March 22nd, 2011
I’ll admit, when I heard about musicians collaborating with garden designers, I thought it was strange.
But after heading down to the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto for the 15th annual celebration of the flower and garden festival “Canada Blooms,” I’m glad I decided to go and take a look.
There are two main JUNO Award-related displays at the event: One is a presentation of how each of the centerpiece arrangements would have looked at various JUNO Award celebrations over the years, while the other was the collaborations by musicians and garden designers for creating “JUNO Rocks” gardens.
Collaborations for the gardens included Tenor Ben Heppner with Judith Wright, whose display incorporated a large tree, crooner Carolyn Dawn Johnson and Evergreen Environments, which featured a little whirlpool and a kid’s table, soul songstress Jully Black and Sander Design, which featured lots of colourful flowers, folkie Sarah Harmer and Oriole Landscaping, which featured a garden with a bright red gate, and finally, a collaboration between Oscar Peterson and Denis Flanagan, Landscape Ontario & Lindsay Petersen, which featured a quasi-backyard studio complete with a piano!
When I spoke with Oscar Peterson’s daughter-in-law Lindsay, she said that when designing the space, she “Decided we were looking for a backyard garden, something Oscar Petersen had at his house. The studio with the piano is very typical of what his studio was like, as well as the herbs that he liked to cook with.”
The Oscar Peterson garden also features lots of purple, which was his favourite colour.
Carolyn Dawn Johnson was also showing off her garden Tuesday night during the swanky preview party, where she also performed later in the evening.
Johnson told me that when I take in her garden, it should be “A place where people can go and rest and think, and have a peaceful moment where you can have your thoughts.”
Johnson is nominated for “Country Album of the Year” for her record “Love Rules.”
Dressed in a sleek black outfit with killer black heels, Johnson says she’s “crazy honoured” to be nominated for another JUNO Award (she previously won “Best Country Artist in 2002).
“I’ve been out of the mainstream this year; I had a family, and created in a different way… I made this album during the pregnancy and birth of my second child. It was really taxing doing it trying to be a good mom and being very pregnant, and when I finished, I was really proud of it. I’m so proud I finished it. I love this music. I did it for the love of music. I didn’t have to do it, no one was making me, and for it to be nominated for a JUNO Award is awesome.”
The JUNO Awards airs Sunday March 29 on CTV, while the “Canada Blooms” festival runs from March 16 to March 20 at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto.