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Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Perennials

If you're like most gardeners, you'll make one or two trips to a garden centre in Spring and call it a year. So unfortunate. Many wonderful and interesting plants don't look the best during the coolness of spring. They need summer heat to look their best.

Summer blooming perennials tend to be sun-lovers and are often drought tolerant once established. Most prefer well drained soils and will probably suffer if left with wet feet (ie overly moist soil). A lot of them are also low maintenance and easy to care for making them ideal for your garden during extended vacations and less time spent at home doing garden tasks.

So with that said, here are some of our favourites flowers for summer:

White Datura

Angels Trumpet

Datura

A summer time favourite with white, trumpet shaped, fragrant flowers. Prefers full sun and needs good drainage. Winter protection or indoor storage is required to ensure survival. Grows to 75cm in height. Hardy to zone 9.

Durban Canna

Durban Canna Lily

These warm season, water loving plants are a favourite for adding lush tropical colour to the garden. Large, banana like leaves offer a multitide of colour topped with tropical looking bright coloured flowers. Flowers appear from July until October. Excellent in containers or near pools or water gardens. Grows to a height of 48 inches and a spread of 24 inches. Prefers full sun. In late fall, before heavy frosts, dig and lift out the bulb and store in a cool, dry frost free location.

 

euphorbia glacier blue

Glacier Blue Euphorbia

Euphorbia characias 'Glacier Blue'

This Mediterranean-looking evergreen perennial features white and blue-green foliage topped by tiny red flowers in on green-yellow bracts. The plant is compact and self-branching. Great for containers, rock gardens and mixed borders. Blooms in spring and summer. Grows 12-24 inches in height with a similar spread. Prefers sun to part shade and well drained soil. Cut old shoots to promote new growth.

 

Echinacea Salsa Red Sombrero

Sombrero Salsa Red Coneflower

Echinacea x hybrida Sombrero Salsa Red

After surviving two plus years of echinacea overload, Salsa Red has forever changed our minds about Echinaceas, This is a fabulous plant with rich, deep red, abundant flowers atop a sturdy, compact plant. It also attracts butterflies! Ideal for a wide range of landscapes including perennial gardens, wildflower areas, cutting and mixed gardens. Will tolerate periods of drought once established. Blooms in mid-summer through early fall. Prefers full sun and well drained soil. Grows 20-24 inches in height and 18-22 inches in spread. Hardy to USDA zone 5.

 

Midknight Blue Agapanthus

Midknight Blue Agapanthus

Agapanthus x 'Monmid'

An exciting introduction with deep violet-blue flowers held in tight clusters on tall stalks. Lush strap-like foliage is bright green. Great for borders and containers. Needs some winter protection in our climate. Prefers full sun and well drained soil. Flowers in mid spring through summer. Grows 3-4ft in height and 1-2ft wide, Hardy to USDA zone 6.

 

daylily_rubyspider.jpg

Ruby Spider Daylily

Hemerocallis x 'Ruby Spider'

This wonderful, award winning perennial delivers enormous 9 inch dark ruby red flowers with intriguing, spatula-shaped petals that open wide and flat, displaying golden-yellow throats. Plant en masse for stunning visual impact. Adaptable to dry conditions and tolerant of pollution, coastal locations and even black walnut trees. Herbaceous. Flowers from early to mid-summer. Prefers full to part sun and moist, but well drained soils. Grows 3-34 inches in height and 24 inches wide. Hardy to USDA zone 4.

 

Echo Mango Red Hot Poker

Echo Mango Poker

Kniphofia 'Echo Mango'

Flower spikes in a soft, warm shade of apricot rise above the green, strap-like foliage for great architectural interest. Best in warm, well drained locations. Great in beds, borders, rock gardens and xeriscape gardens. Prefers full sun and well drained soil. Fertilize in spring and summer for best blooming. Drought tolerant. Repeat bloomer. Grows to 24-36 inches in height and 24 inches wide. Hardy to -10F

 

Crocosmia Lucifer

Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

A classic summer garden favourite. Tall green arching, almost sword-like stems produce clusters of intesely red blooms in mid to late summer. Great specimen plant that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds too! Can also be used in containers, borders or even as a cut flower. Prefers full sun and any well drained soil. Drought tolerant once established. Grows 36-48 inches in height and 12-24 inches wide.

 

Arizona Sun Blanket Flower

Arizona Sun Blanketflower

Gaillardia aristata 'Arizona Sun'

This hardy, compact perennial forms a bush of lance-shaped, hairy, gray-green leaves and is topped with a mass of large daisy-like flowers that have a reddish disk surrounded by radiant red petals tipped with blazing gold. Blooms in June through September. Salt tolerant and deer resistant. Makes a great cut flower and is attractive to butterflies. Drought tolerant once established. Prefers to be planted in full sun in moist, but well drained soil. Grows 8-10 inches in height and up to 12 inches across. Hardy to Zone 3.

 

Short n Sassy Sneezeweed

Short and Sassy Sneezeweed

Helenium 'Short and Sassy'

Short and Sassy is a shorter version of the straight species Helenium that produces flowers earlier in the season until well into the fall. Newer flowers tend to hide the spent blooms giving it a fresh appearance all season. Great when mass-planted, in beds, borders and even patio pots. Attractive to both bees and butterflies. Prefers to be planted in full sun and moist, but well drained soil. Grows to a 12-18 inches in height and up to 24 inches across. Hardy to zone 4.

 

Paprika Achillea

Achillea millefolium 'Paprika'

This cottage garden favourite produces large clusters of ruby-red flowers with a yellow center. Blooms rise above the foliage up to 36 inches high. Light green, fern-like foliage is attractive in its own right. Makes a great cut flower, fresh or dried. Easy to grow in full sun and any well drained location. Remove spent flowers for best bloom. Blooms from summer through early fall. Spreads to 18 inches across. Extremely hardy to -40F.

 

Lavender

Lavender

Lavandula

Lavender is a popular favourite for summer flower gardens. Greyish, aromatic evergreen leaves on a compact plant make them excellent in the garden or in containers. Spikes of lavender blue flowers bloom from June through August. Height depends on variety, but 12-24 inches in height is common. Spread usually matches height. Attracts bees and butterflies. Makes a great fresh cut or dried flower. Prefers full sun and well drained soil. Hardy to zone 4, but needs good drainage otherwise it can rot during wet winters. Excellent varieties include 'Munstead', 'Hidcote Blue' and the new variegated 'Platinum Blond'.

 

Coral Reef Bergamot

Coral Reef Bergamot

Monarda 'Coral Reef'

Unique, deep coral-pink flowers are excellent for cutting and attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Deep green leaves have a good milder resistance. Flowers from mid-summer to early fall. Reaches a height of 30-36 inches with a similar spread. Grow in any moderately fertile, well drained soil in full sun to part shade. Excellent for herbaceous borders and perennial gardens.

 

Hydrangea Bobo

Bobo Hydrangea

Hydrangea paniculata 'Bobo'

To round out this group of summer blooming plants we have a new white hydrangea. This dwarf plant in engulfed by white flowers in summer. Very hardy, it blooms every year and is a great addition to smaller landscapes. Bobo is an adaptable shrub but prefers part shade and a good loamy soil. Prune back in late winter or early spring. Grows 30-36 inches tall.

Don't be shy when using these plants. Most, if not all, look fantastic when grouped in three's, five's or even larger clusters. By mass planting, you are creating an incredible display of summer-time colour. To prove a point, I've even seen an entire 100ft long short hedge made entirely of lavender.

If you have any questions about these plants, or would like us to put a few on hold for you, give us a call at Art's Nursery Ltd, 604.882.1201. As always, please call ahead to confirm availability as our selection is always changing.


Friday, August 16, 2013
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Gardening

As we near the middle of August and round the corner to the dreaded ‘Back to School’ time of the year (it still sends shivers up my spine and has me google searching for therapists), the search also begins for plants and flowers to perk up a tired looking landscape.

While plant breeders, nurseries and collectors are always looking for the new kid on the block, some plants have just proven to be amazingly reliable, dependable, and above all beautiful. With that said, I will also share with you some of my favourite varieties of these plants.

Crocosmia Lucifer

Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

Tall strap-like green foliage arches to reveal deep red, summer blooming flowers. But oh what flowers. Quite unlike any other, these resemble some sort of colour butterfly or avian critter. A classic plant for a classic garden. Can be grown from bulbs or from smaller plants. ‘They are low maintenance and come back year after year. Best grown in full sun in moist, but well drained soils. They are hardy to zone 5.

echinacea flowers

Echinacea

We actually believe that there is a conspiracy to take over the world using echinaceas – just kidding, really... Plant breeders have run amok hybridizing these gorgeous summer blooming perennials. While the classic Echinacea purpurea is pink flowering, dozens of different shades are available now. These range from orange and red to deep pink, carmine and even white or yellow. No matter which colour and variety you choose – mass them. Plant 5-7 in one spot for great effect – its stunning! Echinaceas are best grown in full sun in well drained soil.

Hidcote Blue Lavender

'Hidcote Blue' Lavender

Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote Blue'

Lavender is a hardy perennial ideal suited to warmer, drier climates, yet it tolerates many different conditions including ours. It even thrives in coastal, seaside locations. In late spring and summer, the plant is covered with lavender-purple flower spikes that emit an incredible fragrance. If the flowers are dried, they can also be used in flower arrangements. Best grown in full sun. ‘Hidcote Blue’ grows to 16 inches high and 24 inches wide and is hardy in zones 5-9. Prune lavender twice a year for best appearance. Once after flowering in August & September, and the second time after the winter.

Little Gold Star Black Eyed Susan

Black Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia

Other than Echinacea, no other plant says mid-to-late summer than Black Eyed Susan. Also known as Rudbeckias, these classic perennials are bright, cheery and eye catching. The classic varieties are tall and yellow flowered with dark center. Newer varieties like ‘Little Goldstar’ are shorter with similar colouring. Other varieties come in a fall shades including all combinations of yellow, orange or red. They are best grown in full sun in moist, but well drained soils. ‘Little Goldstar’ grows to 16 inches in height and 14-20 inches across. Hardy in zones 3-8

Stella DOro Daylily - Hemerocallis

Stella d'Oro Daylily

Hemerocallis 'Stella d'Oro'

Sensational award winning selection that blooms with heavy clusters of 2.5 inch yellow flowers. Reblooms freely into early fall. Easy to grow and low care perennial. Drought tolerant once established and extremely winter hardy. Forms a neat tidy clump of strap or grass-like foliage reaching 1-2 ft tall and wide. Best grown in full to part sun in moist, but well drained soil.

Stargazer Lily

'Stargazer' Lily

Lilium 'Stargazer'

Plant these, then close your eyes are smell the fragrance – its amazing. In our opinion, no other plant in your garden is as fragrant as this one. Large white, pink and red flowers appear on tall spikes in the summer. Just watch out for the brightly coloured pollen – it will stain your clothes. Some people actually cut off the pollen for this reason. Lilies are typically available as bulbs in either the fall or spring or as ready-to-go plants in the summer. Enjoy and plant them now for next year.

Caryopteris Dark Knight

'Dark Knight' Bluebeard

Caryopteris x clanodensis 'Dark Knight'

This summer blooming perennial is actually a woody shrub. Bluebeard is usually cut back each spring to 6 inches in height and treated more like a perennial. Plants form a bushy, upright mound of bright-green leaves and the fragrant dark-blue flowers form on new wood in the late summer and fall. Also offers a nice yellow fall foliage colour. Extremely attractive to butterflies. Best grown in sunny locations with excellent drainage. Will grow 2-3ft tall and wide.

Jacob Cline Monarda - Bee Balm

 

Monarda - Bee Balm

Monarda is a traditional favourite for the perennial border. This selection 'Jacob Cline' features bright scarlet red flowers arranged in large shaggy heads. Foliage is delightfully fragrant and significantly more resistant to powdery mildew than most older varieties. Excellent for cutting as well as attractive butterflies and hummingbirds. Best grown in full to part sun in moist, but well drained soils. Grows 3-4 ft in height and a slightly smaller spread. Hardy in Zones 3-9. Another great variety is the pinky-coloured ‘Coral Reef’

Jade Frost Sea Holly

 

Jade Frost Sea Holly

Eryngium planum ‘Jade Frost’

Violet blue globes of pincushion-like flowers appear on blue-green leaves with white margins. Bloom time is typically May through July. Flowers rise above the foliage offering the garden shades of blue, silver and similar metallic tones. ‘Jade Frost’ is a shorter variety reaching only 18-12 inches in height and up to 14 inches across. Great in borders and can also be used as a cut flower. Incredibly photo-genic. Best grown in full sun in fertile, well drained soils. Feed regularly but do not over-water.

 

'Echo Rojo' Red Hot Poker

Echo Rojo Red Hot Poker

Kniphofia uvaria ‘Echo Rojo’

Red Hot Pokers are a favourite plant of mine for hot, dry areas. They need little care or water except for a pruning in early spring to remove all the winter crud.

‘Echo Rojo’ is a great variety as a result of its deep orange to red hot flower spikes that reach 2-3ft in height. It is also a repeat-bloomer, offering flowers from May through August. Grass-like foliage adds further interest. Best grown in full sun and well drained soils. Will reach 18-24 inches in height.

 

Munstead Dark Red SedumSedum - Stonecrop

These unbelievably tough and drought hardy perennials should be in every low maintenance garden. Fleshy succulent foliage is topped with either pink, red or white flowers in late summer. Extremely attractive to bees, this good looking plant comes back every year and rarely needs watering. Typically grows 1-2ft tall and wide. The classic variety was ‘Autumn Joy’ but today it is somewhat neglected as newer varieties have appeared on the market. Names include ‘Autumn Fire’, ‘Neon’, and my current favourite ‘Munstead Dark Red’. Also available is the taller growing ‘Frosty Morn’

Snowcap Shasta Daisy

 

'Snowcap' Shasta Daisy

Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Snowcap’

Last but not least on our list is the Shasta Daisy. This is the flower that every child learned to draw in school. Masses of flowers with white petals and yellow centers will fill your garden every summer. Reliable and hardy, daisies will even thrive in seaside conditions. ‘Snowcap’ is a smaller variety growing 6-12 inches in height and 12-18 inches across. Best grown in full to part sun.

 

Our selection of perennials is always changing so call ahead to confirm availability of specific varieties. If you have any questions, call or visit Art's Nursery in person, we look forward to seeing you!


Saturday, July 14, 2012
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Perennials

Echinacea - Cone flower

Looking for something interesting to add to your garden for some summer and Fall interest? Echinacea might just be the perennial for you. This tall, sturdy and quite hardy perennial (zones 3-9 in most books) for the sunny border makes not only an elegant focal point for the summer and fall perennial bed, it’s useful too!

Many butterfly and native bee species adore this plant. It makes a great cut flower and last but not least, it helps your immune system. Actually, it would be better to take the Echinacea capsules from your local drug store if you want to ward off a cold or flu, I’d hate to see you dig up your plant as it is the root that is the medicinal part.

We used to be able to choose from either the white – Echinacea angustifolia or purple – Echinacea purpurea but now there is a new crop of vibrantly coloured hybrids to catch your eye and tempt you some even having fragrance!!

echinacea fragrant angel

Echinacea 'Fragrant Angel'

A fragrant white flowering beauty growing to about 32 inches in height and forming rather sturdy clumps. I can best describe the smell as a kind of soft Heliotrope fragrance or baby powder. Hardy from zones 4-9.
echinacea now cheesier

Echinacea 'Now Cheesier'

This cheddar yellow bloomer grows to 26 inches in height with lovely recurved petals which always look so graceful to me. Hardy from zones 4-9.
echinacea after midnight

Echinacea 'After Midnight'

Must have been named by a JJ Cale fan. This is another fragrant bloomer with deep magenta flowers with an almost black centre. The petals are slightly overlapping and the plant forms a dwarf clump growing to only 12 inches in height. Zone 4-9
echinacea green envy

Echinacea 'Green Envy'

This hard to find variety is truly spectacular with its slender petals dusky pink purple towards the cone and light lime green towards the tips. Even the cone is unusual with its bright green eye contrasting with the rich red brown surround. This variety is hardy from zones 5-9 and grows to about 20 inches.
echinacea fatal attraction

Echinacea 'Fatal Attraction'

this variety has lovely purple black stems which look quite striking in a mature massed clump. The double row of petals are a dusky purple rose in colour with the centre cone a red brown. This plant grows 18-24 inches in height. Zone 4-8 .
echinacea gum drop

Echinacea 'Gum Drop'

This pom pom style Echinacea has electric pink huge blooms on sturdy stems.  This variety may well be cuter than your neighbour’s shitzu.  Hardy from zones 4 through 9 and grows to 33 inches in height.
echinacea ruby star

Echinacea 'Ruby Star'

Very much like our native coneflower but with richer magenta flowers with more upright petals.  Grows to 36 inches in height and is hardy from zones 3-9.
echinacea tomato soup

Echinacea 'Tomato Soup'

This echinacea cannot be accused of subtlety.  The tomato soup red blooms are borne on 3 feet high plants and are very long lasting.  Hardy from zones 4-9.
echinacea pink double delight

Echinacea 'Pink Double Delight'

This one is the cheerleader of the group.  Soft  pink with a pom pom centre.  Don’t be deceived by its girlish exterior…this one is tough too growing to 24 inches in height and hardy from zones 5-9.
echinacea merlot

Echinacea 'Merlot'

Merlot has softly fragrant dusky pink mauve blooms with rich red brown centre cones that are held aloft by deep wine red stems.  This variety grows to 34 inches in height and is hardy from zones 4-9.

Echinacea are easy to grow given the right spot in a sunny well drained average soil.  They are dramatic accents without the dramatic care requirements. 

I have my eye on a couple of these varieties…I’ll try to leave some for you ;).


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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!

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