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Phoenix Perennials E-Newsletter
from Phoenix Perennials!
Welcome to fall! I know it feels weird since summer,
not spring, should have preceeded fall but oh well.
Them's the breaks. Must be global warming or something.
While many of us didn't much care for the climatic conditions
in June, July and August most garden plants loved the
mixture of warmth and rain to set down good roots and
put on lots of lush top growth. I hope your gardens
have all done well and brought you much pleasure.
But it's not over yet. The mantra for this e-newsletter
is that fall is an excellent time to plant perennials.
You'll find an article on just that subject. You'll
also find our first ever September Sweepstakes, a contest
designed to encourage you to consider coming down to
visit us. If that's not enough incentive our unique
selection of bulbs is just now arriving at the nursery.
You can expect new arrivals all through the month of
September so check back. Also in this issue we announce
a sale on hardy subtropicals and hardy succulents, our
two fall workshops, our last charity shopping weekend
(last chance to build up some good karma) and our monthly
instalment of Fabulous at Phoenix. Enjoy!
Gary and the Phoenicians
In this Issue
1. September Sweepstakes!
2. Fall is an Excellent Time of Year
to Plant Perennials
3. Fall Bulbs Arriving Now!
4. Hardy Subtropicals and Hardy Succulents
on Sale through September
5. Two Fall Workshops
6. Charity Shopping Weekend to Benefit
the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association
7. Fabulous at Phoenix
Welcome to our first ever September
Sweepstakes! Fall is an excellent time to plant perennials
(see the next article) and we'd like to encourage you
to do so. Through the month of September* for every
$20 you spend at the nursery you will receive an entry
ballot to win one of three fabulous prizes.
Prize: A $300 Shopping Spree in 2008**
Prize: A Garden Arch
Prize: A Basket of Unique Bulbs
The winning entries will be drawn on October 1st and
the winners announced in the October e-newsletter.
*The contest begins on Tuesday September 4th and ends
on Sunday September 30th.
**The winner of the shopping spree must choose one
day in March, April, May or June 2008 for their spree.
They will have that one day during regular business
hours to spend their prize!
you at the nursery!
is an Excellent Time of Year
to Plant Perennials
I have been told by a few older friends
in the nursery industry that once upon a time (just
before my gardening days began) the fall planting season
was almost as busy for gardeners as the spring! At first
I didn't believe what I was hearing. I have long known
that fall is a good time to plant perennials but observed
that most other gardeners seem solely focused on quickly
planting their bulbs so they can begin their winter
hibernation. When I questioned the story again I was
assured that gardeners used to plant their bulbs and
a lot of perennials in the fall months.
Hmmm. What then has changed? The hypothesis
offered to me was that a lot of the change has to do
with the entry into the marketplace of the big box stores
and the gardening chains. My friends' thinking was that
1. these stores focus most of their attention on spring
sales (especially the big boxes) and 2. don't educate
the public about the benifits of fall planting. Consequently,
the gardening public has, over time, come to think of
spring as perennial (and annual) planting time and fall
as the time to plant bulbs.
Whether this take on the seasonal rhythms
of the gardening public is true or not (and I'd be interested
to hear your opinions, fellow gardeners), I'm here to
tell you that fall is an excellent time of year to
plant perennials! Here's why:
Soil Temperatures: In spring the
soil warms up much more slowly than the air. Cold spring
soils can shock perennials and set them back by weeks.
In the fall the soil temperatures are warm and inviting
for new plantings. Warm soil promotes fast, strong root
growth allowing perennials to establish before winter.
Air Temperatures: The warm daytimes and cooler
nighttimes offer moderate temperatures that do not stress
plants allowing them to quickly overcome transplant
shock and establish.
Precipitation: The gradual increase in precipitation
through September and October into November result in
soils with good available moisture for root establishment.
Length of Time for Establishement: Planting in
September and October still gives plants a long time
to get settled before the first hard frosts come, usually
Insects and Garden Pests: Humans aren't the only
ones thinking about hibernating at this time of year.
Insects and other garden pests such as slugs are becoming
less active and will soon die or go dormant for the
season. Fall plantings reduce the risk of insect attack
and plant damage.
Getting a Jump Start: Most people become a bit
overwhelmed in the spring with all the planting and
garden chores. By planting in the fall you can shorten
your spring "to do" list.
Better Displays in the First Full Season: Because
perennials establish so well in the fall your plantings
and their subsequent folial and flora displays will
be almost a full season ahead of any plantings you make
next spring giving you a bigger, fuller more smashing
Have you identified some problem spots
in your borders that need some work? Or are you thinking
of putting in a new bed? Don't wait until spring. Consider
doing it this fall!
Bulbs Arriving Now!
to our fine selection of fall bulbs. Over the next few
weeks we will be receiving an exciting selection of
some of the more uncommon and unusual bulbs such as
botanical tulips, camassia, fritillaria, cyclamen and
erythronium, as well as some striking new cultivars
of hybrid tulips, hyacinths and daffodils.
We hope you'll come have a look at these not-so-run-of-the-mill
bulbous options for your garden.
Clockwise from top left: Allium schubertii, Tulipa
'Garant', Tulipa 'Peppermint Stick', Camassia
quamash, Erythronium 'White Beauty', Fritillaria
Subtropicals and Hardy Succulents on Sale through September
Palms, Cannas, Gingers, Traveller's Elephant Ears, New
Zealand Flax, Bottlebrushes,
Echium and anything else you can find in our hardy subtropical
section PLUS Hardy Cacti and Sempervivum!
at the Nursery
Grasses that Captivate
The transformative powers
of ornamental grasses
Instructor: Jo Turner
Saturday September 15th, 10am | $15 |
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.
Sign up for our Grass Workshop and bring
a friend for free!
at the Nursery
Plant up a container
to create winter interest
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.
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.
(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
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.
Charity Shopping Weekend
to benefit the
Orphan Kitten Rescue Assoc.
Saturday September 15th and Sunday September
to our final 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 Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association
(VOKRA)?: VOKRA is a group of devoted animal lovers
based in Vancouver, dedicated to placing abandoned and
orphaned kittens in secure loving indoor homes. Our
kittens and cats are all housed in over 100 individual
volunteer foster homes throughout the Lower Mainland.
Initially focusing on very young bottle-fed orphan kittens,
we soon found that older kittens, too young to be safely
vaccinated, also do much better in a foster home. In
a home environment, the kittens become well socialized
with humans, other cats, dogs and children, and are
protected from colds, distemper, ringworm and other
contagious diseases they would be exposed to in a shelter.
Mother cats, both tame and feral, also joined the list
of animals we foster and adopt. In addition, we run
trap-spay/neuter-release programs to reduce the chronic
explosion of the cat population. Since our inception
in 2002, we have grown to currently adopt out over 800
cats per year. We are 100% volunteer run, and raise
money for kitten food and vet bills through car washes,
yard sales, and other fundraisers. We are always looking
for volunteers, foster homes, and forever homes for
the animals in our care.
For more information please visit: http://www.orphankittenrescue.com/
How it Works: Gardeners who wish to support
the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association can come
shopping at Phoenix Perennials on Saturday September
15th and Sunday September 16th. When you pay for your
plants, tell us that you have come to support VOKRA
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
your Calendars! See you at the Charity Shopping Weekend!
Next Year: If you know of know of a
charity that might be interested in participating in
a Charity Shopping Weekend please watch the January
e-newsletter for a call for applications.
Gary's Picks of New, Notable and Luscious
Plants at the Phoenix Candy Store
Euphorbia characias 'Shorty' -- Spurge
-- Graceful blue green foliage in summer with red growing
tips and red-tinted foliage in winter followed by bright
yellow flowers in early spring. Compact, strong and
mounding to only 18 inches. Great in pots or at the
front of the border.
Euphorbia characias 'Glacier Blue' -- Spurge
-- Evergreen, cream-edged, blue gray foliage. Cream
flowers and bracts with blue gray striping rise above
the foliage to 18 inches. A great new addition to the
garden spurges. Great in pots or at the front of the
Euphorbia characias 'Tasmanian Tiger' --
Spurge -- One of the most striking variegated plants
I’ve seen in a long time. We had a lovely older lady
at the nursery last year who was so enraptured she wanted
to grow it as a houseplant in her apartment! ‘Tasmanian
Tiger’ is a spectacular Heronswood introduction discovered
in Hobart, Tasmania. The upright three foot tall stems
are clothed with blue foliage edged in creamy white.
The large flower heads are variegated with gold and
white. Good drainage and full sun essential.
Euphorbia 'Blackbird' -- Spurge
-- Exceptionally dark, velvety purple foliage, bright
red stems, and flower heads with dark purple bracts
and contrasting yellow flowers. This new euphorbia is
spectacular! Compact, bushy and useful for year-round
colour in borders and containers. Darkest foliage tones
in full sun.
Tulipa 'Little Beauty' -- Tulip --
This beautiful species tulip was a hot item for us last
year and sold out quickly. The beautiful deep pink flowers
are offset with striking white and blue centres. Being
a species tulip it is also perennial and will come back
year after year.
Cyclamen hederifolium -- Ivyleaf Cyclamen
-- This delicate shady perennial has charming pink flowers
with a magenta V at the base of each petal. The leaves
are ivy shaped, dark green and often marbled with light
green. C. hederifolium is summer dormant coming into
leaf and bloom between August and October. It remains
evergreen throughout the winter. Grow in light, well-drained
soil in shade or part shade. Plant en masse for a superb
woodland effect. Widely distributed along the Mediterranean
from France to Turkey.
Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah' -- Switch
Grass -- One of our favourite grasses at the nursery
for the last two years, 'Shenandoah' has strongly upright
steely blue foliage throughout the season with hints
of burgundy red. The airy flowers create a great cloud
of blue atop the columnar grass in summer. Then in fall
the burgundy tints deepen and spread throughout the
foliage creating a great late summer and fall display.
Tricyrtis 'Taipei Silk' -- Toadlily
-- This gorgeous new hybrid has glossy dark green leaves
and spectacular multi-coloured flowers. The pistils
are orangey red, the stamens dark yellow, the petals
are yellow at the base, white down the centre, edged
with royal blue then rich purple and lightly spotted.
Fantastic! Grow in bright shade to part sun to bring
out the fullness of these colours.
Echium pininana -- Tower of Jewels
-- This native of the Canary Islands is a monocarpic
perennial. When it blooms the inflorescence can reach
12 feet high and is covered in thousands of sparkling
blue to purple flowers. Hardy to zone 8 but a protected
location, good drainage and winter mulch is highly recommended.
I have seen this plant bloomed successfully in Vancouver
planted along the south-facing wall of a house in a
protected front yard. Spectacular and unparalleled!
this E-Newsletter with a Friend
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
you have any other questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
No. 6 Road, Richmond (Between Bridgeport and Cambie)
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.
Days a Week 10am-5pm
March 2nd, 2007 through October 31st, 2007
Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.
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