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Shauna's blog

Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora'

 
Most gardeners love all sorts of hydrangeas and for good reasons; they love our climate, they look great in the landscape, and they have big beautiful blooms. Dwarf varieties look terrific in containers making easy summer planters. They also make superb cut flowers and later dried bouquets that keep the summer garden a lovely memory, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
 
Right now I'd like to talk about Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora' or as she is nicknamed PeeGee Hydrangea - Pee for paniculata and Gee for Grandiflora. The blooms on the classic form are large cone-shaped flowers that begin white with a faint green tinge, next turning pure white and then ageing to a dusky pink.
 
To grow Pee Gee Hydrangeas choose a site that is either half or full sun. These hydrangeas can handle much more sun than mophead varieties (Hydrangea macrophylla). In fact, because these hydrangeas are hardy to -30F/-34C these are also planted in the hot summer climates of the BC interior.
 
They can be grown as a shrub or a standard (single stemmed tree-form with full top). Read More

Celebrating Canada's 150th with Red and White Plantings!

 
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Celebrate Canada's 150th!

Cheers Canada ~ You’re Looking Good!

 

This spring a lot of gardeners are planting red and white annuals to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday. 150 years is kind of a big deal and what a party it will be all summer long! Whether you are interested in doing a single planter, or if you are making a whole theme of red and white flowers I have a few ideas to get the plan going.

A couple of the plants that we expect to be the backbone of the red and white theme are red and white geraniums and red and white Proven Winner Supertunia and Surfinas. Classic and gorgeous these two will be well represented in the gardens nationwide this summer. Some other selections to consider are red tuberous and fibrous begonias, snapdragons, salvia, verbenas.

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Thriller Filler Spiller

 
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When it comes to annuals, the plants from Proven Winners® are hands down my favourites! The people behind the brand, Proven Winners, seek out, select and develop plants that are long blooming, easy to go and highly rewarding for the home gardener. And they are oh so beautiful! Now you know why half our greenhouse is full of all these gorgeous plants.
 
When they came out with the Thriller Filler Spiller idea, it was groundbreaking for gardeners to have a plan to put together easy containers with lots of Wow Factor! Read More

Planting Flowering Trees

It's Spring! Winter is finally over, and the changes in the garden are happening so quickly.  Suddenly the days are longer, the buds on the trees are all swelling and unfurling and even though this "arrival of Spring" happens every year... it is still amazing to me.

Garden inspiration is everywhere; while walking in the forest, in your neighbour's garden or as you drive through town and this is a fantastic time for choosing and planting trees. The increasing soil warmth and Spring rains give plants the conditions that help them thrive.

Here are some of our favourite Spring and Summer flowering trees:-

Akebono Flowering Cherry (Prunus × yedoensis ‘Akebono’) Beautiful soft pink, fluffy semi-double blooms of Akebono Cherry Trees grace our streets right now. These are the beauties planted in front of City Hall. After full bloom when the flower petals begin to fall they are like pink snowflakes swirling and drifting on the breeze. Mature size 15-25'' tall x 10’-15' wide

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Summer Blooming Bulbs

 
 
Spring is in the air and gardeners all around town are planning out their summer gardens. Glossy magazines showcase all the beautiful summer flowering bulbs that you can add to your garden in the Spring and enjoy all summer long. Lilies, peonies, dahlias, glads and callas are all in stock for you to choose from now.
 
Lilies are very easy to grow, and the selection of colour, shape and fragrance makes them workhorses in the garden. They are extremely winter-hardy and will get bigger and better each season. By adding a variety of lily types to your garden, you can have lilies in bloom nearly all summer long! Blooming starts with the Asiatic Lilies, then Trumpet Lilies, Tigers Lilies, Oriental Lilies and last but certainly not least very large growing Tree Lilies. Because these all bloom at slightly different times you can have lilies blooming from late June to early September. This group of true lilies is hardy enough to be left in the ground year-round in Campbell River.
 
In early spring you can buy peony tubers and plant them out in your garden. Peonies are a perennial that prefers not to be moved so try to plant them where you want them long term. Read More

Desert King Fig (Ficus carica)

We stock many varieties of figs, as customers like to experiment and try different things, but the variety Desert King Fig is well known for being the most popular in our area as it is the most reliable. Desert King Figs are green skinned with beautiful rosy-pink flesh and excellent flavour. Desert King is a twice cropping fig, but in this case, it is only the first crop that will most likely develop well in Campbell River. The first crop (the Breba crop) will grow from the branches that grew last summer and ripen in August.

Figs are native to the Mediterranean, southern Asia and Africa so when you are choosing a location for your fig tree, find a very sunny spot; probably the south or west side of your yard with good drainage. Fig trees grow to about fifteen feet tall or more in our area but can be pruned to keep the fruit producing at a lower height. Figs like a pH of 6.0-6.5 so a little bit of lime is beneficial in Campbell River. Figs are an attractive tree with beautifully shaped leaves and are deer resistant. 

Can you image how decadent it would be to be harvesting figs from your garden? 

Popular Fig Varieties:- 

Brown Turkey Fig - Medium to large, brownish-purple skin with pink flesh. 

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Blueberry 'Sweetheart'

March 29, 2017

Brand new and now in stock, Blueberry 'Sweetheart', is a very exciting new blueberry variety as it is the first and only blueberry that produces two crops of blueberries; one in June and another crop in August. Now that's pretty incredible!

 

Sweetheart Blueberries grow four to six feet tall and about three feet wide. The berries are medium-sized, with great flavour. If you are already growing blueberries, Sweetheart produces before your first berries and after your last and extending the harvest time of fresh berries in your gardens is actually, "really terrific".  This blueberry is also claiming to be self-fertile - oh my, it is almost too good to be true!

 

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Fantastic Fairy Gardens

 
I've got to admit, I wasn't an early believer in the fairy garden trend, but it is winning me over. In the last couple of years, I've grown to see the value of this whimsy. Watching parents and children or often grandparents and grandkids speak of creating a tiny magical space is pretty fantastic. And this isn't a trend limited to kids; I believe that the miniature garden may be the new Zen Garden where grown-ups create and unwind and reconnect with their playful side. 
 
A little while ago on the TV news, a White Rock Garden was highlighted for showing a tree in a boulevard with a fairy door, stone path and miniature garden planted at its base. This planting might very well have made the homeowner happy, but the real treat here is that it seemed to be mostly for passersby to enjoy! The news went on to say that local elementary school teachers were taking their classes on field trips just to walk by and enjoy thinking about the fairies and gnomes that live there. Anything that gets kids using their imagination gets my vote!
 
Inspiration is the key to getting started. What would make you or a visitor to your garden smile? It might be a door in a tree or fence panel or like one of our staff members it was a few miniature chairs that she placed in a circle in a wide bowl-shaped pot filled with bark mulch. Then she added some tiny sticks to replicate a campfire in miniature. Read More

Growing Gorgeous Roses

The first summer roses in my garden are now coming into bloom and I can hardly wait to breathe their sweet scent. The beauty of flower and fragrance has inspired many gardeners for hundreds of years. While not the easiest of plants to grow, roses reward the gardener for the effort made with luscious blooms that can take your breath away.

Some of our favourite tips for growing great roses are as follows.

When you purchase a new rose bush choose varieties carefully. Some are more fragrant, more disease resistant or have unusual colour combinations. Look for No. 1 Grade roses and pick a healthy plant that shows good vigour.

When you go home to plant your new rose, choose a sunny location (min 6 hours). Roses don't like a lot of competition so be sure the place you choose doesn't have large trees very close that are going to hog all the nutrients, water, and sunlight.

Try not to plant in the hottest time of the day and water your new rose bush in the pot before you plant it. Roses are heavy feeders so be generous with nutrients and soil amendments.

I recommend the following for planting new roses:

½ cup bone meal

½ cup alfalfa meal

½ cup fish meal

2 shovelfuls of peat moss

2 shovelfuls of manure or compost

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Getting Festive with your Garden

Everybody has that friend who rocks the Christmas décor. To be honest it sometimes leaves me sighing and exhausted just thinking about all they have done. I don’t think I’ll ever be the friend who knocks it right out of the park but I’m ok with that. In fact when it gets right down to it I get most excited about the little things that are simply done but add so much to the season.

One of my dear friend’s mother hangs her childhood skates with a few carefully chosen boughs and a bow on her front door. It is still the most nostalgic and stylish door decoration I have seen. I think I’ll ask my mom for my dad’s ice skates to do that this year. Another friend is big on trimming boughs for her mantel, real ones of course, that smell divine. I guess the point is that having a garden and being able to trim bits of holly or evergreen boughs feels like part of the richness of the season and that in itself is simply wonderful.

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