A Sensory Experience at Canada Blooms 2012

Posted on: March 19th, 2012 by Trillium Art

We had the opportunity last week to visit Toronto’s premier flower and garden festival:  Canada Blooms.  I must admit that it has been a few years since I have attended and not since they teamed up with the National Home Show.

Since we were attending over the March Break, we had our two children with us.  It certainly put a different spin on things!  We followed their lead and had fun watching to see where their interests took them.  It was a glorious spring day and we had fun exploring Canada Blooms through the eyes of a child.

When I watch my children in a new situation, I find they use all of their senses to gather information; smell, sight, sound, touch, and taste.  During our discussions on the way home from our events, I enjoyed hearing what parts of the show made an impression on them.

Smell:
– As soon as you entered the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place, the air changed.  It seemed fresher and definitely sweeter thanks to all the blooms (especially the hyacinths and roses)
– Every display had some kind of water feature and that must have added to the freshness of the air.

Hyacinths

Sight:
– Well this one is obvious!  The colours were all around us!  From the plants, to the banners and signage.
– The one garden that stood out in the children’s’ minds was the Asian paper lanterns and beautiful orchids in the International Garden of Taipei, Taiwan
–  Personally, I loved the Canadian Cancer Society’s Fight for Life Garden with the contrasting bright yellow daffodils against the dark wood structures…maybe it’s because I believe in their symbol of strength and courage, where the daffodil is more than just a flower.

Canadian Cancer Society Exhibit

Sound:
– The sound of water was everywhere from pretty “pinging” water sculptures, to babbling brooks to water walls and waterfalls
– The Juno Artists Inspired Gardens were an interesting interpretation of the music.  The music was playing and gave an interesting perspective of the artists reflection of the lyrics

Touch:
– This one got us into a bit of trouble as the kids wanted to touch everything!  It was an interesting lesson on what they could (and couldn’t) touch.
– They felt every rock whether it was rough or smooth, wet or mossy.  They tried to touch every water they could reach to see what the “temperature” was!  The flowers “needed” to be touched to see if there were real!?!  Do you see where I am going with this?
– Once we entered the Playscape garden, we couldn’t get them out again!  I lost one to the giant sandbox and the other to the outdoor musical instruments.  What fun they had exploring this garden with their senses! (And by the looks of it, so did the other children!)

Taste:
– Well, I must be honest, this is a hard one for our family.  Both children have life-threatening allergies so eating out in a public space is a major deal for us.  Since we were staying in Toronto for a couple of days, packing a lunch, beyond a few snacks, was not an option for us.
– But, we were able to find some food that was “friendly” and for the afternoon snack…it was soft-serve ice-cream all the way!

I was expecting to take in Canada Blooms as I had done many years ago (when I visited with fellow gardeners), by enjoying each design and meaning of the displays.  Appreciating the overall exhibit and how it related to this year’s theme of City Culture.

I was pleasantly surprised to come away with different experiences.  Getting down on our hands and knees and looking (not touching!) at the little ladybug in one of the show pieces, counting the deer sculpture out of car parts, and finding all the tomato plants mixed in with the flowers.

This time I slowed down, got down and enjoyed the details.

Follow our Canada Blooms Tour on Flickr

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