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Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

I think someone flipped the instant Fall switch!! There are some trees that have begun to colour up and I have driven through the first bits of ghostly morning fog. I am pretty excited to hit the farmers markets this season as the tree fruit harvests are absolutely fantastic!

Actually, I am also pretty stoked about pumpkin pie and sweet potatoe pie too! I know I can eat them any time but they just taste better in fall…seriously they do! Well, if you are super busy like me you are probably thinking just get on with the list already…you asked for it:

Turf For Sale at Arts Nursery

Lawns

You can aerate and apply a fall fertilizer to your lawn. Don’t apply fall fertilizer if you lawn is dormant (beige), that will not help, water will and I believe Mother Nature is about to supply it. If you have completely dead patches, you can lay turf, if you really need to redo the lawn, you can also renovate and over seed. You will also have to mow, but you can start the mowing countdown before you can take your winter mowing holiday.

Trees and Shrubs

In the Pacific Northwest, Fall is my favorite window for planting! The air is cooler, the ground is still warm and Mother Nature usually helps a bit with the watering.

Pruning Advice

You can do a small bit of pruning and deadheading of trees and shrubs. Do this by removing the dead, damaged and diseased branches, but leave the main pruning till the winter when your trees and shrubs are fully dormant. For garden renovations and tree and shrub moving, wait a bit until the ground is holding a bit more moisture and your plants are fully dormant.

Garden Beds

Weed, deadhead, clip back and generally tidy…but not too much. I know I sound like a broken record but native pollinators nest in the hollowed out stems of perennials, on sandy type soils and on South facing slopes so if you see them or their tiny holes try to leave them be. It is a great time to add new plants to the garden but wait a bit towards the end of the month for perennial divisions. Now is a great time to take a wander through the garden centre to give you some ideas for fall colour if your garden is lacking.

Planters & Hanging Baskets

Planters and hanging baskets - Continue to water and fertilize your annuals and hanging baskets. You‘ll get a few more weeks out of them yet! Once your summer hanging baskets have started to look a bit worse for wear cut off the stems and compost the top part and stick the pots with the root mass and soil in the back yard till you are ready to fill them full of evergreen boughs for Christmas. The root mass acts as a kind of oasis and is great to keep the branches in place! If you have some gaps in your all season planters, you can fill with pansies, grasses, wintergreen and other fall and winter colour.

Fall Planters

Hanging Baskets aren't just for Spring anymore! A new trend has emerged for Fall - introducing: the Fall Hanging Basket! Our designers and local growers have created fabulous combinations that will keep your home looking good until the harsher frosts arrive!

Ponds & Water Features

It's busy time for you coming up with the leaf drop! Good idea to put a bit of a net if you have a smaller pond to catch the leaves. Scoop out the spent annual floaters like water hyacinth and water lettuce. Do some general tidying each week to save you a big weekend job come October.

Veggie Gardens

Harvest, harvest and harvest…weed a little too. There are a few things you can still get in the ground for a fall/winter crop like some lettuces & kales. You can plant Garlic towards the end of the month. Try to stay on top of the powdery mildew. At this point I am just removing it as I see it.

Powdery Mildew

Flower Bulbs!!!

Be on the lookout for some new combinations. I usually pick some up as soon as they come out now and plant mid-October. There are some beautiful red and white combo’s to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary along with a veritable rainbow of your favorites. If squirrels and a challenge you can soak the bulbs in the bitter tasting Bobbex, Plantskydd or similar product or plant your groupings with the skunky smelling (the bulb not the flower) Frittilaria.

Tool Display

Tools

Now is a great time to inspect and fix the fixable and toss or repurpose the tools that are not (hint…they make great stakes or gate attachments). Need some inspiration…think Pinterest!

That ought to keep you busy for now. There are a ton of farm gate veggie sales and farmer’s markets to take advantage of right now. There are also some wonderful Fall Fairs coming up…our Scarecrow Festival is one of them on Sept.24 is one of them with over 60 scarecrows to wow you placed throughout our nursery!

Our Scarecrow festival kicks off our build your own scarecrow event that lasts until Halloween. Bring your imagination, some clothes for your scarecrow and we supply the hay, frames, burlap heads, pompoms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes etc. to help you build your own for a ten dollar donation!

Hope to see you there!


Friday, October 16, 2015
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Container Gardening

By October, your colourful spring and summer patio planters or hanging baskets are probably looking a wee bit shabby, if not down-right dead. If that’s your situation, don’t worry, we have the solution for you – the Fall Container Make Over! In this blog post, we'll introduce you to the world of fall containers and how to design and plant them. We'll also identify some of the best plants to use.

Fall Containers are actually easier to plant and maintain than the Spring and Summer varieties. We know we are living on borrowed time because of impending frosts. That time limit influences our selection of plants and forces all plantings to be temporary.

Fall Containers and Planters

Short Term Focus

Fall containers don’t rely as heavily on blooming annuals and therefore won’t focus as much on fleeting flowers. Instead they utilize long lasting, colourful foliage, attractive berries and other design elements to help them look good as long as possible. Since we know that the time span is shorter, it allows to get past the “what’s best for the plant” mentality and move into the different mindset of “what’s going to look good right now”.

Fall containers and baskets fall into 2 categories, mono-plantings and the traditional thriller-filler-spiller model.

Mono Planters

Mono-Plantings

Mono-plantings typically use the same colour, or the same plant to fill the container. For instance, you could have an all-white planter, or fill the planter with one type of plant. Consider a planter that utilizes white heather, white cyclamen and ornamental cabbage and kale with white tones in a single planter. Alternately, you could fill a planter with just Heuchera, Pansies or Sedums.

Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers

Thrillers, Fillers & Spillers

For fall, the traditional thriller, filler and spiller planters are packed tight with plants to make them look good right away. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this style of planter, lets quickly define these terms:

Thrillers

Plants For Use as Thrillers

The tall centerpiece or focal point of the planter. The thriller can be either centre planted or positioned at the back of the planting because of its height and stature. The thriller is the element of the planter that grabs the most attention and captures the eye. While plants are great thrillers, you could also use inanimate objects like birch branches, contorted willow stems, lanterns or other types of fall garden accents.

Fillers

Plants For Use as Fillers

Filler – the fillers are the mid-sized plants that complement the thriller. They are typically ½ to 1/3 the height or the attention grabbing ability of the thriller. Most fall planters will use several fillers strategically positioned near or around the thriller. At this time of year, small pumpkins and gourds also make great fillers.

Spillers

Plants For Use as Spillers

The spillers are the plants that hang or droop off the sides of the planter. In the fall they are typically grasses, ivies, ground covers and similar plants that have some resistance to winter cold. They are usually smaller and several will be planted in a typical container.

10 Design Tips for Fall Planters

Fall planters are supposed to be temporary, you don’t need to worry as much about longevity or plant health. When a fall planter starts to look shabby, simply discard the spent elements or re-plant them in your garden. When creating your fall planters, here are 7 more design tips to think about:

Black Planter

1. Pick a Pot First

Planter choice is important and should be made first. Everything from the type, the colour, the size, and the width of planting area is important. Try to match the scale of the pot to the size of your plants. Make the colour complimentary to the type of plants you are going to choose. When choosing a pot, quality is critical - if you intend to keep the pot for more than one season. There is a reason there are “cheap” pots and “expensive” pots.

Pot Feet

2. Drainage Is Important

Given our typical fall and winter weather, good drainage is an essential component of fall planters. Fill the bottom one third of your planter with gravel, packing materials, broken pottery or anything else that creates air pockets and allows the water to drain. Separate this layer with landscape fabric to avoid contaminating or compacting it with soil. Lift the planter off your deck or patio with pot feet to ensure the drainage hole doesn't get plugged up.

Promix Potting Soil

3. Soil Choice Matters

Don’t use a garden soil in your planters. These soils tend to be heavy and will compact in a planter. As we already mentioned, drainage is critical. Plants need as much oxygen near their roots as water. If you insist on using a garden soil, at least amend it with perlite to create air pockets and improve porosity. Preferably, use a potting soil like ProMix or Miracle Gro. These products are already mixed with perlite and are specifically formulated to be lighter for planters, containers and baskets.

4. Simplicity Works

The KISS principle ... (Keep It Simple Stu@^@#) ... works. The best fall planters are simple. They only have a few types of plants and they avoid having "one of everything" in the container. If you like a plant, use it a couple of times in your planter as opposed to picking more types of plants. Enough said.

5. Odd Numbers Are Good

In design, odd numbers like 1, 3 and 5 always look good. For example, you may choose to plant 1 thriller, 3 fillers and 5 spillers in your planter. While this obviously depends upon the size of the planter, you get the general idea.

Plant Colour Palettes - Hot Colours and Cool Colours

6. Pick A Colour Palette and Stick To It

Spring and summer planters tend to use the hot colours. In other words, the yellows, the oranges and the reds. These are called stop colours because the eye naturally focusses and comes to rest on them. They grab attention and scream look at me! This is also the reason why fire trucks tend to be red and people in red cars tend to get more speeding tickets – they are simply more visible to the eye. Now you know!

The cool colours tend to be more dominant in the fall. These are the greens, pinks, purples and blues to name a few. They move away from the eye and perceived to be more peaceful, relaxing and calming. They work well with the neutral colours like white, black or grey.

Neutral colours (the grays, the whites and blacks) are the perfect compliments for both hot and cool colour palettes. Use them for affect and as contrasting elements in your planters. You can also choose to create mono plantings. All white and all black planters are in style (especially for Halloween)

If you choose a colour palette, stay in that palette. In other words, a cool colour planter should not have yellows oranges and reds as they will clash. It’s ok to mix a palette and neutrals, but don’t mix the two palettes. An easy way to tackle this is to pick a theme. For example, a Halloween planter may have lots of oranges and yellows complimented by black. Remember to include the pot colour in your design. A pink pot with a halloween colour theme would look ridiculous wouldn't it?

Lanterns

7. Lighten It Up

As the sun sets earlier and earlier in the fall, it is important to choose brighter colours and even accent lighting. Add a few solar or led lights to your planters for added effect! Lanterns or even faux-candles can also be used. This is a great look for winter. For obvious reasons, just be careful if you are mixing anything electrical with water, or anything burning near foliage!

Hand With Bulbs

8. Think About Spring

While we have already stated that fall planters are fleeting, there is no reason why they can’t be designed to give additional interest. For example, you could fill the planter with daffodils and tulips to come up after all the top growth has either died-off, has been cut back or re-planted after winter. Simply plant the bulbs and then add your other materials on top. The bulbs will come through the top growth when the time is right.

10. Relax and Have Fun!

As we have already said, fall planters are temporary works of art. There are no right or wrong answers or bad designs, as long as you like it! Experiment, try new plants and have fun with it!

For More Information:

For more information and a great read, check out this e-book created by our own Shelley Levis.

One Planter - Four Seasons e-Book

If you want to spruce up your planters this fall. Drop by and pick out some great materials at Art’s. We’d be happy to help you make a few design choices or recommend the best plants. Or, if you prefer, we can even plant them up for you. Each fall planter is unique and is based on your design choices and budget. Get yours growing today!


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.


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.


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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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