03 Feb Canada Blooms 2013 – Picking Plants
One of our most enjoyable winter tasks is picking the plants for Canada Blooms. The process is very interesting. Charlie Dobbin collects plants all summer and fall from suppliers around the country. She then compiles a list of availability and sends it to all the garden builders around Christmas or early in the new year.
Many of us sit poised with a wish list and a tentative planting plan and as soon as the list pops into our inbox we pounce on it and race to send in our preferred plants. It is first come first serve. As soon as I saw it this year I sat Kim and Cassie down to put our list together. Kim was a little rattled by my anxiety. He kept saying “slow down, calm down or you will make a mistake.” I don’t think he believed me that this was a race.
We submitted about 2 hrs after getting the original list and still we were not first. We lost out on a few things. The most upsetting was we were only allowed 1 of the 3 flowering dogwoods available. No worries. Everything happens for a reason. We redesigned the placement of the one dogwood and added in a couple of big oak trees.
I almost don’t remember where I wanted to place the other two dogwoods. You can be sure however, that I will notice where the other two dogwoods end up and probably give a hats off to my speedy fellow garden builder.
In mid February Charlie has all of us attend the greenhouse where the plants are being forced so that we can tag our picks. Because of our upcoming trip to Ireland we had to made our visit earlier this year. Unfortunately many of the trees have not yet leafed out but it was still possible to have confidence picking them based on bud swells and the general structure of the trees.
It is such a treat to walk in a green house in the deepest cold of the winter. The life in the air is palatable.
We leave this Wednesday for Ireland. We are all very excited about our own family gathering at the end of February. Kim , Taura and I will be traveling the west cost before meeting up with the others in the south. My next post will be from the lovely and magical emerald isle.