Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants

E-Newsletter: June 2009


The Phoenix Perennials E-Newsletter
June 2009

Hello from Phoenix Perennials!

What Mother Nature taketh, she giveth back! I hope you have now recovered your gardens from the winter and are now excited by the gorgeous weather and ebullient growth rising up out of your garden beds.

The nursery is currently filled with plants. Maximum selection is right about now so if you haven't been to visit us for a while, now is a good time.

Do you miss the VanDusen Garden Show? Well, here comes the World Rose Festival. While it will focus on the rose there will be lots of display gardens, booths and talks on general gardening topics. AND it will be in the new convention centre under the green roof. AND Phoenix Perennials will be presenting a 1000 square foot display garden centred with a gorgeous new pavilion that will be moved to the nursery after the show and with intriguing plantings that are a mix between Piet Oudolf and paisley. Advance tickets (you will save $4 off of the $22 charge at the door) are available at Phoenix Perennials. Please come out and support us and this great festival. PS. There's a contest to win tickets for the rose show. See below.

For the Busy Gardener: We now have planted veggie containers for $29.99 ready to go with mixes of tomatoes, salad greens and other edibles. They are so full of veggie goodness you could almost pick one up and make a green salad from it tonight. And for many nights thereafter. The bounty of tomatoes will come later in the season. Our perennial hanging baskets are beginning to come into their own as the perennials fill in and begin to bloom. Unlike annual hanging basket which die each winter our perennial hanging baskets will come back next year. Though do keep in mind some maintenance will be required to tweak your hanging basket into perfection for 2010 and beyond.

Veggie Containers and Perennial Hanging Baskets

This month we announce our Great Plant Combination Contest and our call for entries. Every year two of you send in an entry right away and the rest of you wait or forget. Then I send a reminder email and 30 or more of you send in entries. This year I'm going to try to bribe you to send in your entries right away by entering everyone who sends in their entry by June 22nd at 5pm in a draw for a $25 gift certificate.

Also this month we announce our winner of the Greenheart Canopy Walkway tickets, our Charity Shopping Weekend for the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society, we include an article on Japanese maples including some gorgeous pictures of rare Japanese maples that have just arrived at the nursery, and we bring you a huge installment of Fabulous at Phoenix.

Extended Summer Hours
Sunday to Wednesday 10am-5pm
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10am-6pm

(Until July 18th, 2009 when we go back to Seven Days a Week, 10am-5pm)

See you soon at the nursery!

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

The search for B.C.’s best garden is on.

Enter yours for a chance to win a $3,500 prize package including a $500 Phoenix Perennials gift certificate!

Click here for more details


In this Issue

1. The Great Plant Combination Contest
2. Upcoming Events: The World Rose Festival
3. Japanese Maples
4. Contest Winner Announcement for the Tour for Four on the new Greenheart Canopy Walkway at UBC Botanical Garden
5. Upcoming Workshops
6. Charity Shopping Weekend to Benefit the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society
7. Fabulous at Phoenix: Gary's Picks of New, Notable and Luscious Plants at the Phoenix Candy Store


The Fifth 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

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 17th, 18th, and 19th.

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 30th. 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 including our two in-house designers Shelley Brignall and Diane Brown.

Early Bird Entry Draw
Send in your submission(s) by June 22nd at 5pm and you will be entered into a draw to win a $25 gift certificate! You are allowed three submissions and each one will get you an entry into the draw for a total of three possible entries in the early bird draw!


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



Upcoming Event

World Rose Festival
The Ultimate Rose Experience
June 19th-21st, 2009
Under the Green Roof at the New Convention Centre
Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre, Vancouver, BC

Featuring a 1000 square foot display garden by Phoenix Perennials! Oh my!

Roses, rose shows, rose gardens, rose workshops, rose markets, rose artwork, rose culinary treats – join us in celebrating and experiencing the Rose! There will also be lots of content on gardening in general.

The World Rose Festival offers an amazing variety of events, all highlighting the beauty of the rose. Thousands of rose blooms will be on display!

Phoenix Perennials will be presenting a 1000 square foot signature display garden at the Festival which will be held in the new portion of the Convention Centre under the giant green roof.

Advance tickets available at Phoenix Perennials $18
At the door $22
Seniors/students $16 available at the door only with valid ID

For more information visit the World Rose Festival website.

Two packages of two tickets are available for two lucky winners!
All you have to do is reply to this email, put "Rose" in the subject line and answer the following question:
What is your favourite rose?
(It's so easy!)



Japanese Maples

I have recently found myself intrigued by the beauty and sheer diversity in size, shape, form and foliar display within the Japanese maples. So, fellow gardener, I am here to announce that we are embarking on a new specialty at Phoenix Perennials and I'm going to have to start looking for acreage in order to have enough space for all the maples I want to grow!

The Japanese maple is also known by its scientific name Acer palmatum. It is a species of woody plant native to Japan, Korea and China. Many different cultivars of this maple have been selected and they are commonly grown all over the world for their attractive leaf shapes and colours.

Acer palmatum is a deciduous shrub or small tree reaching heights of about 6–10 m in the wild. It can often be found growing as an understory plant in shady woodlands. The form may have multiple trunks joining close to the ground and can be vase or dome shaped. The leaves can range in size from four to 12 cm long and wide and are palmately lobed with five, seven, or nine pointed lobes. The flowers are produced in small cymes, the individual flowers with five red or purple sepals and five whitish petals. The fruit is a pair of winged samaras, each samara is 2–3 cm long with a 6–8 mm seed.

In nature, Acer palmatum displays considerable genetic variation which has resulted in lots of diversity in the wild. It is this genetic diversity that has allowed plant breeders so much to work with in creating all of many forms for ornamental cultivation.

Japanese maples have been grown in temperate areas around the world since the 1800s and have been cultivated in Japan for centuries. There are over a thousand named cultivars with countless forms, colours, leaf types, sizes and preferred growing conditions. Heights of mature specimens can range from 0.5 m to 25 m, depending on type. Some tolerate sun and others like shade. Almost all are adaptable and blend well with companion plants. The trees are particularly suitable for borders and ornamental paths because the root systems are compact and not invasive. Well drained soil is preferred and the trees grow strongest when not over-fertilized. Many varieties of Acer palmatum are successfully grown in containers.

Over 1,000 cultivars have been chosen for particular characteristics such as leaf shape and size (shallowly to deeply lobed), leaf colour (ranging from chartreuse through dark green or from red to dark purple, others variegated with various patterns of white and pink), bark texture and colour, and growth pattern. Some cultivars are sturdy trees that are larger and more hardy or vigorous than is typical of the species. Many are shrubs rarely reaching over 0.5 m in height. A few very delicate cultivars are typically grown in pots as bonsai and rarely reach heights of more than 30 cm.

In Japan, Japanese maples or iromomiji are used as an accent tree in Japanese gardens, providing gentle shade next to the house in the summer and beautiful colours in fall. Many cultivars have characteristics that come into prominence during different seasons, including the colour of new or mature leaves, extraordinary fall colour, colour and shape of samaras, or even bark that becomes more brightly coloured during the winter.

Though Japanese maples grow in sun or shade, in their native habitat they grow in the under storey of the forest in dappled sunlight and thrive when grown in similar conditions. In very bright sunlight or when summers are very hot new leaves may be damaged by sun burn. It is best to grow Japanese maples in a sheltered area away from strong winds where they get some afternoon shade.

Japanese maples grow in zones 5 to 9. Red varieties are more cold tolerant and obtain the best colour with at least 6 to 8 hours of sun. Those with deeply divided leaves need extra protection from the sun.

An annual top dressing of two to three inches of compost or Sea Soil each year.

Watering Needs
Japanese maples have shallow roots and do not like to dry out, so keep them moist throughout the year, particularly in the hotter late summer months. Groundcover plants or a surface mulch of stones or bark (keep away from the tree's trunk) will help to conserve soil moisture. Avoid letting the soil get too soggy or the tree may develop root rot.

Japanese maples prefer a sandy loam, but will grow in most types of soil as long as it is well drained. They grow in a wide range of soil pH preferring a slightly acidic soil.

Major pruning should be done during the dormant season after the leaves have fallen, in late November to early January. Prune well before the sap starts running and the tree starts leafing out in the spring. Pruning should be done carefully and artfully. Pretend that you're trimming a bonsai. Your pruning must look natural and work with the shape of the tree. One wrong cut and your maple could look like an amputee for years to come. I only recommend pruning when and if you absolutely have to.

When to Grow
Japanese maples are best planted in the spring or fall. If you purchase a Japanese maple in the summer you can plant it in the ground if you can keep it well-watered. Build a bowl of soil around it so you can fill the bowl when watering and know that the water is sinking straight down into the root ball. You can also repot your maple into a larger pot, grow it in this pot over the dry months and then plant it out once temperatures cool in fall.

New Japanese Maples at the Nursery!

Our new selection of rare Japanese maples have just arrived at the nursery. They are small plants in four inch pots but with some good size on them already ranging between eight and 20 inches tall. They are all $24.99 except 'Fairy Hair' which is $84.99 (Yes. It's special and very rare.).

'Lemon Lime Lace'
'First Ghost'
shirasawanum 'Aureum' (fall colour)
'Sister Ghost'
'Orange Dream'
'Purple Ghost'
shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon'
'Tamuke Yama' (fall colour)
'Fairy Hair'

'Shu Shidare'

'Tiger Rose'
'Tsuma Gaki'



Contest Winner
Guided Tour for Four on the new
Greenheart Canopy Walkway at UBC Botanical Garden

The winner is Julieanne A.

Julieanne and three guests will experience nature high above the forest floor with a guided tour on the new Greenheart Canopy Walkway. Located in the David C. Lam Asian Garden at UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research, this 308-metre (1010 feet) aerial trail system offers a rare perspective on the natural beauty of the west coast forest canopy eco-system. (Tour aprox. 40 mins.)

You too can visit the canopy walkway at the beautiful UBC Botanical Garden. Click on the link for more details.
visitorinfo/ greenheart-canopy-walkway.php


Upcoming Workshops

DOWN TO EARTH SERIES | The Buzz of Beneficials: Plant Up a Container to Attract Butterflies, Birds and Hummingbirds to your Garden | Instructor: Diane Brown | Saturday June 13th, 10am | $15 | In this workshop you'll learn how to attract butterflies, birds,  hummingbirds and beneficial insects to your garden beds and planters through the careful selection of beautiful plants loved by our favourite garden visitors. In the second half of the workshop participants will plant up a container to act as a bird and butterfly magnet for their gardens. 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.
GARDEN LIVING SERIES | Summer Wines: Great Bottles for Patio and Garden | Instructor: Randy Rae | Saturday July 11th, 2pm (Date and Time Change) | $30 | In this wine tasting you will be introduced to a number of delicious and refreshing well-priced wines perfect for the summer patio and garden. From bubbles to whites and light reds, you will learn about and taste some great solutions for summer entertaining or for just kicking back in your garden and enjoying the fruits of your labours!



POWER OF PERENNIALS SERIES | Grasses that Captivate: The Transformative Powers of Ornamental Grasses | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 12th, 10am | $15 |

DOWN TO EARTH SERIES | Phoenix Fresh Winter Veggies: Plant Up a Container with Cool Season Edibles | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 19th, 10am | $15 |

CONTAINER SERIES | Jewels of the Spring Garden: Bulbs for Spring Containers | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 26th, 10am | $15 |


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 |

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
Canadian Hemochromatosis Society
Saturday and Sunday June 20th and 21st, 2009

Welcome to our upcoming Charity Shopping Weekend -- 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 Canadian Hemochromatosis Society?:Since 1982, the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society has been dedicated to raising awareness of Hereditary Hemochromatosis (HHC), an inherited metabolic disorder that causes the body to absorb and retain too much dietary iron.HHC is the most common genetic disorder affecting Canadians. One in 9 people carry at least one mutated hemochromatosis gene – that works out to more than 3,000,000 Canadians.Untreated, hemochromatosis can lead to diabetes, heart disease, liver cancer, arthritis, hypothyroidism and other complications and disease.  The most common symptoms include chronic fatigue, joint pain, irregular heartbeat, mood swings, confusion, bronzing of the skin, loss of libido and abdominal pain. Information, diagnosis and treatment will lead to the elimination of unnecessary disease and early death.Our vision:

  • 100% of Canadians are informed about hemochromatosis100% of medical professionals are informed about hemochromatosis100% of Canadians who are at risk are tested, diagnosed and treated
  • Lives are saved

For more information please visit:

How it Works: Gardeners who wish to support the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society can come shopping at Phoenix Perennials on the designated dates. When you pay for your plants, tell us that you have come to support this charity 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

It's a huge Fabulous at Phoenix installment this month, fellow gardeners. And this is just the very tip of the iceberg. We currently have thousands of different plants to choose from! Oh my!

Zantedeschia aethiopica 'White Giant' - Giant Calla Lily - This fantastic, imposing, giant selection of Z. aethiopica features five foot clumps of white-speckled, ruffled arrow-shaped leaves topped by seven foot tall flower stems carrying the classic white boot-shaped calla flower. For full sun and average to moist soils. Semi-evergreen through most of the winter.


Heirloom Tomatoes - Luscious and diverse, our selection includes all kinds of interesting cherries, beefsteaks, romas and other weird tomatoes. Grow your own in the garden or in pots and decrease your carbon footprint with veggies from your own backyard.

Passiflora - Passionflowers - Of the 150 or so species of passionflowers only one is hardy for us in our climate, P. caerulea. We now offer a select form shown below with superior flowers. We also have some exciting tropical passionflowers in a range of gorgeous colours. These can be brought in as a houseplant in winter.
Passiflora caerulea 'Select' - Hardy Blue Passion Flower - This selection (at right in the picture) has markedly larger flowers with darker black centres and deeper blue petals than the form commonly in cultivation (at left in the picture). P. caerulea is hardy for us in the Lower Mainland, especially against a south facing wall or fence. Plant in well-drained soil that is not too moist or too rich to promote more flowers and less greenery. Edible, but not the most tasty, yellow fruit are produced if pollinators visit. Trick them into visiting, and create a nice plant combination, by growing up an irresistable Buddleia.
Passiflora coccinea 'Vine Red'
Passiflora incarnata x cincinnata 'Inspiration' - A re-breeding of the popular 'Incense' minus the virus which was said to be ubiquitous with this older cultivar.
Passiflora alato-caerulea 'Vine Blue'
Passiflora 'Lady Margaret'

Bougainvillea - A great tropical shrub/vine for hot sunny spots on the summer patio. Bring inside as a houseplant for winter or overwinter above 8 degrees Celsius in a greenhouse.

'Barbara Karst' (left) - Classic hot magenta flowers.

'California Gold' (bottom left) - A unique golden yellow.

'Raspberry Ice' (below) - Red flowers and attractive golden foliage.

Rhododendron fortunei 'Emma and May' - Rhododendron - Flowers are a frosty pink and fragrant! It buds as a young plant and has extraordinary foliage: new growth is coppery blue, which matures to leaves which have a distinct blue tinged sheen. It is a compact grower. Its name honors Emma Smith DeVoe and May Arkwright Hutton, who helped Washington state women get the vote in 1910. Prior to the vote, male politicians tried to placate the women by allowing them to choose the state flower. They chose the rhododendron, but also chose to pursue voting rights for women. The Washington Women’s Consortium approached Briggs Nursery to use 'Emma and May' as an appropriate symbol for the upcoming 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in 2010. Power to women!
Ligularia 'Osiris Cafe Noir' - Ragwort - The cutting edge of ligularia is a Canadian story from Quebec brought to you by a nursery called Les Jardins Osiris. The beautiful ruffled and serrated foliage emerges purple black, changes to bronze (pictured left) and then to olive green. What a way to re-invigorate an already useful genus for the shade!
Agave - Century Plants - We are proud to be among the first in the country to introduce a wide selection of new agave cultivars and species. In addition to the four listed below we are also offering for the first time at the nursery 'Silver Surfer', parryi ssp hauchuensis 'J.C. Raulston', toumeyana, titanota, gemniflora 'Spaghetti Strap' as well as the agave relative Manfreda 'Bloodspot'. These plants join our already exciting collection of other agaves.
Agave funkiana 'Blue Haze' - Century Plant - 'Blue Haze' is a pretty variety of Agave funkiana with lovely powdery-blue leaves with a near-white central midstripe. This fine selection is stunning as a container specimen but could potentially be grown outside in a protected situation with hardiness to minus 9º C.
Agave funkiana 'Fatal Attraction' - Century Plant - 'Fatal Attraction' is a vigorous selection of Agave funkiana featuring narrow dark green leaves with a lighter central midstripe. The narrow thick leaves end in a dark terminal spine. This fine selection is stunning as a container specimen but could potentially be grown outside in a protected situation with hardiness to minus 9º C.

Agave schidigera 'Shira ito no Ohi' (Queen of the White Thread) - Century Plant - The form, symmetry and dramatic beauty of 'Shira ito no Ohi' captures one's attention. Each thick, dark-green leaf is margined by a crisp white border, highlighted by silver interior markings and edged with white curly filifers. Eventually forms a 12 inch clump suitable for pot use, or as a garden plant in zones 8 and south.

Agave schidigera 'Black Widow' - Century Plant - 'Black Widow' is a selection of schidigera, natural to western Mexico, displaying rigid, dark green leaves with silver markings and interesting filiferous edges. With its compact growth habit and wonderful symmetry it makes an excellent pot plant or border plant in zones 8 through 10.

Colocasia - Elephant Ears - These dramatic foliage plants can be grown in ponds or in normal planters as long as they are well-watered.
'Black Ruffles'
nancyana/'Nancy's Revenge'
'Red Stem'/'Rhubarb'
Brunnera 'King's Ransom' - Heartleaf Brunnera - Like 'Jack Frost' only with gold edges. Slightly smaller so great for pots and planters and still with the great forget-me-not blue flowers.
Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears' - Miniature Hosta - 'Blue Mouse Ears' is the unofficial ambasador for a wonderful group of diminuitive hostas that only grow between two to six inches tall, depending on the cultivar. We have a large selection at the nursery right now including 'Stilletto', 'Teeny Weeny Bikini', 'Peanut', 'Slim and Trim' and many more!
Heuchera 'Lime Marmalade' - Coral Bells - This sport of Marmalade has thick, ruffled, glossy golden foliage that shows good sun tolerance unlike all other golden leaved coral bells which look stressed or get burned in the sun. Great for a lime zing in the garden.

Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate' - Silk Tree - One of the most exciting new small trees in years. First discovered by Dr. Masato Yokoi in Japan in 1990 as a seedling. Its ferny compound leaves emerge bronze-green in late spring, then darken to a rich burgundy-chocolate by summer and maintain their dark colour even in hot, humid climates. Fragrant pink puff-ball flowers flowers emerge in summer and sit preciously on top of each branch. Only a few available!

We also have normal julibrissin and a cultivar called 'Fan Silk'.

Sinocalycanthus raulstonii 'Hart - Hybrid Allspice - A broad deciduous shrub resulting as a cross of the American (Calycanthus floridus) and the Chinese "Allspice" (Sinocalycanthus chinensis) species. Elliptical leaves are lush green in spring and summer, and yellow in fall. Blossoms for months on end of rich burgundy colour. Prefers sun/partial shade in well-drained soil. 8' tall x 6' wide in 10 years. Hardy to -20 degrees. USDA zone 5.
Cornus kousa 'Heart Throb' - Korean Dogwood - An upright deciduous tree with glossy green leaves and deep pinkish-red flower bracts. Red fruits in fall attract birds. Prefers sun/partial shade in well-drained soil. 10' tall x 5' wide in 10 years. Hardy to -20 degrees. USDA zone 5.
Cornus controversa 'Variegata' - Dogwood - A small deciduous tree with wonderful horizontal branching. Green leaves are strikingly variegated with white. Clusters of cream-colored flowers in May are followed by small black fruits. Prefers sun/partial shade in well-drained soil. 7' tall x 5' wide in 10 years. Hardy to -30 degrees. USDA zone 4.
Fagus sylvatica 'Tricolor' - European Beech - A popular upright deciduous tree with pinkish-red and purple variegated leaves. Tender leaves in early spring make a wonderful color (but tasteless) addition to salads. Prefers full sun in well-drained soil. 8' tall x 3' wide in 10 years. Hardy to -30 degrees. USDA zone 4.
Hibiscus syriacus 'Meehanii' - Rose-of-Sharon - A variegated rose-of-sharon with lavender-pink flowers.

Delphinium 'Red Caroline' - Delphinium - The gorgeous flowers of ‘Red Caroline’ emerge rose-red and deepen as they mature to almost true red. The fat, multi-branching flower spikes can measure eight inches in diametre. Well-drained, humus-rich soil in a sunny position sheltered from strong winds. This is the hardiest red delphinium so far if you live in a cooler climate.

We also have it's sister plant, the pink 'Princess Caroline'.

New Purple and Not-So-Purple Coneflowers!

The new coneflowers keep on coming! The colours keep getting more amazing and the plants continue to improve in vigour, strength and flower power. Last fall I toured the trial fields of Terra Nova Nurseries. I have seen the future of coneflowers, fellow gardeners, and it's a bright future!

Cultivation: There are a few things about the requirements of coneflowers that any gardener in the Lower Mainland wanting to grow these wonderful plants should consider. Coneflowers come from the North American prairies. They are therefore extremely hardy to our temperatures. But they are adapted to dryish, well-drained soils that are average to poor in nutrients. The challenge in the Lower Mainland is to avoid rich beds that are excessively moist in the winter. Plant your coneflowers in well-drained or preferably dry soils in raised beds with average to low nutrients and you should be quite successful.

Echinacea purpurea 'Tomato Soup' - Not-So-Purple Coneflower - Stunning warm, tomato-red flowers to five inches wide. A real treat on three foot tall plants that are nearly as wide covered with flowers till frost. Plants are well branched and show excellent vigour. A natural pairing with 'Mac 'n' Cheese'. Easy to grow in full sun with good drainage.
Echinacea purpurea 'Mac 'n' Cheese' - Not-So-Purple Coneflower - You can take comfort with these warm and tasty four and a half inch blooms covering this new Echinacea. Vigorous, well-branched stems are featured on this upright plant (to 26" tall). Their golden rays are a perfect complement to 'Tomato Soup'. Put them together for a summertime comfort food feast!
Echinacea purpurea 'All that Jazz' - Purple Coneflower - "I'm gonna rouge my knees and roll my stockings down! And all that jazz!" I had a show tune moment there. Do you know that song from the musical Chicago? This new coneflower has uniquely "quilled" petals which fold in on themselves opening just at the tips with a little pink tongue. Unique, subtle, sophisticated. I love it. I wonder what Velma would think of this coneflower.
Echinacea purpurea 'Vintage Wine' - Purple Coneflower - This is a richly-coloured new cultivar of the popular purple coneflower with deep purple-red flowers with shorter, non-reflexed petals. Bound to be very popular this year. Plant in full sun in average (not overly rich), well-drained soils. Avoid soils that are overly moist in winter.
Echinacea 'Tiki Torch' - Not-So-Purple Coneflower - The gorgeous, large, bright, pumpkin orange flowers with red centres offer the best hope for a vibrant orange echinacea since the disappointingly annual ‘Orange Meadowbrite’. This plant apparently has strong, upright stems and excellent vigour. Worth a shot in well-drained, not so rich soils.
Echinacea 'Green Jewel' - Not-So-Purple Coneflower - This peculiar coneflower has green petals and green cones. This will be one of those plants to show off to your friends. Plant in full sun in average (not overly rich), well-drained soils. Avoid soils that are overly moist in winter.
Echinacea purpurea 'Pink Poodle' - Purple Coneflower - This pink "puppy" is prancing into the coneflower arena with amazingly large and fluffy, four inch wide flower heads. These bright pink flowers are a departure from the 'Razzmatazz' hybrids and feature strong, well-branched stems to 32" tall and excellent vigour. This was no "dog" – It's a Grand Champion!
Echinacea purpurea 'Pink Double Delight' - Purple Coneflower - This fully double coneflower has a magenta “afro” of petals in place of the cone. Definitely the perfect plant when you desire something over the top!
Echinacea 'Meringue' - Not-So-Purple Coneflower - 'Meringue' has floriferous coneflowers with pompon-like blooms with creamy yellow tubular flowers surrounded by crisp white ray petals. It’s sturdy, dwarf habit is perfect for smaller spaces or mid-border placement. 'Meringue' will light up the evening in any garden with its glowing white petals. This plant has continuously bloomed from July to September in many garden settings.


Leonotis leonurus - Lion's Tail - A captivating and dramatic member of the mint family, lion's tail grows to three to five feet tall and blooms in summer and fall with firey orange flowers held at regular intervals along the stems. Zone 9, often grown as an annual and totally worth it even if it doesn't survive the winter - though planted up against a south facing wall or in a pot and placed in a frost free garage or shed could see it coming back year after year.

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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