Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants

SPECIAL NOTE: Dear Gardeners, First of all, apologies for sending this e-newsletter again. We have recently learned that a portion of our e-newsletter subscribers have not been receiving the e-newsletter. This is likely due to complications with individual internet servers. To help avoid such problems in the future we have upgraded the techonology we use to send the e-newsletter. Because of the time-sensitve nature of our Fantastic Fall Sale (which we have extended to Sunday Oct 23rd) we have decided to beg your forgiveness and re-send the Mid October E-News so that all of our eager gardeners can partake in the fun.

Thank you for your patience, Gary

E-Newsletter: Mid October 2011

The Phoenix Perennials E-Newsletter
Mid October 2011


Hello from Phoenix Perennials!

It's time for our Fantastic Fall Sale! With this nice weather and mild temperatures it's the perfect time to get a little more planting done. Or a lot if you're amitious. Perennials, shrubs and trees love to be planted in the fall. We have EXTENDED The Fantastic Fall Sale to include two weekends at the exciting discount of 2 for 1. We figure we've got enough plants so why not?! That means that instead of 3 days you now have 10 days to go crazy. Can you handle it?

Also in this e-newsletter you'll find an article on Tomato Dishes from Italy and Malta that I took on a very recent trip there (I'm still jet lagged). You'll find a little segment called In Praise of Daffodils celebrating spring's official sidekick to the tulip.

I might be guilty of hopping onto the Christmas bandwagon too early in the season. It isn't even Halloween yet! Shame on me. But we have a new event and I'm excited about it: The Christmas Hurrah!: Celebrating the Christmas rose, Helleborus niger, and all things Christmasy with the Helleborus Gold Collection, special holiday-themed workshops and hot apple cider. Though we are normally closed at this time of year we will re-open this weekend for this special event. There are more details at the end of this e-newsletter if you can stand to think of Christmas so early.

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians


The Fantastic Fall Sale
Now running from Oct. 14 to 23rd!
We've got enough plants so why not?!


Spring Bulbs are Here!

We have a wonderful selection of tried and true and hot new bulbs to bloom in your spring garden.
Come check them out!


The Christmas Hurrah!
December 2nd-4th, 2011
Celebrating the Christmas rose, Helleborus niger, and all things Christmasy with the Helleborus Gold Collection, special holiday-themed workshops and hot apple cider.


In this Issue

Opening Notes: News, Tidbits and the Phoenix Calendar

1. The Fantastic Fall Sale: 2 for 1 WITH EXTENDED DATES!
2. Tomato Dishes from Italy and Malta
3. In Praise of Daffodils
4. Spring Bulbs Are Here: Introducing Spring Bulb Blends
5. New Event: The Christmas Hurrah -- Celebrating the Christmas rose, Helleborus niger, and all things Christmasy

Opening Notes: News, Tidbits and the Phoenix Calendar

Do you need some decorative pumpkins and gourds? We've got them. Not only are they pretty but they are also food grade (Mmmm. Pumpkin pie!), organic and they haven't been treated with nitrates. They come from Ken and Elke of Red Barn Plants, the same source as the tomatoes for our Heirloom Tomato Festival.

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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!

Tomato Dishes fr Italy and Malta

In Praise of Daffodils

The Heirloom Tomato Festival

Heirloom Tomato Festival on the Fine Gardening Blog


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
  VIDEO: Ornamental Onions - Learn about this exciting and useful group of perennial bulbs.
  VIDEO: Perennial Tulips - There are hybrid and species or botanical tulips that will come back year after year. Learn about them here!
  VIDEO: Hybrid Tulips - These big fabulous tulips are great for a colourful show in the spring in pots or in the garden. Also learn about our tulip blends.


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
Dec 2-4
Special Event and Workshops
The Christmas Hurrah!
Celebrating the Christmas rose, Helleborus niger, and all things Christmasy with lots of hellebores, special holiday-themed workshops and hot apple cider.
Phoenix Perennials

Mark your calendars! Or print this off for the fridge!



The Fantastic Fall Sale

Friday October 14th to Sunday October 16th extended to Sunday October 23rd!
2 For 1 Sale on All Plants, Pots and Garden Accessories
Garden Stone Pots remain at 25% Off

Mark your Calendars! Oh Wait! Here's One Now!

October 2011

















<----- 25% Off ----->








<--------------------------- 25% Off --------------------------->
<--- 2 For 1 Sale -->








2 For 1-> <----------------------2 For 1 Sale Continues-------------------------->








Last Day!



Phoenix Perennials will close for the season on Oct 31st. We will reopen for one special weekend Dec 2-4 for our Christmas Hurrah!
Last Day

And I've ordered good weather for the weekend!

The Fine Print

*Buy 1 item at regular price and receive the next item of equal or lesser value for FREE.
If you do not wish to take a second item the first item will be 25% off. No exceptions.

During the sale no other offers, coupons or discounts apply including our Frequent Flyer Cards and social shopping vouchers. Remember that Auction Mart gift certificates are good only on regular priced merchandise and cannot be used to buy sale merchandise.

Spring bulbs remain at regular price through October.


Tomato Dishes from Italy and Malta

A traditional salad of fresh tomatoes, arugula and buffalo mozzarella. Often basil will take the place of the arugula. Just add a little salt and pepper and drizzle on some olive oil and aged balsamic and you have a perfect Italian starter or a nice healthy lunch.

After the busy and fun weekend that was our first annual Heirloom Tomato Festival in September I jetted off to Italy and Malta for a little R&R. Everyone was so excited and interested by tomatoes at the Tomato Fest that I posted photos of tomato dishes from my travels on Facebook. You can view the whole album even if you're not a member. But beware. There are a lot of mouth-watering images of my favourite tomato dishes from my travels through southern Italy (Campana, Puglia, Calabria, Sicily) and Malta.

It's hard to imagine Italian cuisine without the tomato but, believe it or not, less than 500 years ago there were no tomatoes in Italy. The tomato is native to South America and entered the diets of peoples as far north as southern Mexico by about 500 BC. It was the Spanish conquistadors who took the tomato first to the Caribbean countries and then on to Spain and the rest of Europe. The Spanish called this plant and its fruits 'tomate' after the Aztec Nahuatl word 'tomatl' which was the root also used for French and English. The Italians named the fruits 'pomo d'oro' meaning golden apple which later became 'pomodori'.

Tomatoes entered cultivation in the Mediterranean in the 1540s. It is believed that they were being eaten shortly thereafter though in some cases, such as in Florence, Italy the tomato was used solely as a table top decoration until the late 17th or early 18th centuries!

The first known book of recipes involving tomatoes was published in Naples in 1692 though many of these recipes were Spanish in origin. It took a little while for the tomato to catch on but over the following 300 years the Italians have dreamed up all kinds of uses for the "golden apple".

While we are quite familiar with Italian cuisine in Canada, owing to the large numbers of Italian immigrants that have made Canada their home over our history, there were a few things about Italian food, in general, and tomatoes, in particular, that I found interesting on my travels.

First of all, Italians love food. But not just any food. They love quality food. Food is important and the quality of the ingredients and the care taken to prepare and cook them is important. It is rare to experience bad food in Italy. For instance, at Italian truck stops you won't find burgers and fries and other greasy items as you would along North American highways. Their truck stops along their autostradas have no "fast food" as we know it - only cafeterias making fresh pastas, risottos, pizzas, salads and other dishes. They also have cases filled with countless different types of the most delectable paninis for only 3.75 euros each! Though the food is of high quality you don't have to wait around for a long time for it to be prepared. The kitchens feature a select menu of items that have been partially prepared or cooked and these are finished quickly once you order. Oh, and they serve wine and beer! Though we might be able to encourage better food choices at our fast food outlets in Canada, I'm not sure we'll be serving alcohol any time soon at our highway rest stops.

The thing I find interesting about tomatoes in Italy is how ubiquitous they are, perhaps even more so in southern Italy as compared to previous travels in the north. Of course, we expect tomatoes to be used to make tomato sauces for pastas and pizzas. But tomatoes are frequently served fresh as antipasti or as a 'contorni' or side dish to the main course. They are often freshly diced and used as a garnish on pizzas, pastas and on main courses. And cherry tomatoes seem to be everywhere in southern Italian cooking especially in the pastas but also the 'secondi' or main courses. While we often use cherry tomatoes in Canada for fresh eating as a fruit or in salads, cherry tomatoes in southern Italy are frequently cooked either sliced or whole and tossed into pastas with seafood, eggplant or other ingredients or used as a garnish for fish or meat. Cherry tomatoes were everywhere!

Here is a selection of images of dishes from my travels that were delicious, noteworthy and worth trying at home. Perhaps you'll get some good ideas for dinner tonight or for your next dinner party! Buon appetito!

Here's an awesome trio of antipasti: Smoked tuna, marinated sardines, and a simple plate of perfectly ripe tomatoes. Every dish was drizzled in a blend of organic olive oils from around Sicily.
A close up of a perfect plate of sweet, ripe tomatoes drizzled with a high quality olive oil. It's so simple but it's so good.


A thin crust pizza with tomato sauce and mozzarella baked in the oven and then topped with smoked salmon and smoked swordfish just before serving. In lots of cases in Italy fresh ingredients are added after the pizza comes out of the oven like seafood, arugula, tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella.
This is a traditional dish seen frequently in Malta - raviola stuffed with ricotta and sometimes herbs, topped with a tomato sauce, fresh arugula and parmesan. While the concept of this dish is relatively familiar to North Americans I liked the touch of adding the fresh greens to the top.


This dish was to die for and I still dream about it. I had it at Tre Sorelle (Three Sisters) restaurant in Galipoli. It was a basil pesto with chopped almonds and cherry tomatoes. My travelling companions got a little taste and they were quite jealous. Going to try this one at home. Cherry tomatoes are frequently used in past dishes.
Penne noodles with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and shrimp. This dish was called something like "Mar e Monte" (Sea and Mountain) referring to the combination of mushrooms and shrimp. The combination was quite nice though I initially thought the idea unusual. Present, not surprisingly, were cherry tomatoes and a light tomato sauce.


The focus of this dish was fresh seafood - red prawns, fish and calamari, all grilled. But note the garnish on top of fresh chopped tomatoes and cucumber. It was a nice touch.
Tre Sorelli in Galipoli, Italy I had this cod fish buried in a sauce of cherry tomatoes. The choice of cherry tomatoes made the sauce really sweet. Luckily, cherries are usually early to mid season producers and easy to grow in Vancouver! You could try this at home with some nice halibut.

View the Full Album
of 22 different images of dishes involving tomatoes.


In Praise of Daffodils

Tulips get all the attention in the world of spring bulbs but where would they be without their side kick, the humble daffodil. Take a look and there are some great forms of Narcissus that aren't so humble and that can pack quite the visual punch of their own! Ker Pow! But there are also some very lovely and classic forms that have an elegance few tulips could match. Spring is not complete without daffodils. We have more than 14 different types of daffodils and narcissus at the nursery. Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite. To view all of them come to the nursery or view them all in special album on our Facebook Page. You don't have to be a Facebook member to see them. Have a look!

Narcissus 'Green Pearl'
Narcissus 'Golden Echo'
Sunshine Blue Mix of dwarf narcissus and grape hyacinths
Inspiration Daffodil Blend

View the Full Album
of 14 different daffodils and narcissus now at the nursery.


Spring Bulbs Are Here!

Introducing Spring Bulb Blends

Sometimes I dive into snazzy new things and sometimes I remain a bit sceptical. When I first saw these new blends offered from our Dutch bulb suppliers a couple years ago I thought to myself "Why do I need them to put a combination of bulbs together when I can do it myself?" Still, I ordered some just to try them out. And you, our gardening friends, thought they were a very good idea. I saw the light. In this busy world we don't always have time to achieve Martha Stewart flourishes on our own. Sometimes we need a little help to give us some ideas and save us time. Think of it as having your own Dutch design staff working on your garden for you. Martha Stewart isn't the only one with a team of staff to make things fabulous!

These blends are specially designed to put on a great show. The bulbs will all bloom at the same time, or in some cases, the blends are designed to bloom over a long period. In all we have 13 different blends to choose from. Here are some images of six of them.

Lovers Blend
Tropical Punch Blend
Purple Passion Blend
Pink Passion Blend


Here's a peak at some of the exciting selections of other bulbs that we currently have on offer.

Oxalis versicolor
Eremurus bungei
Tulipa 'Tinka'
Fritillaria michailovskyi
Tulipa 'Little Beauty'
Tulipa 'Candy Corn'
Tulipa 'Liberstar'
Anemone De Caen 'Bicolor'
Iris 'Mariposa Skies'
Allium schubertii
Iris 'Lion King'
Camassia quamash
Allium 'Forelock'
Allium 'Summer Drummer'

And over 130 other great bulbs to grace your spring garden!


The Christmas Hurrah!

Celebrating the Christmas rose, Helleborus niger, and all things Christmasy with the Helleborus Gold Collection, special holiday-themed workshops and hot apple cider.

Friday to Sunday December 2nd to 4th, 2011

This year we are excited to start a new tradition: The Christmas Hurrah! The inspiration for the event comes from combining a new innovation in hellebore breeding with an old tradition from northern Europe.

A New Innovation

The new innovation is the Gold Collection cultivars of the Christmas rose, Helleborus niger, from the breeder Hueger of Germany that show incredible vigour and floriferousness relative to older forms. They also start blooming in November and December in our climate, much earlier than the common Christmas rose.

An Old Tradition

The old or traditional inspiration comes from northern Europe where the Christmas rose is brought inside the house in pots to grace Christmas tables and displays or given as party gifts over the holiday season just as we would with a pointsettia in North America. Unlike pointsettias, the hellebores can be planted out in the garden in spring for years of enjoyment.

At our Christmas Hurrah! you'll be able to purchase blooming plants of Helleborus niger 'Jacob' as well as other members of the Gold Collection that will bloom a little bit later in December and beyond. You'll be able to doll up your hellebores with some festive decorations and take them home to adorn your house or to give as gifts.

Workshops: We are currently planning new workshops for this weekend which will include a wreath making workshop and two Christmas container workshops - one for a container you can bring inside and one for a container you can leave outside.

And of course we will have hot apple cider and other surprises.

Though we are normally closed at this time of year we will re-open this weekend for this special event.

Watch for more details in the next e-newsletter.


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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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