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According to all my grade school report cards, I never stop speaking!

Here is where I rant/ share/ proselytize about whatever I think is
beautiful/ interesting/ semi-important....

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Could it be that dreams do come true?
When artistic talent, sweat, business savvy and encyclopedic
plant knowledge are combined, it seems they do....

Southlands Nursery is a walk-in fantasy,
where beauty always comes before profit.

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Established in 1991, and located in a charming 'equestrian pocket' on Vancouver's upscale
westside, this unique area called Southlands is a horse friendly enclave right in the city.
Large lots and small acreages house many stables, and it is not unusual to see horses and their
riders go by our gates. With delicious free coffee always on hand, many people tell us that they
come down to the nursery just to experience the beautiful atmosphere.
We hope you will visit soon!

Click on text to vist page
According to all my grade school report cards, I never stop speaking!

Here is where I rant/ share/ proselytize about whatever I think is
beautiful/ interesting/ semi-important....

Click on text to vist page
At Southlands Nursery, things are always changing,
and not just with the seasons. We're constantly creating,
searching and bringing in new plants and exciting items
on a regular basis.

Get a sneak peak here or come visit us soon.

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Visiting Vancouver?
Want to order flowers?

Check out this very personal list of some of Thomas Hobbs favourite
Vancouver shops and restaurants you may not otherwise discover.

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Thomas Hobbs own hybrids (and other fabulous varieties) are available in
limited numbers. Hybridizing daylilies has become an absolute obsession....
using cutting edge parent plants from the world's top breeders.

Half the fun is in naming them!

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We will never be a fully online shopping nursery, but from time to time
we'll offer special plants or things.Thomas Hobbs own daylily introductions
will be available for Spring or Fall shipping.

We hope to offer other specialties,
such as own own Nerine hybrids, this way, also.

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The only thing I love more than gardening is sharing that passion with others.
I've had the pleasure of writing 2 books and have been featured in a number of professional
horticultural and gardening magazines. For the past 16 years I've also worked in television on
GlobalBC's Saturday morning news 'Gardening with Thomas Hobbs' segments. The nursery has
been featured on virtually every gardening show including 'The Victory Garden', 'Martha Stewart'
and 'Recreating Eden'. We were even home to 'The Orchid Nazi' on the hit TV show The X Files!

February 24, 2018

I never promised you an antique shop

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 8:21 pm

                       My love of all things beautiful led me to start buying a few garden antiques, to use just for display items around the nursery.  Everyone wanted to buy them, of course. Nobody would pay what I paid for them (at beyond chic shops in London, England).  This led me to search out sources ‘over there’ that were cheaper. Now I am an addict (as well as to 97 other things). I bring in 2 or more 40′ containers every year of wonderful pieces – and they sell. We have shipped things all over …. L.A., Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg…. but most things sell locally. I am posting here a batch of wonderful things that are now sold and in their new homes, I mean gardens…..Lionsantique bench - new ironLead Urnsauction 6-16 lead putto on columnantique chimpAntique goatsAntiques - iron columnsAntiques - iron basketAuction 6-8-16 Gatesantique square plantersiron urn - finegriffinschairsAntiques - iron urnDreweatts 6-30 2 urnsAntiques - small fountainantique marble tableAntique stone footstoolsAntiques - iron urnsBench Faux Boisauction 6-16 stone girl with garlandgriffinZINC TUBS 2auction 6-16 tall urnantique faux bois urnauction 6-16 copper potAntique lead shellDreweatts 6-30 sundialAnd this is just some of the lovely things …. our next container arrives March 20th, 2018

February 5, 2018


Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 11:02 pm




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September 15, 2017

Farm Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 7:27 pm

It has been 9 years since Brent and I moved to a 20 acre farm in Langley, B.C.  I thought it was time to share with you some pictures…. in no particular order. Leaving our much loved and well-publicized ‘ Spanish ‘ home in Vancouver’s Point Grey area was a bold move……but the right move.


iris walkway



BELOW: LAVENDER ‘ HIDCOTE SUPERIOR’ still looks great after 7 years.036


(Currently, I am Morganless)






June 30, 2017

Telus = Death

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 11:35 pm


I recently had the most incredible (awful) experience with Telus that I have ever had in my 45 years of running my own business. And being their/BC Tel’s customer.

The saga began with an unsolicited Junk Email from Telus promoting their new high speed fibre optic services for small business .   I had been noticing how fast other establishments credit card payment machines were compared to ours, and replied that I was very interested in a speedier way for our customers to pay by credit or debit card. I got an email reply from an employee of Telus’s, and we set up a date and a rate to fix us up.  It sounded great, as Mother’s Day weekend was arriving, and the lineups could be long. We were excited ! On the arranged morning, a very unfriendly technician from LEDCOR arrived to do the job.  It seems this is who they use.  He will never have his own talk show and certainly doesn’t do stand up comedy. A miserable zombie from a far off land.  He opened up our ‘phone boxes in a wall and tore at wires, leaving them hanging. He announced he was done. He left his card and drove away. Thirty seconds later, a customer tried to buy something. Our Visa machines did not work. Panic. Our in house’Loyalty Card’ with our points gathering reward cards did not work.  PANIC !!  A small line started to form.  I instantly phoned the tech guy and got him.  He must have only been two blocks away.  I told him the problem and said he HAS TO come back and fix things immediately.  He said he would not come back. He would need a ‘work order’ to come back.  I reminded him that everything was working that morning until he got here,  and now we were  unable to collect payment etc. He refused to return. I could not believe it. Customers were sympathetic but some had to leave their selections and said they would come back.  We were sitting on a fortune in fresh plants to sell on the busiest weekend of the year and felt helpless and doomed.  Luckily, a ‘new girl’ here said her mom knew a ‘computer geek’ who might help ? So, we called and got him to come from West Van by taxi. Tick,tick,tick… an hour goes by.  He realized that (luckily) our Internet provider was SHAW, not Telus. He and our employee  Gord went up to London Drugs and bought a ‘splitter’ device, some cable and ran our Visa etc through this new cable, bypassing Telus entirely !  It worked !! Yeah !!

Later, I noticed a strange white waffle thing screwed into our wall inside. It was about  a foot square and hooked into our phone box.  It was a completely unasked for ‘WI-FI’ gizmo that Telus put here with no permission from me.  I also found ‘FREE WI-FI’ stickers on our glass doors.  How slimy. This is all they did here, other than screw us up.  If ‘Free Wi-Fi’ was really free, would they have any interest ? I don’t think it is free . Watch your phone bill .

I contacted SHAW, our saviour, and switched everything over to them. They were amazing. Friendly and helpful. I told them in all seriousness that I would gladly do a commercial for them for free.  ’Small business’  is a huge category/revenue stream and my testimony would be true.  Watch for it !

January 25, 2017

My Turn

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 12:12 am

TommyI have always been incredibly healthy . Never sick, never in the hospital – ever. I still have my tonsils, and have never even had a sprain, let alone a broken bone. I know I am very lucky.  A couple weeks ago, I got ready to drive in to the nursery from our farm in Langley and suddenly felt unwell. I had pain in both arms, felt out of breath and nauseous. I thought “I’ll just sit in my car for a minute…’, but soon decided  I should lay down in the house. Once I did lay down, I became really sweaty and threw up 5 times.  Brent was home and said we had to go to Langley General Hospital at once. It was 11 A.M. and the emergency waiting room was absolutely packed with people of all ages and descriptions. I still felt nauseous and saw papier mache ‘throw-up bowls on a counter and got one. I used it – poor people around me.  The receptionist asked me a few questions and gave me two aspirin to chew. I think they realized that I was having a heart attack . Quickly, I was taken through the doors into a hallway, put on a stretcher and hooked up to monitors and oxygen.  Blood was taken several times, sticky tabs wired me up and I had an ECG . I was wheeled to be X-Rayed, and brought back to the same hallway, where patients were arranged like piano keys with drapes between us.  Several nurses looked in on me, took more blood, and were all exceptionally nice .  A lady cardiologist came and told me what had happened and what was going to happen to me (hopefully) tomorrow.  It was now ten o’clock at night and I begged her to move me to a semi-private or private room, as my spoiled life couldn’t handle the snoring, crying, brightly lit hall anymore. She went away and much to my surprise came right back and said she had a bed for me in the CCU – hospital speak for Critical Care Unit. Yeah ! Off I went by gurney to a quiet, darkened ward where the nurses were even nicer !  I was hungry, but  ”dinner” was long over. One of them scrounged up some biscuits, a pudding and a juice for me and gave me a sleeping pill (which I asked for) . I will never be able to imitate the   incredibly loud snoring from the elderly lady next to me , but I  did finally fall asleep. At 6 A.M. it was wake-up time. More blood taken , 2 very large bottles full. Breakfast arrived. It was funny - Breakfast

. A bare plate with a shelled hard boiled egg and a tiny blueberry muffin, sliced open and flattened in a grill. A little box of corn flakes, milk, juice and pathetic coffee.  Shortly after, two young lady nurses came and shaved me in the groin area –  I compared it to getting your hair cut at ‘Quick Clips’ – BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ . Done.  Around lunchtime, I was transferred by ambulance to Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, BC.  They have a renowned cardiac  department, and my ‘stent’ operation would be done there. They ended up doing it via my arm, not via the groin area.  It was a relief to know what was wrong, and that I would be just fine. One of my main arteries was 70% blocked (I think?) and in 20 minutes it was all done.  I was transferred back by ambulance, with my own nurse, to Langley General. I spent one more night there and got to go home the next day. My new doctor/cardiologist has set up follow-up appointments for me, told me I HAVE TO lose 30 pounds, and take four new prescriptions for the rest of my life.  The reason I am feeling I should write about this is that I now have had a personal experience with our Canadian Medical System and I give it an A+ . This whole incident did not cost one cent. ZERO.  Everyone was patient and kind, The doctors and nurses, the ambulance guys –  I feel I owe them a free plant at the very least. When I occasionally see an American television broadcast dumping on the Canadian socialized medical system, my hackles have always gone up.  The reality is here in my own words. We are so lucky ! Now I know it.

July 17, 2016

It happened !

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 11:42 pm

                         It is nearly a year since I wrote anything here, and only now do I even feel like it . I’ll get right to it – we got another (rescue) dog ! Brent and I knew that ‘Corona’ was irreplaceable, and other dog owners know that feeling. I looked online for months, at breeders and rescue sites…. and noticed a very ‘Corona-looking’ dog at a dog rescue in Merritt, B.C. Hmmmm… sister lives in Merritt…..
A few weeks went by, I killed time at home looking at dogs online, writing to breeders, trying to not think of Corona too much. Out of the blue, my sister phoned me and told me about this lovely dog at Angel’s Animal Rescue in Merritt , B.C. ( she volunteered there.) I said “Do you mean “Cassie” ? And the rest is history. This amazing rescue society is run by one fantastic woman named Judana . She promptly volunteered to drive the dog from Merritt to Langley to meet us, no obligation.
We liked this little girl dog very much, especially after hearing her sad story. They found her wandering on the Coquihala Highway, after getting reports from truckers of an abandoned dog with a litter of puppies. The puppies did not survive. We changed her name to ‘TAFFY’ and have we ever struck gold again ! She thinks we are puppies and licks us no-stop. She is so happy out at our farm it is a joy to come home to! I could go on forever – but won’t.  Let me show you on my phone !!

I do think that anyone who can should realize that KHARMA is a very real and powerful force. By giving a happy life to an animal in need is really, actually, giving one to yourself. I need no more proof.



August 9, 2015

Goodbye, Corona

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 11:33 pm

Corona 2015 Many customers and visitors to the nursery knew Corona. Often people would come to the nursery just to see him –  and I know why. Corona was left at our farm about 6 years ago, and we fell in love with him. I had his DNA done , with a mail order kit that you swab inside the mouth and send the samples to a lab in the U.S. They sent a detailed history of what he was-  a cross between a German Shepherd and a Chinook.  I had never heard of a Chinook. Have you?  It turns out to be a very rare  breed of sled dogs , from New Hampshire. You have to Google Chinook dog and read the amazing story of one Arctic explorer, who kept the ‘recipe’ a secret and how his favourite one was named ‘Chinook’.  The breed was only recognized by the AKC in 2013 , and in 1981 there were only  13 (yes, thirteen) breedable Chinooks in the world.   Anyways, Corona was mostly Chinook – he looks ( I mean , looked) like a purebred. One of the most amazing traits of these dogs is that they love to talk. I suspect there is Husky blood contributing to this. Corona would look right at you and talk in ‘sentences’, matching the length of what you said to him. I am too sad to go on….. but one day in the near futureBrent and I will get another dog, for sure. Hopefully, a Chinook – but Corona will never be replaced, ever.

June 29, 2015

Morgan Mania !

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 1:57 am

I am first and fore-most a plant nut, but I also love Morgan sportscars. I have owned three over the years, and am presently Morganless.  But, today we hosted the BC Morgan Club at our farm for a picnic and mini Field Meet ! What a vision it must have been for everyone on Hwy 99 South as the 23 cars headed to our farm !  Several of the car owners have 2 or 3 each (one has four!) and chose their favourites for this outing.

IMG_2105These cars are still handmade in England, at the family-owned factory where it all began . The frame is made of wood, and , consequently, the cars are very light and very fast.  It was a great day, admiring a different kind of beauty !IMG_2108


May 22, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 4:28 am

I have become an Iris addict . Add that to dahlias, daylilies, orchids, nerines…. but Iris come in the most amazing range of colours and are easy to grow! Here is part of my Iris walk at the farm . The colours  I like most are tan, salmon, orange…. but the entire spectrum is available (for once), including true blue.

DSCN1480II have started hybridizing Iris and am thrilled with my seedlings ! Every morning in late May brings more first-time blooms. It takes two years for them to bloom, sometimes three. Look at the pictures below – each one is a unique creature, brand new and incredible ! This row is of a single cross I made between ‘Reckless In Denim’ and ‘Hysteria’ .

DSCN1514More beauties from seed – I think I have to name them! The best Iris come  from Oregon. Most Iris nurseries will ship to Canada , and are great to deal with. I like Schreiner’s and Mid-America Garden. Look them up online – you’ll collapse !DSCN1504DSCN1493DSCN1515DSCN1501DSCN1489DSCN1492DSCN1464DSCN1500

April 1, 2015

My Spring Jewel Box

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 3:56 am

WOW ! What fabulous things are emerging in my own garden. I forget what I have planted over the years – so many treasures ! I brought some from my old garden, and some are relatively new to me. Spring is the absolute peak of exciting foliage in my woodland beds – here are some end-of-March treats:

Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ emerges as early as January ! It must be located where you can offer protection in an emergency….DSCN1205

Below:  This Podophyllum is a hybrid between P. delavayi and P. pleianthum. It is called Podophyllum Red Dragon and is a very large plant !  It is impossible to get hold of…..   sorry !!



Another absolute dream perennial is Podophyllum delavayi itself.  I have a few different plants of this treasure, and each one is different. I have to say it – this is my favourite perennial. Kooky red flowers dangle under the 12” leaves in early summer.

DSCN1327Below :  Cold tolerant and  phenomenal foliage at this time of year is produced by the hardy Arums. Arum italicum and Arum marmorotanum have crossed with  each other and shocking patterns have popped up in the seedlings . Huge clubs of orange berries are produced by summertime, and sprout all over the garden. At the nursery, dozens and  dozens grow all along our fence and front gate area. each seedling is different, and the leaves are 12” long !



I have many forms of Solomon’s Seal , the Polygonatums . They are one of my very favourite family of plants, and Spring is their time. I have one with orange flowers on 6’ stalks, one with brown stripes, an all-purple foliage one, a red-stemmed dwarf clumper, several white variegated forms….. they are addictive ! Rare ones can fetch hundreds of dollars for a small division.DSCN1325

A  spectacular spontaneous mutation  appeared at our nursery of a very tall Solomon’s Seal. The leaves are striped in bright gold ! I transferred  this treasure out to the farm to keep my eye on it. It is a stunner !DSCN1371

Below:  Not-a-plant-snob plant , and I like  it very much ! The lowly Vinca minor in an all-gold form. Wow – what a lightbulb it is in the shade garden  and it grows like a weed – I mean a Vinca. I am using it here and there as a weed-proof groundcover. The bright lemon foliage darkens with age. The cute soft blue flowers are an uncommon Muscari called ‘Valerie Finnis’, a big improvement on the Grape Hyacinth seen everywhere.DSCN1331

Erythroniums are easy to grow but seldom encountered.  They are commonly known as ‘Dog’s Tooth Violets’ , but are in no way violets…. they are bulbs that you can purchase in the fall, if you shop early. Charming and trouble-free rarely go together !

Below: Erythronium ‘White Beauty’


Below: Erythronium ‘Pagoda’

Another charming treasure tribe is the various forms of Anemone nemerosa. DSCN1380

 These little perennials form a mat of rhizomes and bloom, leaf and then disappear by hot summer. Shown is the double white form ‘Vestral’. There are gorgeous pale blue ones such as ‘Allenii’ and ‘Bowle’s Purple’, I can’t get enough of them ! They are less than $5.00 each, and form a lovely colony in only a few years.

DSCN1379Trilliums take a few years to become mature, but when they do, they are carefree and spellbinding. There are North American and Asian species – more proof that our continents were once joined….   I think this is Trillium  sessile.

Better than Christmas !! Look at the baby Podophyllums over to the left !! I think that underground rhizomes are sent out by the original plant and in the wilds (of China) form mind-blowing colonies. Each little plant is worth about $50.00 !DSCN1385

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