March 30, 2010
March 29, 2010
I have been enamoured with these charming, hardy perennials for over 25 years. They are happy in 4″ clay pots their entire lives. No other plant on earth comes in such a range of colours. True blue, true green (!!!), brown, red, yellow, grey, white, orange, yellow, purple, black … have I missed any ? In England and Scotland, entire shows have been devoted just to ‘auriculas’ since the 1720′s. They still are. People built ‘auricula theatres’ onto their stately homes . These elaborate outdoor stages were to display their auricula collection, for admirers to gaze at. I think that is so much better than today’s equivalent of a home theatre!! Auriculas or ‘Avatar’ - your choice !!
We have a wonderful selection of blooming- size primula auricula plants in stock right now . Many are named varieties . Some are generic seedlings blooming for the first time . All are lovely. They have a sweet ‘grandmother’ perfume, and bloom from March until June. A sandy soil mix suits them best, and small clay pots prevent overwatering. You can leave them outside all year, as cold doesn’t bother them. The finest types have a lovely white ‘meal’ or ‘paste’ in a ring on the flower’s surface or petal edges.. These types are best sheltered from hard rain as it spoils their amazing appearance. Some varieties have leaves that are completely dusted with this white meal, and also like to be protected from the rain.
The majority of primula auriculas have plain green leaves and can easily be grown in the garden as well. As ‘front of the border’ subjects, they perform effortlessly for years and years. Think about planting some for cut flowers - they aren’t longstemmed, but work well in little bouquets !
All of ours are only $4.99 each !
March 17, 2010
WOW - In the 19 years that I have been running this nursery, we have never had rhododendrons like we have right now. With many trips to Oregon under my belt, it just never ever happened. We would locate them, and growers would promise them, but we would never actually get them. This year we did it ! The most incredible (to me, anyway) is our Rhododendrom macabeanum batch. The foliage is enormous , you’ll notice it in the photo . These spectacular plants do get big, but it is fairly slow. So, don’t panic about eventual size…. we’ll all be gone by then. Visit UBC and Van Dusen and you’ll marvel at these tree-like rhodos…. the foliage is fabulous and so are the enormous flower clusters. R. macabeanum flowers are soft yellow, with a purple blotch. We also have R. sinogrande in stock. This fabulous species has huge foliage and giant flower clusters of pale cream, each blossom stained with a crimson blotch.
R. augustinii is here, for the third time only, in almost 20 years. This species is available in three named forms (‘Electra’,'Tower Court’ and ‘Blue Cloud’) . R. augustinii is a scene stealer . An upward growing, twiggy shrub with blue to mauve flowers in airy clusters. If you ever walk towards the very back of Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver in May, you will be stunned by the grove they have of this beauty.
R. calophytum is here. A giant amongst rhodos, with giant clusters of white (or pink) flowers, each with a blotch of dark pigment in the throat of every flower. I have to have a few for myself…. I just saw these in bloom at Van Dusen (on March 15th, 2010) and was completely reborn right infront of them ! I am not kidding.
Other species in stock right now include:
R. yakushimanum – straight species
R. cilipinense ……
and then there are all the hybrids, too !!! lots of yummy yellows and peach tones, my faves .
Shop now before the word gets out !! We only have 3 of some varieties ….. 20 of others….
Some of these species Rhodos. may be sold out by the time you get here …… but we have many choice other rhodos. and a whole nursery full of other well-selected and irresistible plants. Podophyllums, Trilliums, Epimediums, Primulas, Anemone nemerosa cultivars….. peonies…..
March 6, 2010
We have an amazing selection of blooming Clivia plants for sale, right now ! I grew them all from seed, which I planted four years ago. The timing of their flowering has been amazingly consistent, they all took four years to bloom. The colour range is wonderful – each plant is slightly different . I remember, not that many years ago, when White Flower Farm of Litchfield, Connecticutt offered the first yellow clivias for $900.00 each !! The yellow form has always been very rare , and the price has come down. We are selling them at the bargain price of $40.00 in bloom !!!
I remember buying a very small ‘guaranteed yellow’ seedling for $110.00 at Toronto’s ‘Canada Blooms’ show a few years ago. I could not resist. Three years later it bloomed. It was orange. Buying a clivia in bloom is a good idea, because you know what you are getting .
Clivias are super easy to grow. They are actually indestructible . I have always noticed them in old barbershop windows, and in Chinatown in almost every business . I think the flowers are ‘lucky’. They don’t need much light, and will bloom about once a year. Ordinary indoor plant potting mix is fine, and fertilizer is an option. If you do choose to feed, don’t do it often. They are happy to just sit there. I have sprinkled mine with a small handful of slow-release 14-14-14 plant food on the top of the soil, and watering releases a bit of plant food each time.
Clivias will produce ‘pups’ – a new fan of leaves at the base of the mother plant. Eventually, they ‘clump up’ and can be divided, making sure each piece of plant (each division) has a few roots . Pot them up separately, in fairly small pots, as they sort of like being rootbound. The less wet potting soil around a new division means the less chance for rot. You will probably not see a selection of clivias for sale again, at least north of California , so come and take a look at these beauties ! All are priced at a very reasonable $40.00.
March 2, 2010
I took these pictures on March 2nd, 2010 . This year, we have the most roses we have ever had, and the greatest selection of varieties . Our dedicated team spent days and days potting them up. We use a special soil mix, made just for us, to our own recipe.
It is expensive , but worth it because in May and June, these bushes are in full bloom and look amazing. A few years ago, the North American rep for David Austin Roses visited our nursery at bloom time and said, quite honestly, that she had never seen better potted roses for sale, anywhere .
We do a bit of root pruning, branch editing and minor snipping before each plant is potted. We water by hand (no overhead watering means way less disease) and space the plants when they start to grow. All of this helps to ensure your roses get off to a good start once out of our care !
YIKES ! I may have overdone it this year !! We have hundreds of new varieties ! For the first time for us, we brought in ‘STAR’ brand roses. Why ? Because I have been secretly admiring some of their exclusive varieties for years….. not to mention that they are part of the Meidiland empire. Meidiland is the famous French breeder of super hardy landscape roses that revolutionized public planting completely. They are also the home of the ‘Romantica’ series of garden roses from France. These are sort of France’s answer to David Austin Roses , (which we also have loads of and love). I particularly like the Romantica rose variety ‘Abbaye de Cluny’, (shown in the little photo above and on the left) a soft apricot ,old-fashioned double that has very large blooms and a strong spicy scent. It is a constant rebloomer. ‘Liv Tyler’ is a new pink ‘Romantica’ rose, with very strongly scented old-fashioned double flowers that open flat and fully quartered, like tapestry roses . You may want to look at Star Roses own website to see more lovely varieties- we have almost all of them !! Check out www.starroses.com
From David Austin , I can personally rave about ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ ! It was new to me last year, and I planted two out in Langley. Wow – very interesting glowing orange/magenta mixture, with an old-fashioned look you would expect f rom David Austin, but in a neon colour unlike any of his others. I planted California poppies (Eschlotsia) around and under them ( just toss the seed and walk away) and the colours were identical. I let them go to seed and will look forward to a repeat show this year. I also already knew about ‘Teasing Georgia’, from David Austin. Wow – what a great rose. In one season, mine was atleast 4′ x 4′ and bloomed constantly from May until late November. The gorgeous peachy yellow flowers were made for me. ‘Jude The Obscure’ was as good, or even better. Gorgeous soft yellow, flat, open double flowers kept coming for months. And, I never spray or even deadhead ! I never water. They have to make it with no help, and they sure do!
‘Sally Holmes’ is well-known, as it deserves to be. This single creamy white has lovely strong sprays of country-looking flowers . With showy brown stamens in the centre of each 3″ flower, ‘Sally Holmes’ is distinctive at twenty paces. Very healthy and undemanding, she can be a shrub or a climber – up to you.
A rose I am all excited about for 2010 is ‘Easy Does It’ . As the only 2010 AARS winner , it has to be exceptional. The colour is ‘very Hobbsy’….. a dusty orangey-salmon with a bit of a magenta flaring as it ages. The petals are scalloped on the edges, and the whole flower has a casual rustic quality. As a ‘landscape rose’ , this variety is as tough and care-free as all the others. But, the colour is why I am planting a whole bank of it in my new garden ! Seventy of them in one big, carefree sweep on colour.
Come and snoop around through our roses…. there are so many new ones , even a true green one called ‘Green Romantica’ !! All our varieties are $29.95 potted , and tree roses are $59.99 .