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Horticulture students showcase blooming talent in Toronto

Diana Forbes | Interrobang | News | April 10th, 2006

Spring has not only brought out the blooming flowers and budding trees, the sunny-season has also revealed the best in Fanshawe's horticulture students.

Last month, 32 second-year horticulture students played a pivotal role in the 2006 Canada Blooms Flower garden show when they were specifically asked to construct an elaborate garden and waterfall.

“We were the only college asked to build a central feature,” said program coordinator Michael Pascoe, who accompanied the students to the annual show that attracts over 100,000 people. “Fanshawe is a leader in horticulture and landscaping. We have a good reputation they can count on.”

According to Pascoe, Canada Blooms organizers said the waterfall was the popular exhibit of the show.

The show's designers outlined the supplies and overall look of the waterfall, but it was the students who made the vision a reality by incorporating natural stone, sand, spring bulbs, sod, ferns, ivy and irises.

Pascoe said students are required to participate in the show for three of their classes and their work was evaluated for marks.

“Some lost marks for safety,” he added, but overall Pascoe was proud with their efforts.

The show was also a great opportunity for students to network with potential employers, considering Canada Blooms houses many of the nations top gardening and landscaping professionals. Pascoe said students are regularly offered positions during the exhibition.

Fanshawe also brought home the silver award in the two-day landscape garden construction competition.

Labeled one of the toughest competitions in years, Warren Underhill and Daniel Keller spent six hours on Saturday and Sunday designing and constructing a 10x10 foot garden, which included a functioning pond.

The pair lost to a team from Humber College.

“We have competed for four years in a row. In those four years we have taken home the gold twice and now a silver,” explained Pascoe.

Pascoe added that Underhill and Keller would still represent Ontario at the nationals in Halifax in May, because the Humber team surpasses the 22-year-old age limit.

A provincially funded team from Quebec will be the team to beat in Halifax, but if the Fanshawe gardening duo wins nationally, they will represent Canada at the international event in Japan in 2007.
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