Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants


The Phoenix Perennials E-Newsletter
June 2007

Hello from Phoenix Perennials!

I hope the gardening season is going well for everyone. This will be a shorter e-newsletter with all the stuff going on right now. There won't be a Fabulous at Phoenix column but if there was I would have included our Phoenix Fresh Veggies -- we still have some nice heirloom tomatoes, beans, pumpkins, lettuce and herbs. Fun!

The VanDusen Garden Show is about to return and is now called the Vancouver Sun Garden Show at VanDusen. It starts this Thursday. I hope everyone will consider attending the show. Two years ago the organizers made some important improvements to the show -- there were more display gardens, nurseries and a much stronger plant focus. I thought it was great and well worth supporting. There are thousands of you that receive this e-newsletter. If all of you go to the show and take a friend your effort could go a long way to making sure the Show survives long into the future and gets better and better with each passing year. I've seen everyone setting up and I think it's going to be a really good show this year. I hope to see there!

An exciting new product has arrived at the nursery: iron hanging baskets, shepherd hooks, trellises, and garden edging. Later this month we'll be getting arches! Fun. See below for more information.

Our third annual Great Plant Combination Contest is now on! Put your thinking caps on and find your inspiration because these prizes are worth a bit of effort. The information is below. The deadline for entries is June 25th, 2007.

In Charity Shopping Weekend news I'm pleased to report the earnings of the last two Weekends. In April the HomeStart Foundation earned $265.74 to help people trying to get back on their feet and start a new life in a new household. In May the Greater Vancouver Gogo Grannies earned a whopping $910.30 to support the grandmothers of Africa who are helping to raise the millions of children orphaned by the AIDS pandemic. They now hold the record and are the charity to beat when it comes to our Charity Shopping Weekends! Congratulations! Our June Weekend will benefit the Richmond Fruit Tree Project, a group that also runs The Sharing Farm. See below for details.

And last but not least we have four exciting workshops coming up. See below for details of the workshops and a special offer!

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

In this Issue

1. The Vancouver Sun Garden Show at VanDusen
2. New Iron Work at the Nursery

3. The 2007 Great Plant Combination Contest
4. Charity Shopping Weekend Benefitting the Richmond Fruit Tree Project and The Sharing Farm
5. Four Upcoming Workshops at the Nursery


The Vancouver Sun Garden Show at VanDusen

Thursday to Sunday June 7th to 10th
10am to 6pm

Join us at the Show for an exciting four days of plants, people, gardens, displays, talks, demonstrations, an urban deck showcase, food, and fun! Plus there will be a Phoenix Perennials booth with lots of luscious plants for sale!

For more information visit the garden show website.

See you at the show!


New Iron Work at the Nursery

We have trellises, shepherd hooks, hanging baskets and garden edging. They are all attractive and well-priced. Come to the Garden Show or the nursery to have a look. Later this month we'll be getting some arches.

The trellises and shepherd hooks are only $29.99, the hanging baskets (complete with coco fibre liner) are $21.99-$24.99 and the garden edging (not pictured) is $9.99 to $12.99.


The Third 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.

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

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, including during our Summer Sizzle Event July 21st and 22nd.

Here are the instructions:

1. Your plant combination should be suitable for a pot, small bed or section of a larger bed.
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 25th, 2007. 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, by the Phoenicians and by a guest landscape designer yet to be announced.

Click on the links to read articles and see images of the winners in 2005 and 2006.

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



Phoenix Perennials Charity Shopping Weekend
to benefit the
Richmond Fruit Tree Project
and The Sharing Farm

Saturday June 16th and Sunday June 17th, 2007

Welcome to our second 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 support a good cause.

What is the Richmond Fruit Tree Project and The Sharing Farm?: The Richmond Fruit Tree Project connects volunteers with growing and harvesting fruit and vegetables – for our neighbours in need. Their three major activities are growing food at the Sharing Farm, picking fruit, and gleaning second harvests from farmers’ fields. In six years, the Richmond Fruit Tree Project has harvested close to 90,000 pounds of fruit and vegetables to give to those living with poverty.

For more information please visit:

How it Works: Gardeners who wish to support the Richmond Fruit Tree Project can come shopping at Phoenix Perennials on Saturday June 16th and Sunday June 17th. When you pay for your plants, tell us that you have come to support the Fruit Tree Project 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!


Upcoming Charity Shopping Weekends:

July 7th and 8th: The Vancouver Hospice Society provides compassionate and dignified care to the dying.

September 15th and 16th: Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue is involved in the trapping, spaying and releasing of feral cats, the rescue of orphan kittens, and the education of the public about these issues.


Four Upcoming Workshops at the Nursery

Special Offer
Sign up for any of our next five workshops and bring a friend for free!

There are four exciting workshops coming up between now and the next e-newsletter. Here they are in summary and below in greater detail. Our Special Offer includes these four workshops as well as the September Grass workshop. The Winter Container workshop is not included in this offer.

The Low Down on Groundcovers
Groundcovers that grow on you
The Essence of Place
Exploring coastal native plants
Writers in the Garden
A purely personal perusal of some favourite garden scribes
The Dry Garden
Designing a xeriscape garden that goes easy on the drink
Saturday June 9th
Saturday June 16th
Saturday June 23rd
Saturday July 7th



Workshop at the Nursery
The Low Down on Groundcovers
Groundcovers that grow on you

Instructor: Jo Turner
Saturday June 9th, 10am | $15 |
Groundcovers fill a wide range of roles. We will "cover" several ways of utilizing them including: groundcovers for naturescaping, scent, flowers, evergreen interest, and edibility. We will also explore the practical and environmentally friendly use of groundcovers as a lawn alternative.


Workshop at the Nursery
The Essence of Place
Exploring coastal native plants

Instructor: Diane Brown
Saturday June 16th, 10am | $15 |
British Columbia has a wealth of beautiful and useful native plants including shrubs, perennials, and groundcovers. In this workshop you'll be introduced to our friendly natives and the reasons why native plant gardening is vital.


Workshop at the Nursery
Writers in the Garden
A purely personal perusal of some favourite garden scribes

Instructor: Jo Turner
Saturday June 23rd, 10am | $15 |
Garden writing is especially enjoyable as a way of vicariously visiting gardens, plants or designs through someone else's perspective. The best garden writing is more than this however, encompassing all the qualities of good literature in any genre; facility with language, a particular voice, and the ability to bring whatever is being expressed alive. Through readings and discussion, Jo will share some of her favourite garden writers from around the world and our own backyard. You'll leave this workshop with a list of writers guaranteed to pique the interest of the plant obsessed.


Workshop at the Nursery
The Dry Garden
Designing a xeriscape garden that goes easy on the drink

Instructor: Diane Brown
Saturday July 7th, 10am | $25 |
A workshop on the principles of designing and planting a bed for a hot, dry, sunny spot. Each participant will have the opportunity to design a xeriscape garden with the help of Diane and her assistant Gary. Come to the workshop with a five foot by five foot area of your garden in mind including measurements and pictures. Maximum: 15 participants



Spaces are limited. Please call (604-270-4133) or visit the nursery to book your space. Payment is required when booking. Each workshop requires a minimum of 10 people and a maximum of 15-25 depending on the workshop. Workshop participants will receive a 15% discount on any purchases they wish to make the day of their workshop.

Workshops Later in the Season:

Grasses that Captivate: The transformative powers of ornamental grasses | Instructor: Jo Turner | Saturday September 15th, 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.

Winter Containers: Plant up a container to create winter interest | Instructor: Cliff Thorbes | Saturday October 6th, two workshops starting at 10am and 2pm | $20 | 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.

Meet your Instructors

Diane Brown is a graduate of Kwantlen's Landscape Design program and was the coordinator of the Earthwise Garden for many years. She has designed gardens with garden ecosystems in mind and specialized in presenting earth-friendly workshops. She works part time for Phoenix Perennials and does landscape design, garden consultations, and workshops in her spare time.

Cliff Thorbes is a certified horticulturalist, artist and designer. He is passionate about container garden design and integrating original art into the garden to create a unique and personal statement. Cliff returns this year to reprise his popular seminars on design and on the secrets to creating containers that will captivate the senses.

Jo Turner (Dip. Hort. Cap. College) is a Vancouver gardener beginning her second season at Phoenix. She has a passion for gardens, plants, books, and the people who tend them. Her interests have led to several years experience in a variety of horticultural pursuits, usually involving mud.

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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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