18 February 2012

The Hours Passed Quickly and "Enjoy"ably

Today my friend and I spent a few hours at the Enjoy centre in St. Albert, Alberta.  Being the off season, there were no annuals, perennials, nor trees and shrubs to see, but what we did see amazed me.

This is just one of the entrances to the facility otherwise known as The Enjoy Centre.  We entered through the upper door which overlooks this area.  To the right you see several planters.  At first I didn't like them, though they caught my eye.  But, you know, they grew on me.  You'll see just how much a little later here.

From the upper level looking down, you see some of the other stores in this open market.  To the left is this amazing bakery that makes delicious breads right from scratch.  Sour dough, rye and sour dough, carrot with a sour dough starter, chocolate swirls, scones, cinnamon swirls, all kinds of breads and other baked goodies.  K and I tried a few samples and bought the cheese and green onion scone and the chocolate swirl.

Vertical gardening exemplified!  Using these simple living wall planters, one can construct impressive garden walls like the one in the first photo.  Imagine the possibilities!  Remember, this is one of the trends for 2012!

 I had to take a photo of this plant!  (perhaps a type of bromeliad) I love the colour combinations, particularly the tri-coloured one!

Black and lime green and white layers topped with black stones and a succulent. Isn't it attractive?

This carnivorous plant caught our eye!  I don't know what it is called, but the little pods
 are attractive and deadly for insects.

 Anthuriums, with their heart shaped and colourful blooms, are eye-catching.  
K tells me she has a photo of some of these used in a floral arrangement for Valentines Day 
and they are a stunning addition to the bouquet! 

Imagine how old these must be to have developed to this size!  I love unique plants!

These wares are from overseas, from less-fortunate countries.  Those who make these, really do make a decent living because of the initiative put in place to protect them and contribute to their country's economy.  I should have taken a picture of the signage that offered a far better explanation.  Just reading it and knowing these products are not a result of slave and/or child labour, makes me feel positive about making a purchase.  And the items are beautiful!

I expected, when we arrived at the Enjoy Centre, that I would find Holes in one location with the other stores, i.e.. the bakery, Amaranth, the spa, the bistro, set up in a mall setting.  I was wrong in this assumption.  Holes is everywhere!  In this large open concept facility, you find the growing greenhouses, the bistro, the spa, the seed racks, the international gift items, the pots, throughout the area.  Each item is localized, but the concept is a large welcoming space wherein one can experience dining while overlooking portions of a garden experience.  It is somewhat difficult to explain, much easier to comprehend in person.  I hope the photos help.

Near the amazing kitchen store, Hillaby's Tools for Cooks, one looks upon what seems like a seating area but I suspect it is a store.  (La Belle Arti)  We saw several chairs, including this triangular one, a bold yellow contemporary one that seems moulded to your body when you sit upon it, a beautiful dining set complete with buffet and hutch, an odd sectional (below), a chaise lounge and more.  We tried out a few, just for fun, and we both loved the yellow contemporary chair.

Hillaby's Tools for Cooks is a dream come true for the cook in everyone!  From small kitchen gadgets to waffle irons (the professional kind), to Kitchenaid mixers, to Moroccan cookware and accessories, Hillaby's has something for everyone.  You'll even find items you never knew you needed but now you wonder how you ever did without.  (no, I am not being paid for this post! :})
As you meander throughout the Enjoy Centre,  you will discover gorgeous masterpieces of art, enlarged photos of moments in the making of Holes Greenhouse, which incidentally began in the 1960's in a large red barn selling produce.  How it has evolved!

During the off-season, now for instance, this large space is rented out as a conference room or as an event hall.  During the growing season, however, this area is occupied by numerous tables of plants.  The greenhouse you see beyond and to the right houses the hanging baskets with a watering system so intricate it uses sensors to determine the watering needs of each individual hanging plant.  The plants are suspended on a track of sorts that moves them through the system for watering.  Take a look at the decorative yet functional lights that are shaped like inverted trumpet flowers.  Everything is planned to the minutest of details to be environmentally friendly, save water and heating and electricity.

The tables above and below are submersion watering tables.  When not in use during growing season, they double as attractive and functional display tables.  Below you see some in a somewhat occupied greenhouse.  Plants are watered by submersion, meaning the table fills with about an inch of water, after a few minutes the water drains to a collection tank where it is recycled for future use.  Rainwater is also put to good use in the greenhouse.

Someone has a great sense of humour.  We discovered three of these sculptures in various locations.

Yes, it is a dog!

Is it me or is lime green a popular colour scheme this year?  I wouldn't say green is my favourite colour but it certainly grows on you.  It makes me think of spring.  Does it do this for you?

In place of the traditional escalator, how about a moving sidewalk like this one?  We tried it out, of course! There is a sign asking people with strollers and wheelchairs to use the elevators.  I didn't even see those!

I loved this orchid arranged with curly willow.  The two just suit each other, taking the pot beyond nice to stunning!

Isn't this the truth? The sign in the photo above grabbed me!   
Below, in a home decor store/location I found this beautiful (...rats, the word is just on the tip of my tongue/mind.  Don't you hate it when that happens?) display (for lack of a better word).  I recall it now...it's a vignette!

The lime green planters as seen from inside the Enjoy Centre.

Above and below, same planters up close.

From inside looking out upon the row of lime green planters. (above)

See what I mean?  They just grow on you!!  I find I really like them!  They are cheery, even on a bleak and cold day like today.  Something about them whispers a greeting, reminding us spring arrives soon.  

These planters...oh how I grew to like them.  You'll see another example of this fondness tomorrow....


FlowerLady said...

What an interesting post! I 'enjoy'ed it! The lime green planters do grow on you. That would have been an interesting way to spend a few hours, being inspired.


Shirley said...

It was indeed inspirational! Enjoy Gardens is the way of the future, totally green in construction, design and implementation. Thanks for stopping by Flower Lady. Love your roses!

Porch Days said...

This is an amazingly large place. It looks to be almost empty of people. It must cost a lot to heat such a space.

This new type of word verification is the pits! It is so difficult to make out the word with the black background. It takes me several tries. My blog does fine without this. The spam filter catches everything that is not legit.

Shirley said...

Thanks for letting me know about the word verification. I have removed it from this blog.

Re: heating, I believe the centre uses solar heating or some other form that is economical. I haven't checked into it but I think I recall reading something about it.

Sheila said...

Hi Shirley - Well what an interesting tour you've taken me on today and I'll be excited to go there this spring. At first I wondered at you spending a couple of hours there and now I see why. Thanks for the tour!

Rambling Woods said...

wow..there was a lot to see and to enjoy..I love the wall planter. It must take some serious work to get it going though..I am thinking ahead toward spring and what I want to do next in the yard..Michelle

Shirley said...

There is a lot to see! I can only imagine how wonderful an experience a visit would be in May! That's when you should come for a visit Sheila!

Michelle, isn't it amazing? I'd love an opportunity to see behind the scenes so I can write about the innovations in place that make it so eco-friendly!


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