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Friday, June 16, 2017
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Tropicals

With summer just around the corner, now is a great time to add a touch of the tropics to your garden or patio. While many of these plants are tender or marginally hardy, most can survive a mild winter with just a little bit of protection. Others should be treated as annuals, or brought indoors if you want to keep them year after year. Here are some of my favourite plants for creating a tropical look and feel in the garden.
Windmill Palm Tree

Windmill Palm Tree

Trachycarpus fortunei

The windmill palm is one of the only palm trees hardy in our Zone 7 climate. A slender, tree-like trunk is covered in dark hairy fibers. Fan like, evergreen palm fronds emerge from the top of the trunk to create a wonderful tropical appearance. Great accent plant or specimen for the yard, the hot tub or the pool! While usually hardy, protect it in winter from cold, winds, snow and ice. Moderate grower, 25 to 30 ft. tall with a compact 8 to 10 ft. wide crown. Best in full sun and regular watering - weekly, or more often in extreme heat. Evergreen. Hardy in zones 7-11.
Monkey Puzzle Tree

Monkey Puzzle Tree

Araucaria araucana

This unique tree is native to South America and is a wonderful specimen tree. It’s name comes from the fact that it is the only tree a Monkey can’t climb! Foliage is evergreen, sharp and pointy. Plant this one where it can be seen but not touched! Well suited for coastal planting sites in the full sun. Can grow to 75ft, but extremely slow growing, it may be generations before it reaches that height!
Hardy Fibre Banana Plant

Hardy Fibre Banana

Musa basjoo

Musa basjoo is the most hardy variety of the banana plants. If you want even a chance of the plant surviving in our climate, this is the one to choose. Large tropical looking leaves emerge from a central stalk. A fast grower, with huge leaves that may reach 2 feet wide and 6 feet long. Produces attractive golden cream flowers and small, somewhat seedy fruit. Excellent for use in borders, containers or near a pool. Best grown in full sun with regular watering - weekly, or more often in extreme heat. Loves organic soils and benefits from high nitrogen fertilizers. Protect from strong winds that can damage the leaves. Hardy in zones 7-11. Winter will usually kill off the mother plant, but if you can protect the roots, new baby banana plants will emerge from the soil.
Cherie Tropical Hibiscus

Cherie Tropical Hibiscus

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Cherie’

Tropical Hibiscus are the warmth loving cousins of the more hardy Rose of Sharon that blooms and survives here in Vancouver. Cherie is orange-red flowering form with large, tropical-looking, summer-blooming flowers. The plant itself is deciduous, if it survives the winter, and is moderate growing up to 6-8ft tall and 3-4ft wide. It’s best planted in full sun with regular watering. Hardy in zones 10-11
Canna Tropicanna

Tropicanna Canna Lily

Canna var ‘Phasion’

Canna Tropicanna is a tropical perennial with tall stems crowned by large bright orange flower heads blooming in summer. Exotic foliage adds interest, with emerging bright burgundy leaves maturing with stripes of red, pink, yellow, and green. This dramatic specimen provides bold color and lush texture to garden beds, or as a featured container specimen. Herbaceous perennial. Upright stalks quickly reach 5 ft. tall, forming clumps 3 to 4 ft. wide. Best grown in full sun. Needs regular watering - best with evenly moist soil. Water regularly during first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. In mild winter areas leave in-ground for spring regrowth. In cold winter areas dig and store bulb in a cool dry place. Hardy in zones 7-11
Black Pantha Lily of the Nile Agapanthus

Black Pantha Lily of the Nile

Agapanthus orientalis ‘Black Pantha’

Black Pantha Lily of the Nile is a tender perennial with round clusters of dark blue, trumpet shaped flowers that appear on a 3ft stalk above the gray-green foliage. Blooms in late spring to summer. Great cut flower too! This plant can reach 3ft tall and 2ft wide and is great for mixed borders, containers and mass plantings. Best for sun to part sun in moist, fertile well drained soil. Allow soil to dry slightly between waterings. Performs better with a yearly application of fertilizer in Spring. Hardy in zones 7-11
Frostproof Gardenia

Frost Proof Gardenia

Gardenia jasminoides 'Frostproof'

Frostproof is a Gardenia with a more upright habit, supporting shiny, dark green leaves and fragrant, white 2- to 3-inch wide flowers make this a fine hedge or foundation plant that thrives with more direct sun than other varieties. Flower buds resist late spring frosts without damage. Slow growing to 5 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide. Evergreen in warmer climates. Best in full to part sun. Hardy in zones 7-11
Goldfinger New Zealand Iris

Goldfinger Libertia

Libertia ixiodes ‘Goldfinger’

Also known as New Zealand Iris, this alternative to Phormium offers narrow, vibrant orange-gold evergreen foliage with a similar upright spiky habit. It’s small size and vertical form make Libertia ideal for borders and containers. White, star-like flowers mature to ornamental seed pods. Best grown in full to part sun. Hardy in zones 7-10
Star Jasmine Vine

Star Jasmine

Trachelospermum jasminoides

Star Jasmine is a great one for adding vertical interest. This semi-evergreen climbing vine is known for its deliciously perfumed spring and summer-blooming white flowers. Best in full sun and regular watering. Its twining stems can grow 18-20ft. Hardy to zone 8, but is fairly reliable even in our colder zone 7 climate.
Lavender Lady Passionflower Vine

Lavender Lady Passionflower Vine

Passiflora x ‘Lavender Lady’

Possibly one of the most beautiful, complex flowers we have ever seen. Lavender Lady Passion Flower is a semi-evergreen to deciduous vine with intriguing lavender to purple showy flowers that bloom in summer through fall. Its fast growing and vigorous, reaching 15-20ft long. Best in full sun and winter protection. Water regularly when top inches of soil are dry. Officially its hardy in zones 9-11, but we have seen it survive in the Pacific Northwest in protected areas and with milder winters.
Sizziling Pink Fringe Flower

Sizzling Pink Fringe Flower

Loropetalum chinense 'Sizzling Pink'

Sizzling Pink Fringe Flower produces Clusters of rich, pink fringed flowers that repeat throughout the year. Showy new growth is deep burgundy maintaining the purple tinged foliage as it matures. Use as a colorful accent in borders and containers. Best in full to part sun. Water regularly, when top 3 in. of soil is dry. Evergreen. Reaches 4 to 6 ft. tall, 4 to 5 ft. wide. Hardy in zones 7-9
King Tut Papyrus

King Tut Egyptian Papyrus

Cyperus papyrus ‘King Tut’

King Tut Papyrus is an upright growing, graceful grass is grown for its attractive looking foliage. Feathery heads on green stalks create a striking effect for water gardens or damp areas. Can grow 4-6ft tall. Its best planted in the full sun either in or very near water. Also wonderful when used in containers. Treat this one as an annual as it will not survive our winters. Hardy in zones 9-11.
Royal Hawaiian Black Coral Elephant Ear

Royal Hawaiian Black Coral Elephant Ear

Colocasia esculenta 'Black Coral'

The Royal Hawaiian Black Coral Elephant Ear, or Colocasia produces large striking, glossy, jet-black foliage that contrasts spectacularly with bright-colored plants. Spreads freely in rich, wet soils; more slowly in dry, clay soil. Adds bold color and tropical flair to any garden. Best in full to part sun. Highly effective at the edge of a pond or water garden. Performs in containers. Herbaceous perennial. Reaches 3 to 3½ ft. tall and wide. Hardy in zones 8 - 10
Gunnera Manicata

Giant Rhubarb

Gunnera manicata

This amazing looking plant produces giant leaves from the base of the plant to create a dramatic striking display. Leaves can be 1-2ft in diameter. Some call it the Dinosaur Plant because of its huge leaves. Prefers full to part sun and moist, if not wet soil. Blooms June through August. Perennial, hardy in zones 5-7. Not edible.

Hope you enjoyed this selection of outdoor tropicals. As always, please call ahead to confirm availability as our selection is always changing!


Friday, June 17, 2016
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Tropicals

At this time of year, the nursery is filled with wonderful water plants, succulents, tender perennials and tropicals of every description. While we know that most of these won't survive our winter without protection, they bring back fond memories of tropical vacations and exotic destinations. This is what we call, 'Zone Denial'. So go ahead, don't worry about longevity with these ones, day dream a little, and consider adding a few of these tropical plants to your next patio pot, or warm spot in the garden.

Red Leaf Banana

Red Leaved Banana

Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’

A true tropical favourite, the red leaved banana creates exciting vertical interest in the garden and catches attention with its red and green coloured leaves. It is not hardy in our area and will need to be brought inside over the winter. An excellent specimen for containers, in sun rooms, poolside or urban gardens. Plant it in full sun, with a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. Bananas like humidity and do require regular watering, especially in extreme heat. This variety is fast growing and will reach 12-15ft in height. Hardy in USDA zones 10-11

canna australis

Bronze Canna Lily

Canna 'Australis'

Cannas are fast growing tender perennials that offer banana-like upright growing tropical foliage. They love water and are often planted pond side or even in boggy soil. They bloom in late summer with very attractive colourful flowers. ‘Australis’ is one of the most attractive varieties featuring dark burgundy leaves and red flowers in abundance. We have many different varieties available during the summer - some with green foliage, others with dark foliage. We generally suggest lifting and storing Canna roots over winter to ensure their survival. Grows 48-60 inches in height. Hardy in USDA zones 7-10

Dwary Papyrus Plant

Giant Dwarf Papyrus

Cyperus percamenthus

This variety of Papyrus is grown in shallow water and creates green upright foliage with large tufts of wispy foliage on top. Looks very architectural and great when mass planted. Best grown in full sun to shade. Grows to 18 inches in height. Hardy USDA in zones 9-10.

Windmill Palm Tree

Windmill Palm

Trachycarpus fortunei

This northwest hardy palm tree is one of the only varieties that can survive a typical winter in our area. It’s a fan-leafed palm with a dark trunk that is usually thicker on top and is covered with dense, hairy looking fiber. It will add a tropical feel wherever it is planted. Prefers rich, well drained soil. Best in full sun. Water regularly for a strong healthy root system. Can grow up to 30ft tall and 20ft wide in optimal conditions. If it gets cold in winter, protect it from cold winds, snow and ice. Hardy to Zone 7.

Silk Tree

Ombrella Mimosa Tree / Silk Tree

Albizia julibrissin ‘Boubri’

The Silk tree is an exotic looking colorful landscape tree attractive to birds with its large, cherry-pink, powder-puff shaped, fragrant flowers that appear profusely-even on young trees. Striking, multi-trunk tree with dark green fern-textured foliage. A great specimen plant, ideal for the poolside, coastal locations, and urban gardens. Best grown in full sun, 6-8 hours of direct sunlight for best growth. Heat tolerant. Water weekly, or more often in extreme heat. Fast growing to 30ft tall and wide in perfect conditions. Hardy in USDA zones 6-9

Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax

Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax

Phormium ‘Pink Stripe’

Pink Stripe New Zealand Flax is a bushy flax with grey-green to bronze foliage with bright pink margins. We have several other varieties in stock including bronze, purple and yellow foliaged varieties. Upright habit. Excellent in containers. Bring indoors or at least a sheltered location outside over winter. Prefers full sun and fertile, moist, but well drained soils. Grows 5-6ft tall and 2-3ft wide. Hardy in Zone 8.

Frost Proof Gardenia

Frostproof Gardenia

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Frostproof’

Frostproof Gardenia has a more upright habit, supporting shiny, dark green leaves and fragrant, white 2- to 3-inch wide flowers that bloom in summer. Makes a fine hedge or foundation plant that thrives with more direct sun than other varieties. ! buds resist late spring frosts without damage. Deer resistant. Evergreen. Prefers 6+ hours of sunlight per day. Needs regular watering, more often in extreme heat. Slow growing to 5ft tall and up to 4ft wide. Hardy in USDA zones 7-11.

Calycanthus Aphrodite

Sweet Shrub ‘Aphrodite’

Calcycanthus ‘Aphrodite’

This medium sized deciduous shrub features large red, magnolia-like flowers, that are fragrant and bloom in summer. It will often re-bloom throughout the season. Flowers are accented by glossy green, attractive foliage. A distinctive addition to mixed borders and perennial gardens. Prune after flowering. Prefers full sun and will tolerate most moist, well drained soils. Grows to 5-6ft tall and wide. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9.

Grecian Pattern Plant

Grecian Pattern Plant

Acanthus mollis ‘Oak Leaf’

This easy care plant features large, intriguing looking foliage that resembles an oakleaf. Is often grown for foliage alone or for its attention getting spikes of whitish-lilac flowers. Spreads rapidly in good conditions. Useful in perennial borders or background planting. Best grown in part sun. Likes regular watering. Fast growing to 4ft tall and wide. Hardy in USDA zones 6-11

Arbequina Hardy Olive

Arbequina Hardy Olive

Olea europaea 'Arbequina'

Arbequina Hardy Olive is an attractive, silvery-green foliage on a large evergreen shrub. Blooms in spring. It is a self-fertile fruiting olive, prized for its dark brown fruit with highly aromatic oil content. Cold hardy and highly adaptable, it produces abundantly in hot dry climates, ripening in fall. Makes a beautiful specimen shrub or small tree, even without fruit. Excellent in containers, as a specimen or on the seacoast. Needs full hot sun in our climate and deep, but infrequent watering. Grows slowly up to 35-40ft tall and up to 25ft wide. It is hardy in USDA zones 8-11, so winter protection is essential if it gets cold.

Midknight Blue Agapanthus

Midknight Blue Agapanthus

Agapanthus x 'Monmid'

This summer flowering tropical perennial Midknight Blue Agapanthus is an exciting summer flowering tropical perennial with deep, violet-blue flowers held in tight clusters on tall stalks. Blooms in mid-spring through summer. Lush strap-like foliage is bright green. Great for borders and containers or poolside. Herbaceous perennial. Foliage reaches 2ft tall and up to 2-3ft wide. Flower stalks can reach 3-4ft. Best in full sun. Water regularly, more often in extreme heat. Lower watering requirements once established. Hardy in USDA zones 6-11

Anise Tree

Anise Tree

Illicium simonsii

The Anise tree is an exceptionally fragrant shrub or small flowering tree from China. Crushed foliage releases a spicy anise fragrance. Creamy yellow blooms may produce showy seedpods that resemble culinary star anise- do not ingest! Excellent for cool, lightly shaded spots. Blooms in late spring, may sporadically produce fragrant non-edible fruit. Best grown in part sun, 3-6 hours of sunlight. Needs regular watering - weekly, or more often in extreme heat .Grows slowly up to 6-8ft tall and up to 6ft wide. Hardy in USDA zones 8-10

Corkys Honey Delight Fig

Corky’s Honey Delight Fig

Ficus carica ‘Corkys Honey Delight’

Corkys Honey Delight is a semi-dwarf fig notable for its vigorous habit and bountiful fruit, yielding two crops of succulent green figs each year. In our climate, we usually don’t get enough late summer heat to ripen the second crop. Sweet, amber-colored flesh with a flavorful honey note. This attractive small tree is well-suited for small city gardens where space is limited. Makes a superb accent tree. Provides a handsome leafy background when allowed to grow as a large shrub. Thrives in mild coastal areas and warm humid areas, but often hardy and prolific in zones 5 and 6 as well, if planted in a sheltered location. Deciduous. Needs to be grown in full sun, 6+ hours of sunlight per day. Reaches 10-12ft tall and wide. Hardy in USDA zones 7-10. In very cold winters.

Star Jasmine Vine

Star Jasmine

Trachelospermum jasminoides

Star Jasmine is a beautiful vine prized for its very fragrant, star-shaped, white flowers in spring and summer. Plant near a patio, terrace or entry where the fragrance can be enjoyed. In frost free areas, train on posts, walls or trellises, or allow to trail along as a groundcover. A superb summer container plant for colder regions. Twining stems spread to 18 to 20 ft. long; 1 to 2 ft. tall as a groundcover. Best in partial to full sun. Hardy in USDA zones 8-11.

Foxtail Fern

Foxtail Fern / Asparagus Fern

Asparagus densiflorus 'Myers' The Foxtail Fern, also known as the Asparagus Fern is an unusual evergreen that adds textural contrast to perennial beds and borders. Long, plume-like stems hold soft, needle-like leaves. Blooms in spring, develops red berries in fall. An excellent choice for seasonal hanging baskets and containers. Best grown in part sun. Keep surface of soil moist, but not soggy. Moderately upright growth, 2 ft. tall and 2 to 3 ft. wide. Hardy in USDA zones 9-11

 

As always, please call ahead to confirm availability as our selection is always changing


Friday, June 12, 2015
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Feature Products

Gardening is all about trying out the newest, the different and the unique. It’s about having plants in your garden you can’t buy at the grocery store. This month we’ll introduce you to 10 really cool plants worth trying in your garden. Some of these suffer from zone denial. In other words, they are tender and probably won’t survive our winter unless you bring them inside. Others are hardy and will come back year after year. Check them out and give these magnificent ten plants a try.

Indian Pink

Indian Pink

Spigelia marilandica

Spigelia is a neat, clump forming perennial with stiff stems clothed in glossy green, pointed leaves. In June, the stem tips produce cymes of bold, attractive flowers. Flowers are red and trumpet shaped opening to a yellow star. Best grown in shade to part shade. Keep moist if it is planted in a sunnier location. Prefers moist, organically rick, well drained soil. Grows 1-2ft in height with a similar spread. Hardy to zone 5.

St Elmos Fire Firecracker Plant

St Elmos Fire Firecracker Plant

Russelia x ‘St Elmos Fire’

This stunning hybrid selection of the Firecracker Plant is larger than the common species with a more open, airy look and showier, deeper red flowers. Grass-like foliage is accented bright firecracker red flowers. This is an easy care perennial that blooms continuously from Spring to Fall with the occasional pruning of spent flowers. It’s perfect for tall borders or large containers. Will reach 4-6ft tall and 6-8ft wide. Prefers full or part sun. Hardy to zone 8 – will need winter protection or consider bringing it inside.

Fireworks Pennisetum

Fireworks Pennisetum

Pennisetum x advena ‘Fireworks’

Staying with the pyrotechnic theme is Fireworks Pennisetum. This spectacular warm season tender perennial grass has narrow, arching leaves that are a kalaedoscope of hot pink, green, white and dark burgundy. Fluffy bottlebrush flowers are a deep burgundy and sway in the wind. It is deer resistant and makes a nice cut flower too. Drought tolerant once established. As an annual, it will not survive our winters unless brought inside. Prefers full sun, moist, but well drained soil and grows 1-2ft high and wide. Hardy in zones 9-11

Mojito Elephant Ear | Colocasia

Mojito Elephant Ear

Colocasia ‘Mojito’

For the water gardeners out there, we’ve brought in a unique Colocasia called ‘Mojito’. This tropical plant is well suited for the pondside or patio water feature or tropical garden. Its speckled and mottled green heart-shaped foliage with darker splotches is uniquely attractive. Prefers the heat of the sun but will tolerate part shade. Grows 3-4ft tall and 2-3ft wide. It should be kept moist or planted near a water feature where it can grab its own moisture

Midknight Blue Agapanthus

Midknight Blue Agapanthus

Agapanthus x ‘Monmid’

Midknight Blue is a striking new variety of Agapanthus with deep, violet-blue flowers held in tight clusters on tall stalks. Lush, strap-like foliage is bright green. A great plant for a tropical border, poolside or a container. Will attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Blooms mid to late spring. Prefers full sun. Needs regular watering when newly planted, but is water wise once established. Grows 3-4ft high. Will benefit from winter protection. Hardy to zone 7.

Golden Milkweed | Butterfly Weed

Golden Butterfly Weed / Milkweed

Asclepias curassavica ‘Silky Gold’

If you want butterflies in your garden – plant one of these! The Golden Butterfly weed, or Asclepias is a summer flowering perennial (annual in our climate) that butterflies just love. Especially the Monarchs!. Clusters of attractive buds open to gold and yellow flowers. It is a well behaved plant that requires little attention once established. Prefers full sun. Grows 3-4ft tall and 2-3ft wide. Hardy to zone 8 – treat it like an annual or bring it inside for the winter.

Berry Canary Tender Foxglove | Digiplexis

Berry Canary Tender Hybrid Foxglove

Digiplexis Berry Canary

This outstanding hybrid is the result of breeding between Digitalis (Foxglove) and a Digitalis relative from the Canary Islands, Isoplexis. Masses of beautiful, hot pink, tubular flowers have creamy yellow throats with burgundy speckling. Very large flower spikes appear over a long period, May to Frost, on tall stems. Very vigorous and definitely worth growing. Prefers full sun and a rich, moist, but well drained soil. Water well until established. Grows 1-2ft tall and almost as wide. Hardy to Zone 8.

Aeonium Zwartkop | Houseleek

Zwartkop Houseleek

Aeonium arboretum ‘Zwartkop’

This tender succulent is grown for its dark burgundy-black flattened rosettes. Yellow flowers appear above the foliage. Adds great colour and texture to dry borders, rock gardens, succulent planters and containers. Prefers full sun. Will turn more green if it does not receive enough sunlight. Grow in well drained and fertile soil. Can grow 2-3ft tall and up to 2ft wide. Hardy to zone 9. Bring indoors in the winter.

Tequila Sunrise Mirror Plant | Coprosma

Tequila Sunrise Mirror Plant

Coprosma ‘Tequila Sunrise’

Tequila Sunrise is an amazing cultivar of Coprosma that has jewel like foliage that is highly glossed and brightly coloured. In Spring, its new growth emerges emerald green with a gold margin, gradually becoming marbled with brilliant orange and gold hues. In the winter, the leaf colour intensifies to brilliant orange and red jewel tones. It is well suited for mild climates, we may be a little too cool for it as it is hardy to zone 8-9. Treat it as an annual or bring it inside for the winter. Tequila Sunrise Coprosma prefers full sun and looks best in group plantings and magnificent when combines with succulents. Has an upright pyramidal shape and can reach 5ft tall in the warmer climates.

Black Negligee Bugbane | Cimicifuga

Black Negligee Bugbane

Actaea simplex ‘Black Negligee’

Actaea used to be called Cimicifuga, and many gardeners still use the old name. This variety, ‘Black Negligee’ features lacy black foliage and lovely dark stems. Small white flowers on stems above the foliage have the scent of grape and jasmine. It’s a great accent plant for the mixed border or as a specimen on its own. When given lots of sun and water, it will keep its darkest colouration. Can grow up to 5-5ft tall and 1-2ft wide. Hardy to zone 6.

As always, please call Art’s Nursery in advance to confirm availability as our selection is always changing and these rare and unique plants may have limited availability.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Posted By: Amanda Jarret in Tropicals

Windmill Palm - Trachycarpus fortunei

It is possible to enjoy the look of the tropics in your own garden by selecting the right plants and plant combinations.  We live in a temperate climate of Zone 7-8 so some species are hardy here, while others just look tropical, even though they aren’t.  Some are borderline hardy, which means they might die back in severe winters, but regrow from the roots come spring.

To get the look and feel of the tropics, don’t be shy about the plants you choose.  Big, green, bold foliage and hot coloured flowers in reds, yellows and oranges should fill the garden and spill over in lush repose.  Nothing is tight and controlled or neatly shaped.  Plants collide and intermingle, which adds to its sultry appeal.

Every tropical themed garden needs a palm tree and Trachycarpus fortunei, the Windmill Palm and the Washingtonia robusta, the Mexican Fan Palm fit the bill. They do well here when planted in a protected spot with winter protection. 

Another tropical tree is the Paulownia tomentosa, the Empress Tree. Similar to a jacaranda, this fast growing tree boasts purple foxglove like flowers that are borne in profusion.  Catalpas are another bold tropical type tree with huge heart shaped leaves followed by clusters of showy white bell flowers.

Tropical Plant Collage 1

Substitute the popular tropical hibiscus with its smaller flowered hardy relative, the Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus syn.  Althaea syriacus.  Add a banana tree with the hardy Red Leaved Banana, Ensete maurelii. It doesn’t bear fruit here, but it certainly adds a tropical dash.  

Combine it with the Yucca’s upright spiky foliage and its tall white flower spike for contrast.  

Cannas are known for their bold attractive leaves. Now they come in many colours and colour combinations including green with yellow stripes and deep maroon. Their large lily-type flowers are no shrinking violets either, showing off in hot vivid reds, oranges and yellows.  Some grow to a whopping 8 feet while newer hybrids only grow to 2 feet.

Tropical Collage 2

The New Zealand Flax, Phormiums sp, does best with some winter protection, but is stunning with their upright lance-shaped leaves.  They are great companions to the hardy Frost Proof Gardenia, which bears the same pure white and beautifully scented flowers of its non hardy relative.  

For more sweet scents, select the hardy jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides ‘Madison’.  Its fragrant white star shaped flowers cover this evergreen vine in spring.

Elephant Ears, Colocasia sp., also are grown solely for their huge arrow shaped leaves. Colocasia antiquorum 'Illustris’ has green veins contrasting on deep purple, while the Colocasia esculenta 'Black Magic' bears dramatic deep purple foliage. They all love moist soil so are suitable for bog gardens and ponds.

The arching flowers stems of Montbretias, Crocosmia spp., bear yellow, red or orange flowers lined up neatly in a row. Its curved strappy leaves look great next to the erect form of the cannas. Combine either with the outrageous boldness of Bear’s Breeches, Acanthus mollis. It’s huge deeply cut ornate leaves set the stage for the spikes of light mauve pinky hooded blossoms.

Red Hot Poker, Kniphofia sp., is an herbaceous perennial with stiff upright spiky leaves with colourful tubular flowers in orange, red and yellow clustered on top of a leafless stem. Pare it with round form of the dinner plate dahlias with flowers over 10 inches wide and plants over 5 feet tall. They come in many colour combinations.

Foxtail Lily, Eremurus elwesii, is another dramatic herbaceous perennial that pierces the landscape with over 3 foot flower spires of yellow, orange or white.

Tropical Collage 3

Just one or two plants is all you need to bring the essence of the tropics to your garden. Don’t be shy; be bold and get tropical.

These and many other plants with a tropical appearance can be found at Art's Nursery. As always please call ahead to confirm availability of specific varieties as our selection is always changing.


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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!

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