Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants

E-Newsletter: Mid-May 2010

The Phoenix Perennials E-Newsletter
Mid-May 2010

Hello from Phoenix Perennials!

So much is happening plant-wise at the nursery with our production side pumping out glorious and intriguing plants that I have decided to send a quick mid-May e-newsletter filled with gratuitous shots of many of our sexy new plants. I hope you enjoy it.

I also include info on our upcoming workshops. Buy one and bring a friend for free! Two new changes:

1. A new date for the Perennial Hanging Basket Workshop on the afternoon of May 22nd.
2. We have added a new session of our Succulent Wreath Workshop on June 6th in the afternoon.

Have a look at the information on our Premium Perennial Sidewalk Sale with great big huge premium size perennials at great discounts when you buy 5 or 10 at a time! Details below.

Don't forget that this Saturday May 22nd the plant sale of the Pacific Northwest Palm and Exotic Plant Society will be held at the nursery. It's a great opportunity for a synergistic plant hunting experience between Phoenix Perennials and the members and member nurseries of the Palm Club. Lots of great stuff! Get to the nursery early to take best advantage!

Extended Hours Until July
Sun-Wed 10am-5pm
Thurs-Sat 10am-6pm

See you at the nursery soon!

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

Perennial Gerbera - Garvinea Forever Daisies - Now in Stock! The first winter hardy gerbera in a rainbow of colours! Enjoy Gerbera Forever Daisies™ year after year in patio pots or planted en-masse in the border, or cut them for a fabulous display indoors. You can expect around 100 florist-quality blooms per plant over a season. Hardy to zone 7. Plant in hot sunny positions with good soil moisture during the growing season. Hardiness has not been tested in our region but it looks promising.


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In this Issue

1. Upcoming Workshops: Veggies, Ferns, Perennial Hanging Baskets, Succulent Wreaths, Architectural Plants, WINE tasting!
2. Premium Perennial Sidewalk Sale
3. Fabulous at Phoenix: Gary's Picks of New, Notable and Luscious Plants at the Phoenix Candy Store


Upcoming Workshops

Special May Workshop Offer
It's been cold and rainy and you're likely not thinking much about gardening and workshops. We want to get things rolling and get you and a friend to come have fun with us.
Buy one May workshop space and bring a friend for FREE!*
*Cannot be combined with other offers.

DOWN TO EARTH SERIES | Phoenix Fresh Veggies: Plant Up a Container with Unusual and Heirloom Varieties | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday May 22nd, 10am-12pm | $18 | You can’t eat much more locally than your own back yard! Shelley will introduce you to a host of cool, unusual and heirloom vegetables including purple tomatoes, rainbow-coloured greens, squash and cucumbers that grow on bushes, spinach that grows on vines, peas with blue pods, and white eggplants. After some practical and design instruction each participant will plant up and take home their own veggie container. 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 $7. Please order your pot when you book your workshop. The price of the workshop includes your potting mix.

NEW DATE AND TIME - CONTAINER SERIES | Perennial Hanging Baskets: To Boldly Go Where No Perennial Has Gone Before!  | Instructor: Belinda Cardoso | Saturday May 22nd, 1pm-3pm | $20* | In this workshop you’ll take perennials into the unknown and on to the world of the hanging basket. You’ll learn about perennials that are suitable to growing in hanging baskets and then you’ll get a chance to plant up your own to take home with you! *Cost includes potting mix and moss. It does not include the hanging basket. Options will be provided leading up to the workshop.) The picture is from the photo shoot for Steve Whysall's May 14th Vancouver Sun article on Perennial Hanging Baskets and other unusual uses for perennials.

POWER OF PERENNIALS SERIES | One Good Fern Deserves Another: Ferns for Shade to Part Sun Gardens | Instructor: JoAnn Turner | Sunday May 23rd, 1pm-3pm | $16 | Ferns offer a delicate, subtle beauty of texture and form. They can be stately architectural plants or they can be used to weave together and unite the perennial border. Jo will introduce you to the incredible diversity of garden ferns and talk about how you can use them in your shade to part sun gardens.

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 May 29th, 10am | $18 | 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 $7. Please order your pot when you book your workshop. The price of the workshop includes your potting mix.

POWER OF PERENNIALS SERIES | Architectural Plants: Add Drama, Structure and Presence in the Garden | Instructor: JoAnn Turner | Sunday May 30th, 1pm-3pm | $16 | Jo will introduce you to a plethora of plants with great foliage, form and stature that you can use to rise out your amorphous plantings to give structure, strength and intrigue to your borders. She will also chat about plants that “die well” providing great structure and interest to the winter garden.


POWER OF PERENNIALS SERIES | Grasses that Captivate: The Transformative Powers of Ornamental Grasses | Instructor: Shelley Brignall |Saturday June 5th, 10am-12pm | $16 | 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.

GARDEN LIVING SERIES | Summer Wines: Great Bottles for Patio and Garden |
structor: Randy Rae | Saturday June 5th, 1:30pm-3:30pm | $30 | At 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! Though the theme remains the same this year, all the wines will be different from previous years. After the guided tasting there will be a reception with wine, cheese and nibblies and a chance to discuss the wines informally with your instructor and your fellow classmates!

NEW SESSION ADDED! CONTAINER SERIES | Living Wreaths: Plant Up a Wreath with Fantastic Succulents | Instructor: Felice Andersen | Sunday June 6th, 1pm-3pm | $18 + $35 Wreath Frame = $53* | And you thought wreaths were only for Christmas time! Felice will introduce you to an intriguing idea in succulent gardening – planting up a wreath with sempervivums, echeverias, sedums and other interesting succulents. You can hang them on your sunny door or gate or lay them on a table as a centrepiece. No matter how you use them you’ll be sure to wow everyone with this unique garden feature. After some general instruction, each participant will have the opportunity to design and plant up their own wreath! *Includes a high quality wreath frame, moss and potting mix. The plants you select are not included.


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.


Premium Perennial Sidewalk Sale

Sedum 'Capo Blanco' 1 gallon pots!

Regular Price: $11.99
Buy 5 plants or more mix and match: $9.99
Buy 10 plants or more mix and match: $7.99

The sidewalk sale includes solid performance perennials: Sedum 'Capo Blanco', 'Vera Jameson', sieboldii; Coreopsis 'Moonbeam' and 'Zagreb'; Platycodon (Balloon Flower) blue and white; Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' (Black-Eyed Susan); Geranium sanguineum; Perovskia 'Little Spire' (Russian Sage); Euphorbia 'Robbiae' (Mrs Robb's Bonnet); Campanula 'Blue Clips', 'White Clips', and 'Stella'; Centranthus rubra (Valerian).


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

May is a fantastically overwhelming month for perennials at Phoenix. Our new production of unique perennials are coming ready every day. As they do we move them over to our retail side. In Fabulous at Phoenix I can barely scratch the surface of all that is available! You might want to visit us a few times through May!

Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips' - Baby Sage - Very cool. This is a fast-growing wild selection of a Mexican sage which is adorned with stunning bicolour flowers -- white flowers with red lips -- from May until frost. But the expression of colour is temperature sensitive. In spring the flowers are usually all red, later bicoloured/hot lipped and in the heat of the summer all white, then returning to bicoloured and then red again in the fall. Will produce hundreds, if not thousands, of flowers in a season. Well-drained soil in full sun. Hard prune each spring.
Meconopsis 'Lingholm' - Himalayan Blue Poppy - One of the holy grails of the botanical world, the Himalayan Blue Poppy. Count yourself lucky to live in one of the few places in the world with a suitable climate for growing these fabulous plants. ‘Lingholm’ is a hybrid group between M. betonicifolia and M. grandis which should be longer-lived than straight M. betonicifolia. The flowers are from three to five inches across in pale to deep sky blue. Prefers peaty, well-drained soil that is kept evenly moist in summer and bright but indirect light.

Phoenix Fresh Veggies! - It's veggie season. We have all kinds of yummy and intriguing heirloom and cool modern vegetables at this time of year. You can't get much more local than your own backyard, patio or balcony. Many of our veggies can be grown in containers or in the garden.

Upcoming Workshop: Phoenix Fresh Veggies: Plant Up a Container with Unusual and Heirloom Varieties | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday May 22nd, 10am-12pm |

Heucherella 'Sweet Tea' - Foamy Bells - Huge cinnamon stars at the centre of each leaf are surrounded by the loveliest orange tea coloured borders. A new instant classic for containers and garden. Undeniably the most intensely coloured heucherella ever! The big, palmately cut leaves darken in the summer and lighten up again in the fall. Its Heuchera villosa breeding gives it a big bold habit and heat and humidity tolerance.
Heucherella 'Solar Power' - Foamy Bells - The lobed leaves of ‘Solar Power’ are yellow gold to lime green splattered with deep red. The plant forms a spreading mound of colour in sun or part shade. This heucherella takes higher light levels than other yellow foliage forms showing amazing sun tolerance even at high summer temperatures. When grown in full shade it stays lime green with splatters of deep red.
Heucherella 'Brass Lantern' - Foamy Bells - Outstanding vigour combined with brassy gold and red spring colour on maple shaped leaves. A beacon in the garden. Use this large, evergreen, landscape perennial in mixed beds, under high branching shrubs, or in a container. Spikes of white flowers on dark stems. Winter colour olive and brown. Best colour contrast with some shade.
Heuchera 'Plum Royale' - Coral Bells - ‘Plum Royale' is the first heuchera to have amazing, shiny purple leaves all summer! Winter foliage is silver with a purple tint. Wonderful as an accent or en masse. Pink-white flowers on dark peduncles, excellent vigour, and a mounding, compact habit.
Heuchera 'Sugar Plum' - Coral Bells - Frosty plum-purple leaves make a tight mound of evergreen (in zone 6 and above) foliage. Silvery pink flowers rise 26" above the soil and frequently rebloom. A refreshing sight in summer!
Heuchera 'Mint Julep' - Coral Bells - Short cones of clean-white flowers arise from delectable mint-green and silver leaves. These luscious clumps glow in shaded, dark areas of the garden. Dense and lush, this is a great new generation green and silver heuchera, a cool refreshing break from the bright and zaney colours of its sister cultivars.
Heuchera 'Southern Comfort' - Coral Bells - Huge cinnamon-peach leaves and a lush habit. This plant makes a bold foliage statement. Creamy white flowers erupt in late summer. Foliage colour changes from cinnamon peach to burnished copper to amber. Bred to do well in humid climates including the Pacific Northwest and BC.
Heuchera 'Midnight Bayou' - Coral Bells - Maple-like leaves of purple with black veins provide an excellent foil for silver-leaved or pink-flowered plants. The leaf colour changes with the season from silvered purple to red purple.
Heuchera 'Fire Chief' - Coral Bells - Mid-sized leaves of glowing wine red make a gorgeous medium sized mound. These are topped with bicoloured pink and white flowers on dark red stems that bloom continuously spring, summer, and fall. The foliage develops somewhat deeper tones in the winter, but otherwise holds its wine red colour.
Heuchera 'Havana' - Coral Bells - Dense wands of cerise pink flowers glow, like the end of Fidel’s cigar. Swirling yellow-lime leaves veiled in white. 'Havana’s compact habit and reblooming nature make it an excellent pot plant.
Delphinium New Millenium Strains - Selected in New Zealand, the New Millennium delphinium strains outperform all other tall types and offer some astonishingly rich shades of purple, dark blue, sky blue, pink, dusty rose, and white. The stems are strong and the plants are generally longer lived than other tall delphiniums. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.
Lobelia syphilitica - Great Blue Lobelia - Once used to treat syphilis now it is used to grace gardens. The beautiful blue spikes of great blue lobelia do remarkably well without staking in sun to part shade. The blue is stunning against its pale green leaves and is useful to create a delphinium-like effect in shadier parts of the garden. Enjoys a moist soil but will do well in average sites as well.
Leucanthemum 'Goldrausch' ('Gold Rush') - Shasta Daisy - This new cultivar sports, for the first time, yellow petals in a shasta daisy. 'Goldrausch' has masses of fine, narrow petals in a semi-double format that are white at the edges of the large flower and golden yellow where they encircle the bright yellow centre. Compact, very well-branched and vigorous, 'Goldrausch' will rebloom eagerly when the first flowers are cut or deadheaded. Good in the border or in containers. All shasta daisies appreciate plenty of sunshine and excellent drainage.
Leucanthemum 'Banana Cream' - Shasta Daisy - ‘Banana Cream’ has four inch wide flowers that are lemon yellow when they open, brightening to light butter yellow and finally to creamy white as they mature. An extra row of ray petals gives the flowers a fuller appearance than truly single varieties. Since it produces flower buds at each axillary shoot, ‘Banana Cream’ blooms prolifically all summer long atop strong, upright stems. Flowers last for weeks in a vase. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.
Aquilegia canadensis 'Little Lanterns' - Columbine - ‘Little Lanterns’ is a selection from the eastern counterpart to our BC native A. formosa. It is short in stature, but free with flowers. Numerous pendant flowers in shades of red and yellow cover the plant in late spring. This selection is consistently shorter in stature and more intense in colour than the species making it a better garden plant. Popular with hummingbirds. Tolerant of dry shade.
Echinacea 'Hot Papaya' - Not-So-Purple Coneflower - Sizzling, red orange, double cones with falling tails heat up the sun border in summer. Contrasting dark burgundy, sturdy stems. Upright, with lance-shaped leaves. From the Cone-fections Series which offers reliably hardy, very floriferous, stocky plants with strong sturdy stems. Wonderful planted en masse and superb as a cut flower. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.
Echinacea 'Green Jewel' - Not-So-Purple Coneflower - This incredibly unique echinacea was discovered by Piet Oudolf. Light green ray petals surround the large, green cone of this sweetly fragrant coneflower. The plants have an upright habit and a height of just 20-24 inches, so no staking is required. Praised for their cheerful brightly coloured flowers, coneflowers are a mainstay in today's garden. The dried seed heads provide architectural interest in the winter and are a good food source for finches and other birds. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.
Echinacea 'Tiki Torch' - Not-So-Purple Coneflower - The gorgeous, large, bright, pumpkin orange flowers with red centres are one of the best orange echinaceas. This plant has strong, upright stems and excellent vigour. Plant in well-drained, not so rich soils.
Gaillardia 'The Sun' - Blanket Flower - ‘The Sun’ has bright golden yellow petals surrounding the yellowish-orange, button-like centre. It grows to about 15 inches tall and wide making it half the height of ‘Amber Wheels’ which is also golden yellow but with a red centre. Since these daisy-like blooms keep on coming from early summer into fall, they provide continuous colour in containers and will keep your vases full of fresh blanket flower bouquets all season long. Impressive when planted en masse. They even attract butterflies! Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.
Gaillardia 'Tokajer' - Blanket Flower - Marmalade-orange flower petals are darker towards the eye than at the tips and come together at the reddish-brown, button-like centre. Plants grow to two feet tall. Since the blooms keep on coming from early summer into fall, they provide continuous colour and will keep your vases full of fresh blanket flower bouquets all season long. Butterflies are highly attracted to their bright fiery colours. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.
Phlox paniculata 'Tiara' - Tall Garden Phlox - ‘Tiara’ is the very first double white Phlox paniculata hybrid. The individual flowers of ‘Tiara’ can be either double or single, and the petals unfurl like a rose bud making even the single flowers appear double. The flower panicles are borne atop relatively short plants from mid to late summer. Ideal for cut flowers because the flower petals are drop resistant, meaning they hold their petals until the entire cluster is spent. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.
Phlox paniculata 'Sherbet Cocktail' - Tall Garden Phlox - ‘Sherbet Cocktail’ offers a fascinating melange of colours in each flower including yellow, a first in the world of garden phloxes. The yellow-green buds emerge out of chocolate-maroon bracts, opening into green-yellow-edged flowers with soft pink or white centres. The flowers have a slightly waxy texture resembling a head of hydrangea flowers. Good mildew resistance.
Hosta 'Queen of the Seas' - Plantain Lily - A dynamic, large, blue-green hosta with a tall, upright form and fantastic foliage that makes it a sight to behold in the shade garden. Large, heart shaped, blue leaves of good substance have a very wavy pie crust edge. Near-white flowers are produced in early to midsummer. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.
Hosta 'Hadspen Blue' - Plantain Lily - Powdery steel blue leaves retain their colour all summer long; one of the best blues ever developed. Thick, cupped, heavily textured leaves are slug resistant. Forms a nice rounded mound of foliage. Pale lavender flowers are displayed just above the foliage on 18 inch scapes in midsummer. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.
Hosta 'Parhelion' - Plantain Lily - This sport of 'Sum and Substance' has huge, rounded leaves that are light green with narrow, irregular, cream margins. The leaves have slightly rippled edges and may be shallowly cupped or convex. Lavender flowers are produced on 50" scapes in midsummer. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.
Hosta 'Purple Heart' - Plantain Lily - ‘Purple Heart’ represents an exciting next step in the work to breed purple and red into hosta foliage. In this case the burgundy red to almost black petioles (leaf stems) have sent red speckles up into the base of the glossy lime to green leaves. Add to this a neat and uniform habit and dark burgundy flower stems topped with lavender flowers. Good slug resistance.
Hosta 'Raspberry Sundae' - Plantain Lily - ‘Raspberry Sundae’ represents an exciting next step in the work to breed purple and red into hosta foliage. This lovely compact hosta has beautifully variegated leaves and striking deep burgundy petioles (leaf stems), leaf bases, and flower stalks. Flower colour is deep lavender purple in August.
Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate' - Silk Tree - This beautiful small tree has luxuriant feathery foliage of rich purple and burgundy topped for 2-3 months in summer with masses of fuzzy pink spheres. It is one of the few flowering trees that bloom in the summer and thus extremely useful. Overall this is a great subtropical contribution to the garden. The wood of this tree is not particularly strong, so plant where it will be protected from our winter wind storms.
Dahlia Bishop Series - Dahlia - This excellent series of burgundy-leaved dahlias includes the classic ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ (red) as well as the Bishops of Auckland (dark red), Canterbury (rosy red), Oxford (orange), York (yellow) and Leicester (lavender). These dahlias are fairly hardy in our climate and don't need to be lifted if planted in a protected, sunny spot in well-drained soil. A protective mulch is recommended.
Rheum palmatum 'Tanguticum' - Ornamental Rhubarb - This form of species palmatum has large toothed leaves with green tops and intense rosy-purple reverses. It continues to produce new, freshly coloured leaves until late summer. Tall spires of tiny white flowers reach skywards in early summer. A truly dramatic focal plant. Prefers a deep, humus-rich, moisture retentive yet well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade.
Actaea (Cimicifuga) 'Chocoholic' - Bugbane - From midsummer through early fall, fragrant bottlebrush flowers dance above the deep purple foliage. They are a rich mauve-pink colour when they open and lighten to white as they age. This dwarf cultivar measures in at two to three feet tall. Actaea (formerly Cimicifuga) is a wonderfully lacy, airy backdrop in the garden. It is especially attractive when combined with variegated or golden foliage. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.
Zantedeschia aethiopica 'White 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.
Agave americana 'Mediopicta Alba' - Century Plant - This beautiful variegated form has bluish green leaves with a creamy white centre. Perfect for creating pots of high visual impact on your patio or balcony. Underplant with Echeveria for a sophisticated touch. Reportedly hardy to minus nine Celsius, larger plants will likely be fairly hardy if kept dry and given some protection from cold. Smaller plants make a distinctive and no nonsense houseplant over the winter in a sunny window.


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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
Extended hours until July: Thurs, Fri and Sat 10am-6pm
March 5th to October 31st, 2010

Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd. 2010

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