Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants

E-Newsletter: August 2009


The Phoenix Perennials E-Newsletter
August 2009

Hello from Phoenix Perennials!

It's hot and sunny and you're sitting back and enjoying all of the work you did in your garden this season. Do you want to do a little more planting?

In this issue we introduce you to a new concept for a sale: The Planting in Odd Numbers Sale. Twenty different plant groups are on sale and the more you buy from each group the more you save! If you're concerned about planting at this time of year have a look at our article on the subject in last month's e-newsletter: Summer Planting of Perennials.

Also our Hellebore Alert continues with a chance to get some great starter hellebores from one of the best breeders in the world, Marietta O'Byrne.

Fall bulbs are coming (can you believe we're talking about fall bulbs already?), there are lots of exciting workshops on their way, as well as a Charity Shopping Weekend to support the Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary. Last but not least we have the tantalizing Fabulous at Phoenix. Enjoy!

See you soon at the nursery!

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians


In this Issue

1. The Summer Sizzle and the Summer Sale
2. Hellebore Alert!
3. Fall Bulbs are Coming Soon!
4. Upcoming Workshops
5. Charity Shopping Weekend to Benefit the Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary
6. Fabulous at Phoenix: Gary's Picks of New, Notable and Luscious Plants at the Phoenix Candy Store


The Planting in Odd Numbers Sale

They say you should always plant in odd numbers.
Here's a sale to help you do just that!
Up to 35% Off a Wide Range of Selected Plants!

Buy 3 Plants from a Group
25% Off
Buy 5 Plants from a Group
30% Off
Buy 7 Plants from a Group
35% Off

Twenty Fantastic Plant Groups on Sale!

Hemerocallis (Daylilies)
Phormium (New Zealand Flax)


*To receive the discounts mentioned above you must select 3, 5 or 7 plants from each group. You cannot mix and match across groups. For instance there would be no discount if you got 1 Astilbe, 1 Coreopsis and 1 Iris. But you would get 25% off if you got 3 Astilbe or 3 Coreopsis or 3 Iris.


Hellebore Alert!
(Oh my! Don't miss this one!)

We are offering an amazing opportunity to stock up on some of the best hellebores in the world from top breeder Marietta O'Byrne at an unbelievable price. The wonderful people at Terra Nova Nurseries had too many so they offered them to us at a special price but only if we got large quantities. So we have lots! These plants are in four inch pots. Many of them bloomed this past spring and many more will come into bloom in 2010 (just in time for your Olympics gardens!). At the usual gallon size these hellebores usually retail for $30-$40 so this is your chance to have the best display in your neighbourhood without breaking the bank!

$9.99 each!
Buy 6 at $8.99 each!
Buy 12 or more at $7.99 each!

This special offer will continue until the end of September.

This special offer cannot be combined with other sales, discounts, or coupons.

Regal Ruffles Strain - This double strain offers every colour imaginable with picotees, splashed forms, and the rich colours that are Marietta's trademark. 95% of plants will bloom with double flowers. 5% will be outstanding singles. Brushstrokes Strain - Brushstroke splashes, spots, and true, rich colours adorn the wide petals of this superior group of singles.
Carousel Strain - A strain with a high percentage of anemone-centred (semi-double) flowers in shades of pinks and whites. Anemone centres are more rare and difficult to breed for than doubles so try your luck to get one of these real gems. Splashdown Strain - A wonderful strain with yellow, cream or pure white flowers splashed liberally with spots, often so dense that they form a deep purple or red "thumb" print in the middle of each petal. Striking in the garden.
Mellow Yellow Strain - This wonderful group of single yellows will sometimes offer up the occasional apricot surprise. Some are splashed with spots and others have picotee edges. London Fog Strain - Deep, moody purples and blacks above new foliage infused with burgundy.



Fall Bulbs Are Coming Soon!

In late August and early September our Fall Bulbs will arrive at the nursery. As you've come to expect from Phoenix Perennials we'll have many unique, unusual and cutting edge selections including botanical tulips, camassia, fritillaria, cyclamen and erythronium, as well as some striking new cultivars of hybrid tulips, hyacinths and daffodils, and much more.

Left to Right starting from top Left: Tulipa 'Tinka', Eremurus bungei, Allium schubertii, Tulipa 'Garant', Tulipa 'Peppermint Stick', Camassia quamash, Erythronium 'White Beauty', Fritillaria imperialis 'Rubra'



Upcoming Fall Workshops

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.
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.

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.



Phoenix Perennials Charity Shopping Weekend
to benefit the
Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary
Saturday August 29th and Sunday August 30th, 2009

Welcome to our first Charity Shopping Weekend of the season -- a fun way for Phoenix Perennials to give back to the community and for customers of Phoenix Perennials to feel less guilty about their plant buying habits.

What is the Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary?: Greyhaven is a non-profit society specializing in parrot rescue, refuge and adoptions.  Our purpose is to enhance the quality of life for companion birds through rehabilitation, compassion and the education of the general public in the care of exotic birds.

For more information please visit:

How it Works: Gardeners who wish to support Greyhaven can come shopping at Phoenix Perennials on the designated weekend. When you pay for your plants, tell us that you have come to support Greyhaven and we will donate 25% of the price of your plants to this worthy cause. But remember: you must tell us why you have come to the nursery on that day or we won't know to donate the proceeds from your sale. Other than that, it's pretty simple: all you have to do is shop!

Mark your Calendars! See you at the Charity Shopping Weekend!


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

The Best Meconopsis in the World
from our friend and Meconopsis expert Bill Terry

Meconopsis betonicifolia (left), M. 'Lingholm' (below)
Quantities are Limited.
Meconopsis betonicifolia - Himalayan Blue Poppy - This species is among the best for gardens. Most plants sold under this name will be true to species but come from inferior genetic material which offers pale or muddy sky blue flowers that are pretty but not magical. Here we offer plants grown from the seed of the best colours the Himalayan blue poppies have to offer - rich mid to royal blues. These are the take your breath away shades that make meconopsis one of the holy grails of the horticultural world.
Meconopsis 'Lingholm' - Himalayan Blue Poppy - One of the best Meconopsis for gardens, 'Lingholm' is a hybrid strain of M. betonicifolia and M. grandis. The huge cupped flowers are at least 5 inches across and are a royal blue so bright it looks as if the plants are illuminated from within or plugged into the electrical socket. Truly magical! Plants can grow to 3 to 4 feet tall!

Meconopsis Growing Tips: Plant in bright shade (morning sun is good) in rich evenly moist but well-drained soil. Additional applications of fish or other organic fertilizer will help as meconopsis love nutrients. Plants appreciate good winter drainage so planting them in a raised bed on a slight slope can help them through the winter. Do not allow other plants to crowd them out with rambunctious foliage.

Please Note: The meconopsis are looking a bit yellow right now from the stress of the heat we've been having. They will green right up once planted in your garden.


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.
Eupatorium dubium 'Little Joe' - Joy-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.
Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears' - Hosta - Small round bluish-green leaves are comprised of a substance so thick you have to feel it to believe it. Lavender flowers on short scapes proportionate to the clump top it in midsummer. A must-have mini hosta for the collector and rock garden enthusiast. 2008 Hosta of the Year!
Echinacea 'Tiki Torch' - Not-So-Purple Coneflower - The gorgeous, large, bright, pumpkin orange flowers with red centres are one of the best orange echinaceas. This plant has strong, upright stems and excellent vigour. Plant in well-drained, not so rich soils.

Beesia deltophylla - Beesia - I’m excited to finally offer one of my favourite shade plants, the handsome Beesia deltophylla with glossy, deep green, evergreen, heart-shaped leaves tinged in purple that form dense rosettes up to 12 inches across. Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Spires of small white flowers rise up to 20 inches above the foliage in mid to late spring repeating later in the season. Excellent in well-drained yet evenly moist soil in full or partial shade.
Agave 'Kissho Kan' - Century Plant - This fantastic agave is a Japanese selection featuring blue-gray leaves with beautiful creamy-white edges. The terminal spines emerge a light brown colour, changing to burgundy-brown with maturity. 'Kissho Kan' translates to "happy or lucky crown". Grows to only one foot tall by one foot wide so excellent as a container specimen and winter houseplant.
Cautleya gracilis (lutea) - Hardy Shade Ginger - This wonderful hardy shade ginger has slender stems to about two 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!

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snow Queen' - Oakleaf Hydrangea - Elongated, conical clusters up to a foot long of mostly sterile, white flowers which slowly turn pinkish purple with age fom late spring to summer. The distinctive, deeply lobed, somewhat coarse, oak-like, deep green leaves of this hydrangea turn attractive shades of bronze, maroon or purple in autumn and often will remain on the plant through the winter.


Hydrangea quercifolia 'Little Honey' - Oakleaf Hydrangea - This new oakleaf hydrangea offers superlative foliage and great late season flowers. The leaves emerge brilliant gold in spring darkening to chartreuse and finally green just as the huge 6- to 8-inch white bloom trusses begin to bloom. Fall colour is brilliant scarlet. In milder climate zones such as Vancouver the leaves may remain on the plants right through winter!

Also available: the double flowered 'Snowflake' and the dwarf 'Pee Wee', both with normal green leaves.

Aster lateriflorus 'Lady in Black' - Calico Aster - If you have visited the nursery in the fall you may have seen this exciting aster in our Purple and Pink Border: three foot tall rigid stems rocketing upward like fireworks covered in rich deep purple foliage and exploding with thousands of small, white pink-tinged, star-shaped flowers. Sound good? ‘Lady in Black' is a great addition to borders and large floral arrangements alike! It also sports burgundy foliage through the season so offers much interest even when not in bloom.

Heuchera 'Plum Royale' - 'Plum Royale' is the first Heuchera to have amazing, shiny purple leaves all summer! Winter foliage is silver with a purple tint. Wonderful as an accent or en masse. Pink-white flowers on dark peduncles, excellent vigour, and a mounding, compact habit. New in 2009! Heuchera 'Electra' - Shocking, blood-red veins electrify the golden leaves of this startling new Heuchera. The red venation stays while the leaf changes from shades of yellow in spring, to chartreuse in summer and fall, and tan in the winter. Short, dense cones of white flowers. This vigorous clumping H. villosa hybrid delivers what 'Tiramisu' promised. New in 2009!
Heuchera 'Southern Comfort'
Heuchera 'Mahogany'
Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips' - Sage - Very cool. This is a fast-growing wild selection of a Mexican sage which is adorned with stunning bicolour flowers -- white lips with red tips from May until frost. But the expression of colour is temperature sensitive. When the nights warm in summer, the new flowers are all red with an occasional solid white one. As fall approaches, the flowers again will be bicolour red and white. Well-drained soil in full sun. Hard prune each spring.

And much, much more -- 3000+ more!


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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

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)

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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