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Friday, August 16, 2013
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Gardening

As we near the middle of August and round the corner to the dreaded ‘Back to School’ time of the year (it still sends shivers up my spine and has me google searching for therapists), the search also begins for plants and flowers to perk up a tired looking landscape.

While plant breeders, nurseries and collectors are always looking for the new kid on the block, some plants have just proven to be amazingly reliable, dependable, and above all beautiful. With that said, I will also share with you some of my favourite varieties of these plants.

Crocosmia Lucifer

Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

Tall strap-like green foliage arches to reveal deep red, summer blooming flowers. But oh what flowers. Quite unlike any other, these resemble some sort of colour butterfly or avian critter. A classic plant for a classic garden. Can be grown from bulbs or from smaller plants. ‘They are low maintenance and come back year after year. Best grown in full sun in moist, but well drained soils. They are hardy to zone 5.

echinacea flowers

Echinacea

We actually believe that there is a conspiracy to take over the world using echinaceas – just kidding, really... Plant breeders have run amok hybridizing these gorgeous summer blooming perennials. While the classic Echinacea purpurea is pink flowering, dozens of different shades are available now. These range from orange and red to deep pink, carmine and even white or yellow. No matter which colour and variety you choose – mass them. Plant 5-7 in one spot for great effect – its stunning! Echinaceas are best grown in full sun in well drained soil.

Hidcote Blue Lavender

'Hidcote Blue' Lavender

Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote Blue'

Lavender is a hardy perennial ideal suited to warmer, drier climates, yet it tolerates many different conditions including ours. It even thrives in coastal, seaside locations. In late spring and summer, the plant is covered with lavender-purple flower spikes that emit an incredible fragrance. If the flowers are dried, they can also be used in flower arrangements. Best grown in full sun. ‘Hidcote Blue’ grows to 16 inches high and 24 inches wide and is hardy in zones 5-9. Prune lavender twice a year for best appearance. Once after flowering in August & September, and the second time after the winter.

Little Gold Star Black Eyed Susan

Black Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia

Other than Echinacea, no other plant says mid-to-late summer than Black Eyed Susan. Also known as Rudbeckias, these classic perennials are bright, cheery and eye catching. The classic varieties are tall and yellow flowered with dark center. Newer varieties like ‘Little Goldstar’ are shorter with similar colouring. Other varieties come in a fall shades including all combinations of yellow, orange or red. They are best grown in full sun in moist, but well drained soils. ‘Little Goldstar’ grows to 16 inches in height and 14-20 inches across. Hardy in zones 3-8

Stella DOro Daylily - Hemerocallis

Stella d'Oro Daylily

Hemerocallis 'Stella d'Oro'

Sensational award winning selection that blooms with heavy clusters of 2.5 inch yellow flowers. Reblooms freely into early fall. Easy to grow and low care perennial. Drought tolerant once established and extremely winter hardy. Forms a neat tidy clump of strap or grass-like foliage reaching 1-2 ft tall and wide. Best grown in full to part sun in moist, but well drained soil.

Stargazer Lily

'Stargazer' Lily

Lilium 'Stargazer'

Plant these, then close your eyes are smell the fragrance – its amazing. In our opinion, no other plant in your garden is as fragrant as this one. Large white, pink and red flowers appear on tall spikes in the summer. Just watch out for the brightly coloured pollen – it will stain your clothes. Some people actually cut off the pollen for this reason. Lilies are typically available as bulbs in either the fall or spring or as ready-to-go plants in the summer. Enjoy and plant them now for next year.

Caryopteris Dark Knight

'Dark Knight' Bluebeard

Caryopteris x clanodensis 'Dark Knight'

This summer blooming perennial is actually a woody shrub. Bluebeard is usually cut back each spring to 6 inches in height and treated more like a perennial. Plants form a bushy, upright mound of bright-green leaves and the fragrant dark-blue flowers form on new wood in the late summer and fall. Also offers a nice yellow fall foliage colour. Extremely attractive to butterflies. Best grown in sunny locations with excellent drainage. Will grow 2-3ft tall and wide.

Jacob Cline Monarda - Bee Balm

 

Monarda - Bee Balm

Monarda is a traditional favourite for the perennial border. This selection 'Jacob Cline' features bright scarlet red flowers arranged in large shaggy heads. Foliage is delightfully fragrant and significantly more resistant to powdery mildew than most older varieties. Excellent for cutting as well as attractive butterflies and hummingbirds. Best grown in full to part sun in moist, but well drained soils. Grows 3-4 ft in height and a slightly smaller spread. Hardy in Zones 3-9. Another great variety is the pinky-coloured ‘Coral Reef’

Jade Frost Sea Holly

 

Jade Frost Sea Holly

Eryngium planum ‘Jade Frost’

Violet blue globes of pincushion-like flowers appear on blue-green leaves with white margins. Bloom time is typically May through July. Flowers rise above the foliage offering the garden shades of blue, silver and similar metallic tones. ‘Jade Frost’ is a shorter variety reaching only 18-12 inches in height and up to 14 inches across. Great in borders and can also be used as a cut flower. Incredibly photo-genic. Best grown in full sun in fertile, well drained soils. Feed regularly but do not over-water.

 

'Echo Rojo' Red Hot Poker

Echo Rojo Red Hot Poker

Kniphofia uvaria ‘Echo Rojo’

Red Hot Pokers are a favourite plant of mine for hot, dry areas. They need little care or water except for a pruning in early spring to remove all the winter crud.

‘Echo Rojo’ is a great variety as a result of its deep orange to red hot flower spikes that reach 2-3ft in height. It is also a repeat-bloomer, offering flowers from May through August. Grass-like foliage adds further interest. Best grown in full sun and well drained soils. Will reach 18-24 inches in height.

 

Munstead Dark Red SedumSedum - Stonecrop

These unbelievably tough and drought hardy perennials should be in every low maintenance garden. Fleshy succulent foliage is topped with either pink, red or white flowers in late summer. Extremely attractive to bees, this good looking plant comes back every year and rarely needs watering. Typically grows 1-2ft tall and wide. The classic variety was ‘Autumn Joy’ but today it is somewhat neglected as newer varieties have appeared on the market. Names include ‘Autumn Fire’, ‘Neon’, and my current favourite ‘Munstead Dark Red’. Also available is the taller growing ‘Frosty Morn’

Snowcap Shasta Daisy

 

'Snowcap' Shasta Daisy

Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Snowcap’

Last but not least on our list is the Shasta Daisy. This is the flower that every child learned to draw in school. Masses of flowers with white petals and yellow centers will fill your garden every summer. Reliable and hardy, daisies will even thrive in seaside conditions. ‘Snowcap’ is a smaller variety growing 6-12 inches in height and 12-18 inches across. Best grown in full to part sun.

 

Our selection of perennials is always changing so call ahead to confirm availability of specific varieties. If you have any questions, call or visit Art's Nursery in person, we look forward to seeing you!


Friday, August 16, 2013
Posted By: Lyle Courtice A.H. in Gardening

Last month I wrote about perennials that would be good for those hot, dry locations. This month I will touch on a few woody plants that can exist comfortably in those same conditions.

Read Part 1

Many woody plants once well established can handle short periods of drier weather and extreme heat, however they may show signs of stress like wilted or scorched foliage and in extreme cases small portions of the plant may die back.

Keep in mind that during periods of drought or longer than normal periods without rain, your plants must be given supplemental water to keep them healthy and in some cases alive. This summer is a prime example of an extended dry period. Are these unusual weather conditions perhaps a glimpse of future weather patterns?

Who knows BC may look like this in 20 years...

bc future

As you read about the plants mentioned please take note as to where they are native to, this gives you an indication as to what conditions they are normally subject to and what they will tolerate.

choisya - mexican mock orange

MEXICAN ORANGE

Choisya spp

A group of evergreen shrubs native to southern North America (Arizona, Texas, Mexico), grown primarily for their abundant and fragrant flowers which resemble orange blossoms. Their glossy leaves makes them attractive shrubs in their own right with some forms having finger-like (C. x 'Aztec Pearl') or golden foliage (C. ternata 'Sundance'). Plant in very well-drained sites in full sun to light shade. Being broad-leaf evergreens they will benefit by being planted in a sheltered location which will protect them from winter winds.
Height: 1-3m Spread: 1-3m Zone: 7

Hibiscus - Rose of Sharon

 

ROSE OF SHARON

Hibiscus syriacus

Native to much of Asia and often planted in areas where the summers are hot, they have become a staple in many gardens around the world. Plants grow in an upright vase-shape and have dark green foliage, flowering lasts from mid-summer through early fall. Flowers are single or double and can be solid or a combination of white, red, pink, purple or lavender. Hibiscus do best in full sun and will tolerate a wide range of soil types as long as they have good drainage.
Height: 2-3m Spread: 2m Zone: 5

Daphne

DAPHNE

Daphne spp.

Native to Asia, Europe and north Africa this group of shrubs contains both deciduous and evergreen forms. Mainly grown for their scented flowers some cultivars like Daphne odora 'Rebecca' (what a great name!!!) have very attractive foliage as well. Many of the smaller forms like D. x m. 'Lawrence Crocker' make excellent rock garden specimens and Daphne tangutica has beautiful orange-red berries from summer into fall. All Daphne must have excellent drainage and prefer full sun to light shade. In general the larger the leaf the more shade tolerant the plant (but the least tolerant of drought).

Cistus Mickie - Rock Rose

ROCKROSE

Cistus spp

Evergreen shrubs native to dry, rocky soils of the Mediterranean with attractive single flowers in white, purple and pink. We are lucky that our BC climate is mild enough to grow these wonderful plants but to thrive they must have sharply drained, rocky soil (hence the common name) in a sunny location that offers some shelter or winter protection. A recent introduction C. x hybridus 'Mickie' gives that added feature of very attractive dark green leaves heavily edged in bright gold; 'Mickie' has single white flowers. Zone: 7

Here are a few more heat lovers:

  • Albizia julibrissin (tender)
  • Berberis
  • Buddleia
  • Carpenteria californica
  • Corokia (tender)
  • Cotoneaster
  • Crinodendron (tender)
  • Elaeagnus
  • Eucalyptus (tender)
  • Grevillea (tender)
  • Hebe (tender)
  • Mahonia
  • Nandina d. 'Filamentosa'
  • Osmanthus
  • Phormium (tender)
  • Phylliopsis
  • Podocarpus
  • Prunus lusitanica
  • Pyracantha
  • Rhus typhina
  • Ruscus
  • Sophora prostrata
  • Yucca

If you want more information or are interested in adding some of these heat-loving plants to your garden give us a call at 604.882.1201 or visit Art's Nursery in person. We're open year round and carry a great selection of plants. Please call ahead to confirm availability if you are looking for specific varieties.


Monday, August 13, 2012
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Feature Products

Now that the summer heat is finally here, it's a great time to look at plants that love the hot and dry locations of our yards. While there are many to choose from, these eight really caught our attention this year.

Artichoke Agave

Artichoke Agave

Agave parryi var truncata
Dense symetrical rosettes of wide blue-gray leaves are abundant, developing large clumps. The rosette from which the flower spike emerges dies after flowering, though the plant is perpetuated by the 'pups' or offshoots. A bright accent in the water-wise landscape or a nice groundcover when mass planted. Hardy in zones 7-9. Should be planted in coarse, well drained soil in the full sun. Also excellent in a pot or container. Needs protection from excessive winter moisture. Limited quantities available.
Cider Gum

Cider Gum

Eucalyptus gunnii
Blue-green coin shaped juvenil foliage is attractive and can be used as cut foliage in arrangements. Dense, upright growing habut is useful for screening and as a street tree in warm, mild climates. Creamy white flowers grace the tree in spring. Dark green lance shaped foliage is common when mature. Evergreen in mild climates. Fast growing to 40-50ft tall and 20-30ft wide. Should be planted in full sun in well drained soil. Hardy in zones 8-10. Limited quantities available.

Yucca gloriosa variegata

Variegated Spanish Dagger

Yucca gloriosa 'Variegata'
Rigid blue green leaves are bordered with gold when new eventually becoming rich cream. Striking when used in a low water environment or spotted in flower beds for contrasting colour and texture. Evergreen. Should be planted in full sun and well drained soils. Hardy in zones 6-11.
Arbequina Spanish Olive

Arbequina Olive

Olea europaea 'Arbequina'
This valuable Spanish Olive is prized for its hardiness, its very early bearing, and its tasty fruit that is high in oil. Can bear 20+ lbs of fruit when mature. Hardy enough to be grown outdoors in most regions west of the Cascade or Coast Mountains. It is an attractive, evergreen plant, naturally compact in growth habit and is even suitable for containers. Should be planted in full sun, in well drained soils. Grows to 10ft in height. Hardy to 10F. Limited quantities available.
Echeveria Topsy Turvy

Topsy Turvy Echeveria

Echeveria runyonii 'Topsy Turvy'
An intriguing succulent with pale blue-gray leaves that curve upward, adding a unique texture to rock gardens and borders. Well suited for containers. Quite drought tolerant once established. Bright orange and yellow flowers rise above the foliage in late summer and fall. Should be planted in full sun and well drained soil. Grows 8-12 inches tall and wide. Hardy in zones 9-11. Prove winter protection or bring indoors during the cooler, wetter months.
Baja Agave

Baja Agave

Agave 'Baja'
A dwarf form of Agave with attractive blue-gray foliage and fine teeth on the outer edge of leaves. It has been known to take a light frost, but is probably best as a container plant, then protected for the winter. Should be planted in full sun and well drained soil. Hardy to zone 8-9
Pink Stonecrop

Pink Stonecrop

Sedum rubrotinctum 'Aurora'
A unique low, cascading plant with plump, oblong leaves. Foliage is light green and heavily tinged pink. Yellow-white flowers appear in summer. A perfect choice for the rock garden, between stepping stones or in the crevices of dry walls. Attracts butterflies. Drought tolerant once established. Grows to 6 inches in height and 18-36 inches in width. Hardy in zones 9-11. Winter protection is required. Plant in full sun and well drained soils.
Sundowner New Zealand Flax

Sundowner New Zealand Flax

Phormium tenax 'Sundowner'
Long, arching bronze-green leaves have coral red margins and streaks. A great specimen for adding unique color and texture to the landscape. Foliage great for cut arrangements. Evergreen. Plant in full sun and well drained soil. Hardy in zones 8-11 - provide winter protection. Grows up to 5ft tall and 4-5ft wide.

As you may have noticed, many of these plants are marginally hardy or tender in our climate. We recommend you pot them in containers that can be moved indoors or plant them in sheltered areas where they can be protected in winter. Otherwise, consider them annuals and treat yourself to a few new ones next year!

Quantities of these items may be limited or only seasonally available. Please call 604.882.1201 in advance to confirm availability if you are making a special trip to visit us.


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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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