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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!

March 20, 2013


Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 5:57 pm



WOW !!  Just the other day, my great friend and Irish gardening legend Helen Dillon was in Vancouver giving a talk to the Master Gardeners ! We were invited to dinner with her, and I was to pick her up at her hotel and bring her to the house. I decided to take ‘the scenic route’ to the dinner,and drove us through Shaughnessy, Vancouver’s oldest and nicest neighbourhood. We all screamed with delight at the corner of Matthews and Alexandra  streets, where this incredible boulevard planting of crocus was just about to close-up for the night. The simplicity of using just two colours is what makes it work. If yellow had been included, it would look too ‘Eastery’ . When the crocus are finished, the grass will be mown and the bulbs will rest til next year. It is the best example of this any of us has ever seen.  It could also be done with snowdrops, narcissus , little scillas or chionodoxas. These smaller bulbs are suited to planting in grass as their season is early and they won’t look messy later as they are dormant and out of the way of lawn mowers !  If you are out of garden space , think about the boulevard as a fresh canvas and plant your own gift to the neighbourhood !


March 13, 2013

IT’S ONLY HISTORY REPEATING…..(I love that song !)

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 11:32 pm

Shannon                                                                                                                                                                                                                           SHANNON ESTATE

This lovely mansion in Vancouver was built by sugar magnate B.T. Rogers , starting in 1915 and finishing in 1925 . In 1935, it was purchased by local businessman Austin C. Taylor , who raised a family there. One of his daughters, Patricia, married William F. Buckley (yes, that W.F.B.) on the estate,  and she became the well-known New York socialite , ‘Make-up Adventuress’ Pat Buckley. I used to see her picture everywhere, from ‘W’ to Vanity Fair, to the Warhol diaries . In the early 1970′s, townhouses and apartments  were built dotted around the ten acres of grounds . They were designed by Canada’s most famous architect, Arthur Erickson, and even though I had no money and could not afford it, I moved into one immediately !  I didn’t last long . My sprawling, two bedroom with a sunken living room, walk-in closet and in-suite laundry was crazy expensive (for a 20 year old !) and I ended up doing a ‘midnight run’.  Fast forward twenty years, and our fates were to meet again……..


This lovely photo in GARDENS ILLUSTRATED magazine shows our antique greenhouse. This structure was once the estate greenhouse at SHANNON, and was originally 160 feet long ! It was used for everything, including growing grapes and rumoured to once house a pet penguin ! Sometime in the late 1950′s, a local commercial orchid grower, LeNobel Orchids, moved the entire greenhouse to Richmond, B.C. And, wouldn’t you know it, I went to school and grew up in Richmond. That is another tale, but I remember sneaking around their ‘burn pile’ and rescuing huge chunks of Cattleya orchid plants for myself. I was  fourteen years old, and had a backyard greenhouse. About 15 years ago, Brent and I wanted to find a used  greenhouse for the nursery. On a whim, Brent went out to the former site of LeNobel Orchids, who had moved to Surrey, B.C. and are still in business.  The property had been sold  to a fish packing plant and was soon to be bulldozed. Tomorrow. We told our landlord about it and he bought the greenhouse and had it re-erected at Southlands. We only used 80 feet of it ,  replacing  an existing poly tunnel . It has been a visual treat ever since, but not very practical. The glass was beginning to slip and heating it was a nightmare. So, this year we are restoring it . Foundry marks on some of iron gables are from 1904, and it was made in England by Boulton & Paul  Ltd., of Norwich.


So, as work proceeds, I am going to post pictures here showing the process .  I am inspired to re-merchandise this charming building and cannot wait until it is ready for our busy spring season ! Be sure to drop by and see the restored glasshouse, but I doubt if we’ll have a penguin .

010 008 007




March 2, 2013

Learning from Nature

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 8:56 pm



This lovely vision is on a country driveway in Langley, B.C. It is a random planting of double-flowered Snowdrops in the existing moss on the forest floor. It is so simple, and that is what makes it breathtaking ! The acid green of the moss is a perfect foil for the pure white of the snowdrops, and the gardener who lives here knows to leave it at that. By removing most of the fallen leaves, the area  looks  clean and refreshing. What I particularly like is that it is so rare to see such restraint. Most people (guilty!!) would add something tempting like Epimediums, or Hellebores.  By not doing so, the snowdrops get their due admiration and stop people in their tracks. This gorgeous scene goes up both sides of the driveway, creating a welcome and uplifting experience for visitors and their pets…. because this is our local Vet’s office ! I’m sure I like going there more than our dog Corona does….