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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, October 20, 2013
Posted By: Lyle Courtice A.H. in Trees

With the onset of autumn we look toward putting the garden to rest for the winter months but while we labour a spectacular display of colour sits just above our heads. These would be trees with great fall colour.

What causes the leaves to change colour in the fall?

Trees for Fall Colour

Weather plays an important role and affects both the colour intensity and its duration. What we have had this year would be considered perfect conditions for a spectacular fall display: a hot dry summer followed by a cool rainy fall. As the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop colours start to emerge beneath their blankets of green. Warm sunny days and cool clear nights trigger one of nature's most spectacular displays. Trees begin their preparation for winter by shutting down photosynthesis in the leaves which reduces the green pigment revealing the colours underneath. In some trees, especially maples, sugars that are trapped in the leaves when photosynthesis stops are turned red by the autumn sunlight and cool nights.

Acer griseum - Paperbark Maple

 

Acer griseum - Paperbark Maple

Highly ornamental small tree with peeling cinnamon coloured bark and small trifoliate leaves of bluish-green. It is a perfect fit for today's smaller gardens. Fall colour can be variations of red, rust and brown. Full sun in well-drained soil. Height: 6-9m Spread: 3-6m Zone: 4

acer palmatum - Japanese Maple Fall Colour

Acer palmatum var. - Japanese Maple

Available in a bewildering variety of sizes, forms and colours they can be single or multistemmed small trees or low shrubs. They are quite happy in either full sun or light shade and tolerate most soil types as long as there is proper drainage (they hate wet "feet"). Fall colour ranges from yellow, orange, red and purple. Height/Spread: Varies Zone: 5

Amelanchier spp. - Serviceberry

Hardy, fast growing upright shrubs to small trees with light grey bark and rounded dark green leaves. White flowers in early spring are followed by edible purplish black berries. Fall colour can be brilliant red, purple-bronze and brick red to yellow. Height/Spread: Varies Zone: 3-4

Katsura Tree - Cercidiphyllum japonica

Cercidiphyllum japonicum - Katsura

Beautiful tree with a dense pyramidal habit in youth becoming more rounded (like the rest of us!) with age. Leaves open reddish-purple gradually changing to bluish-green. Fall colour is yellow to apricot with the added bonus of the sweet scent of candy floss gently wafting through the warm autumn air. Prefers a moist, well-draining soil; will stress and drop leaves during periods of drought. Height: 15-20m Spread: 12-15m Zone: 4

Cornus - Dogwood Fall Colour

Cornus spp. - Dogwood

C. florida, C. kousa and C. nuttallii all make small to medium low-branched trees with upright spreading habits that develop into a rounded crowns. White or pink flowers in spring. Foliage is green through the spring and summer seasons turning red and purples in fall and may last several weeks. All prefer partial shade in cool, moist soils. Height: 6-8m Spread: 6-8m Zone: 5-6

Ginkgo Fall Colour - Maidenhair Tree

Ginkgo biloba - Maidenhair Tree

Unique tree from China with an upright habit that develops into a broad pyramidal crown. Leaves are bright green and fan-shaped; brilliant golden yellow in fall. Full sun in well-drained soil. Height: 15m Spread: 10m Zone: 3

Sweetgum Tree - Liquidambar Fall Colour

Liquidambar styraciflua - Sweetgum

Fast growing tree with star-shaped, dark glossy green leaves and a neat pyramidal crown that becomes more rounded with age. Cork-like greyish brown deeply furrowed bark adds interest through the seasons and especially during the winter months. Fall colouring is fairly consistent and can vary depending on cultivar from yellow to apricot-orange and purple-red. Full sun. Height: 18m Spread: 12m Zone: 5

Japanese Stewartia Tree - Stewartia pseudocamellia

 

Stewartia spp.

Highly desirable small to medium growing tree that forms a pyramidal to oval crown. Bark is sinuous and smooth with patches of soft grey-green over orange-brown. Single petaled white flowers June into July; very elegant. Leaves are dark green through the growing season becoming yellow, red or purplish-red in fall. Sun to partial shade in well-drained soils. Height: 8-12m Spread: 7-10m Zone: 5

Japanese Snowbell Tree - Syrax japonica

Styrax japonicus - Japanese Snowbell

Small to medium growing tree with wide spreading horizontal branches that form a broad-rounded crown. Hanging clusters of fragrant, dainty bell-shaped white flowers; May into June. Leaves are medium to dark green in summer and change to yellow or shades of red in fall. Full sun to light shade in well draining soils. Height: 7-8m Spread: 8m Zone: 5

Some other great trees for fall colour:

  • Betula - Birch
  • Carpinus- Hornbeam
  • Cercis - Eastern Redbud
  • Euonymus
  • Fagus - Beech
  • Fraxinus - Ash
  • Nyssa
  • Oxydendrum - Sourwood
  • Parrotia - Persian Ironwood
  • Pyrus - Flowering Pear
  • Quercus - Oak

Saturday, September 28, 2013
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Fall Gardening

When everyone thinks of fall colours, all eyes turn towards the japanese maples. However, there are many other lesser known plants that can also provide striking fall foliage colours.

Ruby Slippers Oakleaf HydrangeaRuby Slippers Oak Leaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'

A profusion of exceptionally large flower clusters are showcased against a dark green deeply-lobed oak-like leaf. Blossoms open white in summer and quickly age to deep pink. Foliage turns a brilliant mahogany in fall. compact form is well suited for small landscapes. Ideally used in mass plantings, hedges and mixed borders. An introduction from the US National Arboreteum. Best grown in part sun in moist, but well drained soils. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9. Fast growing to 3.5ft high and 4-5ft wide.

Henrys Garnet Sweetspire

Henry's Garnet Sweetspire

Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet'

Brilliant red-purple fall foliage colour lasts into winter to make this deciduous shrub a standout in the landscape. Fragrant, white bottlebrush-like flowers in early summer add to the year round interest of this award winning plant. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9. Henry's Garnet is a moderate grower to 5-6ft tall and wide. Best when planted in full to part sun in moist, but well drained soils.

Mukdenia Crimson Fans

Red-Leafed Mukdenia

Mukdenia rossi 'Crimson Fans'

We've talked about this one before, but it's always a favourite perennial amongst designers. Fanned, maple-like leaves emerge bright green in spring, age to bronze-green and by summer mautre to green with bright red streaks. In early spring, white, bell-shaped flowers dance above the foliage. A lush and colourful groundcover or accent in borders. Deciduous perennial. Best when planted in part sun or part shade. forms a spreading clump to 12 inches tall. Hardy in USDA zones 4-9.

Tiger Eyes Sumac

Tiger Eyes Sumac

Rhus typhina 'Bailtiger'

Fuzzy stems, bright yellow to lemon-lime foliage and intense fall colour make this spreading shrub or shrubby tree a winner in the landscape. This shrub just screams 'look at me'. New foliage is chartreuse and turns yellow, orange and scarlet in the fall. Flowers are yellowish green and followed, on female plants, dark red, hairy fruit. Tiger Eyes does spread by suckers and will expand over time. Best in full sun and moist, but well drained soils. Will reach 6ft in height and spread.

Burgundy Bunny Fountain Grass

Burgundy Bunny Fountain Grass

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Burgundy Bunny'

While everybody loves that other, not-so-hardy fountain grass, this smaller cousin is worth looking at. Burgundy Bunny is a dense, deciduous ornamental grass that forms clumps of narrow green foliage with strong red highlights. Dwarf habit. In the fall, the plant takes on a over-all striking red colour. Small cream-coloured, bottle-brush flowers appear in summer. Ideal in borders, mass plantings and containers. Performs best in moist soil. Prefers full sun. Grows to 18 inches in height and spread. Hardy to Zone 5.

All of these plants are generally available at Art's Nursery. As always, please call 604.882.1201 to confirm availability if you are making a special trip out to see us. Our selection is always changing! If you have any questions about these plants or any others to deliver great fall colour, drop by or give us a ring!


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.


Saturday, October 22, 2011
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Videos


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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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