Of the new gardens, My Gourmet Garden (pictured) was particularly striking. Climbing edible plants such as broad beans, cucumbers and gourds are grown over large lattice structures. They make a distinctive entrance to the rich and bounteous display of herbs. Visitors are hit by the smell of basil, in red and green, thyme, rosemary, all interspersed with marigolds to keep away the bugs. The focal point of another garden was a red Muskoka Chair made out of recycled yoghurt containers which should become a must-have item for every cottage.
This structure was made of bamboo poles that were covered with burlap jute. Called "A Cathedral of Bamboo", the breezes flowed through it, as visitors wandered in amongst the "walls". The jute was a good way to integrate the structure with the plants. However one wondered what palms were doing in this northern setting. Other natural sculpture, called "land art" was made out of sticks, tree branches and other natural elements that looked exotic amongst the plants, with the river as its backdrop.
We had a chance to talk to the Directeur Generale of the show, Michel Gauthier. He said that he had a five year plan to make the show more sustainable and "green" but there are commercial considerations. Since the International Flora does not receive any government grants he was looking for corporate sponsors. Even though they may not be interested in flowers, when they hear the words sustainable and green they become instantly interested. He has introduced a special event "Kyoto in my Garden" to highlight environmental issues. We wished him luck in this exciting venture. :: International Flora