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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.

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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!

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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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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.

Click on text to vist page
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!

May 21, 2011

Beautiful freaks

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 11:38 pm

No, I am not talking about Groupon People !! ( or haters on Google Maps….) I am talking about a fascinating family of plants – the Arisaemas ! These shade dwellers are found  mostly in Asia, but  you may be familiar with our North American native , the ‘Jack In The Pulpit’ – Arisaema triphyllum from Eastern Canada and the U.S.
At  Southlands this spring, we are excited to offer two of the most interesting species available anywhere. Arisaema sikkokianum produces a strange hooded spathe and a pure white alien -lollipop - microphone- thing in the centre.  The first time I ever saw these was years ago at the Chelsea Flower Show in London, England. I remember seeing them in a stunning display from a specialist nursery and thinking to myself  ’very Space Alien’ – I’ve got a lot to learn !   Now, we sell Arisaemas every year at Southlands . We get some quite rare selections with silver foliage and huge leaves that look like palm trees. Spring and summer is when our selection is at  its best.

006-1 Arisaema sikkokianum

Another kooky Arisaema we have this year is Arisaema ringens. This is a very easy to grow species and reliably hardy in Vancouver. Moist soil and some shade ensure  a healthy clump in only a few years. The hooded spathes look very much like a cobra , hence the common name ‘Cobra lily’.  Ours are grown locally by an eighty year old man who has a very green thumb !   These are in bloom and priced at $24.99  each.016-1 Arisaema ringens

May 10, 2011

Woodland Treasures with a twist

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 12:45 am

              I am particularly fond of the ‘Solomon’s Seal’ family of plants , the Polygonatums and the Disporums .  These shade lovers are very easy to grow, and like a woodsy soil that is not super dry.
This year, we are offering some very rare forms of these plants. Each has been covetted in Japan for decades, and they have  finally made it to our shores.  In Japan, there are small specialist nurseries that collect and sell/trade variegated forms of all kinds of plants. Some are priced at  thousands of dollars as they may be the only one in the world of their type. 
            Our offerings are divisions of divisions of divisions of divisions. The price has come down as the quantities increase.  We feel lucky to offer them, but we have  less than a dozen of each variety.
We always sell the ‘normal’  Solomon’s Seal , Polygonatum x odoratum and its striped/variegated  forms. This year we have a very showy, rare form called ‘Fireworks’. I guess it got the name because it really glows in the shade garden with its tie-dyed white and green leaves. Another kooky Solomon’s Seal we have is called ‘Dragon’s Scale’. This rarity has unusually shiny and thick leaves with a distinct ridge down the centre of each leaf. The foliage is a darker green than the other types. I planted three of these last year , and am amazed at how big they have gotten in only one season. Each has about nine stalks emerging from the ground !
     A very large-growing Disporum is D. cantoniense ‘Night Heron’ . This hardy perennial was introduced by our good friend Dan Hinkley while he still operated Heronswood Nursery in Kingston, Washington. He grew it from wild collected seed from China, and expected a green plant, not this stunning blackish-purple variant. WOW! My plant in my old garden was 5′ high and looked like a shiny bamboo that flowered with little yellow/green bells ! It likes moist soil and some shade.  The newly emerging shoots in spring  look like giant plum- coloured asparagus. A great ‘beginners plant’ as it is soooo easy and undemanding to grow, yet rarely seen and absolutely stunning !  It is also very affordable as it has now been propagated quite a bit.


                                                                                                 Polygonatum ‘Fireworks’Polygonatum  'Fireworks'                                                                                                                   Polygonatum ‘Dragon’s Scale’Polygonatum 'Dragon Scale'                                                                                              Disporum ‘Golden Emperor’Disporum 'Golden Emperor'                                                                                                            Disporum ‘Golden Moon’Disporum 'Island Moon'
            Disporums look a lot like Solomon’s Seal and are closely related. We have at least 5 special types to tempt knowledgable gardeners this year. Disporum sessile ‘Island Moon’ is a treasure !!  Brilliant lemon yellow leaves are edged in green . Eventually a clump, this Japanese native will reach 45cm in height and is winter hardy to zone 4.  Disporum smilacinum ‘Golden Moon’  is just as lovely , with broader leaves and a bit more green striping in its leaves.  This little cutie will only reach 10-15cm in height and form a small colony in time. Disporum smilacinum ‘Golden Emperor’ has the reverse leaf pattern of ‘Golden Moon’ .  This selection has apple-green leaves with creamy yellow edges and stripes.  All of these treasures are priced around 25.00-30.00 each….. about the same as a night at the movies.