Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants

E-Newsletter: September 2009


The Phoenix Perennials E-Newsletter
September 2009

Hello from Phoenix Perennials!

The summer of summers! Do you realize we've hardly had any rain since April 15th? Remarkable. We've basically had two summers in one this year! Thank you Mother Nature. We hope everyone has had a relaxing and fun-filled summer and that you're ready to embark on an industrious and prosperous fall.

In this issue we announce our fall bulbs, I roll out my yearly encouragement for you to think about fall planting, we continue with our Hellebore Alert! special offer for one more month, we announce our exciting upcoming workshops (many of which are getting quite full so book soon), and we bring to you Fabulous at Phoenix which includes at least nine brand new plants likely never before seen in Canada!

Also, don't miss our September Sale items highlighted just below.

See you soon at the nursery!

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

September Sale on Woody Plants
Trees and Shrubs
25% Off
40% Off

It's a great time of year to plant woody plants!


In this Issue

1. Fall Bulbs are Here!
2. Fall is Planting Time!

3. Hellebore Alert!
4. Upcoming Workshops
5. Fabulous at Phoenix: Gary's Picks of New, Notable and Luscious Plants at the Phoenix Candy Store


Fall Bulbs Are Here!

Our fall bulbs have arrived at the nursery. As you've come to expect from Phoenix Perennials we'll have many unique, unusual and cutting edge selections including botanical tulips, camassia, fritillaria, cyclamen and erythronium, as well as some striking new cultivars of hybrid tulips, hyacinths and daffodils, and much more.

Our selection includes from left to right starting from top Left: Tulipa 'Tinka', Eremurus bungei, Allium schubertii, Tulipa 'Garant', Tulipa 'Peppermint Stick', Camassia quamash, Erythronium 'White Beauty'.


Our Selection also includes these stunning new Alliums!
Allium 'Forelock' - Featured in our display garden at the World Rose Festival in June.
Allium 'Summer Drummer'
Allium 'Silver Spring'

And over 120 other great bulbs to grace your spring garden!

Please Note: Fall bulbs continue to arrive over the first few weeks of September. Many have already arrived but if you're coming for one of the bulbs listed above please call first to make sure it has arrived.


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, shrubs and trees. 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 plants and set them back by weeks. In the fall the soil temperatures are warm and inviting for new plantings and their eager roots. 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 foliage and floral 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!



Hellebore Alert!
(Oh my! Don't miss this one!)

We are offering an amazing opportunity to stock up on some of the best hellebores in the world from top breeder Marietta O'Byrne at an unbelievable price. The wonderful people at Terra Nova Nurseries had too many so they offered them to us at a special price but only if we got large quantities. So we have lots! These plants are in four inch pots. Many of them bloomed this past spring and many more will come into bloom in 2010 (just in time for your Olympics gardens!). At the usual gallon size these hellebores usually retail for $30-$40 so this is your chance to have the best display in your neighbourhood without breaking the bank!

$9.99 each!
Buy 6 at $8.99 each!
Buy 12 or more at $7.99 each!

This special offer will continue until the end of September.

This special offer cannot be combined with other sales, discounts, or coupons.

Regal Ruffles Strain - This double strain offers every colour imaginable with picotees, splashed forms, and the rich colours that are Marietta's trademark. 95% of plants will bloom with double flowers. 5% will be outstanding singles. Brushstrokes Strain - Brushstroke splashes, spots, and true, rich colours adorn the wide petals of this superior group of singles.
Carousel Strain - A strain with a high percentage of anemone-centred (semi-double) flowers in shades of pinks and whites. Anemone centres are more rare and difficult to breed for than doubles so try your luck to get one of these real gems. Splashdown Strain - A wonderful strain with yellow, cream or pure white flowers splashed liberally with spots, often so dense that they form a deep purple or red "thumb" print in the middle of each petal. Striking in the garden.
Mellow Yellow Strain - This wonderful group of single yellows will sometimes offer up the occasional apricot surprise. Some are splashed with spots and others have picotee edges. London Fog Strain - Deep, moody purples and blacks above new foliage infused with burgundy.



Upcoming Fall Workshops

POWER OF PERENNIALS SERIES | Grasses that Captivate: The Transformative Powers of Ornamental Grasses | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 12th, 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.
DOWN TO EARTH SERIES | Phoenix Fresh Winter Veggies: Plant Up a Container with Cool Season Edibles | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 19th, 10am | $15 | 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 that you can grow in the fall and winter. 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 $6. Please order your pot when you book your workshop.
CONTAINER SERIES | Jewels of the Spring Garden: Bulbs for Spring Containers | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 26th, 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 to Die For: Plant Up a Container to Create Winter Interest | Instructor: Cliff Thorbes | Saturday October 3rd, two workshops starting at 10am and 2pm - the 10am class is now full and we are currently filling the 2pm class | $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 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.



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


'Coral Reef'

Echinacea 'Firebird', 'Hot Lava' and 'Coral Reef' - Not-So-Purple Coneflower - The cutting edge of echinacea is now represented by these three brand new cultivars. We are proud to be among the first in North America to introduce these firey red not-so-purple coneflowers.

'Firebird' has the classic coneflower shape with reflexed petals that gives the flower the shape of a badminton shuttlecock.
'Coral Reef' is a double form with an afro of firey orange surrounded by a ring of flared ray florets.
'Hot Lava' has petals that are held outwards (instead of downwards) with a high petal count giving each flower a full look.

Remember that coneflowers can fail over winter if you plant them in rich moist soils. They can be grown successfully planted in hot sunny sites in soils that are average to poor in both nutrients and water.

'Hot Lava'

Eupatorium dubium 'Little Joe' - Joy-Pye Weed - This little known species of Joe-Pye weed is native to moist soils of eastern North America. This selection has four foot tall stems clothed in whorls of green leaves and topped in midsummer with large, dome-shaped heads holding masses of lavender flowers...a real bonanza for keeping butterflies at eye level. If you don’t yet know the Joe-Pye weeds, here’s an excellent place to start. Tolerant of light shade.
Choisya ternata 'Goldfinger' - Mexican Mock Orange - The traditional trio of cultivars of this evergreen shrub have included the normal green species ternata, the gold version of ternata called 'Sundance', and the narrow (green) leaved form called 'Aztec Pearl'. Missing from this great group of plants has been a gold version of 'Aztec Pearl' - that is, a narrow leaved form with gold leaves. Well, wait no longer, fellow gardeners, here it is and it sure is fabulous. Evergreen, gold and with fragrant white flowers in summer.
Schizostylis 'Zeal Salmon' and 'Oregon Sunset' - Schizostylis - Ignored all spring and summer at the nursery, this hardy South African native comes into its own in the fall and blooms continuously well into winter (and sometimes through into the New Year!). Fine-textured iris-like leaves and deep peach or pink toned gladiolus-like flowers on 1-2’ tall spikes. Really a must-have for the fall garden.

Ajuga 'Dixie Chip' and 'Party Colors' - Bugleweed - Two new ajuga cultivars with great variegated green, cream and pink colouration. 'Dixie Chip' is a tricolour version of 'Chocolate Chip' with small tongue-like leaves. 'Party Colors' is much like 'Black Scallop' with the crinkled, scalloped shiny leaves but with these great new foliage colours. Bugleweeds are endlessly useful for groundcovers in sun to shade, in hanging baskets, planters, and even living walls.
Erythrina herbacea - Hardy Coral Bean - This intriguing plant is a bit of an anomaly within it's genus. The coral beans are a primarily woody genus made up of trees and shrubs that reside in the tropics and subtropics. The first clue to its differences with its relatives is in its latin name "herbacea" meaning herbaceous or that the plant dies back to the ground in winter (though it usually maintains a woody base). The other important difference from the other members of this genus is that this plant is hardy to zone 8. Blooms in early summer followed by bright red seeds in fall. Mulch in winter.
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!  
Aster cordifolius 'Avondale' - Wood Aster - This selection of the eastern North American native wood aster is a prolific bloomer and carpets the shade garden with light blue in early fall, when little else blooms and the hostas are in decline. Beautiful and long-lasting as a filler in autumn flower arrangements!
Begonia grandis - Hardy Begonia - This beautiful hardy begonia has light green, nicely textured foliage with dramatically red-veined reverses. In fall it is topped with bright candy pink flowers which last almost until frost. A great plant in combination with ferns and hostas and for colour in the fall shade garden.
Anemone x hupehensis 'Pink Saucer' - Japanese Anemone - This lovely floriferous cultivar has shell pink flowers produced in profusion through August, September and October.

Rosa chinensis 'Mutabilis' - China Rose - The delicate single flowers of 'Mutabilis' look like butterflies perched amongst the red-tinged leaves and airy stems. Vermilion buds open to deep pink flowers which age to light pink, apricot and finally creamy yellow. On an established plant all of these colours will be present at once creating an ever-changing palette of beautiful colour. Will rebloom throughout the season. By far Gary’s favourite rose. Plant in a sheltered location out of wind. Tolerant of shade. Impervious to disease.

Featured in our display garden at the World Rose Festival in June.



'Red Shift'


Coreopsis Big Bang Series - Tickseed - This new series of coreopsis currently includes three exciting cultivars. The plants are hardy with large flowers and extremely floriferous. They will provide continuous bloom from through summer and well into fall.

'Red Shift' - Flower colour shifts between yellow with a red eye to deep crimson and everything in between.

'Full Moon' has large canary yellow blooms.

'Galaxy' has semi-double golden flowers.

'Full Moon'


Aster x frikartii 'Monch' - Aster - One of the best asters for the garden. It is the first aster to begin blooming and often the last aster to finish. The flowers are clear beautiful lavender and the foliage is broad, bluish and fuzzy. An all around stunning performer.

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.
Brunnera macrophylla 'Diane's Gold' - Brunnera - This brand new selection has chartreuse foliage with sky blue flowers held over bright foliage that holds its colour all summer.

Heuchera 'Sugar Plum' - Frosty plum-purple leaves make a tight mound of evergreen foliage. Silvery pink flowers rise 26" above the soil and frequently rebloom. A refreshing sight in summer and in winter!
Heuchera 'Shanghai' - Purple leaves with a metallic silver sheen. White flowers on dark stems.
Heuchera 'Plum Royale' - '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. New in 2009! Heuchera 'Electra' - Shocking, blood-red veins electrify the golden leaves of this startling new Heuchera. The red venation stays while the leaf changes from shades of yellow in spring, to chartreuse in summer and fall, and tan in the winter. Short, dense cones of white flowers. This vigorous clumping H. villosa hybrid delivers what 'Tiramisu' promised. New in 2009!
Heuchera 'Southern Comfort' - Awesome and huge fuzzy peach foliage for zaney colour combinations.
Heuchera 'Mahogany' - Rich mahogany foliage provides a unique colour accent in the garden.
Hibiscus 'Royal Gems' - Hardy Hibiscus - Three foot tall stems sport dark purple leaves and are adorned with some of the largest flowers in the mallow family - in this case eight inches wide and fluorescent pink. Oh my! Plant in full sun in moist soils though average soils are also fine. Hardy hibiscus die back to the ground for winter and come back fresh in the spring bigger than ever!

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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