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Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

Looks like we’re starting December off rather nicely on the Wet Coast, sunny and cool. After dipping my shopping toes into the danger filled waters of mall Christmas shopping I think I do the rest online, in my pjs and gorilla slippers…while listening to Dave Cooks the Turkey by Stuart McLean. There is not a ton to do in the garden at this time, but a whole lot of daydreaming.
Ok, ok, there are a few things you can still do for those keeners out there.

Here’s the list:

Garden Beds:
You can still plant shrubs and trees so long as the ground is not frozen or mucky and waterlogged. Don’t panic if you haven’t plunked those bulbs in yet, wait until the soil has dried out a bit and then toss them in. Weed if needed, mulch around plants with chopped up leaves or bark mulch (avoid using fruit tree or rose leaves). If you have acid lovers such as blueberries or lingonberries or rhodo’s you can drag fallen pine and fir branches to the garden beds and leave them until the needles fall off and then drag away the branches sans needles.

Plant for Winter Interest
Thisis a great time to look for plants that most spring-only gardeners would miss. The list is actually quite large, for example: camellias, mahonia, hellebores, wintergreen, holly and more
winter plants collage
Pots:
Mother Nature has so handily provided many fallen boughs for me to fill my front planters with. Go for a walk and collect some boughs for swags or garlands. We also have some artfully arranged at the store too. Don’t forget to water those plants under cover outside. While not requiring water every day or even once a week, you’ll still need to water say once every two weeks. Feel the top of the soil and make sure it feels moist. When it dries out, add water.

House Plants:
With the cooler weather, most of us have our furnaces on blowing warm and dry air. Keep an eye on your houseplants, misting and providing pebble trays as needed.

Bulbs for Forcing
you can still start paper whites, Hyacinth and Amaryllis now for late winter blooms.
bulbs for indoor forcing
Lawns:
Those past few winter storms should have taken care of most of the rest of the leaves. Make sure to rake or blow large leaves off of the lawn or you’ll be making extra work for yourself next spring with overseeding all those bare patches.

Seeds:
The seed catalogues should be starting to come in around now and you can settle down with a nice peppermint hot chocolate and a pen and put your feet up and start your wish list. Now is a great time to plan for next year and just think… you don’t have to put up with a pesky garden to-do list until 2012!
Cheers,
Laurelle


Saturday, November 12, 2011
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

himalayan white birch

We get more rain this month than any other, so with that in mind here is the list!

Take your vitamin C and vitamin D.

Wash your hands often.

Get a good amount of sleep – studies have found that lack of sleep not only causes a decrease in cognitive function: In a study of six graders, those who got 1 hour less in sleep scored two grades lower at the cognitive level of a 4th grader (Bronson and Merryman, Nurture Shock); but even more intriguing, negative stimuli are stored in the brain by the amygdala while positive stimuli are taken care of by the hippocampus an area of the brain more profoundly affected by sleep deprivation .

So, now that you are healthy, smart and in possession of all of your fond memories you are ready for the West Coast Winter…and the rest of the list:

brownpottery

Inspect your containers for cracks and ensure there is adequate drainage…you’ll need it.  Bring them up close to the house or under the deck.  Wrap all those that need wrapping with underlay, bubble wrap etc.  Or insulate with bags of leaves, or bales of hay etc.  for the more tender plants.  Be on the lookout for fallen evergreen boughs to spruce up your empty pots. 

red twig dogwood

 If you are lucky enough to have red twig dogwood or a contorted filbert now is the moment you’ve been waiting for to decorate your pots!!  If you don’t have greens and twigs handy you can come in to visit us, we have bunches.

If you don’t have a red twig dogwood or contorted filbert, now is a good time to get one.  You can still plant trees and hardy shrubs as long as the ground is not frozen.  

rake up leaves

Rake up and bag apple leaves and rose leaves and those leaves that were affected badly by pest and disease.  The others you can compost and use as mulch in your garden.

canna

You can still divide up hardy perennials.

Lift and store Dahlia’s, Cannas as well as other non hardy tubers.  Make sure to check and turn them often and mist as necessary.  Remember Cinnamon is a great fungicide; you can sprinkle your tubers with Cinnamon.

plant bulbs

You can plant your bulbs, garlic too, if you haven’t already and you can find a dry day.

Remember it takes approximately 9 months to grow garlic and the fall is the best time to plant it.

Blow out irrigation systems before the hard freezes come. My hubby  did the trailer yesterday.

Clean and put away your tools.  Drain the gas from your mower.  I think I’ll take the trampoline down too.  Lawn furniture is nicely tucked away.

shelter

Weed if it’s dry.  Weeding when the ground is mucky will cause soil compaction.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Don’t be too tidy with your clean up.  Beneficial insects and pollinators overwinter in hollow stems and under leaves and branches.  Lucky for me.

Don’t forget those pebble trays with water to humidify those house plants.  A mister works well too. If you're not sure, come on in and well show you what you need to do.

Take care of yourselves this winter, tuck into a good book and stay warm! 

Cheers,  Laurelle


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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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