TOM SPEAKS
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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....

SOUTHLANDS NURSERY
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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.

STORE INFO
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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!

TOM SPEAKS
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....

JUST IN
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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.

FAVOURITES
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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.

DAYLILIES
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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!

ORDERING
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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.

BOOKS & PRESS
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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!

November 16, 2012

FEED ME, SEYMOUR !!

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 8:31 pm

Now that I have lots of room, I planted a Gunnera manicata . It has  settled in by the lake and in two years, has started to get big ! It was in a two gallon pot when I got it , and was still managable.  I have always noticed that ‘the really big ones’ were always beside water, as they need so much moisture to sustain those MASSIVE leaves. They are more sun-tolerant if they sit on the water’s edge as they never get dry and are less likely to burn .  I also thought that mine would appreciate a nice rich pile of rotted steer manure and mushroom compost to grow in.  Originally from South America, these  huge perennials are hardy here (Zone 8), but need to be protected from our hard frosts, which inevitably come. So, last week  (early November), I cut it back. This exposed next years  crazy, enormous ‘Little Shop of Horrors’-looking growing tip .  I put my not-so-tiny foot in the photo on purpose.  It is important to protect this ‘crown’ from rotting and freezing right through. The easiest way is to use its own cut-off leaves upside down and make a shelter out of them.  You can first cover the bud with dry straw if you want to, but I didn’t. By the time these mega-leaves have rotted away, spring will be here and you just do a bit of clean-up. The monster awakens early, so don’t let  the new leaves get caught in the debris…. check for activity in March.

                            I could have used this leaf last summer as an umbrella !  I put it on the ‘Gator’ to show its size…and my plant is still a baby !

  Southlands Nursery ‘ alumni member’  Richard Sehmer helped create huge arrangements for the grand opening of  Vancouver’s  Van Dusen Botanical Garden’s new visitor’s centre in 2011 . We used huge gunnera leaves, furry Heliconia flowers, moss-covered beach balls and LED-lit glass icicles. It looked fantastic !

By using Gunnera foliage cut that day, there was no wilting. We kept costs down, also – they were free !

This arrangement was huge – the ‘birch logs’ are actually cardboard construction tubes (used for cement) . The building was still under construction at party time, and I wanted to connect with that in the decor .

November 12, 2012

Renewal……

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 7:48 pm

When we (Brent and I) began our search for a country property/farm in 2006, we hoped to find one with a big old barn , and we did .   I had fantasies of giving classes in it, making wreaths for Christmas, maybe selling country antiques out of there …. who  knows.  I’m sure Brent just wanted privacy and a dry place to store equipment.   After a bit of sleuthing, we found a great guy to put a new roof on the old barn,  and begin restoration.
The main building is over 100 years old, according to neighbours and local historians. The huge beams that support it  are all round, made out of native  red cedar trees probably felled right on the property long ago.  They are completely sound. The inside looks like a big plant skeleton.  It is beautiful !
Peter, our roofer, speaks about having  ’a reverance for the wood’ and which small sawmills he will (and won’t)  deal with. He had our extra-large cedar shingles made for the size of our building. It turns out that Langley, our area, is full of shingle mills. Living in an area where logging and shingle-making has been going on for a very long time came in handy!
I took these pictures just the other day. It was crisp and sunny and perfect for roofing. We don’t get many days like this in November. Stepping inside the ‘new’ space, I am very inspired and cannot wait to set up a big potting bench. This will be perfect for storing dormant dahlias . The timing is also good, as by closing our retail store in Kerrisdale (part of Vancouver), I need a new project to fill the void.  Stay tuned!

Click on these photos twice to make them enlarge to full size