Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants

E-Newsletter: September 2011

The Phoenix Perennials E-Newsletter
September 2011

 

Hello from Phoenix Perennials!

Welcome to September, fellow gardeners. Mother Nature seems to be giving us a bit of summer now that our thoughts are turning to fall. Time to enjoy a few more beach days and barbecues! Once the heatwave is over remember that fall is a great time for renovation projects in your garden. Is there an area that's been bugging you? Don't wait till spring. Tear it apart now and renovate! You'll get a jump start on the next gardening season and save yourself some time next spring!

Our spring bulbs are now in stock with more arriving over the next week. There are lots of exciting bulbs including a number of Bulb Blends for those that need a little inspiration or need some help making bulb combinations. It's already done for you!

Heirloom Tomato Festival: We have had an overwhelming response to the Tomato Festival thanks to the article that Steve Whysall wrote for the Vancouver Sun on September 2nd. Thank you, Steve! We had to increase our order of tomatoes twice and added three more tasting sessions which filled up immediately. We then had a very long waiting list. Unfortunately Ken and Elke don't have any more tomatoes that will ripen this week in their fields so we can't add any more tasting sessions nor will we have any tomatoes on hand for sale. There will be a display of heirloom tomatoes at the nursery for you to view at the Festival. The good new is that you can order tomatoes that will arrive on Thursday September 15th for pick up Thurs afternoon, Friday or Saturday. But you must book ahead once again as these will likely sell out as well. See below for more details.

In this issue you can also learn about our upcoming fall workshops, our September Charity Shopping Weekend and enjoy our regular installment of Fabulous at Phoenix. Don't miss the Spigelia marilandica (Indian Pink) which we are proud to be able to offer again.

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

 

Spring Bulbs are Here!

We have a wonderful selection of tried and true and hot new bulbs to bloom in your spring garden.
Come check them out!

 
Heirloom Tomato Festival
September 10th, 2011
ALL TASTING SESSIONS AND FRUIT ARE SOLD OUT FOR THE 10TH. NOW TAKING ORDERS FOR PICK UP SEPT 15TH & 16TH.
Details Below.
 

Mail Order
We now offer shipping across Canada.
Visit our Mail Order Page for more information.
Please tell all your friends and family across the country.

 


In this Issue

Opening Notes: News, Tidbits and the Phoenix Calendar

1. Heirloom Tomato Festival: Book your Tomato Experience Now
2. You say tomato: Festival will give people the chance to check out dozens of kinds of heritage tomatoes by Steve Whysall
3. Come Learn with Us: Fall Workshops

4. Spring Bulbs Are Here: Introducing Spring Bulb Blends
5. Charity Weekend to Benefit The Arts Council of Richmond and The Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA)
6. Fabulous at Phoenix


Opening Notes: News, Tidbits and the Phoenix Calendar

 

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New Wall Photos: Double Mophead Hydrangea Double Delights 'Expression' and Bill Terry Meconopsis
In Praise of Purple and Not-So-Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea)
Phoenix Perennials at its Summer Best

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Early Summer Walkabout Part 1

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Enjoy!

Go To Phoenix Perennials on YouTube

 

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 Type
Event Description
Details
Sat
Sept 10
Special Event and Workshops
Heirloom Tomato Festival
With tomato tastings, heirloom tomato fruit for sale and tomato displays!
Call (604-270-4133) or visit to book your tomatoes or a tasting session! See details in this e-newsletter.
Phoenix Perennials
Sat-Sun
Sept 17-18
Charity Shopping Weekend
Charity Shopping Weekend to Benefit: The Community Arts Council of Richmond and the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA)
Phoenix Perennials
Sat
Sept 17
Workshop

Jewels of the Spring Garden: Bulbs for Containers | Instructor: Shelley | 10am-12pm | $18 |

Phoenix Perennials
Sat
Sept 24
Workshop

Winter Containers to Die For: Plant Up a Container to Create Winter Interest | Instructor: Shelley | Two workshops at 10am and 2pm | $18 |

Phoenix Perennials

Mark your calendars! Or print this off for the fridge!

 


1.

The First Annual
Heirloom Tomato Festival
With tomato tastings, heirloom tomato fruit for sale and a display of heirloom tomatoes!
Saturday September 10th, 2011

PLAN YOUR TOMATO EXPERIENCE!

Please Note: We have had an overwhelming response to the Tomato Festival thanks to the article that Steve Whysall wrote for the Vancouver Sun on September 2nd. Thank you, Steve! We had to increase our order of tomatoes twice and added three more tasting sessions which filled up immediately. Unfortunately Ken and Elke don't have any more tomatoes that will ripen this week in their fields so we can't add any more tasting sessions nor will we have any tomatoes on hand for sale. There will be a display of heirloom tomatoes at the nursery for you to view at the Festival. You can, however, order tomatoes that will arrive on Thursday September 15th for pick up Thurs afternoon, Friday or Saturday. See below for more details.

1. Pre-Book NOW Your "Party Mix" Quarts of Heirloom Tomatoes All Tomatoes are SOLD OUT for Sept 10th. More tomatoes are available for pick up in the afternoon of Thursday September 15 (call first to make sure they have arrived), Friday September 16 and Saturday September 17. These are also limited and are available on a first come first serve basis. We highly recommend calling the nursery and booking in advance. 604-270-4133

  • $14 for one quart*, approximately 3.5 lbs of mixed heirloom tomatoes.
This is the best way to get your tomatoes. We will have more tomatoes on hand for purchase at the festival but since this is a new event we have no idea what quantities we will need. If you pre-book we will guarantee to have your tomatoes on hand.
Call the nursery (604-270-4133
) or visit us to book. Payment is required at the time of booking. Must be picked up Sept 10th or 11th. We will call to remind everyone the week before.

2. Tomato Tasting Sessions at the Festival on September 10th SOLD OUT
Join us at a tasting session to sample a wide range of delicious heirloom tomatoes.
Cost: $15 which includes one quart of "Party Mix" Heirloom Tomatoes (Value $14*) - which means the session is almost free!
Bookings must be made in advance of the festival. Call the nursery (604-270-4133) or visit us to book your space. Payment is required at the time of booking.

Tomato Tasting Sessions will be available at:
10am | 11am | 12pm | 1pm | 2pm | 3pm | 4pm
All Sessions are SOLD OUT

3. Book More Tomatoes at the Festival for Pick-Up Fri Sept 16th and Sat Sept 17th
More tomatoes are available for pick up in the afternoon of Thursday September 15 (call first to make sure they have arrived), Friday September 16 and Saturday September 17. These are also limited and are available on a first come first serve basis. We highly recommend calling the nursery and booking in advance. 604-270-4133

*Please note that the pricing of these tomatoes is about the same as the cost for heirloom tomatoes at local farmers' markets. The quarts may contain a few fun peppers.

The tomatoes are grown by the farm of Red Barn Plants in Cawston, BC. Red Barn is the source of most of the tomato plants that we sell in the spring. Though Red Barn has not applied for organic certification all of their vegetables are grown with fully organic methods and all inputs are OMRI certified. So they are basically organic in everything but the gold seal.


2.

FROM THE VANCOUVER SUN

You say tomato
Festival will give people the chance to check out dozens of kinds of heritage tomatoes

By Steve Whysall, Vancouver Sun September 2, 2011

Read the article online: http://www.vancouversun.com/tomato/5344828/story.html
Read Steve's Blog Post (with photos): http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2011/09/01/dont-miss-this-heritage-tomato-festival/

If you love tomatoes, especially the rare and unusual heirloom kinds that have started to become more popular these days, there is a very special festival coming up that you won't want to miss.

Gary Lewis, owner of Phoenix Perennials in Richmond, has teamed up with Elke and Ken Knechtel, of Red Barn Plants in Maple Ridge, to put on the first ever Heirloom Tomato Festival.

This will be a wonderful opportunity not only to taste a wide variety of unusual, hard-to-find tomatoes, but you will also have the chance to place an order for some, so you can do your own little tasting event with friends over wine and cheese.

The Heirloom Tomato Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday Sept. 10 at Phoenix Perennials at 3380 No. 6 Road, Richmond.

Varieties avaible for tasting will include specialties such as 'Banana Legs', 'German Green', 'Black Cherry', 'Green Zebra', 'Yellow Pear', 'Sun Sugar', 'Cherokee Purple', 'Striped German' plus dozens of others.

"We are really excited about this new event," says Lewis.

"Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables for back yard growing and for eating.

Nothing tastes like summer more than a fresh, sweet, locally-grown tomato, especially if it's an interesting heirloom variety. They taste more like candy than a vegetable!" The festival will conisist of tasting sessions of heirloom tomatoes throughout the day as well as the sale of tomatoes.

The idea for this event came out of chats between Lewis and the Knechtels, who are wholesale producers through their Red Barn Nursery of heritage and unusual veggie, herb and edible plants (as well as perennials).

In 2009, the Knechtels bought a farm in Cawston in the Similkameen Valley, where their son, Erik, now manages fields of heirloom tomatoes, peppers other veggies and fruit that are sold at farmers' markets throughout the Lower Mainland.

"People seem to like the striped tomatoes best, especially for sandwiches and burgers," says Elke. "Striped German and 'Big Rainbow' are two of the most popular."

At Phoenix Perennials, Lewis began offering Red Barn's tomatoes and veggies to his customers who are always on the look out for specialty plants and unusual specimens.

"It just makes sense to bring this interest in heritage tomatoes full circle and celebrate the bounty of the harvest with a Heirloom Tomato Festival," says Lewis.

"We have no idea how many people to expect or how many tomatoes they will want to taste and buy.

"We are currently taking pre-bookings for tomato tasting sessions and for purchases of tomatoes. Although we will also have extra fruit on hand, booking ahead is the best way to make sure you get your tomatoes or get to experience a tasting session," he says.

Each session costs $15 and includes a 3.5-pound 'Party Mix' quart of Heirloom Tomatoes valued at $14.

"This means the tasting session is almost free," says Lewis.

Tasting sessions are scheduled on the hour starting at 10 a.m. and going through to 1 p.m.

More sessions will be added in the afternoon depending on demand. And if tasters discover a tomato they love they will be able to order quarts of that specific variety for pick-up the following weekend.

"If you find that you just love 'Green Zebra', 'Brandywine' or 'Thessaloniki' then you will be able to special order some for the next weekend."

Three quarts will be offered for a special deal of $40 for those wanting to make salsas, tomato sauces, do some canning, or serve them at a dinner party, says Lewis.

"We really don't want to run out of tomatoes and have people mad at us because we don't have enough," says Lewis.

"It's our first year and we don't know what the demand or attendance will be. so booking ahead will keep everyone happy."

To book your tasting session, call 604-270-4133. For information go to www.phoenixperennials.com.

swhysall@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

 


3.

Come Learn With Us
Fall Workshops 2011

September

CONTAINER SERIES | Jewels of the Spring Garden: Bulbs for Spring Containers | Instructor: Belinda Cardoso will fill in for Shelley who will now be out of town | Sat Sept 17th, 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) 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.

CONTAINER SERIES | Winter Containers to Die For: Plant Up a Container to Create Winter Interest | Instructor: Belinda Cardoso will fill in for Shelley who will be out of town | Sat Sept 24th, Two workshops 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 but not the plants you use.

 

Instructor Biographies

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 four years where she has proven herself to be an expert on fragrant plants, vines and among many other things. Belinda works with our seed propagation program at the nursery and as a retail associate.

 

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. We cannot offer credits, however, unless you let us know 3 days in advance of your workshop that you cannot attend.

 


4.

Spring Bulbs Are Here!

Introducing Spring Bulb Blends

Sometimes I dive into snazzy new things and sometimes I remain a bit sceptical. When I first saw these new blends offered from our Dutch bulb suppliers a couple years ago I thought to myself "Why do I need them to put a combination of bulbs together when I can do it myself?" Still, I ordered some just to try them out. And you, our gardening friends, thought they were a very good idea. I saw the light. In this busy world we don't always have time to achieve Martha Stewart flourishes on our own. Sometimes we need a little help to give us some ideas and save us time. Think of it as having your own Dutch design staff working on your garden for you. Martha Stewart isn't the only one with a team of staff to make things fabulous!

These blends are specially designed to put on a great show. The bulbs will all bloom at the same time, or in some cases, the blends are designed to bloom over a long period. In all we have 13 different blends to choose from. Here are some images of six of them.

Lovers Blend
Sunshine Blue Mix
Inspiration Daffodil Blend
Tropical Punch Blend
Purple Passion Blend
Pink Passion Blend

 

Over three quarters of our bulbs are now on site with the rest arriving by mid September.
Here's a peak at some of the exciting selections we'll have on offer.

Oxalis versicolor
Eremurus bungei
Tulipa 'Tinka'
Fritillaria michailovskyi
Narcissus 'Golden Echo'
Tulipa 'Candy Corn'
Tulipa 'Liberstar'
Anemone De Caen 'Bicolor'
Iris 'Mariposa Skies'
Allium schubertii
Narcissus 'Green Pearl'
Tulipa 'Little Beauty'
Iris 'Lion King'
Camassia quamash
Allium 'Forelock'
Allium 'Summer Drummer'

And over 130 other great bulbs to grace your spring garden!


5.

Charity Shopping Weekends 2011
September 17th and 18th
The Arts Council of Richmond
The Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA)

Please come out to support these two worthy charities doing valuable work in our area.

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 has been 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 $8800 for local charities and institutions.

 


6.

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

These are just a few of the many wonderful plants now available at the nursery.

Aster cordifolius 'Avondale' - Wood Aster - This selection of the eastern North American native wood aster is a prolific bloomer and carpets the shade garden with light blue in early fall, when little else blooms and the hostas are in decline. Beautiful and long-lasting as a filler in autumn flower arrangements!

Aster divaricatus 'Eastern Star' - Wood Aster - This cultivar was originally discovered in coastal Rhode Island. It is shorter than the standard species and has deep, dark, shining, mahogany stems. The small but numerous white flowers with yellow centers fade to subtle burgundy and rose-pink. A must for the shade garden and tolerant of dry shade which makes it a real bonus.

Vaccinium 'Pink Lemonade' - Pink Blueberry - Yep. It's a PINK blueberry. 'Pink Lemonade' offers four season interest. In spring the shrub sports pinkish-white showy bell-shaped flowers. The fruits are pale greenish at first, then dappled pink, and finally develop a deep pink colour indicating a ripened fruit. The leaves are smooth, glossy green, lanceolate, with serrated leaf margins. In fall, the leaves turn a bright orange fading to deep red. Wintertime twigs are dusky reddish-brown. Vigorous, reaching 4-5 feet in height and width.

Eupatorium dubium 'Little Joe' – Joe-Pye Weed – This little known species of Joe-Pye weed is native to moist soils of eastern North America. This selection has four foot tall stems clothed in whorls of green leaves and topped in midsummer with large, dome-shaped heads holding masses of lavender flowers...a real bonanza for keeping butterflies at eye level. If you don’t yet know the Joe-Pye weeds, here’s an excellent place to start. Tolerant of light shade.

Hydrangea Incrediball -- Hydrangea - This adaptable shrub produces huge flowers (as much as 12" across) and is both reliable and beautiful. Flowers open green, then mature to white before turning green at the end of their life cycle. Very cold hardy Incrediball blooms on new growth so even very cold winters won't keep it from blooming. The flowers are held upright on very sturdy stems, so they don't flop.
Petasites japonicus var. giganteus -- Japanese Coltsfoot - This imposing spreading perennial has leaves growing up to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide and will form large colonies in time. The flowers emerge in early spring before the foliage as creamy white rounded clusters at the ground that later elongate. Protect emerging foliage from slugs. This plant is a spreader though I find it easy to control in my garden since the rhizomes are just below the soil surface and easy to pull out where I don't want it.
Cautleya spicata - Hardy Shade Ginger - This wonderful hardy shade ginger has slender stems to about three feet tall from which emerge a tropical-looking spike of brilliant yellow flowers subtended by bright red bracts. The flowers emerge successively over a month or more each of which lasts three to five days. The red bracts remain for the entire bloom period. Definitely something you’ve never before imagined for your shade garden! Mulch in winter for a little extra protection. Similar to C. gracilis but taller with a stouter inflorescence.
Hebe anomala 'Purpurea Nana' - Hebe - A favourite at the nursery: this very effective evergreen shrub of unusual and striking texture forms a mound of tiny green leaves with plum-tinted tips. Flowers are palest pinky-white. H. anomala is the hardiest hebe we have yet seen surviving winters that have gone to minus 17 degrees Celsius without a scratch!
Helleborus x sternii 'Silver Dollar' - Hellebore - A lovely compact hellebore with serrated, silver leaves held on pink stems. In early spring these are topped with loose clusters of flowers that are mauve-pink on the backs and creamy green inside. As with all stemmed hellebores plant in more sun than the hybridus types. Deer resistant.
Echinacea 'Amazing Dream' - Purple Coneflower - Bred with E. tennesseensis for floriferousness, 'Amazing Dream' is a dream in the landscape with its compact habit, amazing number of blooms and well-branched plants, and long season of bloom. Flowers are deep pink. A great landscape plant for a long show of colour. The Dream Series of echinacea are strong plants for great performance in the landscape.

Echinacea purpurea 'Green Jewel' - Purple Coneflower - This incredibly unique echinacea was discovered by Piet Oudolf. Light green ray petals surround the large, green cone of this sweetly fragrant coneflower. The plants have an upright habit and a height of just 20-24 inches, so no staking is required. Praised for their cheerful brightly coloured flowers, coneflowers are a mainstay in today's garden. The dried seed heads provide architectural interest in the winter and are a good food source for finches and other birds. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.

 

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.
Echinacea purpurea 'Green Envy' - Not-So-Purple Coneflower - This peculiar coneflower has rounded, green petals and green cones for a considerable period. As the flower matures the petals gradually elongate taking on a magenta veining near the cone which also turns purplish. This will be one of those plants to show off to your friends. Plant in full sun in average (not overly rich), well-drained soils. Avoid soils that are overly moist in winter.
Spigelia marilandica - Indian Pink - One of the most striking and beautiful of the eastern North American native perennials, Indian Pink's summer flowers are brilliant red and tubular with canary yellow throats. A favourite of butterflies and hummingbirds, it is at home in the bright woodland or sunny border.

 


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Send us an email and ask to be switched to our Dial-Up List. This group receives the e-newsletter without pictures. If you want you can then visit our website to view the full e-newsletter.

phoenixperennials@shaw.ca

 


Share 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!

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.

Opening Dates and Hours
February 25th, 2011 until October 31st, 2011
10am-5pm


Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.

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