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Friday, May 15, 2015
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Shade Gardening

If we had a dollar everytime someone asked, I have a shady spot, what can I plant?, we would be living in the lap of luxury. Contrary to popular belief, there are actually dozens, if not hundreds of plants that prefer the shade. One of the most common is the Hydrangea. Famous for their blue, pink or white, mophead or lacecap flowers, they are an excellent option for those of you blessed with shade. Here are 6 new or unique Hydrangea varieties to tempt you this Spring!

Lets Dance Starlight Bigleaf Hydrangea

Let's Dance Starlight Bigleaf Hydrangea

This is the first, re-blooming lacecap hydrangea. Starlight has elegant summer flowers held upright on strong stems. Blooms every year. Prefers to be grown in part shade / part sun in moist, but well drained soils. The soil and pH affects bloom colour. Acidic soils produce blue flowers, alkaline soils create pink flowers. Prune after flowering. Grows to a height and spread of 2-3ft. Hardy to zone 6.

Blue Enchantress Hydrangea

Blue Enchantress Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Monmar’

Blue Enchantress is an exquisite, new, re-blooming hydrangea with stately ruby-black stems supporting big, beautiful, mophead hydrangea flowers. Blooming continuously through summer, the flowers are blue in acidic soils and pink in more alkaline ones. Flowers age to a vintage cream-splashed green. Prized for cut or dried flower arrangements. A perfect plant for a dappled shade border. Best grown in part shade and moist, but well drained soils. Needs regular watering. Will grow 3-5ft tall and wide. Hardy to Zone 6.

Sweet and Salsa Showstopper Hydrangea

Sweet and Salsa Showstopper Hydrangea

Hydrangea 'Sweet and Salsa'

This exciting new Hydrangea from the HGTV Home Collection features bicolor red and white flowers with shades of pink that appear in late spring into late Summer. Foliage is equally attractive in shades of green and burgundy red-bronze. Bloom colour changes depending on soil pH. Best when planted in part shade or in areas that have cool afternoons. To preserve the flower heads, cut long stems and hang upside down in a cool, dry dark area and soon after, you’ll have created ever-lasting flowers! Grows 2-3ft high and 3-5ft wide. Hardy to zone 6.

Endless Summer Hydrangea

Endless Summer Hydrangea

‘Endless Summer’ is the original repeat blooming Hydrangea. It has been around for a couple of years now, but is still an awesome variety. Most older hydrangeas flower on old wood (stems that grew last year). This variety flowers on both old and new wood, giving it the ability to bloom more often and more profusely. Flower colour changes according to soil pH and blooms in late spring through late Summer. Best grown in full to part shade and moist, but well drained soil. For best results, keep soil evenly moist and fertilize with a slow release plant food in spring or early summer before blooms appear. Grows to 3-6ft high and wide. As it is a continuous bloomer, prune this one differently. Do not prune in the fall. Instead, wait until Spring when the plant has started to grow. Prune the branches above the new green growth.

Red n Pretty Hydrangea

Hydrangea ‘Red n Pretty’

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Monred'

‘Red n Pretty’ Hydrangea is a superb shrub for accent, specimen or border use in semi-shaded areas. Desired for the splendid, abundant, showy flower clusters in shades of red appear in Summer. Handsome foliage on boldly branched, rounded form. Deciduous. Best grown in part sun / part shade and moist, but well drained soils. Needs regular watering, more often in extreme heat. A moderate grower from 4-6ft tall and 3-4ft wide. Hardy to zone 6.

Plum Passion Hydrangea

Plum Passion Hydrangea

Hydrangea aspera ‘Plum Passion’

‘Plum Passion’ is the first every purple leaved Hydrangea to grace North American gardens. Discovered in China, this unique shrub was brought to Monrovia by famed plant explorer Dan Hinkley. Foliage emerges greenish-purple aging to deep purple on the upper side of the leaf and rosy purple on the underside. Wispy, mid-sized, summer blooming, lace-cap type flowers are somewhat insignificant in contrast with the dramatic, colourful foliage. Excellent fall colour too! Deciduous. Like all Hydrangeas is does best in shade to part shade in moist, but well drained soils. Reaches 5-6ft tall and wide. Hardy to zone 7.

How to Grow Hydrangeas

Hydranges are fairly low maintenance, easy to grow deciduous shrubs. Find a shade to part shade location with moist, but well drained soil. Dig the hole, situate the plant and apply a Transplant fertilizer or Bonemeal. Be aware that if you use bonemeal, you may actually be turning the flower colour pink as explained in the next section. Water frequently, but avoid over-watering. Yellowing leaves may be an indicator of over-watering. Fertilize with an all-purpose fertilizer in early spring before flowers appear. If required, prune after flowering on most varieties. On reblooming or endless summer varieties, wait to prune until spring.

How to Change the Colour of Your Hydrangea Flowers

How to change the colour of your hydrangeas flowers is a very commonly asked question. White flowered varieties will not change colour.  Only Blue or Pink flowering varieties are affected. Hydrangea flowers change their colour overtime based on the soil acidity and presence of Aluminum Sulphate in the soil. In acidic soils,(a pH less than 7), Hydrangea take in Aluminum and their flower colour becomes bluish. In alkaline or sweet soils (pH greater than 7), the ability to bring in Aluminum Sulphate is curtailed and the flower colour changes to pink. This transition is gradual and can take a year or more to complete. To turn your flower colour blue, simply purchase and Acidifying fertilizer and/or Aluminum Sulphate (both available at Art's Nursery) and apply in early spring. To change your flower colour to pink, add lime.

For more information about Hydrangeas, visit us in person at Art's Nursery, or give us a call at 604.882.1201. As always, our selection and availability is always changing. If you are making a special trip, please call ahead to confirm availability.


Monday, March 10, 2014
Posted By: Lyle Courtice A.H. in Shade Gardening

Probably my most favorite place in any garden is a cool shady woodland setting.

Such reprieves are needed to help calm the nerves and revitalize the spirit. Lush growth, abounding textures and intriguing flowers and fruit all combine to create a serene space where one can admire and contemplate - what better place to spend a lazy afternoon.

Here are just a few of the marvelous woodland gems available this season (late March through April 2014)  to help you create your own shady oasis.

actea pachypoda misty blue

Doll's Eyes

Actaea pachypoda ‘Misty Blue’

Supernal native woodland perennial from Eastern North America with a mounding habit and lacy blue-green foliage. Tall stems of fluffy white panicles in spring through early summer are followed in fall by striking pure white berries with contrasting red pedicels. Tolerates most soil types but requires even moisture in light to medium shade.
Height: 60-90cm Spread: 60-90cm Zone: 3

arisaema_silverfeathers1

Japanese Cobra Lily

Arisaema sikokianum “Silver Feathers”

A selection of A. sikokianum with dramatic silver feather patterns in the center of each leaflet. The flower is a purple-black pitcher with white stripes and a greenish inside, the spadix is large, white and mushroom-like. Partial shade with sharp drainage.
Height: 40-60cm Spread: 20-30cm Zone: 4

beesia calthifolia

Beesia calthifolia

A beautiful clumping evergreen perennial from China, having glossy heart-shaped green leaves with that gasoline sheen; new growth is bronze-red. Tall spikes of small white flowers through spring and summer. Superb, tidy groundcover for partial shade; prefers a humus rich, well drained soil. Tolerates dry shade. Slow to establish.
Height: 30cm Spread: 30cm+ Zone: 6

coptis dissecta

Coptis japonica var. dissecta

Little known evergreen perennial from Japan's mountainous woodlands, plants form tidy clumps of glossy, dark green parsley-like leaves. Tall dark spikes of starry white flowers in early spring followed by pin-wheel shaped seed pods. Deep purple winter colouring. Average soil in light to medium shade. Carefree groundcover.
Height: 15cm Spread: 30cm Zone: 5

epimedium yokihi

Japanese Barrenwort

Epimedium x ‘Yokihi’

A vigorous Japanese hybrid that forms a broad mound of dark green leaves; deciduous. Wiry flower stems dance with spider-like blooms that have golden yellow spurs backed by bright cherry red sepals - absolutely stunning! Flowers early spring repeating in summer. Partial shade in average to humus rich well drained soil.
Height: 30cm Spread: 50-60cm Zone: 4

pteridophyllum racemosum - poppy fern

Poppy Fern

Pteridophyllum racemosum

Unique perennial endemic to the mountains of Japan. Plants form rosettes of dark green, fern-like leaves which are topped by short (30cm) spikes of pendulous clean white flowers; spring into summer. Prefers moist, humus rich, well drained soil in cool shade. Makes and excellent woodland groundcover or a one-of-a-kind container specimen.
Height: 15-30cm Spread: 30cm+ Zone: 5 (4)

syneilesis palmata - Umbrella Plant

Umbrella Plant

Syneilesis palmate

Sturdy woodland perennial from Asia that produces silky umbrellas that open to rounded, palmate leaves of medium to dark green. Panicles of fuzzy white flowers from midsummer into fall. Prefers partial shade and good drainage in a cool woodland site. Easy to grow and maintenance free!
Height: 60-90cm Spread: 60-90cm Zone: 5 (4)

How To Order These New & Unique Plants

These unique and unusual woodland plants will be available at Art's Nursery by late March or early April 2014, depending on the weather. As they are somewhat rare, please call ahead, 604.882.1201, to confirm availability as quantities may be limited. Pre-orders are being accepted.


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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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