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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!!


Friday, December 12, 2014
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Gardening

I’m pretty excited…I think I’m going to go for a real Christmas tree this year and move Old Faithful downstairs into the TV room. I have my eye on a pretty little Noble Fir and if it doesn’t get sold at the nursery tomorrow I am going to stuff it into the car and bring it home with me!

I’ve managed to get tree sap all over me each time I work with the Christmas trees. Yesterday was no different but I was in a rush because my parents were coming over for dinner so I didn’t wash up before I left the nursery. I had to run speedy quick into the grocery store to find something that looked homemade for dinner.

Laurelle

For the love of Pete, if you see a lady with frizzy grey hair and pine needles sticking out of it, tree sap all over her hands, pants, jacket and hair and somehow…charcoal rubbed onto her NOSE (I have no idea how I did that…maybe it was from the firepit at the store) please let me know!! I thought people were getting into the spirit of the holiday with all the chuckling and smiling, though the lady with the two young girls who grabbed them and moved quickly away from me did give me pause, they were probably just fleeing the crazy lady. Enough about my hijinks…let me give you your list!

Trees and Shrubs

Prune any of the three d’s…dead, damaged or diseased. If you have nice bushy conifers, take some cuttings and use them in some simple swags, wreaths, winter planters or even just bring them in and put some cut stems in a vase. You can plant new hardy trees and shrubs as long as the ground isn’t frozen. Be sure to water in any new even if it’s raining to get rid of air pockets.

If it's not freezing or raining, it is can also be a good time to apply a Dormant Oil  & Lime Sulphur Spray to your fruit trees. This spray smothers over-wintering insects and can help prevent pests and disease during the coming year. Follow the directions on the box for best results.

Christmas Tree Care

Christmas Tree Care

For those of you with an awesome, amazing, traditional, top quality REAL christmas tree from Art's ... (as opposed to those 'everlasting' types...), remember that it will last much longer if well watered and kept in a cooler location away from heat sources like fireplaces and heaters. Never let your Christmas tree stand run out of water or the tree will sap up and dry out much quicker. A decent size tree can take up to a gallon or more of water per day. If you have a small stand, consider getting a larger one to make your life easier. Always turn off Christmas lights if you are away as a precaution. For live trees, now is a good time to bring it in for the holidays. Remember to acclimatize it to the outdoors after the holidays.

Garden Beds

Best not to do a lot of tromping on garden beds, though you can still plant bulbs if you would like to for a burst of colour in the spring. There are usually great sales on bulbs right about now and they can even go in after Christmas. Make sure you give them a gentle squeeze in their package to check they are firm and not dried out or squishy. Many are also available potted at this time of year.

Plants with winter interest

Add Winter Interest To The Garden

Most of us visit garden centres in the Spring and Summer. As a result, our gardens look incredible in those seasons, but rather drab and boring in depths of winter. Consider adding winter interest like Holly, stylish Conifers, Hellebores, Mahonias, Witchhazels, Camellias and even the colourful stems of shrub dogwood. Any evergreen plant will add nice interest at this time of year.

Xmas Indoor Plants

Move the Outdoors In

Plant an indoor garden – check out some cool Terrariums on Pinterest! They are shockingly easy to make and breathtakingly beautiful to look at. Succulents, airplants and cacti are incredibly hot these days.

Plant up winter blooms – from Christmas Cactus, to Amaryllis to Paperwhites and even Orchids… there is nothing so lovely and unexpected in winter than a plant in bloom.

Christmas Planters

Pots & Planters

Add some greens and sparkle to your pots with cut evergreen stems, berries and even some lights or weatherproof glitz! If you have leftover hanging baskets or moss baskets from the summer you can create works of art! No need to empty…just cut off the dead branches and use the remaining soil and roots as a kind of florists oasis.

Make sure it’s good and damp…easy work with this weather. Fill with cut greens, twigs, berries and pine cones, add a touch of sparkle in your theme colour and hang from a low hanger - winter planters are best brought below eye level so you can look down at them and really appreciate the texture and colours.

Feed the Birds!

Peanut butter spread on pinecones and then rolled in seeds are an easy and tasty treat for our feathered friends. Tie on loops of jute string and hang in branches…especially where you can watch and enjoy! Bird feeders make great prezzies!

Daydream, plan, research. Now is the time to plan your next garden project!

Go get outside…even if it’s just for a little bit. Go for a walk and you will be surprised by the beauty of the season, even in the rain. Trust me…its good for you! Take a little time for yourself this season. I wish you a warm, wonderful and safe Christmas!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Winter Gardens

When our flowers have faded and the leaves have fallen, its time for the workhorses of the garden to start performing. These include the evergreens, the conifers, and the plants with other points of interest, including attractive bark and sparkling, colourful berries. In this blog post, we'll show case some of the best plants with attractive berries for your fall and winter garden.

As we've also focused on Holly this month, we won't discuss those plants in this article even though they offer fantastic winter interest with their colourful evergreen foliage and their colourful red berries.

Gaultheria procumbens - Wintergreen

Wintergreen

Gaultheria procumbens

Wintergreen is a colourful, low growing groundcover shrub with bright red berries that appear in the late fall and winter. Gaultheria procumbens is an excellent groundcover for acidic soils. It produces a dense mat of glossy dark green leaves that brighten with a redish hue in the fall. White to Pale Pink flowers appear in June followed by bright red berries. While we would advise eating them, the berries have a distinct peppermint, wintergreen-fresh taste, but are rather pithy and inedible. Foliage is evergreen and retains its colour year round. It is best grown in part sun to part shade in semi-moist, but well drained soils. Mature plants will usually grow to 12 inches tall and up to 36 inches across.

Female Japanese Skimmia

Female Japanese Skimmia

Skimmia japonica Female

Skimmia are a classic evergreen shrub for fall and winter interest. Glossy green foliage is accented by white blooms in the spring and on female plants, red, holly-like berries appear in autumn and winter. Skimmia come in female and male varieties. The females will produce the berry as long as at least one male skimmia is planted in the area. It is a great plant for full to part sun and is an excellent plant for the seaside. Water regularly as needed. Grows up to 2-5ft wide and 3-6ft across. Hardy in zones 7-9.

Callicarpa Profusion, Beauty Berry

Profusion Beauty Berry

Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion'

Beauty Berry is a superb deciduous shrub valued for display of abundant clusters of long lasting violet berries along branches in fall. Berries are attractive to birds and can really add interest to an otherwise bare garden. New leaf growth has exciting bronze tinge. Small purplish pink flowers appear in summer amongst the large green leaves. Prune in late winter to early spring to encourage new growth. Ideal for use as a specimen, in a border or as a mass planting. Moderate growing to 6-8ft tall and wide. Best when planted in full sun. Hardy in USDA zones 5-8.

Brandywine Viburnum

Brandywine Viburnum

Viburnum nudum 'Bulk' / Witherod Viburnum

Brandywine Viburnum is a relative newcomer and provides a truly spectacular display of fall colour. Abundant green berries transform to vivid pink and blue, contrasting with the wine-coloured fall foliage. Deer resistant. Is an excellent addition to mixed borders. This viburnum prefers moist, but well drained soil. Prune after flowering if needed. Grows 5-6ft tall and wide at maturity. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9.

Scarlet Pearl Snowberry

Scarlet Pearl Snowberry

Symphoricarpos 'Scarlet Pearl'

This delightful pseudo-native plant features light pink blooms in summer followed by a vigorous crop of large pink fruit beginning in fall, becoming especially showy on otherwise bare branches in winter. Plant where berries can be enjoyed from the indoors. Cut fruiting stems can last up to 2 weeks in floral arrangements. Scarlet Pearl is a perfect plant for spicing up northern native plant landscapes and wild garden woodlands. Deciduous. Prefers to be planted in full to part sun in moist soils. Grows up to 4ft tall and wide and hardy in USDA zones 3-7.

As always, please call ahead, 604.882.1201, to confirm availability if you are making a special trip for one of these plants. Our selection is always changing and availability may be limited on some varieties.

Parneys Cotoneaster

Parney's Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster lacteus

This large evergreen shrub produces attractive balls of white flowers followed by showy red berries. It's an excellent plant the back of a border or in a garden setting. Leaves are large and dark green in colour. can be pruned as needed. Prefers to be planted in full sun and any moist, but well drained soils. Grows 6-12ft high and equally as wide. Hardy to zone 6.


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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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