Category: News Items


By Miles Hunter, April 10, 2014

April 10th, 2014

The Magnolias are Bursting into Bloom!

It must be April because the Magnolias are bursting into bloom and covering our streets with beautiful flower petals. There is nothing quite like the blooms of Magnolia trees and shrubs. The blooms emerge before they produce leaves allowing us to see all of the beautiful blooms that can cover the entire tree. Flowering can begin in late March and bloom through April. The latest blooming varieties are the Grandiflora or Evergreen Magnolia. These varieties bloom in May and June with large white fragrant flowers.

One of the most popular varieties is the Magnolia stellata or Star Magnolia. These small trees (or large shrubs) make an excellent focal point in a garden bed. In the spring they are covered with large white flowers that look like a star exploding in the sky.


By Miles Hunter, April 7, 2014

April 7th, 2014

The Rhododendrons are coming into bloom!

Spring is bursting into bloom and the most florific plants here in greater Vancouver are the Rhododendrons. There are hundreds of varities available in a range of colours from white to purple, red to yellow. As you walk or drive around the city you see them everywhere. One of the first to bloom is Rhododendron ‘PJM’. This beautiful purple variety will light up a dark corner of your garden. It will grow 4 to 6 feet tall, likes acidic soil.

Flowering Cherries

By Miles Hunter, April 4, 2014

April 4, 2014

The Flowering Cherries are Blooming!

There is no surer sign of spring than when the flowering cherry trees begin to bloom. There will be thousands of trees in bloom over the next month. The first to bloom are usually the Flowering Plums including ‘Pissardi Nigra’ and ‘Bliriana’. The rest will bloom over 6 to 8 weeks.

To celebrate the flowering cherries as they come into bloom The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival runs from April 3rd to 28th. For more information about the varieties you might find in bloom throughout greater Vancouver visit the Cherry Blossom Festival website here. At David Hunter Garden Centers we have many of these varieties trees to choose from including:

  • Flowering Plum ‘Pissardi Nigra’- pink flowers
  • Flowering Plum ‘Blireriana’ – pink flowers
  • Flowering Cherry ‘Kiku Shidare’ – double pink
  • Flowering Cherry ‘Kanzan’ (aka Kwanzan)- double pink
  • Flowering Cherry ‘Mount Fuji’ – double white
  • Flowering Cherry ‘Shirofugen’ – white
  • Flowering Cherry subhirtella ‘Pendula’ – weeping form, pink flowers
  • Flowering Cherry ‘Whitcombi’ – single pink


By Miles Hunter, March 24, 2014

March 24th, 2014

Camelia 'Chansonette'

Camellias are bursting into Bloom!

Camellias are one of the most beautiful spring flowering shrubs. The flowers come in a range of colours from reds, pinks, white, and some are even yellow. The flowers can be single, semi-double, or double. The double flowers resemble roses when in full bloom. They are evergreen shrubs which make an excellent backdrop to your flower garden. Varieties can range in height from 6 to 8 feet high or as tall as 10 to 12 feet. They are hardy to zone 6 (-20 C or -5 F).

Camelia 'Winter's Snowman'

If you are choosing a place for a Camellia in your garden they like to be in a location that gets partial sunshine. When Camellias are young they apprecaite being protected from cold winter winds so plant them against a wall or fence. If you plant one close to a house and it is under the eaves of your house do not forget to water it during the winters. If they go dry they are more likely to attract pests and diseases.


By Miles Hunter, March 20, 2014

March 20th, 2014

When the Forsythia are in Bloom it is Time to Prune!

One of the first spring flowering shrubs to delight us with its blooms every spring are the Forsythia. These beautiful shrubs are filled with bright yellow flowers. They are also an excellent reminder that it is time to prune your tree and shrubs. Roses, Fruit Trees, Small Fruits (Blueberries and Raspberries), and summer flowering shrubs.

One of the best new varieties of Forsythia to be introduced in the past few years has been the Proven Winners variety called “Show Off’. This great dwarf variety grows only 2 to 3 feet high and wide and is covered every spring in beautiful golden yellow flowers. ‘Show Off’ is hardy to zone 4 (-34C or -25 F).

For more information visit Proven Winners website by clicking here.

Sea Soil

By Miles Hunter, March 10, 2014

March 10th, 2014

Re-energize your soil with Sea Soil!

Sea Soil Bag

Does your vegetable or flower garden need some more nutrients for this year? It is recommended that you add compost or manure as well as some fertilizer to your garden every year and there is no better way than with Sea Soil. This OMRI Certified Organic soil is a mixture of composted forest fines and fish which are excellent sources of organic matter and nutrients for your vegetable or flower garden.

To apply Sea Soil to your garden simply spread a 1 to 2 inch layer on the surface of the soil and mix it in with a shovel or garden fork. You can also use Sea Soil as a top dress in your shrub beds. Sea Soil is an excellent soil of Iron and other micronutrients for you Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and other shrubs. If you top dress the soil under your roses with Sea Soil the composted forest fines (Bark) will help to supress fungal spores to prevent black spot or mildew. The layer of bark also helps to retain moisture in the soil to reduce you watering needs.

Really, you just need to put Sea Soil on everything in your garden!

Fruit Trees Have Arrived

By Miles Hunter, February 28, 2014

February 28th, 2014

Grow your own fresh fruit!

If you have been thinking about growing your own fruit now is the best time to plant fruit trees and other berries. You can choose from over 75 varieties of Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Peaches, Pears, Plums, and more. Please call the stores to check whether we have an item in stock as they sell out quickly. If you have a small space garden we have a selection of Dwarf fruit trees including apples, cherries, and peaches.

Please Note: Due to space limitations not all varieties are available at our Vancouver store but you can have any variety transferred to the Vancouver store from our Surrey store.

Click here to download our 2014 Fruit Tree List


By Miles Hunter, February 27, 2014

February 27th, 2014

Grow Your Own Potatoes!

Potatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow yourself. All they require is a nice sunny location in rich fertile soil. You can plant them from March to May and harvest them from July to October. You can grow white, red, and/or yellow varieties that are good for cooking, frying, boiling, or baking.

The Vancouver store has the following varieties; Bintje, Caribe, Cecile, Norland, Pacific Russet, RedPontiac, Warba, and Yukon Gold.

The Surrey store has the following varieties; Bintje, Caribe, Chieftan, Dakota Pearl, Kennebec, Norland, Pacific Russet, Russet Burbank, Warba, Red Pontiac, Sangre, and Yukon Gold. As well as the specialty varieties; Banana, and French Fingerling.

Click here to download our Potato growing brochure with a list of the varieties and descriptions for each of them.

Photos courtesy of W&A Farms


By Miles Hunter, February 24, 2014

February 24th, 2014

Onions are ready to plant!

If you are eager to get growing in your garden the first vegetables are arriving at our stores. One of the earliest vegetables that you can plant are Onions. You can choose from Red, White, and Yellow Onions.

Dried or fresh, raw or cooked, onions are an indispensable ingredient in a variety of soups, salads, breads, and casseroles. Onions are easier to grow than you might think, and they’re a great plant for tucking into spare corners and along the edges of garden beds.

You can choose from Red, Spanish, White, or Yellow onions to grow in your garden this year.

Tuberous Begonias

By Miles Hunter, February 17, 2014

February 17th, 2014

It is time to Start Your Tuberous Begonias!

Begonias come in two different types; tuberous or fibrous. Tuberous begonias are started from an established root called a tuber. Fibrous begonias are started from seed. Tuberous begonias are started indoors in February and March. You should start the tubers in sterile Potting Soil or Starter Mix rich in peat moss in pots or trays.

You can choose from a wide selection of American and Belgian hybrid tubers as well as many specialty and novelty varieties.

For more information about how to grow tuberous begonias download our information sheet here.

This Saturday February 22nd at 10:30 our Surrey store is hosting a seminar about how to grow and care for Tuberous Begonias. Be sure to come by and learn more about them. For more information about the Spring Seminars at our Surrey store click here.

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