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Thursday, September 12, 2019
Posted By: Marian Vaughan in Pollinators

The days are unmistakably shortening. We are heading breakneck towards the equinox (Sept. 23), and after that, we embark upon the triumph of the night and the days begin to shorten.


In the meantime, our gardens are alive with bees, hummingbirds and even a few butterflies. There are still many annuals & tender perennials to keep them fed, all the various daisies that brighten the garden: cosmos, tender fuchsias, tender sage & geraniums keep them coming back for more.


Bees

Kept fairly happy with Albizzia, Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) & aromatic herbs such as Perovskia (Russian Sage), Limonium (Sea Lavender) & the second blooming of Lavender & Centranthus. I notice them haunting the roses as well, especially the single ones, as do the butterflies.


Butterflies

Adult butterflies are dwindling, but they & their descendants need our help more than ever. Somewhere there has arisen a mania for “Fall cleanup” of perennials in the garden. This is a horticultural disaster, since you are encouraging the frost to kill the perennial growth you want to keep by exposing the tender new growth and removing their refuge from the cold. By cleaning up you also eliminate host plants for chrysalises of butterflies and shelter for pollinators.

If we leave the garden be until spring, we can expect them in greater numbers. Even if leaving your whole garden doesn’t appeal to you, for visual reasons, leaving just a small area can go a long way in helping pollinators.


Hummingbirds

The Rufous hummingbirds have fled South, but we now have over-wintering Anna’s who have followed the feeders North as the climate warms. This time of year begins the season of their real need for our care. There is still food for them: Fuchsias, both hardy & tender, Petunias, red Salvia and a smattering of other plants; But feeders fill the gap as the flowers fade. 


If you like to feed hummingbirds, be aware this is no light commitment. These little birds need feeding in the dead of winter too, at the crack of dawn, from feeders free of snow and ice. We will have more on this later, several of us can show our bare footprints in the snow; But for the moment it is just time to be aware of changing needs.

Although not technically pollinators, native birds: juncos, chickadees, nuthatches & towhees also bring life to the fading garden. These birds greatly need shelter & warmth from now on into winter. The method of leaving the garden be in fall provides this and as a bonus, the birds do their own ‘weeding’: collecting weed seeds from under the canopy.


Although it can seem depressing as the days begin to close in, September is historically a time of preservation of summer’s bounty; a time to nurture all we care for, so that we all emerge triumphantly into the new year to come.
 

Thursday, October 15, 2015
Posted By: Shelley Levis in Berries

In this video, Shelley Levis introduces you to four of her favourite shrubs that produce colourful berries in Fall. These include: Callicarpa, Aronia 'Autumn Magic', Spring Bouquet Viburnum and Victory Pyracantha

Spring Bouquet Viburnum

Spring Bouquet Viburnum

Viburnum tinus 'Spring Bouquet' (also called 'Compactum')

Spring Bouquet Viburnum is a beautiful evergreen shrub with lightly fragrant, pinkish white flowers. Flowers form striking metallic bluish-purple berries in fall. A dense, compact growth habit makes it a favourite choice for small hedges, screens and foundation plantings. Prefers full to partial sun in moist, but well drained soils. Grows moderately quick to 4-6ft tall and wide. Hardy in USDA zones 7-11

Autumn Magic Chokecherry / Chokeberry

Autumn Magic Chokeberry / Chokecherry

Aronia melanocarpa 'Autumn Magic'

Originally from the University of British Columbia, Autumn Magic Chokeberry is a compact, ornamental shrub with small clusters of white flowers in the spring, followed by purplish-black berries in the fall. The berries are somewhat edible, but quite tart. They are best suited for jams, jellies and baking when combined with other sweeter berries. Foliage turns a brilliant red in the fall. Needs full sun but tolerates extreme cold - it's hardy to zone 3!

Victory Pyracantha / Victory Firethorn

Victory Firethorn / Pyracantha

Pyracantha koidzumii  'Victory'

Victory Firethorn, or Pyracantha as it is also known is a great deer resistant barrier shrub for the garden. Masses of white spring flowers turn into colourful orange berries that attract birds in the fall. It is easy to grow and waterwise for added benefit. Prefers full sun and is hardy in zones 7-9. Grows 8-10ft tall and 6-8ft wide.

Profusion Beautyberry

Profusion Beauty Berry Shrub

Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion'

Beauty Berry gets its name from the masses of metallic purple berries that cover its foliage in fall and winter. It is a superb deciduous shrub with green foliage that has an exciting bronze tinge when new. Small purplish flowers appear in summer amongst the large green leaves. Prune in late winter to early spring to encourage new growth. Prefers full sun. Grows to 6-10ft high and wide. Hardy in USDA zones 5-8.

Two More Plants That Didn't Make The Video!

As we tried our best to keep the video short, these two plants were not included, but are still great fall berry producing plants.

Wintergreen

Wintergreen

Gaultheria procumbens

This groundcover evergreen plant forms low mounds of dark green foliage, often with a reddish hue.. White waxy, urn-shaped flowers are borne in the late spring to early summer and are followed by round red fruits. Fruits are 'somewhat' edible. they have a striking wintergreen - peppermint like flavour, but are very pithy and bland. Wintergreen is an excellent plant for acidic soils and partial sun or shade. Grows up to 12 inches in height and 3ft across.

Red Beauty Holly

Red Beauty Holly

Ilex x 'Rutzan'

Red Beauty Holly delivers abundant crops of bright red berries combined with dense, deep green, evergreen spiny foliage. Tiny white flowers emerge in spring. It is excellent as a specimen or in an informal hedge. Use for framing an entrance or lining a drive. Maintains a dense form with little or no pruning. Red Beauty forms a dense, upright conical form 7-10ft tall and 4-5ft wide. Needs full to part sun and regular watering. Hardy in USDA zones 6-10.

If you have any questions about these plants, or want to add them to your garden, drop by Art's Nursery, or give us a call at 604.882.1201. We'd be happy to assist you! As always, call ahead to confirm availability as our selection is always changing.


Thursday, October 15, 2015
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

Happy Fall everyone!!! October is one of my favorite months in the garden. I love the soft rustling of the falling leaves and the crunching of them underfoot when I walk through our local park. I adore the warm toasted brown smell of leaves and ripened grasses and nutmeg.

Fall Colours and Leaves

And the colours always take my breath away..actually so does my not quite brisk jog (ok, its more of a shuffle really) through park but I digress. In spite of the drought this summer and the massive windstorm, the leaves that have managed to hang on are giving it a brilliant go of it!! So enough of the sensory descriptions...you'll have to get outside and find your own. Here's your list:

Lawns Need Mowing

Lawns

Miss that green colour? Happy now? Time to mow! Get your last few mows in before the weather gets colder and your grass slows its growth. You still have a little time to aerate, top-dress and over-seed if you haven't gotten to it yet. Lime can be applied if you need to adjust your PH. Try to avoid big clumps of leaves sitting on your lawn for more than a day or so. Add them to your compost or run over them with your mulching blade and use them as a top-dress.

Trees and Shrubs Fall Colour

Trees and Shrubs

Try to avoid major pruning at this time. Pests disease and fungi are very present in the air and you are opening up your trees and shrubs to major troubles. I KNOW your neighbour may be pruning at this time but that doesn't mean you need to follow suit. You can to a bit of clean up such as removing dead, damaged or diseased branches but leave the major pruning for January...when your trees and shrubs are dormant.

Fall however, is the BEST time to plant in the Pacific Northwest, especially if we continue to have such dry summers! Planting in the fall gives your trees and shrubs an extra season of root growth before they have to deal with a hot summer!

Surrey Tree Voucher Program

P.S. Surrey residents, don't forget about the Surrey Tree Voucher Program. Drop by city hall and get a $25 dollar voucher. Buy a tree at Art's with it and its worth $75 dollars. Limit 1 per household per year! The city is kind of paying you to plant a tree - it's a great deal!

http://www.surrey.ca/community/11144.aspx

Garden Beds

Garden Beds

Just a basic clean up just to keep yourself sane. You know the drill as you've heard me say it so many times so pass over this bit if I sound a bit preachy but for our new readers...keep your garden beds a bit messy.

We have over 500 different kinds of native bees and most of them overwinter in the soil or in the hollow stems of spent perennials or other nooks and crannies. No, I don't mean you should watch out for giant hives. Most of our Native Bees are solitary dwellers and don't sting. Interestingly enough these native pollinating bees take care of up to 70 percent of our backyard pollination. With the more common honeybees taking only 30 percent of the load. Because of habitat loss and over cultivation we are seeing losses of up to 90 percent of our native pollinating bees. Two species are actually on their way to becoming extinct. There are many great sites on the web if you want to learn what you can do to help http://www.beefriendly.cais a great resource!

Lasagna Gardening

If you are planning a new garden bed for next year, now is a great time to mark out and begin your lasagna garden if you want to take advantage of time and great composting material! You can check out our archive on lasagna gardening or use your friend Google. With a bit of planning and info you can save time, money and your back while creating a healthy soil structure for your new beds!

Winter Baskets & Planters

Hanging Baskets and Planters

Hang on to your baskets...don't empty just cut off the top growth and stay tuned!! It will be worth it, you'll see!! Check drainage, do a bit of soil augmentation and tweaking of your planters as needed. If you have mixed planters with evergreens and annuals you can tidy, remove the spent annuals and add some small bulbs in for a spring surprise under your fall pansies or other fillers. Add curly twigs, corn stalks and gourds and pumpkins as needed to bling them out for fall...have fun and use your imagination :)!!

Winter Veggie Gardens

Veggie Gardens

Continue harvesting and get cold frames and cloches in place before killing frosts. Keep an eye out for slugs and snails as well. If a greenhouse is in your future or you would like to window shop, www.bcgreenhouses.com has a pretty spectacular gallery. If you would like to build your own there are some pretty clever how to websites out there. And if all else fails you can always grow sprouts in a jar and we do carry a selection of those as well and a tiny little grow light and planting bed so now even in an apartment...in the dead of winter...you can grow a salad!

Bobbex Deer Repellant and Bulbs

Bulbs!!

Time to dream it, design it and plant it!! And for those of you who live in a squirrel rich area and lack a terrier...you can protect your bulbs by camouflaging their delicious scent (to squirrels) by planting the awfully stinky fritillaria bulbs among your tulips and crocus. Or you can try soaking or painting Plantskydd organic repellant or Bobbex on your bulbs. Use gloves...this stuff is very effective but it really, really stains!! New this year, you can shop for your bulbs online and we'll have them delivered to you!

Tools and Equipment

Once you've finished your final mow...which I am hoping is coming soon, though with this warm weather I might be mowing in November, you can empty the gas from your mower and check blades, lines etc. Towards the end of the month you can clean, inspect and oil handles and blades and sharpen or get sharpened as needed to keep everything in ship shape. A little bit of organization might be in order as well if you have garage hoarder-esque tendencies like me!!

That shoud be enough for now! Remember to get outside and enjoy it while you can, the November rains are just around the corner.


Sunday, September 13, 2015
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

The ‘Fall’ switch has quite clearly been flipped and now it’s time for us to switch from iced tea and Mojito’s to Chai and apple cider. I was driving by the farms the other day and spotted the bright clear orange of pumpkins…already!! Ok then I get the picture, enough lamenting over summer past and time to get cracking on to-do list present!!

Pumpkins

Lawns

The cool weather and much needed rains have arrived and voila…the lawns are starting to wake up. Mow and mulch as necessary, remember you require up to 70 percent less water and fertilizer for your lawn when you mulch. Once you see life in the old lawn you can think about liming and fertilizing with a good fall fertilizer to help your lawn cope with the extremes of weather.

Should you actually have moss left after all of this heat and drought you can certainly apply moss killer. Aerating and topdressing can be done again at this time as well. If you have wear and tear patches in your lawn,

Now that we have dropped to Stage 2 Water Restrictions you may consider over-seeding. At Stage 2, even numbered homes can water lawns on Mondays, Odd numbered homes on Thursdays. Yes, I know we have had rain but our reservoirs are not up to a sustainable level yet. Be patient.

Trees and Shrubs

Assess any wind or drought damage. You can remove any broken, dead, diseased or crossing and rubbing branches but please leave the major pruning until January. Mulching around the base will help conserve water next summer whether you use bark or a living perennial mulch. With the added moisture, cooler air temps, but warm ground temperatures, now is one of the best times to plant. Trees and shrubs will put out root growth into the fall and will be better prepared to face the following summer then the plants you plant in the spring.

Garden Beds

Do a light tidy, but not too much so as not to disturb any of our beleaguered native bees. Assess drought damage and take note of any replacements needed. Now might be a great time for a thoughtful redesign. Take photos and start a garden diary, this will help you with planning. This is a great time to add mulch or start to collect some dried leaves.

If you have wind falls or your neighbours have, consider using the larger logs as benches, woodland features etc. If conifers have blown down drag them to your rhododendrons or blueberry patch and allow the needles to compost there…drag away the branches once the needles have dropped.

If you need help designing your garden, remember that we offer both in-store and on-site garden consulation and design services.

Plants for Fall Baskets & Containers

Hanging Baskets

Towards the end of the month when the baskets are starting to look bad, cut back the annuals but leave the roots and basket intact. You can hide them behind the shed or house until November when it’s time to fill with greens and Holly and curly twigs for some winter wow. I do believe we have some winter planter classes coming your way. Alternatively, consider the growing trend of fall foliage baskets. Many folks are filling there summer baskets with grasses and cool season perennials like Heucheras, Pansies and Bud Blooming Heathers for a long autumn show.

Planters

Begin cutting back spent perennials or pulling tired annuals and replacing with Pansies, Heucheras, Ornamental Cabbages & Kales, Evergreen grasses and other fall beauties to keep the wow factor going in your garden! Check drainage and cracking to prepare for rain and cold… yes, I know I said it. But look on the bright side, we are THAT much closer to eggnog lattes!!

Lettuce & Cool Season Crops

Veggie Gardens

Harvest, harvest and more harvest. Keep your eye out for powdery mildew…it should be BC’s official fall fungi! At this time I just cut back leaves or pull badly affected plants. There are lettuces and radishes and a few other vegetables that you still have a window of opportunity to sow. Don’t forget about the sprouts, they are easy and fun and healthy to grow indoors. If you are lucky enough to have a little grow light, you can grow greens year round. There are some fantastic and simple little systems out there that are pretty inexpensive and will keep you in greens year round!

Ponds

Keep tidying and removing leaves and spent pond plants. Let your fish be your guide for feeding. Cut back their feeding once they slow down. Inspect pumps and check for leaks now that Mother Nature has filled your ponds back up.

Flower Bulbs In Hand

Plant Bulbs!!

Yes the bulbs are in. Pick up bulbs early for best selection, but I like to plant in October once it has cooled off a bit more. Think about swooshes and groupings rather than soldier rows. Keep in mind also the hungry squirrels when planting. They have an excellent sense of smell so I like to mess them up a bit by planting the skunky smelling Fritillarias near the tasty tulips and crocus. Be on the lookout for some funky new bulb combinations and if you have any questions or want to learn more, come by and ask us or better yet, come to our Scarecrow Festival and learn about all things Bulb!

You can also shop for bulbs online, we should have the inventory updated shortly!


Thursday, October 9, 2014
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

Happy October to you!! Did you know that the leaves of trees change colour in the fall in reaction to the change in length of the day? Once a certain daytime vrs night time threshold value (specific to each type of tree and geographical area), is met, Chlorophyll, which gives the leaves their green colour is blocked from the leaf allowing the yellows and oranges to be unveiled.

Fall Colour Japanese Maples

Trees also have a temperature threshold which signals some to then produce anthocyanins, from the sugars trapped in the leaves, which give the red and purple colours. A warm fall like we are having here in the Lower Mainland with not quite enough difference in day and night time temps to hit most trees threshold for anthocyanin production ,are giving us a rather muted fall colour so far.

What I am hoping for is cooler night time temps while still maintaining the lovely fall daytime temps…not just for completely selfish reasons mind you, so we can get a brilliant fall show before a hard frost comes along with the knock down. Feel smarter? Me too. Now here is your to-do list.

Lawns

If you’re still thinking of seeding and major renovating I think you’re pushing your luck. You can still turf now as long as the ground isn’t frozen, but if you want it to sustain normal traffic you have to wait until it is rooted in. If our Novembers remain in character…you may be waiting awhile. Still time to get that last mow in and call your friends in Alberta while you are mowing. It will annoy them more if you have the sound of burgers sizzling on the BBQ as well. After you mow and finish your burgers winterize your mower and remove the gas.

Red Japanese Maples

Trees and Shrubs

Great time to plant new. Moving any existing trees and shrubs will have to wait until they are dormant. I don’t recommend pruning at this time unless it is to remove dead damaged or diseased branches.

Plants For Fall Garden Colour

Garden beds

A general tidy is ok, be mindful of being too tidy though. Most of you know the drill, but for any new readers, we have a huge number of overwintering pollinators in the hollow stems of perennials and ground. Tread lightly. Its a great time to add some fall and winter colour to both your garden beds and planters. A few of the plants looking great include bud-blooming heathers, ornamental cabbages and kales as well as winter pansies.

Garlic and Spring Blooming Bulbs

Bulbs

October is the absolute best time to plant spring flowering bulbs. The ground is little more moist and the selection is awesome. Get these little packages of flowering goodness in the ground now and you're spring garden will thank you!. It is also a wonderful time to plant garlic. Garlic planted now will be ready to harvest by next summer. This year we have some really neat varieties including Russian Red, Elephant and a couple of others.

Fall Planters

Planters

Group your evergreen and 4 season planters together where they will be protected and where you will get to view them. Refresh anything that needs refreshing and double check for drainage and cracks in the containers. For annual planters, cut down but leave the roots if you want to use them in a display as the roots will help you anchor greens and branches. If you are not going to use them in a display you can clean and empty them.

Yes, We Plant Custom Containers!

While we don't make a big deal of it, our talented garden designers can plant up customer containers for your patio or landscape. Just drop by and give us a sense of the style, colour and look you are after and we can make up something beautiful for you at a very good price. Usually it's only a few dollars more than the cost of materials. Call 604.882.1201 for more information.

Ponds

There is a lot of clean out at this time. Just keep at it. Fallen leaves and decaying plant material will release gasses into the water toxic to fish…especially when there is a layer of ice on the pond. Slow down your feeding and adjust the type of food as well for your fish as they begin to slow down with the cooler temperatures. Cut back decaying water plants. It's also time to blow out your irrigation too if you haven’t already.

Finally take a bit of time for yourself and check out some things in your community. There are often more than a few harvest festivals out there to enjoy. Don’t get too caught up in in your to-do list that you forget to stop and smell the fall air and the crunchy leaves. Also, its less than a month before eggnog lattes yay!!!


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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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8940 192nd Street,
Surrey, BC, Canada,
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