Here's the challenge in a nutshell: On your own two feet, leave the house and share what can be seen within walking (or biking) distance of your home.
Sadly, last year I missed out on the winter walk-off, so with this year's challenge deadline looming, last Sunday we walked to the old greenhouse up the street.
Before I get to the challenge photos, a little history. The city of Brampton, where I live (the tiny village of Huttonville has been incorporated into the city of Brampton), was once known as the "Flower Town of Canada".
According to legend, Henry Dale, who worked along side his father selling vegetables door to door, helped expand the family business by presenting the lady of the house with a rose he grew himself.
Growing and selling market vegetables had been the way his father Edward made a new life for himself after emigrating from England in 1863, but for young Henry, growing roses was his true passion.
Henry began using the family greenhouses to experiment with methods for producing roses that were uniform in both size and color.
When his father retired, Henry shifted the business away from vegetable production to focus completely on growing flowers.
Before long, his "Canada rose" had an international reputation and the Dale greenhouses had expanded to reach eleven acres under glass.
For years the three hundred foot chimney of the greenhouse complex was the most prominent landmark in Brampton. Each day the company whistle could be heard clear across town, punctuating the start, middle and end of the work day.
Roses were not the company's only speciality. The complex of 140 greenhouses also produced orchids, carnations, lilies, hydrangeas and poinsettias.
The chrysanthemum on the left is taller than the men in this old picture. You just don't see flowers like that much anymore!
The Dale Estate flower business weathered the great depression and the Second World War, but in the 1960's and 70's the cost of modernizing the old greenhouses became a huge challenge.
Cheap import cut flowers and the rising fuel costs also took a toll forcing the company to scale back operations in the 70's and eventually close its doors in the 1980's.
Based on the style of the adjoining house, I'd say these greenhouses dates from the 1970's or early 80's.They have been sitting empty for years. Local kids seem to have made a game of breaking the glass panes.
This leaning power pole always makes me puts me a bit on edge as I pass by!
The moment humans depart, plants reclaim what was once theirs!
'Round the back, there are piles of industrial waste. They have an odd, eerie beauty.
This chimney was part of the old boiler house.
The oil fired boiler must have heated the complex of greenhouses.
Did the cost of fuel do this business in as well?
The biggest stock piles of stuff are hidden at the very back.
It's odd how a company that built a city can fall into ruin and be largely forgotten, isn't it?
If you would like to see other Winter Walk-off blog posts, please visit A Tidewater Gardener.