Loblaw's Spring and Summer 2013 President's Choice Lawn and Garden Insider's Report Launch and Lunch

May & August, 2013

Every year President's Choice has a couple of press events for the local greater Toronto area garden writers.

The first is a big lawn & garden product launch luncheon. The last couple have been held in the Floral Hall at Toronto Botanical Garden. Not only is there lunch but the garden writers have the opportunity to meet most of the wholesalers responsible for many of the products at the garden centres, both plants and accessories. At the end of the event they receive free samples of the product to trial at home. It is a pretty fair exchange, the garden writers get not only the free product but also content to write about in their columns and websites, and Loblaws gets promotion but also the opportunity to get feedback from "garden experts" about the things they have on offer. I'm sure that there are many things that are considered before a product manager decides what goes on the garden centre benches but in a small way I think that the garden writers have an influence. (And let's face it, it is nice to be asked!)

(Viewers on certain mobile devices will be able to see this video now on Vimeo!)

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The video I did at the launch is about one of the producers, Diane Surette of Dümmen USA. I hadn't met her before but a friend suggested that she would be a good subject, and she was. She had some great new annuals to show me.

Floral Hall, Toronto Botanical Garden

The other summer event that Loblaws holds is a tomato tasting luncheon at the Stokes Seeds trial grounds. Here the garden writers have the opportunity to try many interesting new vegetable varieties that Loblaws will feature in their garden centres and on their produce counters.

One thing that many of the garden writers agreed upon is that nobody likes kale as a vegetable. As an ornamental it is beautiful but as a vegetable it leaves much to be desired.

Another thing that people agreed upon is that purple tomato plants should have pictures of the fruit when they are ripe. People unaware may not know when to harvest them. If you haven't seen one before, check the video below. The fruit in the video are not ripe. When they are they will be both purple and red.

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Another strange creature that may appear in the near future is the potato/tomato. It is a tomato plant grafted onto a potato rootstock, two crops for the price of one. Time will tell if it has value.

If you are hosting a garden related event in the GTA and would like it covered in gardentoronto.ca or would like to place an e-poster about it on our Events Calendar, just contact me. I am always delighted to promote anything gardening in Toronto.

Mark Disero

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