May 15, 2014
Landscape Ontario’s director of public relations Denis Flanagan has been named provincial spokesperson for Canada’s National Garden Day on June 13.

NDP Agriculture and Agri-Food Critic Malcolm Allen introduced a Private Member’s Bill on Apr. 8 to establish National Garden Day to be held the Friday before Father’s Day of each year.

“National Garden Day would be an opportunity for gardening enthusiasts, families and schools to share their knowledge and passion for gardening and the outdoors,” says Allen. “Canadians could enjoy their home gardens or favourite community garden, visit their local garden centre or travel to other communities.”

The event is supported by CNLA, Canada’s Garden Council and other stakeholder groups.

“As an MP from the beautiful Niagara region, I am proud to recognize Canada’s long-standing garden heritage,” said Allen.

Upon introducing Bill C-589, an act respecting a National Garden Day, in the House, Allen stated, “After the severe winter we have all lived through in this country, I think we would all appreciate that one of the things to look forward to would be flowers. This would be a way for all of us who have lived through this harsh Canadian winter to look forward to something that is truly spring-like, that truly makes us feel good, and that is actually good for our environment.”

CNLA President Christene LeVatte said, “Recognizing a national day to celebrate gardens will not only support our industry, but also greatly benefit the Canadian public and economy. We look forward to seeing this bill come to fruition in the near future.

The Canadian Garden Council has set six goals in organizing Garden Days festivities. They goals include, celebrate our cultural garden offering, its history and innovations; counteract plant blindness syndrome by bringing awareness to the importance of public and home gardens, the values of home gardening and all the benefits related to gardens; interpret and develop our unique Canadian garden aesthetic; promote sustainable garden practices and communities; promote Canada’s numerous garden experiences; foster development of our national garden tourism sector.

Flanagan says all Ontario gardens, garden and horticultural organizations and garden-related businesses (garden centres, etc.) are invited to organize activities or events to celebrate public gardens and home gardening and to be included as part of the Garden Days program.

“It’s a great opportunity for Canadians to go outside in their own garden, visit or take part in their favourite garden experience or travel to a nearby garden destination to enjoy their favourite garden,” says Flanagan.

One of the major events already planned is the 50th anniversary celebration of the Guelph Arboretum. The event will start at 12:30 at the Conservatory and Water Garden.

The on-campus Garden Day celebrations on June 13 will be extra special to mark the University of Guelph’s 50th anniversary, the OAC’s 140th and the 65th anniversary of the OAC Class of 1949.

As part of Canada Garden Day, the university is providing free shuttle buses and tours of its Guelph Turfgrass Institute, Arboretum, Conservatory Gardens, newly-renovated Branion Plaza and Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming.

The program of activities and events will be featured on