Category Archives: Canada Blooms

Only Child pines and whines for her garden

Only Child is waiting for this - and so is the Muskoka chair

Only Child is waiting for this – and so is the Muskoka chair

Tomorrow is the first day of spring – by the calendar. Most of Canada is still stuck in winter. Parts of British Columbia, particularly on Vancouver Island aren’t. Gardeners there have seen plants growing, been cutting the lawn and visiting garden centres for a month now. Here, in southern Ontario, Toronto specifically, a few plants were seen poking their heads out of the ground on Sunday. Last night (and overnight) more of that nasty winter stuff – snow-ice pellest- rain sloppy mix – what depending on where you live came down. So I was out at 11.30 p.m. last evening shovelling heavy snow it as it started to rain to try to avoid another session of water leaking in the basement.

I’m fed up beyond my eye teeth (and yes, I still have my own – so far) about all this winter crap. I want to get out in my garden and well, garden. When I was growing up, Mom, Dad and I were out there in April turning the soil and planting seeds. Not going to happen here this year at this rate.

Sunday, my friend Carol and I headed down to Canada’s largest garden show – Canada Blooms – for the annual early sniff and see of green, colour and GARDENS. Even with all that walking indoors, it still raised the spirits. And outside, at least it was sunny and dry, with most of the previous snowfalls’ aftermath melted. I bought two more houseplants – a spring cactus and another African violet.

Now we are back to square one. It’s supposed to be cold all this week. Next week more of this nasty mix of rain and snow – which as I previously posted we never used to get until the late 1990s.

At least we have daylight savings time with daytime lasting an hour longer and increasing in the evenings. When we hit late May sunset will be around 9.30 p.m. That’s my kind of season. You can guess what I’ll be doing outside most evenings then – maybe even after sunrise. My friend Tanya next door and I have been known to be out there pulling weeds in our gardens at dusk.

My Muskoka chair stares at me every time I go down the stairs to the basement. Soon, I’ll be able to get it back outside on the front veranda.

Meantime I’m pouring through the seed catalogue, getting my order, in well order. Now that I have received payment from an editing client (he wasn’t slow paying– it was two countries’ postal services – the US and Canada), I can actually buy the seeds. And growing extra coleus to bring outside (along with some other potted plants like the Rex begonias, rosemary, ornamental pepper and citronella) in late spring – if it ever arrives.

Anybody else anxious for the real spring to arrive? Or if you are in the southern hemisphere, do you dread the coming winter?


Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Canada Blooms, Extreme Weather, Gardening, Home and Garden, Indoor Gardening, Mom and Dad, Muskoka Chair, Only child, Sharon A. Crawford, Spring, Weeding, Winter Weather

Only child at Canada Blooms – a finding exercise

Only Child waiting for this to happen in her garden

My annual gardening trek to Canada Blooms yesterday turned into a big hunt and find. Not all was of the garden variety.

First my friend Carol and I had problems finding my cousin Kathy and her friend Lynn in the huge conference centre. I figured we’d all connect at lunch. We did, through food, as I saw them carting around their plates of food two hours later. Turns out we all mixed up our entrance locations. The venue had so many you would have to make like a spider plant and spread your tentacles to all entrances at once.

Finding specific exhibits was another matter. Unlike the weeds in my garden and my late Mom’s garden, the searched-for exhibits didn’t just pop up. I blame it on a badly designed Canada Blooms calendar booklet. I am not an expert in designing (my garden is partly by planning and partly by serendipity) but here is where the booklet provided problems. These design/information problems are a lesson for those of us who have to design anything.

  1. Because Canada Blooms combined with the National Home Show for the first time, the booklet combined information about both but you had to turn the booklet upside down to look at “the other show” (whichever one at the moment of looking). Even with a Table of Contents it made it difficult to find information because…
  2. Finding a specific list of exhibitors was difficult because everything seemed to be listed under Sponsored Gardens and Canada Blooms Magazine Listings. In the latter some had no exhibit booth number, so probably no exhibit. For those that did, you went to a diagram, but…
  3. The print was tiny and not every actual booth/exhibit was shown. I couldn’t find the VIA Rail booth for the VIA rail garden route contest entry. Not good for the daughter of a railway man who rode the rails with her Dad and Mom as a child. And definitely not good for a gardener.
  4. The Marketplace was much tinier than other years and there didn’t seem to be many garden accessories booths.

Still I managed to buy three plants: two lavender which will go outside later in the spring, a spring cactus with both white and fuchsia flowers ready to open, and a wind charm that might actually be heavy enough to avoid getting blown away by high winds blasting across my front veranda.

And the garden designs were superb – more down-to-earth for actual home gardens, including one featuring the front of a house, some interesting pond setups, and plenty of colourful and fragrant flowers. I also connected with a representative from another gardening magazine – another possible market for my garden stories. The big bonus for me was finding some new ideas on how to do my new gardening passion – vertical gardening.

The four of us gals also had a good time – even though Lynn lost her non-prescription reading glasses. Despite all the finding problems, I know what I found was worth it – friendship with friends and family, the gardening plants and supplies, and the gardens. It was worth all the rambling up and down, and across the aisles, with several rest breaks. I may not win the VIA rail contest but I can check out their garden routes online or pick up flyers on it at Ontario Travel or Toronto Union Station. What we found tops what wasn’t.

Now, I have to get outside on the backyard garden patio and eat some lunch. It is now 16 Celsius (about 62 Fahrenheit) going up to 22 Celsius (about 74 Fahrenheit). Better enjoy it before we crash to early spring weather this Friday and Saturday.


Sharon Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Canada Blooms, Family and Friends, Gardening, Home and Garden, Mom and Dad, Only child, Railways, Sharon Crawford