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E-Newsletter: April 2008
from Phoenix Perennials!
BRRRR! Is it spring yet? I'm not too sure. Even though we're not sure, the plants are. It's definitely spring for them and they're roaring out of the ground.
In this issue <drum roll please!> we launch our downloadable version of the 2008 New and Notable Catalogue. Yes plant lovers. It's here. Time to download the catalogue, print it off, curl up in your favourite chair and start falling in love with some new plant treasures. This version is in full colour with images for almost every plant. The normal printed version of the catalogue (without images) will be available towards the end of the month.
Also in this issue Meet the Phoenicians, our Hours for Flowers Volunteer Program, upcoming Workshops, a Charity Shopping Weekend to benefit L'Arche Greater Vancouver, and the ever popular Fabulous at Phoenix.
We hope to see you at the nursery soon.
Gary and the Phoenicians
In this Issue
1. The 2008 New and Notable Catalogue: Ready to Download!
2. Meet the Phoenicians
3. The Hours for Flowers Volunteer Program
4. Upcoming Workshops: Come learn with
5. Charity Shopping Weekend to Benefit L'Arche
6. Fabulous at Phoenix: Gary's Picks
of New, Notable and Luscious Plants at the Phoenix Candy
The 2008 New and Notable Catalogue
Ready to Download!
The 2008 New and Notable Catalogue is now ready to download from our website. The downloadable version of our catalogue is in full colour and includes an image for almost every plant. Go to the main page of our website at www.phoenixperennials.com and click on the link for our catalogue. It is in PDF format. Because of all the images it is 8 megabytes in size but we think it is well worth the wait to download. You can then read it on your computer or you can print it off on your colour or black and white printer.
This year's catalogue contains about 240 plants -- only about 8% of our total offerings but the highlighted plants include many of the newest, snazziest, and most exciting offerings we'll have this year. But remember: not all plants will be ready at all times, especially in this cold spring we've been having. If a plant isn't yet ready we can put you on the wish list. You'll be the first to be called as soon as the plant is ready.
The normal hard copy version of our catalogue, without pictures, will be available for purchase at the end of the month as soon as we get it back from the printers. The cost is $4.00 which just covers the cost of printing. You will be able to purchase it in person at the nursery or you can order it on our website to be mailed to you.
We hope you enjoy the images and descriptions in this year's catalogue and that you'll be inspired to circle, star, or highlight some plants and dog-ear lots of pages and then come down to visit us and pick some treasures up for your gardens!
They're not long lost people from the ancient world, they're my lovely and talented staff. When
I took over at Phoenix five seasons ago I had two wonderful
part time employees. Now there are nine! Each one of them brings
their unique personalities, talents, and enthusiasm
to the nursery. Together they are working hard to bring
you a fun, exciting, and inspiring nursery experience.
Here they are, the Phoenicians:
|Kathleen - This is Kathleen's third year at Phoenix and
her second as our retail manager. She is friendly,
practical, and loves working at the nursery. While she knows that her days off are important for recharging she can't wait to get back to the nursery. Look to Kathleen, as I do,
to keep things organized and to help you out if
you have any questions or concerns. She'll always
do so with a smile and a sincere willingness to help.
|Natascha - Natascha
is our new production manager. Her job is to make sure everything grows! Her favourite word is FUN! Though sometimes when more plants fly in from far flung corners of the world she does wonder how we're going to get it all potted up and where we're going to put it all! She is positive, efficient,
and cheeky. She'll
be the one telling you that you're just teasing
yourself by sneaking over to her production side
because the plants there aren't for sale yet!
Diane - You'll appreciate Diane's dry sense of humour
and her keen knowledge of plants and of gardening (especially
using earth-friendly methods). This
is Diane's third year at Phoenix. Diane offers a number of workshops at the nursery on gardening and design for which she is much appreciated by her students for her wealth of experience and knowledge. Diane is also one of the certified
designers that will be working with clients of our
In-Nursery Design Service. She has a great sense for design and a keen desire to help you discover your perfect garden.
For more information on our In-Nursery Design Service visit the main page of our website at www.phoenixperennials.com.
Shelley - Shelley
is a dynamo who spent most of last year working on our production side. This year you'll see more of her working our retail side where you'll benefit from her years of gardening and her knowledge of plants. Shelley is currently enrolled in the UBC Certificate in Garden Design. Watch out! This woman has talent and a passion for plants and design. Shelley will be helping out with our In-Nursery Design Service this year.
For more information on our In-Nursery Design Service visit the main page of our website at www.phoenixperennials.com.
|Monica - Monica brings to Phoenix a sense of Swiss efficiency and practicality, a great Swiss German accent, a good sense of humour, and love of plants. This is Monica's first season at Phoenix. She has been working hard on our production side to get all of our plants potted up for the season. The plants keep arriving and Monica keeps potting.
|Belinda - Belinda gardens with plants from the "mundane
to the sublime." You'll appreciate her calm
demeanour and her great plant knowledge, plus her ability to find plants that you just can't resist. She also
speaks Cantonese and Hindi in case you'd like to
talk plants in either of those languages. This is
Belinda's second year at Phoenix.
|Rika - Rika is our newest Phoenician. Rika has been working hard on our production side to get everything potted. She's a machine! But a friendly, lovely, intelligent machine with a love of plants and gardening. Her favourite plant is dahlias with which she has an intimate knowledge having recently single handedly potted up over 500!
|Ted - Ted is our friendly and zaney plant nut. If no
one else knows about a certain plant, Ted will.
Ted is an avid gardener and plant collector. You can count on Ted for great plant advice delivered with his unique and endearing sense of humour. This is Ted's third
year at Phoenix.
Jeanne - Jeanne will be joining us in late May as our first Phoenician Intern. She is from France and is currently enrolled at the National Institute of Horticulture in Angers where she is working on a Masters Degree in Landscaping and Horticulture. Jeanne is 19 years old and is passionate about plants and gardening. Last year she worked for a month at Trebah Garden in Cornwall, England, a fascinating subtropical garden.
Jeanne is looking for three months accomodation while working in Vancouver from late May until mid August. Please see below for details.
Gary - I'm Gary, the owner of Phoenix
Perennials and a lover of all things botanical, especially if they look like an alien maw about to swallow my head!
When I took over at Phoenix five years ago I wanted
to create a nursery that I would want to shop at
- a place brimming with an unparalleled selection
of garden plants. I have drawn inspiration from
all of my favourite nurseries at home and abroad
and combined those ideas with many of my own to
create a place that I hope you'll think is something
The flower posing malevolently with me in the picture is a tropical Aristolochia or Dutchman's pipe.
A Home for Jeanne our new Phoenician Intern
Jeanne Poulet will be arriving in Vancouver from France in late May (about May 22nd) to complete a three month internship required by her Masters Program in Landscaping and Horticulture. She will be spending three months living in Vancouver and working full time at the nursery. She is looking for shared accomodation with other students (she is 19 years old) or with a Canadian family. She would prefer accomodation within cycling distance to the nursery or on a convenient transit route. If you are interested in billeting her for three months this summer please contact Gary at email@example.com. Let me know your address and about the members of your household. Jeanne, of course, expects to pay her way though she is looking for accomodation that is also easy on her budget as she is a student!
The Hours for Flowers
Our nursery is a big place with thousands and thousands of plants. Sometimes we need a little help to keep up with everything. That's where you could come in.
Our Hours for Flowers volunteers help us with potting, weeding, gardening, general plant care, and organizing. They select their own days and hours as long as it is a regular schedule that we can count on. When they're done, we pay them in plants!
If you are interested in the Hours for Flowers Volunteer Program please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know about your gardening experience and the day(s) and number of hours you would like to volunteer. Also give us your phone number. We will contact you shortly.
learn with us
SERIES | Gardens in Miniature:
Plant up a Stone Art container with alpines and other
diminuitive plants | Instructor: Shelley
Brignall | Saturday April 26th, 10am | $15 | Stone
Art planters are amazing containers that look like
an authentic hollowed out rock, only they’re
light and manageable (www.stoneartgardens.com). They
are perfect for planting up gardens of small plants
and look great on patios and as centrepieces on tables.
After some general instruction and an introduction
to a number of alpines and small plants, each participant
will have the opportunity to design and plant up
their own Stone Art container. We will have a wide
variety of these containers for you to choose from
ranging in price from $12 to $47. The cost of the
container and the plants you use are not included
in the price of the workshop.
Anonymous: A “support
group” for gardeners subject to uncontrollable
bouts of plant lust (Session 1: Spring Plants) |
Instructor: Gary Lewis | Sunday April 27th, 1pm |
$15 | Are you crazy for new and snazzy or rare and
unusual plants? Then you won’t want to miss
this opportunity to sit down with Phoenix Perennials
owner Gary Lewis who will introduce you to a bevy
of addictively fantastic new and/or unusual wonders
for the garden. Gary will discuss the botany, ecology,
history, garden uses and care of a diverse selection
of intriguing plants. In this session (Session 1),
Gary will introduce you to plants that are at their
best in spring. Session 2 runs
Sunday June 1st and will deal with plants that come into
their own in late spring and early summer.
DESIGN SERIES | Designing for Shadey Places:
Shade garden design for average, dry and moist locations |
Instructor: Diane Brown | Saturday May 3rd, 10am
| $20 | We will explore principles of shade garden
design and introduce you to a palette of shade plants
for various levels of soil moisture. Each participant
will have the opportunity to design a shade garden
bed with the help of Diane. Come to the workshop
with a five foot by five foot sized area of your
garden in mind including pictures. Maximum: 15 participants.
SERIES | Living Wreaths: Plant
up a wreath with fantastic succulents |
Instructor: Felice Andersen | Sunday May 4th, 1pm
| $40* | And you thought wreaths were only for Christmas
time! Felice will introduce you to an intriguing
idea in succulent gardening – planting up a
wreath with sempervivums, echeverias and other interesting
succulents. 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 cost of the high quality wreath frame
($25) is included in your workshop. The plants you
select are not included.
SERIES | Containers to Die For:
Discover the easy secrets to success with perennial
containers | Instructor: Cliff Thorbes |
Saturday May 10th, two workshops starting at 10am
and 2pm | $15 | 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
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 $6. Please order your pot when you book your
SERIES | Phoenix Fresh Veggies:
Plant Up a Container with Unusual and Heirloom
Varieties | Instructor: Shelley Brignall
| Saturday May 17th, 10am | $15 | You can’t
eat much more locally than your own back yard! Shelley
will introduce you to a host of cool, unusual and
heirloom vegetables including purple tomatoes, rainbow-coloured
greens, squash and cucumbers that grow on bushes,
spinach that grows on vines, peas with blue pods,
white eggplants, and aromatic companion herbs. After
some practical and design instruction each participant
will plant up and take home their own veggie container.
Please bring your own large pot (minimum 12-14 inches
in diametre). A large, black, seven gallon plastic
pot can be provided at an additional cost of $6.
Please order your pot when you book your workshop.
TO EARTH SERIES | The Buzz of Beneficials:
Plants to attract butterflies, birds and hummingbirds
to your garden | Instructor: Diane Brown
| Saturday May 24th, 10am | $15 | In this workshop
you'll learn how to attract butterflies, birds, hummingbirds
and beneficial insects to your garden through the
careful selection of beautiful plants loved by our
favourite garden visitors.
DOWN TO EARTH SERIES | The Essence of BC:
Exploring our fabulous native flora | Instructor:
Diane Brown | Saturday May 31st, 10am | $15 | British
Columbia has a wealth of beautiful and useful native
plants including shrubs, perennials, and groundcovers.
In this workshop you'll be introduced to our friendly
natives and the reasons why native plant gardening
is vital and exciting.
Anonymous: A “support group” for gardeners
subject to uncontrollable bouts
of plant lust (Session 2: Late Spring/Early Summer
Plants) | Instructor:
Gary Lewis | Sunday June 1st | $15 | Are you crazy
for new and snazzy or rare and unusual plants?
Then you won’t want to miss this opportunity
to sit down with Phoenix Perennials owner Gary Lewis
who will introduce you to a bevy of addictively fantastic
new and/or unusual wonders for the garden. Gary will
discuss the botany, ecology, history, garden uses
and care of a diverse selection of intriguing plants.
In this session (Session 2), Gary will introduce
you to plants that come
into their own in late spring and early summer.
Session 1 runs Sunday April 27th and will deal with
Ready for my Close-Up: Capturing the starlets
of the garden in the frame of a photograph |
Instructor: Jane Eaton Hamilton | Two Evenings: Tuesdays
June 10 and June 17, 6-9pm | $75
Do you long to be able to photograph flowers so that
they look just as good in wet white January -- up
on your wall -- as they do swaying in their sultry
summer beds? Spend two seductive evenings photographing
the come-hither beauties of the Phoenix Perennials June
will cover macro photography, capturing still flowers,
and photographing moving flowers. Please bring a digital
SLR, a 4GB memory card, and the best lens you have. Jane
suggests a Canon 100 mm f2.8 or its equivalent. Participants
will have the opportunity to share their best work
with the class.
SERIES | The Dry Garden: Designing
a drought tolerant garden that goes easy on the drink |
Instructor: Diane Brown | Saturday June 14th, 10am
| $20 | A workshop on the principles of designing
and planting a bed for a hot, dry, sunny spot. Each
participant will have the opportunity to design a
xeriscape garden with the help of Diane. Come to
the workshop with a five foot by five foot sized
area of your garden in mind including pictures. Maximum:
Grasses that Captivate: The transformative
powers of ornamental grasses | Instructor:
Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 20th, 10am
| $15 | The popularity of ornamental grasses continues
to grow as gardeners discover their many virtues.
Don't get it yet? Come to this informative talk and
learn what grasses can do for you and your garden.
Already enamoured with ornamental grasses? You'll
love this workshop too. You'll get tips on using
them for best effect in your garden design. As well,
you'll be introduced to several cultivars you might
not have seen before.
CONTAINER SERIES | Jewels of the Spring Garden:
Bulbs for spring containers | Instructor:
Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 27th, 10am
| $15 | Meet the spring blooming wonders that you
can include in your garden and in pots including
a number of uncommon but exciting possibilities.
You will also receive instruction on designing with
bulbs and planting them in layers for knock out displays.
Each participant will then plant up and take home
their own container. Please bring your own large
pot (minimum 12-14 inches in diametre). A large,
black, seven gallon plastic pot can be provided at
an additional cost of $6. Please order your pot when
you book your workshop. The cost of the bulbs that
you choose to include in your container are not included
in the cost of the workshop.
CONTAINER SERIES |
Winter Containers: Plant up a container to create
winter interest |
Instructor: Cliff Thorbes | Saturday October 6th,
two workshops starting at 10am and 2pm | $15 | This
is a fun hands-on workshop for gardeners of all levels
who are interested in learning how to successfully
create gorgeous perennial containers that will provide
months of winter interest and an antidote against
the dark, cold days of the year. After some practical
and design instruction each participant will plant
up and take home their own 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 $6.
Please order your pot when you book your workshop.
Container Series Offer*
up for any three Container workshops
for only $40 (Does not include the
cost of the wreath frame ($25) if
you select the Living Wreaths workshop).
match any four workshops from any of our series
and receive 10% off your enrollment. (Does not
include the cost of the wreath frame ($25) if
you select the Living Wreaths workshop).
*To take advantage of our special offers
workshops must be purchased all at the same time. Workshops
purchased as a series are not transferrable to other
attendees and must be used by one person.
limited. Please call (604-270-4133) or visit the
nursery to book your space. Payment is required when
booking. If you would like to take advantage of one
of our special offers please let us know at the start
of your booking.
requires a minimum of 10 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.
will receive a 15% discount on any purchases they wish
to make the day of their workshop. Woo hoo!
Charity Shopping Weekend
L'Arche Greater Vancouver
19th and Sunday April 20th
to our first Charity Shopping Weekend of the
season -- a fun way for Phoenix Perennials to give
back to the community and for customers of Phoenix
Perennials to feel less guilty about their plant buying habits.
is L'Arche Greater Vancouver?: L’Arche Greater Vancouver was established as a charitable organization over 30 years ago to provide residential and day programs for adults with developmental disabilities. They have six homes and two day programs in South Burnaby. L'Arche is a part of an international federation founded in 1964 by Jean Vanier in response to the plight of institutionalized people and his desire to work towards a world where all people are valued and respected.
Their mission is to:
- Make known the gifts of people with developmental disabilities through mutually transforming relationships.
- Foster an environment in community that responds to the changing needs of their members, whilst being faithful to the core values of the founding story.
- Engage in our diverse cultures, working together toward a more humane society.
Works: Gardeners who wish to support this charity
can come shopping at Phoenix Perennials on the
designated weekend. When you pay for your plants,
tell us that you have come to support this charity
and we will donate 25% of the price of your plants
to this worthy cause. But remember: you must tell
us why you have come to the nursery on that day
or we won't know to donate the proceeds from your
sale. Other than that, it's pretty simple: all
you have to do is shop!
See you at the Charity Shopping
Charity Shopping Weekends
May 10th and 11th: The Greater Vancouver Gogo Grannies
May 31st and June 11th: Pacific Parklands Foundation
July 5th and 6th: Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary
We do not yet have a charity for September
if you know of one!
Gary's Picks of New, Notable and
Luscious Plants at the Phoenix Candy Store
Paris polyphylla - Paris - Perhaps more than any other perennial, this rare woodland treasure earns the right to be called “exquisite”. Paris is a Trillium relative from the Himalayas, Western China, and southeast Asia. The stem is circled by a single whorl of glossy, green leaves which is echoed by the flower with its own whorl of green bracts subtending threadlike yellow-green petals, golden stames and purple ovary. Part shade in rich soil. Very large tubers.
April in Paris!
Buy 3 Paris polyphylla ($17.99) and get one free.
We have a great supply of blooming and near-blooming size tubers.
Eryngium 'Hellas' - Sea Holly - A bushy thistle-like plant with thick stems of leathery, blue-green, heart shaped foliage rising from a basal rosette. The blue stems branch into sprays of very blue egg-shaped flower clusters. An intriguing textural and architectural addition to the perennial border. Plant in well-drained soil.
Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop - Aeonium - A stunning architectural succulent -- the one everyone wants. Branching stems hold tightly packed rosettes of dramatic burgundy black leaves. Grow in fullest sun for best colour. Bring indoors to a bright windowsill in winter for a striking houseplant. From the Atlantic coast of Morocco.
Osmunda regalis 'Purpurascens' - Royal Fern - A large, stately, beautiful fern with light green foliage and purple stems. The foliage also has a purple tinge when young. Great for a shaded garden and moist to average soils. Deciduous.
Dicentra spectabilis - Bleeding Heart - You just can’t help but love this classic cottage garden plant. All your grandmothers had it in their gardens and you should too. I do! D. spectabilis is the classic bleeding heart with rose-pink outer petals over white inner ones that form pendulous hearts that hang from the elegantly arching stems. Blooms for ages in the spring garden. May go dormant in summer if soils are dry.
Euphorbia griffithii 'Fireglow' - Spurge - Each spring the vigorous erect stems emerge from the dark soil like firey tongues warming the hearts of winter-chilled gardeners everywhere. Soon after the flame-orange flowers begin to form. As a mature plant ‘Fireglow’ grows to about three feet tall with red stems and blue-green foliage that turns crimson red in autumn. Wonderful in containers. Clumps get progressively larger with time and can spread into other perennials so keep your eyes on it.
Geum 'Mango Lassie' - Avens - ‘Mango Lassi’ is a new geum with lusciously luminous double flowers that glow in a medley of fruit-laden colours from soft orange through mango and peach all overlayed with rich golden hues and coral tinges. Flowers emerge from reddish purple buds. The foliage is small, soft, toothed and evergreen.
Geranium 'Rozanne' - Cranesbill - ‘Rozanne’ is one of the longest blooming and most prolific blue-flowered geraniums available offering colour from late spring until frost. The large, saucer-shaped flowers are 2.5 inches across and purple-blue with black anthers, magenta veins, and a bright white eye. The lightly marbled foliage forms a lush green mound that turns firey red in autumn. A sterile hybrid of G. himalayense and G. wallichianum ‘Buxton’s Variety’. Great in sunny sites, borders, containers and hanging baskets. For a similar but larger specimen try ‘Jolly Bee’. Perennial Plant of the Year 2008.
Rheum 'Ace of Hearts' - Ornamental Rhubarb - I’m excited to offer this excellent ornamental rhubarb. The large bold spade-shaped foliage emerges entirely reddish in the spring. While the tops of the leaves fade to green, the reverses remain boldly dark red. With its upright behaviour the leaves continuously show off their burgundy-coloured reverses to great effect. Pale pink flower spikes in summer. Rich, well-drained soil in full to part shade. A great focal point plant.
Heuchera 'Midnight Rose' - Coral Bells - This amazing compact plant has burnished black leaves that are thickly spotted with hot pink in spring. Summer leaves lighten and cream and pink dots adorn the foliage. A sport of the popular ‘Obsidian’.
Glaucidium palmatum - Japanese Wood Poppy - Star of the early spring garden, this famous Japanese woodlander has large, silky, pale purple-pink blossoms over attractively textured foliage. Hard to find and highly prized. The flowers resemble a single peony or pink buttercup which speaks to the confusion in its taxonomy. Previously placed in either the Buttercup or Peony families, Japanese Wood Poppy has most recently been placed in its very own family. Best in moist but well-drained soil in cool shade.
Cypripedium formosanum - Formosa Lady's Slipper - This exquisite hardy lady’s slipper is endemic to high altitude regions of Taiwan and blooms in our area in mid spring. The flowers have a large pale pink pouch with white or pale pink petals and sepals spotted with darker pink or red. The rounded, light green leaves are pleated like a fan and provide much interest after the flowers have faded. This species is very easy to cultivate in an average shade garden and a good first introduction to growing hardy ground orchids. This plant is not yet at the nursery but will be arriving in full bloom in late April. If you would like one email us with your phone number and we'll call as soon as they arrive.
this E-Newsletter with a Friend
Word of mouth has been such an important part of our success and growth at Phoenix Perennials. Thank you to everyone who has told their friends about us and thank you in advance for continuing to introduce new people to our nursery! We couldn't do it without your kind patronage and support!
you have any other questions, please contact us
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)
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.
Days a Week 10am-5pm
February 22nd, 2008 through October 31st, 2008
Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.
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