Lavender 'Anouk'

Fall Garden Mums

By , August 25, 2014

August 25th, 2014

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.

Sedum

By , August 18, 2014

August 18th, 2014

Beat the Heat with Sedum!

The Sedum family has over 400 hundred varieties to choose from. These beautiful succulent plants are best in a hot dry sunny location. Which is why they are well suited for the hot dry weather in August and September here in the Pacific Northwest. There are creeping varieties of Sedum like ‘Cape Blanco’ or upright varieties like ‘Autumn Joy’. You can plant beautiful golden leaved varieties like ‘Angelina’ or dark leaved varieties like ‘Matrona’. A new variety for this year is the ‘Class Act’ with beautiful dark pink/red flowers. Try one of these varieties in your garden for their beauty and/or their drought tolerance.

Echibeckia

By , August 6, 2014

August 1st, 2014

Try the Newest Perennial – Echibeckia

If you are looking for something new for your garden try the new Echibeckia. It is a cross between two classic perennials Echinacea and Rudbeckia. Like its parents Echibeckia is a great summer flowering perennial that produces beautiful orange or yellow blooms. Echibeckias have the appearance and fast growth of Rudbeckia with the hardiness and disease tolerance of Echinacea. The “Summerina” flowers are huge at 3 inches in diameter and they can last 2-3 months. They start slowering mid summer and will bloom into the fall providing colour for months. Echibeckia is drought tolerant and a heat lover as well.

There are two great varieties for you to try Echibeckia ‘Summerina Orange’ and ‘Summerina Yellow’

Rudbeckia

By , August 1, 2014

August 1st, 2014

Add a golden touch to your garden with Rudbeckia!

If there is one perennial that is most commonly associated with late summer and early fall is has to be Rudbeckia. Rudbeckia are among one of the best perennials available for a fall garden. The most popular variety is the ‘Goldsturm’. Goldsturm is a variety of one of our native North American wildflowers. The ‘Goldsturm’ variety was the Perennial Plant of the Year in 1999. However there is a new addition to the Rudbeckia family that is giving Goldsturm a run for its money. The new variety is called ‘Little Gold Star’. Little Gold Star is a more compact dwarf variety. It still has the beautiful fall colour but in a more compact form. If you have limited space consider the ‘Little Gold Star for your garden.

In addition to their brilliant fall colour Rudbeckia seed heads have good winter interest. They make a terrific choice for mass planting, combining especially well with ornamental grasses. They are excellent as a cut flower in bouquets. By removing faded flowers when the flower petals start to fall lengthens the blooming time. Rudbeckia plants can be easily divided in early spring as they start to emerge from the ground. The flowers are attractive to butterflies and make a great centerpiece to any garden bed.

Digiplexis

By , July 15, 2014

July 15th, 2014

Try the New Digiplexis ‘llumination Flame’

This striking new hybrid is the result of breeding by Thompson and Morgan between Digitalis (Foxglove) and a Digitalis relative from the canary islands, called Isoplexis. Commonly known as Digiplexis, this ground-breaking new hybrid is big, vigorous, long-blooming, and beautifully colored. Due to their natural hybrid vigor and the fact that these plants are sterile (and do not waste energy trying to go to seed), Digiplexis are bushy, fast-growing, and very floriferous.

Quickly growing to its full size of 36 inches high and 18 inches wide, this Digiplexis grows orderly, densely-packed rows of flame-colored blossoms on upright, strong stems over a long period of bloom. Flowering begins in mid spring and continues through until the end of the summer. The flower stems boast tubular flowers that look like living flames. The outer petals are a fuchsia hue, while the the throats transition from red to orange to a pale yellow. And despite the fact that they are sterile, these gorgeous flowers still attract bees and butterflies, adding even more color to the display.

Plant ‘Illumination Flame’ in full sun to part shade in moist, well-drained soil and give it average water. With little attention, this healthy hybrid thrives in a wide variety of conditions. Its only weakness is the cold–due to its Canary Island parentage, ‘Illumination Flame’ can not take too much chilly weather. Hardy in zones 8 to 11, this Foxglove hybrid is so gorgeous and long-blooming that it is also worth growing as an annual farther north. The cutflowers alone make this one a must-grow!Note: Digiplexis is closely related to Digitalis and contains the same toxins as that Genus. This plant is a skin irritant and can be harmful or fatal if ingested, so be sure to keep children and pets away from your Digiplexis and any water that the flowers have been in.

Echinacea

By , July 1, 2014

July 1st, 2014

Add warmth to your garden with Echinacea!

Echinacea (or Coneflower) are one of the most popular perennials, they love full sun and lots of heat. They have large, showy flower heads, blooming from early to late summer. Many varieties bloom until frosts in the fall. Some varieties can be used for herbal or medicinal purposes. They work well at attracting butterflies to your garden. There are many varieties for you to choose from including:

purpurea

This is the most common form of Echinacea which has large purple flowers and grows to 24 to 36 inches high. Click here for more information.

Cleopatra

A newer form that has a compact bushy habit with fluffy golden yellow flower petals surrounding a tight cone.

‘Pow Wow Wild Berry’

A medium sized variety with dark green leaves and magenta-pink flowers. Click here for more information.

Some photos courtesy of www.perennials.com.

Summer Lawn Care

By , June 21, 2014

June 21st, 2014

Summer Lawn Care

During the summer months your lawn goes dormant. Before the heat of the summer starts be sure that you lawn has been adequately fertilized. One last treatment of the Spring and Summer Lawn Fertilizer (28-3-8) or the Premium Lawn Fertilizer (12-4-8) is all that you lawn will need until you apply Fall Fertilizer (6-3-20) in late September or October.

Watering your Lawn

When watering your lawn it is best to water early in the morning to minimize evaporation loss. This saturates the soil more thoroughly and provides better absorption of the water. Watering your lawn less frequently but more thoroughly encourages deeper roots that can withstand drought.

In the greater Vancouver are watering restrictions come into affect on June 1st and are in effect until September 30th. Please not that they have changed for 2013. They are as follows:

Residential Addresses:

  • Even-numbered address: Monday, Wednesdays, and Saturdays 4 am to 9 am
  • Odd-numbered address: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays 4 am to 9 am
  • Please note: You can no longer water your lawn during the evenings

Non-Residential Addresses:

  • Even numbered addresses: Monday and Wednesday 1 am to 6 am
  • Odd numbered addresses: Tuesday and Thursday 1 am to 6 am
  • All addresses: Friday 4 am to 9 am

Here’s a better idea than getting up at 4am… We have electronic water timers and sprinklers to make it easy for you to water your lawn and not violate the restrictions. Be sure to ask us when you come by to see us.

Newly planted lawns need special attention. It is best to keep the soil moist for at least 4 to 6 weeks after you apply grass seed to ensure that your lawn develops an adequate root system. If you are starting a new lawn in the summer be sure to apply for a permit to water outside of the watering restrictions.

Click here for more information from Metro Vancouver’s website.

If you have applied fertilizer or lime to your lawn it is best if you water the lawn to ensure that the fertilizer is washed off the blades of the grass to prevent burning. Watering also helps the fertilizer reach the roots faster.

Mowing your Lawn

Lawns should be mowed at regular intervals. For best results your lawn should be cut every 7 to 10 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 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.

Fertilizing your Lawn

If you have not fertilized your lawn do it now before the heat of summer comes. Once the summer gets too hot it is not recommended that you fertilize until fall when we have cooler temperatures again. You should ensure that your lawn is fertilized before the end of June.

The beauty of your lawn, its resistance to disease, insects, moss and weeds depends largely on how healthy it is. With our heavy rains in the coastal area, much of the mineral content (food or fertilizer) of the soil is washed away each year. Every fertilizer shows the percentage of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potash (N.P.K.) For example 12-4-8 is 12% Nitrogen, 4% Phosphorous and 8% Potash.

  • Nitrogen – gives lawn its green and is the main food a lawn needs
  • Phosphorous – encourages good root growth
  • Potash – promotes strong healthy stems

Lawns should be fed at regular intervals. Fertilizing should be done when the grass is dry and should then be watered in thoroughly. To ensure an even application, it is best to use a fertilizer spreader. We carry several fertilizers that can help you invigorate your lawn:

  • 12-4-8 is an ideal fertilizer to promote a flush of new growth in your lawn. An application will last for 6 to 8 weeks. So applying in May will require only one more application in July.
  • 28-3-8 gives your lawn a jump start promoting an abundance of new growth. One application will last 10 to 12 weeks ensuring that you will not have to fertilize again for the rest of the summer. Ensure that the blades on your lawnmower are sharp as you will need to cut your lawn every week with this fertilizer.
  • 6-2-3 is an Organic lawn fertilizer that provides a balance of nutrients that you lawn needs. If you wish to keep your lawn healthy using an organic fertilizer this is the best choice for you.

Starting a new Lawn

Summer is not a good time to start a new lawn. It is best to wait until fall when the cool fall weather and rains provide enough moisture for the lawn to grow better.

Hydrangea

By , June 20, 2014

June 20th, 2014

Hydrangeas give you summer colour the lasts!

If you are looking for a shrub that will give you colour all summer that lasts into the fall then look no further than Hydrangeas. These deciduous shrubs provide the perfect backdrop to your perennial or annuals gardens and have beautiful flowers that last from mid summer to late fall. Click here for our information brochure on how to grow Hydrangeas.

Some of the varieties that you can choose from include:

  • Annabelle
  • Blushing Bride
  • Bombshell
  • Endless Summer
  • Invincibelle Spirit
  • Incrediball
  • Limelight
  • Little Lime
  • Nikko Blue
  • Pee Gee (Paniculata Grandiflora)
  • Pia
  • Quick Fire
  • Strawberry Sundae
  • Twist-N-Shout
  • Vanilla Strawberry

 

Herbs

By , June 18, 2014

June 18th, 2014

Savour the Flavour of Fresh Herbs!

If you enjoy cooking with fresh herbs there is nothing more rewarding than a herb garden full of Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, and Basil to use in your culinary creations. There are many flavourful herbs that are easy to grow in your garden or in pots on your patio. In addition to their flavour many herbs are very aromatic and make an excellent addition to your garden. The beautiful blue flowers of rosemary are as ornamentally beautiful as they are culinarily delicious. I can not imagine a garden without at least a few herbs.

You can choose from a broad range of herbs including:

  • Basil
  • Bay Leaf
  • Cat Grass
  • Chamomile
  • Chives
  • Cilantro/Coriander
  • Curry
  • Dill
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Majoram
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Stevia
  • Thyme

For some advice on growing herbs, including a chart of culinary uses, click here. For a list of companion planting, including herbs and vegetables, click here.

Tomatoes

By , June 14, 2014

June 14th, 2014

Taste the flavour of home grown Tomatoes!

The weather is now warm enough to start thinking about putting tomatoes outside in the garden. If the night time temperatures are below 10 degreec Celcius it is recommended that you provide some protection. You can do this by covering your tomatoes with plastic or a white cloth like our “Crop Cover” or “Frost Blanket”. When the night time low is above 10 degrees Celsius, or 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you can leave them uncovered.

Whether you are a seasoned tomato growing veteran or a new gardener here are a few tips to help you grow better tomatoes:

  1. Tomatoes are heavy feeder, they are the teenage boys of the plant world. You should add manure and fertilizer to the soil before you plant.
  2. When you plant the tomatoes plant them deeper as new roots will develop along the stem helping your plants grow faster and stronger. (Except ‘Mighty Mato’ grafted Tomatoes, do not plant them below the graft)
  3. Water regularly all summer, twice a week early in the season and daily during the summer months. Tomatoes that do not get regular water are more likely to develop diseases and are less likely to produce as much fruit. They also develop thicker skin if not watered properly.
  4. Fertilize weekly with a water soluble fertilizer like Miracle Gro Tomato Food 18-18-21 or monthly with a granular fertilizer like Evegro’s Vegetable and Tomato Food 10-15-19.
  5. Add Lime to your soil before you plant and every month during the growing season. Lime helps balance the pH and provides Calcium and Magnesium to the plants.

With so many varieties of Tomatoes to choose from here are a few varieties that perform well in our climate:

  • Ball Extra Early – a medium sized tomato that produces early
  • Beefsteak – one of the largest tomatoes with lots of meaty flesh
  • Early Girl – a medium sized early producing variety
  • Sungold – a golden cherry tomato
  • Sweet 100 – an excellent small cherry tomato
  • Sweet Million – a smaller version of the sweet 100 that produces an abundant crop
  • Tumbler – a great cherry tomato for hanging baskets that produces all summer until frost
  • Tomaccio – a super sweet grape type tomato that is great for making Sun Dried Tomatoes

In addition to these varieties you can choose from a selection of Heirloom Tomato varieties including:

  • Bloody Butcher – a medium sized tomato that is great for slicing
  • Brandywine Black – a large heirloom tomato
  • Latah – an early producing medium sized tomato
  • Nyagous – a medium to large early to mid season tomato
  • Prudens Purple – a medium tomato great for slicing

Be sure to stake your tomatoes as they grow to give them support as the fruit matures. You can stake them up with a basic bamboo or cedar stake or buy a “Tomato Cage” that provides support for the leaves as well.

Click here to download our information brochure on Tomatoes.

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