By Dave Harrison
March 16, 2017, Toronto – Taking a stroll through the feature gardens in Canada Blooms this year, the presence of water is unmistakable.
A deep pool with streams of water pouring in from on high; a rustic pond with a rocky bottom and natural shore; a waterfall cascading water over polished rocks; a gurgling fountain trickling water into a basin.
“Just like fashion and food, there are trends in gardening that will influence the design and look of your yard and garden,” says Denis Flanagan, a gardening expert with Landscape Ontario. “Some trends come and go, but many in gardening and landscaping have significant staying power.”
Most of the feature gardens at Canada Blooms are centred on some sort of water feature. The popular Secret Path garden is built around a pond. The Year Round Fun, True North Strong and Free, Trip to the Future and Garden of Celebration gardens feature swimming pools with fountains pouring into them. A decorative downspout can be seen in Big Yellow Taxi. A boulder with a small gurgle of water bubbling out of it adds to the serenity of the Tranquility garden.
SHOWCASING GARDEN TRENDS
But water is just the start of what is in vogue in gardens in Canada this year. Among the trends that can be seen at Canada Blooms this year are:
Red and White: It is Canada’s 150th birthday, and red and white flowers are all the rage this year. While all reds and whites will be popular, keep an eye out for the Canadian ShieldTM Rose, Canada Blooms’ 2017 Plant of the Year. It is truly a made in Canada rose, developed at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre to survive and thrive in Canada’s diverse weather conditions.
Food gardening: More people are opting to bypass the produce aisle at the grocery store for the patch of garden in their backyard. Tomatoes are always a popular backyard garden item, but don’t overlook things like cucumbers, radishes, peppers, lettuce, kale, chard, carrots, peas … you can feed your family all summer from the bounty in your backyard.
Smaller trees: Not to discount the beauty and ecological and environmental importance of the big trees, small- to medium-sized interesting trees are in demand at garden shops. For example, the Laburnum can grow to height of about 23 feet, but its golden blooms in spring have made it popular addition to gardens. Crabapple trees also provide beautiful pink blooms.
Garden travel: Not all trends are restricted to what your put in your yard. Travelling across the country, or around the world, is becoming increasingly popular with garden enthusiasts. Garden travel gives you a chance to see unique plants and flowers not native to Canada, and experience different design ideas.
Garden Shed Plus: No longer just a place to store your garden tools and half-used bags of fertilizer, it is incredibly trend to make your garden shed an extension of your house. Turn it into an office space, or add a comfy couch, television and mini fridge for a place to escape.
Co-located with the National Home Show, Canada Blooms is continuing through to March 19 at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place in Toronto.