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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.


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


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

November had blown in with wind, rain, a bit of cold, more rain and uh…rain. Welcome to winter on the West Coast. The bright side? Eggnog latte’s are back that’s what! So I went to our friendly neighbourhood outdoor wear stores and was looking for a rain hat, yeah, I know not fashionable, but one that would help me work in my garden and orchard and walk the dogs.

Hoods are no good…I need to be able to see what I’m doing. You know what I found in all three outdoor stores that I went to? They all sent the hats back to head office to make room for the woolen toques. What the..? What kind of weather do we generally have November through April on the WET Coast?!

Any idea what a soggy woollen toque does to my already frizzy silver (ok multicoloured) hair? Well, aside from smelling like a damp sheep my already ah eclectic look has taken a turn for downright witchy! I have my eye on a nice oiled ‘Man From Snowy River’ type hat and in the meantime my relatives from Newfoundland have UPS’d me a lovely authentic Sou’Wester hat, with earflaps, thanks…thanks a lot. So here’s your list, I also send you frizz free good wishes and for those gentleman growing a stache for MOvember…may the growth be with you.

Lawns

I think, quite possibly, mowing might be done for the season – I am pretty sure of this because I saw hubby doing a happy dance when he put the mower into the shed with little parting kick. He is not a lawn man. There still might be time to lime, aerate and topdress if you can find a dry day. Working on a soggy lawn however will pretty much make your efforts for naught so if we continue with the monsoons you will have to wait until late winter/early spring. What you can do however, is watch for drainage problems. Make a note and then adjust the drainage during dry weather. You can also drain the gas from your mower and even take it in for an overhaul or get the blades sharpened so you can beat the crowd getting it done in the spring.

Bobbex and Plantskydd Deer & Critter Repellants

Garden Beds

Do some minor tidying and dividing or moving of shrubs or perennials if needed. Avoid trampling really soggy soil. This is a good time to add hardy perennials and shrubs. It is also still a great time to plant bulbs! Remember if you have lots and lots of squirrels, you can try soaking the bulbs in Bobbex or Plantskydd or planting each group with a Fritillaria which masks the scent of tasty tulips or crocus, or even putting a bit of chicken wire over the bed. This is also a great time to take stock of your garden design and adjust if more evergreen or structural ‘bones’ are needed.

raking leaves

Trees and Shrubs

Keep raking. It works off the Halloween candy. You can also plant and move trees and shrubs if necessary. Remember to always water in your new plantings even if it’s raining as the watering will get rid of airpockets. For those of you with Palm Trees, do not wrap the crowns with burlap. This collects water and encourages rot. Instead you can wrap the palm tree with old fashioned 7 volt twinkle lights and if we get a cold snap, leave them turned on. They will create enough heat to keep your hardy palm happy and ice free. you can also protect the crowns with a sheet of clear plastic. Just the act of keeping the wind and ice off these evergreens is often enough to get them through the winter.

winter pot accents

Pots and Containers

Time to rip out those last few annuals and spruce up your pots with evergreen colour, twigs and stems and a little bit of sparkle. We’ll have some fun classes coming up for this as well as wreaths, Christmas Fairy Gardens, and all sorts of other good stuff in the workshop section on our website. Gather up your pots and re-work the groupings close to the house. Consider adding some winter interest like Hollies, Birch Trunks or Berries for added effect.

While some are already available, we'll have a full selection of these decorative accents by mid to late November. For the pots that are dedicated to summer and won’t be on show, cluster them together up close to the house and if you have some borderline hardy beauties you can wrap them with some kind of insulation (the pots not the plants), such as carpet underlay, bubble wrap etc.

Fall planting, Spring Blooming Bulbs

Bulbs, Tubers etc

Time to bring your Dahlias, Cannas and other tropical bulbs and tuber in. Make sure you cut off the greens, hose off the soil and allow to dry before putting them away. I like to use a sprinkle of cinnamon and a bit of coconut fibre in a brown paper bag. It's also not too late to plant bulbs. Just plant on a day when the ground is not frozen. There is still a great selection of daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and more available instore and you can now <a href="http://www.artsnursery.com/catalog/spring-flowering-bulbs" target="_blank">shop online</a>

Frozen Water Feature

Ponds & Water Features

Keep skimming out the leaves and removing other dead plant material. If you remove your pumps and hoses then now is a good time to remove them before we get a freeze.

Tools

If you haven’t already done so, take stock, clean shovels and hoes in a sand bucket. Oil handles and do a general taking stock. Might be a good time to write a Christmas-want list. you can even shop online for some of our tools.

That is probably enough for now, Happy November…or at least Happy Eggnog Latte season!


Saturday, November 16, 2013
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

I was beginning to wonder why friends in California were so smug about their weather, they didn’t have it that good did they? Our summer was stellar and continued right through September.

I think our October was amazing…look at all the glorious fall colour and shirt sleeves by afternoon, fog notwithstanding. Ah yes, two weeks into November and I am drooling over vacation pictures of Florida, California and Hawaii like a swimsuit model looking at desserts.

Palm Trees in California

 

 

And if your day isn’t hard enough…here is your list.

Garden beds

The good news that I have is if you do weed at this time…it will likely stay weeded for a nice long time. Too bad you’ll be too busy inside hibernating to notice. Try not to work the soil if it is waterlogged. You can still move around some of your hardy perennials and shrubs. I have to shuffle around my garden at this time too. You can rake and add mulch to give it a clean look once the last of the leaves have fallen. You can also trim up and tidy a bit as well. Seed heads and grasses look great with a bit of frost so if your grasses and perennials are looking reasonably interesting leave them be.

Trees

If the leaves of your trees are free from disease, you can run over them with a mulching mower if we get a dry day and add to your garden beds. You can add them to compost or bag them to act as insulation for any tender pots. Try to avoid using rose, apple, pear, and plum leaves to mulch to avoid spreading disease or fungus.

Autumn Leaves

Hardy new trees can be planted at this time and smaller ones can be moved if necessary. I prefer to do pruning in January as there are fewer fungus disease organisms present. Raking is a great upper body and core workout. Play some music, stretch and think of the eggnog latte you will go and buy right after you’re done.

Shrubs

New hardy shrubs can be planted or older ones moved if necessary. You can think out some rose branches as needed but leave your main pruning for later winter.

Planters

Add some greens, colour and finesse them a bit. Pack your winter planters, they won’t grow much if at all over the winter so you have to make them full right away. This needn’t be at a huge expense, especially if you add some conifer branches.

Winter Planters

 

The wet cool weather will keep cut branches looking very good for a long time. Cluster and protect your planters as well, you can use bagged leaves, carpet underlay covered with some artistic placement of burlap for any slightly tender plantings.

Ponds

Continue to remove debris as needed. Winterize plants and equipment.

Plant Bulbs In Clumps

Bulbs

Plant in groupings. Make sure you mark area to avoid chopping your bulbs when you start to weed and shuffle plants in spring.

Lawns – rake leaves to avoid dead patches in your lawn. You can still lay turf at this time as long as the ground is not frozen or waterlogged but toward the end of the month it is probably best to leave until some warmer weather.

Tools and lawn mowers

Clean and winterize. Remove old gas from lawnmower clean up and if you want to get a real jump on the game you can take your blades in to get sharpened or do it yourself if you have a sharpening stone. I have a bucket of sand that I clean all of my shovels in…its handy. Clean and oil tools and leather pouches, pruning belts etc.

As scary as it is, give your sheds a once over to make sure critters haven’t moved in to escape the weather. Avoid using the blower or sweeping up clouds of dust if critter deposits are present, you don’t want to breathe that dust in!!

Blue Flowered Scilla

Inspiration

sign up for seed catalogues and start drawing out future patio and garden beds. A great plan makes for a great garden!!

Well, that should keep your busy and warm for a while anyway!! 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!

We pride ourselves on providing high quality plant, expert advice and an exceptional gardening experience.

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