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Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Winter Gardens

Well this is turning out to be an interesting month and that’s even without mentioning politics! Fasten your seatbelts ladies and gentleman…November has arrived! It’s the month I take stock of the harvest and look back on the past year…not just in the garden either.

I make notes about what worked and what didn’t and start a wish list. If I leave it to the New Year I find I forget stuff. There are so many interesting things to do still, indoors and outdoors and after the 20 degree temperature we’ve had I think I better fish out my flip flops from the Summer bin just in case. It’s easy to get a bit overwhelmed this month. Take your time, be selective with it and what you choose to spend energy on, there is no shame in just going for a walk or staying in and doing some thinking for a spell.

Given these interesting times we live in, I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes to ponder and a timely one I think: “When given a choice between being right and being kind, always choose kind.” Dr. Wayne Dyer.

Right then, here is your list:

Lawns

You likely have only one last mowing…if that. Raise your mower height and leave it a bit high. Rake the leaves off the lawn, don’t let them sit or you will have bare patches. Avoid traffic on waterlogged areas. Take note of any soggy areas and if we do get a dry few days you might want to correct the drainage. November rains are the dress rehearsal for the winter. We often have extremes in temperature as well. I would leave seeding for the spring at this point…you are likely pushing your luck. Still a bit of time for adding the odd piece of turf but you are past the point where I would lay sod. Once you’ve finished that last mow, drain the gas and take in the blade to get sharpened to avoid the spring rush.

winter Pruning

Trees and Shrubs

Remove any dead, damaged or diseased branches at any time. You can tell if a branch is dead by carefully scraping a tiny section of bark. If it's green underneath and still flexible, it's still alive. If its dry, brown and brittle, that branch is probably done-for. 

I do my main pruning in February but you can so some tidying of shrubs if they are flopping over. Raking is a daily chore. Put the Apple, Pear, Plum and Rose leaves in the green bin, the rest you can add to your garden beds or use as mulch around your other trees.

Now is a great time to plant new trees and hardy shrubs or start planning a new garden bed. If you can get one or two anchor trees or shrubs in now you can begin the infill layer of smaller perennials and grasses in the spring…so hubby if you are reading this…clear that new garden bed!

Veggie Gardens

Finish harvesting, check drainage and remove any rotting veggies. If you have a winter crop started you can get the cover in place if one is needed otherwise just continue to monitor and cull as needed.

Winter Planters

Planters

You have had a taste of the rain to come, check the drainage and correct. Time to pull out any blown Mums or other fall flowers and start thinking of your winter planter design. I like to add lanterns or other hard features as place holders for the winter greens you will be adding mid month. If you are like me and haven’t pulled out your begonias you might want to think about doing that soon.

Truly, I am like the cautionary tale of front door planters. “Don’t be like that lady down the street who still has flowering begonias a week before Christmas.” The greens are in at the nursery. If you start a little at a time it’s not that big of a job. Lol, who am I kidding I am going to leave it till the night before I have people coming over for a Christmas party. Adrenalin makes for excellent designs.

Ponds

Continue cleaning out the leaves and removing any rotting vegetation.

Planting Bulbs

Planting Bulbs

Yes, you can still keep planting bulbs as long the bulbs themselves are still in good shape! (Which they are - there havent been any harsh frosts yet!). Bulbs like Tulips, Daffodils and others are on sale too - yay!!!!!! – Plant them for a great selection of spring and late winter colour. Remember to plant in groups or drifts!

Cut Back Cannas

Overwintering Bulbs

Dahlias, Cannas and other tubers – We are just going to enjoy the last of the blooms until Mother Nature gives us a knock down hard frost to melt off the top growth, we’ve had a few light frosts but I still have green. Once that happens, dig them up, let them dry out on newspaper or cardboard in the garage, brush them off and store in a paper bag with pine shavings or sawdust.

Flower Beds

If you can avoid cutting back or raking your garden and the pollinators with thank you. The only things you will likely want to cut back if you have them are Peonies. The only raking and removal you should do are roses. Everything else can be a great mulch.

Birdfeeder and Birdhouses

Bird Feeders

Keep them clean and filled. We do have local Hummingbirds that stay all winter! Bird Feeders – After the wind and rain assess the placement of your feeder to make sure the seed is still dry. Clean often. Great time also to look up some fun pinecone feeder projects!!

That should do for now, enjoy your blustery month, take some time to ponder and plan and take care of yourselves!!

Cheers, Laurelle


Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Winter Gardens

November can be a tough month for gardens. In our case, we've just been pummelled by nearly 30 days of continuous rain, but extremely mild temperatures. Plants are still growing and not everything has gone dormant, but they are taking swimming lessons in order to survive! Normally, this is a month where not too many things are left flowering, so most garden colour comes from foliage, stems, berries and bark. That's what this collection of a few of my favourite November plants has to offer.

Skimmia japonica Rubella

Rubella Japanese Skimmia

Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’

Skimmias are workhorse evergreen shrubs ideal for part sun to part shade. Rubella offers red winter buds that open into white flowers in early Spring. It’s fragrant too! This male form is an excellent pollinator for female skimmia in order to produce red attractive berries on those plants. Rubella Skimmia can be used both in the garden or in containers when given a little winter protection. Hardy to zone 6

Wintergreen | Gaultheria procumbens

Wintergreen

Gaultheria procumbens

Wintergreen is a cool season favourite in the Pacific Northwest. It is a North American native with glossy deep green leaves that acquire red tints in the winter. Pink bell-shaped summer flowers blooming are followed by bright red, edible berries in fall and winter. Berries and foliage have a strong wintergreen scent. Grows to 6 inches tall and 8-12 inches wide. A great companion for Rhododendrons, Azaleas or in woodland or wildflower gardens. Best grown in part shade to part sun in right, acidic, moist, but well drained soil. Water regularly in summer. Hardy in zones 3-7

Camellia Yuletide

Yuletide Camellia

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ is an extremely popular red flowering camellia shrub that typically blooms in November or December in our climate. Large red flowers with a golden stamens make an elegant statement in the winter garden. Great as a foundation shrub or espalier. Glossy, dark green, evergreen foliage can also be used to create a handsome natural hedge. Provide some protection from rain, snow and ice to maximize the flower show. Yuletide Camellia is a moderate grower reaching 8-10ft in height and width. Best in part sun to part shade, but will tolerate full sun in cooler climates like ours.

Holly Scallywag

Scallywag Holly

Ilex x meservae ‘MonNieves’

Scallywag Holly is an exciting discovery. It’s a sport of Little Rascal Holly, but is more upright growing while still keeping a dense rounded form. Shiny dark green foliage takes on an attractive purple-burgundy tone in fall and winter. It’s a wonderful foundation shrub with improved disease resistance too! While it is a male form, and will not produce berries, plant it near female varieties for use as a pollinator. Evergreen. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9. Prefers to be grown in full sun with moderate water. Slow growing, but will ultimately reach 4ft tall and up to 3ft wide.

Red Beauty Holly

Red Beauty Holly

Our second Holly this time around, Red Beauty provides abundant bright red berries combined with dense dark green, evergreen foliage. It’s a a wonderful shrub to frame an entrance or driveway. Excellent when clipped or made into an informal hedge. Dense conical form requires little pruning to maintain. For best berry display, plant a male Holly variety nearby as a pollinator. Hollies are lovely when combined with Pieris, Kalmia and Rhododendrons.

Arctic Fire Red Twig Dogwood

Arctic Fire Red Twig Dogwood

Cornus stolonifera ‘Farrow' Arctic Fire Dogwood is a Proven Winners variety of red twig dogwood with dark red winter stems that are great for cutting. Green leaves provide seasonal interest too! It’s cousins are native to many parts of B.C. and it does particularly well in well drained to even boggy soil. A great selection for mass plantings, cutting gardens and is generally considered to be deer resistant. For best stems, prune a third of the branches to the ground in late winter or early spring. Grows 3-5ft tall and equally as wide.

Wilmas Goldcrest Cypress

Wilma Goldcrest Cypress

Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Wilma Goldcrest’

This fantastic bright golden-lime yellow cypress is always a winter favourite for gardens and pots. While it is not terribly hardy, what it lacks in longevity is made up for with good looks. It also delivers a nice lemony fragrance when brushed or bruised. For best results, plant it in a sheltered location and as long as we don’t get too cold you should have reasonable success with it. Prefers full sun. Hardy in zones 7-10

Carstens Winter Gold Mugo Pine

Carsten’s Wintergold Mugo Pine

Grown by Monrovia, ‘Carstens Winter Gold’ Mugo Pine, is one of the finest of the gold-hued dwarf pines. Short densely arranged needles are an attractive deep green in spring and summer, turning a rich gold tone as cold weather arrives. Colour is most intense in colder climates. It’s an outstanding specimen in smaller gardens, or plant in groupings to make a bold statement in larger landscapes. Great in combination with Japanese Maples, Holly and Switch Grass (Panicum).

Silberlock Korean Fir

Silberlocke Korean Fir

Abies koreana 'Silberlocke'

One of my personal favourites! Silberlocke Korean Fir, or Abies koreana 'Silberlocke' is a smallish conifer with shiny dark green needles that twist to show the silvery white underside. Stately brown conifers grow upwards amongst the foliage for added interest. Very unique looking specimen for the garden. Like most conifers, it prefers full sun and moist, but well drained soil. Fairly slow growing, but can ultimately reach 30ft tall and 20ft wide. Hardy to zones 5-6

Silberschmelze Winter Heather

Silberschmelze Winter Heather

Erica x darlyensis 'Silberschmelze'

Yup, another 'Silber', this time its one of the most popular white heathers. Erica x darleyensis 'Silberschmelze' is an attractive plant with dark green, almost conifer like foliage and creamy young growths in spring. White bell-shaped flowers are produced in abundance fromearly winter until late spring. Like most heathers, this one like full sun and moist, but well drained acidic soils. Most of our soils are naturally acidic, but if in doubt, mix in some peat moss into your soil or use an acidifying fertilizer like our Garden Pro Azalea / Rhododendron food. Silverschmelze Heather grows to 20 inches in height and up to 28 inches wide. Prune it lightly in spring after the flowers have finished to keep it looking neat and tidy. Hardy in zones 6-8.

As always, call ahead 604.882.1201 to confirm availability of these or any other plants as our selection is always changing.


Friday, June 17, 2016
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

We are starting to get into the swing of things by June. Mowing, planting, fertilizing, trimming, deadheading and staking oh my! I hope you are not so immersed in the gardening shoulds that you are forgetting to stop and smell the flowers…literally!! Weather wise we have had a little bit of everything so far but we are fierce gardeners and are ready for anything…k maybe not anything but a lot.

It’s a jungle out there so remember to stick together (gardening clubs are good), be safe (wear a hat and sunscreen and for the love of Pete take your time when pruning if you want to keep all of your fingers),share (plants and knowledge…ok maybe not tools but the first two are enough) and above all HAVE FUN OUT THERE!! Here’s your list.

Lawn Watering Restrictions

Lawn

Stage 1 Water regulations are on but Mother Nature has been helpfully taking care of much of the watering in the lower mainland. Once we get into the hot part of summer though you can mow high, use a mulching blade. If you have to water do so in the early morning. Our lawns need only about 1 ½ “ of water per week. That is about 2 -30 min watering sessions for most sprinkler heads. You can also consider going ‘au naturel´ and allowing your lawn to go dormant (that’s just a nicer way of saying brown). If it’s not a heavy traffic area, it will begin to grow again once we get some cooler evenings and a bit of rain by September.

Thin Fruit Trees

Trees and Shrubs

Mulch your trees and shrubs with composted mulch or even a green mulch aka a groundcover! Groundcover plants can help keep moisture in the soil. Remember if you have fruit trees that have a heavy crop to start thinning the fruit. Don’t be greedy, or you are going to have broken branches and bent over trees! You can remove dead, diseased or damaged branches at any time. Consider getting a tree gator if it gets hot this summer or you plan on going away for any length of time.

Butterfly on Flower

Garden Beds

Dead head, mulch, fertilize and stake as needed. Don’t worry about being too perfect with your trimming. Remember to 'bee' observant in the garden. Many pollinators use the hollowed stems of perennials as nesting and a huge percentage of them are ground nesters. If you see tiny holes in the ground especially in sunny areas you would be doing a kindness by not weeding, mulching or cultivating in that area. Another funky thing you can do in the garden is put in a butterfly mud wallow, sunning rock and pollinator watering pebble tray. I know I am a bit of a plant and bug geek, but this stuff is cool!! Some great butterfly info sites are:

If you want to check out some cool information on other pollinators both Simon Fraser University and the David Suzuki foundation have great info:

If you would like to add some plants, we have some great butterfly, humming bird and bee favorites still at the nursery! Watch for plant damage. Expect collateral damage in the garden and weigh your options before you spray. More often a good sharp stream from the hose will do the trick and you can pass on the chemicals especially in the case of aphids and spittle bugs. Balance.

Hanging Baskets On Display

Planters and Hanging Baskets

We have some lovelies available. It is hanging basket city in the courtyard!! Think about hanging them low in groupings using our various wall hooks and shepherds hooks. Hanging your planters lower means you can enjoy them sooner instead of looking at the bottom of the pot. Also easier to water, deadhead and fertilize…just sayin’.

If you are like me and STILL haven’t done your front planters yet - don’t fret! There are lots of choices and they are bigger and when you put them into the planter it looks like you’ve been fawning over them for months. Procrastination is sometimes awesome!! Stumped for ideas? Come and visit our creation station and we can help you!!

When it comes to keeping them looking good, remember that the growers fertilizer lightly everytime they water a basket. The plants get used to that amount of food. If they run out of food, they stop blooming... therefore, feed lightly everytime you water!

Bell Peppers on Plant

Veggie Gardens and Fruit

Keep on weeding, planting and yes…thinning. I know you don’t like to thin but you HAVE to think some of those baby carrots out to give the others room. You know who you are…THIN. YOUR. VEGGIES. We have lots of great tomatoes and fiery peppers…think salsa!! As the heat starts to hit you can think about mulching some of your beds with straw.

You will get weeds but if water is an issue especially if you have an allotment plot somewhere, a straw layer will keep the moisture in the soil. I can’t believe I already have raspberries so it looks like our harvest season will be compressed again. Check fruit often and don’t be surprised if it is about 3 weeks early…plan accordingly!!

That should do for now! Get outside and enjoy the fresh air…and fresh food too!! We are lucky enough to have some of the freshest and most amazing markets and eateries!! Try something new or check out some of our farmers markets!! Think also about the critters around us and not just the cute ones either. As smart gardeners we can make a difference!!

Cheers ... Laurelle


Friday, November 13, 2015
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

Early November has blown in attempting to make up for an entire summer of no rain all at once…on bottle drive day!! I have come to the conclusion that no matter how much rain gear you have on the water WILL get in. Resistance is futile…you WILL become soggy!!

At one point while counting ‘spirits 1 litre and under’ glass bottles and lifting them into the appropriate bin (for those of you who have never done a bottle drive please take a moment and give thanks) I managed to dump an almost full bottle of wine inside the sleeve of my rain jacket and all down the front. Thankfully the corner of the Easy-Up tent collapsed under the heavy downpour a half hour later providing an unexpected chance to wash off the wine. Yay.

Indoor Winter Plants

Bring The Garden Indoors

It's a great time to bring the things we like from outdoors to the indoors. Enjoy beautiful blooms with Amaryllis, fragrance from Paperwhite Daffodil bulbs, colour from Poinsettias and style from Airplants. When you have finished procrastinating, here is your garden to do list for November!

Lawns

Likely most of you have gotten your last mow in and now it’s time to clean out and drain the gas out of your mower. We haven’t really had a hard frost but I am going to say you are probably out of time to apply grass seed. You can still lay turf though if you have areas to patch. Pay attention to any ponding or puddling and address those drainage issues immediately.

Trees and Shrubs

You can still plant trees and hardy shrubs as long as the ground is not frozen and waterlogged. Avoid digging in waterlogged soil as this will cause compaction of the soil layers. Remove any dead damaged or diseased branches now but leave any major pruning until January/February. Pick-up your Lime Sulphur / Dormant Oil Spray for use in the late Winter or early spring before your trees begin to leaf.

Garden Beds

Mulch with shredded leaves as needed. Complete any moving of perennials as needed if you are a bit of a garden shuffler like me. It's not too late to plant bulbs. Mark their location in a garden diary…or take a photo if needed to remind yourself where and what you’ve planted. My Dahlia’s are STILL up and if the frost doesn’t knock them back so I can dig them up and dry them out before storing in the next few days I will cut them back and leave them to dry on some cardboard in the garage with a fan.

Over Wintering Palm Trees

Over-Wintering Palm Trees

Wrap with non-LED older style Christmas lights…a trick told to me by a gentleman from the Palm Society. Christmas lights make great (and festive!) heaters for a smaller greenhouse or cold frame as well. Do what you can to protect the crown from snow and ice and try to shield the plant from the cold, drying winds of winter. The windmill palm is hardy to zone 7, meaning, that as long as we don't get too far below zero celsius, the plant should survive a Metro Vancouver winter.

Red Twig Dogwood and Curly Willow Branches

Pots and Planters

I am still waiting for a good blow down so I can collect some fir and pine branches to fill in my planters. Believe it or not I still have flowering begonias in my planters. As heartless as it sounds I now am forced to pull them out so I can add my winter colour. I’ll augment my live winter colour plants with the cut greens and will buy a bunch of curly willow or red twig dogwood for a bit of wow. For those outdoor pots that need protection, providing they are mostly out of sight, you can insulate with bagged leaves or carpet underlay or bubble wrap.

Irrigation Systems

If you haven’t already done so blow out your irrigation, pumps, overturn birdbaths if you are able. Continue to clean out leaves from ponds and cut back pond lilies.

Feed the birds

Feed The Birds

Continue to fill hummingbird feeders and clean in between fills! Yes we DO have varieties here that remain for the winter. Time also to crack out the bird feeders and to make sure you clean and maintain them. Time to start collecting your pinecones so you can have them ready to make peanut butter birdseed pinecones when it gets really cold to feed our feathered friends!

That should do for now. Don’t forget to take some time for yourself to snuggle in with a good book on a blustery day. Take your vitamin C and do some garden daydreaming! Next year is a fresh start!!


Sunday, September 13, 2015
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

The ‘Fall’ switch has quite clearly been flipped and now it’s time for us to switch from iced tea and Mojito’s to Chai and apple cider. I was driving by the farms the other day and spotted the bright clear orange of pumpkins…already!! Ok then I get the picture, enough lamenting over summer past and time to get cracking on to-do list present!!

Pumpkins

Lawns

The cool weather and much needed rains have arrived and voila…the lawns are starting to wake up. Mow and mulch as necessary, remember you require up to 70 percent less water and fertilizer for your lawn when you mulch. Once you see life in the old lawn you can think about liming and fertilizing with a good fall fertilizer to help your lawn cope with the extremes of weather.

Should you actually have moss left after all of this heat and drought you can certainly apply moss killer. Aerating and topdressing can be done again at this time as well. If you have wear and tear patches in your lawn,

Now that we have dropped to Stage 2 Water Restrictions you may consider over-seeding. At Stage 2, even numbered homes can water lawns on Mondays, Odd numbered homes on Thursdays. Yes, I know we have had rain but our reservoirs are not up to a sustainable level yet. Be patient.

Trees and Shrubs

Assess any wind or drought damage. You can remove any broken, dead, diseased or crossing and rubbing branches but please leave the major pruning until January. Mulching around the base will help conserve water next summer whether you use bark or a living perennial mulch. With the added moisture, cooler air temps, but warm ground temperatures, now is one of the best times to plant. Trees and shrubs will put out root growth into the fall and will be better prepared to face the following summer then the plants you plant in the spring.

Garden Beds

Do a light tidy, but not too much so as not to disturb any of our beleaguered native bees. Assess drought damage and take note of any replacements needed. Now might be a great time for a thoughtful redesign. Take photos and start a garden diary, this will help you with planning. This is a great time to add mulch or start to collect some dried leaves.

If you have wind falls or your neighbours have, consider using the larger logs as benches, woodland features etc. If conifers have blown down drag them to your rhododendrons or blueberry patch and allow the needles to compost there…drag away the branches once the needles have dropped.

If you need help designing your garden, remember that we offer both in-store and on-site garden consulation and design services.

Plants for Fall Baskets & Containers

Hanging Baskets

Towards the end of the month when the baskets are starting to look bad, cut back the annuals but leave the roots and basket intact. You can hide them behind the shed or house until November when it’s time to fill with greens and Holly and curly twigs for some winter wow. I do believe we have some winter planter classes coming your way. Alternatively, consider the growing trend of fall foliage baskets. Many folks are filling there summer baskets with grasses and cool season perennials like Heucheras, Pansies and Bud Blooming Heathers for a long autumn show.

Planters

Begin cutting back spent perennials or pulling tired annuals and replacing with Pansies, Heucheras, Ornamental Cabbages & Kales, Evergreen grasses and other fall beauties to keep the wow factor going in your garden! Check drainage and cracking to prepare for rain and cold… yes, I know I said it. But look on the bright side, we are THAT much closer to eggnog lattes!!

Lettuce & Cool Season Crops

Veggie Gardens

Harvest, harvest and more harvest. Keep your eye out for powdery mildew…it should be BC’s official fall fungi! At this time I just cut back leaves or pull badly affected plants. There are lettuces and radishes and a few other vegetables that you still have a window of opportunity to sow. Don’t forget about the sprouts, they are easy and fun and healthy to grow indoors. If you are lucky enough to have a little grow light, you can grow greens year round. There are some fantastic and simple little systems out there that are pretty inexpensive and will keep you in greens year round!

Ponds

Keep tidying and removing leaves and spent pond plants. Let your fish be your guide for feeding. Cut back their feeding once they slow down. Inspect pumps and check for leaks now that Mother Nature has filled your ponds back up.

Flower Bulbs In Hand

Plant Bulbs!!

Yes the bulbs are in. Pick up bulbs early for best selection, but I like to plant in October once it has cooled off a bit more. Think about swooshes and groupings rather than soldier rows. Keep in mind also the hungry squirrels when planting. They have an excellent sense of smell so I like to mess them up a bit by planting the skunky smelling Fritillarias near the tasty tulips and crocus. Be on the lookout for some funky new bulb combinations and if you have any questions or want to learn more, come by and ask us or better yet, come to our Scarecrow Festival and learn about all things Bulb!

You can also shop for bulbs online, we should have the inventory updated shortly!


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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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