Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants

E-Newsletter: March 2009

 

The Phoenix Perennials E-Newsletter
March 2009

Hello from Phoenix Perennials!

It's spring and the newsletter this month is really long. But for the avid reader there's a chance at a fabulous prize. That's the only clue you're going to get! We are now open for the season with our regular hours seven days a week, 10am-5pm! Thank goodness spring is here.

Thank you to everyone who came to the Hellebore Hurrah! Opening Weekend. It was a roaring success filled with thousands of hellebores and around 600-800 hellebore enthusiasts keen to see the promise of spring. Hellebores definitely equal Hope. A special thank you to Steve Whysall for profiling the nursery and our hellebores last Friday. We had many new people discover hellebores for the first time! A number of them came to the nursery convinced that they needed a hellebore even though they had never heard of them before and even though they still weren't sure if it was an indoor or an outdoor plant! We were happy to educate them. Despite the crowds there are lots of gorgeous hellebores left if you need more or if you haven't gotten any yet.

In this issue we bring you a Hellebore Hurrah! Round-Up with pictures from the weekend, we reprint Steve's hellebore article and we include an article on caring for your hellebores. You will also find information on our exciting Dry Bulb Sale, on our 2009 Workshops and on two exciting events: the UBC Collectors' Plant Auction and the World Rose Festival.

We also include again the call for submissions for our Charity Shopping Weekends and information on our fabulous new Phoenix Perennials t-shirt.

And last but not least we introduce you to The Great Easter Plant Hunt: An easter "egg" hunt for gardeners coming up in April. You won't want to miss it!

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

PS. Helleborus 'Candy Love' aka 'Vancouver Medallion' aka the Olympic Hellebore is now back in stock.


In this Issue

1. Rare Bulb Sale
2. Workshops 2009: Come Learn with Us
3. The Great Easter Plant Hunt: An easter "egg" hunt for gardeners

4. Hellebore Hurrah! Round-Up
5. Hurray for Hellebores: Unique collection of connoisseur plants comes to Richmond nursery by Steve Whysall, Vancouver Sun, February 27th, 2009
6. Caring for your Hellebores
7. New Phoenix Perennials Collectible T-Shirt for 2009
8. Upcoming Events: The UBC Botanical Garden Collector's Plant Auction and the World Rose Festival
9. Charity Shopping Weekends: Call for Applications


1.

Rare Bulb Sale
A Great Opportunity to Increase the Botanical Intrigue in Your Garden

For the first time this year we are offering a great opportunity to purchase a large selection of rare bulbs in dry format - packaged and dormant instead of potted up and growing. These dry bulbs are

20% off the regular price

that they will be later in the season when we offer them potted up and in full growth.

A list of our offerings is below. You will be able to find images and descriptions of many (but not all) of these bulbs on our website in our searchable database which is in the "Plants" section. For the others we are organizing signage at the nursery to help you make your selections. You can also use google to research these marvels.

The sale begins on Saturday March 7th and will continue until Sunday April 12th.

General Growing Instructions: Some of these bulbs are easy to grow and others a bit more difficult. Some are meant to be grown outside and others as pot plants that are protected in the winter. Please research all of your purchases in order to decide how best to pot them up and grow them on. In general bulbs that are eventually meant for the outdoors should first be potted up into pots with free draining potting mix and grown on in a protected spot which is warmer than the outdoors such as a garage, shed or greenhouse. Once the bulb has rooted through the pot and come into growth you can then plant it out in the garden.

Magic Flowers
Achimenes mexicana
Achimenes pulcherrima
Achimenes
‘Blue Sparks’
Achimenes ‘Cattleya’
Achimenes ‘Charm’
Achimenes ‘Harry Williams’
Achimenes ‘Peach Blossom’
Achimenes ‘Snow Princess’
Achimenes ‘Tetra Himalayan Orange’
Achimenes
‘Tetra Himalayan Purple’
Achimenes ‘Vivid’

Elephant Ears
Alocasia macrorhizos
Alocasia odora

Amaryllis
Hippeastrum papilio
Hippeastrum roseum
Hippeastrum stylosum
Hippeastrum vittatum
Hippeastrum
‘Mrs. Garfield’

Voodoo Lilies
Amorphophallus bulbifer
Amorphophallus bulbifer
‘Northeast Indian Form’
Amorphophallus nepalense

Cobra Lilies
Arisaema concinnum
Arisaema consanguineum
Arisaema ehimense
Arisaema galeatum
Arisaema griffithii
Arisaema griffithii
var. pradhanii
Arisaema intermedium
Arisaema jacquemontii
Arisaema nepenthoides
Arisaema propinquum
Arisaema serratum
‘Patterned Selection’
Arisaema speciosum
Arisaema speciosum
var. magnificum
Arisaema speciosum
var.mirable
Arisaema ternatipartitum
Arisaema tortuosum
Arisaema tortuosum
var. helleborifolium
Arisaema tosaense
Arisaema utile

Canna Lilies
Canna coccinea
‘Bonfire
Canna speciosa
Canna trinervia variegata
‘Nirvana’

Giant Himalayan Lily - Cardiocrinum giganteum

Shade Gingers
Cautleya gracilis (lutea)
Cautleya spicata

 

Elephant Ears
Colocasia antiquorum
‘Illustris’
Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’
Colocasia esculenta ‘Burgundy Stem’
Colocasia esculenta ‘Fontanesii’
Colocasia jenningsii

Crinum Lilies
Crinum amoenum
Crinum moorei
‘Album’

Spice Gingers
Curcuma aeruginosa ‘Indian Surprise’
Curcuma roscoeana
Curcuma zeodaria
‘Pink Wonder’

Ifafa Lilies
Cyrtanthus mackennii ‘Himalayan Pink’
Cyrtanthusmackennii ‘Himalayan Red’
Cyrtanthus mackennii
’Himalayan White’

Amazon Lily - Eucharis amazonica

Dancing Ladies
Globba schomburkii
Globba
‘Mt. Everest’

Blood Lily - Haemanthus multiflorus

Nepal Lily - Lilium nepalense

Spider Lilies
Lycoris aurea
Lycoris radiata

Solomon’s Seals
Polygonatum cirrhifolium
Polygonatum oppositifolium
Polygonatum punctatum
Polygonatum verticillatum

Hitchhiker Elephant Ear - Remusatia vivipara

Roscoea
Roscoea alpina
Roscoea procera

Voodoo Lily - Sauromatum venosum

Smilacina
Smilacina fusca
Smilacina oleracea
Smilacina pallida

Aztec Lily - Sprekelia formosissima

Bat Plant
Tacca chantieri macrantha
Tacca integrifolia
‘Select’
Tacca ‘Green Isle’

Blue Taro - Xanthosoma violaceum

 

The following bulbs are currently enroute to the nursery and will be arriving in time to go on sale Friday March 13th if all goes well with shipping.

Acidanthera murielae
Amaryllis belladonna
Babiana '
Kew Hybrids'
Bessera elegans
Chlidanthus fragrans
Curcuma
'Thai Supreme'

Dahlias
Dahlia 'Amber Quartz'
Dahlia
'Edge of Joy'
Dahlia
'Garnet Quartz'
Dahlia
'Mary Eveline'
Dahlia '
Pooh'
Dahlia
'Rose Quartz'

Dichelostemma ida-maia
Dichelostemma
'Pink Diamond'

Gladiolus
Gladiolus byzantinus (Hardy)
Gladiolus
'Atom' (Hardy)
Gladiolus
'Bambino'
Gladiolus '
Bizar'
Gladiolus
'Laguna'
Gladiolus '
Little Darling'
Gladiolus
'Maggie'
Gladiolus
'Passos'
Gladiolus
'Stereo'
Gladiolus '
That's Love'

Lilies
Lilium LO '
Satisfaction'
Lilium Orientale
'Cobra'
Lilium Orientale '
Color Parade'
Lilium Orientale
'Miss Lucy'
Lilium Orientale
'Sixth Sense'
Lilium Orientale
'Tiger Woods'
Lilium OT '
Beverly Ann'
Lilium OT '
Friso'
Lilium OT
'Purple Prince'
Lilium OT '
Scheherazade'
Lilium
'Scarlet Delight'

Ornithogalum saundersiae

Calla Lilies
Zantedeschia '
Black Forest'
Zantedeschia
'Flame'
Zantedeschia
'Lavender Sensation'

 


2.

Workshops 2009
Come Learn with Us

Welcome to our workshop offerings for 2009. This year we bring you some popular old favourites and some new and exciting subjects. Our workshops are grouped thematically into series. Feel free to take just one class in a series or all of them. We have special series offers if you choose the latter. We also have an overall special workshop offer. Sign up for four classes and receive 10% off. Details are below. And remember, please book in advance as spaces are limited.

 

Workshops at a Glance

DOWN TO EARTH SERIES

Waking Up the Perennial Garden: Earth-Friendly Gardening Techniques | Instructor: Diane Brown | Saturday April 11th, 10am | $15 |

Phoenix Fresh Herbs: Plant Up a Container with Great Culinary Herbs | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday May 16th, 10am | $15 |

Phoenix Fresh Veggies: Plant Up a Container with Unusual  and Heirloom Varieties | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday May 23rd, 10am | $15 |

The Buzz of Beneficials: Plant Up a Container to Attract Butterflies, Birds and Hummingbirds to your Garden | Instructor: Diane Brown | Saturday June 13th, 10am | $15 |

Phoenix Fresh Winter Veggies: Plant Up a Container with Cool Season Edibles | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 19th, 10am | $15 |

Special Down to Earth Series Offer*
Sign up for any three Down to Earth workshops for only $40.

 

CONTAINER SERIES  

Gardens in Miniature: Plant Up a Stone Art Container with Alpines and Other Diminuitive Plants | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday April 18th, 10am | $15 |

Perennial Hanging Baskets: To Boldly Go Where No Perennial Has Gone Before! | Instructor: TBA | Saturday April 25th, 10am | $15 (Cost does not include the hanging basket. Cost and information TBA.)

Living Wreaths: Plant Up a Wreath with Fantastic Succulents | Instructor: Felice Andersen | Saturday May 2nd, 10am  | $15 (Cost does not include the high quality wreath frame which will be approximately $35.) |

Containers to Die For: Discover the Easy Secrets to Success with Perennial Containers | Instructor: Cliff Thorbes | Saturday May 9th, two workshops starting at 10am and 2pm | $15 |

Jewels of the Spring Garden: Bulbs for Spring Containers  | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 26th, 10am | $15 |

Winter Containers to Die For: Plant Up a Container to Create Winter Interest | Instructor: Cliff Thorbes | Saturday October 3rd, two workshops starting at 10am and 2pm | $15 |

Special Container Series Offer*
Sign up for any three Container workshops for only $40
(Does not include the cost of the wreath frame, hanging basket or black plastic nursery pot).

 

GARDEN LIVING SERIES

The Grill and the Grape: Great Wines for Barbecue Season | Instructor: Randy Rae | Saturday May 30th, 2pm | $30 |

Summer Wines: Great Bottles for Patio and Garden Instructor: Randy Rae | Saturday July 4th, 2pm | $30 |

 

POWER OF PERENNIALS SERIES

Designing for Shady Places: Shade Garden Design for Average, Dry and Moist Locations | Instructor: Diane Brown | Sunday May 3rd, 1pm | $15 |

The Fragrant Garden: Planning for Year-Round Olfactory Bliss | Instructor: Belinda Cardoso | Saturday June 6th, 10am | $15 |

Grasses that Captivate: The Transformative Powers of Ornamental Grasses | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 12th, 10am | $15 |

Special Power of Perennials Series Offer*
Sign up for any two Power of Perennials workshops for only $27.

 

Special Overall Workshop Offer*
Mix and match any four workshops from the Down to Earth, Container and Power of Perennials Series and receive 10% off your enrollment. This offer does not include the Wine Tastings.

*To take advantage of our special offers the workshops must be purchased all at the same time. Workshops purchased as part of a special offer are not transferrable to other attendees and must be used by one person.

 

Full Workshop Details and Descriptions

April

DOWN TO EARTH SERIES | Waking Up the Perennial Garden: Earth-Friendly Gardening Techniques | Instructor: Diane Brown | Saturday April 11th, 10am | $15 | This workshop will introduce the cornerstones of successful gardening which include the concept of right plant-right place, the care, maintenance and division of perennials, the benefits and techniques of natural lawn care, and the basics of caring for the soil of your garden beds including composting and mulching. This is a great workshop to get the season started off right.

CONTAINER SERIES | Gardens in Miniature: Plant Up a Stone Art Container with Alpines and Other Diminuitive Plants | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday April 18th, 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.

CONTAINER SERIES | Perennial Hanging Baskets: To Boldly Go Where No Perennial Has Gone Before!  | Instructor: TBA | Saturday April 25th, 10am | $15 (Cost does not include the hanging basket. Cost and information TBA.) | In this workshop you’ll take perennials into the unknown and on to the world of the hanging basket. You’ll learn about perennials that are suitable to growing in hanging baskets and then you’ll get a chance to plant up your own to take home with you! Please bring your own large hanging basket or there will be an option (to be announced) to purchase a quality hanging basket from the nursery.

 

May

CONTAINER SERIES | Living Wreaths: Plant Up a Wreath with Fantastic Succulents | Instructor: Felice Andersen | Saturday May 2nd, 10am| $15 (Cost does not include the high quality wreath frame which will be approximately $35.) | 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 ($30) is included in your workshop. The plants you select are not included.

POWER OF PERENNIALS SERIES | Designing for Shady Places: Shade Garden Design for Average, Dry and Moist Locations | Instructor: Diane Brown | Sunday May 3rd, 1pm | $15 | 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 then have the opportunity to apply these principles in miniature by planting up their own shade pot. 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.

CONTAINER SERIES | Containers to Die For: Discover the Easy Secrets to Success with Perennial Containers | Instructor: Cliff Thorbes | Saturday May 9th, 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 workshop.

DOWN TO EARTH SERIES | Phoenix Fresh Herbs: Plant Up a Container with Great Culinary Herbs | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday May 16th, 10am | $15 | In this companion workshop to Phoenix Fresh Veggies you will learn about growing annual and perennial culinary herbs in containers and garden beds. After some practical and design instruction each participant will plant up and take home their own herb 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.

DOWN TO EARTH SERIES | Phoenix Fresh Veggies: Plant Up a Container with Unusual  and Heirloom Varieties | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday May 23rd, 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, and white eggplants. 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.

GARDEN LIVING SERIES | The Grill and the Grape: Great Wines for Barbecue Season | Instructor: Randy Rae | Saturday May 30th, 2pm | $30 | In this wine tasting you will be introduced to a number of big, bold and delicious well-priced wines perfect for pairing with barbecued meats, salmon, and vegetables.

 

June

POWER OF PERENNIALS SERIES | The Fragrant Garden: Planning for Year-Round Olfactory Bliss | Instructor: Belinda Cardoso | Saturday June 6th, 10am | $15 | It is possible to have fragrance in the garden almost all year round. Join Belinda, Phoenix Perennials’ fragrance expert, for a tour of myriad enchanting perennials, shrubs and vines that, while offering beautiful foliage, form, and flowers, will also contribute the enchanting dimension of scent to your garden.

DOWN TO EARTH SERIES | The Buzz of Beneficials: Plant Up a Container to Attract Butterflies, Birds and Hummingbirds to your Garden | Instructor: Diane Brown | Saturday June 13th, 10am | $15 | In this workshop you'll learn how to attract butterflies, birds,  hummingbirds and beneficial insects to your garden beds and planters through the careful selection of beautiful plants loved by our favourite garden visitors. In the second half of the workshop participants will plant up a container to act as a bird and butterfly magnet for their gardens. 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.

 

July

GARDEN LIVING SERIES | Summer Wines: Great Bottles for Patio and Garden Instructor: Randy Rae | Saturday July 19th, 3pm, at the Summer Sizzle | $30 | In this wine tasting you will be introduced to a number of delicious and refreshing well-priced wines perfect for the summer patio and garden. From bubbles to whites and light reds, you will learn about and taste some great solutions for summer entertaining or for just kicking back in your garden and enjoying the fruits of your labours!

 

September

POWER OF PERENNIALS SERIES | Grasses that Captivate: The Transformative Powers of Ornamental Grasses | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 12th, 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.

DOWN TO EARTH SERIES | Phoenix Fresh Winter Veggies: Plant Up a Container with Cool Season Edibles | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 19th, 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 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 $6. Please order your pot when you book your workshop.

CONTAINER SERIES | Jewels of the Spring Garden: Bulbs for Spring Containers | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 26th, 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.

 

October

CONTAINER SERIES | Winter Containers to Die For: Plant Up a Container to Create Winter Interest | Instructor: Cliff Thorbes | Saturday October 3rd, 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.

 

Instructor Biographies

Felice Andersen first encountered the weird and wonderful world of succulent plants while working in South Africa. After later travels and work in Mexico she became “totally hooked” on these low-maintenance, drought-resistant, colourful and bizarre plants. Her home and garden in sunny Tsawwassen is the perfect place to pursue her passion. FeIice has taken numerous horticultural courses and is an active member of the Master Gardener Association of British Columbia and the Desert Plant Society.

 

Diane Brown is a graduate of Kwantlen's Landscape Design program and was the coordinator of the Earthwise Garden for many years. She has designed gardens with garden ecosystems in mind and specialized in presenting earth-friendly workshops. She works part time for Phoenix Perennials and does landscape design, garden consultations, and workshops in her spare time.

 

Shelley Brignall is an inspiring gardener who loves plants and works part time for Phoenix Perennials. She is intrigued with the art of garden design particularly the emphasis of the soft landscape and the design of container gardens. Shelley is currently enrolled in the UBC Certificate in Garden Design, a comprehensive program for the design of residential gardens in the Pacific Northwest. 

 

Belinda Cardoso is an experienced and eclectic gardener who grows plants from the “normal to the sublime.” She has an encyclopedic gardening knowledge and has worked at Phoenix Perennials for the past three years where she has proven herself to be an expert on fragrant plants among many other things. Belinda is also heading up our seed propagation program in 2009.

Randy Rae is a passionate wine aficionado who has attained his WSET Level 3 Advanced Certificate and is currently working on his Diploma. He is a member of various wine groups, travels the world to visit diverse wine regions, frequently attends local and international wine tastings, and maintains his own extensive cellar.

Cliff Thorbes is a certified horticulturalist, artist and designer. He is passionate about container garden design and integrating original art into the garden to create a unique and personal statement. Cliff returns this year to reprise his popular seminars on design and on the secrets to creating containers that will captivate the senses.

 

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.

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.


3.

Phoenix Perennials presents
The Great Easter Plant Hunt
An easter "egg" hunt for gardeners

Easter Sunday April 12th, 10 am SHARP!

Introduce your inner child to the gardener in you and skip on down to the nursery for some fun and fabulous prizes! The Easter Plant Bunny will be visiting Phoenix Perennials and hiding lots of different coloured "eggs" in all the nooks and crannies of the nursery. You're going to have to be quick to find the "eggs" before other gardeners do! Each colour will represent a different prize that you can redeem by trading in your "egg".

Prizes will include:
One Grand Prize $250 Gift Certificate
Three $100 Gift Certificates
Fabulous Plants
Phoenix Perennials T-Shirts
Coupons towards Plant Purchases
and more!

Mark your calendars!
This is going to be a lot of fun!


4.

The Hellebore Hurrah! Round Up
Celebrating early spring and all things Hellebore

If you came to the Hellebore Hurrah!, thanks so much! If you couldn't make it we still have lots of gorgeous hellebores left! Here are some pictures from the weekend!


A gunnera bowl filled with floating hellebore flowers.

 


The Phoenicians in our greenhouse filled with hellebores moments before opening.

 


The gathering crowd queued up and jockying for position before opening on Friday morning. At 10am it was a Hellebore stampede. I almost got trampled to death! These ladies look all nice and smiley but don't get between them and a nice hellebore!

 


Linda, mother of Arnold the owner of Tanglebank Nursery in Abbotsford, came to the Hellebore Hurrah! while her grand daughter was delivering Linda's first great grandchild. As she said "There's nothing I can do to help." Might as well shop for hellebores! Congratulations to the whole family on the birth of Audrey Mikelle!

 


A greenhouse filled with hellebores and lots and lots of people.

 


Carol sporting a hellebore corsage from a plant that has been in her family since she was a little girl.
I often say that hellebores are so long-lived that you can pass them on in your will to the next generation. Here's proof.

We're already planning lots of new and exciting things for you for next year!


5.

Hurray for Hellebores
Unique collection of connoisseur plants comes to Richmond nursery

by Steve Whysall, Vancouver Sun
February 27th, 2009

If there's a perennial that always captures the heart and imagination of a plant connoisseur, it's the hellebore, especially new strains of Helleborus hybridus, also known as the Lenten rose.

There is more oohing and aahing over this plant's shy, nodding cup-shaped flowers than any other in the perennial lexicon.

Is it justified? Well, there's no question that hellebore flowers are beautiful. They come in exquisite shades of red and pink, yellow and green, purple and white, even slate black.

Many of the most poplar kinds produce charming, single open-faced flowers, but others have anemone-like centres or very fancy ruffles.

Part of the appeal of hellebores is that you need to kneel down and gently lift the chin of the flower to fully appreciate the bloom. Many people like to cut the flowers to float in a dish or bowl. When you have a variety of flowers, this can make a delightful and totally elegant table centrepiece.

Today, and over the weekend, hellebore lovers from all over the Lower Mainland will be flocking to a little nursery in Richmond to snap up some of the rarest and most coveted kinds, many of which are being offered for the first time.

Hellebore Hurrah at Phoenix Perennials, 3380 No. 6 Road, will be the grandest offering of hellebores in Canada with dozens of specialty varieties brought in from some of the top growers in the U.S.

Nursery owner Gary Lewis says that unlike other blooms, hellebore flowers can last a long time because, technically, they are not flowers at all.

"It is fortuitous for us as gardeners that the colourful part of the hellebore flower is the sepal.

"If you think about flowers in general, the petals usually have a short lifespan, while the sepals can last for months. The long-lived sepals of hellebores are what give us the months of colour we so appreciate."

Many of the plants that will be sold at the Hellebore Hurrah are part of specific seed strains or series. For instance, there are the Winter Jewels strains and Winter Dreams and Mardi Gras series.

These are all carefully bred lines grown from seed to maintain a certain characteristic, such as beautiful flower or foliage colour.

Some of the best strains have been developed by growers like Marietta O'Byrne, of Oregon, Charles Price, of Seattle, and Judith and Dick Tyler, of Pine Knot Farms in Virginia.

The best of their new breeds will be available at Lewis's nursery.

From O'Byrne's Winter Jewel strains, there'll be Golden Lotus ( yellows), Ruby Wine (wine red) Jade Tiger (green flowers with purple edge) and Black Diamond (shades of slate, black and purple).

O'Byrne's Mellow Yellow strain, featuring an impressive collection of yellow-flowering hellebores, will also be available.

From Pine Knot Farms, the Winter Dreams series includes such beauties as 'Apricot' (shades of pink, apricot and yellow), Pure White (a clean white single flower) and Picotee (pink flower with a red star centre). From Charles Price, Lewis got the Mardi Gras strain.

"These offer clear, reliable colour lines including white, yellow, clear pink, smoky purple, green, red, dark purple and slate black," says Lewis.

As well as all these treasures, Lewis has acquired H. ericsmithii 'Winter Moonbeam' from Harveys Garden Plants in the U.K. This plant has blue foliage with crisscross silver veins and flowers that start out white and age to pink.

Hellebores are shade-loving plants that flourish best under trees and shrubs in light shade.

Many gardeners like to clip away the old foliage so the flowers are more easy to see.

Hellebore Hurrah is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Sunday at Phoenix Perennials, 3380 No. 6 Road, Richmond. For more information call 604-270-4133.

 


6.

Caring for Your Hellebores

Many of you are owners of new hellebores and others of you might be thinking of becoming new owners of hellebores. Here is some information about their care.

Hellebores are long-lived plants and are easy to grow. They are a great investment for your garden. Not only are they aesthetically valuable in that they are the first perennial to really put on a show in the late winter and early spring garden but you can literally put them in your will and pass them on to the next generation.

There are two groups of hellebores. The most common are stemless or acaulescent hellebores which include all of the traditional and colourful lenten roses otherwise known as Helleborus x hybridus. Stemless means that every flowering stem and leaf arise from the ground. There are also stemmed or caulescent hellebores - primarily H. foetidus, H. argutifolius and hybrids involving H. argutifolius (x ericsmithii and x sternii) - which have vertical stems. The leaves arise from the side of the stems and the flowers grow in a cluster at the tip of the stems.

Light: Lenten roses (or the stemless hellebores) are tolerant of full shade but grow the strongest and bloom the most in part shade to part sun. In cases where you see this type of hellebore in full sun there is usually a good amount of soil moisture available to the plant and even then the leaves are a lighter green. Stemmed hellebores prefer more light and grow best in part to full sun.

Soil and Watering : All hellebores prefer a rich, well-drained soil. In their natural habitat they often grow in slightly alkaline soils but they are quite tolerant of our slightly acidic soils in BC. A regular top dressing of compost or manure once a year in spring is all they will need to perform at their best.

Hellebores are moderately drought tolerant and will, once established, put up with dry shade as long as the plants receive some supplemental watering in our dry summers.

Hellebores can sometimes have problems in gardens with extremely wet soils in winter, especially in Richmond where the water table can be just below or even above (in the form of standing water) the level of the yard. If your yard is wet in winter your hellebores should be planted in raised beds.

Pests: There are few pests that can cause problems for hellebores. Aphids are one of the only ones, and even then they are easy to control. Aphids are often attracted to new foliage and sometimes to old flowers. They can be easily removed with a jet of water from the garden hose or sprayed with insecticidal soap. Either of these treatments should be repeated for best results.

Sometimes the sticky honeydew from aphids provides a good habitat for the growth of a sooty black mold. In extreme situations hellebore leaves can be badly effected. If you find aphids on your plants also be sure to remove the sticky honey dew with water. If you find leaves already growing the mold it is best to remove them to prevent spreading to the rest of the plant.

Usually plants that are attractive to insect attack are under other kinds of stress which makes them a target in the first place. If your hellebores repeatedly get aphids they might be too dry, too wet, or be growing in poor soils. Evaluate your hellebore's growing conditions and see if you can improve them.

Maintenance: Hellebores are relatively care free plants. In early spring just before flowering many people remove all of the overwintered foliage so the flowers can be enjoyed unobscured. For young plants just getting established I do not recommend removing the foliage as the leaves are nourishing the plant and helping it to bulk up. Once strong and established, however, feel free to trim the foliage in the spring. In late spring and early summer you can remove the old flowering stems when you no longer find them attractive or when they begin to turn brown.

Companion Plants: Hellebores are great with all shade perennials including ferns, toadlilies, hostas, cardiocrinum, primula, shade sedges, corydalis and many more. They are also good with spring-flowering bulbs. Try planting crocus, snow drops and miniature narcissus near or at the base of your hellebores for a picture perfect vignette.

We hope we've answered most of the questions you might have about caring for hellebores. If you have any other questions, please contact us at the nursery.

 


7.

New Phoenix Perennials Collectible T-Shirt
"I can only have one husband but as many flowers as I want!"

Welcome to our second offering of Phoenix Wear!

This high quality tee is black with embroidered text in light purple. They will cost a reasonable $17.99. They are great for gardening, plant shopping, going to garden group meetings, and for reminding your spouse about your rights!

Our t-shirts will be arriving at the nursery in time for the Hellebore Hurrah! They will be available in various sizes S, M, L, XL.

Also available, our 2008 t-shirt: There are worse addictions than plants!

FUN!

 


8.

Upcoming Events

The UBC Botanical Garden
Collectors' Plant Auction 2009

April 23rd, 2009
UBC Botanical Garden

Phoenix Perennials is proud to again be a corporate sponsor of this exciting and worthwhile fundraising event for the garden. We will be donating thousands of dollars in plants, some of which are not on offer at the nursery so this will be the only place to get them.

Over four hundred exciting trees, shrubs, perennials and alpines are offered in silent and live auctions throughout the evening. This is a unique opportunity to acquire rare and specimen plants, some of which grow in UBC Botanical Garden. Many individual plant collectors, nurseries and other botanical gardens are generously supporting this event through donations of choice and difficult-to-obtain plants. In addition to these gorgeous plants, an array of fabulous live and silent auction merchandise and services for all the gala goers to bid on will be available.

Not just an auction, this is a gala evening of food, "refreshments" (whose true name can't be mentioned since the Liquor Control Board forbids it but it starts with a "w" and ends with an "e" and rhymes with "whine") and music, combined with a unique opportunity to acquire rare plants and to support the garden and its research.

While enjoying live entertainment and a delicious hot and cold appetizer buffet, gardeners can shop for all their new garden “upgrades” while supporting the Botanical Garden. Net proceeds from the 2009 evening will support the completion of the Garry Oak Meadow and Woodland (Phase 1) This project requires significant funds to complete and maintain. The success of this event is important for both the overall development of the garden and its research.

For more information visit the Collectors' Plant Auction Website.

World Rose Festival
The Ultimate Rose Experience
June 19th-21st, 2009
Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre

Roses, rose shows, rose gardens, rose workshops, rose markets, rose artwork, rose culinary treats – join us in celebrating and experiencing the Rose!

The World Rose Festival offers an amazing variety of events, all highlighting the beauty of the rose. Thousands of rose blooms will be on display!

Phoenix Perennials will be presenting a 1000 square foot signature display garden at the Festival which will be held in the new portion of the Convention Centre under the giant green roof.

Advance tickets available at Phoenix Perennials.

Advance tickets $18
At the door $22
Seniors/students $16 available at the door only with valid ID

For more information visit the World Rose Festival website.

 


9.

Charity Shopping Weekends 2009
Call for Applications

We are currently accepting applications from charitable organizations who would be interested in participating in our Charity Shopping Weekends program.

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 will be 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. In the last four years we have raised over $5000 for 14 different local charities.

The charity that can benefit most from a Charity Shopping Weekend is one with a base of supporters that can be easily (and cheaply) contacted and mobilized.

If you are involved with or know of a charity that is looking for fundraising opportunities, please forward this information to them and have them contact us if they are interested at phoenixperennials@shaw.ca or at 604-270-4133. We will then forward them an application form.

The participating charity will be announced each month in the E-Newsletter. If you would like to support that charity (or are looking for ways to justify your hortaholic tendencies), consider doing some shopping on the Charity Shopping Weekends.


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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!

If you have any other questions please contact us at phoenixperennials@shaw.ca.


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
February 27th through November 1st, 2009


Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd. 2009

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