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Boughs, Berries and Branches!

Boughs, Berries and Branches!

It's just about that time... when the snow will be flying and we will say farewell to our fall planters, pumpkins and mums.

Here's a few ideas and tips before those pots of soil get tossed in the compost pile (or freeze solid in the pots!), there is time to re-dress them for the winter season.

Here are a few tips for the greenery conversion...

1 - Container arrangements of boughs and branches need a good solid base if they are going to stand up to winter conditions and hold branches in place.  For many planters, the root mass and soil from your summer/fall plants can work well.  Simply trim plants off at soil level.  This leaves a firm base to push boughs and branches into.  If you have already emptied your pots or have new ones to fill, a good base can be created with blocks of floral foam and heavy soil or sand for weight.  

2 - Once your base has been established, a variety of evergreen boughs can be selected to provide different colours and textures. Local and exotic greens suitable include varieties of Balsam and Fraser Fir, Red and White Pine, Eastern White and Western Red Cedar, Boxwood, Oregonia, Juniper and Incense Cedar. Evergreen boughs are usually cut  to size suitable to be proportional in the container.  When trimming your boughs, try to cut on an angle so you have a sharp point to push into the base.  Insert each bough firmly into the base so the arrangement will better handle winter winds, freezing rain and heavy or drifting snow.

3 - Dress it up!  Natural accents such as dogwood, curly willow, birch, berries and pinecones look suitable for the entire winter season.  Add a little glam for the Holidays with seasonal accents and ornaments.  Choose from traditional red and green, gold and silver metallic, or try the trendy newer colours such as blue with copper, rose gold and burgundy with champagne, or the ever popular natural colours of white birch with browns and greens.  In January, the overly glitzy bits can be removed and the remaining arrangement can continue to decorate your home until March.

  

Not sure you want to do it all yourself?  We have pre-made winter arrangements in a variety of styles and colours ready to decorate your porch for winter, as well as pre-greened pots ready for you to add your own personal accents :-)

 

  • Kristin Ego
Plant Fall bulbs now for spring colour!

Plant Fall bulbs now for spring colour!

Fall is the time to think ahead to next spring if you want colourful Daffodils, Tulips, Crocuses and more to enjoy once the snow has left.

Hardy fall bulbs such as daffodil, tulip, hyacinth, crocus and snowdrop are spring flowering plants that must be planted in the fall. They are mostly native to mountainous areas of Europe and the near east — Spain, Turkey and Afghanistan. They actually need the dormant rest period of a long, cold winter. The melting snow and ice in early spring provide needed moisture as they start to grow and flower. Plant from September to December, even after the first frost if the ground can still be worked.


Planting
Bulbs can also be planted in individual holes. Dig a hole and sprinkle a tablespoon of a bulb fertilizer in the bottom of the hole. Place the bulb in the hole with the pointed end up.

Cover the bulb with soil and water thoroughly. A 5 cm layer of mulch on top of the bed will help prevent winter weeds, retain moisture and insulate against severe winter cold and temperature fluctuations.

Preparing a bed for fall planted bulbs
Prepare the bed - double digging will help to make a well-drained planting bed.
Condition the soil - Improve soil by adding three inches of peat moss and one inch of composted manure or a 3-in-1 soil mix. Then work into a depth of 30 cm. Add 1 kg bonemeal for every 92.9 m2 (1000 sq.ft.)
Plant — the sooner the better
Point bulb upward. Add sprinkle of blood meal or Actisol (with Hen Manure) to deter squirrels from stealing bulbs.

Add 2-5 cm of mulch.

After spring flowering the foliage must be allowed to remain to soak up sunshine and replenish the stored energy in the underground bulb. Only the flowering stems should be removed. In a few weeks, the foliage withers and dies down. This is the plant's natural defense against the too hot summer sun in its original habitat.


Replanting your flower bed with summer annuals gives you the opportunity to use more bone meal which, with its high phosphorous content, is beneficial to both the new planting and the bulbs.


Sensational Sunflowers

Sensational Sunflowers

The Sunflower is one of the most popular genera of flowers to grow in your garden. First-time to experienced gardeners gravitate to these bold, easy to grow flowers.

Sunflowers originated in the Americas and domestic seeds dating back to 2100 BC have been found in Mexico. Native Americans grew sunflowers as a crop, and explorers eventually brought the flowers to Europe in the 1500s. Over the next few centuries, sunflowers became increasingly popular on the European and Asian continent, with Russian farmers growing over 2 million acres in the early 19th century (most of which was used to manufacture sunflower oil).

Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh famously painted a world-renowned still-life series of sunflowers. His sunflower paintings are so famous, the Van Gogh museum has teamed up with the breeder of Sunrich sunflowers to create the “Sunrich-Van Gogh’s Favorite” label of sunflowers.

The sunflower head is actually made up of thousands of tiny flowers - Year of the Sunflower - National Garden Bureau
Sunflower Types:

Sunflowers can be annual (Helianthus annuus) or perennial (Helianthus maximiliani), but most modern sunflowers are annuals.

Single Stem vs Branching Sunflowers:

Single stem sunflower varieties are best for high-density plantings and produce consistently beautiful flowers on tall stems. Succession planting will be needed for continuous Year of the Sunflower blooms throughout the season.

Branching varieties produce flowers on multiple shorter stems throughout the season, which makes them ideal for sunflowers all season long.

Single stem: ProCut® Series, Sunrich™ Series, and Vincent® Series
Branching:
Autumn Beauty Mix, Soraya, SunBuzz, Suncredible®, Sunfinity™Pollen vs Pollen-free Sunflowers:

Sunflowers that produce pollen are a great option for gardeners focused on supporting pollinators or for those looking for a lower price point.

Many modern sunflower varieties are bred to be male sterile, or pollen-free, to help foster extended vase life and a nice, clean appearance. These also keep your table clean from pollen!

Luckily, there are many varieties of both pollen and pollen-free:

Pollen-free: Moulin Rouge, ProCut Series, Sunbuzz, Sunrich Series, and Vincent Series
Pollen: Soraya, Ring of Fire, and Valentine

Sunflowers are a great addition to a pollinator garden providing both nectar & seeds - Year of the Sunflower - National Garden BureauSunflowers track the sun; the flower heads turn as the sun moves across the sky. This is called heliotropism - Year of the Sunflower - National Garden BureauDid you know the tallest sunflower grown was 30'1" in Germany in 2014 - Year of the Sunflower - National Garden Bureau

Height/Size of Sunflowers:

Another way to distinguish sunflowers is by their height and size. Smaller, ornamental sunflower varieties, such as the Sunrich or ProCut series are only a few feet tall, while American Giant Sunflowers can grow to be 15+ feet. Depending on their height, the size of the flower will also change with larger flowers on the taller varieties.

Tall: American Giant, Kong, Mammoth, Sunforest
Dwarf: Smiley, Sunbuzz, Suntastic, Teddy Bear, Suntastic Yellow with Black Center 

Sunflowers for Edible Seeds:

Some varieties have been bred to produce large, edible seeds that are great for snacking. The seeds are ready to harvest once the petals have withered and the seeds can be seen.

Edible seed types: Feed The Birds, Mongolian Giant, Skyscraper, Super Snack Mix, Titan

Sunflower seeds traveled to space in 2012 when astronaut Don Petti took them on board the Int'l Space Station - Year of the Sunflower - National Garden BureauThe Sunflower symbolize optimism, positivity, long life and happiness. - Year of the Sunflower - National Garden BureauSome people have a fear of sunflowers. It's called Helianthophobia - Year of the Sunflower - National Garden Bureau

How to Grow and Care for Sunflowers:

Sunflower seeds can be direct sown after the risk of frost has passed or started indoors. Seeds should be sown ¼” to ½” deep and kept moist. Taller, larger sunflower varieties have a large taproot to keep them rooted and do not do well when they are transplanted so direct sowing of those varieties is recommended. Choose a site, or a container, in full sun, with average fertility and good drainage.

Recommendations for the best vase life:

If you’re growing sunflowers for cuts, here are some recommendations to extend the vase life of your flower.

  • Cut when the petals or ray flowers just begin to open, before they have opened off the disc completely. It is recommended to cut in the early morning before the heat of the day.
  • Remove the leaves below the water line and place in freshwater or properly measured fresh flower food solution
  • Check water regularly; sunflowers are heavy drinkers and can empty a bucket or vase overnight
  • Change water daily; sunflowers have what some call a dirty stem, as the water quickly turns cloudy with potential for bacterial issues

 

 

This Year of the Sunflower fact sheet is provided as an educational service of the National Garden Bureau.

In-Store Shopping Health and Safety Expectations

In-Store Shopping Health and Safety Expectations

We will work diligently to create a safe shopping experience for you.  Our staff will wear appropriate face coverings, clean surfaces regularly, maintain physical distancing and keep displays well spaced.  Hand sanitizer is supplied at entry and checkout.  The number of people shopping indoors will be limited so please make your visit to us thoughtful and shop with purpose.

In order to facilitate a safe experience for all our customers and staff, please note the following expectations of all visitors:

* If you have been in contact with anyone with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 or if you are sick or feeling un-well, PLEASE REMAIN AT HOME. 

* Follow the physical distancing guidelines at all times... in lineups, in the nursery and greenhouse and with our staff members.

* Wear a mask or face covering 

* Please apply hand sanitizer available at entry 

* Shopping carts will be sanitized regularly.

* No outside food or beverages.

* No pets permitted

* Washrooms will not be available.  Please plan accordingly.

* Please stay behind plexiglass screens while at the checkout.

 

Thank you!

 

 

  • Kristin Ego
PW Idea Book

PW Idea Book

We grow many of the varieties featured in the annual PW Idea Book.

Click here to download a little inspiration for 2020

  • Kristin Ego
Classic Blue Named Pantone Colour of the Year

Classic Blue Named Pantone Colour of the Year

ANNOUNCING THE PANTONE COLOR OF THE YEAR 2020

PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue

Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.

A timeless and enduring blue hue, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue is elegant in its simplicity. Suggestive of the sky at dusk, the reassuring qualities of the thought-provoking PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue highlight our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.

Imprinted in our psyches as a restful color, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge. Aiding concentration and bringing laser like clarity, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue re-centers our thoughts. A reflective blue tone, Classic Blue fosters resilience.

  • Kristin Ego