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Thursday, October 9, 2014
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

Happy October to you!! Did you know that the leaves of trees change colour in the fall in reaction to the change in length of the day? Once a certain daytime vrs night time threshold value (specific to each type of tree and geographical area), is met, Chlorophyll, which gives the leaves their green colour is blocked from the leaf allowing the yellows and oranges to be unveiled.

Fall Colour Japanese Maples

Trees also have a temperature threshold which signals some to then produce anthocyanins, from the sugars trapped in the leaves, which give the red and purple colours. A warm fall like we are having here in the Lower Mainland with not quite enough difference in day and night time temps to hit most trees threshold for anthocyanin production ,are giving us a rather muted fall colour so far.

What I am hoping for is cooler night time temps while still maintaining the lovely fall daytime temps…not just for completely selfish reasons mind you, so we can get a brilliant fall show before a hard frost comes along with the knock down. Feel smarter? Me too. Now here is your to-do list.

Lawns

If you’re still thinking of seeding and major renovating I think you’re pushing your luck. You can still turf now as long as the ground isn’t frozen, but if you want it to sustain normal traffic you have to wait until it is rooted in. If our Novembers remain in character…you may be waiting awhile. Still time to get that last mow in and call your friends in Alberta while you are mowing. It will annoy them more if you have the sound of burgers sizzling on the BBQ as well. After you mow and finish your burgers winterize your mower and remove the gas.

Red Japanese Maples

Trees and Shrubs

Great time to plant new. Moving any existing trees and shrubs will have to wait until they are dormant. I don’t recommend pruning at this time unless it is to remove dead damaged or diseased branches.

Plants For Fall Garden Colour

Garden beds

A general tidy is ok, be mindful of being too tidy though. Most of you know the drill, but for any new readers, we have a huge number of overwintering pollinators in the hollow stems of perennials and ground. Tread lightly. Its a great time to add some fall and winter colour to both your garden beds and planters. A few of the plants looking great include bud-blooming heathers, ornamental cabbages and kales as well as winter pansies.

Garlic and Spring Blooming Bulbs

Bulbs

October is the absolute best time to plant spring flowering bulbs. The ground is little more moist and the selection is awesome. Get these little packages of flowering goodness in the ground now and you're spring garden will thank you!. It is also a wonderful time to plant garlic. Garlic planted now will be ready to harvest by next summer. This year we have some really neat varieties including Russian Red, Elephant and a couple of others.

Fall Planters

Planters

Group your evergreen and 4 season planters together where they will be protected and where you will get to view them. Refresh anything that needs refreshing and double check for drainage and cracks in the containers. For annual planters, cut down but leave the roots if you want to use them in a display as the roots will help you anchor greens and branches. If you are not going to use them in a display you can clean and empty them.

Yes, We Plant Custom Containers!

While we don't make a big deal of it, our talented garden designers can plant up customer containers for your patio or landscape. Just drop by and give us a sense of the style, colour and look you are after and we can make up something beautiful for you at a very good price. Usually it's only a few dollars more than the cost of materials. Call 604.882.1201 for more information.

Ponds

There is a lot of clean out at this time. Just keep at it. Fallen leaves and decaying plant material will release gasses into the water toxic to fish…especially when there is a layer of ice on the pond. Slow down your feeding and adjust the type of food as well for your fish as they begin to slow down with the cooler temperatures. Cut back decaying water plants. It's also time to blow out your irrigation too if you haven’t already.

Finally take a bit of time for yourself and check out some things in your community. There are often more than a few harvest festivals out there to enjoy. Don’t get too caught up in in your to-do list that you forget to stop and smell the fall air and the crunchy leaves. Also, its less than a month before eggnog lattes yay!!!


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!

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