Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants


The Phoenix Perennials E-Newsletter
December 2007

Hello from Phoenix Perennials!

It's a rare sunny day as I write this e-newsletter. I should go out to the garden and pick up some leaves, wrap my bananas, and mulch my hardy ginger. But here I am writing to you. We are now closed for the season and will reopen on February 22nd, 2008 with our Hellebore Hurrah! Until that time I'll be finalizing all of the ordering, office work and webpage additions that I don't have time for during the growing season.

We had a great season in 2007. It was a bit tumultuous with the weather but we've continued to grow and do exciting things. In this e-newsletter please enjoy The Year End Round-Up which summarizes the past season at the nursery, and highlights our events, involvements, and our charitable work. You will also find information on our Christmas Gift Certificates and a special Sneak Peak #2 at a selection of adorable miniature hosta we have planned for you in 2008.

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

In this Issue

1. The Year End Round-Up 2007: Thank you for a Great Fouth Season
2. Christmas Gift Certificates from Phoenix Perennials: Be a Hero this Holiday Season
3. Sneak Peak #2 into the 2008 Season: Miniature Hosta


The Year End Round-Up 2007
Thank you for a Great Fourth Season!

I would like to thank all of you, our customers, for making our fouth season at Phoenix another great success. It seemed to us to be a gardening season defined by crazy weather: first we had a terrible winter of snow, cold and wind wind wind. Then a cold spring followed by a roller coaster ride of sun and rain all the way through to the fall! We had no choice at Phoenix but to be pragmatic and persevere. Certainly the plants and gardens loved all of the moisture and I'm sure these happy plants will perform well in 2008!

Phoenix Perennials has continued to grow both in happy customers and in numbers of plants. This year we offered over 3000 different species and cultivars of perennials and shrubs, the majority of which we grow ourselves from seed, cuttings, division and from plant material sourced from Europe, the US, Canada, India, Japan, and South Africa! We remain an anomaly within the industry in that we grow most of our plants ourselves. It's certainly a challenge to keep up with thingsl but it's exciting. We wouldn't have it any other way! At the very beginning of the season we put up our third greenhouse. This became a dedicated shade house in which to better grow our wide range of unique shade perennials.

snowladiesWe held two special weekends at the nursery in 2007 which were very popular despite the weather! The Hellebore Hurrah! in March was a great way to kick off the season with a healthy dose of plant lust and an unparalleled selection of hellebores including lots and lots of doubles, most notably the luscious 'Kingston Cardinal'. The weekend was preceded by a snowfall of about six inches. We couldn't believe it so we built some snow ladies to greet you with hellebore flowers for eyes! As if the snowfall wasn't enough it turned cold and windy for the weekend and there were flurries in the air as you shopped for your treasures! We hope the tea and your new hellebores were enough to keep you warm!

The Summer Sizzle in mid July featured displays of our Great Plant Combination Winners and a great sale on perennials. The weekend was fairly popular despite the pouring rain! We couldn't believe the weather so we nicknamed the weekend The Summer Fizzle and extended the sale for another week.

VanDusen Garden ShowSimilar weather patterns dominated The Vancouver Garden Show at VanDusen in June. Thank you to everyone who attended and stopped by to see us. We were pleased to win Best Booth Design in our area of the show. I was just trying to stuff as many plants into a 10x20 foot space as possible but it did look pretty. It was a good show this year with intriguing display gardens and lots of plant vendors. The organizers did an admirable job of refocussing the show on gardens and plants. Unfortunately, the show did not meet its attendance goals -- the rain on Saturday certainly did not help -- and will not run in 2008.

We had a great time offering our second season of workshops at the nursery in 2007. Gardening is an adventure in learning and we are pleased so many of you came to learn with us. Over the winter we'll be planning a new season of fun and informative classes.

I had lots of fun giving gardening talks to diverse garden clubs on Galiano and Bowen Islands and in Vancouver, Richmond, Abbotsford, North Vancouver, and Burnaby. It was a pleasure to meet so many avid gardeners. My most memorable talk was being asked to take part in a panel discussion on the future of gardening in front of 450 Master Gardeners. My goodness there were a lot of you looking back at us on stage! If I haven't visited your garden club yet, or if you want to have me back, I'd love to have the opportunity in 2008. We also had fun hosting garden clubs at the nursery. We were pleased to give tours to a number of different clubs and to host bus tours of the Victoria Hardy Plant Group, the Victoria Master Gardeners, the Comox/Courtenay Master Gardeners, the Sunshine Coast Garden Club, and the Oregon Nursery Association. We also hosted the plant sale of the Pacific Northwest Palm and Exotic Plant Society in May.

Great Plant PicksI was pleased to be asked this year to join Great Plant Picks (GPP) as a member of their Perennial and Bulb Selection Committee. This program is run by the Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle. It is an educational awards program committed to building a comprehensive palette of outstanding plants for Pacific Northwest gardens. Awards are based on the combined expertise of over forty horticulturists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. This year I attended three meetings to select the plants for 2008 and 2009. This is a great program for gardeners. We have pamphlets available at the nursery on the GPP program and the selected plants. You can also visit the website at or visit the "Plants" section of our website and search for "Award Winning Plants" to see which GPP plants we carry.

UBC Collectors' Plant Auction Live Auction PlanterPhoenix Perennials was proud to be a Corporate Sponsor of the UBC Collectors' Plant Auction, a fundraiser for the UBC Botanical Garden. We donated many rare and unusual plants to the auction and put together a huge planter of choice woodland perennials for the live auction including hardy ground orchids (Cypripedium and Calanthe), Epimedium, Liriope 'Okina', Paris polyphylla, Arisaema, Polygonatum 'Byakko' and the double snow trillium, Trillium grandiflorum 'Plenum'. The auction was a great success raising more than $40 000 for the garden.

Our tradition of giving back to the community continued in 2007. We held five Charity Shopping Weekends over the course of the season to benefit the Homestart Foundation, the Greater Vancouver Gogo Grannies, the Richmond Fruit Tree Project, the Vancouver Hospice Society, and the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association. In total we raised $1700 for these worthy charities. In the three years that we've been holding our Charity Shopping Weekends Phoenix Perennials has donated over $3700 to local charities and worthy institutions. We look forward to holding more Weekends in 2008.

With that I bid you adieu for 2007 and look forward to seeing you again in spring 2008! It is really just around the corner!



Christmas Gift Certificates
Be a Hero this Holiday Season to the Gardener in your Life!

Our popular gift certificates are great for stocking stuffers or for under the tree. If you've got an avid gardener in your life not only will they get some great plants but they'll also get a few months of anticipation as they wait for the gardening season to begin. Imagine how much they'll love you each day as they pass by their gift certificate lovingly posted on the fridge or bulletin board! Then they'll love you for years as they watch their perennials grow!

If you're the most worthy recipient of a gift certificate that you can think of then forward this email to your loved ones. If they're slow to get the hint you can always purchase a gift certificate for yourself. We are happy to inscribe the gift certificate as being from any Christmas character you desire... Santa, Rudolph, Mrs. Claus, the Christmas Fairy... It won't be the first time we've done it!

Gift Certificate

Gift Certificate Enjoy

Our gift certificates can be ordered online via our secure server by clicking on the Gift Certificate link on the first page of our website You can also call the nursery at our winter number 604-202-0920 to order over the phone. If we are not there, leave a message and we will call you back as soon as possible.

Happy Holidays!



Sneak Peak #2 into the 2008 Season
Miniature Hosta

In this sneak peak I highlight our new foray into dwarf hosta. They are cute, colourful, and adorable. They are great for the front of the border, along pathways, amongst stepping stones or in pots or shady troughs. They generally grow from three to six inches in height, depending on the cultivar. Some make good groundcovers. Here is a parade of many of the dwarf hosta we'll be offering in 2008.

'Blue Mouse Ears'
'Cat and Mouse'
'Chartreuse Wiggles'
'Cracker Crumbs'
'Dragon Tails'
'Green Eyes'
'Pandora's Box'

'Shade Parade'

'Sunlight Child'

These hosta will likely be ready from late April to late May. We can always put you on the Wish List and give you a call when the cultivar(s) you are interested in are available. Please email the cultivar names and your phone number if you would like this service. If you are interested in the Calla Lilies highlighted in November we can also put you on the Wish List for these. Cheers!

Share this E-Newsletter with a Friend

So many of our new visitors come to us through word of mouth. If you like what we're doing at Phoenix Perennials, please consider telling your gardening friends about us.

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
March 2nd, 2007 through October 31st, 2007

Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd. 2007

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