Clematis Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants

E-Newsletter: Mid-April 2012

The Phoenix Perennials E-Newsletter
Mid-April 2012

 

Hello from Phoenix Perennials!

At this busy time of year the monthly e-newsletter often becomes a twice-monthly e-newsletter in order to cover all of the plants and goings on at the nursery. This "Mid"-April e-newsletter is a bit late as I've just gotten back from a week leading a UBC Alumni tour to Holland and Belgium. In this issue you'll find the first of a three part series entitled "Tulip Time in Holland" on what I saw on my trip. The first installment takes you to the incredible Aalsmeer Flower Auction, the largest in the world! Later installments will cover Floriade, the world horticultural expo and Keukenhof, the famous bulb display gardens.

In this issue you'll find announcements for our upcoming May Maple Mania weekend complete with a free workshop from Doug Justice and a maple container workshop from our own Shelley Brignall. We also give you a heads up on other upcoming special events, workshops, Charity Shopping Weekends (the first of the season starts this weekend) and our new t-shirt.

We introduce you to our new and improved section at the nursery that we are calling our Living Sculpture section. See below for more details and photos. We highlight 250+ new plants that we'll have at the nursery this year with a link to a searchable database so you can check them all out. And last but not least: Fabulous at Phoenix filled with lots of delectable plants to excite you about gardening.

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

PS. If you live in Surrey and get the Now watch for our offer in the upcoming Auction Mart!

 

May Maple Mania
Friday through Sunday May 4th to 6th, 2012
More Info

Featuring an incredible selection of Japanese and other maples plus a free workshop by maple expert and UBC Botanical Garden Associate Director Doug Justice.

 

Please Share The E-News with your Friends and Neighbours

At the bottom of this email there is an option to "Forward Email". We'd love it if you could forward this email to as many of your neighbours and friends as possible, as long as you think they would appreciate it!

Recycle Your Plastic Pots!
This year's National Plastic Recycling Event is June 22nd - July 1st, 2012. Save your pots till then when you can drop them off at Phoenix to be recycled.

Services at Phoenix Perennials
Wish List
Looking for a special plant? Let us know. We'll watch for it.
Design Service
Let our in-house designers help you create the garden of your dreams!
Mail Order
We can ship to you anywhere in Canada!
Gift Certificates
Give the gift of perennials: the perfect gift for the gardener in your life!

 


In this Issue

Opening Notes: News, Tidbits and the Phoenix Calendar

1. Tulip Time in Holland, Part 1 - The Largest Flower Auction in the World: Aalsmeer, Netherlands
2. Upcoming Special Events: May Maple Mania
3. Come Learn with Us: Workshops 2012
4. 250+ New Plants for 2012!
5.
Living Sculptures: A New and Improved Retail Section at the Nursery.
6. Collectible T-Shirt 2012: "The earth laughs in flowers."
7. Charity Shopping Weekends 2012: April - Health Around the World
8. Fabulous at Phoenix


Opening Notes: News, Tidbits and the Phoenix Calendar

The Best of Richmond 2012
Please Vote for Us!

If you live or spend time in Richmond we need your help. We would love for you to vote for us in this year's Best of Richmond under the category of "Best Gardening Store".

In a sign that it takes longer than 8 seasons to become well known in your own backyard, last year we didn't even place AND we got beat by Home Depot! Ouch.

The deadline to vote is April 30th.

Click Here to Start Voting!

 

The Phoenix Perennials Calendar
There's so much going on at the nursery all the time. Here's your resource to keep track.
Date
Event Description
Sat
April 28
CONTAINER SERIES | Living Wreaths: Plant Up a Wreath with Fantastic Succulents | Instructor: Belinda Cardoso | Sat April 28th | $14 + $40 Wreath Frame = $54 | Register Online!
Sun
April 29
CONTAINER SERIES | Perennial Hanging Baskets: To Boldly Go Where No Perennial Has Gone Before!  | Instructor: Belinda Cardoso | Sun April 29th, 1-3pm | $14 | Register Online!
Sat-Sun
April
28-29
Charity Shopping Weekend to Benefit: Health Around the World - The South Van Gogo Grannies, Seva Canada, International Health Initiatives
Fri-Sun
May 4-6
May Maple Mania
Featuring an incredible selection of Japanese maples
Plus a free workshop by maple expert Doug Justice and Container Workshop by Shelley Brignall. See below.
Sat
May 5
SPECIAL EVENT SERIES AT MAY MAPLE MANIA | The World of Maples | Instructor: Doug Justice, Associate Director, UBC Botanical Garden | Sat May 5th, 10-11am | FREE but book ahead. Spaces are limited. | Register Online!
Sat
May 5
SPECIAL EVENT SERIES AT MAY MAPLE MANIA | The Zen Woodland: Create a Pot Centred Around a Japanese Maple | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Sat May 5th, 1-3pm | $14 | Register Online!
Sat
May 12
CONTAINER SERIES | Containers to Die For: Discover the Easy Secrets to Success with Perennial Containers | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Sat May 12th, 10am-12pm | $14 | Register Online!
Sun
May 13
CONTAINER SERIES | Painting with Succulents: Plant a Shadowbox Planter for a Living Wall Masterpiece | Instructor: Belinda Cardoso | Sun May 13th, 1-3pm | $14 + $60 handmade shadowbox | Register Online!
Sat & Sun May
12-13

FREE 'Casablanca' Lily for Mothers on Mothers' Day Weekend!*
Bring your children, grandchildren or furry children (or a picture of them) to show us that you're a Mom and get your free lily! *With purchase over $10 before taxes, while supplies last.

Sat-Sun
May 12-13
Charity Shopping Weekend to Benefit: Health in our Communities - North American Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society, British Columbia Schizophrenia Society, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada (Lower Mainland Chapter),
WISH Drop-In Centre Society
Sat
May 19
DOWN TO EARTH SERIES | Phoenix Fresh Edibles: Veggies and Herbs for Small Gardens and Containers | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Sat May 19th, 10am-12pm | $14 | Register Online!
Sat
May 19
CONTAINER SERIES | Succulent Jewels: Plant an Echeveria Bowl | Instructor: Belinda Cardoso | Sat May 19th, 1-3pm | $12 | Register Online!
Sun
May 20
KIDS SERIES | Phoenix Fresh Veggies FOR KIDS!: Plant Up a Container with Fun and Crazy Edibles | Instructor: Kate | Sun May 20th, 1-3pm | $12 for one parent and one child, $5 per additional child. | Register Online!
Sat
May 26
CONTAINER SERIES | Fantastic Foliage: Create a Technicolour Container That Doesn't Need Flowers | Instructor: Belinda | Sat May 26th, 10am-12pm | $14 | Register Online!
Sun
May 27
KIDS SERIES | Butterflies, Bees and Hummingbirds: Plant Up a Pot to Attract Winged Visitors | Instructor: JoAnn Turner | Sun May 27th, 1-3pm | $12 + tax for one parent and child. $5 + tax for each additional child. | Register Online!
Sat-Sun
May 26-27
Charity Shopping Weekend to Benefit: Fur and Feathers - The Richmond Animal Protection Society (RAPS), Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary
Sat
June 2
KIDS SERIES | Miniature Gardens FOR KIDS: Make Your Own Princess Garden or Yoda Swamp | Instructor: Kate Herring | Sat June 2nd, 10am-12pm | $30 + tax. Includes a pot, all plants and materials. | Register Online!
Sun
June 3
POWER OF PERENNIALS SERIES | Architectural Plants: Add Drama, Structure and Presence in the Garden | Instructor: JoAnn Turner | Sun June 3rd, 1-3pm | $12 | Register Online!
Sat
June 9
POWER OF PERENNIALS SERIES | Grasses that Captivate: The Transformative Powers of Ornamental Grasses | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Sat June 9th, 10am-12pm | $14 | Register Online!
Sun
June 10
POWER OF PERENNIALS SERIES | Sizzling Succulents: Drama, Structure and Intrigue with Succulent Foliage | Instructor: Gary Lewis | Sun June 10th, 1-3pm | $12 | Register Online!
Sat-Sun
June
9-10
Charity Shopping Weekend to Benefit: Arts and Education - The Community Arts Council of Richmond, General Brock Elementary School, Dixon Elementary School
Sat-Sun
June
16-17
FREE "Guy-Lardia" for Fathers on Fathers' Day Weekend!*
Bring your children, grandchildren or furry children (or a picture of them) to show us that you're a Dad and get your free "guy-lardia" (gaillardia or blanket flower)! *With purchase over $10 before taxes, while supplies last.
Sat
June 16
POWER OF PERENNIALS SERIES | Top Plant Performers for the West Coast Garden: Summer | Instructor: Shelley | Sat June 16th, 10am-12pm | $12 | Register Online!
Tues
June 19
Avoiding the Summer Doldrums: Great Garden Plants for Summer and Fall
Presented to the Evergreen Garden Club

Delta, BC, Contact Terry at tafindlay at dccnet.com
Wed
June 27
Avoiding the Summer Doldrums: Great Garden Plants for Summer and Fall
Presented to the Saltspring Island Garden Club

Saltspring Island, Contact Marcia at everlastingsummer at saltspring.com
July 4-10
Groupon or Coupon?: Using conventional and modern marketing strategies to build and maintain your customer base
Presented to the Perennial Plant Association at the 30th Annual Symposium, Boston, Massachusetts
Fri-Sun
July
13-15
The Summer Sizzle
Celebrating Summer with Free Workshops and Special Prices
Sat Sept 8
The Heirloom Tomato Festival
With tomato tastings, heirloom tomato fruit for sale and a display of heirloom tomatoes! | Sign up early for our Tomato Tastings. Last year they sold out with 100 people still on the wait list! View images from last year's event!
Sat
Sept 8

SPECIAL EVENT SERIES AT THE HEIRLOOM TOMATO FESTIVAL | Tomato Tastings | Instructor: Gary Lewis | Sat Sept 8th, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm | $12 + $16 included Party Mix = $28 | Register Online!

Sat
Sept 15
POWER OF PERENNIALS SERIES | Top Plant Performers for the West Coast Garden: Fall and Winter | Instructor: Shelley | Sat Sept 15th, 10am-12pm | $12 | Register Online!
Sat
Sept 22
CONTAINER SERIES | Jewels of the Spring Garden: Bulbs for Spring Containers | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Sat Sept 22nd, 10am-12pm | $14 | Register Online!
Sat
Sept 29
CONTAINER SERIES | Winter Containers to Die For: Plant Up a Container to Create Winter Interest | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Sat Sept 29th, 10am-12pm | $14 | Register Online!
Fri - Sun
Dec 1-3
The Christmas Hurrah!
Celebrate the Christmas rose, Helleborus niger, and other seasonal delights. The nursery will reopen for one weekend at the start of December for sales of the amazing Christmas rose and other members of the Helleborus Gold Collection plus other winter blooming plants. We'll be offering two workshops: a Christmas Rose Wreath Making Workshop and a Christmas Rose Outdoor Container Workshop plus a DIY project to doll up a Christmas Rose to bring it inside for holiday decoration. View images from last year's Christmas Hurrah!
Sat Dec 1
SPECIAL EVENT SERIES AT THE CHRISTMAS HURRAH! | Christmas Rose Wreath Making Workshop | Instructor: Diane Levings, Full Bloom Flowers | Sat Dec 1st, 10am-12pm | $55 Includes all materials. | Register Online!
Sat Dec 1
SPECIAL EVENT SERIES AT THE CHRISTMAS HURRAH! | Christmas Rose Outdoor Container Workshop | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Sat Dec 1st, 1-3pm | $18 (Includes soil and the twigs and greens) | Register Online!

 

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1.

Tulip Time in Holland - Part 1

The Largest Flower Auction in the World: Aalsmeer, Netherlands

In April 2012 I visited the Netherlands while leading a UBC Alumni tour group along the waterways of Holland and Belgium. In this three part series I explore the incredible horticultural and floricultural nation of Holland. In this first installment we visit the Aalsmeer Flower Auction. In the next e-newsletters I'll take you to the incredible Keukenhof bulb display gardens and to the world horticultural expo Floriade which takes place only every 10 years. In addition to these articles and their accompanying photos you'll find links to YouTube videos and additional photo galleries of these incredible places.

The Aalsmeer Flower Auction is located outside of Amsterdam near Schipol Airport in the Netherlands. It is the largest flower auction in the world housed in the fifth largest building in the world by floor space at 10.6 million square feet. Every day 20 million flowers and plants move through the auction with a 10% increase around special days like Valentines Day and Mothers' Day. That amounts to billions of flowers every year.

The flowers sold at the auction are grown in Holland and around the world in countries like Israel, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, and South America. The flowers are trucked or flown in - often within 24 hours of picking - they are sold at auction and then they are loaded onto jets to be shipped around the world. All of the flowers at Aalsmeer are for export. Other flower auctions in Holland serve the regional markets.

FloraHolland, the group that runs Aalsmeer and five other auctions around the Netherlands, is a cooperative made up of 6000 growers. These growers sell all of their flowers and plants through the FloraHolland auctions. This structure has been in place for over one hundred years. It has helped to guarantee a stable, broad and international supply of flowers and plants with a pricing system that works for both growers and purchasers.

 

The Auction Halls - The flowers are sold via a Dutch-style auction. The buyers sit in an amphitheatre overlooking two large screens. On a track in the floor under each screen the trolleys of flowers that are up for auction are slowly pulled through. The large screens display all of the information on the product below including its name, price, grade, total number available, the supplier's name, country of origin, and stage of maturity.

Central to this screen is the "clock" which represents the current price for a particular lot of flowers. The price starts high and then drops quickly. Each buyer sits at a computerized console. When he or she wishes to purchase flowers at a certain price they hit a button. Everyone is trying to get the product they need for their businesses at the lowest price. The clock represents a gamble. If you wait too long for the clock to drop to a good price someone else might buy the flowers out from under you. If you really need a certain flower then you better bid high! The clock moves quickly. Each lot of flowers is sold in mere seconds. Remember: 20 million flowers have to be sold every day!

There are other challenges to the bidding process. Each auction hall usually has two clocks selling different product simultaneously. One florist friend who has much experience with Dutch-style auction systems points out that you have to be careful when using such systems. Bidders, especially inexperienced ones, have been known to hit the wrong button and buy whatever is on the other clock in the room. There are no returns at a Dutch auction. Once you hit that button the product is yours!

 

The Warehouse Floor - The warehouse floor has two purposes. The first is to stage the flowers as they make their way towards the auction hall for auction. These long processions of carts are pulled along a track in the floor. In the picture at right you can see two processions heading towards the auction hall. The order of the carts is precisely timed so that when they enter the auction hall the data for that cart is shown on the overhead screen. How the Dutch organize it I have no idea but the system is impressive.

Once the flowers are sold in the auction hall the carts are moved out of the hall, they are labelled with the purchaser's information and they are picked up by an auction employee on an electric-powered, orange vehicle. In some cases the employee will pick up just one cart. At other times entire train loads of carts can be seen traveling the warehouse floor. The result is a fascinating scene filled with countless orange vehicles zooming every which way pulling behind them colourful cart loads of flowers. Sometimes there are traffic jams and employees get stuck amongst other orange vehicles and flower carts. Sometimes they wait for the jam to clear and other times they gently nudge their way forward to push an obstructive flower cart out of the way.

The purpose of this colourful dance is to stage the flower carts for export. The carts of each purchaser are collected together in one place. From there the carts will be quickly loaded onto trucks or planes to be delivered across Europe and around the world!

Closer to Home: While flowers from Aalsmeer could easily end up in our local grocery stores and florist shops, many BC cut flower lovers will be interested to know that the majority of the flowers available in our region are sold through a similar Dutch-style flower auction in Burnaby. When I have gone to the auction with my florist friends at least 80% of the flowers sold there are from our large floriculture industry in the Fraser Valley. We actually ship a lot of product south into Washington, Oregon and even California!

 

View More Images of the Aalsmeer Flower Auction

View a YouTube Video of the Aalsmeer Flower Auction

View Images of Tulip and Bulb Fields in Holland

Coming Soon in the Next Issues of the E-Newsletter
Tulip Time in Holland Part 2: The Keukenhof Bulb Gardens
Tulip Time in Holland Part 3: Floriade, the world horticultural expo

Thank you to the UBC Alumni Association for asking me to host this tour!


2.

Upcoming Special Events at the Nursery

May Maple Mania
Friday through Sunday May 4th to 6th, 2012

Featuring an incredible selection of Japanese and other maples plus a free workshop by maple expert and UBC Botanical Garden Associate Director Doug Justice and an exciting maple container workshop by our Shelley Brignall.

SPECIAL EVENT SERIES AT MAY MAPLE MANIA | The World of Maples | Instructor: Doug Justice, Associate Director, UBC Botanical Garden | Sat May 5th, 10-11am | FREE but book ahead. Spaces are limited. | The Japanese maples commonly available to the gardening community, while lovely, poorly represent the astounding diversity and breathtaking beauty of this most useful group of small trees. Doug is an expert on maples. At this workshop he will wax poetic about the beauty and diversity of Japanese and related maples and then get practical and talk about growing them in the garden and containers. Register Online!

SPECIAL EVENT SERIES AT MAY MAPLE MANIA | The Zen Woodland: Create a Pot Centred Around a Japanese Maple | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Sat May 5th, 1-3pm | $14 | There are many wonderful small Japanese maples that are excellent in containers. In this workshop you'll be introduced to an incredible diversity of maple options and then build a calm yet beautiful woodland moment in a pot beneath the elegant branches of your new maple.
The price of the workshop includes soil but it does not include your pot or the plants you select. Please bring your own large pot (minimum 12-14 inches in diametre) with enough space for at least 3 to 5 one gallon perennials. A large, black, seven gallon plastic pot can be provided at an additional cost of $7. Please note that the best size maple for your pot will be a 1 gallon plant that is usually about $49.99. Register Online!

 

Special Events Later in the Season

Mothers' Day Free* Lily | Saturday and Sunday May 12th and 13th, 2012 | Mom's need beautiful things and Phoenix Perennials is here for Moms on Mothers' Day. On Mothers' Day weekend come on down, show us that you're a Mom or Grand Mom by bringing your kids (pets count too) or a picture of them and we'll give you a free lily as a thank you for raising the next generation of gardeners. *With purchase over $10, while supplies last.

Fathers' Day Free* "Guy-Lardia" | Saturday and Sunday June 16th and 17th, 2012 | Show us that you're a Dad or Grand Dad by bringing your kids (pets count too) or a picture of them and we'll give you a free "Guy-Lardia" (otherwise known as Gaillardia or blanket flower) as a thank you for raising the next generation. *With purchase over $10, while supplies last.

The Summer Sizzle | Friday to Sunday July 13th to 15th, 2012 | 10am-5pm | Celebrate the botanical glories of high summer | Come enjoy free workshops, special displays from our annual Great Plant Combinations Contest, our display gardens in full bloom and specially priced plants.

The Heirloom Tomato Festival | Saturday September 8th, 2012 | 10am-5pm | With tomato tastings, heirloom tomato fruit for sale and a display of heirloom tomatoes! | Sign up early for our Tomato Tastings. Last year they sold out with 100 people still on the wait list! View images from last year's event!

The Christmas Hurrah! | Friday to Sunday December 1st to 3rd, 2012 | 10am - 5pm | Celebrate the Christmas rose, Helleborus niger, and other seasonal delights. The nursery will reopen for one weekend at the start of December for sales of the amazing Christmas rose and other members of the Helleborus Gold Collection plus other winter blooming plants. A tradition in Europe for decades, these hellebores can be enjoyed like pointsettias inside the house and given as gifts at Christmas parties. They can then be planted in the garden in spring for years of Christmas cheer. We'll be offering two workshops: A Christmas Rose Wreath Making Workshop and a Christmas Rose Outdoor Container Workshop plus a DIY project to doll up a Christmas Rose to bring it inside for holiday decoration. View images from last year's Christmas Hurrah!

Mark your calendars!

 


3.

Come Learn With Us
Upcoming Workshops

 

April

CONTAINER SERIES | Living Wreaths: Plant Up a Wreath with Fantastic Succulents | Instructor: Belinda Cardoso | Sat April 28th | 10am-12pm | $14 + $40 Wreath Frame = $54 | And you thought wreaths were only for Christmas time! Belinda will introduce you to an intriguing idea in succulent gardening – planting up a wreath with sempervivums, echeverias, sedums, thyme and other interesting succulents and companion plants. You can hang them on your sunny door or gate or lay them on a table as a centrepiece. No matter how you use them you’ll be sure to wow everyone with this unique garden feature. After some general instruction, each participant will have the opportunity to design and plant up their own wreath!The price includes a high quality wreath frame, moss and potting mix. The plants you select are not included. Register Online!

CONTAINER SERIES | Perennial Hanging Baskets: To Boldly Go Where No Perennial Has Gone Before!  | Instructor: Belinda Cardoso | Sun April 29th, 1-3pm | $14 | In this workshop you’ll take perennials into the unknown and on to the brave new world of the hanging basket. You’ll learn about perennials that are suitable for growing in hanging baskets in both sun and shade and then you’ll get a chance to plant up your own to take home with you!
Cost includes potting mix and moss. When you register you will have the option of purchasing a wire hanging basket and hanger for $8.99. You may also bring your own. If you do, we recommend a hanging basket that can be lined with moss as it increases your design options.
Register Online!

 

May

SPECIAL EVENT SERIES AT MAY MAPLE MANIA | The World of Maples | Instructor: Doug Justice, Associate Director, UBC Botanical Garden | Sat May 5th, 10-11am | FREE but book ahead. Spaces are limited. | The Japanese maples commonly available to the gardening community, while lovely, poorly represent the astounding diversity and breathtaking beauty of this most useful group of small trees. Doug is an expert on maples. At this workshop he will wax poetic about the beauty and diversity of Japanese and related maples and then get practical and talk about growing them in the garden and containers. Register Online!

SPECIAL EVENT SERIES AT MAY MAPLE MANIA | The Zen Woodland: Create a Pot Centred Around a Japanese Maple | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Sat May 5th, 1-3pm | $14 | There are many wonderful small Japanese maples that are excellent in containers. In this workshop you'll be introduced to an incredible diversity of maple options and then build a calm yet beautiful woodland moment in a pot beneath the elegant branches of your new maple.
The price of the workshop includes soil but it does not include your pot or the plants you select. Please bring your own large pot (minimum 12-14 inches in diametre) with enough space for at least 3 to 5 one gallon perennials. A large, black, seven gallon plastic pot can be provided at an additional cost of $7. Please note that the best size maple for your pot will be a 1 gallon plant that is usually about $49.99. Register Online!

CONTAINER SERIES | Containers to Die For: Discover the Easy Secrets to Success with Perennial Containers | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Sat May 12th, 10am-12pm | $14 | This is a fun hands-on workshop for gardeners of all levels who are interested in learning how to successfully create gorgeous perennial containers. After some practical and design instruction each participant will plant up and take home their own fabulous container. Please bring your own large pot (minimum 12-14 inches in diametre) with enough space for at least 3 to 5 one gallon perennials. A large, black, seven gallon plastic pot can be provided at an additional cost of $7. Please order your pot when you book your workshop. The price of the workshop includes your potting mix but not the plants you use. Register Online!

CONTAINER SERIES | Painting with Succulents: Plant a Shadowbox Planter for a Living Wall Masterpiece | Instructor: Belinda Cardoso | Sun May 13th, 1-3pm | $14 + $60 handmade shadowbox | Discover your inner artiste as you create a unique shadowbox "painting" using succulents such as hens and chicks, echeveria and sedums as your "paint" colours. This living wall can be hung on your sunny patio, balcony, gate or fence. Your friends will marvel at your creative talents!
The shadowboxes we are making specially for this event will resemble the image at right but with an elegant black frame. They will have have 1 foot by 1 foot of planting space surrounded by a two inch black frame. The price of the workshop includes your soil and the shadowbox but not the plants you use.
Register Online!

View the Complete List of Workshops for 2012

 

Booking Workshops

Spaces are limited. Please book in advance.

Online Registration: Registration for our workshops is now available online 24 hours a day seven days a week. Registration is through two of the most trusted names on the internet: Constant Contact and Paypal. Both use secure servers so you can feel safe paying online. If you wish to register by other methods you will need to call the nursery at 604-270-4133.

Each workshop requires a minimum of 8 people and a maximum of 15-25 depending on the workshop. If the minimum is not met we may not be able to run the workshop in which case we will contact you a few days before the scheduled date of the workshop and give you a credit towards another class, a credit at the nursery, or a refund.

If you are unable to attend a workshop you have already signed up for please give us 3 days notice. We would be happy to give you a credit towards another class or a credit at the nursery. We cannot offer credits, however, unless you let us know 3 days in advance of your workshop that you cannot attend.

 


4.

250+ New Plants for 2012!

At Phoenix Perennials we LOVE new plants. That's why in addition to garden stalwarts and rare and unusual offerings we also bring you hundreds of cutting edge new perennials every year. We have now updated our website with more than 250 new plants for 2012. You can view them all by visiting our Online Searchable Database. There are actually more new plants than that, if you can believe it. But I only have so much time to write plant descriptions. For the rest you'll have to watch the e-newsletter or, better yet, come visit us at the nursery.

Agastache 'Blue Boa' Knautia 'Thunder and Lightning' Dahlia Dark Angel
'Star Wars'
Hosta 'Rainbow's End'

While you're there you can also use our Perfect Plant Search, our Specialized Searches and our Name Search to explore our offerings. There are now almost 2000 plants in the Database which represent about half of our plant list of 4000 different perennials and other garden plants for 2012.

Echinacea Sombrero 'Salsa Red' Eucomis humilis
'Twinkle Stars'
Coreopsis Big Bang 'Star Cluster' Heucherella
'Solar Eclipse'

Please note that most of these plants are very new. We are growing them now. Some could be ready now but most won't be ready until May and June. Send us an email with the plants you're interested in. We'll add you to the Wish List and email you when the plants are ready.

Cypripedium 'Aki' Polygonatum
'Double Stuff'
Clematis I Am Happy Kniphofia 'Orange Vanilla Popsicle'

Hot Diggity! Show Me Those New Plants!

If you would like any of the plants highlighted above or on our website, send us an email. We'll put you on the Wish List and email you when they're ready!


5.

Living Sculptures
A New and Improved Retail Section at the Nursery

We have been very busy this spring at the nursery. Among our many projects was to expand our retail display area by removing a garden bed to create a new section dedicated to "Living Sculptures" - hardy and non hardy succulents, dwarf conifers and other plants that add drama and know how to strike a pose! For those of you familiar with the nursery, this area is just outside the door of our little greenhouse and is an extension of our main display area.

Meet some of the plants that will call this section home:

Dwarf Conifers - At a glance you might think "Yah, whatever. It's just some pine tree." But no, these certainly aren't. These amazing conifers are very slow growing and stay small. Some might only every reach six inches tall in their lifetime - and these plants are long-lived. Others may reach one to three feet tall on average in 10 years. Dwarf conifers are perfect for year-round interest in containers or in gardens, in small spaces, on patios and as components in larger landscapes. Take a second look at these amazing living sculptures!

Agave - Century plants or Agave are wonderful (though spikey) succulents native to the Americas, especially Mexico. They are most famous as the source of the juice that becomes tequila and mescal. They are native to dry places and deserts. While some agave are tropical or subtropical and require winter protection, others are very cold hardy and can easily withstand the temperatures of a Vancouver winter. You just have to keep them out of the rain and give them good drainage. Some agave grow quite large and some make excellent pot specimens that will only grow to eight inches wide. This intrigued group of plants is an excellent way to add drama to the garden and patio.

Sempervivum - Hen and chicks or houseleeks are native to the Mediterranean Basin of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. They are hardy succulents that offer shades of green, bluish greens and burgundies. Grow them in hot sunny spots with good drainage or in containers. They are easy to grow and very drought tolerant! But beware: there are so many cute shapes and sizes that some gardeners might not be able to resist starting a collection!

Echeveria and Aeonium - Echeveria are what we call the Mexican hen and chicks. They are among the most colourful succulent groups in terms of foliage offering shades of green, blue, burgundy, purple, and pink in numerous shapes and sizes. They are highly collectible and smashing in containers. Though the blue Echeveria elegans is hardy to our zone if it is out of the rain, the majority of the genus and its cultivars are hardy to zone 9. That means they can take our average winter temperatures including some frost but not our cold snaps.

Aeonium are native to North Africa and are a little bit like echeveria on a stick! They form a succulent rosette that eventually grows a woody trunk from one to four feet tall depending on the species or cultivar. They make wonderful specimens for containers. Like echeveria, they are zone 9 hardy and can take some frost but not our cold snaps.

Cactus - Cacti are a large and fascinating family of plants with many hardy members that we can grow in Vancouver as long as they are in good drainage. Many, such as our native fragile cactus (Opuntia fragilis) or the Ontario native Opuntia humifusa are just fine out in the rain in sharp draining soils. Other species would appreciate an umbrella or an overhang but are just fine with our temperatures.

Yucca, Dasylirion and much more! - There will be yuccas. There will be desert spoons (Dasylirion). There will be lots to explore in this new section. Make sure to check it out each time you visit. It will change throughout the season.

The new Living Sculpture Section is waiting for its first visitors!

 


6.

Phoenix Perennials Collectible T-Shirt 2012
Welcome to our fifth offering of Phoenix Wear!

"The earth laughs in flowers."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson


This high quality tee is black with embroidered text. They are great for gardening, plant shopping, going to garden group meetings and waxing poetic on all things botanical.

Our t-shirts are available in S, M, L, and XL while current printings last. They cost $19.99.

By popular demand, we will also be keeping in print our 2008 through 2011 t-shirts which you can view below.


7.

Charity Shopping Weekends 2012
April - Health Around the World

This month we support three charities that are working to make the world a better place by improving the lives of people in far flung places on the globe.

The South Van Gogo Grannies are committed to raising funds and awareness for the Stephen Lewis Foundation's Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign that supports the indomitable grandmothers of sub-Saharan Africa who struggle to raise a generation of children who have been orphaned by AIDS. The grandmothers are involved in grassroots projects that provide food, health care, shelter, school fees, uniforms and other necessities of daily living for their grandchildren.

Seva Canada is an international eye care charity that has been working for 30 years to restore sight and prevent blindness in the developing world. They currently work in nine of the poorest countries in the world -- Nepal, Tibet, India, Cambodia, Tanzania, Malawi, Madagascar, Egypt and Guatemala -- to create high volume, high quality, low cost and sustainable eye care programs for those most in need.

International Health Initiatives is a group of British Columbia rehabilitation professionals (physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists) who collaborate with national and international organizations to coordinate and deliver sustainable interdisciplinary rehabilitation in underserved areas. To date this new organization has started projects in Cameroon and Cambodia.

What is a Charity Shopping Weekend?: Charity Shopping Weekends are a way for Phoenix Perennials to give back to the community while helping to introduce gardeners to our nursery. Each month one charity or group of charities is selected to participate in a Weekend. During that Saturday and Sunday 25% of each purchase made by a customer who tells us they are there for that charity's Weekend will be donated to the charity. Since 2004 we have raised over $10,000 for local charities and institutions.

This Month's Charity Shopping Weekend
April 28th & 29th, 2012 Health Around the World
The South Van Gogo Grannies
Seva Canada
International Health Initiatives
Upcoming Charity Shopping Weekends
May 12th & 13th, 2012 Health in our Communities
North American Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society
British Columbia Schizophrenia Society
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Lower Mainland Chapter
WISH Drop-In Centre Society
May 26th & 27th, 2012 Fur and Feathers
The Richmond Animal Protection Society (RAPS)
Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary
June 9th & 10th, 2012 Arts and Education
The Community Arts Council of Richmond
General Brock Elementary School
Dixon Elementary School

 


8.

Fabulous at Phoenix
Gary's Picks of New, Notable and Luscious Plants at the Phoenix Candy Store

At this time of year, fellow gardeners, this section could be hundreds of plants long. There is never enough space or time to highlight everything. You'll just have to come down to the nursery and have a look. And remember: in spring the nursery changes almost every week. If you visit every 2-3 weeks you'll be seeing tons of completely new things!

Cypripedium Hybrids from Frosch® - Lady's Slipper Orchids - These high quality blooming size and near-blooming size hardy ground orchids make an exquisite statement in the shade and part shade garden. Despite their delicate and beguiling appearance these are strong and robust hybrids that are easy to grow in classic woodland or shade garden soils with evenly moist but well drained, rich soils. Plant them with your ferns, your hostas and your other shade plants. They will grow quickly into sizeable and impressive clumps! These hybrids come from Frosch® in Germany, an excellent and reputable specialist grower.

To learn more about growing lady's slipper orchids have a look at the Frosch growing instructions.
Cypripedium 'Birgit Pastel' Frosch®
Cypripedium 'Ursel' Frosch®
Cypripedium 'Sabine' Frosch®
Cypripedium 'Paul' Frosch®
Cypripedium 'Philipp' Frosch®
Cypripedium 'Gisela' Frosch®

Just to prevent sticker shock you should know that these plants are blooming size or one year from blooming size and they are all $89.99 in gallon pots. Supplies are limited.

Astelia chathamica 'Silver Spear' - Chatham Island Astelia - ‘Silver Spear’ is a selection from the endangered Chatham Island astelia, endemic to these subantarctic islands near New Zealand. It's an extremely ornamental plant with flax-like leaves sporting an amazing satin-silver-metalic sheen! Offers drama in spades. So very close to being hardy here but not quite. It has taken minus 10 Celsius in our unheated greenhouse but can't freezing combined with rain and wind. Best kept above zero and on the dry side. Worth every effort.
Meconopsis betonicifolia - Himalayan Blue Poppy - One of the holy grails of the botanical world, the Himalayan Blue Poppy. Count yourself lucky to live in one of the few places in the world with a suitable climate for growing these fabulous plants. M. betonicifolia is the best species for the garden. The flowers are from three to five inches across in pale to deep sky blue. Prefers peaty, well-drained soil that is kept evenly moist in summer and bright but indirect light.

Gardenia 'Kleim's Hardy' - Hardy Gardenia - Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! This is a HARDY gardenia! The star-like single flowers have an intense and intoxicating fragrance and appear most profusely in early summer and sporadically thereafter. This extremely hardy selection has survived minus 18 degrees Celsius! Prefers full sun to light shade and will bloom best where walls or patios provide extra night time warmth in spring and summer. Plant in a protected location just to be safe. Evergreen.

We also have in stock two other hardy gardenia: 'Frostproof' and 'Chuck Hayes'.

Daphne x medfordensis 'Lawrence Crocker' - Daphne - 'Lawrence Crocker' is a diminutive evergreen daphne hybrid (S. arbuscula x D. collina) which typically grows in a mound to 12 inches tall and as wide. It is a dense, slow-growing shrub which features narrow, thickly-textured, dark green, evergreen leaves and fragrant deep pink flowers which bloom from late spring into summer. From the garden of Lawrence Crocker, one of the founders of the Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery in Medford, Oregon. Do not move after planting.

We also have in stock: 'Jim's Pride', 'Summer Ice', 'Eternal Fragrance', retusa, bholua, odora, odora 'Mae Jima', odora 'Aureomarginata', odora 'Zuiko Rio', tangutica, x houtteana, x mantensiana, and 'Carol Mackie'.

Daphne x transatlantica 'Summer Ice' - Daphne - This daphne has some great qualities not before seen in the genus: an incredibly long bloom period and it’s easy to grow. ‘Summer Ice’ forms a mounded shrub with beautifully fragrant (like sweet baby powder) white flowers with an apple blossom flush that bloom from early April until November. As if that weren’t enough the leaves sport a crisp white trim. Semi-evergreen in average winters. Deciduous in hard winters. Rich, well-drained soil in sun. Do not move after planting.
Brunnera macrophylla 'Looking Glass' - Heartleaf Alkanet - This sport of the oh-so-popular ‘Jack Frost’ has incredible completely silver leaves (‘Jack Frost’ has green veins). But you must follow a simple recipe. Take one ‘Looking Glass’ and add it to one prominent spot in the shade border. Combine with plants of contrasting foliage. Add a small measure of trust and a dash of patience. ‘Looking Glass’ won’t achieve its all silver look until it’s mature in a year or so. Until then it will look like ‘Jack Frost’ but definitely worth the short wait.
Dicentra spectabilis 'Valentine' - Bleeding Heart - This new cultivar of the classic cottage garden favourite has flowers that are so dark pink they border on true red! These heart-shaped flowers hang from arching stems over vigorous growth of deeply dark grey/green lobed foliage. Blooms for ages in the spring garden. May go dormant in summer if soils are dry.

Clematis Kivistik Collection 'Silmakavi' - Clematis - ‘Silmakivi’ has very plentiful, large, six inch wide, light blue flowers with lighter blue, almost white, centres and yellow stamens from July to September. Originating in Estonia the Kivistik clematis have a compact growth habit, copious blooms on the current season's growth, an unusually long bloom period, rich colours, great disease resistance, and hardiness to zone 3. Their compact size and long bloom time make them excellent in containers or in the garden.

We have a full range of colours available in the Kivistik Collection.

Clematis Evison Collection 'Josephine' - Clematis - ‘Josephine’ has big, bold, luscious, fully double flowers with lilac pink petals centred with a magenta midrib. Grow it in shade, however, and you’ll get double green flowers! A 1998 Chelsea Flower Show Award winner. The Evison Hybrid clematis are a new collection of superior clematis cultivars with long bloom periods, excellent disease resistance, and bold colours. Use them on trellises and pergolas, grow them into shrubs, or use them as groundcovers.
Clematis Evison Collection 'Crystal Fountain' - Clematis - ‘Crystal Fountain’ has rich lavender-blue petals with striped olive green centres and midribs all topped with large, dramatic white stamens and a central cluster of bright yellow-green. The effect is of an ornate, semi-double clematis. Truly stunning! The Evison Hybrid clematis are a new collection of superior clematis cultivars with long bloom periods, excellent disease resistance, and bold colours. Use them on trellises and pergolas, grow them into shrubs, or use them as groundcovers.
Polygonatum 'Double Stuff' - Solomon's Seal - This variegated Solomon's seal has double the white margin making a new classic beauty for the woodland or shade garden. Each arching red stem carries large leaves with broad white margins and green centres. The white flowers dangle below the leaves in spring. A clean and elegant, eye-catching plant. Much broader band of white than 'Variegatum', around the whole leaf. Compared to 'Double Wide' it is has narrower leaves, longer stems, and is taller.
Corydalis curviflora ssp. rosthornii 'Blue Heron' - Corydalis - Clusters of true blue, fragrant flowers are accented by finely textured, gray-green leaves with cinnamon stems. Plant with hellebores to great effect. This species will go dormant in midsummer if the soil dries out. May rebloom in fall in cool summer areas like BC. Forms a slowly spreading clump.
Knautia macedonica 'Thunder and Lightning' - Crimson Scabious - Fully double, deep magenta, pincushion flowers float above light green leaves edged in creamy white. The unique, variegated foliage has a sturdy, compact and bushy form on plants that are half the height (or less) of the species. Blooms fom early summer to autumn. A dramatic addition to beds, borders and cutting gardens. Large enough for maximum impact in the garden, it is compact enough to be showy in containers. Drought tolerant and deer resistant. A good nectar source for beneficial insects.
Xerophyllum tenax - Bear Grass - Bear grass is a spectactular BC native plant that remains uncommon in cultivation, probably because it can take some time to reach flowering size. Bear grass looks like a grass but is actually from the lily family. Its fine, shiny, toothed grass-like foliage forms an attractive evergreen mound. Its dramatic cone-shaped flower spikes can reach six feet in height. The flowers are creamy-white and fragrant. Evenly moist, well-drained soil in part shade to sun.
Sedum palmeri DJH 420B - Sedum - At first I thought this was an Echeveria while visiting Heronswood Nursery in Washington a few years ago. This sedum offers evergreen rosettes of broad, rounded blue-green foliage and very pretty clusters of yellow flowers in mid- to late summer. Great for tumbling over a wall. Quite hardy over the last four winters in Vancouver in average garden soil, though sharp drainage is preferred. A collection of Dan Hinkley’s from the mountains of Mexico.

Sorbaria sorbifolia 'Sem' - False Spiraea - This fantastic shrub has beautiful young foliage tinged with pink, orange and gold which gradually changes to green when mature. The densely packed leaves are pinnate giving a lacey, ferny effect. White flower plumes are produced in midsummer. An extremely hardy, medium sized, shrub for most soils. Grows well in sun or light shade.

Beesia deltophylla - Beesia - I’m excited to offer one of my favourite shade plants, the handsome Beesia deltophylla with glossy, deep green, evergreen, heart-shaped leaves tinged in purple when new that form dense rosettes up to 12 inches across. Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Spires of small white flowers rise up to 20 inches above the foliage in mid to late spring repeating later in the season. Excellent in well-drained yet evenly moist soil in full or partial shade.
Hosta 'White Feather' - Plantain Lily - This amazing hosta emerges with leaves ghostly white creating a striking spring display. As the leaves mature, streaks of green begin to appear amongst the white for a continuation of the unique foliage show. Lavender flowers.

 


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Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.
One of the largest and most exciting selections of perennials in the Lower Mainland.
Specializing in distinct perennials, fragrant shrubs, hardy subtropicals and the botanically intriguing.3380 No. 6 Road, Richmond (Between Bridgeport and Cambie)
604-270-4133
www.phoenixperennials.com

Please visit our web page for information on the nursery, driving directions and a map.
We are near the south end of the Knight Street Bridge and very easy to get to from all of the surrounding municipalities and beyond.

Opening Dates and Hours
February 24th through October 31st, 2012
10am-5pm


Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.

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