Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants

E-Newsletter: September 2010

The Phoenix Perennials E-Newsletter
September 2010

Hello from Phoenix Perennials!

Welcome to September! I hope everyone had a great summer and that you're ready for an industrious fall. If you didn't get much gardening done this past spring, don't worry. You're not alone. The crummy weather through May and June really dampened a lot of gardening spirits.

But remember: all is not lost. Fall is a great time to plant perennials, shrubs, trees and vines. With a few recent rain storms refreshing and moistening the warm summer soil, garden plants will establish quickly and luxuriantly. Planting now will give you a big jump on next year. You'll see that your fall plantings will be much more vigorous next year than if you were to plant the same plants in spring 2011.

It's also a great time to shop because we have lots of plants. LOTS! Since the spring wasn't what we expected, our sales weren't what we expected either. For us, that means we were lonelier than usual this year. But for you that means we have lots of big luscious plants that we've been growing all season ready to find new homes.

If that's not enough enticement we currently have a great sale on AND our fall bulbs have arrived! It's an exciting time.

September Sale
25% OFF!
All Shrubs, Trees, Vines and Pots
Plus Dahlia and Gaillardia 2 for 1

Workshops: Also, don't miss out on our two workshops on Spring Bulbs and Winter Containers to Die For. For those interested in our Winter Veggie workshop, we have had to cancel because our growers didn't grow much in the way of winter veggies this year. Sorry.

Charity Shopping Weekends: This year we have raised over $2400 so far for local charities through our fundraising weekends - way more than any other year! We have one more Weekend to go benefiting The Childrens' Foundation. Come out the last weekend of September to support this worthy charity. Details below.

See you at the nursery soon!

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

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Follow new plants, events and happenings in real time with regularly posted images and notes from the nursery. Fan Page members are the first to find out about sales, special events and other happenings!  

Recent Updates: In Praise of the Silk Tree (Albizia), Bulbs at the Nursery, Scadoxus multiflorus, Echinacea, and Sale Updates including our one day Downpour 50% special last week - it pays to be a FanPage member.
You don't have to be a Facebook member to view the Fan Page. Have a look.

In this Issue

1. Spring Bulbs are Here!
2. Fall is Planting Time!: Fall conditions are great for new perennial plantings
3. Upcoming Workshops: Bulbs, Winter Containers to Die For
4. Charity Shopping Weekend: Come out to support a local charity
5. Fabulous at Phoenix: Gary's Picks of New, Notable and Luscious Plants at the Phoenix Candy Store


Spring Bulbs Are Here!

Our spring 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.

Please Note: Most of our spring bulbs have already arrived but a few will continue to arrive over the first few weeks of September. If you're coming for a specific bulb please call first to make sure it has arrived.

Oxalis versicolor
Eremurus bungei
Tulipa 'Tinka'
Fritillaria michailovskyi
Narcissus 'Golden Echo'
Tulipa 'Candy Corn'
Tulipa 'Davenport'
Tulipa 'Flaming Flag'
Tulipa 'Sweet Desire'
Allium schubertii
Tulipa 'Rai'
Tulipa 'Little Beauty'
Tulipa 'Daydream'
Camassia quamash
Allium 'Forelock'
Allium 'Summer Drummer'

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



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 results in soils with good available moisture for root establishment.

Length of Time for Establishment: 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.

Caveat for Less Hardy Plants: The only exception to the above discussion is less hardy zone 8 or 9 plants that flirt with hardiness in our zone. Even if the plant is a strong zone 8 and quite hardy here, it is still usually best to plant it in the spring so it can establish a full root system before winter. A full root system will make any plant much hardier. If you still want to plant zone 8 or 9 plants at this time of year make sure to mulch well - collect leaves that fall into your yard and pack them around or on top of your new plant to a depth of about one foot.

Do your beds need need some renovation?
Or are you thinking of putting in a new bed?

Don't wait until spring. Do it this fall!



Upcoming Fall Workshops
Come Learn with Us


CONTAINER SERIES | Jewels of the Spring Garden: Bulbs for Spring Containers | Instructor: Shelley Brignall | Saturday September 18th, 10am-12pm | $18 | 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 $7. 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. The price of the workshop includes your potting mix.

CONTAINER SERIES | Winter Containers to Die For: Plant Up a Container to Create Winter Interest | Instructor: Cliff Thorbes | Saturday September 25th, two workshops starting at 10am and 2pm | $18 | 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 $7. Please order your pot when you book your workshop. The price of the workshop includes your potting mix.

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. If you are unable to attend a workshop you have already signed up for please give us 3 days notice. We would be happy to give you a credit towards another class or a credit at the nursery.

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.



Phoenix Perennials presents
Charity Shopping Weekends 2010
Shop for Plants and Support our Local Charities and Institutions

Welcome to our Charity Shopping Weekend Program for 2010 -- a fun way for Phoenix Perennials to give back to the community and for customers of Phoenix Perennials to feel less guilty about their insatiable plant buying habits.

How it Works: Every month we will hold a Charity Shopping Weekend to benefit a local charity or charities. Those who wish to support the month's charity can come shopping at Phoenix Perennials on the designated Saturday and Sunday. When you pay for your plants, tell us that you have come to support the charity and we will donate 25% of the price of your plants to this worthy cause. If there is more than one charity on the weekend be sure to tell us which charity you would like to support. 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 shop!

This Month's Charity Shopping Weekend
Sat & Sun September 25th and 26th
The Childrens' Foundation - The Children's Foundation offers a broad range of clinical and support services to children and families contending with severe emotional, behavioural and developmental illness such as fetal alcohol and autism spectrum disorders.

Mark your Calendars! See you at the Charity Shopping Weekend!



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

September is a great time with lots of plants in bloom. Come have a look!

Brand Spanking New Echinacea 'Secret Passion' - Be among the first in North America to have this crazy double coneflower. 'Secret Passion' has rich, raspberry pink double cones and contrasting lighter pink ray florets. In addition, ‘Secret Passion’ blooms and blooms and blooms all summer and fall. It has a well branched, compact habit you’ll be passionate about!
Brand Spanking New Echinacea 'Daydream' - Be among the first in North America to have this coneflower. Part of the "Dream" series offering excellent performance for the landscape, 'Daydream' is a midsize plant with fabulous yellow to soft yellow flowers that bloom all summer long on well-branched plants. The sweet fragrance is just right for a lazy summer afternoon.
Brand Spanking New Echinacea 'Amazing Dream' - Be among the first in North America to have this coneflower. Bred with E. tennesseensis for floriferousness, 'Amazing Dream' is a dream in the landscape with its compact habit, amazing number of blooms on well-branched plants, and long season of bloom. Flowers are deep pink. A great landscape plant for a long show of colour.


Caryopteris 'White Surprise' - Bluebeard - ‘White Surprise’ has startling green and white variegated foliage and whorls of soft blue flowers in late summer and fall. Caryopteris is a deciduous shrub with aromatic foliage that is a good choice for late summer and autumn colour. Its flowers attract bees and butterflies. Use it in perennial and shrub borders and containers in full sun with good drainage.
Caryopteris 'Hint of Gold' - Bluebeard - ‘Hint of Gold’ has a beautiful compact habit with large golden leaves that have a slight sheen to them. The mid to deep blue flowers form a complete whorl around the stem. The flowers appear to be sterile. Caryopteris is a deciduous shrub with aromatic foliage that is a good choice for late summer and autumn colour. Its flowers attract bees and butterflies. Use it in perennial and shrub borders and containers in full sun with good drainage.

Lobelia cardinalis 'Fried Green Tomatoes' - Cardinal Flower - This great new selection has burgundy foliage which changes to olive green at the time of bloom in June. The tall stems carry airy, elegant flowers of hottest red that will be sure to drive hummingbirds wild. Quick to establish and vigorous. Prefers full sun and performs quite well in average to wet soil. Great when used in mass plantings, along the middle of the border, pond edges and rain gardens.

Rudbeckia maxima - Great Coneflower - I am enamoured with this huge stately black-eyed susan that grows 5-7 feet tall with blue-grey foliage and large yellow flowers centred with big green and brown cones. Fantastic in the late summer and fall garden as an architectural plant to add structure and contrast with nearby grasses and sedums.

Agastache 'Blue Fortune' - Hyssop - 'Blue Fortune' is an award-winning plant for good reason: it offers a long season of bloom from midsummer to early fall with lavender blue, bottlebrush-like flowers on strong, upright stems. The foliage smells distinctly like black licorice when crushed and can be used in salads. A hybrid between the North American A. foeniculum and the Asian A. rugosa.

Hebe anomala - Hebe - A favourite at the nursery: this very effective evergreen shrub of unusual and striking texture forms a mound of tiny green leaves with plum-tinted tips. Flowers are palest pinky-white. H. anomala is the hardiest hebe we have yet seen surviving winters that have gone to minus 17 degrees Celsius without a scratch!
Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers' - Sweet Coneflower - Basal leaves appear in early spring and flowering stalks begin their ascent in June, reaching five to six feet and full flower by August, often staying in bloom into September. 'Henry Eilers' has finely quilled flowers of true yellow, not gold, and is stunning in a mass planting. The leaves of R. subtomentosa are sweetly scented with a subtle vanilla fragrance. Great cut flower with its unique appearance, sturdy straight stems and long vase life. Named after the man who discovered it.

Roscoea purpurea 'Cinnamon Stick' - Roscoea - A native of the Himalayas, this zone 6 ginger relative is a stunner in a pot or in a part sun or shady woodland garden. Blood red stems ascend to bronzed leaves and the large, orchid-like lavender flowers that emerge over a long period in late summer. A superb and intriguing addition to any garden.

Chasmanthium latifolium 'River Mist' - Sea Oats - This loosely tufted, spreading grass has white and green foliage topped with intriguing white and green seed heads.
Muhlenbergia capillaris - Pink Muhly Grass - This eastern North American native's tidy clumps of very fine blue foliage provide colour and texture to the garden, but in late summer or fall they explode into bloom with clouds of airy pink flowers that last for many weeks. Stunningly beautiful. Pink muhly grass is intolerant of winter wet so plant it in hot dry conditions and poor soils.

Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips' - Turlehead - This penstemon relative from the southeastern US has stiff spikes of long-lasting, fat, pink flowers that bloom from summer into fall. Good in sun or semi-shade. Apparently quite deer-resistant.


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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!

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Forms of Payment at the Nursery
We are happy to accept VISA, Mastercard, debit, cheque (with ID) and cash.
Some customers ask us which form of payment we prefer. Due to the increasing merchant fees associated with credit cards, payment by cash, cheque and debit is better for the nursery.

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
March 5th to October 31st, 2010

Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd. 2010

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