June 15, 2008
By Wendy Harry CHT
Membership coordinator, Windsor chapter

The third annual Winter Blooms will help bring some joy to residents of Hospice Village of Care in East Windsor. The Landscape/Garden Expo and Symposium, hosted by St. Clair College and the Windsor Chapter of Landscape Ontario, held the event on Sat., Mar. 29. Winter Blooms was officially opened by Robert Adams, LO president, and Paul Bezaire, president of the Hospice Board of Directors. A ribbon was cut at the entrance of The Healing Gazebo Garden. The gazebo was donated to the hospice, and will be ‘transplanted’ there. In addition, students in St. Clair College’s horticulture program and local LO members will install a garden this fall.

The Hospice of Windsor and Essex County is the largest community-based palliative care facility in Canada. It supports people living with life-threatening illnesses and their loved ones.   

John Lein, Professor of Horticulture at St. Clair College and the garden’s designer, gave a tour of the garden. He explained the gazebo garden is designed to provide a healing space, which can be viewed and experienced by people who visit Hospice Village. Lein is a believer in the powerful benefits nature can have on human healing. For more information about the hospice please visit www.thehospice.ca.

Approximately 1,000 people attended the one-day event. A trade show featured over 20 exhibitors who displayed their wares and promoted their businesses. Other attractions included cooking demonstrations by the culinary students from St. Clair College, a pruning demonstration, a children’s play and a creativity area that provided face painting, crafts,  and a sandbox. Clairol the Clown floated around the show greeting all who attended.

The symposium offered a full line-up of guest speakers. Paul Zammit spoke in the morning on annuals and perennials, past and recent, and in the afternoon on planning and planting for all-season interest. His dynamic personality and creativity left everyone inspired to create wonderful, lush, exciting gardens and containers with pizzazz — the envy of the neighborhood.

Michael Pascoe brought the gardens of England to life, showing Canadians how to use the same design elements in their own gardens. His humour and wit had everyone laughing. He even brought a rare Wollemi pine (Wollemia nobilis) for everyone to view.

Ken Parker talked about incorporating native species in the home landscape. He gave ecological solutions for garden enthusiasts, plus an introduction to the culinary, medicinal and spiritual uses of indigenous North American flora.
Jamie Munger educated everyone on creating awe-inspiring lush lawns the natural way, using organic products.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Hospice of Windsor and the St. Clair College Foundation towards horticultural bursaries and scholarships.

Thanks go to all who volunteered their time and energy before, during and after the show, to help make the third annual Winter Blooms the best to date. Stay tuned for an even bigger show in 2009.  

Don Tellier and Jay Terryberry (Windsor Chapter board and St. Clair College professors/coordinators of the horticulture programs) put a lot of volunteer time into this show, as well as Garry Moore (Windsor board) who worked with the Hospice board to promote the garden. Appreciation is also directed towards the board.

Thank you to the following companies who sponsored Winter Blooms:

Bellaire Landscape
Canadale Nursery
Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association
Orchard Farm Nursery
Santerra Stonecraft
St. Clair College Horticulture Club
St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology
St. Clair College Student Representative Council
Yoder Canada

Aquatic Gardens and Landscape
Bezaire and Associates
Creative Homescapes
Frank Dupuis Trucking and Landscaping
Lakeshore Landscaping
Maidstone Tree Farm
The Pond Store
Topgrade Landscape and Garden Solutions
Williams Nursery

Always Green Irrigation Systems
AMA Plastics
Dufour Landscaping
Flood’s Nursery
Lifestyle Fitness
Lil’s Country Gardens
MGS Horticultural
Northern Exposure Deck and Fence
PreDawn Nursery and Garden Centre

Blue Star Nursery
Canadian Tire – Walker Road
Essex Ford Tractor Sales
Flora Gardens
Heritage Perennials
John Deere Landscapes
LaSalle Landscape Supply
Patio Palace

Caption: The Healing Gazebo Garden was enjoyed during the show, then dismantled to be reinstalled at the Hospice Village of Care in Windsor.