Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Toronto Botanical Garden is on top of garden trends at Canada Blooms

Award-winning & best-selling author,
Jessica Walliser!
I get a lot of press releases, articles and information packs from garden PR firms, nurseries, plant breeders all telling me what the next great garden trends will be. Often garden trends are nothing more than a sales pitch to promote new plants and products.

Sometimes, garden trends are so apparent that no press release is needed. Such is the case with the #1 garden trend of 2015 - at least according to me! But when I went to Canada Blooms in Toronto in mid-March, it seems that the Toronto Botanical Garden is also on the same page as I am, as their entire gardens at Canada Blooms focused on pollinators.

For years, I've seen this trend slowly building as more and more gardeners realize the important of attracting and supporting the populations of good bugs. My teacher was Jessica Walliser, who first piqued my interest with her book Good Bug, Bad Bug. I still take that book out into the garden when I need to ID insects and figure out what harm - or help - they can do.

Her latest book, Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden (Timber Press) builds on her earlier work and has just been honoured with the American Horticultural Society 2015 Book Award! Woot woot!! Congratulations Jessica! My copy is already quite dog-eared and I'm so excited for the coming season when I can put many of her ideas and suggestions into action in my veggie and new ornamental gardens. You can also read more about bugs, pollinators, etc from Jessica on Savvy Gardening, the website we started with Tara Nolan and Amy Andrychowicz in 2014.

As for the Toronto Botanical Gardens, this was - by far - my favourite spot at Canada Blooms 2015. Their display included a series of pods, which could represent corners of large gardens, small gardens or even condo balconies, with each showcasing pollinator-friendly plants and easy DIY projects for supporting and attracting the good bugs in your garden.

What do you do to attract pollinators and beneficials in your garden?

All about their pollinator playground. An army of volunteers
was also on hand to share their knowledge with gardeners.

Tara Nolan, of Savvy Gardening, was my partner-in-crime as we explored
the pollinator playground. 

Pollinator friendly plants - herbs, flowers & more
were included in all the pod gardens to showcase
the diversity available to gardeners. 

Master gardeners were also on hand to offer
advice & info. 

Like most gardeners, I'm a huge fan of upcycling. Paul
Zammit, the Director of the Toronto Botanical Garden
created a masterpiece with many re-purposed items. He
suggests including simple DIY solitary bee houses in your garden
and planting clumps of bee and butterfly plants. 

Um, the TBG also had an amazing store at Canada Blooms. I
may have accidentally bought a few tidbits! SO. MUCH. COLOUR!

There were some great pollinator friendly toys
and gardening kits for kids.

Let's just say I needed a bigger suitcase! 

Garden Making magazine was on display in a corner
of the booth.

They were also selling spring bloomers - tempting!

Air plants to help clean the air. In trendy and pretty glass containers.

A living wall pod - great for small spaces. These were beautiful foliage plants,
but imagine a tapestry of lettuces, or herbs! Sigh.


  1. I've found that the longer I garden, veggies or flowers, that I wanted to know what was going on in the garden, and why. To me the health of the garden boils down to the soil, weather and the insects that hang out there. The garden has not just become of haven to relax from the stresses of the day but a source of continuous entertainment. Every day has something different happening, especially when you start to learn about the bugs, both the good guys and the bad guys. Thank goodness for all of the books on the market helping to make this easier!

  2. Pod gardens is a new term to me. Can you explain?

  3. Gardening is the wonderful job for every person. I like to make garden in perfect. Your post is very nice i like it so much


Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your tips, questions, thoughts and ideas (and suggestions for new veggies to grow!)