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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.

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


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.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Posted By: Lyle Courtice A.H. in Container Gardening

Cascading GrassFirst - Select your container, this will be a fairly personal choice and can reflect your style or compliment you choice of outdoor décor. 

Larger is better, always select the largest possible container you can afford both budget and space wise.  Make sure the size fits in with the scale of your landscape, a tiny courtyard garden can be easily overwhelmed by a planter that is too large. 

Be aware of the material your planter is made of, you want to ensure that it is frost proof; most stone, wood, concrete, plastic and metal planters will be ok but double check with your local retailer and especially when selecting terra cotta and glazed pots, you want to make sure they are designed for outdoor use and will not crack or break apart.

Second – Gather your plant selection, be creative and use plants that complement each other or add contrasting elements for visual interest. So Many Plants To Choose From

Fall and winter planters should include plants that are hardy and can withstand the winter months without becoming too ratty looking.  Avoid using perennials (unless they are evergreen) as they will die down and leave an empty space in your creation.  If you wish to use perennial or seasonal plants leave them in their pots so you can easily switch them out without disturbing the rest of the planting. 

Put as many plants as you can into your container, this will give it a lush fullness.  Try and keep the overall shape pyramidal as this is a pleasing and balanced design, give the planter as much height as you can and layer down from there with various combinations of plants including trailing or cascading plants that can spill over and soften the edges of the planter. 

This mini landscape is a living outdoor arrangement that is only limited by your creativity.

Use Flowering Plants for Impact and ColourThird – Always use a good well-drained soil mix.  It should be porous enough to drain well (especially during our wet winter months) yet still be able to retain some moisture so that the plants do not dry out too quickly. 

To help keep plants healthy and lush incorporate a good quality slow release fertilizer into the soil mix before planting.  Check with your local garden center for available soil mixes and fertilizers.

Fourth – Accessorize, like a floral arrangement you can incorporate some final touches to your container that will add Seasonal Interestthat extra punch. Use seasonal cuts or ornaments, branches and stems with dried seed heads, berries and fruit. These “temporary” additions can be changed out as needed. Finally, including some lighting (LEDs) is a great way of adding life and extending your viewing pleasure into the evenings and through the dark days of winter.  


Some Great Container Plants:

  • Heuchera, Heucherella and Tiarella
  • Phormium (tender)
  • Cyclamen (hardy selections)
  • Dwarf conifers
  • Carex (evergreen forms)
  • Euphorbia
  • Mukdenia (great fall colour, deciduous)
  • Skimmia
  • Dwarf Rhododendrons and Azaleas
  • Beesia
  • Ophiopogon (Black Mondo Grass)
  • Bergenia
  • Ferns (evergreen forms)
  • Broadleaf evergreens (so many to select from)
  • Ilex (deciduous forms have attractive berries)
  • Callicarpa (deciduous, purple berries)
  • Yucca
  • Cornus (deciduous, coloured stems)
  • Gaultheria

These plants and many others are available at Art's Nursery. Please call 604.882.1201 ahead of time to confirm availability if you are looking for a specific item or variety.


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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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