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!

September 19, 2011

The Van Dusen Gardens Gala

Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 11:26 pm

On September 15th of this year, Vancouver’s stunning Van Dusen Gardens held a gala party to preview its new 20 million dollar ‘Visitor’s Centre’ !!  I was asked to  ‘do’ the opening decor. Being an ex-florist , I couldn’t resist. I decided to pull out all the stops and do it as my personal vision…. bold (like the amazing building), botanical (giant gunnera leaves cut from the garden itself), and creative but wacky (like me). I called in two of my most-missed ex-employees, Tyler Merkel and Richard Sehmer to help the Southlands crew by donating their time to set it all up.
Brent and I made several trips to WALMART , eventually cleaning them out of beach balls at two locations. Staff (mostly Lawrence) spent days wrapping these in green moss back at the nursery.  I envisioned a sort of ‘Blade Runner’ installation at the new building, with tumbling construction rubble and these very cool spheres and leaves. I was able to locate my favourite Heliconia flowers, which came from Costa Rica. These monstrous wonders are covered in orange/brown fur and hang downward in lobster-like clusters 18″ long.  We included lit-up glass icicles from Seattle’s Barb Anderson for night drama. It all fell together quickly and looked great !
For the inside, some Van Dusen volunteers and I made carnation balls for the 17 cocktail tables. These are easy and fun to make, using a pre-soaked OASIS foam ball . Each ball takes about 40 carnations. When the night ended, we handed the balls out as Thank You’s’ to the volunteers.
I did all this because I love Van Dusen gardens. Yes, there are weeds. I wish they could afford more gardeners. I wish they weren’t run by the City. I wish they were not part of a union. Then the volunteers could weed, too. But the big picture is incredibly beautiful. It is impossible to believe that you are in the middle of the city when you look around the various areas, especially near the lake.
The original lay-out and ‘natural’ design only looks better and better as time goes on. I have seen countless public gardens, all over the U.S., Canada,Australia,New Zealand  and much of Europe. To me, the most over-rated is Kew Gardens in England and the most under-rated is our own VanDusen right here in Vancouver. With this incredible new entrance building (designed by Peter Busby), VanDusen is now in full bloom!

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