September 28th, 2021

Canada 150 flowers going fast

By Peggy Revell on April 19, 2017.

NEWS PHOTO PEGGY REVELL Blondie's Garden Centre owner Joyce Swaren holds up some of the Canada 150 celebration bulbs and seeds available as Spring arrives and locals plan out their garden while keeping the country's big birthday.

Big birthday blooms.

Local greenhouses are preparing for an increased demand for red and white flowers as Hatters get into the nation’s 150th birthday spirit.

“It started with the tulip,” said Corrine Hoffner, with Windmill Garden Centre. The official “Canada 150 tulip” was unveiled last year in time for planting in the fall — and quickly sold out here and across the country.

With spring planting now underway, more official Canada 150 flowers have also been released: Dahlias, gladiolas, Asiatic lilies and zinnias, all bred with red and white colours.

Mention these flowers to a customer, and they’re immediately on it, said Joyce Swaren with Blondies Gift and Garden Centre, adding they’ve sold out of some already.

Preparations have been underway since last year for an increased demand for red and white flowers, beyond the official ones.

“Everything we could find in red we did,” said Swaren — sometimes a challenge, as there are only so many plants that come in red and white.

But the local greenhouses have made sure to bring in red petunias, million bells, geraniums, salvia, impatiens, begonias and more to meet the demand — although both Hoffner and Swaren encouraged people who want to go red and white to get them early as these flowers will go quickly.

Coincidentally, white salvia is also Medicine Hat’s flower for the year, said Hoffner.

Red and white hanging baskets are currently growing for when people start making those purchases, she said, while Windmill has brought in a special “Canadian Shield” Red Rose to mark the 150th.

Flowers baskets for along First, Second and Third Street in downtown Medicine Hat that Blondies supplies will sport patriotic colours for the season, said Swaren, while Redcliff also has red and white flowers lined up.

The spirit isn’t just limited to plants for the local greenhouses. Swaren noted the store has brought in Canadian-themed clothing, tote bags, wall art, garden signs, adirondack chairs, patio furniture, pots and more.

The theme at the entranceway into Windmill is red and white, and Hoffner said the instant she saw something red, she ordered it for the store so folks can have home decor, patio sets, Canadian flags, tree ornaments and more for their yards.

“I just hope everyone joins in and has some red and white in their front yard,” she said.

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