No Pots and Pans and Hot Tubs: Just Flowers
Toronto's other Flower Show just ended this past weekend to, as usual, mixed reviews. The National Flower Show known as "Canada Blooms" (because, hey, Toronto is the horticultural capital of Canada right?) runs every early March when the fine citizens of this city are at their most vulnerable and desperate for anything resembling living vegetative matter. I haven't attended in a few years, even with the lure of free media tickets, because the Show doesn't resonate with me: I simply want to see and take pictures (for you, dear reader) of pretty flowers and not be solicited aggressively with offers of kitchenware or outdoor hot tubs. The exhibits for Canada Blooms are located close to a Home Show in the same complex so one usually needs to run a gauntlet of home improvement salespeople to see gardens which focus on dimly lit large areas (read expensive) of concrete pavers. (According to some of the latest reviews on the Canada Bloom Facebook page, this experience hasn't changed much since my last visit.)
I was in the west-end of Toronto in a section/municipality called Etobicoke (for you non-natives) the other day for an appointment and decided to visit a public Conservatory afterwards to see its spring floral displays. It was much more my style: low key and quiet with me and a few families escaping the lousy March weather inside the greenhouses. The Centennial Park Conservatory is the smaller and perhaps overlooked compared to her bigger and better known sister, the Allan Gardens Conservatory, which I've visited and posted about many times. But smaller is good too sometimes: there's always ample parking, no admission fee (although donations are welcome) and never (in my experience) a big crowd getting in the way of my pictures!
Below are a few pictures of lovely tulips, daffodils and hyacinths from this spring's flower show, commerce- and commercial-free. We won't see these blooms outside until another month but it's officially spring so we'll go with that!