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Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Posted By: in Shrubs


Whichever path today’s gardener follows to this season’s trending garden sanctuary, you will find that including the camellia is spot on target.  The camellia can boast of exceptional colour, texture, form and versatility.  

Playing with the summer to winter transitional colour scheme is not only visually appealing, but can add significantly to our appreciation of changes in our natural environment.  Use Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ and Camelia japonica ‘Bob Hope’ or ‘Debutante’ to carry the vibrant colours of your summer garden into winter or allow the more muted tones of ‘Buttermint’ and ‘Silver Waves’ show off the textures and forms that define your winter garden.  Allow the richness of the blooms to contrast with the starkness of winter.

The relationships between varying textures of garden elements create an energy.  This goes beyond the visual.  We see and feel the smoothness of the camellia’s lush, evergreen foliage; we are excited by the contrasts of bold versus fine, rough, mossy, rusty…Combine this with the extraordinary variety of camellia forms in an airy woodland, a clipped and formal installation or a few pots on a patio oasis to achieve your design goal.

Winter camellias will grow in sun or shade.  They are large, relatively fast-growing and sturdy. Their evergreen foliage is a rich, dark, glossy green. Trained espaliered camellias may be used as sculptural specimens, screens or hedges.  Stronger pruned  geometric forms establish mood and direct the eye’s flow through the garden.  Taller columnar or conical forms act as focal points and accents.  Repeat rounded forms for continuity or count on a taller dome-shape to open up and facilitate transition.  Adapt this elegant shrub’s form to suit your purpose.

Yuletide Camellia
Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'

Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Posted By: Arts Nursery Staff in Container Gardening

Many of us plant containers for summer interest and leave them empty for the winter. I get very excited at the beauty that can be created with a winter container, but would like to expand on this topic. What would you think of the idea of having a basic planting that lasts year round, with only the addition of seasonal color needed? (Think pansies in the cool of early spring, all the choices we love such as geraniums in the summer, winter blooming heather and hellebores for late fall/early winter.) Or….planting your container now with plants that can move into your garden in the spring or perhaps in a spring a little farther down the road.
While there are some containers too small to incorporate these ideas, for the majority of them just have fun and create without overcrowding.

The planting medium you use is very important. Art’s Supersoil/house blend mix is your best choice for a shrub, perennial, grass design. It is always wise to check the plant tags for both light and water needs. If you are using plants that require little to no water, go with Promix. Always remember though, that even drought resistant plants require moisture help for the first two years while they put on the root system needed to support themselves.

Shrubs For Containers

Step 1 : Create Height
goldcrest wilma cupressus

Gold : CUPRESSUS MACROCARPA

This is a bright, beautifully textured, fragrant shrub for a container and can be kept in the design for a few years as long as you are in Zone 7 or warmer. Often it will be “Goldcrest” that is available. It is an outstanding center piece for your container. If you can find “Wilma”, please consider this alternative as it is much smaller and dense in its growth pattern both at a young age in your container and at maturity in your garden. If you do not plan to move this beauty from the container, try to find “Wilma”.

Moving to the garden: If you are looking to move it to your garden, expect Goldcrest to reach a final height of about 30’ by 15’ wide over the course of several decades. If you manage to find Wilma, expect a much smaller tree at maturity, topping out at 8’ tall by 2’ wide. They both love full sun, even moisture, but well drained soil. And as an added benefit, are deer resistant.

euonymus_greenspire.jpg

Dark Green : EUONYMUS JAPONICUS GREEN SPIRE

This is one of my very favorite centerpieces for a container with it deep, green, glossy foliage, made all the more delightful with its curved, distinctive leaf. This addition to the euonymus family is well worth tracking down. It is very slow to grow, requiring little maintenance, and will work hard for years as the centerpiece of your container.

Moving to the garden: If you ever decide to move this plant to the garden (though you will not have to), it is hardy to Zone 6, so will easily survive the transplant. It reaches a final height of 5’-6’ and a width of 1’ to 2’. Think about using it as a much needed vertical exclamation point in your landscape design. It is versatile as far as sun is concerned, doing well from full sun to mostly shade. It likes average, well-drained soil and while it does flower, there are too insignificant to really appreciate. They adapt to sea side planting and also resist deer.

Step 2 : Fillers / Layers

Now that you have created your height, it is time to move to the next layer of your container. The choices are numerous, but always consider foliar contrast, foliar color, and flower. While it sounds overwhelming, it really isn’t. Just remember to create a balanced container that includes green, gold, variegated, even blue foliage, and flowers.

heuchera - coral bells

Heuchera - Coral Bells

I have chosen the burgundy leafed Heuchera “Frosted Violet”, but the variations in leaf shape and color go from golds, oranges, reds, greens, right through to black. The choice is yours. Heuchera flowers, but they are insignificant. I just follow the stem down to the crown of the plant and cut them out. The flowers in the picture are ready for me to remove. Heucheras are one of my very favorite plants in a container as they bring a bold-colored, great textured leaf to the show. It is sometimes too easy to not have enough leaf contrast in a container. This little gem takes care of that in spade. Just ask at the nursery for what is available to you and have fun with your creation.

Moving to the garden: While it is advertised that heucheras will handle all sun conditions, I do find that constant even moisture is an absolute requirement for that to happen. They are a rather small perennial, reaching only 8in-10in high and 16in wide. They shine in all their beauty in a woodland garden with ferns, but put them anywhere a punch of color is needed.

Erica Kramers Red - Kramers Red Heather

ERICA DARLEYENSIS KRAMER’S RED

Heather is a mainstay of the fall/winter container. You can also find summer blooming “heather”. However, for this article, I will focus on the winter flowering variety. Kramer’s Red is a compact dark green small shrub that is literally covered in bloom from December until April. Although there are many “green foliage, with pinkish/purple blooms, this old standard still stands out in the crowd. It produces it greatest flower in full sun and well-drained soil. However, that still means even moisture. After flowering, give it a light shear to keep it looking its best and ready to go for another eye popping season next year. There are also gold varieties available with white flowers and with pink. How you plan your container will help to determine what color heather you choose. If you have a lot of green on the go, try to find one with gold foliage.

Moving to the garden: It really doesn’t matter where you go on the mainland. Heather, whether dark green in foliage or gold, catches our eye. It thrives in full sun but will grow in part shade. They work planted singly or groups, allowing them to grow together or kept as separate plants. Because of their low mature height, (12in tall by 24in wide) they do better if planted at the front of a bed. They look right at home planted up against rock placed in the garden as it is reminiscent of its homeland….Scotland.

Euonymus Blondy

EUONYMUS FORTUNEI BLONDY

I had the great fortune to pick up this container for myself recently. It was specific in its design to fit into my garden. That brilliant spot of the gold on the left lower side is Euonymus Blondy. It is so eye catching with its bold yellow and green markings compared to its counter parts and just as easy to take care of. In a large container, plant it multiple time and allow it to creep over the sides at it matures. This is a hardy little shrub, good to Zone 5, handling all conditions, except extreme wet. It thrives in the sun, but will handle some shade. If it starts to get leggy on you, please feel free to prune it back…. hard if need be. It will be all the better for it. Of note for those who like to create floral arrangements, don’t forget to give this a try.

Moving to the garden: You may never want to move this shrub to the garden as it will not out grow most containers. However, if you do, know that it mounds in a well-behaved manner, not sprawling like many of its counterparts. Put it anywhere near the front of the bed where you need a punch of color. Once established in your garden, it can handle drier conditions. Its final size tops out at about 2ft by 2ft.

Gaultheria procumbens - Wintergreen

GAULTHERA PROCUMBENS (WINTERGREEN):

Oh, do I love this plant, especially this time of year. Just look at those red berries on this ever-so-slowly creeping groundcover. While you may never want to pick them, the fruit is edible and the leaves are used to make wintergreen tea. However, as far as winter containers are considered, they have no rivals. As you can see, that rich shiny foliage takes on a burgundy hue in the winter adding great contrast to an already outstanding plant. Having said all this, they will handle full sun, but often prefer partial shade. They require average (but never soggy) soil.

Moving to the garden - This is a native plant to North America and once established, requires little attention. It is deer and rabbit proof, with its final height set at 4in-5in and its final spread is 10in-12in.

Helleborus Jacob - Jacob Hellebore

HELLEBORUS NIGER HGC JACOB

There are few plants I seriously collect for my garden. Hellebores are one of them. What is there to not like? They are essentially evergreen, with unique leathery leaves. Have a mild fragrance. Hardy to Zone 4. And, just when we think we cannot stand one more day of clouds and rain, these beauties pop their flowers up for all to see. In my garden, the blooms can last easily for two months. There are so many varieties now that it is impossible to list them all. But, Jacob is proving to be one of the more outstanding new cultivars over the last several years. When hellebores first arrived on the scene, the beautiful flowers hung downwards, depriving us of their beauty. Not Jacob! This plant makes an unforgettable impact in a container, with the leaves holding their own in the summer months. An interesting side point. The leaves can start to look a bit worn by the time the blooms show. Don’t be afraid to cut them out. The flowers will then be able to put on their show for you. The leaves will not take long to make an entrance. And while you do not have to deadhead them, the look will be better if you do.

Moving to the garden: You could seriously have a dilemma on your hands, as I am sure you will want this plant in both a container and your garden. However, they prefer some shade, and even handle dark shade, lighting up a dreary corner. They like even moisture. They look breathtaking planted in irregular groupings, are deer and rabbit resistant. They are very slow to grow, but will ultimately reach 14in high and 12in wide at the base of the plant.

Carex Evergold

CAREX OSHIMENSIS EVERGOLD

Last, but not least, an evergreen grass. This is another long time standard for containers for a reason. It just is so darn easy to care for and adds so much to the container with its color and form. A zone 5, it is a highly decorative, yet tough sedge, winning awards for its valuable contribution to our gardens. Plant it on the outer edge of your container. If the container is large enough, feel free to use multiples. You will not be disappointed. It handles full sun to part shade, although the best color is in part shade. It loves even moisture. Hardy to zone 5. In a container or a garden, do not cut this grass right back. When pruning leave about 1/3 of the plant in place.

Moving to the garden: Don’t be afraid to try this sedge in some shade. It will brighten up a corner. It is also great in groupings, and with dark green evergreens, such as low growing pines. 8in high by 14in wide.

In Closing

There are so many incredible choices for container planting that it would take pages to list them all. Please visit the garden center to browse the courtyard (and of course other areas of the nursery) for ideas. Talk to our staff about the location of your container (sun, shade, etc.) and the appropriate plants for the location.


Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Fall Gardening

Happy November people!!! Scarecrow season was a Spooktacular success and thank you to all who came by to build their very own scarecrow or who just came by to check it out!! We were able to raise $$$ for our charities!! I also want to thank all of our in house and sponsor builders!! There were some really creative and possibly slightly twisted folks out there!!
scarecrow image

I think it might be time for some glasses as I’ve now asked 3 different scarecrows if they were finding the plants they needed. On my behalf, it was a long day and may have been raining and occurred before my afternoon caffeine uptake. Time to tuck away our scarecrow creations for this year…who knows what creatures will take form on the nursery September and October!!

The fall colours this season were really spectacular around the lower mainland on the days that Mother Nature isn’t trying to drown you from the sky - it is still well worth a walkabout in your local park or even around your neighbourhood. It will give you a welcomed rest from the decorating version of whiplash that is about to occur as we change over from orange, black and gold to red, green and white!!

Things to look for in the garden (and at Arts Nursery!):

Beauty Berry - Calicarpa bodineri ‘Profusion’

Love love love this shrub!! Fragrant little violet puffs of fragrant flowers mid spring and intriguing metallic purple berries that last well into winter.
callicarpa - beauty berry

Hens and Chicks - Sempervivum

These are fascinating little sun and drought tolerant rockery plants that look amazing in the morning dew and frost!! We even have one variety that looks like gold. It GROWS that way…seriously!!!
hens and chicks gold nugget

Ironwood tree – Parrotia persica

An often over looked small tree that just grows along, looking glossy and green and minds its own business and doesn’t cause problems and then WOW!!! Along comes fall and you realize that tidy little tree you’ve been overlooking all year is actually a DIVA!! The fall colours of Parrotia persica are bold and glorious and really kick flowers in the… well anyway, they look really great!!

Blueberry Plants!!

Not only do they pay rent with their tasty offerings, these beauties just glow in fall with burgundy, red, orange and gold leaves and then continue through the winter with their red branches. Seriously…this is a win-win situation here.
blueberry plant fall foliage

I do enjoy this time of year where some of the background plants really do step up like the Red Twig Dogwood. They are really starting to glow and take centre stage now that they are losing their leaves. Add a bit of frost and snow and they will awesome!!
red twig dogwood stems

Don’t forget when you are raking up those leaves to leave some in the garden beds as mulch (even better if you have a mulcher blade on your mower). Don’t be too tidy when you are cleaning up and trimming back your garden…remember many pollinators overwinter in the hollow stems of spent perennials. It’s also not too late at all to plant bulbs if you want a little early glimmer of spring colour!

You will probably be rushing out for that final mow of lawn too!! Don’t forget to clean, dry and winterize your lawnmower or you will have a rusty, reluctant starter on your hands for next spring. Well, I’m off to binge eat Ben and Jerry’s and left over Halloween candy and try to get revved up about bringing out my winter clothes…yes I’m a procrastinator and no…I am not currently excited about turtle-necks and peppermint everything!!! I’ll get there, but it might take some convincing. Talk to you next month…or when you come by to visit at the nursery, stay dry, take time for yourself and don’t forget your Poppy!

Cheers ... Laurelle


Monday, September 10, 2018

From Garden to Table

Try Growing Fall Veggies

Posted By: Sheri Piccione in Edibles

On August 29th, I was lucky enough to attend the Coquitlam Farmer’s Market Long Table Dinner, to which the wonderful event was held at Red Barn Plants and Produce, in Maple Ridge. It was great to be at the source of such wonderful food, all growing fresh around us!

All of the food that was served came from local food producers, and primarily from the vendors that frequent the weekly market on Sundays. The funds from this event go directly to the market’s Power of Produce kid’s club. This program happens at the market each Sunday, and teaches kids about local, fresh food through information and a fun activity.
Veggies Growing in Garden

Below is a photo that was a simple salad made from in season radish, cooked beets, tossed with fresh salad greens, candied walnuts and cheese from Golden Ears Cheese Crafters.

But then I thought, while looking at this fantastic plate, and the greens growing around me, of my tired garden. Spring and summer are rushed times at the nursery and in life, but I was inspired to go back to my garden, as now is time for fall clean-up of tomatoes and bolted lettuces. While it may be a bit late to direct seed many veggies, now is perfect timing for cool season starts, such as lettuces, arugula, cabbage, broccoli, kale and cauliflower. Garlic can go in now for next summer too!
Farmers Market Salad

Share with us! Have you planted a fall/winter garden? Do you have fresh garden to table veggies planted? Send us your photos. Or, have questions on fall gardening, come on into the nursery and ask us! And while you are here, grab some fresh starts for your garden.

For more information on the Coquitlam Farmer’s Market, and their Power of Produce kid’s program, please visit: https://makebakegrow.com/contact-us/ Or visit the market on Sunday’s at the Dogwood Pavilion on Poirier Street from 9 am to 1 pm.

Radish In The GardenFall and Winter Veggies
Written By Amanda Smith


Thursday, November 9, 2017
Posted By: in Winter Gardens
Colorful Winter Plant Blog Title Banner

Winter is here and so are some spectacular colorful plants! Although it can be harder to find things for interest in your garden this time of year, don’t fret. There are still many great options out there for you to make your garden just as striking and full of color as it is in the spring time. These are my top 6 plants for colorful winter interest.

Globe Cedar 'Sienna Sunset'Globe CedarGlobe Cedar Sienna SunsetGlobe Cedar ‘Sienna Sunset’

The soft-looking foliage of this cedar sports shades of lime green, gold and orange developing into a deeper bronzy shade in the winter months. Not only does it have beautiful color but this cedar is hardy to a zone 3 and can withstand a heavy snowfall without losing its round shape. Due to its compact nature, it’s a great option for containers and small gardens.

Pro Tip: This cedar requires no pruning to maintain its globe shape.

Hellebore Love Bug BannerHellebore Love BugHellebores ‘Love Bug’

Hellebores are always a great addition to any winter garden. This compact growing variety is a newer addition similar to ‘Pink Frost.’ Pink flower buds sit atop brilliant red stems, opening to reveal a delicate cream flower dappled with a soft pink blush. Flowers contrast spectacularly with silvery evergreen foliage during ‘Love Bug's’ long blooming season.

Pro Tip:  Mulch in summer to maintain moisture.

Leucothoe Banner
Leucothoe ‘Rainbow’

Leucothoe 'Rainbow' is true to its name, this evergreen shrub is full of colour! Foliage is a ever changing combination of cream, green, burgundy and pink. Colors are at their most vibrant in the winter months.

Pro Tip: Likes moist, well drained, acidic soil.

Crabapple Red Sentinel Banner
Crabapple Red SentinelCrabapple 'Red Sentinel'

Red Sentinel has white flower blossoms in spring developing into a vibrant, deep red apple in late fall. Apples will last well into the winter months granting this specimen tree a long season of interest in your garden. Apples are small and berry-like, growing in abundance, which creates a very festive look. Right in time for Christmas! Easy care, requiring little to no pruning.

Pro Tip:  Use left over fruit to make a delicious jelly

Skimmia Female Banner
Skimmia Female Skimmia ‘Female’

This Skimmia has masses of green, fragrant winter buds opening to white blossoms in spring. This floriferous evergreen shrub will reward you with stunning, large red berries in winter if a male pollinator is present.

Pro Tip: One male is necessary for about every 5 plants

Viburnum Davidii BannerViburnum Davidii Viburnum 'Davidii'

Viburnum ‘Davidii’ is a low growing, compact evergreen shrub. Leathery dark green partly oval leaves give a strong contrast to the clusters of white flowers that appear in late June. Flowers are followed by very attractive, steely blue berries that last throughout the winter.

Pro Tip: Great for foundations and when grouped.

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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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