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Friday, August 21, 2015
Posted By: in Gardening

As we enter the 'dog-days' of summer our gardens are smothered by heat, shorted on water and deprived of nutrients. What looked fantastic in May looks a wee-bit tired by late summer. One of the lessons of garden design is to visit your garden centres throughout the year. That way you can see what looks good in the different seasons. Use these seven plants to brighten up and re-invigorate the garden, containers and landscapes in August.

Sedum Sun Sparkler Firecracker

Sun Sparkler Firecracker Sedum

Sedum 'Firecracker'

Sun Sparkler Firecracker is a brilliant burgundy-red Sedum with clusters of soft pink flowers in late summer. Its perfect for shallow containers or tucked into rockery or a green wall, where it will gently cascade. An excellent groundcover or accent for borders and rock gardens. Great low water, low maintenance plant. Grows 6-8 inches tall and wide. Hardy in USDA zones 4-10. Prefers full sun

Anemone Fantasy Cinderella

Anemone Fantasy Cinderella

Anemone x hybrida 'Cinderella'

This heavy blooming, single, rose-pink anemone has a very compact growth habit. Good for beds, borders and patio pots. It is very versatile and easy to grow. Tolerates a range of soil types and prefers full sun to part shade. Blooms in late summer through fall. Grows 12-18 inches tall and up to 24 inches wide.

Fireworks Pennisetum

Fireworks Pennisetum

Pennisetum setaceum 'Fireworks'

This gorgeous annual pennisetum is a show stopper in the garden. It's a colour, upright growing grass with variegated stripes of white, green, burgundy and hot pink running the length of the blade. Purple tassles appear in summer. Unlike the species, this cultivar does not reseed. Plant as a specimen or in mass for a stunning display of color. A great addition to containers and beds near your patio or deck. Grow in full sun in rich, moist, fertile soil. Likes regular watering. Excellent in containers, borders and flower beds. Grows 36-48 inches tall and 24-36 inches wide.

Now Cheesier Coneflower

Now Cheesier Coneflower

Echinacea 'Now Cheesier'

This bright and showy selection is a vigorous, new and improved version of 'Mac and Cheese' Coneflower. Large flowers open a deep orange-gold and age to a lighter gold in summer through fall. Perfect for perennial borders, mixed borders and wildlife gardens. Grows 24-26 inches tall and 18-24 inches wide. Prefers full to part sun and moderate watering. Hardy in zones 4-9.

Sombrero Salsa Red Coneflower

Sombrero Salsa Red Coneflower

Echinacea x 'Balsomsed'

Sombrero Salsa Red is a striking echinacea with big, bright red blooms excellent for an easy, colourful summer border. A must-have for the butterfly or cutting garden. Its a drought tolerant perennial that was bred for cold hardiness and compact form with prolific flowering over an exceptionally long season. Flowers from late spring through summer and reaches a height of 24-26 inches tall and 16 to 22 inches wide. Prefers full sun. Hardy in zones 4-9

Red Heart Hibiscus

Red Heart Rose of Sharon

Hibiscus syriacus 'Red Heart'

Red Heart Hibiscus is a deciduous shrub with single white blooms with a red centre in late summer on a medium sized shrub. Grows 4-6ft tall and 6-8 ft high. Prefers full sun to part shade. In general, hibiscus are heavy feeders, if you notice yellowing leaves, feed it with a balanced fertilizer and ensure that it is not being over-watered. Hardy in zones 5-9

rhapsody in pink crape myrtle

Rhapsody in Pink Crape Myrtle

Lagerstroemia indica 'Whit VIII'

Rhapsody in Pink is a wonderful large deciduous shrub or small tree very common in warmer drier climates. It features brilliant pink flowers in summer through fall which is accented by attractive purplish, deer resistant foliage. Prefers full sun and moist, but well drained soils. Fertilize in spring. In our temperate climate, the shrub is usually hardy but often does not get enough summer warmth to deliver the beautiful flowers in abundance. Hardy in zones 7-9.

heuchera_berrysmoothie

Berry Smoothie Coral Bells

Heuchera 'Berry Smoothie'

Perennial Heucheras are fantastic source of colour when summer blooms have faded. Berry Smoothie features large, gently-lobed, metallic rose-pink leaves in spring that darken to bronze-red by summer. It is tolerate of summer heat too. It adds brilliant colour and contrast to mixed containers and woodland plants. It is well suited to containers. Tall flower spikes are apparent but not always showy. Best grown in part sun with moderate watering. Grows 18-25 inches tall and 12-18 inches wide. Hardy in zones 4-8.

As always, call Arts Nursery ahead of time to confirm availability as our selection is constantly changing. If you have any questions about these or other plants, drop by in person or call 604.882.1201.

 


Thursday, August 20, 2015
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

As we move into the lazy hazy days of August I can’t help thinking that I haven’t even scratched the surface of my own summer to-do list. Aaack... I not only have people and places that I haven’t had a chance to visit yet but I have painting, editing and sorting that I haven’t even put a small dent in.

So much for the lazy part, though I have had my eye on one of those hammock chairs…I tried one out and it is just perfect for reading…which is just one more thing I haven’t had a chance to do much of this summer. Actually when you think of it…those are not too terribly bad as far as problems go eh? Here is YOUR list… I’ve got my own.

Summer Lawns

Lawns

At stage 3 water restrictions there is not much to do. But there are a few more things that you want to try to avoid if you can, like heavy traffic, compacting, fertilizing and or spraying chemicals on your dormant lawn. If you really miss the green, you can buy a non-toxic green lawn spray paint. You can also use "gray-water". Think lightly used bathtub water or cleanish-water after the dishes. However, stay away from using heavily contaminated or soaped-up water in your lawn or plants.

Trees and Shrubs

You can still hand water trees and shrubs. Now is also a good time to do a little bit of thinning on fruit trees, Japanese Maples and Birch Trees if needed, as well as vines, of course. Remember to use proper pruning techniques and to remove branches no bigger than your thumb in thickness. Also follow the never more than 1/3 of the tree rule though I would adjust that to ¼ of the tree or shrub at this time for summer pruning.

Summer Pruning

Remember you do summer pruning to slow the growth of your tree or shrub while winter pruning invigorates growth. So if you have a young tree that you want to encourage growth, do not prune at this time. If you have an old fruit tree, vine or Japanese maple that you want to slow the growth of and thin them out a bit, then now is a pretty good time to do a light prune. Remember…the right tool for the right job…no hacksaws…don’t make me come over there…you know who you are.

Veggie Gardens

Veggie and Flower Gardens

You are still allowed to hand water at this time. With your veggies, you are in harvest mode and with flower gardens you are in deadhead mode. You can add mulch to keep the moisture in the ground. The brighter side is that weeding stays weeded for the most part!! There are some winter crops that you can begin planting right now such as kale, pac choi, carrots and other worthwhile goodies, provided you can keep up with the hand watering.

Summer Hanging Baskets

Hanging Baskets

During the really long hot stretches consider moving them to slightly shadier positions and preferably grouping them. Once a week you might also want to sit them in a tray of water. Clipping back, deadheading and fertilizing will keep them looking healthy. I have actually changed from having the high up hanging baskets to having a lower hanger where I look down on my lovely planters rather than having them hanging on either side of the garage! Continue to feed as required. When a hanging basket stops flowering, it usually means it ran out of food!

water bowls

Wildlife

Keep our feathered and 4 footed friends in mind at this time. I have a couple of water bowls as well as birdbaths out for the birds and one out front for the other evening critters like the raccoons and the skunk down the road that I top up each day and they do get used!! Pools and ponds are drying up and an increasing number of urban wild critters are getting flattened on the roads as they are forced to travel farther distances to get to water sources.

You might want to put out an extra hummingbird feeder or two as well as many of the flower nectar sources are having a very compressed season of bloom.

Hummingbird Feeders

Bears might be coming down out of the mountains earlier than usual and please do help to keep them alive by securing your garbage and compost bins…that might even mean bringing them in to the garage. You can try to cut down on the compost bin smell by sprinkling with a layer of pine shavings every now and again as I have them handy for the 2 chinchillas I inherited the bales are pretty cheap and you can get them from your local feed store. It’s not perfect but it does help a bit. I know some folks use shredded paper but that helps more with the smaller kitchen catchers.

Between this list and your OWN summer to-do list you should have enough on your plate. Remember to take time to smell the roses…literally and take a moment, even if it’s just one where you can be quiet and still and just breathe in the summer because it will not be here for long and you will need to keep a little bit of it in your heart for those long dark November days.

Alright I know… lighten up, but I just went to Costco where they already have puffy jackets, Christmas lights and more ... I was feeling a bit glum and now I am trying not to make eye contact with the Costco-sized jar of Nutella… uh oh.


Thursday, August 14, 2014
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

July was a whirlwind of activity for this gal, looking forward to the leisurely pace of August! With the help of friends and family there have been no vacation plant casualties…actually I came back and the garden looked better than when I take care of it…sigh. I haven’t had nearly enough time to do my beverage research…I got as far as different flavoured Mojitos.

But what we did do was make up some awesome flavoured waters after our lunch at Chopped. Anything that makes us drink more water is a good thing. Experiment with your own flavoured waters, chop up some fruits, veg or herbs…preferably ones that don’t have sprays and toss them into a jug of water in the morning and refrigerate. They really start to taste good by evening and some…like my experimental watermelon and mint water was really spectacular the second day. So enough playing…here is your list!

summer lawn care

Lawns

Water restrictions are in full swing, don’t panic over lighter coloured lawns; just reduce traffic if you can. Mother Nature has helped with some rain here and there. Mowing has really slowed down. Take a peek at your mower blade to make sure it’s still sharp. Take note of any uneven ground and make a plan to top dress in fall if needed. Later in the month is a good time to turf or seed…provided you are done with your holidays. Do hold off if we are expecting a scorcher of a week, it will make your life easier and you still have September!

Garden Beds

Continue deadheading and take note of any bare areas. A photo journal is handy…don’t panic if you’ve just started now, it will really help you plan additions in Fall and next Spring. A little clipping here and there will be helpful especially if you have some plants overtaking your garden…like I do. Weeding is really rewarding this month because most weeds are slower to rebound! Add mulch if you have dry areas or have some stressed plants.

summer pruning

Trees and Shrubs

Still a small window to do some light pruning especially on fruit trees. Remember no greater than the width of your finger and no more than 1/4 of the total amount in summer. Summer pruning is to slow growth and winter pruning speeds up growth. So summer pruning is great for fruit trees that are mature and have more than enough fruiting branches.

Dead, damaged and diseased branches of trees and shrubs can be pruned off at any time. Do remember to water your trees, especially street trees. We do carry Tree Gators. These are re-usable plastic water holders that are wrapped around your tree. Fill them with water and they will seep and weep water for 2-3 days.

When you are allowed, leave the hose on a trickle for about a half hour, 1-2 times a week. If planting any new trees and shrubs in August, make sure you water regularly. Keep it deeply watered 3-4 times per week for about 15 to 20 minutes and avoid root disturbance when moving it into the planting hole.

water hanging baskets

Pots and hanging baskets

Continue to water, deadhead and fertilize annuals. Trim back any overgrown sections and don’t be afraid to pull out anything that isn’t working for you. You can fill in the space with a new plant that will take your container into the fall, or a glass vase filled with beads and flowers from your garden, or a lantern (though you might want to switch up the candle for a LED version to make it safe) or a stone or water bowl or anything else that grabs your fancy.

Remember you can soak your hanging baskets in a tray of water if they dry out a bit. When you have to retire a hanging basket…trim off the greens and save the hanger and basket and the soil and roots of the annuals, they’ll act like that green Styrofoam oasis you get to stick plants in…you will have use for it in the fall when you fill it with gourds and hay and corn husks and then later with greens and Christmas lights.

Pests and Bugs

Pay attention to the bugs in your garden, it’s a great time to critter watch, though my teenagers think it’s gross. Don’t panic if you see critters eating leaves.

  • Step 1 identify the pest and learn the lifecycle.
  • Step 2 Identify the critters that will eat the pest.
  • Step 3 – determine the acceptable level of damage. If you’ve said zero, carefully roll up your local newspaper, including the flyers and give yourself a good wack with it until you come up with a reasonable number.
  • Step 4 – Based on your new knowledge of the pest or problem and knowing the lifecycle…interrupt the lifecycle if needed.

If you are not sure you can come in or give us a call and we can help you. Most times it involves spraying with the hose (aphids), squishing (scale and caterpillars) or just plain waiting until fall and then bagging and removing the leaves. We are happy to help you come up with an identification, a solution or even to just exchange bug and plant disease war stories!

fall winter veggies

Veggie gardens

Harvest, weed and water. Fertilize as needed. Plant some fall crops now, such as spinach and broccoli and Brussel sprouts. New fall crop seeds are in.

Fruits and Berries

Between now and end of September trim off spent raspberry and blackberry canes. Clean up strawberry beds. Trim up grapes and allow the sun to ripen existing clusters. Remove any diseased branches now while it’s dry, especially on cherry and plum trees. Harvest, harvest and harvest. If fruit drops on the ground rake and remove immediately. You will prevent a huge number of pest problems by doing this, and I don’t just mean insect pests!!

Ponds

With your pond, continue to monitor plant and fish health. Skim dead leaves, trim excess growth. Ensure you have adequate surface coverage to prevent algae growth. Stock up on aquatic plants as they are usually available at a great price in August!

 

That ought to do for now. If I give you too much it will cut in to your summer reading, outdoor fun and camping time!

Cheers,
Laurelle


Friday, August 16, 2013
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

Thus far it has been a spectacular summer! My boot tan is coming along wonderfully as are the mosquito bites from my last camping endeavour. I think I’ll be ok if I don’t see another BBQ’d burger for a fairly long time and I’ve just finished putting 28 large Ziplock bags of blueberries away in the freezer.

Here is the list for August…and don’t feel bad if you have to hand this list over to your awesome neighbour to do while you are away camping…that’s what summer is for. Oh, one last note to the group of folks singing and playing the awesome blues slide guitar at Hicks Lake. You were amazing and the vocals pretty fantastic too. Thanks for the impromptu concert!

Here is the list:

Lawns

If you are allowing your lawn to go dormant (beige), make sure there is not much traffic on it as you will wear patches and then have to reseed in September. Thankfully we’ve had a bit of rain and some cooler weather to take a little pressure off of the watering.

dormant grass

As we get toward the end of August and beginning of September you can apply a bit of fall fertilizer if needed. This typically has higher middle and last numbers on the package. Make sure your lawn is green, not beige when your apply it. Dormant lawn won’t absorb much fertilizer.

Trees

You can get those cool watering bags from City of Surrey to use on your street trees free of charge. Check out City of Surrey webpage. I am not sure if the City of Langley or Vancouver does this but if you need something to give your young trees the best chance we also have some great tree watering bags.

You should be finishing off any light summer pruning of established fruit trees right about now. Nothing thicker than your finger and only a small amount. Summer pruning will slow growth, while winter/dormant pruning speeds it up.

Shrubs

Deadhead roses as needed. You can propagate some of your deciduous shrubs as well as some broadleaf evergreen shrubs by cuttings and layering. Water those that are showing drought stress.

Deadhead roses

 

Garden Beds

Water and deadhead and fertilize as needed. Continue to note any bare patches and take pictures to help adjust your garden design as needed. Contrary to popular belief, summer is a great time to plant - you just need to remember to water!

Fruit, Berries & Veg

It’s blackberry season!! Everybody has their own technique and protective gear for this. I favour just shorts and a t-shirt…less stuff for the thorns to get caught on.

It’s also early apple season, tomato season, and corn season to name a few things. The farmers markets are stuffed with good things right about now!

Pots and Hanging Baskets

Keep watering and fertilizing deadheading and trimming. If your hanging basket needs some tlc soak them in a shallow kiddie pool or some other container to reactivate the planting medium. Once they dry out it’s hard to get them to hold water if you water them as you regularly do, a good soak in a shallow container really helps.

summer hanging basket care

 

P.S. There is no rule that says you have to keep ugly looking baskets and planters until winter. Chuck out the ugly stuff and come by and get some beautiful new plants for the late summer and fall. Ornamental grasses and many perennials are looking gorgeous right now.

Ponds

Keep them tidy and remove fallen leaves. Make sure you have adequate coverage with floaters and oxygenators to prevent algae bloom. I believe you need about 75% surface coverage with at least part of it being with oxygenators.

pond plants

 

That should do for now. If you are so inclined, get together with your friends and make some pickles, or spicy green beans, or jams and jellies. It`s way more fun to do with friends and family.

I hear the farm God`s Little Acre has some great cucumbers for sale Friday`s and Saturdays. This farmer grows all of the produce for the food bank, the cucumbers he grows to help give him a bit of a wage. You can also go and help him pick the produce for an hour or two on Saturdays, call 604 375-1172 or email jassingh65@hotmail.com if you`d like to help out or order some cukes!


Monday, August 13, 2012
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

August is turning out rather nice. It’s patio time folks so stock up on the ice cubes and little umbrellas…erm, maybe pass on the umbrellas, I’ve had enough of them this year and stock up on the fancy ice cubes…in heart shapes, star shapes and ice cubes with bits of fruit stuck in them.

With all of this lovely sunshine, everyone is getting outside and taking advantage of it…we all know how fleeting it is!!

Tropical Canna Foliage

Here is your to-do list:

Garden Beds

  • The right tool will save you tons of time. My fave for this season is my scuffle hoe or Dutch Hoe. It looks like a stirrup from a saddle with a long handle. Its great for scuffling along and breaking up the weeds while they are little.
  • Water as needed but check your municipal time-table
  • Dead-head perennials and annuals.
  • Assess your garden design and start to plan any garden renovations now.
  • Watch for aphids…spray off with the hose.
  • Bring in bouquets…have fun with your friends and send messages with flowers. Look up flower meanings.
  • Avoid fertilizing trees and shrubs with slow release fertilizer at this time. You don’t want them to send up too much soft growth at the end of the season.
  • It's ok to keep planting at this time of year, as long as you stay on top of your watering...

Trees

You can do a light pruning of fruit trees up to mid-month. Try not to remove anything bigger then the width of a pencil and an overall prune of no more than 1/4. You can lightly prune your Japanese Maples as well following the same principals as above.

Don’t forget to water the trees as well…especially your street trees. For my trees I leave the hose on a trickle for about 20 min to allow the water to soak in. For newly planted trees, water them even heavier on a regular basis.

Lawns

Water if needed. Remember the tuna can trick from last month’s to-do list. Don’t despair if you’ve come back from vacation to a tan coloured lawn. Lawns will go dormant if they are water stressed and will come back to life just peachy in the fall.

blueberries

Fruits & Veggies

bc farm fresh guide
  • Time to harvest!!!!
  • Pick blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, tayberries, currants and early apples. Some of the plums are ready too! Freeze on cookie sheets or chop and freeze in bags for later use if you are blessed with a large harvest. If you have far more than you can use you can share with your neighbours or drop of the fresh produce at your local foodbank.
  • Keep an eye out for cutworms, grubs, etc. If your garden is overrun, consider using nematodes, which occur naturally in healthy soil, to fight the pests rather than using a pesticide.
  • If you don’t have a garden of your own, don’t worry, you can check out the Fraser Valley Farm Fresh Guide on line to locate a farm nearby. You can also check out local farmers markets too for some fantastic produce, baked goods and other amazing stuff. We highly recommend our good friends at Rondriso Farms in Surrey.
water hyacinths

Ponds

Keep an eye on water levels. Remember, water loss doesn’t necessarily mean a leak. We lose a lot from evaporation on a hot day.

If algae is a problem add some more floaters such as frog bit or Floating Hyacinths or you can google barley straw and make a barley straw ‘teabag’ using an orange or onion sack.

Fun Stuff

Try out a new hike or be a tourist in your own town. Check out:

A few great summer reads…

Remember to take the time to put your feet up and soak in a bit of our all too short summer!

Cheers...
Laurelle


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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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