February 15, 2012
Denis Flanagan CLD
LO Manager of Membership and Public Relations

Denis FlanaganAs you read this, we will of course be in the middle of preparations for Canada Blooms. I expect to deal with many media leads thanks to Linda Nodello, and help Kathleen Pugliese with all our members’ needs, plus give presentations with Mark Cullen and Charlie Dobbin during the show.

As part of our presence at the show, we will hand out Garden Inspiration, a first class consumer publication put together by our publishing team that celebrates the achievements of our members and showcases new plant varieties for 2012.

I also take content from the magazine to put together power-point presentations that I use for many different shows throughout the province. At the various shows this year, we hope to focus on promoting the relevancy of Landscape Ontario in as many parts of Ontario as possible. We plan to achieve this by utilizing the strength of our Chapters.

After Canada Blooms, I will set the trip-o-meter and compass in my Jeep, and head out on the road. Every time I set out on a trip, the office staff in Milton sends me off with a box of our magazines, Chapter supplies and Landscape Ontario literature. Jane and Helen tell me where to go (they call them driving directions.)!

Here is a summary of some of the upcoming activities and opportunities:
  • Our Chapters have been active for many years with several consumer shows. This year, I will give presentations on new plant varieties at the London Home Show that was held from Jan. 27 to 29, Winter Blooms in Windsor from Mar. 2 to 4, a talk on invasive species at the London Master Gardeners Seedy Saturday on Mar. 10, and presentations and radio interviews at the Sarnia Home Show from Apr. 13-15.
  • LO will once again be a main feature at The Kitchener/Waterloo Home Show. I will join our members for presentations on the stage from Mar. 23 to 25.
  • Presentations at a new garden show at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton on Apr. 26.
It seems this year there are some great opportunities to connect with northern communities. We hope to work on some ideas and proposals with Communities in Bloom and Ontario Parks Association.

Also, a few of our members in the Thunder Bay area would like to explore the possibility of starting a new Chapter. The fortitude of our members and their customers in the north always amazes me, as they take on the challenge of gardening in Zone 2.

I was a Communities in Bloom judge in Red Lake a few years ago. This area often has frost every month of the year, and I learned that gardeners here must truck in topsoil from hundreds of kilometres away just to plant a tree.  

If you have any thoughts on how to continue to promote the work of our Chapters to the public, please contact myself or Helen Hassard at hhassard@landscapeontario.com.

See you on the trail.
Denis Flanagan can be reached at dflanagan@landscapeontario.com or at 905-875-1805, ext. 2303.