By , October 1, 2015

October 1st, 2015

Get the drop on spring with Snowdrops!

Snowdrop bulbs (botanical name Galanthus) are the first bulbs to bloom every spring. Many of them will even push through a layer of snow to flower in your garden. They are one of the best bulbs to plant in your garden, or even your lawn, because they multiply more and more every year. If you start with 20 or 30 bulbs you will almost double the number of bulbs every year. Eventually you can have a carpet of white flowers blooming in your garden every spring.


By , September 15, 2015

September 15th, 2015

Add Cyclamen to your Fall Garden!

If you are looking for something to replace your summer annuals for fall try the amazing blooms of Cyclamen. These beauties are started from seed in early spring and grow all summer just to produce an amazing show of fall colour. Some varieties of Cyclamen are hardy enough to survive our winters but most of the ones grown are annuals. But don’t let that stop you from planting them. You will find that the annual varieties produce a great show of colour all fall, even through frost.

Cyclamen flower in shades of white, pink, and red and can have simple green leaves or complex variegated leaves with intricate patterns of grey and silver. They are generally easy to grow as they grow best in all purpose potting soil and enjoy being slightly moist which is idea for our wet fall and mild winter. To keep them blooming feed them every week with a water soluble fertilizer like Miracle Gro or 20-20-20.

Fall Water Gardens

By , September 1, 2015

September 1st, 2015

Enjoy your Water Garden!

You should be able to enjoy your water garden through the fall. Savour the last blooms on your water lilies and other plants before they start to die back for the winter.

Leaves on the surrounding trees may start to turn and fall. You should clean them out regularly to prevent build up or clogging your water pump intake. If early frosts start to burn the leaves on your marginal water plants you can cut them back so the tops are just above the surface of the water.

There are many great water plants that will still give you colour through the fall. These include; the Colocasia with their dark leaves and stems, Cypress ‘Baby Tut’ with their tufts of grass like leaves, Equisetum with their dark tips to the foliage, Fairy Moss with their beads of dew or rain, Orza ‘Black Madrass with their dark leaves, and Thalia with their teardrop shaped leaves.


Fall Lawn Care

September 1st, 2015

Fall Lawn Care Tips

As Fall brings cooler temperatures your lawn will emerge from its summer dormancy. You should start to notice some new growth and the dead brown grass start to be replaced. It is important to fertilize, water, and mow your lawn properly in the fall.

Fertilizing your Lawn

As your lawn begins to recover from the summer drought be sure to help encourage new growth with a fall fertilizer. Fall is a time when the lawn needs to be given a feeding of fertilizer that has more potash in it. The Evergro Winter Ready (6-3-20) helps to develop a strong healthy lawn for next year. The best time to apply fertilizer to your lawn is when it is raining. If it is not raining when you apply the fertilizer you should set out the sprinkler and water your lawn for one to two hours to ensure that the fertilizer is washed into the soil.

Applying Lime to Your Lawn

In addition to fertilizing fall is also an ideal time to apply lime to your lawn. Lime is essential to balance the Ph in the soil. Lime helps the grass absorb important nutrients. If you have a significant amount of Moss in your lawn the Lime also helps to deter the moss from growing. However it is best to wait until March or April to apply a moss control to kill the moss.

Watering your Lawn

During the fall the west coast generally receives enough rain to provide adequate water for your lawn. In the event of a warm dry fall it may be necessary to water your lawn through September and October.

Mowing your Lawn

Lawns should be mowed at regular intervals. However, lawns grow more slowly during the fall months. This reduces the frequency with which you have to cut it. For best results your lawn should be cut every 10 to 14 days. A rotary mower should to be set at a height of 2 to 3 inches for the season. Your lawn mower should be kept sharp at all times. A dull mower tears the grass instead of cutting it, making it more susceptible to diseases.

You should use a grass catcher, or rake the cut grass to remove the cuttings and prevent the build-up of dead grass. If you do not remove the dead grass you should power rake your lawn on a regular basis to remove the layer of dead grass (thatch) that builds up, this is called power raking or de-thatching.

Applying Moss Control

Spring is the best time to apply Moss Control. However if moss has taken hold of your lawn you might want to consider a fall application of the Moss Control to reduce the problem for the winter. Moss usually goes dormant over the summer but as we start to receive cooler weather and rain in the fall the moss in your lawn may rejuvenate and need to be controlled. It is more important to add lime to your lawn to balance the pH to deter the moss from growing over the winter.

Tips for Starting a New Lawn

Fall is an excellent time to start a new lawn from seed or to over-seed your existing lawn to fill in the spaces. You need to apply the grass seed at least six weeks prior to the first frosts, which normally arrive in mid November. So it is best to start your new lawn before the first week of October.

To over-seed your existing lawn first spread some fresh topsoil. You should mix a Turf Starter fertilizer (15-30-10) with the soil while you spread it. The fertilizer helps to promote development of strong healthy roots.

Make sure that you spread the soil evenly and level it to ensure even growth. Then apply lawn seed and lightly rake the seed into the soil. To ensure that the lawn seed germinates best keep the new lawn moist for at least four to six weeks. You should not fertilize the new lawn until after it has been mowed at least twice.

Fall Trees

September 1st, 2015

Fall is when trees show their best colours!

Most of the time we take the trees in our garden for granted. We enjoy the shade and the privacy they provide. Fall is when many of those trees show their best colours. The range of red and orange colours seems limitless. If you are looking around your yard and wondering where you can add a bit of colour look up and see if you have space for a tree.

Some of the best trees for fall colour include the Maples, both Japanese and European types. Even the green leaf varieties turn to beautiful yellow, orange and red tones. Other great choices include the Katsura Tree (Cercidiphyllum japonica), Sourwood (Oxydendron), and the Forest Pansy (Cercis).

Fall Flowering Crocus

By , August 30, 2015

August 30th, 2015

Fall Flowering Crocus are Ready to Bloom!

Did you know that there were crocus bulbs that flower in the fall? In fact there are several varieties of the Fall Flowering Crocus that bloom in late September and early October. The most popular are the Colchicum varieties including ‘Album’ (White), ‘The Giant’ (Pink), and ‘Water Lily’ (Double Pink). There is also the Crocus sativus, also known as the Saffron Crocus, and the Crocus Zonatus.

Fall Flowering Crocus are easy to grow and flower profusely and reliably every fall. They naturalize very easily and every few years you can divide them and spread them throughout your garden. They grow best in well drained soil in a partially sunny location.

Fall Garden Mums

By , August 25, 2015

August 25th, 2015

Add Fall Colour to Your Garden with Mums!

Mums are a great addition to your garden for fall. They provide colour from August to October. They are a great combination plant with Pansies, Kale, or other fall perennials. They are excellent in the garden or in pots and containers. Mums are sold as annuals but they can be left in the garden to flower again next year, just cut them back in the winter and they come up again next spring.

Fall and Winter Vegetables

By , August 10, 2015

August 10th, 2015

It is time to start Your Winter Vegetable Garden!

As the summer begins to wind down you should be thinking about growing winter vegetables. There are many vegetable that you can grow during a west coast winter. You can start them from seed like lettuce, carrots, and radishes. You can also buy plants that are already growing like broccoli, cabbage, kale, and Swiss chard. You can even plant herbs like Sage and Thyme now for a fall or winter harvest.

Hydrangeas for Fall

August 10th, 2015

Heavenly Hydrangeas for Fall Colour!

If you thought that Hydrangeas only look good in the summer you would be missing out on one of the best shows of colour for the fall. There are many great Hydrangeas that bloom continuously right through until the snow falls in winter. Especially the Endless Summer varieties. Many other hydrangeas provide great winter interest when their flowers dry and add a nice look to your garden beds. The paniculata grandilfora types like Pee Gee, Tardiva, and Limelight are excellent varieties to leave their flowers on for the winter.

In addition to the great flowers hydrangeas have beautiful fall foliage colours. Even in the dead of winter varieties like Hydrangea nigra with their black stems can provide you with colour. If you choose the right hydrangeas for your garden you can enjoy hydrangeas all year long.


By , July 20, 2015

July 20th, 2015

Add a Tropical Touch to your garden with hardy Hibiscus!

Hibiscus come in many forms. If you have ever taken a Hawaiian vacation you have probably seen them used as hedges. However, if you live here in the greater Vancouver area there are varieties of Hibiscus that are hardy enough to survive our winters. The Hibiscus syriacus varieties, known as the Hardy Hibiscus or Rose of Sharon, are capable of surviving winters as cold as -20 C (-5 F). The most attractive feature of these plants is their blooms. They produce an abundance of blooms from July through September. Every garden should have a Hardy Hibiscus as they make an excellent back drop to your annual or perennial flower beds. There are several varieties to choose from including:

  • ‘Blushing Bride’
  • ‘Lavender Chiffon’
  • ‘Red Heart’
  • ‘White Chiffon’

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