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The Canadian National Exhibition
by Terry Dowdeswell
January 1, 2000

A few years ago, when we first began to sell our seed to Northern Hemisphere countries, we were a little apprehensive about how well they would perform. Thankfully we now know that our hybrids survive very well through the hard frosts of Canada (the region north of Toronto at least). It was with some great joy however that we learned of the feats of Christine Halbot of Northcott Gardens, Woodville, Ontario.

In early September 1999 Christine entered delphiniums grown from our seed the previous March, in the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. These were first year seedling blooms only six months from sowing. Now everyone knows that delphiniums do not produce their best blooms as seedlings and in fact many are surprised to learn that they can flower reasonably well the first year. Well, I'm told that Christine won first, second, third, & fourth prizes in the Perennial Stem division. In fact, Carol Bryans and Caren Oldfield of "The Old Tin House, Kirkfield, Ontario who raised the seedlings put it like this:

"It was September (either the second or the third). They were seeded in early March (one "week-in-the-fridge" after you got the seed to us) and not only bloomed the first year but bloomed well enough to wipe their class!!!"

Our heartiest congratulations go to you Christine, Carol and Caren, as does "something special" in the form of some experimental crosses to help you repeat the feat this year.

Christine's company is Northcott Gardens and it is a mail order catalogue business at this point. She specializes in Asiatic Lilies and has hard to get and tender varieties as well as hardy perennial bulbs. According to Carol and Caren she grows the best peonies you've ever seen and she certainly knows a good delphinium when she sees it. She has purchased a store front and is in the process of opening a florist's shop and garden centre in a little town called Beaverton. No, she doesn't have email, but enquiries will be gladly accepted on her behalf, by Caren at "Bryans\\Oldfield" tinhouse@lindsaycomp.on.ca.

Christine's mailing address is:

Christine Halbot,
R.R.# 6, Woodville,
Ontario K0M 2T0
ph 705-439-2588
email tinhouse@lindsaycomp.on.ca

Carol Bryans and Caren Oldfield have a "flower farm" selling fresh and dried flowers directly to the retail market. They live in a 150 year old house that really is "an old tin house". They do "pick-your-own" during August and September and fresh cut bouquets from June to October (mother nature willing), sell seedlings and two year old plants as well as some seed. They also do lots of public speaking engagments for Horticultural Societies and garden clubs and sell unique perennials, fresh dug from the garden, in the spring and fall and potted perennials all season long.
Carol and Caren can be contacted at:
The Old Tin House
P.O. Box 134
Kirkfield, Ontario
K0M 2B0
Ph 705-438-3176

Terry Dowdeswell terry@delphinium.co.nz

http://www.delphinium.co.nz

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