Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants
 

E-Newsletter: August 2010

The Phoenix Perennials E-Newsletter
August 2010

Hello from Phoenix Perennials!

Happy Summer! I hope you're enjoying your gardens and the nice hot weather. We've been spending these last few weeks at the nursery doing a lot of watering, sweating, and enjoying all the colourful flowers.

In this issue we first announce some exciting items on sale through the month of August including all shrubs plus agaves, dahlias and gaillardias. If you need summer colour and pizzaz these plants will do it for you. You can plant perennials and shrubs all summer as long as you water them using our instructions in the the July E-Newsletter. It's easy. You don't have to wait til fall or spring.

August Sale Items
25% OFF!
All Shrubs | Agaves - Century Plants | Dahlias | Gaillardia - Blanket Flowers



There are lots of photos in this issue. We introduce you to a great new collection of hellebores called the Helleborus Gold Collection. These plants are ready now and it's a good time to plant them for blooms from November through April. We bring you a photo montage of fifteen shots of Phoenix Perennials in the Summer to try to entice you to come for a visit. And if that wasn't enough, we pull out all the stops as usual in Fabulous at Phoenix highlighting exciting plants now available at the nursery including three brand spanking new echinacea - you could be among the first gardeners in North America to have them!

See you at the nursery soon!

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

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In this Issue

1. The Helleborus Gold Collection: New hellebores for winter and early spring
2. Phoenix Perennials in Summer: Fifteen Reasons (In Pictures) Why You Should Visit
3. Upcoming Workshops: Bulbs, Winter Veggies, Winter Containers to Die For
4. Fabulous at Phoenix: Gary's Picks of New, Notable and Luscious Plants at the Phoenix Candy Store


1.

The Helleborus Gold Collection
New hellebores for winter and early spring

The Helleborus Gold Collection or HGC Hellebores are a new group bred by Josef Heuger from Germany. All the plants introduced through this program exhibit some of the best performance that hellebores have to offer including excellent foliage, large, outward-facing flowers, and a propensity to bloom their hearts out for you. Plus all HGC hellebores will bloom in their first year and since they are tissue cultured every plant will be strong and vigorous with perfect colour and form.

The first introductions 'Jacob' and 'Josef Lemper' are improved versions of Helleborus niger and niger 'Praecox', the most common forms of the Christmas rose available to gardeners in our region. While they are new and haven't been fully tested in our wet winters they hold great promise and should be more vigorous, more floriferous and less prone to leaf spotting than their predecessors. Also, these plants are being bred to extend the range of blooming times for nigers. Some like 'HGC Jacob' will bloom from November to January making it a true Christmas rose. Over the next few years new additions will join 'Jacob' and 'Josef Lemper' in this superior group of nigers.

Helleborus niger 'HGC Jacob' - Burgundy-stemmed, pure white flowers with a pink blush in cooler weather. The flowers are slightly fragrant, numerous and long-lasting. The foliage is deep green, toothed and held on dark stems. Blooms extremely early from November through January - a true Christmas rose. Can be brought inside to enjoy as a holiday decoration and then planted outside in the spring.
Helleborus niger 'HGC Josef Lemper' - Very large, slightly cupped, pure white, upward-facing blooms turn to light green with age. Rich deep green foliage. Remarkably robust with superior garden performance. Blooms from December through February.

The HGC Collection also includes a number of exciting hybrid hellebores involving niger and other species. 'Green Corsican' is a hybrid between niger and argutifolius, the Corsican hellebore. These big strong plants topped with clusters of flowers positively glow on a wet grey day in March. It's all you need to lift your soggy spirits.

Helleborus x nigercors 'HGC Green Corsican' - Loads of large, creamy white blossoms turn a fresh, lively green as they mature. Long-lasting flowers stand erect on strong stems. Large, shiny, thick green leaves with red stems. Forms a strong vigorous clump. Blooms February through April.

Helleborus x ericsmithii plants are the result of the crossing of three different hellebore species. First you take H. argutifolius, the Corsican hellebore, and cross it with H. lividus, the rare Majorcan hellebore. This cross is called H. x sternii and you can often find plants of just this cross available such as 'Hot Flash' and the Blackthorn Strain we offer each year at the nursery with clusters of small flowers held on top of the plants. But if you then cross this H. x sternii with H. niger, the Christmas Rose, you get H. x ericsmithii with 50% niger blood, 25% argutifolius and 25% lividus (more or less). These plants have great foliage and larger bolder flowers with more white shades than the H. x sternii crosses. If your eyes are glazing over at this botany lesson then all you need to remember is that ericsmithii is a very good thing, especially coming from the HGC Collection. Here are the first offerings:

Helleborus x ericsmithii 'HGC Silvermoon' - Creamy white flowers tinged pink and maturing to a dusty rose. Silver foliage with rosy stems. Nice upright habit. Blooms January through March. Helleborus x ericsmithii 'HGC Champion' Winter's Bliss - Rosy buds open to large, creamy white blooms with dark pink reverses. Leaves are large and lance shaped and a shiny dark green. Plants have a short spreading habit. Blooms January through March.
Helleborus x ericsmithii 'HGC Joker' Winter's Song - Large ivory white flowers with dark pink reverse. Large lance-shaped, silvery green leaves. Wide sprawling habit.

Some of the most unique offerings from the HGC Collection thus far come from H. x ballardiae, a cross between H. lividus and H. niger. These plants offer excellent foliage and beautiful pink and cinnamon shadings on big white flowers. I will be interested to test these in our climate. Neither of these two species are the best for our climate. Except we did have a handful of 'Pink Frost' available at the Hellebore Hurrah! this past spring 2010 and the plants were big, strong and beautiful. This has proven the case with the plants we are growing now at the nursery so I am optimistic that while straight niger and straight lividus are more difficult as species in coastal BC perhaps the combination of a HGC niger with lividus has resulted in some great plants. The flowers are exciting and the plants look good so I think it's worth a shot!

Helleborus x ballardiae 'HGC Cinnamon Snow' - Large, creamy white flowers blended with rose and cinnamon plus cinnamon red accents on pink buds and the petal reverse. Handsome, dark green leaves with serrated edges. Blooms December through February Helleborus x ballardiae 'HGC Pink Frost' - Burgundy and white buds open to soft pink shades. Flowers mature to deep burgundy. As fresh blooms appear the display is stunning with a mix of white, pink and red. Serrated, rich green foliage with red stems and veins and a silvery sheen marbled across the top. Oh my! Blooms January through March.

All of these plants are now available at the nursery with the exception of 'Jacob' which should be ready by the end of the month.

 


2.

Phoenix Perennials in Summer
Fifteen Reasons (In Pictures) Why You Should Visit the Nursery
in the Summer as well as the Spring!

Remember when you visited us in the spring? The nursery was filled with promise. But the plants were just emerging, everything was green but there wasn't much colour and the plant tags were bigger than the plants!

Now everything has changed. The nursery is bursting with inspirational colour and exuberance. It looks like Butchart Gardens or Minter Gardens but you don't have to pay admission and if you want to take plants home you can! If you tried that at Butchart or Minter you'd get tackled by the gardeners and then arrested! So you see, Phoenix Perennials is the way to go! ;-)

See you soon at the nursery!


3.

Upcoming Fall Workshops
Come Learn with Us

September

DOWN TO EARTH SERIES | Phoenix Fresh Winter Veggies: Plant Up a Container with Cool Season Edibles | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 11th, 10am-12pm | $18 | 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 that you can grow in the fall and winter. 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 $7. Please order your pot when you book your workshop. The price of the workshop includes your potting mix.

CONTAINER SERIES | Jewels of the Spring Garden: Bulbs for Spring Containers | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 18th, 10am-12pm | $18 | 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 $7. 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. The price of the workshop includes your potting mix.

CONTAINER SERIES | Winter Containers to Die For: Plant Up a Container to Create Winter Interest | Instructor: Cliff Thorbes | Saturday September 25th, two workshops starting at 10am and 2pm | $18 | 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 $7. Please order your pot when you book your workshop. The price of the workshop includes your potting mix.

Booking Workshops

Spaces are 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.

Each workshop 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 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.

Workshop participants will receive a 15% discount on any purchases they wish to make the day of their workshop. We cannot give rainchecks on this discount so please plan for enough time to do some shopping after your workshop or head off for some lunch and then return in the afternoon.

 


4.

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

The nursery looks like a giant garden through July and August. We'd love it if you came down to see it! We lament that so many of you come to the nursery in the spring when things are just starting to grow. Though the nursery is organized and neat in the spring you haven't truly experienced the nursery unless you've come to see it in the summer! Like I said, it's like a giant garden - but without the entrace fee - though we do make it dangerous to get out without at least a few new plants for your garden!

Brand Spanking New Echinacea 'Secret Passion' - Be among the first in North America to have this crazy double coneflower. 'Secret Passion' has rich, raspberry pink double cones and contrasting lighter pink ray florets. In addition, ‘Secret Passion’ blooms and blooms and blooms all summer and fall. It has a well branched, compact habit you’ll be passionate about!
Brand Spanking New Echinacea 'Daydream' - Be among the first in North America to have this coneflower. Part of the "Dream" series offering excellent performance for the landscape, 'Daydream' is a midsize plant with fabulous yellow to soft yellow flowers that bloom all summer long on well-branched plants. The sweet fragrance is just right for a lazy summer afternoon.
Brand Spanking New Echinacea 'Amazing Dream' - Be among the first in North America to have this coneflower. Bred with E. tennesseensis for floriferousness, 'Amazing Dream' is a dream in the landscape with its compact habit, amazing number of blooms on well-branched plants, and long season of bloom. Flowers are deep pink. A great landscape plant for a long show of colour.

 

Echinacea 'Hot Papaya' - Not-So-Purple Coneflower - Sizzling, red orange, double cones with falling tails heat up the sun border in summer. Contrasting dark burgundy, sturdy stems. Upright, with lance-shaped leaves. From the Cone-fections Series which offers reliably hardy, very floriferous, stocky plants with strong sturdy stems. Wonderful planted en masse and superb as a cut flower. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.
Agastache 'Summer Fiesta' – Anise Hyssop – Agastache are incredibly useful for clouds of colour through the summer months. ‘Summer Fiesta’ has outstanding dense, spicy orange red spikes produced in masses. One of the best attributes of the Summer Series is an unfading calyx that clasps the flower which does not brown like other agastache, giving it a much longer lasting spike. Even without a single flower on the spike, it still appears to be in bloom! Provide full sun and good drainage.
Fatsia japonica 'Spider's Web' - Japanese Fatsia - A beautiful aralia relative that grows as a shrub or small tree with variably variegated leaves which change during the seasons. The variegation appears in speckles and pixilations and is strongest on young foliage but also becomes better developed on that young foliage as the plant gets older. The flowers are white, are held in spheres and appear in late fall.

Begonia grandis ssp. evansiana - Hardy Begonia - This beautiful hardy begonia has light green, nicely textured foliage with dramatically red-veined reverses. In fall it is topped with bright candy pink flowers which last almost until frost. A great plant in combination with ferns and hostas and for colour in the fall shade garden.

We also have the white form and the Heronswood selection 'Heron's Pirouette' with pale pink flowers and large lush foliage.

Begonia 'Silver Splendor' - Hardy Begonia - Newly bred by Dan Heims from hardy Chinese species, this upright begonia is splendid. Smooth, platinum splashed, palmate leaves, look like a silver-leafed Japanese maple in the garden. Heart-shaped candy pink flowers emerge in late summer. An outstanding addition to a container or the shade border. Recent trials suggest good hardiness for our climate. A mulch might help this begonia resist the winter wet.

Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm' - Black-Eyed Susan - A very useful and easy plant that is long-flowering in late Summer and Autumn. Its deep yellow daisy flowers have dark centers and it looks amazing with ornamental grasses. It will manage with part-sun conditions, too.

Agapanthus 'Black Buddha' - Lily-of-the-Nile - This hardy agapanthus is similar to ‘Back in Black’ with rich green foliage black stems, black buds, and brighter blue flowers followed by attractive black seed pods. Sounds luscious, doesn’t it? Mulch each winter with fallen leaves.
Lilium 'Casa Blanca' - Oriental Lily - Huge fragrant white lilies with bright orange stamens, ‘Casa Blanca’ is the classic white oriental lily both in gardens and in florist shops. Plant in groups of 3 to 5 for a dramatic visual and olfactory experience. Oriental lilies bloom in August with bold colours and a sweet and spicy intoxicating fragrance. Plant in groups of 3 to 5 for a dramatic visual and olfactory experience.

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' - Montbretia - This is the classic montbretia cultivar in our region’s gardens. ‘Lucifer’ has tall stems with pleated, spiked, green leaves and upward-facing, bright red flowers on arching stems from mid to late summer. Easy and tough and provides lots of colour. It is a close-up of the buds of ‘Lucifer’ that appears on all of our signage.

Tradescantia 'Sunshine Charm' - Spiderwort - ‘Sunshine Charm’ is the pretty in pink counterpart to ‘Sweet Kate’. The shocking gold foliage is subtly accented with little girl pink flowers. It’s interesting form and foliage colour makes it useful for contrasting with other perennials in part shade to part sun situations.
Penstemon 'Blueberry Taffy' - Beardtongue - Whorls of glossy emerald green foliage are topped with 10 inch spikes of beautifully detailed tubular flowers with lavender-blue flushed pink lips, white throats and red guide lines. New flower spikes continue to grow from the base and from lateral shoots. With a little deadheading ‘Blueberry Taffy’ can provide more than two months of bloom time.

Penstemon 'Strawberry Taffy' - Beardtongue - Whorls of glossy emerald green foliage are topped with 10 inch spikes of beautifully detailed tubular flowers with strawberry pink lips, white throats and strawberry pink guide lines. New flower spikes continue to grow from the base and from lateral shoots. With a little deadheading ‘Stawberry Taffy’ can provide more than two months of bloom time. Popular with hummingbirds.

Penstemon 'Grape Taffy' - Beardtongue - Whorls of glossy emerald green foliage are topped with 10 inch spikes of beautiful tubular flowers with purple-magenta lips and contrasting white throats. New flower spikes continue to grow from the base and from lateral shoots. With a little deadheading ‘Grape Taffy’ can provide more than two months of bloom time. Popular with hummingbirds.

Salvia greggii 'Wild Watermelon' - Aumtumn Sage - If you love ‘Hot Lips’ you’ll love ‘Wild Watermelon’. This fast growing selection with a unique fuchsia colour will bloom constantly with hundreds of flowers from June to November driving you, your garden visitors and butterflies wild with luscious colour (and nectar). Makes a super easy and appealing container plant for the patio, or combine with other deep purple, blue and white perennials in the garden. Plant in full sun in hot dry spots with well-drained soils.

We also have 'Ultra Violet' and 'Wild Thing'!

Sedum 'T-Rex' - Stonecrop - ‘T-Rex’ is a formidable beast for the garden: the green leaves are ferociously rippled and toothed, the plants grow to over two feet tall and they boast one of the most rigidly upright strong stems of any sedum - no tipping over for this top heavy dinosaur! In late summer, clusters of greenish cream buds cover the entire clump opening to light rose pink flowers similar to its parent, ‘Autumn Joy’. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.
Sedum 'Class Act' - Stonecrop - This sedum has a compact, upright (non-flopping) habit and full heads of the most stunning rose-pink flowers punctuated by white buds. A winner of the Award of Garden Merit from the RHS so you know it will be a great performer.
Buddleia 'Black Knight' - Butterfly Bush - One of the best of all Buddleia cultivars -- dark purple fragrant flowers attract lots of butterflies and bees to the garden.

 


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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.

Seven Days a Week 10am-5pm
March 5th to October 31st, 2010


Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd. 2010

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