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Saturday, August 24, 2019
Posted By: Marian Vaughan in Shrubs

​​​Without doubt, macrophylla hydrangeas are very high on any list of most popular summer & fall shrubs in the Pacific Northwest.  Here we offer conditions ideal to keep them in beauty: abundant rainfall in the growing season, acid  soil to keep them the most exquisite blue, with variations possible through treatment, up to and including deepest pink and even variations of colour on the same shrub. Our long falls allow us to enjoy the variation of colour in the flowers as they age. Last, but not least, our mild winters allow us to give them the pruning they like best: having their dried flowers left on all winter, then each sturdy stem cut back to the nearest set of buds.


Not surprisingly, people gardening in colder climates covet hydrangeas for all their manifold beauties, but find it very difficult to provide the conditions they need, a particular difficulty being allowing the stems to stand all winter.  Aware of this demand, breeders have turned their minds to ways to address these difficulties and recent years have seen a number of new strains of macrophylla hydrangeas come onto the market, each addressing the problem in different ways.  While this has expanded opportunities for eastern gardeners it has also greatly enlarged the situations in which we here can grow this wonderful plant.

Perhaps the most exciting is the CityLine strain of hydrangeas.  Blooming, like all macrophyllas on OLD wood, they have been bred to stay very compact: 12-36" wide and tall (for us, undoubtedly closer to the high end).  For gardeners in colder climes, this means they are more easy to protect over the winter (where the plants will likely be smaller).  For us, they still offer a lot for today's smaller gardens and are especially well suited to containers.
 

Cityline Hydrangea Comparison

Variety
Name
Bloom
Desc.
Colour
(Acidic)
Colour
(Alkaline)
Size Blooms On
'Berlin' Lovely flowers with white centres Blue Pink 1-3 ft Old Wood
'Mars' Flowers are white edged violet Violet Deep Pink 1-3 ft Old Wood
'Paris' Reddest of the line, requires aluminum to turn blue Blue Vivid Red 1-2 ft x 2-3 ft Old Wood
'Rio' Early flowering     Strong Blue Purple 2-3 ft Old Wood
'Venice' Flowers green with age Blue Hot Pink 1-3 ft Old Wood
'Vienna' Traditional macrophylla flowers Violet - Blue Pink 1-3 ft Old Wood
Find out more about thie Cityline series on Proven WInner's Website.


Another wonderful line is the Seaside Serenade group, also bred to remain relatively compact.  Named for various sites on the east coast of New England, they are spectacular shrubs with bicolour flowers, and extra thick stems. Additionally, they have been bred to provide interesting fall colour.  They too bloom mostly on OLD wood, although some form new shoots on that wood in the season, which produce more flowers, though smaller.  In colder climates, this means that if the original wood is partly lost to winter, there will still be some flowers.  Here in the lower mainland, we get a first wonderful flush and then a continuation of fresh coloured flowers through the fall.
 

Seaside Serendae Hydrangea Comparison

Variety
Name
Bloom
Desc.
Colour
(Acidic)
Colour
(Alkaline)
Size Blooms On
'Cape Cod' Each floret has white centre Blue Pink 4 ft Old & New Wood
'Cape Lookout' Colour changer, huge blooms, great fall foliage Green→ White→ Pink Same 3.5 x 3 ft Old Wood
'Cape May' Only lacecap (serrata hybrid) of group Blue Pink 2-4 ft Old Wood
'Fire Island' Flowers are white edged with main colour Deep Blue Deep Pink 3.5 ft Old Wood
'Hamptons' Two-toned flowers of distinctive colour Intense Blue Intense Pink 3 x 3.5 ft Old Wood
Find out more about the Seaside Seranade series on Monrovia's Website.



Finally, there is the Endless Summer group, which name has unfortunately given rise to  a myth: that they flower entirely on new wood (like the smooth leaf or Annabelle varieties) and thus can be cut right back, like an Annabelle hydrangea. This is unfortunately not the case.  These hydrangeas (like Seaside Serenade) send out new shoots, which do bloom later in the season. But they form these shoots on OLD wood, the first and largest blooms still arise from the tops of wood formed the previous season. In colder climates, gardeners are advised to mulch them over the winter to preserve that old wood. It obviously takes a lot out of a plant to keep churning out new growth, so increased nourishment is likely to be required as well as intelligent pruning.  
 

Endless Summer Hydrangea Comparison

Variety
Name
Bloom
​​​​​​​Desc.
Colour
(Acidic)
Colour
(Alkaline)
Size Blooms On
'Bloomstruck' Glossy leaves; does bloom on new shoots Violet - Blue Rose - Pink 3-4 x 4-5 ft Old & New Wood
'Blushing Bride' Soft colours White→ Soft Blue Same 3-6 ft Old & New Wood
'Endless Summer' First to introduce this tendency Blue Pink 3-4x 4-5 ft Old & New Wood
'Summer Crush' Intense colour Violet - Blue Raspberry 1.5-3 ft Old & New Wood
'Twist & Shout' Lacecap with vivid red, sturdy stems Periwinkle Blue Deep Pink 3-5 ft Old & New Wood

Find out more about the Endless Summer series on the Endless Summer Website.

With so many varieties to choose from, here in the Pacific Northwest we can find a hydrangea for any situation and any taste.  





Thursday, June 20, 2019
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Shrubs

Hydrangeas are a lovely and diverse genus, many of which have become essential parts of our garden vocabulary.
Hydrangea Group

Most of us are familiar with the "old fashioned hydrangea": hydrangea macrophylla, and mostly with it in its round headed (mob-cap) form. In England, this variety is called "mob-cap" after the rounded cap worn indoors by married women in the late 18th/early 19th century. Here in North America, they are more usually called mop heads. Having grown up in an English tradition, I found this very odd at first!!
Hydrangea Mophead

This shrub has a lot going for it: it flowers for a very long time starting in the summer when few shrubs but roses are in bloom. Unlike the rose it is equally happy in sun and in shade, though it requires more water in full sun. And, also unlike the rose, it needs no deadheading or summer pruning; the round flowers of macrophylla are lovely from the time they first appear, often in strange shades of ivory & green, slowly deepening to their ultimate colours of blue or pink, and then, as fall approaches, evolving into yet stranger colours of violet, burgundy, wine and tan. These flowers dry well, and, if you like, can be sprayed with gold for Christmas decoration!
Lacecap Hydrangea

As well as mobcaps, hydrangea macrophylla has a lacecap form. Like the dogwood, what appears to be a flower is actually a bract surrounding the true flower, which is comparatively insignificant. In the mobcap above, the bulk of the flower is made of infertile bracts. In the lacecap, the centre of the flower is made up of tiny fertile flowers with a surrounding circle of bracts, looking much like a lace doily, or old fashioned lace cap, hence the name. These plants are generally more open and graceful in appearance than the mobcaps, but have many of the same attributes.

Both kinds of hydrangeas serve a good purpose in garden design. They fit very well with rhododendrons, liking the same conditions of soil and sun, and adding garden colour at a time when rhododendrons are long over. The lacecap is particularly nice here, its grace contrasting with the bulkier shape of rhododendrons. They fit equally well with the long blooming summer & fall perennials, adding some restful substance to the border.

Pannicle Hydrangea

In addition to these two forms of H. macrophylla, hydrangea paniculata (Peegee) is a treasured garden plant. Instead of a dome, the flowers form a cone, initially white (or green) deepening to rosy red and ultimately burgundy in a way reminiscent of macrophylla, but more striking because of the size of the flower. The plant too is larger with quite a different garden effect, with strong wands growing upwards. Often grown as a standard (("tree form") it makes a terrific central feature in a frontal bed.

Macrophylla in both its forms and paniculata are those most often encountered in gardens; but there are many others: hydrangea arborescens Annabelle (a very hardy form, blooming on new wood), hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea - very handsome in woodland), hydrangea aspera (extraordinarily shade tolerant) and of course, the climbing hydrangea: hydrangea petiolaris). These are all excellent plants but more suited to a wilder sort of garden than macrophylla and paniculata.

Some well established favourites:
 

Macrophylla : first the mobcaps

Sister Theresa pure white, each flower with a pale blue eye
Nikko Blue very large turquoise, a bit floppy, but gorgeous in acid soil
Glowing Embers reliably red in any soil

Lovely Lacecaps

Blaumeise (Teller Blue) blue turning brilliant pink in basic (alkaline) soil
Kardinal (Teller Red) rich deep pink turning purple in acid soil
Libelle (Teller White) white with deep blue centre which centre turns pink in basic soil

Paniculatas

Paniculata Grandiflora (the original PeeGee) pure white flowers aging rosy pink
Limelight soft green aging to pink
Brussels Lace a rare form with flowers like a lacecap white with no colour change
Quickfire white flowers turning pinkish red
 

For more information about growing Hydrangeas, read the Learn to Grow Hydrangeas Blog Post
If you're interested in any of these beautiful Hydrangeas, drop by the nursery and check out our collection. As always the selection and availability is always changing so call ahead if you're making a special trip


Sunday, March 31, 2019
Posted By: Diane Scott in Roses
Rosa 'Diane Loomer'
This year we were lucky enough to acquire four very special roses from acclaimed local rose hybridizer, Brad Jalbert of Select Roses. While many of his varieties are now available around the globe, only a few local retail nurseries have been offered the honour of carrying Brad’s roses.
Rosa 'Diane Loomer' 
Among these exceptional bushes is the rose ‘Diane Loomer’. Named for the first woman to conduct the National Youth Choir of Canada, Diane Loomer was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1999. This hybrid tea rose has an upright growth of 3-4 feet with large fragrant blooms (4-5 inches) that change from golden to apricot prink. This amazing rose is a continual bloomer from spring to fall.
Rosa 'Dylan'
Our second and newest Select rose is called ‘Dylan’. With blooms of the softest pink, this compact floribunda rose grows to about 3 feet tall. Easy to grow with foliage that has exceptional resistance to disease. Endless, long-lasting blooms on strong stems will enhance your garden all summer long. These would do well in all landscapes from mass plantings to a single container on your deck.
Rosa 'Our Anniversary'
Planted in Stanley Park and various parks in around Surrey, ‘Our Anniversary’ is truly a rose for the lower mainland. With blooms starting plum red deepening to a deep plum purple (weather dependent), this dense bushy floribunda has spectacular glossy green foliage and a light, sweet fragrance. Its disease resistance in all climates makes it popular around the world. Growing to approximately 2.5 feet tall, this rose would be great in containers.

The fourth offering is the ‘Vogue Anniversary’ rose. After looking at many options, Vogue magazine chose this bushy dwarf floribunda to honour its 125 anniversary. An English style rose with golden peach blooms and bright green foliage, it has great resistance to black spot and mildew. A fragrant compact rose, it would work well in a border garden, in smaller gardens or in a pot on the deck. 

Start feeding your roses this year with Select Roses plant food. We have both the Rose food and the Rose Starter food. Both are slow release. This means you can use them for your spring and summer rose feeding. Apply fertilizer in the spring when the soil, as well as the air, is warm, usually about mid April (this means temperatures stay above 10˚ C at night). Re-apply in mid June just after the first blooms. 
Rosa 'Dylan'
The rose food has an N-P-K ratio of 21-9-15, organic based with traces of micro nutrients for a perfectly balanced rose food. This one is preferred by the Vancouver Rose Society. The Rose Starter (N-P-K ratios of 1-3-15) is balanced for better root development and more blooms in the first year. It works well as an all purpose for your other plantings as well. We are offering both in the smaller container, the one with the hand grip for ease of use, at $14.98.

All four roses will be available in 3 gallon pots for pre-order on our website with pickup at the beginning of May.

For more information abour Brad Jalbert and his roses visit his website www.selectroses.ca


 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Posted By: in Shrubs


Whichever path today’s gardener follows to this season’s trending garden sanctuary, you will find that including the camellia is spot on target.  The camellia can boast of exceptional colour, texture, form and versatility.  

Playing with the summer to winter transitional colour scheme is not only visually appealing, but can add significantly to our appreciation of changes in our natural environment.  Use Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ and Camelia japonica ‘Bob Hope’ or ‘Debutante’ to carry the vibrant colours of your summer garden into winter or allow the more muted tones of ‘Buttermint’ and ‘Silver Waves’ show off the textures and forms that define your winter garden.  Allow the richness of the blooms to contrast with the starkness of winter.

The relationships between varying textures of garden elements create an energy.  This goes beyond the visual.  We see and feel the smoothness of the camellia’s lush, evergreen foliage; we are excited by the contrasts of bold versus fine, rough, mossy, rusty…Combine this with the extraordinary variety of camellia forms in an airy woodland, a clipped and formal installation or a few pots on a patio oasis to achieve your design goal.

Winter camellias will grow in sun or shade.  They are large, relatively fast-growing and sturdy. Their evergreen foliage is a rich, dark, glossy green. Trained espaliered camellias may be used as sculptural specimens, screens or hedges.  Stronger pruned  geometric forms establish mood and direct the eye’s flow through the garden.  Taller columnar or conical forms act as focal points and accents.  Repeat rounded forms for continuity or count on a taller dome-shape to open up and facilitate transition.  Adapt this elegant shrub’s form to suit your purpose.

Yuletide Camellia
Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'

Thursday, November 9, 2017
Posted By: in Winter Gardens
Colorful Winter Plant Blog Title Banner

Winter is here and so are some spectacular colorful plants! Although it can be harder to find things for interest in your garden this time of year, don’t fret. There are still many great options out there for you to make your garden just as striking and full of color as it is in the spring time. These are my top 6 plants for colorful winter interest.

Globe Cedar 'Sienna Sunset'Globe CedarGlobe Cedar Sienna SunsetGlobe Cedar ‘Sienna Sunset’

The soft-looking foliage of this cedar sports shades of lime green, gold and orange developing into a deeper bronzy shade in the winter months. Not only does it have beautiful color but this cedar is hardy to a zone 3 and can withstand a heavy snowfall without losing its round shape. Due to its compact nature, it’s a great option for containers and small gardens.

Pro Tip: This cedar requires no pruning to maintain its globe shape.

Hellebore Love Bug BannerHellebore Love BugHellebores ‘Love Bug’

Hellebores are always a great addition to any winter garden. This compact growing variety is a newer addition similar to ‘Pink Frost.’ Pink flower buds sit atop brilliant red stems, opening to reveal a delicate cream flower dappled with a soft pink blush. Flowers contrast spectacularly with silvery evergreen foliage during ‘Love Bug's’ long blooming season.

Pro Tip:  Mulch in summer to maintain moisture.

Leucothoe Banner
Leucothoe ‘Rainbow’

Leucothoe 'Rainbow' is true to its name, this evergreen shrub is full of colour! Foliage is a ever changing combination of cream, green, burgundy and pink. Colors are at their most vibrant in the winter months.

Pro Tip: Likes moist, well drained, acidic soil.

Crabapple Red Sentinel Banner
Crabapple Red SentinelCrabapple 'Red Sentinel'

Red Sentinel has white flower blossoms in spring developing into a vibrant, deep red apple in late fall. Apples will last well into the winter months granting this specimen tree a long season of interest in your garden. Apples are small and berry-like, growing in abundance, which creates a very festive look. Right in time for Christmas! Easy care, requiring little to no pruning.

Pro Tip:  Use left over fruit to make a delicious jelly

Skimmia Female Banner
Skimmia Female Skimmia ‘Female’

This Skimmia has masses of green, fragrant winter buds opening to white blossoms in spring. This floriferous evergreen shrub will reward you with stunning, large red berries in winter if a male pollinator is present.

Pro Tip: One male is necessary for about every 5 plants

Viburnum Davidii BannerViburnum Davidii Viburnum 'Davidii'

Viburnum ‘Davidii’ is a low growing, compact evergreen shrub. Leathery dark green partly oval leaves give a strong contrast to the clusters of white flowers that appear in late June. Flowers are followed by very attractive, steely blue berries that last throughout the winter.

Pro Tip: Great for foundations and when grouped.

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Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

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