Scenes from Canada Blooms

Our mini-vaca last week to Canada Blooms was quite a thrill.  And a cheap thrill, no less.  Of course, I don’t get out much, so it doesn’t take much.

The theme this year was the Juno Awards.  We were greeted by this beautiful piece of edible artwork as we arrived.

Canada Blooms is divided into two distinct areas.  The first is more like a local fair.  Individuals had created displays and had grown plants to compete in different categories.  The results were absolutely inspiring.

This was a rather spring-filled and jovial piece.

I think I might almost like this piece for our house.

The theme for this competition was a portable flower display.  All but one of the displays were placed in a little red wagon.

I liked this display the best in this particular category.

This one actually won in this category.  Clearly, the judges have got a little brushing up to do.

I don’t remember what this was supposed to represent, but gosh, it was purdy.

Not sure I quite ‘got’ this one.

This looks like something from a Victorian romance novel.

This piece was actually competing against the previous display.  I found the vase peculiar and intriguing, all at once.  There was a shop there selling them.  Something like $30.

This looks like it just walked out of a TeleFlora catalogue.

People grew useful plants as well.  I was tempted to swipe this bunch and use it to replace my anemic display at home.

Again, some kinds of art, I just don’t get.  The silver funnel looking thingies are actually lamp shades.  Hmmmm.

I forget the precise name of this portion of the competition, but it had to do with painting.

May I take this home please?

There was a play area for the kids, including an arts and crafts section.  This little guy is for display only.  He is actually carved out of sand.  Remind me not to enter any sand castle competitions with these guys.

This, too, was made out of sand.  Incredible artistry.

I am a little unsure as to whether or not this bear family was formed from sand and spray painted or carved from wood and burned.  Either way, someone was display some pretty incredible talent.  Then again, you should see what I can do with a ball of PlayDoh.  Then again, never mind.

The kids play area had sufficient room for the kids to run round and get into mischief without breaking anything.

They even had a giant xylophone.  How cool is that?!?

This was just crazy cool.  Local florist shops competed to create displays along the theme of the Juno Awards.  These were old vinyl records heated and shaped to form the outside of the flowers, then filled with real carnations.

Beauty, it would seem, is in the eye of the beholder.

This, I get.  I believe the treble clef is actually formed from florist’s oasis.

I am seriously considering something like this for a currently naked corner of our home.  Perhaps on a considerably smaller scale, though.

Everywhere you walked, the aisles were filled with beautiful flowers and trees.  And get this.

EVERYTHING HAD LABELS.  That’s right.

When you saw this and decided “I must have this Charlie Brown-esque creature for my very own”

You would find this at its base and have some hope of owning it for your very own.  Unless, of course, the little Zone indicator told you it was a bad idea to say, try and grow a tropical banana tree in your Ontario yard.

There were vendors and innovators of all sorts there as well, most with something to sell.  This little beauty lets you grow Boston lettuce right in the comfort of your own home.  Of course, you’d need a pretty large space to dedicate to its operation, so I’m going to stick with the store bought variety for now, thanks.

And the Sugarcrafter Association was there.  The same folks who had created the entryway piece also had this beauty on display.  They were sponsored, fittingly enough, by Redpath Sugar.

This kind of a thing is apparently all the rage now.  Bare, boring branches in the winter?  Have no fear.  Instead of just plain old Christmas lights, buy these lights that are shaped like flowers to keep on there instead.  Um, yah.

Cute, but no thanks.

Now this, this I could go for.  A water feature that my children are unlikely to fall and drown themselves in.

Tired of just putting your plants in pots filled with dirt?  Try a hydroponic water tube instead.

This piano was part of a commercial display.  Not that I am a piano aficionado or anything, but I have never heard of this company.

There were a variety of vendors and retail displays.  Free tea samples from Tetley and wild flower paper being handed out by funeral planners.  You know, the usual stuff.

When we finally rolled ourselves back to the Westin Harbour Castle and almost into our moderately inadequate bed, a knock came at the door.  Being generally incomprehensible at that hour at the best of times, and having a mouth full of toothpaste and toothbrush, Goose answered the knock.

Turns out it was complimentary room service (don’t worry, we checked out the complimentary part before accepting anything).

We promptly squirreled it away for breakfast the next morning.  Except the soda.  We saved that for home.   We used the surprisingly good in-room coffee maker to brew ourselves Starbucks pods to go with our chocolate chip cookies.  Breakfast of champions, I tell you.

They went well with the muffins I had brought with us.  Wait, you didn’t actually think we were going to BUY a hotel breakfast did you?  Crazy people.  Heck, we’d splurged and bought full IKEA meals for lunch the day before.

Overall, Blooms was a really good time. While it didn’t live up to the hype that had surrounded it in my world, I suspect it, too, has become a victim of the economy.  Still, an excellent show was to be had.

As for the Westin Harbour Castle?  A beautiful hotel, pretty cool room service treat, but it may be time to consider new mattresses, folks.

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