Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants

E-Newsletter: September 2008


The Phoenix Perennials

September 2008

Hello from Phoenix Perennials!

Somehow it's September. Welcome to the fall fellow gardeners, however surprising that might sound. At least it does to us at Phoenix Perennials! It seems like just yesterday that we were getting ready for the Hellebore Hurrah!

But it's fall. It's the time of bulbs and fall plantings, turkey and cozy times ahead. In this issue, our fall bulbs are currently arriving, we share with you our fall mantra ("Fall is planting time. Fall is planting time."), we announce our annual September Sweepstakes and our upcoming fall workshops, and we include the ever popular Fabulous at Phoenix.

Of special note is our Exotic Houseplant Sale. When I heard from our friends at Bit 'O Paradise Nursery that they were downsizing and didn't have homes for most of their stock of gorgeous houseplants I couldn't bear the thought of these fabulous tropicals left out in the cold. So Phoenix Perennials is giving these plants one last chance. Our parking lot is now filled with tropicals looking for a home at rock bottom prices. See the info below and come have a look.

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

P.S.: On the off chance that you're going to be in Eugene, Oregon next week I'll be speaking to the Willamette Valley Hardy Plant Group on Weird and Wonderful Plants of the World Tuesday September 9th. All meetings take place at Agate Hall on the UO campus (18th and Agate Streets, across from Hayward Field) at 7:00 PM. Admission charge is $3/members and $6/non-members,

In this Issue

1. Fall Bulbs Are Here!
2. Fall is Planting Time: Fall conditions are great for new perennial plantings
3. September Sweepstakes
4. Exotic Houseplant Sale

5. Upcoming Workshops: Come learn with us
6. Fabulous at Phoenix: Gary's Picks of New, Notable and Luscious Plants at the Phoenix Candy Store


Fall Bulbs Are Here!

Our fine selection of fall bulbs is now at the nursery or soon to arrive. We will offer 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.

Here is a snapshot of the different groups of bulbs along with a list of the species and cultivars we'll be offering in each of those groups (You can google these on the internet to view images.).

Each year we get requests from our customers around BC and Alberta to ship bulbs. This year we would be happy to oblige.
Minimum Order: $25 (before taxes)
Handling Charge: 10% of Order, minimum $5.
Shipping and Materials (packaging) charged at cost.

The full price list and order form is available for download from the main page of our website or click here. You can fax (604-270-4133) or email ( your order to the nursery.
To view images of these bulbs I would recommend using and clicking on the "Images" tab.


Allium - Ornamental Onions

Ornamental Onions offer fabulous spheres of colour. No spring garden is complete without them.

moly 'Luteum'

'Ivory Queen'
'Mount Everest'
'Purple Sensation'

A. flavum 'Fireworks'

Allium schubertii (above) and A. 'Purple Sensation' (right)


Camassia - Camas Lily

Our native camas lily and it's related species and cultivars are great for people who love blue flowers.


esculenta quamash

'Blue Melody'

C. quamash


Eremurus - Foxtail Lilies

Tall and dramatic foxtail lilies are great for hot sunny spots and bloom in June.





E. bungei


Galanthus - Snowdrops

Harbingers of spring... you can't be without snowdrops.


nivalis 'Flore Pleno' (Double)


nivalis 'Viridi-apice'


Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno'


Narcissus - Narcissus & Daffodils

Classic old cultivars and crazy new ones, narcissus and daffodils are a necessity for the spring garden.

Butterfly: 'Tritomba'
Cupped: 'Avalon', 'Cool Flame', 'Poeticus Recurvus'
Double: 'Double Poet's', 'Extravaganza', 'Rosy Cloud', 'Tahiti'
Indoor Forcing: 'Chinese Sacred Lily', 'Grand Soleil D'Or', Paperwhite 'Erlicheer', Paperwhite 'Ziva'
Mini: 'Golden Bells', 'Pacific Coast',
Novelty: 'Full House'
Poetaz: 'Bridal Crown'
Rock Garden: 'Rip Van Winkle', 'Sailbot'

Narcissus 'Extravaganza'

Narcissus 'Sailboat'

Narcissus 'Rip Van Winkle'


Tulipa - Botanical Tulips

Small but mighty in both colour and their perennial habit, these tulips will return year after year.

batalini 'Bright Gem'
'Honky Tonk'
'Persian Pearl'
Kaufmanniana 'Waterlily'
'Lady Jane'
'Lilac Wonder'
'Little Beauty'
'Little Princess'
'Peppermint Stick'
s 'Tubergens Variety'
praestans 'Unicum'
pulchella 'Eastern Star'
'Red Hunter'
(Woodland Tulip)

Tulipa 'Little Beauty'

Tulipa 'Tinka'

Tulipa 'Red Hunter'


Tulipa - Hybrid Tulips

This year we are expanding our selection of unique hybrid tulips. We've selected from among the newest and most unusual cultivars.

Bouquet Tulips: 'Candy Club', 'Praestans Fusilier', 'Wallflower'
Classic Mayflowering Tulips: 'El Nino'
Darwin Tulips: 'Queen of Night', 'Garant', 'Jaap Groot', 'Silverstream'
Double Early Tulips: 'Eternal Flame'
Double Peony Tulips: 'Abigail', 'Black Hero', 'Ramona'
Fringed Tulips: 'Canasta', 'Giant Beauty', 'Temple of Beauty'
Greigii Tulips: 'Fire of Love', 'Red Riding Hood' Impression Tulips: 'Design Impression' Kaufmanniana Tulips: 'Chopin'
Parrot Tulips: 'Black Parrot', 'Parrot Blue', 'Fantasy', 'Rai', 'Rococo'
Triumph Tulips: 'Denise', 'El Cid', 'Jackpot', 'Lady Night', 'Shirley's Dream'
Viridiflora Tulips: 'Eyecatcher', 'Flaming Spring Green'

Tulipa 'El Nino'

Tulipa 'Black Parrot', 'Eye Catcher', 'Jackpot'

Tulipa 'El Cid' and 'Abigail'

For a full list click here.


Fall is Planting Time!
Fall conditions are great for new perennial plantings

Fall isn't just for bulbs it's also an excellent time of year to plant perennials. In fact, it is likely a better time than spring! 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 in December.

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 garden sooner.

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. Do it this fall!


September Sweepstakes!

Welcome to our second annual September Sweepstakes! Fall is an excellent time to plant perennials 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.

1st Prize: A $300 Shopping Spree


2nd Prize: A Basket of Unique Bulbs
Value $50.00


3rd Prize: A Phoenix Perennials T-Shirt
Value $17.99

The contest begins on September 1st and ends on September 30th.

*The winner of the shopping spree must choose one day in March, April, May or June 2009 for their spree. They will have that one day during regular business hours to spend their prize!

See you at the nursery!


Exotic Houseplant Sale
Our friends at Bit 'O Paradise Nursery are downsizing and must find homes for their big beautiful tropical houseplants. We have decided to help them. These beautiful plants need someone to love them. Through the month of September we will be holding a crazy parking lot blow-out sale to connect great plants with loving families.

All plants 60% Off!

There are many spectacular and unusual things including: Bromeliads, Orchid Cacti, Jade Plants, Clivia, Bird of Paradise, Pony Tail Palms, Tibouchina and more!

Come down and have a look and see if you can adopt any of these great plants. None have a home for winter. Many of them make great patio and garden container plants for summer but need the protection of your house in winter. In winter they will enliven your interior with fabulous foliage and flowers like the bird of paradise pictured below which, after a summer on the patio or in the garden, will bloom indoors in the middle of winter. I know you're tempted!

Sale Ends September 30th, 2008.


Upcoming Workshops
Come learn with us

Special Offer: Book all three fall workshops for $40, a savings of over 10%.


Grasses that Captivate: The transformative powers of ornamental grasses | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 20th, 10am | $15 | The popularity of ornamental grasses continues to grow as gardeners discover their many virtues. Don't get it yet? Come to this informative talk and learn what grasses can do for you and your garden. Already enamoured with ornamental grasses? You'll love this workshop too. You'll get tips on using them for best effect in your garden design. As well, you'll be introduced to several cultivars you might not have seen before.

CONTAINER SERIES | Jewels of the Spring Garden: Bulbs for spring containers  | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 27th, 10am | $15 | Meet the spring blooming wonders that you can include in your garden and in pots including a number of uncommon but exciting possibilities. You will also receive instruction on designing with bulbs and planting them in layers for knock out displays. Each participant will then plant up and take home their own 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 $6. Please order your pot when you book your workshop. The cost of the bulbs that you choose to include in your container are not included in the cost of the workshop.



CONTAINER SERIES | Winter Containers: Plant up a container to create winter interest | Instructor: Cliff Thorbes | Saturday October 4th, two workshops starting at 10am (sold out) and 2pm (spaces still available) | $15 | 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.

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.

Workshop participants will receive a 15% discount on any purchases they wish to make the day of their workshop. Woo hoo!



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

Agapanthus 'Mood Indigo' - Lily-of-the-Nile - This luscious new hardy agapanthus has rich velvety dark purple bell shaped flowers that made us gasp when we first saw them. Who needs blue when you can have this purple??? The Phoenicians greedily took home most of our first order before anyone else could see them so we had to order more!


Aloe polyphylla - Spiral Aloe - It's so fabulous it deserves another month on this list. Be one of the few people in Canada to own this botanical wonder. This stunning endangered aloe from the mountains of Lesotho (the mountain kingdom surrounded by South Africa) features light green leaves arranged in a spiral that becomes more and more pronounced as the plant matures. In its native habitat it experiences sharp drainage, winter frosts and snow, and cool summers with ample moisture. Plant on a slope in full to partial sun in very well-drained soil or in a pot (which is recommended until your plant gets larger). It is hardy in zones 7b to 9. Our plants are grown from tissue culture. They are young and in four inch pots. They will begin to spiral once they put on some growth which happens relatively quickly. Quantities are limited.


Agave 'Kara's Stripes' and A. 'Cornelius'

Agave attenuata 'Kara's Stripes' - Century Plant - This stunning selection of this southern Mexican native is perfect for a summer container in combination with blue or burgundy foliage. ‘Kara’s Stripes’ has broad spineless, golden rubbery leaves surrounded by a wide green border. With age, the clumps can reach three tall, at which time they are topped by their otherworldly curving plumes of yellow flowers.

Agave 'Cornelius' - Century Plant - The spectacular wide yellow margins of 'Cornelius' gives this agave its "wow" factor. This plant forms a 1.5 foot tall by 2.5 foot wide clump of thick wavy blue-green leaves margined by a two inch wide yellow edge at maturity. For full sun in well-drained soils in zones 9 and 10, or for use as a specimen plant in containers.


Kniphofia 'Green Jade' - Red Hot Poker - Here’s a red hot poker of a different colour: ‘Jade’ has greenish white flowers opening from green buds on spikes rising to 3.5 feet from clumping grass-like foliage. Excellent for use in cool planting schemes. Full sun in average garden soil.


Hibiscus 'Crown Jewels' - Perennial Hibiscus - As if the ten inch dinner plate sized white flowers with red eyes weren’t enough, the maple-shaped leaves are copper-red. Plant in a hot sunny location with moist soil for best performance.


Iberis 'Sweetheart' - Candytuft - Here's a great new variation on the theme of the white candytuft - a pink one which seems to suit its common name even more. This beautiful grondcover for full sun offers a dazzling show of pink blossoms which turn to brilliant lilac.


Aster lateriflorus 'Lady in Black' - Calico Aster - If you have visited the nursery in the fall you may have seen this exciting aster in our Purple and Pink Border: three foot tall rigid stems rocketing upward like fireworks covered in rich deep purple foliage and exploding with thousands of small, white pink-tinged, star-shaped flowers. Sound good? ‘Lady in Black' is a great addition to borders and large floral arrangements alike! It also sports burgundy foliage through the season so offers much interest even when not in bloom.


Alstroemeria 'Jacqueline' - Peruvian Lily - ‘Jacqueline’ is a free flowering cultivar with snow white inner petals with splashed cerise-pink edges and cherry-red streaks. Best in rich, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. In cooler regions mulch for winter. While vigorous and floriferous this cultivar is not invasive like some alstroemerias.


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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 22nd, 2008 through October 31st, 2008

Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd. 2008

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