Dozens of spring-seeking people bellied up to the TBG’s Botanical Bar at Canada Blooms 2016 to take part in honey maple and wild rose petal syrup tastings.
“The booth was an unqualified success and the bar was really well received,” reports TBG Communications Director Jenny Rhodenizer. “We went through almost 3,000 tasting cups of syrup in addition to boxes and boxes of honey tasting sticks. There was a real buzz at the botanical bar.”
The 10-day event at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place was the ideal event to launch the Botanical Bar which will be the showpiece for TBG’s theme for 2016: The Edible/Drinkable Garden. Sales were up 30 per cent in the booth over the previous year.
“I was excited by the range of individuals of all ages and demographics,” said Paul Zammit, TBG’s Nancy Eaton Director of Horticulture. “It was an amazing opportunity to discuss what we get from a garden, the importance of having a garden and how we can use a garden, not only as a food source, but to support pollinators. People were amazed to hear that a bee has to touch two million flowers to make enough honey to fill a single honey stick.”
“It showed us what people are interested in and gave us a chance to tell them what’s on tap at the TBG this year,” said Jenny.
The bar was designed by Paul and built by Urban Garden, a Toronto landscape design firm, from reclaimed barn wood. Consisting of two seven foot long pieces with removable metal rods, the Botanical Bar will be used both inside and out at the TBG for selected events. These will include the Thursday afternoon Farmers Market and a new happy hour before the Gardens of Song: Edwards Summer Music Series where local wine, craft beer and such garden cocktails as Milkweed Martini will be served. The music series takes place Thursdays at 7 p.m. from June 23 through August 25.
Watch for cocktail, mocktail and container recipes on the TBG website. Be sure to check out the kitchen garden for edible/drinkable plants and look for information on such plants throughout the TBG gardens this spring and summer.
Upcoming classes featuring herbs and other plants that can be used in food and drink recipes include Designing and Planting a Medicine Garden, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26; No Fuss Backyard Fruit, 6:30 p. m. Thursdays, June 2 and 9; Grow it, Eat it and Drink it too, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 15; Herbal Cordials: Sip and Stroll, 6 p.m. Thursday, June 23; Apitherapy Health from the Hive, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 23; Edible Bouquet, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6; Food Foraging in the City, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11 and Rye’s HomeGrown Rooftop Field Trip, 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13.