stratford garden festival

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The glorious GInkgo biloba tree specimen at the Stratford Festival Theatre Gardens. Lovely furrowed bark and leaves alighted gold by the sun. This is the only specimen I’ve seen in person to possess some chi-chi (aka- unique aerial roots) along the branches, and interestingly from such a average-aged one at that!
Photographed September 23rd 2015

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Went to the Stratford Garden Festival today, with my mother and sister in tow since they were also itching with spring fever (hence the selfie by my sister’s suggestion). It was FAR more crowded than it’s been other years, though I suspect it’s due to the winter blues driving other people mad lol.

Yet again less plant-centric stands this year compared to the last, but those that hang on still keep bringing in interesting plants and seeds (with Anything Grows as the wildcard stand for merchandise as usual). I wish I could’ve gotten more photos (I still need to look through the majority) but my camera fizzled out on battery a third of the way so the rest became iphone photos which had mixed to poor results.

I kept very minimal with purchasing plant material, with me only buying Cornus florida (HOW DID THEY GET THOS-) from Anything Grows while my sister got several vegetable/fruit seeds. The non plant material was a new Lavender growing book and some Lavender hand lotion. I also got to try Lavender Ice Cream which was very yummy. If I my camera photos turned out good then you can expect more photos.

Photographed March 7th 2015

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Tropical Expressions’ Stand. I got my little Tillandsia from this stand. I would’ve probably purchased one of their Cryptanthuses if they had been the a variety with stripes on the leaves in a different direction. Sorry for most of these pics being so small D: it was the only way I could partially correct the horrid blurring that occurred in the photographs.

Photographed at the 2013 Stratford Garden Festival

My 2013 Stratford Garden Festival Plant Huntlist

I’ll be going Friday Evening so I guess it’s time to make/post the list! It’s organized by the stands in questions, and what they have to offer.

Florabunda Seeds

They specialize in seeds as their name implies (mentioned in the seed inventory earlier this week). Many unique heirloom varieties are often available.

  • Jasmine Tobacco (Nicotiana alata grandiflora)- I’ve smelled the scent of flowering tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris) and it’s LOVELY <3 so it’d be nice to grow it’s shorter cousin Jasmine Tobacco. I NEED more scented flowers in my gardens!
  • Moonflower Morning Glory (Ipomoea noctiflora)- A different species from common Morning Glories; these open their flowers in the evening and supposedly have the scent of cloves <3
  • Grandpa Ott’s Morning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea “Grandpa Ott’s”)- a nice heirloom variety. I like the colours of this variety. I had some seeds last year but I seemed to misplace them *facepalm* and to make matters worse I didn’t get a chance to sprout any of them for my gardens *double facepalm*
  • Flying Saucer Morning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea “Flying Saucer”)- the colours imo would contrast with Grandpa Ott’s and compliment the moonflowers. Need I say more?

Anything Grows

A wild card when it comes to yearly selection. They sell TONS of seeds and bulbs at the garden festival. The huntlist for them is based on speculation from previous years as well as what they sometimes sell at their store in Stratford. 

  • Grandpa Ott’s and Flying Saucer Morning Glories- “but wait” you’ll say, “this was on the Florabunda part of the list too.” You’re right, but Anything Grows might sell them at a cheaper price. It’s good to make note.
  • Hardy Cyclamens- I WANT SOME OF THEM RARE HARDY CYCLAMENS * hyperventilating* I bought some from them several years ago but I had put them in a crappy spot and they didn’t come back after they bloomed. I WANNA TRY AGAIN! They are one of the only Cyclamen species that can grow in Zone 4/5.
  • Elephant Ears- like the cyclamen it’s so that I can try another round at growing them again. Their large exotic leaves are pretty tempting… I’ll only buy this if they’re cheap.
  • Galanthus and Winter Aconite?- since they’re spring bulbs they probably won’t be available this time of year. Juuuust in case they are though I’m writing these down. I’m a sucker for early spring bulbs. They are so tiny and cute~

Floral and Hardy Gardens

Various perennials and bulbs, I also recall them selling potted Hellebores. They also sell Hosta X Virus tests, which is pretty impressive since most people I know in Ontario aren’t even aware of this virus spreading about.

  • Hellebores- I CAN’T DECIDE WHAT KIND I SHOULD GET ;A;  I’ll probably base my choice on both leaves and flowers. They are great early spring/winter flowers. Also given rep as a plant that can take on dry shade. Mind as well test if it’s true.

Earth Bound Touring Gardens & Greenhouses

Bulbs bulbs bulbs! They sell rarities like Arisaemas, as well as species and hybrid lilies and daylilies. I got my special Lilium speciosum rubrum from them <3

  • Lilium citronella- Imo it’s like a yellow variation of the Tiger Lily (Lilium tigirium) even though it’s not. It’d make a nice addition to my obsession for Species Lilies. There’s some info on the net that claims that Citronella is a hybrid lily, not a species. Although I’d still be growing a special heirloom, I want species if I can help it.
  • Nepal Lily (Lilium nepelense)- it’s a pretty rare and interesting lily. I thought I bought some at a store a few years ago but it was a mislabel. This is one Lily worth it’s money in getting bragging rights for lol. I also like the colour pattern <3
  • Other species lilies are also on the potential selection. Good to make note.

Klomp’s Nursery & Garden Center

They optimize their stand space and stuff it with EVERYTHING (houseplants, bulbs, seeds, decor) to the point that it’s cluttered and difficult to look through. Always interesting selection. Be aware of what growing zone of the bulbs you buy from them; many of the stuff they sell grow in a warmer zone than you can provide.

  • I have NO IDEA what I’d want that they might have =| but we shall see~

Riverbend Gardens & Nursery

Daylilies, Hostas, and Lilies… wait that’s it? *searches memory* I don’t have anything INTERESTING to note on them? hmm… well I guess we’ll see if their stand rings a bell in my memory when I go there then lol.

Tropical Expressions

Bonsai, and unusual houseplants are their game. Carnivorous plants and bromeliads are the frequent choices among them. Their stand’s plants are always lovely eye-candy. They don’t really label their Air Plants but I was able to take a guess of what I’d want based on their website catalogue.

  • Tillandsia ionantha ionantha- a supposedly easy Air plant for a beginner. The sturdy look it gives off is promising, interesting colour when in bloom.
  • Tillandsia argentea- also a supposedly easy Air plant to grow. I’m not too sure if I like that grassy nature though. Looks too skinny a variety for my taste lol.
  • Vriesea- I’m not sure if they have them, but they might. They are a lovely bromeliad with large, flat flowers that come in an array of colours but mostly red. I used to have a Vriesea before it was accidentally killed one summer. I want to have one once again. Preferably with stripes this time.

Steed and Company Lavender

A farm that specializes in growing their own Lavender. Their products are simple yet irresistible. Especially since I go after Lavender like a cat goes after catnip.

  • I might try or buy their food products this year.

OTHER THINGS TO HUNT FOR

  • Gladiolus, Dahlia, and/or Cannas- I really love the ones I have. It wouldn’t hurt to add a few other interesting varieties to the collection. Especially the Cannas/Glads
  • Lilium speciosum album- I have Lilium specisoum rubrum and I LOVE IT for it’s exotic appeal and late season flowers. In theory this album variant will be similar, except for the colour.

OTHER THINGS TO POTENTIALLY EXPECT

  • Gardening books & magazines
  • Unusual Gourd seeds
  • Various gardening decor (sorry that I can’t think of a particular stand ;A; I don’t remember them as distinctly as the plant stands)

I might be forgetting something to put on the huntlist, but I guess we’ll see won’t we? I’ll charge my Camera batteries so that I can give you guys an awesome photo tour of the Festival this year ;D