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Friday, August 15, 2014
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Succulents

Succulents are some of the most versatile and easy plants to care for in the garden. They require little water and average to sandy soil. If given the right amount of light they pretty much take care of themselves!

They can be planted up to fill an old leaky birdbath to create a riot of texture and colour. They can be used vertically in a frame to create living art. They can grace the gravelly, dry soil at the end of your driveway and they can more than hold their own in a perennial bed!

Sensational Succulents in Bird Bath

The flowers of many sedums are well loved by pollinators and you will often find butterflies and native bee species hovering around the flowers. Succulents are some of my favorite go-to plants for garden design. Here is my list of fun and easy go to succulents… or as I like to call them, the illustrious eleven!

Chinese Dunce Cap

Chinese Dunce Cap

Orostachys iwarenge

This entertaining little succulent grows to about 5-6 inches in height and about 10 inches wide. The little rosettes begin to flower and form little caps. It is a lovely blue-ish grey with some pink overtones. Each rosette that flowers dies back but other non-flowering rosettes will become next year’s crop. Can be hardy to zone 6 with very well- draining and almost dry conditions but I think it might get too wet here in the winter as I haven’t had much luck overwintering it. It’s a lot of fun especially in planters or planted in broken halves of pottery and mixed with other succulents. Even if it is too wet here to overwinter it (I’ll try it this time under an overhang), will definitely add it again next spring!

Cebenese Cobweb Houseleek

Cebenese Cobweb Houseleek

Sempervivum arachnoidium ‘Cebenese’

THIS is a hardy must have…especially for any upcoming Halloween planters!! This Hen and Chick plant looks like it is covered in cobwebs. It is AWESOME paired with Dragon’s Blood Sedum! It has been gracing the nooks and crannies by my steps for a few years now. When you get the odd baby hen and chick, I just stick the little rosette onto the ground and away it grows. Hardy to zone 4, Sempervivum arachniodium loves a dry, average, neutral to slightly alkaline soil in a sunny spot for best colour. It grows 3-6 inches in height and about 12 inches wide. Evergreen.

Dragons Blood Sedum

Dragon’s Blood Sedum

Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’

This is a tough-as-nails sedum that forms a low dense mat in poor and dry soil. The bright red flowers and the greenish with purple red edging of the leaves add a fantastic colour contrast against the other lighter coloured succulents. This plant is hardy to zone 4, for infertile, dry sites in the sun.Evergreen.

Babys Tears Sedum

Baby’s Tears Sedum

Sedum album chloroticum 'Babys Tears'

Not only does this plant have an awesome name but it is amazingly cool. It has attractive little round leaves in a fresh glossy green that will form a dense carpet and drape down over the sides of the pot. There are more than enough of these little ball-like leaves which are as addictively fun to squish as bubble wrap! It is hardy to zone 4 and has delicate little white flowers in late spring to summer. I love using this little sedum in a container mixed with other plants and grasses at the containers edge to highlight the cascading effect or in rockeries or stepped gardens. It grows in full sun and grows to about 3-4 inches in height and about 12 inches wide. Evergreen.

Lime Zinger Sedum

Sedum ‘Lime Zinger’

This is an attractive floriferous new sedum with a compact habit and great fresh lime coloured green leaves edged in burgundy. It forms almost a mat of pinky white flowers later summer. It grows to about 6 inches high and forms clumps approximately 18 inches wide. Grow in full sun, in average, well draining soil. Hardy to zone 4.

Black Hen n Chick

Sempervivum 'black'

Another favourite hen and chick selection with a rich burgundy red edging, to complete burgundy in the sun. So don’t ask me why it is called 'black' hens and chicks. Maybe they named it at night. If you want to make a sempervivum quilt groundcover in your garden it is a lot of fun to mix it with the cobweb hens and chicks. Hardy to zone 4. Plant in full sun in average well drained to dry soil. Evergreen.

Angelina Sedum

Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’

Another fantastically coloured succulent to mix in a succulent planter is Sedum 'Angelina'. Also awesome if you have a face container…it kind of looks like golden medusa hair. In early summer it is a bright lime chartreuse and then with more sun it becomes a golden yellow and then golden yellow with red edging at the end of summer and into fall. If you thought that was enough, you thought wrong…it also has clusters of starry yellow flowers in summer too! This clumping groundcover sedum grows to about 4-6 inches in height and will spread to about 18 inches. It is hardy to zone 5 and will grow in full to part sun in well-draining average soil. Evergreen.

Autumn Joy Sedum

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

This lovely, taller growing sedum graces my perennial garden. I actually do a little pinching back of this succulent in late spring when it is about 6 inches tall, that way I get a more compact floriferous plant. If you want taller you can skip this step. Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is a reliable and beautiful later summer and fall bloomer. The blooms are held above the plant like broccoli and are a dusky pink. They work well with the gentle grey green of the leaves and are absolutely spectacular when paired with Rudbeckia and Perovskia for a fall display. Plant in full sun in an average well drained soil. It will grow to about 2 feet tall and wide and is hardy to zone 3.

Red Cauli Sedum

Sedum ‘Red Cauli’

This lovely sedum variety forms mounds of silvery olive-grey leaves which give rise to pink-red clusters of flowers in late summer. Flowers are held above the foliage on slender burgundy stems. A breathtaking flower display! It grows to about 12 inches high and about 2 feet wide. It is hardy to zone 4. Plant in sun in well drained soil.

Sedum Cape Blanco

Sedum spathulifolium ‘Cape Blanco’

This sedum makes a pretty awesome startlingly powdery grey-green mat of tiny leaves which create amazing contrast against the starry sunshine-yellow flowers in later summer. This evergreen succulent needs a very well draining site in the winter. It grows to about 2-3 inches high and forms a mat about 18 inches wide. It is hardy to zone 6. Evergreen.

Blue Spruce Sedum

Sedum reflexum ‘Blue Spruce’

Another great Medusa-haired specimen. This sedum forms little succulent ‘branches’ that look like small evergreens. It forms a mat of blue-green leaves with yellow flowers held above the leaves in later summer. The blue leaves become tinged with red in cooler weather. A great groundcover sedum or lovely hanging over the side of a planter! Hardy to zone 4. Plant in sun in a very well drained average soil. Evergreen.

These are just a few of the many great sedums and succulent available at Art's Nursery. Drop by today and check them out. Our selection is always changing so call ahead, 604.882.1201, if you are looking for a specific variety.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Grasses

I must admit, ornamental grasses are one of my favourite summer-time plants. If you're time starved as much as I am, then the low maintenance, easy care nature of these ornamental grasses is for you. They look fantastic when planted solo in a pot or when massed in a garden. If you forget to water, their usually ok with it. When the end of the season comes, some will die out for you, while others can just be trimmed back until next season.

Grasses and grass-like plants are generally divided into cool season and warm season varieties. Cool season types look best in spring and fall when temperatures are lower. Warm season grasses are at their best when the temperatures are warm in summer but generally die back or aren't that attractive at other times of the year.

While there are hundreds of species and varieties, a few remain popular year after year. These are some of my favourite summertime grasses:

Purple Fountain Grass

Purple Fountain Grass

Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’

This extremely popular drought-tolerant, warm season grass is a favourite amongst many gardeners. Purple fountain grass forms upright, arching clumps of purplish-maroon blades topped by long, fluffy, rose-red flower spikes from summer through fall. Flowers turn buff as they mature. Beautiful as a landscape specimen or when massed in groups. Provides quick annual colour in our climate. Yes, this means it will not survive our winters even though it is perennial in warmer climates. Best when planted in full sun and once established needs only occasional water. Grows to 2-4ft tall and wide. Hardy in zones 8-11

Mexican Feather Grass

Mexican Feather Grass

Stipa tenuissima

Also known as Nassella tenuissima, Mexican Feather grass forms a graceful clump of finely textured green foliage. No other grass is able to dance in the wind as can this one. The entire plant turns golden in autumn. Feathery golden flowers appear from June through September. Grows 18-24 inches tall and 12-18 inches wide. Excellent in mass plantings, borders, rock gardens or containers. Easy care and low maintenance. Best when planted in full sun in any well drained soil. Hardy to zone 7.

Japanese Blood Grass

Japanese Blood Grass

Imperata cylindrical ‘Red Baron’

This warm season perennial grass forms loose tufts of strikingly coloured foliage. Blades begin emerald-green and with increasing become tipped with garnet red. Foliage eventually becomes solid, fiery ruby red. Rarely seen flowers are fluffy and white when they appear in May and June. This plant is stunning when back-lit. Deer resistant. A great plant in gardens and containers. Grows up to 16 inches in height and 12 inches in width. Best when grown in full sun in fertile, moist soils. Mass plant for great effect.

Black Mondo Grass

Black Mondo Grass

Ophiopogon nigrescens

Black Mondo grass is a landscapers favourite. Foliage starts green but quickly turns a dark black colour. Pinkish white blooms appear in late summer followed by shiny, black, inedible fruit. Excellent in gardens, containers and even as a specimen or accent in the garden. As they say, everything looks good with black. Best when grown in full sun or part shade. Will reach up to 12 inches in height and width. Hardy in zones 6-9.

Carex Evergold

Evergold Sedge

Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’

This popular grass-like evergreen plant is renowned for its ability to brighten up gardens and containers with its variegated yellow leaves. Can also be used to edge a space or in a rock garden. Generally prefers to be planted in part sun to part shade in moist, rich soil. ‘Evergold’ is a well behaved, clumping plant that is ideal for low maintenance and easy care gardens. Grows 6-8 inches in height and 8-12 inches in spread. Hardy in zones 6-9.

Fireworks Fountain Grass

Fireworks Fountain Grass

Pennisetum x advena ‘Fireworks’

This relatively new, spectacular warm season grass has narrow, upright, arching leaves that are a kaleidoscope of hot pink, green, white and dark burgundy. Fluffy bottlebrush flowers are a deep burgundy and sway in the wind. Deer resistant, drought tolerant once established and makes a nice cut flower. Although stunning, this plant is a tender perennial (hard in zones 7-9) and odds are it won’t survive our winters. Most gardeners treat it like an annual; expecting to replace it each year. It is truly striking in containers and in the garden. Best when planted in full sun in moist, but well drained soil. Grows to 24 inches in height and spread.

Belindas Find Hook Sedge

Belindas Find Hook Sedge

Uncinia rubra ‘Belinda’s Find’

This showy New Zealand native perennial grass forms a clump of elegantly arching, shiny dark red-bronze leaves that have a bright cherry red margins. Flower stalks appear in June and July. Well suited for borders, containers, edging, woodland and shade gardens. Loves moist areas. Tolerates full sun or shade. Grows up to 12 inches high and wide. Hardy in zones 8-9. Provide some winter protection in cool areas.

 

Other notable summer grasses include:

  • Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)
  • Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa)
  • Maiden Grass / Silver Grass (Miscanthus)
  • Blue Oat Grass (Helictotrichon)
  • Blue Fescue (Festuca)
  • Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)

Art's Nursery carries a large and diverse selection of ornamental grasses year round. As always, please call ahead to confirm availability as the stock on hand changes regularly. Please feel free to call us at 604.882.1201 or visit us in person and we'd be happy to show you some beautiful summertime grasses.


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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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