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Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Posted By: Desiree Markewich in Indoor Plants

I know there are many of us out there who would love to take part in the house plant trend, growing bigger every year, but through past failures are feeling discouraged. Here are 8 easy to care for plants that will earn back your confidence, and before you know it you will have your very own indoor jungle! 

We must begin with by far the most uncomplicated 2 plants, both of which are know for being tolerant of very low light and preferring to be watered infrequently. Lest we say these 2 are the plant for you if you struggle with low light or remembering to water.


The Snake Plant / Mother in Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria) most commonly has long, wide blade-like foliage in silvery-blue, deep green or a green with a yellow variegation. You can also find snake plants with rounded, rush like foliage or that grow in a more stacked, or fanned shape. This plant can take some seriously low light, but keep in mind low light doesn’t mean no light. If you can’t easily read a book in the daylight falling on your plant, then this is too low of light. Move a little closer to the window if this is the case.


ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) has very attractive, shiny, tropical looking foliage. The thick, almost succulent-like leaves are responsible for the low water needs of this plant. It is a very well-behaved house plant that will reward you with many new leaves through out the season, even when placed in lower light situations. 


Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) is another plant tolerant of lower light and drying out between watering. Foliage of this beautiful indoor plant is available in many patterns and colours and can often be found in larger sizes. These larger plants are a great floor plant and look particularly stunning in a basket or in a container with a decorative stand.


Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica) is a lesser talked about relative to the very popular fiddle leaf fig tree but is much more forgiving in care. It will perform better in a higher light condition than our former 3 plants, preferring bright indirect sun. For watering, water regularly, not letting soil completely dry out between watering.


Pothos (Epipremnum) and our next plant are both good options if you are tight on floor space and want a hanging plant or something to put on a shelf that will do ‘down’ and not ‘up.’ Because of its easy nature this is a plant you often see in shopping malls or offices. If you notice your plant stretching or producing smaller foliage than pervious, you may want to move it into spot with more light. 


Heart Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum) has a much similar appearance to Pothos but is a little more tolerant of lower light and you will experience less of a reaction with underwatering. The only thing to keep in mind with both the Philodendron and the Pothos is over watering. Both plants can be prone to root rot, so if they are in a lower light condition make sure you are not watering more frequently than the plant can use it up. Think less light equals less photosynthesis taking place, therefore your plants will use less water. Little to no water leaves the soil through evaporation.


Air Plants (Tillandsia) are a unique plant that grows without the presence of soil. Due to this you can get creative with how you display them, using them as a living kind of art. For care they require bright, indirect light and a10-15 min soak in water every 1-2 weeks. For more care tips see our Air Plant care page!


Cactus are the ultimate low water, easy care house plant. All they ask is that you provide them with a bright sunny spot, this means receiving at least 6-8 hours of sun per day. The other important thing to know when it comes to cacti is to ease up completely on watering during the winter months. Many cacti go into dormancy during winter, requiring little to no water until spring comes again. 

I hope you have learned a few things and feel inspired to try one of these rewarding plants. Be assured that no matter how much experience we have, there are always new things for us to discover and mistakes to be made and that sometimes the best way to learn is through our experiences of defeat, so don’t be discouraged if you lose a plant. It just means you can try another!
 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Summer Garden

The Summer Garden

Posted By: Marian Vaughan in Gardening

There is a myth, probably born in heat & nurtured in the longing for shade & leisure, that there “isn’t much to do” in the garden in the heat of summer. There is another, born more respectably of summer’s flat light, that the garden itself is dull.

Alas (in one case) and fortunately (in another) both are myths: the summer garden has much to offer in way of work and beauty. Let’s start with chores. Do them early in the day, promising yourself some time in the shade, with your beverage of choice to follow as a reward for your hard work.


Generally, you have still got to keep weeding, but it’s time to stop feeding. By the end of the month, you don’t want to encourage new sappy growth. Winter is not coming soon, but it is coming. You want all your plants to be aware of this change: allow berries to form, allow growth to harden. In each department specifically:

Trees

Keep well hydrated, but intelligently. When you water a plant that has good drainage, and it has dried out 4 inches below the surface, water it well around the dripline and you will be carrying oxygen to the roots along with water. If drainage is bad, the roots sit in water and the plant drowns.  If you water too briefly, the plant maintains a shallow root system and the need for water is increased.  Trees with shallow roots are also more vulnerable to wind.  So, in sum: ensure good drainage from the beginning, then water infrequently but deeply (at least 8-12" into the ground).

Mid Summer is also a good time to prune several fruit and ornamental trees.  There is a kind of secondary dormancy that sets in during the heat, and difficult trees like Japanese maples can be thinned and shaped without difficulty as long as the temperature is not above 27C.  

Shrubs

In the shrub garden, roses should be pruned for the last time in August to encourage new growth.  After this pruning, you must leave them alone to form hips. Rosehips are nature's way of saying to the plant: winter is coming, enough with the new growth. A rose hardened off in this way will survive much better than one that keeps trying to throw out sappy growth.


Hydrangeas will be performing their yearly colour change. Some people like to nip the top flowers to encourage more shoots from the sides on the “repeat” varieties. On the other hand, the maturation of that flower urges the plant to form strong growth for the coming year.


In general, it is better to leave shrubs alone at this time, the urge to be too tidy can lead to winter death.

However, yew and boxwood hedges should be trimmed now to encourage the formation of dense growth. It is also a good idea to do a good shearing of cedar hedges at this time.

Perennials

In the perennial garden, it is time to divide iris and peonies to share.  They too enter a dormant period in July and August, and it is not difficult to lift them and break off pieces of rhizome or root to create new plants for your friends. Broken roots of poppies will also regenerate surprisingly quickly if planted at one.

It is also a good thing to deadhead or shear back perennials. You will often get a small rebloom in the summer, but don't go crazy, cutting them back to nothing: remember here too that sappy growth is dangerous when the cold comes in fall.  Luckily here in the lower mainland, the real cold doesn't typically arrive until December and January, so these cautions only apply in October or so.

Bulbs

It is the time when many bulbs come on sale at local nurseries. Plants such as daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, crocus and many more. Try to get to them, and get them planted, as soon as possible. Some bulbs (notoriously snowdrops) really loathe being dried out, and the sooner you can get them in the ground, the better.

Lawn

In drought & heat, reserve water for gardens. Lawns cope with heat by going brown & rebound as soon as rains start. Heaven knows we have a LOT of rain.  Once it starts, you can mow, but leave lawn clippings on surface to nourish the growing grass.

 

On the bright side - Hardy fuchsias are still going strong, hibiscus & buddleia are holding their own, and of course, there are roses, whose wonderful fragrance we can enjoy. It is a long time before autumn will start to turn the colour of the leaves and lay a frigid hand on the garden.  

Having done your self-assigned chores in the morning, you now have a chance to sit on the deck, gaze upon with pleasure and enjoy the fruits of your labour.


Thursday, June 20, 2019
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Shrubs

Hydrangeas are a lovely and diverse genus, many of which have become essential parts of our garden vocabulary.
Hydrangea Group

Most of us are familiar with the "old fashioned hydrangea": hydrangea macrophylla, and mostly with it in its round headed (mob-cap) form. In England, this variety is called "mob-cap" after the rounded cap worn indoors by married women in the late 18th/early 19th century. Here in North America, they are more usually called mop heads. Having grown up in an English tradition, I found this very odd at first!!
Hydrangea Mophead

This shrub has a lot going for it: it flowers for a very long time starting in the summer when few shrubs but roses are in bloom. Unlike the rose it is equally happy in sun and in shade, though it requires more water in full sun. And, also unlike the rose, it needs no deadheading or summer pruning; the round flowers of macrophylla are lovely from the time they first appear, often in strange shades of ivory & green, slowly deepening to their ultimate colours of blue or pink, and then, as fall approaches, evolving into yet stranger colours of violet, burgundy, wine and tan. These flowers dry well, and, if you like, can be sprayed with gold for Christmas decoration!
Lacecap Hydrangea

As well as mobcaps, hydrangea macrophylla has a lacecap form. Like the dogwood, what appears to be a flower is actually a bract surrounding the true flower, which is comparatively insignificant. In the mobcap above, the bulk of the flower is made of infertile bracts. In the lacecap, the centre of the flower is made up of tiny fertile flowers with a surrounding circle of bracts, looking much like a lace doily, or old fashioned lace cap, hence the name. These plants are generally more open and graceful in appearance than the mobcaps, but have many of the same attributes.

Both kinds of hydrangeas serve a good purpose in garden design. They fit very well with rhododendrons, liking the same conditions of soil and sun, and adding garden colour at a time when rhododendrons are long over. The lacecap is particularly nice here, its grace contrasting with the bulkier shape of rhododendrons. They fit equally well with the long blooming summer & fall perennials, adding some restful substance to the border.

Pannicle Hydrangea

In addition to these two forms of H. macrophylla, hydrangea paniculata (Peegee) is a treasured garden plant. Instead of a dome, the flowers form a cone, initially white (or green) deepening to rosy red and ultimately burgundy in a way reminiscent of macrophylla, but more striking because of the size of the flower. The plant too is larger with quite a different garden effect, with strong wands growing upwards. Often grown as a standard (("tree form") it makes a terrific central feature in a frontal bed.

Macrophylla in both its forms and paniculata are those most often encountered in gardens; but there are many others: hydrangea arborescens Annabelle (a very hardy form, blooming on new wood), hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea - very handsome in woodland), hydrangea aspera (extraordinarily shade tolerant) and of course, the climbing hydrangea: hydrangea petiolaris). These are all excellent plants but more suited to a wilder sort of garden than macrophylla and paniculata.

Some well established favourites:
 

Macrophylla : first the mobcaps

Sister Theresa pure white, each flower with a pale blue eye
Nikko Blue very large turquoise, a bit floppy, but gorgeous in acid soil
Glowing Embers reliably red in any soil

Lovely Lacecaps

Blaumeise (Teller Blue) blue turning brilliant pink in basic (alkaline) soil
Kardinal (Teller Red) rich deep pink turning purple in acid soil
Libelle (Teller White) white with deep blue centre which centre turns pink in basic soil

Paniculatas

Paniculata Grandiflora (the original PeeGee) pure white flowers aging rosy pink
Limelight soft green aging to pink
Brussels Lace a rare form with flowers like a lacecap white with no colour change
Quickfire white flowers turning pinkish red
 

For more information about growing Hydrangeas, read the Learn to Grow Hydrangeas Blog Post
If you're interested in any of these beautiful Hydrangeas, drop by the nursery and check out our collection. As always the selection and availability is always changing so call ahead if you're making a special trip


Friday, May 24, 2019
Posted By: Desiree Markewich in Feature Products
This week were featuring Hop Organic Compost, Persimmon Trees, a Spinning Gum, a Ruffled Echeveria and a number of other very cool plants. Check out What's New for May 24 2019 at Arts Nursery
Hop Organic Compost

Hop Organic Compost

Hop uses patented technology to transform food scraps into Canada’s most nutrient-rich organic compost. Hop is a craft compost that nourishes soil with organic matter and macro-nutrients for sustained plant growth. Simply add a 1 inch top dressing of Hop to native soil. Contains 84% organic matter with a guaranteed analysis of 2.8-1.4-1.5. Hop is OMRI Listed for Certified Organic food growth in Canada

Fuyu Japanese Persimmon Tree

Fuyu Japanese Persimmon

Diospyros kaki 'Fuyu'

Fuyu Persimmon is an outstanding deciduous fruit tree. Fall foliage is a brilliant orange-red. Showy, bright orange-scarlet fruit ripens in late fall and remains on the bare stems well into winter. Non-astringent, firm-fleshed fruit is best if given time to soften slightly after harvesting from tree. Very late to leaf out and to produce fruit. Best grown in full sun. Can reach 30ft in height.

  Ruffles Echeveria

Echeveria Ruffles

Ruffles Echeveria is a stunning succulent with dramatically ruffled, fleshy gray-green rosettes and a soft red edging that is more intense in full sun. Red-orange flowers appear on tall stalks in late summer. Adds a wonderful texture to rock gardens, dry borders, and containers. A frost-tender evergreen. Must be brought inside before frost. Best in full sun

Baptisia Decadence Lemon Meringue

Baptisia Decadence Lemon Meringue

Lemon Meringue False Indigo

Baptisia Lemon Meringue is a North American native perennial with long, charcoal grey stems that carry cool lemon yellow flowers. Excellent floral display atop the compact, upright mound of blue-green foliage. Grows 30-36 inches in height and spread. Best in full to part sun. Hardy in zones 4-9

Joanna Marlene Itoh Peony

Joanna Marlene Itoh Peony

Paeonia Itoh Joanna Marlene

Joanna Marlene Itoh Peonies feature very large, semi-double yellow blooms with a rich golden center and a deep pink blush on the outer petals that develops into a peachy salmon color as they mature. The magnificent blooms are held on strong stems just above sturdy, compact plants with lush, dark green foliage. A wonderful addition to any spring bouquet. An herbaceous perennial. Hardy in USDA zones 4-9. Best grown in full to part sun. Can reach 30 inches in height and similar spread.

Spinning Gum Tree

Spinning Gum Tree

Eucalyptus perriniana 
In its native habitat of Australia, the Spinning Gum Tree is a fast growing evergreen tree with a spreading habit. Smooth bark flakes off in ribbons in colours of white, gray and green. Attractive scented foliage gives off a menthol-like aroma. Leaves begin begin rounded and mature to a lance-shape over time. Creamy white flowers emerge in spring in clusters. Awesome specimen tree, but not quite hardy enough in our climate. Zones 8-10. Can grow to 30ft in height and 15-20ft wide. Best grown in full sun in moist, but well drained soils. Mini Bonsai Azaleas

Mini Bonsai Azaleas

Red, Rose and Purple

These mini azaleas are perfect as outdoor table-top specimens or bonsai starts. Cool sizes and shapes. Three colours available. Red, Rose or Purple, Best grown in part to full sun. Blooms in spring.

If you're interested in any of these cool new plants or products, drop by the nursery or give us a call at 604.882.1201. As always, our selection is always changing and quantities may be limited. Please call ahead to reserve if you are making a special trip and we'd be happy to put a few of these treasures aside for you


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


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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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Tuesday, September 17, 2019
8 Easy Care House Plants You’ll Love

I know there are many of us out there who would love to take part in the house plant trend, growing ...

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