Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants

E-Newsletter: Mid-June 2011

The Phoenix Perennials E-Newsletter
Mid-June 2011


Hello from Phoenix Perennials!

Phoenix Perennials at its Best! If you love plants and gardening and if you love Phoenix Perennials this is the time when you really should come for a visit - even if you think you're already done your gardening for this year, even if your husband is grumbling about all the plants you've already bought, even if you don't have any more room - just come look! The nursery is putting on its summer colour and it looks amazing! No more pots with little green things and tags sticking out. Now the nursery is filled with lush, technicolour growth and ebullience.

The deadline for entries for the seventh annual Great Plant Combination Contest is quickly approaching. Get your entries in soon! Entry and prize details are below! Hundreds of dollars of gift certificates are up for grabs! The deadline is at the end of the month! At the end of the month we will be taking part in National Plastics Recycling Week. Save up your plastic containers and other nursery plastics and bring them in for recycling. Details below including how to hear a podcast of my CBC radio interview about this event.

Our next Charity Shopping Weekend is in early July and will benefit three charities that do work with children and gardening.

Fabulous at Phoenix this month highlights our Recipes for a Fabulous Pot.

See you soon at the nursery!

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians


On Sale
Rhododendron and Daphne
15% Off

Add fragrance, flowers and cool foliage to your garden with these great evergreen shrubs.

We have a few too many and bet you could use more!
Sale ends June 30th.



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. The Great Plant Combination Contest
2. National Plastics Recycling Week at Phoenix Perennials
3. You Can Plant Perennials All Summer
4. Charity Shopping Weekend for July to Benefit Three Charities Working for Kids, Gardening, and Kids and Gardening
5. Fabulous at Phoenix

Opening Notes: News, Tidbits and the Phoenix Calendar

Sneak Preview of a New Event!
This September we'll be holding our first ever
Heirloom Tomato Festival
With tomato tastings and heirloom tomatoes for sale!

Saturday September 10th, 2011

At this event we'll have tomato tasting sessions that you can sign up for in advance. Watch for the schedule in the July E-Newsletter. We will also have lots of fruit for sale! Yum!

The tomatoes will be provided by the farm of Red Barn Plants in Cawston, BC. 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.


Follow us on Facebook
Follow new plants, events and happenings in real time with regularly posted images, videos and updates from the nursery. Fan Page members are the first to find out about sales, special events and other happenings!

Recent Updates
Interesting Edibles: Epazote, Goji Berries, Yellow Strawberries and Sugar Plant
In Gary's Garden
The Nursery in Late May

You don't have to be a Facebook member to view the Fan Page and photo albums. Have a look!

Follow Us on YouTUBE

Recent Videos

Early Summer Walkabout Part 1

Early Summer Walkabout Part 2


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.
Event Type
Event Description
July 2-3
Charity Shopping Weekend
Charity Shopping Weekend to Benefit: The Richmond Schoolyard Society, the Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre and the Kitsilano Community Garden
Phoenix Perennials
July 8-10
Special Event and Workshops
The Summer Sizzle
Celebrating Summer with Free Workshops and Special Prices
Phoenix Perennials
Sept 3

Top Plant Performers for the West Coast Garden: Fall and Winter | Instructor: Shelley | 10am-12pm | $16 |

Phoenix Perennials
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
Sept 17

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

Phoenix Perennials
Sept 24

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!


The Seventh Annual Phoenix Perennials
Great Plant Combination Contest

A great garden is not just great plants grown well.
A great garden hinges on great plant combinations.

Now that your gardening powers are greater than they've ever been and you've had a good part of this season to experiment, we want to know what you think is the ultimate knock-out plant combination. For your efforts we offer:

1st Prize: $150 Gift Certificate at Phoenix
2nd Prize: $100 Gift Certificate at Phoenix
3rd Prize: $50 Gift Certificate at Phoenix
Honourable Mentions: Fame but not fortune but you do get a Phoenix Perennials T-Shirt!

Each of the winning combinations, as well as the honourable mentions, will be showcased in a special display at the nursery through the month of July.

Here are the instructions:

1. Your plant combination should be suitable for a pot, small bed or section of a larger bed. Your combination does not have to exist in real life or be planted up - you could think it up in your head and enter your plant list. Maybe it's a dream combination you're planning for next year.
2. It must include 5-7 different species or cultivars of perennials. A few annuals may be acceptable but combinations based mostly on annuals will be disqualified.
3. Your combination can be in any style you desire (english cottage, formal, subtropical, alpine, drought tolerant,... anything you can imagine). Just make it fabulous.
4. The submissions will be judged on leaf combinations (size, shape, texture, colour, etc.) and on flower combinations (colour scheme, size, etc). They will also be judged based on creativity and degree of "wow" factor.
5. Each entry should include a short paragraph of why you chose those particular plants and why you think that combination is particularly great. Here's your chance to convince us! If you have a photograph of your plant combination, please attach that to your email or mail it in with your entry as it will undoubtedly help your case.
6. Download an entry form from our website. To email it back: Fill it out on your computer, save it on your computer, then attach it to an email and send it back to To mail it in simply print it off, fill it out by hand and mail it, fax it, or drop it off at the nursery. 3380 No. 6 Rd., Richmond, BC, V6V 1P5, Fax: 604-270-4133.
7. Submissions are due by June 26th, 2011 . The winners will be announced in the July E-newsletter.
8. Maximum three entries per person.
9. Your entries must conform to the above instructions so that they can be judged against the other entries. Entries that do not meet the above criteria might not be considered.
9. The entries will be judged by Gary Lewis, owner of Phoenix Perennials, and by the talented Phoenicians.

We're looking forward to your entries!
Get them in soon! These are great prizes.


National Plastics Recycling Week
June 25th - July 4th, 2011

Listen to Phoenix Perennials owner Gary Lewis interviewed on BC Almanac on CBC Radio this past Monday June 20th about this event. Here is the link. You will need to fast forward to the 15min mark for the start of my segment.

During National Plastics Recycling Week Phoenix Perennials will be collecting nursery plastics for recycling. Bring your nursery plastics down to the nursery and deposit them in the designated bins.

We can only accept: We cannot accept:
  • Plastic garden pots
  • Plastic flats/trays
  • Plastic plant tags
  • Irrigation pipe
  • Greenhouse poly
  • Fertilizer bags
  • Soil bags
  • Clay
  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Edging
  • Hoses
  • Tools
  • Trash
  • Filled Containers
All plastics and containers must be empty of soil and plant material and they should be dry. Phoenix Perennials is volunteering our time and space for this important initiative. Please help us to keep everything organized and to keep non-recyclable items out of the bins.
We will not be accepting recyclables before or after the designated dates.

Click here to find other participating nurseries in the Lower Mainland and across Canada: asp?PageID=924&ContentID=1386


You Can Plant Perennials All Summer
A few careful steps are all that is required to successfully plant new perennials in the summer

Many gardeners think that once July and August are here that it is too late to plant new perennials. Indeed, the best seasons for perennial planting are spring and fall. But you can also plant perennials in the summer.

This common misconception is likely due to confusion between the planting of new perennials and the transplanting of existing perennials.

Transplanting of existing perennials refers to moving plants already established in the garden which results in the uprooting and damaging of established root systems, especially the fine white tip roots that are the primary conduits for water and nutrients. Once transplanted into a new location the remaining roots will usually not have enough capacity to uptake water to support the foliage, even if you trim back the foliage by a third to a half.

While this type of garden work should be avoided in the summer months, the planting of new perennials can continue with great success. This is because new perennials can be planted with little to no damage to established root systems. Your new perennial goes into the ground with its roots intact and just like when it was in a pot, the only thing you have to do is keep it watered.

Here are a few secrets of success for summer planting:

  1. While still in the pot water your new perennial so that water flows freely out the bottom of the pot and the root ball is thoroughly saturated.
  2. Dig a generous hole. Once dug, fill it with water and allow the water to slowly drain into the surrounding garden bed. This helps moisten the soil around your planting hole.
  3. Remove your new plant from its pot and gently scuff up the edges of the root ball with your fingers. Just a little damage to the roots will encourage them to grow and branch out into their new home. Plant your new plant and fill the hole three quarters full with a mix of half existing soil and half new compost or Sea Soil. Now fill the hole again with water and allow it to slowly drain away as before. This will thoroughly moisten the soil immediately adjacent to the new plant’s root ball.
  4. Fill the remaining quarter of the planting hole with soil and gently tamp down the soil around the root ball of your new plant.
  5. Collect the excess soil left over from planting and build a rim or bowl around your perennial about six to 12 inches from the base of the plant. This will create a bowl for you to water guaranteeing that water will collect in the bowl and sink straight downwards into the root ball of your new plant.
  6. Water your new perennial two to three times a week during dry sunny periods by filling the bowl with water two or three times and allowing the water to sink straight down into the root ball.
  7. To encourage faster rooting use a transplant fertilizer. The product we carry has rooting hormone as well as kelp extract which makes roots grow crazy fast!

Voilà! You can plant a new plant or whole new garden beds and you don't have to wait until fall! Follow these easy steps and you can plant new perennials all summer long! Have fun!

PS. These steps are also great for success with spring and fall plantings too, especially if you're planting trees and shrubs which are slower to establish than perennials.



Charity Shopping Weekends 2011
July 2nd and 3rd
The Richmond Schoolyard Society
The Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre
The Kitsilano Community Garden

About this months's charities:

The Richmond Schoolyard Society: Our mission is to bring children into the “outdoor classroom” where they connect with the earth and their community.  Our vision can be summed up in a simple equation: “Kids + gardens + healthy food = stronger communities”. Fundamentally, we believe that everyone benefits when children are given the opportunity to play in the dirt, plant some seeds, harvest what they grow, and to taste something fresh and delicious.  Our program promotes community, local organic food, healthy eating choices, and food sustainability.

The Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre: Provides information, referrals, training and resources to families, individuals and organizations who are seeking the best care and early learning for children.

The Kitsilano Community Garden: Is a community garden on Vancouver's west side.

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.

July 2nd & 3rd, 2011 The Richmond Schoolyard Society
The Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre
The Kitsilano Community Garden
Sept 17th & 18th, 2011 The Arts Council of Richmond
The Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA)



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

Four Recipes for Fabulous Pots

In this installment of Fabulous at Phoenix I highlight our Recipes for a Fabulous Pot. These incredible plant combinations are designed by Shelley, one of our very talented Phoenicians. Each Recipe is surrounded by its ingredients so you can pick up a little inspiration and try this at home! We change the recipes regularly so look for them every time you visit!



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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.

Opening Dates and Hours
February 25th, 2011 until October 31st, 2011

Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.

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