Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants


The Phoenix Perennials E-Newsletter
February 2007

Hello from Phoenix Perennials!

Fellow gardeners! Spring is here and another exciting gardening season is just around the corner. This year at Phoenix is going to be the best ever. We'll offer somewhere between 2500 and 3000 different perennials and other garden plants.

The Hellebore Hurrah! is the first weekend of March and it promises to be the best ever. Don't miss it if you can help it. This special event is our opening weekend. From March 2nd onwards we will be open regular hours 10-5, seven days a week including holidays until Halloween.

In this e-newsletter you'll find important new information on changes related to our 2007 New and Notable Catalogue. If you're watching the mail each day for your catalogue, please read the information below.

I also include information on a garden group talk in Abbotsford, a call for applications for our 2007 Charity Shopping Weekends, and information on a special event in March on the Sunshine Coast where I'll be selling hellebores.

See you at the nursery very soon!

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

In this Issue
1. The Hellebore Hurrah!
2. The New and Notable Catalogue 2007: Important Changes for this Year
3. Garden Group Talk: Weird and Wonderful Plants of the Weird in Abbotsford
Charity Shopping Weekends: Call for Applications
5. Hellebores and Chocolate: A Fundraising Event of the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden Society


Opening Weekend
The Hellebore Hurrah!
Celebrating early spring and all things Hellebore

March 2nd, 3rd & 4th, 2007

Brace yourselves fellow gardeners for the most exciting selection of hellebores I've ever seen! Hopefully you'll be impressed too! We will have lots of superb single and double cultivars. We'll also have a nice selection of companion plants great for early spring. Mark your calendars! This event is not to be missed. Here is a sneak peak of some of the hellebores we'll be offering at the Hurrah!

Heronswood Double White - Pure white double flowers and lush, mid green foliage. Elegant and beguiling.

'Kingston Cardinal' - Luscious raspberry-red flowers atop red stems with burgundy-infused young foliage. Heart-stopping, mind-blowing, plant-lusting spectacular!

Heronswood Double Pink - Perfect in pink. Lovely double pink flowers and lush, dark green foliage.


Heronswood Double Yellow - Pale yellow double flowers. Only a few available in 3 gallon pots. Very limited numbers. Available in person only.

Heronswood Double Purple - Rich, warm purple, double flowers with burgundy-infused stems and foliage.


Heronswood Single Purple - Dark, rich, warm purple flowers. Burgundy-infused foliage.

Heronswood Single Maroon - Dark, brooding, and fantastic, rich maroon flowers, some with creamy yellow central highlights. Burgundy-infused foliage.


Heronswood Single Green - Big, vigourous plants with large, apple green flowers. A knock-out companion for the darker flowered strains such as Heronswood Double Purple and Heronswood Slate.

Heronswood Slate - My favourite. Dark purple-blue flowers with a slate sheen. You have to see it to believe it. And just to send you right over the edge: the leaflets on the flowering stems are the same slate-black colour as the flowers! Oh my!


'Ivory Prince' - This vigorous hybrid hellebore offers at least two and a half months of floral interest followed by a whole year of great foliage. In February the plump pink buds develop. By March the flowers open to reveal large creamy petals with dusty pink reverses and green centres. By April the cream colour deepens to green and dusty rose. The leathery evergreen foliage is subtly mottled and held aloft by red stems.


Heronswood Single Apricot - Unique sunset tones with shades of pink, peach, yellow and cream changing as the flowers age.

H. lividus 'Elegance' - 'Elegance' is a new selection of the uncommon H. lividus, a less hardy species than the other hellebores which should still do well in our relatively benign climate (it is hardy in zone 8). The gorgeous glossy green leaves are highlighted with creamy silver veins and held up by pinkish purple leaf stalks. Long purplish green stems bear bowl-shaped creamy green flowers with a mauve-pink blush. In all quite a little plant treasure. (Note: Unfortunately our supplier has stopped offering these so I fear this will be our last offering. Get them while you can!)

Heronswood Single Red - Big, bold red flowers. Burgundy-infused foliage.

That's not all!
But you'll have to come to the Hurrah! to see what else we have in store for you.

A Note on Prices: Appropriate and fair pricing is very important to us at Phoenix. Unfortunately, plant lust doesn't always come cheap. The Heronswood hellebores are some of the best in the world with great vigour, large flowers, and bold colours. In addition to their superb parentage and breeding, the plants we offer are grown to perfection and are of the highest quality.

While a regular (single) hellebore is usually priced around $15, the Heronswood single hellebores will be priced in the mid-thirties. Doubles are extremely rare and always expensive. The Heronswood doubles will be priced in the mid to high forties. We trust that when you see them at the nursery and grow them in your gardens you'll understand the difference between regular hellebores and these superb botanical treasures.

As a further note, with the demise of Heronswood nursery our future supply of their hellebores is uncertain. If you are certain that you NEED these plants, this may be the year to go for it.

Not Able to Attend the Hurrah?: If you are unable to attend the Hurrah! there will likely be more hellebores available in the days afterwards. We are open regular hours seven days a week from 10am to 5pm from the Hurrah! onwards. If you honestly can't make it to the Hurrah! and are desperate to get your desired plant(s), please call the nursery between February 12th and March 1st and give us your order and your credit card information. We will process payment and put your plants on hold on March 2nd. Then you can pick up your plants at the nursey at your leisure.


The New and Notable Catalogue 2007
Important Changes for this Year

Well, fellow gardener. It's come to this. Phoenix Perennials has become a bit more popular over the last few years. In fact we, and our mailing list, have grown very quickly. When I calculated the cost of producing and mailing the catalogue for 2007 it was the same price as a big, beautiful, brand spanking new greenhouse. You probably already know where this is headed. As a small, independent nursery the decision was difficult but I decided that doubling our greenhouse space and dedicating the new house to the production of shade plants would offer such great benefits to both the nursery and you, the customer, that it was too important an opportunity to pass up. So we have a few changes for you this year but I think you'll agree, they're not all bad.

Here is what you need to know:

1. The "Deluxe" version of the New and Notable Catalogue 2007 will be available for download from our website in March in pdf format. The downloadable version will contain colour images of many of the listed plants. You can then view the catalogue on your home computer or print it to peruse at your leisure.

2. The regular version of the catalogue without images (i.e. identical to previous years) will be available for purchase at the nursery starting in March for $4. This is our cost to produce the catalogue.

3. If you would like us to mail you the catalogue we can do so at a cost of $5. Please fill out the online order form or call the nursery at 604-270-4133. If you recently filled out our online form to receive the catalogue please return to the website where you will find a new form to fill out.

4. All of the plants listed in the catalogue (and 1000 others) are already listed in our searchable online plant database. You can start browsing right now!

We will announce the arrival of the catalogue in its various versions in the March E-Newsletter.

Catalogue purchases are subject to applicable taxes.


The Pinegrove Garden Club presents
Weird and Wonderful Plants of the World
Botanically Intriguing Options for Your Garden
with Phoenix Perennials owner Gary Lewis

Join Gary Lewis, owner of Phoenix Perennials, for a whirlwind trip around the world to discover a multitude of weird and wonderful plants to add botanical intrigue to your garden. In this colourful, image-rich and dynamic Power Point presentation you'll discover amazing plants from every continent (except Antarctica!) including Cobra Lilies from Asia, acacias and bottlebrushes from Australia, broadleaf pokers from South Africa, orchids from North America and much more.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007
MSA Museum Annex in the basement of the Clearbrook Library
32320 George Ferguson Way, Abbotsford

For more information contact:
Pamela 604-826-9195,


Charity Shopping Weekends
Call for Applications

I am 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. Last year we held successful weekends for UBC Botanical Garden, VanDusen Botanical Garden, the HomeStart Foundation, and the Weekend to End Breast Cancer. Since we started the Charity Shopping Weekends in 2004 we have raised over $2000 for 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 me if they are interested at or at 604-270-4133. I 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.


Hellebores and Chocolate
A Fundraising Event of the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden Society
Saturday, March 17, 2007
11:00 am
Sechelt, BC

Hellebores and Chocolate! Forget the wine and roses of Valentine’s Day – what gardeners really need in March is a mug of steamy hot chocolate to warm their hands as they admire glorious hellebores, darling snow crocuses, oh-so-fragrant daphnes and other late winter garden treasures. The Sunshine Coast Botanical Society has planned a very special event to celebrate the turning of winter into spring on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, on the Sunshine Coast.

The event kicks off with an illustrated talk by Bill Terry, “A Cure for Madde & Furiouse Men”. Expect the unexpected in Terry’s entertaining and well-researched talk, 11:00 a.m. at Chatelech Secondary School, 5904 Cowrie St. in Sechelt.

A plant sale (hellebores and other choice plants for late winter/early spring bloom) and chocolate sale follow the talk. A festive home-made lunch (optional) of Irish fare will be served at Seaside Centre. (The leprechauns offer a limited number of lunch tickets.) After lunch, enjoy a self-guided tour of late winter private gardens featuring cool plants and hot chocolate.

Entry to the lecture, plant sales and garden tour costs $20 ($15 for Sunshine Coast Botanical Society members) plus $10 for optional lunch. This is an exceptional event, so make up a party, secure your tickets, and may the leprechauns bring good luck to your spring garden.

Phone 604-886-4895 to reserve tickets. Off-coast hellebore enthusiasts will want to catch the 9:20am ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale. The 4:30pm ferry should get you home for supper! Check the BC Ferries site for details.

Gary Lewis of Phoenix Perennials will be attending the Hellebores and Chocolate! event and will be bringing many special hellebores (including double-flowered ones) to sell before and after the talk at Chatelech Secondary School. Those who are really "madde" about hellebores will want to attend Phoenix Perennials' Hellebore Hurrah! weekend, March 2-4. The earlier you get there, the better selection of species and outstanding hybrids you'll find!

For more information visit


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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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