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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!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fall Colour Supporting Cast

Lesser known plants with great fall colour

Posted By: Lyle Courtice A.H. in Fall Gardening

The rains have finally come and we walk briskly under the lead players of fall colour; Acer, Fraxinus, Liquidambar. While we scurry about all bundled up trying to keep dry, we could stop for just a moment and take a look below the great conflagration at the less know but no less spectacular plants that vie for a spot in fall's grand cavalcade of colour.

Cotinus Golden Spirit

Golden Smoke Bush

Cotinus coggygria 'Golden Spirit'

Discovered in the Netherlands this unique selection has rounded leaves of lime green to brilliant gold.

A wonderful golden accent that prefers a sunny location and unlike many golden forms the foliage will not scorch unless it gets very hot and dry.

Airy smoke-like clusters of fawn coloured flowers in summer and finally in fall the bright golden leaves take on an infusion of coral, orange and red. A real winner all round. Height: 2.5-3m Spread: 2m Zone: 4

Oak leaf Hydrangea Fall Colour

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea quercifolia

Bold, deeply lobed leaves of dark green leather give a strong presence in the garden. In fall they turn a rich burgundy-red to mahogany. Large cones of white flowers that often fade to pink grace the midsummer season.

As plants age the older reddish-brown stems exfoliate their cinnamon bark for an added winter interest. Several selections are available in the trade, each with their own charm: 'Alice', 'Pee Wee', 'Snow Queen', 'Snowflake' and 'Little Honey' a stunning compact growing yellow foliage cultivar (see article Gold Fever for more info.). Height: 1-4m Spread: 1-4m Zone: 6

Leucothoe

Fetterbush

Leucothoe spp.

Adaptable broadleaf evergreen shrubs for part shade to shade. The long narrow leaves are glossy and dark green in colour and mix well with other shade tolerant shrubs, perennials and ferns. The arching stems give plants a relaxed, flowing appearance and the pendulous clusters of small white flowers in early spring are a pleasant bonus.

Being evergreen these plants do not drop their leaves but instead take on purple, burgundy, plum and red tones through the colder months. Best if grown in soil with even moisture. Some good selections to look for are: L. axillaris, L. fontanesiana 'Nana', 'Rainbow' and L. 'Scarletta' Height: 60-125cm Spread: 60-175cm Zone: 5

Blueberry Fall Colour

Blueberry

Vaccinium spp.

Most think of the humble blueberry as something one grows in the "veggie" patch along with raspberries, gooseberries and the like, or we see them as vast acres of plantings managed by a mass of workers. However the humble little blueberry can be grown for more than just fruit.

Blueberries are highly adaptable to our West coast climate and are very easy to grow in most soil types under full sun exposure. Plants themselves have crisp, green to deep green foliage which makes a great back foil for other plants. Clusters of white bell-like flowers appear in early spring followed in summer by the well-known delicious berry which comes in varying shades of blue with a unique selection 'Pink Lemonade' being bright pink.

However in fall this unassuming shrub can utterly delight as it's green leaves give way to shades of orange, yellow, burgundy and scarlet. Give them a try as part of a mixed border, foundation planting or container specimen. Height: 45-175cm Spread: 60-200cm Zone: 2-6

Viburnum DoubleFile

Doublefile Viburnum

Viburnum plicatum

Great "Old Fashioned" deciduous shrub with a multistemmed habit and broad horizontal branches giving an overall layered effect. Numerous clusters of flat topped white flowers (or rarely pink) in spring followed by red fruit that matures to black (attractive to birds).

The fresh dark green foliage is handsome on it's own but in fall it really gives a punch of colour, turning a rich reddish purple. Plants grow well in most soil types but prefer a moist, well drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Some good varieties to look for are: 'Mariesii', 'Pink Beauty', 'Popcorn', 'Shasta' and 'Summer Snowflake' Height: 1.5-3m Spread: 1.5-3m Zone: 5

Other great plants for fall colour are:

  • Amelanchier
  • Azalea (deciduous forms)
  • Berberis
  • Callicarpa
  • Clethra
  • Corylopsis
  • Disanthus
  • Enkianthus
  • Fothergilla
  • Nandina domestica
  • Rhus typhina
  • Spirea japonica

These and many other plants with great fall colour are usually available at Art's Nursery. As always, please call (604.882.1201)ahead to confirm 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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