Although we don’t open until Friday, we are making bulbs (plus some fruit and veg) available for online ordering and pickup. We will start pulling orders tomorrow and call when everything is assembled. Lots of plants will be coming in for our opening on Friday, as well as pretty much daily for the next month.
I’ve started adding non-living things (known as hardgoods) to the order form. You will notice towards the bottom of the form, there is a tab called Hardgoods – Fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides are on at the moment. As new products (like furniture, pots, decor, etc) come in, I will add it here.
On the order form I’ve included frost cloth which we normally sell in the fall. Because of the considerably warmer weather we’ve had for the last month or so, a lot of plants have started breaking dormancy early. Some plants, depending on how far along they are, may get damaged, especially Wednesday night. I’m hoping not, but a number of my Japanese Maples have started their leaf buds and the sap is flowing inside. To protect this tender growth, I’m laying frost cloth over them, more to protect them from the -2 or -3 temperatures that will cause some plants to freeze. Pictured below is the one bed I have with a number of small, not so hardy Japanese maples looking like ghosts.
We are opening Friday, April 23, but only by appointment at this time. The number of people allowed in the garden centre at a time is very strictly limited. We’re booking three appointments (of 1 or 2 people) for every 30 minutes, starting at 9:00 on Fridays through Sundays, and starting at 11:00 on Tuesdays through Thursdays. We are still completely closed on Mondays. There is no limit on how long you can spend at the garden centre for your appointment (but if you stay for hours, I’ll likely put you to work)
Everyone must wear a mask, or face covering, to come in. There are no exceptions, not even for my Mom. Washroom facilities are not available during this time.
To make an appointment, you just have to call in at 905-862-8175 between 9:00 – 4:00. The phone is not answered before 9:00am or after 4:00pm. Voicemail will not be checked regularly while the appointments are going on (sorry – it’s just too much). So, if you get voicemail, just call back after 2-3 minutes. We are doing our best to limit phone call lengths because of the sheer volume of calls we’re getting.
If you are booking an appointment, you can still do an online order and just pickup at the time of your appointment.
We are also starting the online ordering and pickups, as of tomorrow. Availability/Order forms are available here (wordpress page) as well as on our facebook group page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/164345711618977/, and by email upon request, firstname.lastname@example.org. The forms are available in xls (excel spreadsheet) and pdf formats. Honestly, the spreadsheet is considerably easier, so if you have that ability, it is much appreciated as time is not something I have at the moment. Apple Numbers can open xls, just remember to Save As (then choose xls for file type). Completed forms are then emailed to us. We will assemble the order, then give you a call with the total amount and to book a pickup time. We’re accepting eTransfers as well as credit card numbers phoned in from the parking lot. Please please please do not eTransfer until you’ve heard from us.
As the snow starts melting in the front yard, I go out almost daily to check for my snowdrops. This small patch of bulbs is the first hardy plant to bloom, after the witchhazels which bloom while there’s still snow (usually in March). This is when Spring starts, at least for me! These tough little guys keep going, despite never have been cared for and having to hold their own with Vinca (periwinkle) and poison ivy, both of which have taken over in that area between the trees and large shrubs.
This wonderful Scots pine, Gold Medal, turns brilliant yellow over the winter, then gradually changes back to dark green in the spring.
With us starting the year doing curbside pickup only, it was necessary for me to take pictures of every plant, including every variety, that came in. In most cases, it amounted to a picture of leaves, but sometimes they came in with flowers.
The Belarina series of hardy Primula have been great performers. Like most of the earliest perennials to bloom in the garden, they prefer part shade to shade. As a bonus, they almost always bloom again in the fall when the nights start getting cold again.
This hardy pansy, Northern Lights, has a wonderful fragrance. A great low growing, low care plant for a shadier garden.
The Star series of Dianthus have been around for a number of years. These low growing, sun loving, drought tolerant perennials have silvery-green leaves and are covered in single to semi-double fragrant flowers in the Spring/early Summer. They’re great for edging, in rock gardens, in crevices between rocks, or even as an alternative to grass in boulevards due to their salt tolerance.
Creeping Phlox (or Spring Phlox) are another low-growing, low care perennial for a sunny spot. They are drought tolerant and are absolutely covered in a carpet of vibrant blooms in the spring. They are even native, growing naturally on the north shore of Lake Erie. I needed a ground cover with white flowers for a property that was only to include Carolinian natives years ago and, after much research, frustration, and hair pulling (it’s not like I have a lot to pull), I happened across this little gem of information. Note that there are hybrids starting to show up, so if you’re a strict native plant person, you only want the P. subulata varieties.
Lungwort (Pulmonaria) is an old-fashioned perennial for a part-shade/shade garden. Most have blue (gardener’s blue 🙂 ) flowers that age to pink, although some have pink and blue flowers, and a few have true blue flowers.
Bleeding Hearts have always been one of my favourite perennials. The old fashioned type (Dicentra spectabilis) grow quite tall (3-4 feet) and tend to disappear as the summer gets really hot. Luxuriant (pictured below) is a different species and is usually lumped into a group called fern-leaf bleeding hearts. They are shorter in habit and can bloom all summer. They prefer part shade (afternoon shade is a must) and well-drained soils that are on the drier side.
Pulsatilla (Pasque flower) are delicate looking perennials that do best in part sun locations. While they may look delicate, these perennials are very hardy and very reliable. Like the old-fashioned bleeding hearts, they tend to go dormant as the summer turns hot.
Epimediums (barrenwort/fairy wings) are very very tough and very easy perennials and they deserve so much more consideration than they usually get. Plant people love them and with good reason. The leaves are semi-evergreen and are usually edged, or blotched with red in the colder months. The flowers are held just above the leaves and in the case of a few newer varieties, well above. These clump forming perennials will grow in part sun to full shade and almost never need water. They are so drought tolerant and tough, that they are one of three plants that I recommend to plant a Norway maple (the hardest tree to plant under – much worse than a walnut)
Drumstick primroses (Primula dentata) are another spring time favourite for a part shade garden. They’re easy to grow, hardy, and the balls of flowers held well above the clean foliage make a great show.
Hepaticas are another plant person plant. These delightful woodland natives are easy to grow in part shade to shade conditions on the drier side. They have now been moved into the Anemone genus but, for me, they continue to be Hepatica.
Euphorbia Bonfire is just a stunning perennial. When the bracts open and turn shades of yellow, chartreuse, and orange above the wine red foliage, it’s a show stopper and, unlike some Euphorbia, this one stays in a clump. It prefers full to part sun and likes to be on the drier side.
This perennial Geranium stays in a nice neat compact clump and produces these stunning flowers in the spring/early summer. They do well in full sun to part shade.
Iberis sempervirens (perennial candytuft) is an easy to grow compact tidy perennial for full sun locations. It is covered in a carpet of white flowers in the spring/early summer.
With distancing last year, the chipmunks (and birds) were the only visitors I had on the deck for quite a while. This one in particular was very comfortable with Latte and I and would jump on my lap when he wanted peanuts and I wasn’t paying attention.
Like a lot of people, I’ve been out of sorts for quite some time so I thought I’d put up a series of pictures taken in 2020 showing that it wasn’t all bad!
Taken just at the cusp on the year, on December 29. Those might look like water droplets on a white pine (Pinus strobus), which they were, before they froze in place. I noticed this while walking Latte in the woods and had to take a picture
January 13th, walking Latte up the driveway. There had been drizzle as the temperature dropped and the walk was beautiful.
My amaryllis Rilona, which was new in the fall of 2019. It’s a gorgeous coral colour, even more beautiful and vibrant than the picture shows. February 16, 2020
My mini Cattleya Golden Boy – Feb 16
phalaenopsis (unknown variety)
Another of my orchids whose tag is long lost
Latte really wanted to go beyond the driveway, but that’s just too high of ajump for the poor old girl. She’s 13.5 here and still going strong (for her age) at 14.5. February 28, 2020
March 4, 2020 – Bulbophyllum Elizabeth Ann ‘Buckleberry’
Amaryllis bulbs have just arrived. Daffodil bulbs are on sale at 25% off, as are fall plants like mums and kale. End of Season clearance has plants at 40-50% off.
Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) are bulbs that you grow indoors, usually in time for Christmas, but I like to time them for January/February when things are rather dreary. Same thing goes for Paperwhites. Paperwhites are small white daffodils that are grown indoors. They have an amazing fragrance. Some people find the fragrance overwhelming, so there is a non-fragrant variety that works for them.
Mid-October is the optimal time to plant daffodils. They can still be planted later, but seem to get a boost if planted around now. A patch of daffs will always make me smile in the spring. They’re like masses of sunshine in the garden and it means that the rest of the garden is waking up. They range in height from 4″ up to 20″ and are easy to grow. Neither the bulbs nor the flowers are eaten by anything that I know of (probably because they’re very toxic and animals seem to know better)
Mums, Planters, flowering cabbage, grasses, flowering kale, pansies, dusty miller, and ornamental peppers (fall plants) are 25% off, just in time for Thanksgiving.
The End of Season sale is continuing. Perennials, Shrubs, Vines and Evergreens are 50% off and Trees, Small Trees, Furniture, Figurines (metal, concrete, and resin), and Pots are 40% off.