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Thursday, June 20, 2019
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Shrubs

Hydrangeas are a lovely and diverse genus, many of which have become essential parts of our garden vocabulary.
Hydrangea Group

Most of us are familiar with the "old fashioned hydrangea": hydrangea macrophylla, and mostly with it in its round headed (mob-cap) form. In England, this variety is called "mob-cap" after the rounded cap worn indoors by married women in the late 18th/early 19th century. Here in North America, they are more usually called mop heads. Having grown up in an English tradition, I found this very odd at first!!
Hydrangea Mophead

This shrub has a lot going for it: it flowers for a very long time starting in the summer when few shrubs but roses are in bloom. Unlike the rose it is equally happy in sun and in shade, though it requires more water in full sun. And, also unlike the rose, it needs no deadheading or summer pruning; the round flowers of macrophylla are lovely from the time they first appear, often in strange shades of ivory & green, slowly deepening to their ultimate colours of blue or pink, and then, as fall approaches, evolving into yet stranger colours of violet, burgundy, wine and tan. These flowers dry well, and, if you like, can be sprayed with gold for Christmas decoration!
Lacecap Hydrangea

As well as mobcaps, hydrangea macrophylla has a lacecap form. Like the dogwood, what appears to be a flower is actually a bract surrounding the true flower, which is comparatively insignificant. In the mobcap above, the bulk of the flower is made of infertile bracts. In the lacecap, the centre of the flower is made up of tiny fertile flowers with a surrounding circle of bracts, looking much like a lace doily, or old fashioned lace cap, hence the name. These plants are generally more open and graceful in appearance than the mobcaps, but have many of the same attributes.

Both kinds of hydrangeas serve a good purpose in garden design. They fit very well with rhododendrons, liking the same conditions of soil and sun, and adding garden colour at a time when rhododendrons are long over. The lacecap is particularly nice here, its grace contrasting with the bulkier shape of rhododendrons. They fit equally well with the long blooming summer & fall perennials, adding some restful substance to the border.

Pannicle Hydrangea

In addition to these two forms of H. macrophylla, hydrangea paniculata (Peegee) is a treasured garden plant. Instead of a dome, the flowers form a cone, initially white (or green) deepening to rosy red and ultimately burgundy in a way reminiscent of macrophylla, but more striking because of the size of the flower. The plant too is larger with quite a different garden effect, with strong wands growing upwards. Often grown as a standard (("tree form") it makes a terrific central feature in a frontal bed.

Macrophylla in both its forms and paniculata are those most often encountered in gardens; but there are many others: hydrangea arborescens Annabelle (a very hardy form, blooming on new wood), hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea - very handsome in woodland), hydrangea aspera (extraordinarily shade tolerant) and of course, the climbing hydrangea: hydrangea petiolaris). These are all excellent plants but more suited to a wilder sort of garden than macrophylla and paniculata.

Some well established favourites:
 

Macrophylla : first the mobcaps

Sister Theresa pure white, each flower with a pale blue eye
Nikko Blue very large turquoise, a bit floppy, but gorgeous in acid soil
Glowing Embers reliably red in any soil

Lovely Lacecaps

Blaumeise (Teller Blue) blue turning brilliant pink in basic (alkaline) soil
Kardinal (Teller Red) rich deep pink turning purple in acid soil
Libelle (Teller White) white with deep blue centre which centre turns pink in basic soil

Paniculatas

Paniculata Grandiflora (the original PeeGee) pure white flowers aging rosy pink
Limelight soft green aging to pink
Brussels Lace a rare form with flowers like a lacecap white with no colour change
Quickfire white flowers turning pinkish red
 

For more information about growing Hydrangeas, read the Learn to Grow Hydrangeas Blog Post
If you're interested in any of these beautiful Hydrangeas, drop by the nursery and check out our collection. As always the selection and availability is always changing so call ahead if you're making a special trip


Sunday, March 31, 2019
Posted By: Diane Scott in Roses
Rosa 'Diane Loomer'
This year we were lucky enough to acquire four very special roses from acclaimed local rose hybridizer, Brad Jalbert of Select Roses. While many of his varieties are now available around the globe, only a few local retail nurseries have been offered the honour of carrying Brad’s roses.
Rosa 'Diane Loomer' 
Among these exceptional bushes is the rose ‘Diane Loomer’. Named for the first woman to conduct the National Youth Choir of Canada, Diane Loomer was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1999. This hybrid tea rose has an upright growth of 3-4 feet with large fragrant blooms (4-5 inches) that change from golden to apricot prink. This amazing rose is a continual bloomer from spring to fall.
Rosa 'Dylan'
Our second and newest Select rose is called ‘Dylan’. With blooms of the softest pink, this compact floribunda rose grows to about 3 feet tall. Easy to grow with foliage that has exceptional resistance to disease. Endless, long-lasting blooms on strong stems will enhance your garden all summer long. These would do well in all landscapes from mass plantings to a single container on your deck.
Rosa 'Our Anniversary'
Planted in Stanley Park and various parks in around Surrey, ‘Our Anniversary’ is truly a rose for the lower mainland. With blooms starting plum red deepening to a deep plum purple (weather dependent), this dense bushy floribunda has spectacular glossy green foliage and a light, sweet fragrance. Its disease resistance in all climates makes it popular around the world. Growing to approximately 2.5 feet tall, this rose would be great in containers.

The fourth offering is the ‘Vogue Anniversary’ rose. After looking at many options, Vogue magazine chose this bushy dwarf floribunda to honour its 125 anniversary. An English style rose with golden peach blooms and bright green foliage, it has great resistance to black spot and mildew. A fragrant compact rose, it would work well in a border garden, in smaller gardens or in a pot on the deck. 

Start feeding your roses this year with Select Roses plant food. We have both the Rose food and the Rose Starter food. Both are slow release. This means you can use them for your spring and summer rose feeding. Apply fertilizer in the spring when the soil, as well as the air, is warm, usually about mid April (this means temperatures stay above 10˚ C at night). Re-apply in mid June just after the first blooms. 
Rosa 'Dylan'
The rose food has an N-P-K ratio of 21-9-15, organic based with traces of micro nutrients for a perfectly balanced rose food. This one is preferred by the Vancouver Rose Society. The Rose Starter (N-P-K ratios of 1-3-15) is balanced for better root development and more blooms in the first year. It works well as an all purpose for your other plantings as well. We are offering both in the smaller container, the one with the hand grip for ease of use, at $14.98.

All four roses will be available in 3 gallon pots for pre-order on our website with pickup at the beginning of May.

For more information abour Brad Jalbert and his roses visit his website www.selectroses.ca


 

Friday, May 20, 2016
Posted By: Suvan Breen in Shrubs

 

Oh the fabulous hydrangea! Of all the flowering shrubs this one has always been a show stopper but in 2016 this is not just your grandmas pink or blue hydrangea anymore.

Blue Hydrangea Flowers

I am not sure what I am more excited about, the ever blooming varieties that just go all summer or the new multi coloured flowers that change colour over their bloom time, Hydrangeas are blowing me away right now.

There are so many new varieties and colours that will make you stop in your tracks, come on into the nursery to see what we have for you.

As you may have guessed from their name, Hydrangeas love water, plant in a moist but well drained space, spring is a great time for planting, water the roots deep down to help them to establish in the garden. Once again I highly recommend soaker hoses if you do not have irrigation, this is a great way to reduce your water bill and still deep water your plants.

 

Having said that there are certain things to know about the Hydrangeas we love. Here are the top Hydrangea questions I have had over the years.

Hydrangea Types

Are There Different Types of Hydrangeas?

Yes, there are several types of Hydrangeas with flower colours ranging from white to shades of pink to blue. The classic variety is called Hydrangea macrophylla and can have either the big Mophead type flower or a flattened lacecap-like bloom. Lace cap varieties are great for attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. The Mountain Hydrangea, or Hydrangea serrata typically has a white lacecap-like flower. Pannicle Hydrangeas, or Hydrangea paniculata has large white to creamy white flowers in conical shapes. Hydrangea arborescens or Smooth Hydrangeas typically have large white blooms. Finally, the Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia has attractive white flowers but also offers stunning fall foliage colour.

Endless Summer Hydrangeas

What Is An Endless Summer Hydrangea?

Most Hydrangeas bloom on old wood. In recent years, plant breeders have introduced new varieties that bloom on both new and old wood. They are often called “ReBloomers”. The end result is a plant the produces more flowers and blooms for longer through the season. It also makes them less vulnerable to late winter, flower bud damaging frosts. Endless Summer was the first of the group but new ones like Twist and Shout, Let's Dance Moonlight and Blushing Bride are also available. More information is available on the Endless Summer Hydrangea Website

Should I Fertilize My Hydrangea?

In most cases, yes. For established plants, feed your plant a fertilizer with a high middle number in early spring just as new growth begins. This will create larger and bigger flowers. For new plants, apply a Bonemeal into the planting hole or use a liquid transplant fertilizer when you water.

Changing Hydrangea Flower Colour

How Do I Change The Colour of My Hydrangea?

Hydrangeas react to the availability of aluminum in your soil. If you want pink flowers, add lime to your soil once a year, the lime blocks the plant from absorbing aluminum. Looking for blue flowers? Add Aluminum Sulphate in water and water the soil around your Hydrangea. Be patient, this process will take 2-3 seasons to achieve the colour switch. White flowering types do not change colour.

Where Can I Plant My Hydrangea?

Most Hydrangeas want morning sun and afternoon shade, with the exception of Peegees which benefit from full sun. Late afternoon sun is too strong for many Hydrangeas and can burn both the leaves and flowers. Full shade may result in a lack of blooms, make sure your hydrangea gets at least 4 hours of morning light to grow strong. A location with part sun to part shade is ideal.

Pink Hydrangea Blooms

Why Is My Hydrangea Not Blooming?

Back away from the pruners! The most common reason for no blooms is over pruning or pruning at the wrong time of year. Some Hydrangeas bloom on new growth and some bloom on old growth, if your Hydrangea is not blooming, you may have pruned the flower buds. Hydrangeas really do not require a great deal of pruning but if you are pruning there are guidelines depending on the variety you choose. Deadhead your Hydrangea to encourage repeat blooming.

Another common cause of poor blooms is an early spring cold snap. As many varieties bloom on old wood, a late frost can damage the flower buds.

Your Hydrangea will also produce more and better blooms with a yearly application of fertilizer with a higher middle number

Hydrangea Cityline Rio

How Do I Prune My Hydrangea?

The correct method to prune Hydrangeas depends on which type you have.

ReBlooming Varieties

The Hydrangeas require very little pruning and will keep you in blooms all season long. You should only prune to remove dead wood.

Hydrangeas That Bloom On Old Wood

These shrubs should only be pruned to remove dead wood or to manage size. As they bloom on old wood, a severe pruning can remove next years flower buds. If you must prune, do so after flowering. Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood include:

  • Big Leaf Hydrangea - Hydrangea macrophylla
  • Mountain Hydrangea - Hydrangea serrata
  • Oakleaf Hydrangea - Hydrangea quercifolia

Hydrangeas That Bloom On New Wood

For these varieties, prune in late winter or early spring. Varieties blooming on new wood include:

  • Pannicle Hydrangea- Hydrangea paniculata
  • Smooth Hydrangea - Hydrangea arboresens

If you have any other questions about hydrangeas, please feel free to drop by Arts Nursery and ask! We'd be happy to help!


Friday, May 15, 2015
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Shade Gardening

If we had a dollar everytime someone asked, I have a shady spot, what can I plant?, we would be living in the lap of luxury. Contrary to popular belief, there are actually dozens, if not hundreds of plants that prefer the shade. One of the most common is the Hydrangea. Famous for their blue, pink or white, mophead or lacecap flowers, they are an excellent option for those of you blessed with shade. Here are 6 new or unique Hydrangea varieties to tempt you this Spring!

Lets Dance Starlight Bigleaf Hydrangea

Let's Dance Starlight Bigleaf Hydrangea

This is the first, re-blooming lacecap hydrangea. Starlight has elegant summer flowers held upright on strong stems. Blooms every year. Prefers to be grown in part shade / part sun in moist, but well drained soils. The soil and pH affects bloom colour. Acidic soils produce blue flowers, alkaline soils create pink flowers. Prune after flowering. Grows to a height and spread of 2-3ft. Hardy to zone 6.

Blue Enchantress Hydrangea

Blue Enchantress Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Monmar’

Blue Enchantress is an exquisite, new, re-blooming hydrangea with stately ruby-black stems supporting big, beautiful, mophead hydrangea flowers. Blooming continuously through summer, the flowers are blue in acidic soils and pink in more alkaline ones. Flowers age to a vintage cream-splashed green. Prized for cut or dried flower arrangements. A perfect plant for a dappled shade border. Best grown in part shade and moist, but well drained soils. Needs regular watering. Will grow 3-5ft tall and wide. Hardy to Zone 6.

Sweet and Salsa Showstopper Hydrangea

Sweet and Salsa Showstopper Hydrangea

Hydrangea 'Sweet and Salsa'

This exciting new Hydrangea from the HGTV Home Collection features bicolor red and white flowers with shades of pink that appear in late spring into late Summer. Foliage is equally attractive in shades of green and burgundy red-bronze. Bloom colour changes depending on soil pH. Best when planted in part shade or in areas that have cool afternoons. To preserve the flower heads, cut long stems and hang upside down in a cool, dry dark area and soon after, you’ll have created ever-lasting flowers! Grows 2-3ft high and 3-5ft wide. Hardy to zone 6.

Endless Summer Hydrangea

Endless Summer Hydrangea

‘Endless Summer’ is the original repeat blooming Hydrangea. It has been around for a couple of years now, but is still an awesome variety. Most older hydrangeas flower on old wood (stems that grew last year). This variety flowers on both old and new wood, giving it the ability to bloom more often and more profusely. Flower colour changes according to soil pH and blooms in late spring through late Summer. Best grown in full to part shade and moist, but well drained soil. For best results, keep soil evenly moist and fertilize with a slow release plant food in spring or early summer before blooms appear. Grows to 3-6ft high and wide. As it is a continuous bloomer, prune this one differently. Do not prune in the fall. Instead, wait until Spring when the plant has started to grow. Prune the branches above the new green growth.

Red n Pretty Hydrangea

Hydrangea ‘Red n Pretty’

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Monred'

‘Red n Pretty’ Hydrangea is a superb shrub for accent, specimen or border use in semi-shaded areas. Desired for the splendid, abundant, showy flower clusters in shades of red appear in Summer. Handsome foliage on boldly branched, rounded form. Deciduous. Best grown in part sun / part shade and moist, but well drained soils. Needs regular watering, more often in extreme heat. A moderate grower from 4-6ft tall and 3-4ft wide. Hardy to zone 6.

Plum Passion Hydrangea

Plum Passion Hydrangea

Hydrangea aspera ‘Plum Passion’

‘Plum Passion’ is the first every purple leaved Hydrangea to grace North American gardens. Discovered in China, this unique shrub was brought to Monrovia by famed plant explorer Dan Hinkley. Foliage emerges greenish-purple aging to deep purple on the upper side of the leaf and rosy purple on the underside. Wispy, mid-sized, summer blooming, lace-cap type flowers are somewhat insignificant in contrast with the dramatic, colourful foliage. Excellent fall colour too! Deciduous. Like all Hydrangeas is does best in shade to part shade in moist, but well drained soils. Reaches 5-6ft tall and wide. Hardy to zone 7.

How to Grow Hydrangeas

Hydranges are fairly low maintenance, easy to grow deciduous shrubs. Find a shade to part shade location with moist, but well drained soil. Dig the hole, situate the plant and apply a Transplant fertilizer or Bonemeal. Be aware that if you use bonemeal, you may actually be turning the flower colour pink as explained in the next section. Water frequently, but avoid over-watering. Yellowing leaves may be an indicator of over-watering. Fertilize with an all-purpose fertilizer in early spring before flowers appear. If required, prune after flowering on most varieties. On reblooming or endless summer varieties, wait to prune until spring.

How to Change the Colour of Your Hydrangea Flowers

How to change the colour of your hydrangeas flowers is a very commonly asked question. White flowered varieties will not change colour.  Only Blue or Pink flowering varieties are affected. Hydrangea flowers change their colour overtime based on the soil acidity and presence of Aluminum Sulphate in the soil. In acidic soils,(a pH less than 7), Hydrangea take in Aluminum and their flower colour becomes bluish. In alkaline or sweet soils (pH greater than 7), the ability to bring in Aluminum Sulphate is curtailed and the flower colour changes to pink. This transition is gradual and can take a year or more to complete. To turn your flower colour blue, simply purchase and Acidifying fertilizer and/or Aluminum Sulphate (both available at Art's Nursery) and apply in early spring. To change your flower colour to pink, add lime.

For more information about Hydrangeas, visit us in person at Art's Nursery, or give us a call at 604.882.1201. As always, our selection and availability is always changing. If you are making a special trip, please call ahead to confirm availability.


Friday, June 14, 2013
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Shrubs

Deciduous flowering shrubs are the workhorses of the garden.  They are the infill of the garden, the middle part or depth of a good design and very, very necessary.   Flowering evergreen shrubs are lovely, but in my opinion there are few that will stop you in your tracks to watch them at their height of glory like one that has one season less to make magic in.

Many of these are old fashioned, and many have only one season of interest, but oh... what a season.  Here are my top 4 must have deciduous flowering shrubs for the garden:

Philadelphus

Philadelphus

Mock orange, not to be confused with Choysia or Mexican Mock Orange which is also a pretty nice plant.  I have the golden leaved Philadelphus  at the front of my house.  You’ll want to plant this one by a window that opens, the fragrance of the soft white single or double flowers which generally open in June is my favorite of all time.  It is a medium vaselike shrub growing to about 8 feet high by about 6  feet wide with soft grass green or gold leaves depending on the variety.

It prefers a part shade area (protection from the hot afternoon sun is a must have for the single flowering golden leaved varieties), with humic, well draining soil.  They are often not pretty when you get them, not sure if its because they are constricted to a small pot or perhaps too exposed to the wind but once you dig them into the garden and they can stretch and breath (very scientific eh?), you will be amazed at how sturdy, versatile, beautiful and oh my how fragrant.

In fact, if it wasn’t raining right now I’d be typing this on my front steps near my Philadelphus.  There are a few varieties out there that aren’t scented and though lovely it’s like being handed a cupcake with no icing.  Sad.  Depending on variety, Philadelphus can be hardy to zone 4.

Spirea

Spirea

Another mighty workhorse to the garden is the Spirea.  There are many forms and a stunning array of leaf colours and sizes from the sprawling fountain like grandeur of the Spriea ‘Tor' in full bloom -  to the compact 1-2 punch of the Spirea ‘Lime Mound’ with its chartreuse leaves and pink flowers at the end of June and beginning of July.

I am tickled pink with the leaf colour on these never mind that they flower, and are actually softly fragrant.  ‘Little Princess’ literally gets covered in pink blooms which are usually sporting a number of content looking butterflies.  I am starting to wonder if they come with the plant.

This group of shrubs are easy to care for and like an average, well drained soil in sun to part shade.  If you get the lighter leaved varieties consider placing them out of a high wind area or some protection from afternoon sun to avoid burned leaf edges.

I have limited room but have a Spirea ‘Goldflame’ which I coppice right to the ground in later winter so that it remains a tidy little pom pom of a plant.   The size of spirea ranges from about 3-4 feet by about 3-4 feet.  'Bridal Veil' and some of the others are a bit larger (10 feet high by 20 feet wide) so make sure you choose the right spirea for you.  Most are hardy to zone 3.

Weigela

Weigela

This is a plant that I have always had in my garden in one form or another.  When I was little I made a fort out of this sprawling vase shaped shrub and listened to the bees when it was in full bloom.  Honey bees, bumble bees, humming birds and butterflies love this plant.  So do I.

The trumpet shaped flowers are glorious and happen over the course of 2 to 3 weeks in June-July but oh what a show.  If you are lucky, they will take a bit of a break and bloom a bit in late summer.   There are now burgundy leaved varieties and green leaved striped with chartreuse and some edged in gold and one with a lovely completely green gold leaf  to extend the season of interest.  There are some lower growing but they can attain a height of about 12-15 feet by about 5-6 feet.  These shrubs appreciate a light pruning after blooming so that next years blooms have time to form on the new wood.

Rubidor and ‘Wine and Roses’ are two that come to mind with excellent leaf colour as well.  Do use the golds and burgundy leaved plants sparingly in your garden to give a punch of colour.  Filling your garden full of golds and burgundy and variegated shrubs will just create visual unrest.

Physocarpus - Ninebark

Physocarpus

Ninebark, as it is also known, is an upright shrub to create visual interest and texture at the back of the border both in summer and with the shredding bark in the winter.  There are green leaved, gold leaved and multihued burgundy and chocolate leaved varieties.

The blossoms are held in corymbs and are usually white to slightly pinkish white.  Some are red in bud and white in bloom followed by brown or red seed heads to extend interest as in ‘Center Glow’.  The average growth rate is about 6-8 feet by about 5-6 feet and there are a number of dwarf varieties if you have limited space.  They favour sun but will take part shade and average, well draining soils will suffice.

Prune by thinning out some (no more than 1/3)  of the branches to the ground creating an open  habit.  Most are hardy to zone 3.Physocarpus is a great shrub to provide colour and interest to the garden. It is available in both shrub and tree form.

Hibiscus syriacus - Rose of Sharon

Hibiscus syriacus – Rose of Sharon

This hardy form of hibiscus is always an eyecatcher.   Its blooms are exotic looking.  They are smaller single and double versions of the tropical hibiscus blossoms.  The bark is silvery grey and the leaves are grass green.  Be patient in the spring.  This late summer glory will be one of the last of your deciduous shrubs to leaf out.  In spite of its exotic look, this shrub is a tough cookie.  Plant in sun in average soil.  Most will grow to about 6-8 feet and will be about 5-6 feet high.   They are hardy to zone 5.

These are a few of the deciduous flowering shrubs that are worthwhile members of a strong garden design.  They are hardy, they are tough and they are a few of the workhorses of your garden.

Arts Nursery stocks a wide variety of deciduous shrubs year round. As always, call to confirm the availability of specific varieties as our selection changes frequently. If you have any questions, visit us in person or call 604.882.1201.


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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.

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Thursday, June 20, 2019
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