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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!

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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....

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!

August 22, 2013

A Special Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 6:46 pm

054Brent and I recently attended our good friends Dan Hinkley and Robert Jones’  wedding party at their amazing garden and home near Seattle. It was also a major birthday party for Dan, and all his family and best friends were there. I’ve been there many times, but this time the garden outdid itself ! It was Agapanthus heaven ! They thrive in his open sunshine/windy bluff and stole the show, even from Martha Stewart, who was there as well.

046    This photo (above) shows a glimpse of part of the garden. It is designed for strolling…. no real ‘beds’, as you are in them at all times. It is a great way to experience the plants, as if you are in the wild. A soft yellow  Phygelius can be seen here, with a very upright grass , Panicum ‘Northwind‘, which I am now in love with  !

Our good friends Tom Fischer (Timber Press, Portland, OR.) and Bill Thomas (Director, Chanticleer Gardens, PA.) strolling around the spellbinding garden with Brent . The tall ‘prayer flags’ are from Tibet.



Dan and Bob, who tied the knot after 30 years together

The first night, there was a smaller dinner for ‘out-of-towners’ in the house. It was great to sit across from Martha , as we have been in her magazine and on her old TV show twice. It was also nearly Martha’s birthday , so there was lots of  ’Happy Birthday’ singing .




I could only think of Phoebe Snow’s gorgeous song ‘I Don’t Want The Night To End’ as I walked up the driveway to go. A touch of spray paint transformed the massive Gunnera plant into an incredible flashbulb-loving work of art !

August 18, 2013

My Dahlia Seedlings Are Amazing (ME!)

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 5:23 am

I grew about 250 dahlias from seed this year ! I saved my own seeds from named varieties that I grew last year, and the ‘babies’ are now blooming out at our farm. WOW – I am blown away by how good most of them are ! I am going to name and sell them at the nursery next spring. They are great for cutting, and also add so much colour to the August garden.  Look at these pictures and see what nature has done !P1020614The range of colours, vigour,variation in shapes and flower types is incredible. Most of these new dahlias are nicer than any I have ever bought. Look for them at Southlands in Spring 2014 !!

This reddish one (below) has terrific purple foliage and dark, rigid stems. I had no purple-leaved dahlias anywhere on my property, yet this fantastic seedling popped out of nowhere. Some recessive gene surfaced from somewhere. This particular plant has it all – great ‘no staking’ habit, distinctive and different than any other I have ever seen.I am going to name it ‘HOT MESS’ I think !


Another fantastic seedling….this peachy ‘Cactus type’ is right up my alley. So many flowers, each perfect for cutting. I love the darker centre and strong stems make perfect cut flowers.



Lots of my seedlings bloomed with single or semi-double flowers. (None of their parents were single or semi-double). I actually like most of them ! They are 6′ tall and would be great at the back of the border. Some have dark purple stems and purplish foliage – Wow !


I can’t show them all , but check back soon for more …..



I have to name this one ‘SHAGADELIC’ !



This beauty needs a name….any ideas?  ’LEMON CHIFFON’ ?


This kooky seedling is startlingly different. The plant has a very “60′s” look to it when in full bloom. I am thinking of calling this one ‘LAUGH IN’ !


This after-dinner shot of the pathway in my daylily/iris/dahlia/veggie garden. All of these dahlias are first-blooming seedlings. At least 20 out of the 24 plants shown here  are ‘keepers’ !


August 13, 2013

Summer In The City

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 3:50 am


This is my deck this summer. Although my main garden focus is our farm in Langley,B.C., Brent and I also have a wonderful condo in Vancouver. It literally hangs over the VanDusen Botanical Garden, which you can see in the background.It is on the top floor, and we have only one ‘neighbour’. It feels like being on one of the Gulf Islands , looking out on to only forest , with the sound of traffic very muffled . Our condo came with very long stainless steel planters in place. I replant these with a different colour scheme every year. This year, I tried silver with brown and orange. I have always relied on foliage, not flowers, to create a ‘look’ and here is a good example of what you can achieve with just a few types of plants. The trailing silver plant is Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’. This annual likes shade even more than it likes sun !!! The browns and reds are Coleus, but I don’t know which ones ! I threw the tags away! The big silver leaves are ‘Dusty Miller’ plants, the variety ‘Cirrus’, which I prefer as it is bolder in appearance. Most of the orange is from a very cute new begonia called ‘SPARKS WILL FLY‘ . This cutie has exceptionally pretty dark, veined foliage and finally grew when it got hot out. I bought them at West Coast Growers in Surrey, B.C., as we didn’t even know about them ! In my pots, the scene-stealer this year is the shaggy red ‘Russellia’ in bloom. WOW – my first experience with this tropical toy, and it won’t be my last. These metal chairs (in the above photo)t are from France, made FERMOB, and available to order from Southlands Nursery, of course !P1020830

Notice the switch in chairs ? I move things around to keep it interesting. These ‘faux wicker’ chairs are from Crate & Barrel, and I love them !

The glass ‘icicles’ are there year-round, and light up at night ! They are low voltage, and look amazing in the dark, in the snow, and turn off at dawn. We sell them at the nursery, in many colours. Being on the roof of the building, and facing South, my deck is very bright and very hot ! I water by hand and have only fertilized once this year (with 20-20-20 in the water). By selecting easy to grow plants, I can be away for a few days and not have to worry about plants dying. It is a great place to unwind after work, as long as there is gin and tonic waiting  in the fridge!