Garden Views: Canada Blooms is less than a month away

Canada Blooms runs from March 13 to 22 and there's lots to do for grownups and kids, writes our Garden Views columnist Mary Fran McQuade.

By MARY FRAN McQUADE

Ka-boom! In less than a month, Canada Blooms opens.

The annual spring flower and garden show in Toronto celebrates all things gardening. and this year, there’s a twist – it’s packed with things to do for kids on March Break.

A romp for the kids

Every day, in the morning and in the afternoon, “Little Sprouts” workshops are being held to introduce kids to the fun of gardening.

They’ll be able to do things like plant a tiny succulent plant to take home for their very own, learn what plants will attract beautiful birds to their yards and find out how they can grow new food plants from veggie and fruit scraps. The workshops are free with admission, Space is limited, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Even better, there’ll be a Great Big Playground where kids can explore a naturalized environment to their heart’s content. No plastic and metal here – the space will include a pond and stream, a slide carved into massive granite slate, sand and water play, a tree fort and a natural amphitheatre for presentations.

The play space is barrier-free and accessible to all, so it offers tons of creative, active fun to kids tired of the long winter months.

Adults can relax, learn – or both!

Grown-up gardeners can choose to take it easy wandering through the larger feature gardens, designed to express this year’s show theme: Birds of a Feather.

Mark Caddo, show director, says, “Birds, gardens and gardeners are all part of a healthy ecosystem, and we can’t wait to see what our designers and builders create this year.”

Big gardens too much for your taste? Look for the row of tiny “do up the doorstep” gardens, just right for small spaces.

For further visual stimulation, be sure to take in the Toronto Flower Show. You may be surprised at the floral art and horticultural skill displayed by non-professional competitors from Ontario and around the world.

If you’re ready to learn some more how-to’s for your garden, check out the list of speakers and topics ahead of time. Gardening for the birds, front-yard gardening, organic gardening and crafts from your garden are all covered in the scheduled sessions. Landscaping, garden design and veggie growing are also part of the speaker series.

Want a little hands-on learning for yourself? Look for the free adult “pop-up” sessions on cactus, orchid care, and other demos or register before you go for a “Make & Take” workshop on bee hotels, terrariums, container gardens and more. (Registration fee includes admission to Canada Blooms.)

Quick facts

Dates: March 13 – 22, 2020.

Location: Enercare Centre on the CNE grounds.

Hours: Opens 10 a.m. every day. Closes at 8 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; at 9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; on Sunday, March 15 at 6 p.m., and on Sunday, March 22, at 5 p.m.

Admission: Tickets at the door range from $16 for teens to $20 for adults 18-64. Order online before March 12 for discount prices.

See website for all details at www.canadablooms.com


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