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Shauna's blog

The Autumn Colours

Here come the beautiful fall colours!  Whether walking or driving around, Campbell River I have had enjoyed these colours in street trees, on our trails, the stunning view of Quadra Island with the big leaf maples (Acer macrophyllum) lit up within the deep green coniferous trees and in your private gardens.  This leads me to think, of how we never know, who will enjoy the trees and shrubs we plant.

A personal experience of this was a particularly magnificent Smoke Bush (Cotinus) on Hilchey Road which caused me pull over and snap a photo of its glory; all glowing coral deepening to pinkish-red.  I was so pleased I had my camera handy and thankful to the homeowner who planted it for the glowing feeling it passed along to me.

For many years the burning bush (Euonymus alatus) and red maples (Acer rubrum) at the Arena on Dogwood street have been enjoyed by so many of us.  Customers mention this gorgeous planting each and every fall.  I hope those who planted and cared for these plants know how much we all appreciate their beauty.

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Plants for Fall & Winter Interest

Autumn is such a magical time in the garden.  With summer behind us the light is softening to golden hues and the shadows are getting long and a lot of plants are preparing for winter.  At the same time some plants have been waiting all spring and summer to delight us with their showiest season - Autumn.

Some plants will dazzle us with fall colours of rich burgundy, red, gold and orange and others will more delicately change to apricot, soft yellows and dusty rose.  All in my mind are beautiful but finding stunning combinations is as important as the plants themselves.  For example; I love the way the deep, dark, plum leaves of Cotinus (Smoke Bush) illuminate in the fall to salmon-pink tones.  However when Smoke Bush are combined with Pampas Grass (and maybe a little bit of a wrought iron fence or railing in behind) you have a gorgeous vignette to look upon, not only in the summer but also in the fall.  This is a little combo I've been looking for a place around my house for a while. 

Here are just a few of the plants that I think are interesting for using for fall and winter interest.  Some have interesting leaves or fall colour, some have beautiful stems and some have gorgeous berries.

Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire' (Twig Dogwood)

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New Spring Blooming Bulbs Varieties for Fall Planting

It's always exciting to see what is new for the garden.  This fall there are lots of new bulbs to plant for gorgeous spring blooms.  Here is a sneak peek at a few that we are really excited about!  Most of these are in stock now, a few are still to come...

Allium 'Silver Spring'

Allium are always popular so new varieties are also always welcome.  Alliums are not only show stoppers but also deer resistant, sun loving and drought tolerant.  They bloom in early summer so they really lengthen the bulb season.  This variety Silver Spring has four inch large, round blooms of raspberry and white with maroon centres and a sweet licorice scent. Hardy to zone 4, they grow to 26 inches tall.

Allium 'Summer Drummer'

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Grow Your Own Veggies For Fall And Winter Harvest!

How are you enjoying your summer harvest?  Our peas were fantastic and though our tomatoes seem a little bit late they are coming on great now and in abundance! We processed our second batch of Oven Roasted Tomatoes yesterday.  The first batch only made it to the dinner table (served over pasta) but the second batch made it to the freezer.  

As far as potatoes go the Satina variety is always our favourite, but we need to get out and dig some of the others we grew to compare.  We've planted Satina, Norland, Red Pontiac, Sieglinde and Banana potatoes.  

Even if you don't have much room for veggies just having a great selection of herbs to add to salads, new potatoes and meats is so wonderful.  All these home grown plants are so good for us, body and soul, we don't want it to end and if we plan it right it doesn't have to. 

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Oven Roasted Tomato Recipe

My co-worker, Janis, got me going on this oven roasted tomato recipe and I just love making this for dinner to serve over pasta or as a side dish. 

Note:- When I make it as a side dish I like to use cherry or grape tomatoes and I leave them whole.

7-8 large tomatoes cut in half along the equator (lengthwise for roma types) or as many fit in your pan. Green belly-buttons removed ¼ cup olive oil 3-4 cloves garlic Salt and pepper Optional:- you can also add cut up onions and peppers, sweet or spicy, for a twist.

 

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Luscious Lilies

With the first breath of summer comes the beauty of lilies. Graceful lily flowers are a favourite in many gardens with certain varieties creating bold splashes of colour, a rich heady fragrance or dramatic vertical accents.  Often gardeners have a favourite, like the lovely fragrant Stargazer Oriental Lily, but by adding more varieties you can have lilies that bloom from mid-June to September.  Most lilies are very easy to grow; a little bonemeal and steer manure and they will reward you with years and years of enjoyment both in your garden and as cut flowers.

Asiatic Lilies

With their wide upward facing flowers displayed on masse these are the lilies that create the most vibrant splashes of colour.  From deep dark purple that is almost black like L. 'Landini' to eye popping bicoloured L. 'Lollypop' that is white with deep roses tips on her petals and almost every other colour you can think of.  Asiatic lilies are often overlooked as they are not fragrant but they are the first to bloom in June and so showy and easy to grow they are a welcome addition to any garden.

Bloom Mid June-early July

Height 30-45 inches

Hardy to zone 2

Trumpet lilies (Aurelian Hybrids)

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Grow Your Own Super Foods!

You don't have to look far to find someone talking about how healthy fresh fruits and berries are for us.  Casually pass the checkouts of your supermarket and the health and fitness magazine covers are raving about these "Super Foods".  Flicking around the TV or while you are surfing the internet we get the same message; fresh fruits and berries are packed with not just juicy flavour but with vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants that help us be more healthy, fight disease and lose weight.  But come on - we knew this.  Mom was always telling us if we were hungry grab and apple.  She must be giggling now to see these same "super foods" dressed up in their superhero capes! 

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Re-blooming Hydrangeas

The best thing about these new hydrangeas is that they re-bloom all summer long!  The wonderful plant breeders at Proven Winner and Ball Horticulture have developed some truly amazing new plants for your garden. 

The following hydrangeas all bloom on new growth, meaning that they begin to bloom in June (instead of July) and continue to bloom all summer long, then into the fall and right up until the frost stops 'em.

If you like to cut hydrangeas to enjoy indoors these hydrangeas will quickly re-set their blooms and be back in flower before you know it.

Pruning is also easy with these re-blooming hydrangeas.  Simply trim them to the height you require in Spring and they will bloom that same summer.  This makes them also ideal container plants.

Hydrangea arborescens Bella Anna

Large pink full flowers Grows 3-5' tall

 

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How to Make Beautiful Moss Baskets

How to Make a Beautiful Moss Basket

Materials

14-inch wire basket frame wire hanger (hook or eye) Sunshine or MySoil potting soil 1/2 bag or moss 2 tbsp fish meal 2 tbsp 14-14-14 Osmocote slow release fertiliser

Plants for a Sunny basket

1 Geranium (Zonal) for the top 3 Proven Winner trailers for the top 3 fillers for the top 24 plants (trailers & fillers) for the sides (We can show you what we use)

Plants for a Shady Basket

1 Tuberous Begonia for the top 3 Proven Winner trailers for the top 3 fillers for the top 24 plants (trailers & fillers) for the sides (We can show you what we use)

Method

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New Roses for 2012

Sugar Moon

 Hybrid Tea - Super fragrant pure white

This rose is a beauty!  I was lucky enough to get to trial this rose last year and it is the nicest fragrant white rose I have ever come across.  Lovely deep, dark green leaves compliment the classic white roses.  Sugar Moon showed good vigor and good re-bloom but it will be the fragrance you will love...  

Height / Habit: Tall/ Very upright & bushyBloom / Size: Full, classically formedFragrance: Intense sweet citrus & rose

 

Ketchup & Mustard

Floribunda - Ketchup red/mustard yellow bicolour

 

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