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Saturday, August 24, 2019
Posted By: Marian Vaughan in Trees

​​​Hungry for spring, we so often choose our trees: cherries, deciduous magnolias, dogwoods, stewartia based on the show they put on at that time. Or we choose fall colour or winter bark. These are all good choices, but today I just want to make a special plea for two truly great trees, Albizia and Magnolia grandiflora.


Walking through the nursery today, I stopped briefly to smell the huge flower of a Magnolia grandiflora sitting at a convenient nose height. Imagine my surprise to find the entire chalice (I assure you there is no better word) packed with bees.


In my own front garden a large Albizia spreads its dappled shade thirty feet high and wide. It is too high for me to notice bees, but butterflies & hummingbirds congregate there all summer.
 


The Albizia needs full sun & good drainage to thrive, but in those conditions, provides the filtered shade most perfect for a patio, or a fishpond. Holds a very tropical appearance — hence the common name mimosa or silk tree. There is now a smaller version 'Summer Chocolate' with foliage that deepens to near chocolate in the summer, adding a wonderful contrast to the rosy pink flowers.


The Magnolia blooms best in full sun, but, preferring more shelter, will still bloom well in a little shade. It is evergreen, unlike the Albizia, & the foliage is extremely handsome, making it a fantastic anchor plant in a garden. It too looks tropical but in a different way, having a fuzzy brown reverse to the leaves which has earned it the common name 'Teddy-Bear Magnolia'.

Both of these deliciously fragrant, long blooming beauties contribute in their own way to the garden. Bringing an exotic element to your space that adds a great deal of ambience and romance.



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.


Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Posted By: Arts Nursery Staff in Conifers

Our world can change so quickly. We move into our first home with its tiny yard. We leave a larger home with a large yard that we have loved, for a smaller home with a smaller yard that we will love just as much. There just isn’t room for that 20’- 30’ tree or that large mugo pine. But, what hasn’t changed is our desire to enjoy our yards whether looking through a window, or enjoying a day outside.

It is often our sanctuary, no matter the size. It brings us joy, or perhaps provides us with quiet solitude. We create a lifetime of new memories in it. That is a tall order for a small yard, but one the nursery industry has recognized. The list of semi-dwarf and true dwarf evergreens and deciduous trees is growing at such a fast pace. The choices are absolutely amazing, but as the selection has grown, making the right choices has become difficult at times. No matter the size of your garden, it is still too easy to buy a plant because you just love it only to find that it outgrows its space, or just doesn’t fit. I am quite sure most of us can identify with this experience. So, I want to share with you a selection of my all-time favorites. Plants that I know stand the test of time and provide easy care for years.

Let’s start with three very different and equally beautiful deciduous trees. Let me assure you though, there are so many more to choose from at the nursery.

Full Moon Maple in Container

Acer japonicum 'Full Moon'

One of my favorites is Acer japonicum 'Full Moon'. Although this picture shows what an outstanding container plant it is, it does equally well in the garden. This is an award winning tree, and for good reason. The tree naturally has an upright, densely branched form. The leaves are strikingly shaped, having 7-11 lobes. It thrives in part shade to shade and will require little to no pruning due to its natural eye-catching form. It is a very slow growing tree, taking years to reach 8’-10’. Another important attribute is its incredible fall color, turning the most amazing shades of red with the display lasting for weeks as this treasure holds on to its leaves long into the fall.

Zone – Hardy to Zone 5

Water needs – Even moisture

Sun requirements – morning sun, afternoon shade, will tolerate full sun with enough moisture, but watch for leaf burn

Height and Width 10’. Given the decades it needs, it can reach a maximum of 20ft high and 12ft wide

Cornus Kousa Wolf Eyes
Cornus Kousa Wolf Eyes

Cornus kousa 'Wolf Eyes'

Cornus Kousa 'Wolf Eyes' has been growing in my garden now for at least 15 years. I have watched it survive, flooding, drought, freezing rain, snow load, extreme heat….the list goes on. It is a true champion and comes through everything nature can throw at it just as spectacularly as the year before. This is a reliable variegated form of Dogwood, now standing at 8 feet high and about six feet wide. I absolutely love this tree. While reversion to green for variegated plants can be an issue … not so with this beauty. Once it finishes flowering, the green leaves accented with ivory along their edges make this tree shine like a beacon in the summer. It handles morning sun and loves even moisture. It takes on a unique pink and scarlet fall color. Its wavy leaves show this tree to its maximum beauty year round.

Zone – Hardy to Zone 5

Water needs – even moisture

Sun requirements – morning sun and afternoon shade but tolerant of full sun

Height and Width to date (15 years) – 8ft high by 6ft wide

Plant with – picea abies pendula – one shaped to keep a low profile

Acer palmatum Twombleys Red Sentinel

Acer palmatum 'Twomblys Red Sentinel'

Acer palmatum Twombly’s Red Sentinel has quickly weaved its way into the hearts of not just the lovers of Japaneses Maples, but the public in general. Who would not love the look of those gorgeous larger red Japanese Maples in a compact, but equally stunning form? It has all the characteristics that you have come to expect from a maple . . . the rich burgundy foliage in the spring to the scarlet red foliage in the late fall and all the other expectations in between. While its overall size is much smaller, it will not make you wait long to be able to appreciate its addition to your garden.

Zone – Hardy to Zone 5

Water needs – Average moisture

Sun requirements – Part sun to full sun Size – 10ft -12ft high 5ft-6ft wide

Plant with – goes with almost every plant in your garden. Try weeping long needled white pines

Pinus mugo Carstens Winter Gold
Pinus mugo Carstens Winter Gold Fall Colour

Pinus mugo 'Carstens Wintergold'

Pinus mugo Carsten’s Wintergold – Pines have been a staple of gardens for decades and are a passion for me, as they are so varied in size, shape, and color. They seem to withstand almost any condition other than deep shade and are considered somewhat drought hardy once established. They are also not picky about soil, growing in almost any medium but very heavy wet clay. There is literally a pine for almost every corner of the garden, large or small. However, none stands out for versatility as much as this little gem. This shrub is considered by many to be one of the best winter gold pines available. If you are shopping in the late spring or summer look for a deep medium green shrub. If you are shopping in the fall, look for a butter yellow shrub with green hues deep in the center. It is almost magical to watch it warming into a butter yellow for the winter year after year. It is a true dwarf in that it puts on less that two inches of growth per year. The shrubs shown in these photos are 8 years old now and have never been pruned.

Zone – Hardy to Zone 2

Water needs – Average to light moisture once stablished

Sun requirements – Full sun for best color

Size – 18in-24in high 18in-24in wide

Plant with or near – picea procumbens glauca pendula
Chamaecyparis obtusa Nana Gracilis

Chamaecyparis obtusa nana gracilis

Chaemcyparis obtusa nana gracillis is another award winning plant pick. It has been gracing our gardens for over 150 years, adding a naturally sculpted look without a pruner ever touching it. It has dark green foliage with a fan-like layered look, putting on growth in an irregular but eye-catching manner. There is little to say about this treasure as it speaks for itself once you see it. There are several different cultivars that have varied applications for your garden. This is an easy choice for the smaller yard. Bu,t look for this plant in gold hues too – known as Chaemcyparis obtusa nana gracillis aurea.

Zone – Hardy to Zone 5

Water needs – Average to light moisture once stablished

Sun requirements – Full sun to part shade

Size –6ft high 4ft wide

Plant with – weeping burgundy Japanese maple

Nandina domestica Gulf Stream

Nandina domestica 'Gulf Stream'

Nandina domestica Gulf Stream is not what you typically think of when you mention evergreen shrubs, but it is in a class all its own. Also known as false bamboo, please do not let the nickname fool you. It is nothing like the running bamboos many of us picture. It isn’t even in the same family. It is only due to the look of the foliage that it has acquired this misnomer! This is truly one of the most versatile and beautiful evergreen shrubs to have in your garden, with leaf color ranging from bluish-greens, oranges, golds, to reds, and bronze. This is a tough little plant, going so far as to be planted en masse in city boulevards. But it is just at home in your garden. It also makes a great addition to your winter container planting.

Zone – Hardy to Zone 6
Water needs – Drought tolerant once established

Sun requirements – Full sun to light or open shade

Size –3ft high 3ft wide

Plant with – Juniper Bluestar or Pinus Slowmound

As always, call ahead if you are interested in any of these plants as our selection is always changing!


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Dormant Oil Spray

Protect Your Fruit Trees from Insect Damage & Fungus

Spring is on its way, and now is the last chance to protect your trees by applying dormant oil spray and lime Sulphur BEFORE bud break. Combat disease and pesky insects such as scale, mites, and leafrollers in one easy step by using this spray kit on fruit trees, deciduous shrubs, and ornamentals. Do not spray on evergreens.

If you’re only going to apply one treatment this year to protect your fruit trees and keep your garden clean - this is it! To learn more about this product, continue reading below...

Dormant Oil Spray Kit


What is Dormant Oil Spray?
Dormant oil spray is available in a kit that contains a lime sulphur and horticultural oil that are combined together to kill over-wintering insects (such as scale, mites, and leafrollers) and control disease & fungus. The oil suffocates insects and their eggs nesting in branches. It’s the best preventative measure you can take by cutting off most of the insect population to protect your trees from damage.


When to Apply
Use dormant oil with lime sulphur any time during winter when temperatures are above freezing. Plants need to be dormant - apply before spring buds begin to open.
 
  • Use on fruit and other deciduous trees, shrubs, and ornamentals
  • DO NOT apply to evergreens, beeches, Japanese Maple trees, or Colorado Blue Spruce


How to Use
For proper mixing instructions and safety precautions, always follow the directions according to the package.
  • Once mixed, the easiest method to apply is by using a pressurized sprayer or a specific applicator that attaches to your garden hose.
  • Mix only what you can use, as you cannot save the prepared solution for later use. Always wear protective clothing and goggles when spraying any garden pesticide.
  • ONLY apply when the plant is completely dormant (no signs of growth)
  • Start spraying at the top of the plant until it just starts to bead off the branches, and then work your way down. Spray around the base of your tree or bush. The spray will be more efficient on a day without wind, and dry days are best.

Dormant oil spray is the best protective treatment to help kill over-wintering insects, eggs, and fungal spores from your deciduous trees, shrubs, and ornamentals. This is the most beneficial treatment to apply to your fruit trees, and NOW is the time to do it - before new spring growth starts to appear!

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!


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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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