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Thursday, November 9, 2017
Posted By: in Winter Gardens
Colorful Winter Plant Blog Title Banner

Winter is here and so are some spectacular colorful plants! Although it can be harder to find things for interest in your garden this time of year, don’t fret. There are still many great options out there for you to make your garden just as striking and full of color as it is in the spring time. These are my top 6 plants for colorful winter interest.

Globe Cedar 'Sienna Sunset'Globe CedarGlobe Cedar Sienna SunsetGlobe Cedar ‘Sienna Sunset’

The soft-looking foliage of this cedar sports shades of lime green, gold and orange developing into a deeper bronzy shade in the winter months. Not only does it have beautiful color but this cedar is hardy to a zone 3 and can withstand a heavy snowfall without losing its round shape. Due to its compact nature, it’s a great option for containers and small gardens.

Pro Tip: This cedar requires no pruning to maintain its globe shape.

Hellebore Love Bug BannerHellebore Love BugHellebores ‘Love Bug’

Hellebores are always a great addition to any winter garden. This compact growing variety is a newer addition similar to ‘Pink Frost.’ Pink flower buds sit atop brilliant red stems, opening to reveal a delicate cream flower dappled with a soft pink blush. Flowers contrast spectacularly with silvery evergreen foliage during ‘Love Bug's’ long blooming season.

Pro Tip:  Mulch in summer to maintain moisture.

Leucothoe Banner
Leucothoe ‘Rainbow’

Leucothoe 'Rainbow' is true to its name, this evergreen shrub is full of colour! Foliage is a ever changing combination of cream, green, burgundy and pink. Colors are at their most vibrant in the winter months.

Pro Tip: Likes moist, well drained, acidic soil.

Crabapple Red Sentinel Banner
Crabapple Red SentinelCrabapple 'Red Sentinel'

Red Sentinel has white flower blossoms in spring developing into a vibrant, deep red apple in late fall. Apples will last well into the winter months granting this specimen tree a long season of interest in your garden. Apples are small and berry-like, growing in abundance, which creates a very festive look. Right in time for Christmas! Easy care, requiring little to no pruning.

Pro Tip:  Use left over fruit to make a delicious jelly

Skimmia Female Banner
Skimmia Female Skimmia ‘Female’

This Skimmia has masses of green, fragrant winter buds opening to white blossoms in spring. This floriferous evergreen shrub will reward you with stunning, large red berries in winter if a male pollinator is present.

Pro Tip: One male is necessary for about every 5 plants

Viburnum Davidii BannerViburnum Davidii Viburnum 'Davidii'

Viburnum ‘Davidii’ is a low growing, compact evergreen shrub. Leathery dark green partly oval leaves give a strong contrast to the clusters of white flowers that appear in late June. Flowers are followed by very attractive, steely blue berries that last throughout the winter.

Pro Tip: Great for foundations and when grouped.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Amazing Amaryllis

How to Grow Amaryllis Indoors

Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Indoor Plants

What do Poinsettias, Prepared Hyacinths, Paperwhite Daffodils and Amaryllis have in common? They are all great ways to decorate your home for the Holidays.

White Amaryllis Flower

Amaryllis flowers come from a bulb, originally native to South America. In warmer climates, hardiness zones 9-11, they are a tender perennial. They will not survive outdoors in our area. They’re known by their botanical name Hippeastrum, which is derived from the Greek words for horse and star. In fact, in the Greek language, Amaryllis means ‘to sparkle’. Sparkle they do! In nature, they bloom outdoors in Spring and Summer, but we prepare them to bloom indoors for you, for the holidays.

They are low maintenance, easy to grow indoors and provide extremely attractive and reliable blooms. Amaryllis are extremely long lived. It can take up to 6 years for an immature bulb to reach flowering age and the bulb itself can live for up to 75 years. The older and larger the bulb, the more flowers it can produce. All of our bulbs are ready and able to bloom for you!

Flowers are predominantly available in shades of red, white, pink or orange. There are also unique varieties with stripes and or multiple colours. In fact, there are over 600 named, recognized varieties most of which are grown in Holland or South Africa and imported to Canada for the Holidays.
Amaryllis bulb

How To Grow Amaryllis

Newly purchased Amaryllis bulbs are usually extremely dry and benefit from soaking the roots in lukewarm water for a couple of hours. Afterwards, shake off the excess water and prepare your planting pot. The pot should be fairly heavy to prevent the tall stems from tipping over. A pot 1-2 inches wider than the bulb on all sides is ideal. We recommend using a lighter potting soil like Pro-Mix to allow for good drainage. Don’t use soil from the garden as it may have poor drainage or contain pests or disease. We recommend using fresh potting soil each year.

Also make sure the pot has a decent drainage hole. The bulbs will rot if left to sit in water. Spread the roots of the bulb into the soil and plant it pointy-side up with soil up to its neck. Pat down the soil firmly to set the bulb in place. 1/3 of the bulb should be visible above the soil

Position the bulb in a warm place in bright sunlight. Water occasionally until the stems and foliage appear. Water more regularly as the stem elongates and the flower bud begins to form. Turn the pot occasionally to keep the stem straight and strong. Taller varieties will benefit from a stake or a decorative Amaryllis support.

Flowers will develop when the stem is fully grown. This usually takes 6-8 weeks from planting. For Christmas blooms, this means potting up your Amaryllis blooms in late October through November depending on the variety.

Amaryllis flowers dislike intense sunlight. To prolong the blooms, keep the blooms out of direct sunlight. Bright, indirect light is best
Planted Amaryllis Bulb

Amaryllis Care

Amaryllis are long lasting bulbs and can be made to rebloom the next year.

Once the flowers have finished blooming, cut away the spent blooms. Once the foliage begins to sag, cut it back 1-2 inches from the top of the bulb. Feed and water regularly. Once all chance of frost has passed, you can move your bulbs outdoors. Allow the leaves to fully develop and grow. As it does, it stores energy in the bulb which will also enlarge over the season. The bulbs will also reproduce by creating smaller bulbs called ‘offsets’ that can be separated from the mother bulb. These may take up to 6 years to reach a flowering size. Larger bulbs are also capable of producing more flowers so there is a benefit to keeping your Amaryllis going year after year.

In mid summer, reduce the amount of water the plant receives. Continue to reduce the watering and allow the soil to dry out completely by late Summer. By early Fall, the bulb will go dormant and the leaves will turn yellow. Cut the foliage back to about 2 inches from the top of the bulb. Remove the bulb from the soil and clean it gently so the roots do not get damaged. Store the bulb in a cool, frost free location. Someplace where the temperature stays between 4-10 degrees Celsius is good. If you’re going to use a refrigerator, do not store it near apples, as they give off a gas that can sterilize the bulb. Keep the bulb cool for a minimum of 4-6 weeks. At that point, you should be able to pot the bulb into fresh soil and enjoy the blooms again for the Holidays.
Waxed Amaryllis Bulbs

What's With The Waxed Amaryllis?

The hottest indoor holiday plant these days are Waxed Amaryllis. No muss, no fuss, just beautiful blooms. Everything the plant needs to grow is in the bulb itself. Simply put the bulb in a decorative display and enjoy until after it flowers.

2017 Amaryllis Varieties

We carry a fantastic variety of Amaryllis bulbs that are available instore or online in our webstore 

A few varieties are already sold out and limited quantities are available on others. Hurry in for the best selection!
Amaryllis Bulb 2017 Selection

  • Amaryllis ‘Cupid’
  • Amaryllis ‘Elvas’
  • Amaryllis ‘Comet’
  • Amaryllis ‘Flamenco Queen’
  • Amaryllis ‘Dancer’
  • Amaryllis ‘Dasher’
  • Amaryllis ‘Blitzen’
  • Amaryllis ‘Prancer’
  • Amaryllis ‘Apple Blossom’
  • Amaryllis ‘Mount Blanc’
  • Amaryllis ‘Nymph’
  • Amaryllis ‘Red Lion’
  • Amaryllis ‘Picotee’
  • Amaryllis ‘Rudolph’
  • Amaryllis ‘Red Lion’
  • Amaryllis ‘ Vixen’

Friday, October 6, 2017
Posted By: Sheri Piccione in Grasses

If you’re looking for low maintenance plants that provide lovely texture and movement in your garden, ornamental grasses are your answer! They look fantastic when massed in the border or as a single accent when planted in a container. Leaves often change colour as the seasons progress, and their delicate plumes and tassels (called inflorescences) add graceful structure, and even sound, as they rustle in the breeze.

Plant ornamental grasses with perennials such as rudbeckia, echinacea, and asters, to name a few. Smaller varieties are great for edging and as groundcovers. Taller grasses provide a soft backdrop when planted at the back of your border. They provide a textural contrast when planted with evergreens.

Types of Grasses

There are hundreds of varieties of ornamental grasses available - some are shade tolerant while others prefer full sun. Grasses and grass-like plants are divided into cool season and warm season varieties. Many grasses are perennials, but some are tender and they’re treated as annuals.

Cool season grasses actively grow during the cool parts of the year, and may remain semi-evergreen during the winter, making them ideal for fall planters and early spring gardens. For semi-evergreen grasses, simply cut any brown or winter injured foliage in the spring.

Warm season grasses thrive during the warm summer months, and go dormant and turn brown when the weather cools down. Their dried, tanned foliage and seed heads provide interest in the winter, and food for the birds! Simply cut them back in late winter to spring, and they will grow back when the weather warms up.

Add a touch of colour, movement, and texture to your fall garden with these ornamental grasses that we’ve hand picked for you. Give them a try this season!

A Few of Our Favourites

Ornamental Grasses 1
Dwarf Fountain Grass
Pennisetum alopercuroides ‘Hameln’

This compact warm season perennial grass is ideal for smaller areas. A fountaining clump of dark green foliage turns a lovely amber in fall. Its silvery to pinkish-white flowers are soft and delicate, bringing a fine texture to the garden. Plant in full sun

Maiden Grass
Miscanthus gracillimus

A beautiful clump forming grass with fine-textured, silver-green blades, turning golden-bronze in winter. This spectacular grass has purple-flushed plumes in late summer, changing to a delicate silver, providing beautiful winter interest in your garden. Plant in full sun; grows to approx.. 6-8 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide.

Ornamental Grasses 2

Blood Brothers Red Switch Grass
Panicum virgatum ‘Blood Brothers’

This outstanding warm season perennial grass forms an upright, vase-shaped clump of blue-green leaves that turn a deep blood-red by midsummer that gets getter through the autumn. Fine, airy reddish flowers mature to tan seed heads in the fall, and remains sturdy and attractive well into the winter. Plant in full sun; grows to approx. 47-59in tall and 31-35in wide.

Ice Dance Japanese Sedge
Carex morrowii ‘Ice Dance’

A lovely sedge with attractive mounds of evergreen foliage with arching leaves margined with creamy white. It is a moderately spreading grass, ideally suited to the woodland garden, and useful for brightening dark garden areas. Plant in part shade to shade; grows to approx. 1’ tall and slowly spreads by rhizomes to form a carpet.
Ornamental Grasses 3

Little Red Gem Switch Grass
Panicum virgatum ‘Little Red Gem’

This warm season perennial grass forms a compact clump upright blue-green foliage, turning a striking wine-red by late summer. Tiny wine-red flowers rise just above the foliage, providing a wonderful winter interest. Plant in full; grows to approx. 30” tall and 18” wide.

Prairie Fire Sedge
Carex testacea ‘Indian Summer’

This striking cool season evergreen perennial is a clump-forming grass that provides year-round interest. Its gracefully arching, fine-textured leaves have bright undertones of bronzy-orange and green with subtle flowers the same colour as the foliage, turning into dark brown seedheads. Plant in full sun to part shade; grows to approx. 18-24” tall and wide.

Ornamental Grasses 4

Mexican Feather Grass
Stipa (syn Nasella tenuissima)

This lovely fine-textured cool season grass has delicate, graceful silvery-green leaves and airy flower heads that sway gently even in light breezes. Adds a beautiful soft texture to your garden, and looks stunning in mass plantings. Plant in full sun; grows to approx.. 20-24” tall and wide.

Graziella Japanese Silver Grass
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Graziella’

This refined warm season perennial grass forms a graceful, upright mound of narrow, arching, green leaves that turn a spectacular copper-red in fall. Its soft, silvery-white plumes appear in late summer and dry to a fluffy white rise on reed-like stems above the foliage, offering great winter interest. Plant in full sun; grows to 70-82” tall and 31-35” wide.

These are just a few of the many great ornamental grasses available at Art's Nursery. Visit us today to check them out! Our selection is always changing so call ahead, 604.882.1201, if you are looking for a specific variety.


Friday, October 6, 2017
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Bulbs

Bulb growers are doing their best to make flower combinations as easy as possible. In fact, they have take away all of the guesswork and risk by introducing Colouful Companions. These bulb assortments feature high quality attractive looking bulb combinations for you garden. Simply plant them now and enjoy them in the Spring. A few of the combinations available this year include:

Colourful Companion Bulbs 1

Joyful Hearts Tulips – Colourful Companions

Beautiful combination of rosy pink and soft orange tulips that are both fragrant and great for cut flowers. Grows to a height of 18 inches. Flowers in mid-spring. Full to part sun. 12 bulbs per pack

Sweet English Rose Tulips – Colourful Companions

A new combination of soft orange and lavender-white tulips that flower in late spring. Grows to a height of 20 inches. Best in full to part sun. 14 bulbs per pack.

Emperor Mix Tulips – Colourful Companions

A new colourful mix of white, yellow and orange fragrant tulips that flower in mid-spring. Great for cut flowers. Grows to a height of 18 inches. Best in full to part sun. 12 bulbs per pack. Colourful Companion Bulbs 2

Love at First Blush Tulips – Colourful Companions

This new combination of soft pink or red with white tulips that flower in mid-spring.
Great for cut flowers. Grows to a height of 18 inches. Best in full to part sun. 14 bulbs per pack

Spring Cheer Colourful Companions

This beautiful new mix of yellow and white narcissus, dark purple muscari (grape hyacinths) and purple-white Chionodoxa are sure to being Spring Cheer to the garden. Great combination for naturalizing. Flowers in early spring. Deer resistant. Low growing to a height of 6 inches. Best in full to part sun. 36 bulbs per pack.

Stainless Steel Colourful Companions

This new combination white-violet tulips and beautiful blue muscari has the appearance of stainless steel in the garden. Great for containers. Flowers in mid-spring. Grows to a height of 16 inches. Best in full to part sun. 24 bulbs per pack.
Colourful Companion Bulbs 3

Delightful Colourful Companions

This Delightful Companion set of white with blush pink as well as red tulips. Flowers in mid-spring. Great for cut flowers. Grows to 18 inches in height. Best in full to part sun. 12 bulbs per pack

Ballroom Blitz Colourful Companions

This lovely combination of red and purple tulips is sure to please. Flowers in late spring and is ideal for cut flowers. Grows to 18 inches. Best in full to part sun. 14 bulbs per pack.

Bulbs have been incredibly popular this year and supplies are running low! Hurry in to Art's Nursery to get yours!

Thursday, September 21, 2017
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Fall Gardening

While anytime is a good time to plant, Fall is particularly rewarding because of the immediate results. It’s a time when what you see is what you get. Leaves are changing colour, berries are beaming, summer flowers are still hanging around and an entirely new plant palette gets the spotlight.

Fall Planter Collage

Fall plantings have a couple of benefits.

Benefits of Fall Planting

First, it’s a great time to get Trees, Shrubs and Perennials planted so that they get an extra couple of months of rooting before they go dormant for the winter. Then in Spring, their roots are established and they are ready to give you a beautiful Spring show. If you wait to plant in Spring, you reduce the risk of winter damage, but your plant will sit there for a couple of weeks or months while it establishes its roots. Planting now gives you a head start.

Second, you get instant gratification because you are planting for right now, not the future. This is particularly true for container plantings, front door décor and your Thanksgiving and Halloween decorating.

Third, it gives you motivation to clean-up the summer stuff that just seems to accumulate in the yard, or on the deck, and gives everything an attractive seasonal refresh. We all need that clean-up kick start... don't we :)

Stuff Them In

In a lot of ways, Fall Planters are easier and more gratifying because we don’t have the guilt and the angst about a plants long term care and health. Simply stuff as many as you can into a planter to make it yell… LOOK AT ME – I’M BEAUTIFUL!

By the time the plants wonder what hit them and why they don't have any room to grow, it will be nearly November and you can redo your planters with attractive stems, berries and colourful winter greens for the Holiday season. For perennials and shrubs you choose, plant them in the garden now or wait until Spring. When the frosts hit, have no mercy and just toss out the seasonal annuals and colour.
Mono Planter Using Mostly Pansies

Mono-Plantings

There are a couple of ways to create Fall planters. The easy way is to mono-plant. Fill your planter with the same plant. Mass for effect. Pack them in tight. The grouping will create interest because of its mass and similar colour palette. Odd numbers work. Try planting 1, 3 or 5 of the same plant in a pot. This style particularly attractive with grasses, mums and perennials like Heuchera.

Thriller, Filler, Spiller

The other way is to follow the traditional thriller, filler, spiller model.

Thrillers

To start, put something big in the middle that is the attention grabbing, dominant thriller. Ideal fall plants include: grasses, conifers, upright sedums, and Japanese maples just to name a few. Mums make good thrillers, but expect to haul them out when they are finished blooming or get opened up by the weather. Scale of planting is important. Try to establish a ratio of 1/3 planter height and 2/3 plant height. In other words, the thriller should be taller than the planter. This is not a rule, it just tends to look good.
Great Plants for Fall Planters - Thrillers

Fillers

Next, add the fillers. These are small to medium sized plants that accent the thriller. Usually fillers are planted around the thriller in odd numbers, for example 3,5 or more depending on the size of your planter. Excellent fillers include Pansies, Violas, Dusty Miller, Ornamental Cabbage or Kale, Decorative Peppers, Heucheras, Berry Plants Like Wintergreen, Bud Blooming Heathers and even mid-sized grasses. Two grasses that are always extremely popular are Carex 'Evergold' and Black Mondo grass. A few other fall favourites include windflowers (Anemone) and Dark Leaved Euphorbias like 'Blackbird'. Virtually anything can work as long as it doesn’t take too much dominance from the Thriller.
Don't forget to add non-living things to your planters as well. Gourds and Pumpkins make excellent additions to nearly every fall container.
Great Plants for Fall Planters - Fillers

Spillers

The spillers are smaller, pendulous or trailing plants that cascade over the edges of your planter. Ivy is an easy answer, as are trailing sedums or a classic favourite, Golden Creeping Jenny, also known as Lysimachia. These look good when asymmetrically. For example, only on one side of the planter.
Great Plants for Fall Planters - Spillers

If you find the height of your planter lacking, add something tall. For example a tall grass, corn stalks, or curly twiggy branches. It's a look that just seems to fit the season.
Some of my favourite plants for fall planters include:
 

Thrillers Fillers Spillers
Japanese Maples Mid-Sized Grasses Ivy
Trailing Grasses
Yews / Boxwoods Pansies / Violas Creeping Jenny
Lemon Cypress Ornamental Cabbage / Kale Trailing Sedums
Tall Upright Grasses Ornamental Peppers  
Upright Sedums Bud Blooming Heathers  
Mums Heucheras  
Sunflowers
Blueberry Plants (Colourful Foliage & Stems)
Winter Green (Gaultheria)  
Twigs, Sticks & Stems Dusty Miller  
  Euphorbias
Pumpkins & Gourds
 

Bulb Bonus Points

For bonus points, drop some spring blooming bulbs in your planters so you have an extra season on interest in the early spring! Maybe some Winter Aconites, Crocus, Snowdrops or even a few early blooming Daffodils!

So what are you waiting for? The temperatures are cooler and the rains have returned. Now is the time to plant up your fall planters! If you’re strapped for time, give one of our folks a call and we can have something gorgeous planted up for you.

Cheers... Rebecca


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Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

We carry an incredible selection of plants, shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials, vines, groundcovers, roses and much more. Soils, bulk materials, pottery and a variety of garden accents are also available.

Our plant selection is so large that you can actually drive a golf cart while you shop!

We pride ourselves on providing high quality plant, expert advice and an exceptional gardening experience.

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Recent Posts

Thursday, November 9, 2017
Top 6 Colourful Winter Plants

Winter is here and so are some spectacular colorful plants! Although it can be harder to find things...

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Amazing Amaryllis

What do Poinsettias, Prepared Hyacinths, Paperwhite Daffodils and Amaryllis have in common? They are...

Friday, October 6, 2017
Gardening With Ornamental Grasses

If you’re looking for low maintenance plants that provide lovely texture and movement in your garden...

Friday, October 6, 2017
8 New Colourful Companion Bulbs for Fall 2017

Bulb growers are doing their best to make flower combinations as easy as possible. In fact, they hav...

Thursday, September 21, 2017
Favourite Plants for Fall Planters

While anytime is a good time to plant, Fall is particularly rewarding because of the immediate resul...

Friday, June 16, 2017
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It's your last chance to enter the Plant Something BC contest. Here's how to enter:

Friday, June 16, 2017
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Wednesday, March 29, 2017
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