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Thursday, July 9, 2015
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

The lack of rain is on everyone’s mind this summer and not surprisingly watering is on the top of my to-do list! With watering, timing and duration mean everything. It is better to water in the morning and water deeply and less frequently.

Aged Black Conditioning Mulch

Mulch is a great way to maintain moisture in a garden. Remember when mulching around trees go no deeper than 3 inches, less for shrubs and much less for perennials and grasses. Keep in mind that wood mulch draws nitrogen from the soil as it decomposes so especially with smaller shrubs or perennials remember to fertilize your plants with a little fertilizer containing nitrogen to account for the nitrogen draw.

A temporary mulch I have had great success using on my veggie garden is straw. Especially when I have vacation planned I find the water savings overrule the increase in weeds from dropped seeds. I apply the straw approximately 6 inches deep, lower around new seedlings. So check your local watering regulations, keep calm, keep cool and keep hydrating.

outdoor Shade Sails

One way to keep is cool is to create more shade. we've just started carrying a fantastic line of Shade Sails. Attractive, durable and easy to install. These colourful sails will add shade to any area of your patio, garden or landscape (as long as you have something to mount them to!).

Trees

Trees, yes they will need water as well. Be patient, bring a book or a lawn chair or you can purchase or pick up a Treegator watering bag from Arts Nursery or you can pick up from some municipalities. Depending on how well draining your soil is your trees will need approximately 10 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter per week and this will take time.

Tree Gator Watering Bag

Towards the end of this month you can do a basic thinning of fruit trees or Japanese maples, or other smaller trees if needed. Make sure you do any pruning outside the branch bark ridge or collar. You can check the International Society of Arboriculture’s website for help. My rule of thumb is to not remove any branches thicker than your thumb at this time and no more than ¼ for the total canopy…sometimes that is just one cut!

Veggie and Flower Gardens

Water, weed and mulch is the order of the day. Plants are coming into bloom and finishing sooner than they would normally, deadhead, pinch back and try to encourage that second flush of blooms so our pollinators have something at the end of the summer!!

Remember when cultivating or scuffling the soil of your garden to watch for our native bees, we have over 500 native bees here and most of them live in solitary nesting holes in sandy south facing soil. If you see some little holes, perhaps leave that area alone, they are not territorial and most don’t sting, but the little guys need all the help they can get these days.

Water Bowls & Bird Baths

Keep your birdbaths and water bowls filled and yes, you can also fill a bowl with small stones and then add water to the edges of the stones to make a watering bowl for the bees and yes…gasp the wasps. Many of those are pollinators too…seriously and don’t roll your eyes at me. If you find yourself with gaps in the flower or veggie garden we have a great mix of replacements including a number of drought tolerant options!

Summer Hanging Basket Care

Hanging Baskets and Planters

When feeding your plants make sure you water first…then feed. If you don’t, it’s just like taking a huge sip of your Mojito without first stirring it. Your first sip is all rum…meh. If your basket has dried out or is very light or you asked your kids to water while they were texting and they didn’t hear you, take them down and place them in a tray of water and clip back the browned bits and let them sit until the pot feels heavy. Some of the potting mixes become hydrophobic once they dry out and need to be soaked to activate them again. You can even use a product like Soil Moist in your basket to store and release water as it is needed.

Floaters For Your Pond

Ponds

Don’t forget to top up the water as you will be losing a lot of it through evaporation. To help combat that, as well as algae, remember to pick up some floating oxygenators. If 75-80% of the surface is covered with lilies or oxygenators you will have clearer, cooler water.

LawnLift Grass Paint

Lawns

Your lawns are supposed to look golden brown at this time of year! Your local watering restrictions likely have you down to 1 watering per week, which in most cases will be enough to keep your lawn alive until Fall. Water in the morning and use the tuna can method to measure the 1 inch of water your lawn needs. Make sure your sprinklers are efficient and delivering water to the right place. Don't waste! If you decide to conserve water, but still like the green look, we have LawnLift, a non-toxic lawn paint!! It actually works quite well.

Shrubs

We have had a lot of folks through with infestations of aphids on the new growth of their tender shrubs. When you see them you can simply hose them off with a good stream of water from the hose. If they are a repeat problem you might like to use ladybugs…aphids are their favorite thing to eat…like me and chocolate cake !! We have bags of ladybugs ready to go.

Buy Lady Bugs

Be sure to release them in the evening and give them a bit of a misting of 1:1 solution of sugary pop and water. It temporarily grounds them and prevents them from migrating…which is the first thing they like to do when they get out of the bag. By the time their wings unstick…they have found a great source of food which you have so graciously provided and stick around!

That should do for now, pop by and say hi and go for a look see in one of our golf carts. We have a lovely mix of plants, including lots of new ones, and awesome garden designers! You might just get an idea or two!

Cheers

Laurelle


Monday, March 10, 2014
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Perennials

While Hellebores have been the rage for some time now, it's the doubles that always seem to catch my attention. These are the ones with multiple rows of petals. Here's a collection of gorgeous new ones gracing our displays this spring.

helleborus snow frills

Helleborus 'Snow Frills'

This gorgeous double white, slightly fragrant Hellebore has blooms that start white and fade to light green or blush pink in cool weather. Dark green leaves and burgundy stems add extra interest. It is an excellent plant for white garden, pots, planters, and garden beds. Deer resistant. Grows 9-12 inches in height and spreads to about 1ft. Blooms in winter and early spring.

helleborus windcliffdoublepink.jpg

Helleborus 'Windcliff Double Pink'

WindCliff Double Pink is another in the great selection of plants from Monrovia. It offers stunning double pink flowers that deliver color impact from late winter continuing through the spring. Emerging new foliage provides year round interest. It is a highly adaptable perennial for dappled shade and is rarely bothered by pests and disease. Completely deer proof ... or so they say :) Grows 15-18 inches tall and up to 24 inches wide. Hardy in USDA zones 4-9

helleborus peppermintice

Helleborus 'Peppermint Ice'

While 'Peppermint Ice' was available last year, it was somewhat hard to get. It is available in quantity this season and its sure to fly off the shelves. Its flowers are large, double, and light pink with a rim of darker pink edging. Dark pink on the backs adds to the appeal. A delight in the winter garden. Shade tolerant and deer resistant. Grows to a height of 14 inches and spreads 1-2ft. Hardy in USDA zones 5-8.

helleborus golden lotus

Helleborus 'Golden Lotus'

Golden Lotus offers charming lotus-like flowers in delicate shades of gold, yellow and pink. In fact, many of these flowers will have red edge and/or red streaking on the back. Created by one of the world's top Hellebore Hybridizers Marietta O'Byrne. A delight in the winter garden. Deer resistant. Grows to 14 inches high and 1-2ft across.

helleborus sparkling diamond

Helleborus 'Sparkling Diamond'

Sparkling Diamond produces a profusion of double, white flowers with an inner accent of pink and light green. Shade tolerant and deer resistant. A delight in the winter garden. Grows 14 inches high and up to 24 inches wide. Hardy in USDA zones 5-8

helleborus winter jewels cherry blossom

Helleborus 'Winter Jewels Cherry Blossom'

This stunning double Hellebore demands attention with its large, semi-double blooms of rich pink with deep cherry-red centers. they nearly glow against neat clumps of deer resistant, evergreen foliage. This extremely vigorous strain is the result of over 15 years of hand breeding and selection. A perfect addition to shady beds, borders and planters. Reaches 18-22 inches tall and up to 24 inches wide. Hardy in USDA zones 4-9.

The best selection of Hellebores is available late February through mid to late March. Drop by and treat yourself to one or more today! As always, please call ahead to confirm availability if you are making a special trip. Quantity on some of these varieties can be limited.


Monday, March 10, 2014
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

That was an interesting end to February!! It’s been a while since I’ve gone tobogganing and gotten snow down my jacket!! It was a bit awesome and I'm happy to see the soil again.

My snowdrops have already come and gone and the crocus are just poking up from the soil. I am excited to redesign my front garden and organize my back yard. I’ve gone through a lot of rough copies.

snowdrops

It will be an adventure…on a budget pilfered from my fancy coffee allowance. I apologize in advance for any caffeine deficit grumpiness. So before the snow is completely melted away I raise my last mug of fancy coffee and say…Ladies and Gentleman…start your engines!!! The 2014 gardening season is nigh and here is your list:

muddy grass

Lawns

Play it by ear, tromping on soggy turf will compact it. Once your ground is a bit drier, you can lime, aerate and top- dress with topsoil, or coarse sand. Towards the end of the month, beginning of April, you can think about fertilizing with a good slow release fertilizer like Arts 17-17-17 + Iron.

You can play that by ear too. Waiting to give it a light fertilizing until after you have to give it that first trim, is a good rule of thumb used by many lawn care experts.

Looking outside my window right now it’s hard to believe that mowing is right around the corner.

Here are some lawn cutting tips to get you on the right path:

  • Use a sharp mower blade (you can sharpen it or take it in to be sharpened)
  • never reduce the height of your lawn by more than 1/3 at any one time
  • a slightly taller mowing height will allow for more deeply rooted grass
  • leave the clippings, grass clippings do not cause thatch and leaving them when you cut will reduce your need for watering and fertilizing by up to 80%.

If you want to learn more tips and tricks, we’ll have a lawns 101 class taught by our grass whisperer Dave on March 30th. Call 604.882.1201 to register.

Garden Beds

Same rule for avoiding soggy soil applies, no matter how excited you are about digging in your garden. Once the soil dries out you can do some weeding, perennial dividing or move some stuff around.

You can do a lot of planning and daydreaming while it’s raining outside, like I am. Take note of emerging bulbs. You can do some topdressing and a light fertilizing by the end of the month or early April. Compost is golden.

new plants at arts - camellia pink a boo

New Plants

It’s a great time to check out the new plants at Art's Nursery! It is a good idea to treat it like grocery shopping and make a bit of a list because sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. Make sure you think about the areas you want to add plants to and when you will most likely be looking at them.

Seeding

It is a great time to start seeds indoors to get a jump on the season. If you are new to this, we just had our seed starting 101 classes on Saturday the 8th with Kayla our seed guru! If there is more interest, we can always offer this seminar again. Let us know. Check out our other upcoming seminars too!

summer bulbs - dahlias | cannas | gladiolus | lily

Summer Bulbs

Inspect any stored bulbs and discard any rotten ones. Now is a good time to organize and plan your plantings. Art's has a great selection at this time. While it's ok to plant some now, wait for the warmer weather for bulbs like Dahlias. 

Trees and Shrubs

It’s a great time to cut some branches for indoor forcing from Forsythia, Flowering Plum or Cherry. And a great time to enjoy the blooms on Skimmia, Hellebores, Cornus mas, Viburnum bodnantense and the last bit of the Witch hazel bloom, to name a few.

early blooming shrubs

You can move smaller shrubs when the ground is not soggy and  prune trees and shrubs if necessary. Never prune off any more than 1/3 of your tree or shrub at one time and if you are not sure there are a number of pruning classes available to teach you how. You can also start a number of plants from cuttings at this time…like grapes which I will be doing shortly!

Check your local library for books on propagating or Google.

I’ll be starting to graft my heritage apple trees in the next week or so…better go collect some good book tapes because I have a bit of grafting to do!!


Monday, March 10, 2014
Posted By: Lyle Courtice A.H. in Shade Gardening

Probably my most favorite place in any garden is a cool shady woodland setting.

Such reprieves are needed to help calm the nerves and revitalize the spirit. Lush growth, abounding textures and intriguing flowers and fruit all combine to create a serene space where one can admire and contemplate - what better place to spend a lazy afternoon.

Here are just a few of the marvelous woodland gems available this season (late March through April 2014)  to help you create your own shady oasis.

actea pachypoda misty blue

Doll's Eyes

Actaea pachypoda ‘Misty Blue’

Supernal native woodland perennial from Eastern North America with a mounding habit and lacy blue-green foliage. Tall stems of fluffy white panicles in spring through early summer are followed in fall by striking pure white berries with contrasting red pedicels. Tolerates most soil types but requires even moisture in light to medium shade.
Height: 60-90cm Spread: 60-90cm Zone: 3

arisaema_silverfeathers1

Japanese Cobra Lily

Arisaema sikokianum “Silver Feathers”

A selection of A. sikokianum with dramatic silver feather patterns in the center of each leaflet. The flower is a purple-black pitcher with white stripes and a greenish inside, the spadix is large, white and mushroom-like. Partial shade with sharp drainage.
Height: 40-60cm Spread: 20-30cm Zone: 4

beesia calthifolia

Beesia calthifolia

A beautiful clumping evergreen perennial from China, having glossy heart-shaped green leaves with that gasoline sheen; new growth is bronze-red. Tall spikes of small white flowers through spring and summer. Superb, tidy groundcover for partial shade; prefers a humus rich, well drained soil. Tolerates dry shade. Slow to establish.
Height: 30cm Spread: 30cm+ Zone: 6

coptis dissecta

Coptis japonica var. dissecta

Little known evergreen perennial from Japan's mountainous woodlands, plants form tidy clumps of glossy, dark green parsley-like leaves. Tall dark spikes of starry white flowers in early spring followed by pin-wheel shaped seed pods. Deep purple winter colouring. Average soil in light to medium shade. Carefree groundcover.
Height: 15cm Spread: 30cm Zone: 5

epimedium yokihi

Japanese Barrenwort

Epimedium x ‘Yokihi’

A vigorous Japanese hybrid that forms a broad mound of dark green leaves; deciduous. Wiry flower stems dance with spider-like blooms that have golden yellow spurs backed by bright cherry red sepals - absolutely stunning! Flowers early spring repeating in summer. Partial shade in average to humus rich well drained soil.
Height: 30cm Spread: 50-60cm Zone: 4

pteridophyllum racemosum - poppy fern

Poppy Fern

Pteridophyllum racemosum

Unique perennial endemic to the mountains of Japan. Plants form rosettes of dark green, fern-like leaves which are topped by short (30cm) spikes of pendulous clean white flowers; spring into summer. Prefers moist, humus rich, well drained soil in cool shade. Makes and excellent woodland groundcover or a one-of-a-kind container specimen.
Height: 15-30cm Spread: 30cm+ Zone: 5 (4)

syneilesis palmata - Umbrella Plant

Umbrella Plant

Syneilesis palmate

Sturdy woodland perennial from Asia that produces silky umbrellas that open to rounded, palmate leaves of medium to dark green. Panicles of fuzzy white flowers from midsummer into fall. Prefers partial shade and good drainage in a cool woodland site. Easy to grow and maintenance free!
Height: 60-90cm Spread: 60-90cm Zone: 5 (4)

How To Order These New & Unique Plants

These unique and unusual woodland plants will be available at Art's Nursery by late March or early April 2014, depending on the weather. As they are somewhat rare, please call ahead, 604.882.1201, to confirm availability as quantities may be limited. Pre-orders are being accepted.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Posted By: Lyle Courtice A.H. in Small Fruits and Berries

When I moved into my present location the front yard was a massive jungle of weeds and "garden" unfortunately not my idea of a garden.  I proceeded to have the entire yard stripped of every living thing with the exception of a very old grape vine (still do not know the variety?). 

The grape eventually got a new arbor to ramble over and seems to be fairly happy, producing an abundance of sweet green seedless fruit which I look forward to harvesting from September into October unless the wildlife (or neighbors) get to them first! 

green grapes

 Grapes are wonderful plants to grow as they can offer several benefits:  shade under an arbor or structure, screening when planted on a vertical structure/surface and of course edible fruit or if you are so inclined wine production. 

Before you run out to buy your grape vine first determine what you are growing it for; table grapes which are for eating fresh do not make good wine as they are not high enough in sugar content and have too low acidity to balance the wine, while wine grapes tend to be small berried and seedy, one vine will not fit the bill for both.

Also keep in mind that grapes will require some form of structure to grow on and once established most varieties grow rather quickly and will require a yearly regime of extensive pruning to maintain their size and promote optimal health and fruit production. 

Correct pruning also maximizes exposure to sun which allows the grapes to ripen, too much rampant/uncontrolled growth leads to shading of the vine and can allow disease and insects to take hold. Each variety will require specific maintenance depending upon their individual growth habits and requirements. 

I will not get into the "art" of pruning grapes at this time as it is a whole article on it's own.  Check with our horticulturists at Art's Nursery or do some online research as to how to maintain your particular variety.

Grapes should be grown in full sun in a well-drained sandy loam, they will tolerate heavier clay-type soils but this will delay the maturity of crops and vines.  Most grapes are self-fertile so do not require other varieties to cross pollinate, this makes them more versatile for the home gardener as you can have but one plant which saves on space. 

The varieties listed below are all perfectly winter hardy for the lower mainland and some even like our cooler growing conditions *.  Pruning should be done during the winter months when the vines are dormant.


Table Grapes

'Himrod'

Green seedless grape produced in a large loose cluster.  Berries are sweet and juicy, good for eating fresh and for making into raisins; early season.

'Sovereign Coronation' *

Developed at Summerland Research Station, this midseason eating grape produces virtually seedless, blue-purple fruit with a sweet musky flavor.  Makes great preserves.

'Vanessa' *

Blush-red, firm fruit with a sweet, tangy flavor.  Excellent quality grape for eating fresh, making juice, jam and jelly.  Keeps well under refrigeration.  Early season.


wine grapes

Wine Grapes

'DeChaunac' *

French-American hybrid used in making good quality red wines that are balanced and fruity with low tannin levels.  Vigorous habit with good disease resistance.

'Maréchal Foch' *

Hardy French hybrid with medium to large, loose clusters of small blue-black berries; midseason.  Reliably produces excellent red wines with high acidity and minimal tannin levels.  Vines have good vigor and are disease resistant.

'White Riesling' *

Green skinned grape from the Germany used to produce good quality aromatic wines.  Grapes have high acidity and sugar content and are used in making semi-sweet, sweet, sparkling white and ice wine.

Ornamental Grapes

Vitis vinifera 'Purpurea'

PURPLELEAF GRAPE – Deciduous woody climber with attractive purple-red new growth that fades to bronze-green by summer; turns a stunning fiery red in fall.  A late season grape that produces small clusters of blue-black fruit that has sweet flesh with a bitter skin; good for preserves.  Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil.  Prune during winter while vines are dormant.  Height:  3-5m  Zone:  5   

Ornamental Grape

* Photography courtesy of HarkAway Botanicals

These and other grape varieties are commonly available at Art's Nursery. As always please call ahead to confirm exact availability as our selection is always changing.


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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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