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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!

October 25, 2012

THE END OF AN ERA…..for me

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 7:31 pm


I have written before about the slow death of the retail area my other store is in, Kerrisdale. Here is our current ‘Halloween’ window -  get it ?                        My partner Brent made the tombstones , but we didn’t have room  for them all …….. =  so many recently deceased shops. What used to be a charming and envied retail ‘village’ is becoming a  mess of sushi places, dollar store eyesores and coffee shops.  The ‘newer merchants’ that  I talk to are very disappointed in their sales figures and wonder what happened to the area. The reality of the retail Kerrisdale is far different than the perception the public has. Watch with your own eyes the transformation.  I also feel the time has come to leave…. We are so glad we don’t have a lease ! Pity the people who just signed a five or ten year lease, at very high rents, on their own Titanic.  Read the mental unravellings of one of them (an over-the-top attack on me) by looking up my nursery on Google Maps, under comments. The phony name isn’t fooling anyone, Babs. I see two more stores in ‘our’ block  have closed this month.

I wonder if it is the same everywhere ? South Granville isn’t looking so great anymore, either …. lots of vacancies as of late. I used to pray for a store to be available there. Now there are half a dozen sitting empty.
HOBBS opened in 1989. We were Vancouver’s first ‘home store’ . There was no such thing back then. We went to Italy and France and imported our own stuff . Gorgeous dishes, linens, lamps, and small furniture all artfully displayed in an old Chinese grocery shop. Thinking back , it was normal for people to buy nice things for themselves and as gifts for others. We managed to employ fabulous, long term staff for 23 years !!  We paid millions of dollars in rent !!!  It is not that ‘we couldn’t make it ‘ –  hardly. we ‘made it ‘ for almost a quarter century !  I opened my namesake florist shop 38 years ago. And, if  it was at all worthwhile, we would stay. But, as all our kind,sad,understanding customers are telling us all day long, every day – they simply don’t like coming to Kerrisdale anymore. Parking is no longer free on the street, most of their familiar merchants are gone, the sidewalks are dirty, the pedestrians are more like Space Aliens than anyone who would say ‘Hello’ or get out of your way on the sidewalk as you pass .
But now it is over. And not just for me …..just wait…. the  apparently irresistible  ’Target’  is coming to Oakridge Mall quite soon.


Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 7:05 pm

October 12, 2012

The Most Beautiful Flower in the World

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 12:30 am

                                                                                                 my  Lapageria rosea

                This is as close to ‘The Holy Grail’ of plants as I will ever get.  I have tried to grow Lapageria from seed at least twenty times, and never succeeded. I have ordered ‘fresh’ seed from England, France and the U.S. I have followed precise instructions….. no luck. But, about four years ago I was the successful bidder at ‘The Rare Plant Auction’ at the University of British Columbia Botanic Garden  fundraiser. This is a fun event, held every two years, with great food and drinks, and all kinds of tempting lots to bid on.
Being native to Chile, I knew this vine would like a cool corner of my greenhouse. I planted it in the ground ! It has settled in well and even produced suckers from underground. This October, it has started blooming ! I put my own hand in the photo to show how large the spectacular dangling bells are. No scent, but lovely spotting and waxy texture  like no other flower .  A few very keen gardeners have asked for a Lapageria over the years, but we have no sources for them. They are extremely rare.  I remember watching a TV show from Victoria, B.C., where a lady was touring her garden with a film crew, and mentioned that there was a white Lapageria growing on her house when she bought it !! It was the reason she bought the house ! I would have done the same thing !  Lapagerias are cool growing, but not ’hardy’enough for Vancouver’s psycho winter weather . I also remember one growing on a sheltered garage in Portland, Oregon.  Speaking of Portland, the fabulous Cistus Nursery there probably has a Lapageria or two available, if you are ever doing an order with them.