by Phil Norton
Calling all gardening divas and fashionistas to the Toronto Botanical Gardens’ annual Blossom Party. This green-carpet affair is not only a celebration of May flowers in bloom, but an upscale fund-raising event complete with fashion, gourmet food, and TV celebrities. All of the good fun has a good purpose, to continue the excellence of the educational programs of the TBG.
It’s a full afternoon of see-and-be-seen, featuring a flamboyant hat and fascinator contest, spa, and silent auction. Last year a lucky guest won a flight to see the famous Longwood and Chanticleer botanical gardens near Philadelphia with a stay at a luxury Brandywine Valley country inn.
Delight your taste buds at food stations throughout the gardens. Relax and dine inside a tropical greenhouse. Enjoy a complimentary beauty boost and relax in the spa. Bid on behind-the-scenes fashion, travel and garden experiences at the silent auction.
Serious gardeners will enjoy the presentation of The Monica van Maris Green Professionals Woman of Influence Award and be able to meet the winner.
Last year’s “Woman To Woman” has changed its name to “Blossom Party” so men will be among those donning their hats come May 29, 2018. At $175 per ticket, and patron tables at $4,500 for a group of 8, the guests and the corporate sponsors put their most creative feet forward in dressing for the occasion. Florists contribute table centerpieces such as mannequins decorated with succulents or bright blooms from their greenhouses. Also attending as VIP’s are the TBG director Harry Jongerden and the head gardeners, all of whom enjoy chatting one-on-one with the visitors.
The Garden’s very own media celebrity and director of horticulture Paul Zammit joined in on the fun with a giant white blossom hat. The winner of the 2017 special category “Canada 150” was a group of women each of whom sported a hat displaying a different province. In 2018 the categories for the hat contest are Couture, Floral, Whimsical, and The Royal Wedding. Among the hat judges, Ann Kaplan stars in The Real Housewives Toronto. The awards emcee in 2017 was CBC news personality Tashauna Reid.
The other two judges for Toronto’s Eco-Chic 2018 Hat Competition are soon to be announced. See the TBG’s website for more information about the Blossom Party as well as their ongoing lecture series, gift shop and how to visit next time you’re in the big city: www.torontobotanicalgarden.ca.
Over 200 attended last year. For tickets to the Blossom Party or to book your Patron Table, call 416-397-1372.
More than 40 years ago, in 1976, James Lawrence pasted together the first edition of Harrowsmith magazine on his kitchen table in rural Ontario. Totally unique, it was the first Canadian magazine to focus on organic living, alternative energy sources, and a country lifestyle. Lawrence’s ode to back-to- the-land virtues quickly attracted legions of fans and soon became Canada’s bible for rural living.