the editor of Trellis, the newsletter of the Toronto Botanical Garden, and writes the City Gardening column in the Town Crier newspapers. A Master Gardener based in Toronto, Lorraine has given regular presentations at Canada Blooms, the Toronto Botanical Garden and to various horticultural societies.
  • Sara Katz, the owner of Wild at Heart Design and an accomplished landscape designer, educator, and master gardener. A member of the Garden Writers Association who has been published in Canadian Gardening and Canadian Living magazines, Katz has been designing residential and commercial gardens since 2000.
  • Aldona Satterthwaite, who will host the ceremony, is the executive director of Toronto Botanical Garden and is formerly the editor-in-chief of Canadian Gardening magazine, which was twice named Magazine of the Year under her direction. A Master Gardener who completed her journalism studies at the Regent Street Polytechnic (now Westminster University) in London, England, and studied landscape architecture at Ryerson University, Satterthwaite has enjoyed a varied and successful writing and editing career that has included stints at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Art Gallery of Ontario. 

EXPO 2012 opens Oct. 17 at the Toronto Congress Centre, North Building, and closes the following day. To register or for more information, visit

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