Category: News Items

Hibiscus

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’

Grapes

By , July 18, 2015

July 18th, 2015

Grow your own Grapes!

Grapes can make an excellent addition to your garden. In addition to producing grapes they serve many purposes. They can be grown up an arbour to provide shade for your patio. Grapes can also be grown up a trellis to provide privacy from your neighbours. You can even use the leaves to make Dolmades.

There are two basic types; wine grapes or table grapes. For 2015 you can choose from the following varieties:

Wine Grapes

  • De Chaunac
  • Foch
  • Merlot
  • Pinot Noir
  • Reisling Type (GM318)
  • Sauvingnon Blanc

Table Grapes

  • Concord
  • Niagara
  • Valiant
  • Vanessa

For more information about growing grapes click here.

Echinacea

By , July 1, 2015

July 1st, 2015

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.

California Lilac

By , June 8, 2015

June 8th, 2015

Ceanothus ‘Victoria Blue’

Ceanothus is more commonly know as the California Lilac. This beautiful shrub has masses of electric blue flowers in June and early July. It prefers to grow in a location with full sun and well drained soil. One of the best features is the ability to attract hummingbirds and butterflies as they emerge for the summer.

You can easily grow the Ceanothus as a centerpiece in your garden or even make it into a hedge. You can prune Ceanothus vigorously every spring and it will still produce an abundance of blooms. If you are looking for a reliable summer flowering shrub look no further than the Ceanothus ‘Victoria’.

Lavender

By , June 2, 2015

June 2nd, 2015

Enjoy the sweet scents of summer with Lavender!

Lavender (Lavandula) is a romantic flower and every gardener should have at least one variety in their garden. They love a sunny location with good drainage. Lavender is extremely drought tolerant once it is established, but it should be watered regularly when young.

Two of the hardiest and best know varieties are the English varieties (Lavendula angustifolia) ‘Hidcote’ and ‘Munstead’. These varieties of English Lavender produce wonderfully fragrant blue-lavender coloured flowers during the summer. You can also try several new varieties of English Lavender including one called ‘Blue Royalty’. This new variety produces beautiful royal blue flowers in late spring and early summer.

Another popular variety of Lavender is the Spanish Lavender (Lavendula stoechas) ‘Anouk’. This variety produces a consistent display of flowers from June through September. To encourage them to repeatedly bloom is it best to cut them back after they produce their first set of flowers to encourage the second bloom. There is a new variety of Spanish Lavender called ‘Silver Anouk’ (Aka Silver Summer). The ‘Silver Anouk’ has beautiful silver foliage and the repeat blooming capability of the ‘Anouk’.

 

Herbs

By , June 1, 2015

June 1st, 2015

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 , May 11, 2015

May 11th, 2015

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.

New Guinea Impatiens

May 11th, 2015

New Guinea Impatiens are made for the Shade!

If you are looking for the old standard Impatiens (Busy Lizzies) this summer you may find that they are not available at most garden centres. This is becuase in 2013 Impetiens were stuck with a disease called Downey Mildew. This killed almost all of the Impatiens in greater Vancouver. If this happened to you it is recommended that you not plant the regular Impatiens in your garden for the next 3 to 5 years.

As an alternative we recommend that you plant New Guinea Impatiens. These new varieties will blooms all summer for you. They will grow in the shade or sun and are heat tolerant. They are available in all of your favourite colours includng white, red, violet, and many more.

New Guinea Impatiens

New Guinea Impatiens

New Guinea Impatiens

New Guinea Impatiens

Hanging Baskets

By , May 8, 2015

May 8th, 2015

Hanging Baskets make a great Mother’s Day Gift

The most popular gift for Mothers Day is a Hanging Basket and our stores carry a great selection of them. You can choose from the mixed baskets for sun or shade. These will have a mix of Geraniums, Petunias, Lobelia, Fuchsia, Calibrachoa, and many other great trailing plants. They start at $24.99 for a 10 in pot and go up to $119.99 for the large Moss baskets.

Be sure to come in to our stores and have a look at the great selection available fo you or your mother.

Easy Elegance Roses

By , May 5, 2015

May 05th, 2015

All of the Beauty and None of the Work!

If you are looking for a Rose that has all of the beauty with none of the work you should try the new Easy Elegance Roses. For more information click here.

Gone are the days of high-maintenance roses. With Easy Elegance®, you can have hardy, disease-resistant, chemical free roses without all the effort and attention. Let it be known – these are not your grandmother’s roses. You don’t have to spend all day in the yard to make them last. All you have to do is plant them and enjoy the beauty. And there’s nothing easier than that.

For 2015 you can choose from eight varieties including:

Click here for more information about Easy Elegance Roses.

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