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Friday, April 17, 2015
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

An excellent start to April thus far and as far as therapy’s go…weeding is an excellent calmative therapy after an hour spent with a learning driver, just saying. Timing is the name of the gardening game in Spring. Put things in too early and they might be chilled or washed away in the rain. Start things too late and you might not have the selection or size you are looking for.

Be prepared, spend time in the garden each day, even if it is just a walk through. April is where you really get down to work on the garden planning you began in the winter. Keep an eye on the weather and cover any new or tender plantings if Mother Nature throws us some challenges. Now let’s get cracking on the list!

Lawns

– Mowing…Yay! If it makes you feel better about it, put on the step counter or borrow one and see how many steps you log in one mow. Mid- month is a good time to fertilize if you’d really like to mow more. A good well rounded fertilizer with micronutrients is preferred. If you have a lot of moss in your lawn you can apply moss killer when the temperature is in the optimum range for application for the moss killer you are using which is usually around 10-15 degrees Celcius.

Moss Away Moss Control

If you have weeds that bother you, there are tools, weed torches and sprays you can use selectively on the weeds. Gone are the days when you dump weed n feed over your entire lawn. It is a waste of chemical and money. Selective weeding by hand or spray is better for you, your lawn and better for your wallet. Healthy, vigorous grass can outcompete most weeds. Remember the theme of spring…timing. This is key in lawn care.

Garden Beds

Weeding and fertilizing. Weed first…don’t feed your enemy! Timing is key…don’t weed when your garden is saturated with water, pull weeds out before they go to seed. Now is a great time to plant new shrubs and perennials. Once you’ve weeded, consider mulching to make your work a bit easier. Remember, mulch will draw nitrogen from the soil as it breaks down so adjust with a little extra fertilizer for your plants.

Trees

Now is a great time to plant new trees. Fertilize trees around the drip line and don’t forget to make a tree circle to protect your trees especially in the lawn. A tree circle is a 3 foot buffer circle that is mulched or planted with a living mulch such as Perennial Geranium. It helps to protect your tree from poor mower driving practices by teens trying to make some speedy allowance by rushing the mow job or by overly enthusiastic weed whacking …tree circles save lives…tree lives.

If you haven't checked out the Surrey Tree Voucher program - what are you waiting for? Its a fabulous offer for residents of Surrey!

Hanging Baskets

Planters and Hanging baskets

Plan your pots and select annuals and perennials as needed. Remember if you do plant up the annuals it is a bit cool for them at the beginning of the month and you will have to give them a little bit of shelter and warmth. Don’t be fooled into placing them out too early or you will be buying them twice.

Ponds and Water Plants

Clean up, trim and divide pond plants as needed. You can fertilize them once they start growing with a good slow release pond plant fertilizer. Expect a spring Algae bloom, it will subside once your plants start to actively grow and provide coverage. You can add floaters once it warms up towards the end of the month and into the beginning of May. Our water plants should be arriving later this week!

Veggie Gardens

Veggie Gardens

Some veggies can be planted directly into the ground at this time such as Beets, Carrots and Spinach. Some veggies can also still be started indoors. West Coast Seeds and Rene’s Garden websites are fantastic resources for the gardener. If you still have questions we offer workshops with our own crazy veggie lady Kayla, who is starting our very own Art’s Veggie garden at the back of our greenhouse. Stop by and see how our veggie garden is growing (coming soon!).


Thursday, April 17, 2014
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

Well, we’ve had quite a mix of sun, wind, rain, frost but best of all…no snow, at least not here in the Lower Mainland. I’ve done my annual ‘Phone the relatives back east while sparking up the lawnmower’ routine, but note, I did not say while mowing, that is hubby’s job. He didn’t appreciate the race track pattern.

spring flowers

Our favorite 10 year old entrepreneur (shark) has already made some money on her favorite ‘mark’ (hubby) with her dandelion hand removal business, five cents per plant and 2 cents per flower. Twenty dollars later, though bless her heart she did give him the 50% off spring special, we still have an excellent supply of dandelion flowers for the native bees and our 10 year old entrepreneur has a wheelbarrow full of flowers. Here is your list for April 2014:

Equipment & Supplies

Make sure you go through your shed or garage and take stock of your fertilizers, tools, hoses, watering wands, watering cans, wheelbarrows and other items. It will save a lot of time and money if you keep track of your summer gardening supplies. I think I bought blueberry food three times last year!! I now have a fertilizer shelf.

Lawns

Aerate, topdress and overseed if you have some patches like me you need to take care of. Fertilize with a good slow release fertilizer like Arts Triple 17 + Iron. Moss killer can be applied when the lawn is going to be dry for a couple of days. If you have dandelions…I know a girl….

pruning trees and shrubs

Trees, Shrubs & Vines

You are out of time for any large pruning…though removal of dead, diseased and damaged branches can be done any time. You can add some lime around the drip line of many fruit trees as well as Clematis.

Now is a great time to fertilize trees and shrubs with some good organic fertilizer. You can also topdress with a good composted mulch or manure depending on the type of plant. Remember your Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Pieris like an acid soil so choose mulch not manure for these guys.

freshen hanging baskets

Hanging Baskets & Pots

Time to freshen up your planters with some good soil. I usually take out the top 8 to 12 inches and add some Seasoil, MiracleGro potting mix, worm castings or compost and mix it up. Every 3 or 4 years I empty the whole thing out and start fresh. Check the drainage on your pots as well. You can start planting these up right about now, but keep them under cover for a little bit as we’ve had a few later frosts. We generally recommend hold off tender plantings till at least the 3rd week of April.

Garden Beds

Fertilize, divide and topdress and weed, weed and more weeding.

direct sow vegetables

Veggie Gardens

Once the rain has slowed, there a number of plants you can direct sow at this time otherwise bide your time until it warms a bit.

New Plantings

Planting new trees and shrubs and perennials – now is the great time to plant new, but please, please do try to think about different seasons of interest and flowering times…don’t just fall for a pretty flower.

Now I could go on for days and days with the to-do list in April but this ought to get you started and leave you a tiny bit of time to stop and smell the April flowers. Cheers, Laurelle.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Posted By: Lyle Courtice A.H. in Perennials

Here is a nice mixture of perennials to keep an eye out for this spring.

European ginger

European Wild Ginger
Asarum europaeum

First class evergreen perennial with rounded leaves of glossy, dark green.  This shade lover will slowly spread to form an unsurpassed ground-cover.  In early spring small brownish-red flowers appear but are well hidden under the leaves.  This groundcover combines well with ferns, hosta, Solomon's Seal and other woodland perennials.  Plant in a shady site out of the hot sun in any average, moist but well drained soil. 

Height:  15cm  Spread:  45cm+  Zone:  2

Geum Eos

Golden Avens
Geum coccineum 'Eos'*

A compact, semi-evergreen perennial with intense, bright yellow foliage.  Rich velvety orange flowers dot the plant late spring into summer.  'Eos' has it's best colouring in full sun but will burn if the site gets too hot and dry, in which case partial shade is best.  Give adequate drainage and even moisture.

Height:  30cm  Spread:  30-45cm  Zone:  5

Popsicle Red Hot Poker

Redhot Poker
Kniphofia Popsicle Series

A new breed of pokers with a more compact habit and attractive, narrow dark green grassy foliage that remains all season. The added bonus is they rebloom from summer into fall.  Great plants for a hot dry location, they require full sun in any well-drained soil.  Zone:  6

 

Kniphofia 'Papaya Popsicle'*

Excellent compact habit with two-toned flowers of hot red-orange fading to light orange yellow.

Height:  30-50cm  Spread:  45cm

 

Kniphofia 'Redhot Popsicle'

Rich cinnamon red flowers on compact, grassy plant.

Height:  40-50cm  Spread:  40cm

 

Kniphofia 'Orange Vanilla Popsicle'

Beautiful two toned flowers opening red- orange fading to creamy white, yummy!  Height:  40-50cm  Spread:  40cm

Lewisia Little Madge

Lewisia cotyledon 'Little Madge'*

A HarkAway Botanicals (but available at Arts Nursery) selection, this clumping perennial forms compact rosettes with long narrow green leaves.  From spring through fall plants will produce whorls of bright magenta flowers.  Requires excellent drainage and little or no feeding.  Prefers light shade and likes to be dry in winter.  Excellent as a container specimen!

Height:  7-12cm  Spread:  12-15cm  Zone:  6

Polygonatum Dragons Scale

Solomon's Seal
Polygonatum odoratum 'Dragon's Scale'*

Hardy and easy to grow this perennial adds a unique textural accent with arching stems clothed in dark green leaves that have several pronounced ridges, giving reference to a dragon’s scale.  The ridges will become more prominent on older plants.  Pale green, bell-like flowers hang down off the stems in early spring.  Plant in partial shade in any well-drained soil.  Great companion to ferns.

Height:  60-90cm  Spread:  50cm +  Zone:  4

Asian White Trillium

Asian White Trillium
Trillium kamtschaticum*

A lovely and robust perennial from Northeast Asia, similar in appearance to our native Trillium ovatum and the Eastern Trillium grandiflorum but with larger foliage and a broader habit.  Bold tri-petaled pure white flowers in early spring.  A superb woodlander that is excellent for naturalizing.  Best planted in cool shade in moist, humus rich, well draining soil.

Height:  30-40cm  Spread:  30cm+  Zone:  5

All of these fine plants are available in limited quantities at Art's Nursery. Always call ahead to confirm availability as our stock and selection are always changing.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

April 2012 In Your Garden

The Easter weekend was absolutely fantastic. My neighborhood looked like an elementary school playground at recess. People streamed out of their houses in their freshly unpacked summer clothes. Mowers were mowing and future artists were busily chalking every bit of sidewalk and street that was available.

My Adirondack chairs are on my deck and even though it’s cloudy right now, I will go and sit in them and have a cuppa…right after I finish the to-do list of course!

lawns

Lawns
Aerate, top-dress, overseed, lime and fertilize. Just don't do it all at once. Its best to leave a week or two between liming and fertilizing.

The list of grass tasks is endless. Your reward for that healthy lush lawn, why mowing of course!

You may want to go and check out our article index at this point for Dealing With Moss (I think this should actually be BC’s official plant), Fertilizer 101 and Overseeding Existing Lawns.

Trees and Shrubs
There is still time to tidy up some trees and shrubs though you’ll have to wait till end of July to do any further pruning on maples or birch. You are pushing your luck a bit but you can prune out any dead, damaged, or diseased and a few of the crossing and rubbing branches. Remember it’s best to stick to smaller branches at this point, pruning outside the branch bark collar, sticking to International society of arboriculture guidelines…or my instructor will come and find you, and never removing more than one third of the plant at any one time.

Also, unless you are a park, or have a shiny black front door with a seasonal wreath, topiary is frowned upon. You can however get away with larger bonsai if there is a stone lantern somewhere on your property. Shear your winter blooming heather once it’s done.

This is also a fantastic time to plant. Check out our how to plant trees video if you need to brush up. It is still a bit early to put out tender annuals. If you are a gambler, you can use remay cloth to help your odds for success with the fussy annuals.

Fertilize trees, shrubs and perennials with a good quality fertilizer like our Garden Pro products. Top-dress with compost, manure, mulch or my fave, seaweed. This will also help feed your plants, smother weeds and retain moisture. Remember not to load mulch more than 4 inches deep around trees and shrubs and less around smaller perennials.

vegetable seedling

Veggies and Flowers from seed.
Continue seeding, you are not too late. There are some very cool new varieties of veggies out there, dare to try something new. There are a number of things that you can now direct seed. I am going to plant some of the really colourful Annual Morning Glory to twine up my front railings.

Don’t worry. This is a tropical, and dies reliably each fall unlike the perennial white flowering morning glory we have as a weed.

dahlia flower

Summer Bulbs
You can plant out summer bulbs such as Dahlias and Lilies towards the end of the month. Most other perennials that you buy in packages can be planted out right now.

Keep an eye out for critters. Remember, not all bugs are thugs and not all bugs need drugs! There are a number of beneficial insects and pollinators out there starting to emerge. Observe and identify. You can expect some damage in a healthy garden. The most common spring pest is aphids. A sharp stream of water will remove them from branches as will the squishing method if you dare.

With all that racing around out there getting the to-do list done, don’t forget to stop and smell the daffodils, and daphne, and skimmia, and osmanthus…

fragrant shrubs for spring

Cheers...
Laurelle


Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

At least its April showers not April snow drifts!
Ladies and Gentleman let’s rock and roll!
Spend time in your garden daily, even if it’s only a little bit of time and it’ll make your life a lot easier.


Lawns

When the ground isn’t too soggy, you can mow.  Don’t scalp it.  You know who you are!  Never cut more than one third of the height of the lawn.  If you have any relatives back east phone them while you are mowing.  It’s funny to hear them yell. 

If you haven’t done the lime/aerate/topdress/overseed thing yet, you can when its dry.  You can fertilize towards the end of the month.

Trees and Shrubs

Fertilize with appropriate food towards the end of the month.  Cut tree circles for trees in the lawn and mulch to avoid weedwacker damage.  Spend a bit of time with a cup of coffee sitting near a tree.  It’s interesting to see the birds, our crows especially tearing off twigs and bits of moss for nests.

Still time to shuffle some things around if needed and it’s a fantastic time to plant.  If you are needing some edible landscaping, the bareroot fruit trees are instock for a about another week. (3rd week in april - after that they will be potted)

Perennial beds

Dahlia Flower

Tidy and topdress.  Be careful when you are raking and cleaning that you are not damaging emerging plants.  Fertilize towards the end of the month.  

Still time to shuffle around the garden beds and to divide up perennials. 

You can plant most of the summer bulbs as well as Dahlias towards the end of the month again, as long as the ground isn’t waterlogged.



Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

 Some of the hardier perennial corms and packaged roots like Crocosmia, Liatris and Hostas can be planted any time and are a great value for your dollar. 

If you’re quick and you have the right place for them you can still get some specialty perennials like the lovely Trillium – there is even one with a bit of a chartreuse speckling on the leaves.

If I don’t get to them first, you may also be able to nab one of the packages of Bletilla striata – hardy ground orchid.

Ponds

As it warms up towards the end of this month you can begin planting.  Get your ponds running and feed your fish once they start becoming more active.

Veggie gardening

Plant your onion sets, broccoli, carrots, cabbage and some of your lettuce crop  once it dries out.  If it gets too cold and miserable don’t rush the planting.  Remember what happened last year!!

Rhubarb Plant

Check raspberry posts, add manure to your Rhubarb, lime around your apple trees, sawdust or pine needles around your blueberries and tidy up your herb borders.

Check your seeds and fertilizer situation. 

Tidy out your garage shelves…never know what you might find.

 Make sure you are ready and most of all, make sure you take some time to enjoy this crazy spring.


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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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