Hello People Who Like to Eat Their Gardens!

Did you know you can grow your own tea right here in Vancouver?

It's a fact. And yes. I mean real tea leaves just like the black and green teas we import from Asia.

We have some other cool plants that are great for making teas.

Learn more below about how to start your own tea plantation in your own backyard.

Also check out our upcoming Edible Workshops.

Yours in Edibles,

Gary and the Phoenicians


PS. It's still tomato time! Lots of great grafted and own-root plants available. Yum Yum!




Cocktail Gardening

Tomato Tastings at the Heirloom Tomato Festival

These are two of our most popular workshops.

'Ketchup 'n' Fries' and Mighty Matos Avaiable Now!

We have the new "TomTato" grafted tomato/potato plus lots of Mighty Matos, Mighty Veggies and Mighty Melons. It's a grafting revolution!



Grow Your Own Tea with a Tea Plantation in Your Own Backyard!

Few people realize that tea, whether black, green or oolong, is produced from the leaves of a Camellia. Camellia sinensis to be exact. This is a relative of the beloved ornamental C. japonica with its large spring flowers in shades of red, pink and white that blooms throughout coastal BC in February and March. C. sinensis blooms in fall with small white (or sometimes pink) flowers. It is the leaves that are its claim to fame which are harvested when young, supple and just emerging. The leaves of this one species are used to make different kinds of teas (such as black and green) using different curing processes.

C. sinensis is hardy to zone 6 or 7 depending on cultivar making it easily hardy in coastal BC. It is an evergreen woody plant that can be grown as a shrub or even as an attractive edible hedge.

Last year I visited a number of tea plantations high in the mountains of Sri Lanka where we we walked amongst the tea plants and saw the workers picking the leaves in the fields. The mountain slopes are lined with row upon row of closely clipped hedges of C. sinensis. The pickers select just the new growth when it is emerging. Old leaves are not used. The harvested leaves are then taken to the processing plant where they are air dried and cured and then chopped up to make tea. Pretty simple and easy to do at home.

Tea plantation workers in Sri Lanka.

We have various types of tea plants in stock now at the nursery. We also have a special rugosa rose called 'Jubilee' with extra large and delicious rose hips perfect for teas and other culinary purposes and sweet osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans) which is used as an herbal tea or to flavour green and black teas in China. AND, we have the citrus known as bergamot whose peel is used to flavour Earl Grey teas. As you can see, we have you covered for all your tea time needs at Phoenix Perennials!

Here's some more information on the plants we have in stock now at the nursery:

Camellia sinensis Sochi Tea Seedling - Tea - This hardy tea plant (Camellia sinensis) is from the area around Sochi, Russia where they produce the most northerly tea in the world. Tea from these plants is very aromatic and flavourful. The plant has bright green, dense, ornamental foliage. The flowers are white to creamy white. Zone 7. Camellia sinensis Korean Tea Seedling - Tea - This hardy tea plant (Camellia sinensis) is from the area the Boseong region of Korea, famous for its annual Green Tea Festival each September. This selection is hardy and productive with good flavour. The plant has bright green, dense, ornamental foliage. The flowers are white to creamy white. Zone 7.
Camellia sinensis 'Tea Breeze' - Tea - 'Tea Breeze' is a selection of tea from the Kunming Botanical Garden. It is a hardy ornamental shrub or small tree with dense, glossy, dark-green leaves used for making tea. Single, white, fragrant, nodding flowers bloom from September-November. Leaves and roots are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Zone 6. Camellia sinensis 'Blushing Maiden' - Tea - This hardier selection of 'Rosea' is similar to 'Tea Breeze' but with pink flowers. It is a hardy ornamental shrub or small tree with dense, glossy, dark-green leaves used for making tea. Single, pink, fragrant, nodding flowers bloom from September-November. Leaves and roots are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Zone 6.
Rosa rugosa 'Jubilee' - Fruiting Rose - ‘Jubilee’ has fragrant, purplish-red flowers and produces large, red rose hips that are high in vitamin C and tasty. The rose hips may be eaten fresh, dried for tea or made into delicious jelly. Rugosa roses are generally bomb proof when it comes to diseases that affect other roses so you shouldn't see any black spot or powdery mildew. Osmanthus fragrans 'Thunbergii' - Sweet Olive - A great evergreen shrub or small tree for the late winter/early spring garden. Orange-yellow, extremely fragrant flowers with bright red new growth. Plant in a protected location. The dried flowers are used as an herbal tea or as an addition to black or green teas. They are also used to make jams, cakes, dumplings, and liquor. Osmanthus is known in China as 桂花, guìhuā, and 木樨, mùxī. Zone 8.
Citrus bergamia - Bergamot - Bergamot fruit resembles an orange in shape, but is green or yellow like a lemon. Sweeter than a lemon, it is prized for its fragrant and delicious juice, which also makes highly regarded marmalade. The peel is also famously used as the flavouring for Earl Grey tea.

We also have chamomile, peppermints, and other herbs that can be used for teas. You'll be so relaxed and so healthy once you start growing ingredients for your own teas in your own garden!


Edible Workshops 2016

We have some exciting edible workshops coming up this year including this weekend. We hope you'll join us.

PHOENIX FRESH EDIBLES SERIES | Cocktail Gardening: From Garden to Glass, Shaken not Stirred | Instructor: David Wolowidnyk, CinCin Restaurant with Gary | Sat June 4th, 1-3pm |$20 | Join award-winning bartender and mixologist David Wolowidnyk from the acclaimed CinCin Restaurant in Vancouver to learn how to make cocktails and libations with ingredients from your own garden. In 2012 David won the Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender Competition in Morocco. This guy knows how to mix a drink! Step up to David’s bar where he’ll show you how to muddle, mix, infuse, shake and stir your way to fancy and intriguing drinks for a relaxing night at home, a dinner party or a wild soiree in the garden all while telling you stories as only a bartender can. As you sample David’s creations Phoenix Perennials owner Gary Lewis will present the different edibles used in the cocktail and discuss how to grow them in your garden. This is one workshop that you won’t want to miss!
PHOENIX FRESH EDIBLES SERIES | Tomato Tastings at The Heirloom Tomato Festival | Gary | Sat Sept 10, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm |$30 (Includes a Party Mix of Tomatoes | If you love food and, in particular, if you love tomatoes you won't want to miss this event! At our popular Tomato Tastings at the the Heirloom Tomato Festival you'll get to experience a rainbow of 15+ tomato varieties all in a particular order just like a wine tasting. Phoenix Perennials owner Gary Lewis will introduce you to each tomato variety, talk about the type of cultivar, its history and origins, its flavour profile and its uses in the kitchen. You’ll get to share your thoughts and take tasting notes for future tomato reference. At the end of the session you'll take home your very own Party Mix of three plus pounds of the highest quality heirloom tomatoes grown organically in open fields by Red Barn Plants at their farm in Cawston, BC - no tomato will taste as good as these tomatoes! The Heirloom Tomato Tastings are our most popular workshops. Please book early.


Online Registration: We use online registration so you can book workshops 24 hours a day seven days a week. Registration is through two of the most trusted names on the internet: Constant Contact and Paypal. Both use secure servers so you can feel safe paying online. You do not need a PayPal account to pay. They will simply process your Visa or MC on our behalf. If you wish to register by other methods please call the nursery at 604-270-4133 or visit us in person.


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Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.
One of the largest and most exciting selections of perennials in Canada.

3380 No. 6 Road (Between Bridgeport and Cambie)
Richmond, BC | 604-270-4133 | www.phoenixperennials.com

Opening Dates and Hours
February 26th to October 30th, 2016

Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.

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