Tuesday, 25 October 2011

impromptu palm safari!!!!

What a glorious morning! This morning I got up bright and early to meet a dear friend for breakfast and after went on an impromptu palm safari! What else would I do on a morning like today?  I was pleasantly surprised about my findings.  I should say that Abbotsford is no palmy place.  In fact, beautiful yards of any variety are seriously lacking.  Thankfully I have good palm radar!

But first, check out this stunning view of the Sumas flats!!

on a sunny day, Abbotsford is one of the most beautiful places!  We're even getting some nice fall colour

And the palm trees.... This first one I have known of for quite a while and so I thought it would be a great start to my safari... sorry I was a bit sheepish about getting up close and personal in this neighbourhood.  Notice how tall the palm is though? it is as tall as the garage and extends beyond the railing... 15 feet at least?

I was pretty stoked after the first stop ... and then around the corner - SURPRISE!  I love how fat that palm trunk is!  if only it had some yucca and agave friends!

This one has duck friends! maybe its a new trend, ornamental ducks and palm trees.

This palm is so welcoming!

This next one is a bit of a "where's Waldo"... on the left is a small trachycarpus fortunei and to the right is a potted canary island date palm!  I like their thinking!

UH OH!? I don't think these people expected their palms to survive. I sure hope they sacrifice the roof over the palms in the years to come! Besides the unfortunate issue that these homeowners will be facing, these are amazing palms!

I've been following this palm tree for a while now... It pops out against the dark colour of the house!

The Mac Daddy palm!!! Not only that, but I love the fire engine red door!  

I often forget that I can do my own palm safari in my backyard!!!!

Can you believe it was 40F when I took these photos!? palms literally make things feel all warm and fuzzy!!!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Praise for Southlands Nursery

On the weekend I had the privilege of visiting one of the most spectacular nurseries in Vancouver, Southlands Nursery.  Anyone visiting this special place is immediately aware of its majestic setting.  Located right by the ocean, just minutes from downtown Vancouver, you are transported into a tranquil enclave of equestrian estates and a garden lovers dream!  Southlands is oozing with charm!  When you enter, there's a feeling of being warmly invited into someone's private garden.  From the very arrangement of plants, to the delightful garden furniture and the best selection of pots and containers, Southlands is clearly a work of love.

I'll take that one!

Great signage at nurseries is a must.  I love how they combine art and personality with obvious function. Southlands is amazing for defining specific garden zones.

Olives!!! I was so happy to see this great little olive tree.  Any nursery that sells olives is a good one in my books!  Can't you just image it now ... olive trees, agave, opuntia, rosemary, a great little bistro table... Need I say more?


Southlands is known for their great succulent containers... and these ones definitely brought me some container garden envy.

DANGER! even more agaves!!! These belong in the Danger Garden

This particular succulent display struck the hallelujah chords with me!! I don't know if I have ever seen anything quite so beautiful!?

If you thought that was good ... check out this great selection of Italian pots!  I have never seen quite the selection of beautiful things in my entire life.

It's even colour coordinated!

Aesthetically, the nursery itself is a work of art!  I found myself struck with awe and inspiration.

Southlands is a must visit nursery for anyone in the Vancouver area.  Where else will you find this kind of beauty mixed with on obvious passion and fervour for plants and design?

If you haven't already been, go! you wont be disappointed!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Sun and fun in the city!

What a fabulous weekend!  The sun was shining and I had some really spectacular surprises ... like finding a beautiful public garden next to my favourite local coffee chain JJBean.  Like most sunny days, it all started with a fantastic nature walk/hike through Deep Cove just east of North Vancouver.  This is such a special spot! I have been talking about going all summer long, but for whatever reason it never quite materialized until this Saturday.  I honestly have to say it was well worth the wait.

We were greeted to this fantastic view of the cove...

morning sunlight pouring through the trees...

The "hike"

And the view!!!  I was a little bit Hipstamatic* happy at this point

The day got increasingly happier!  We decided to go back to Maple Leaf garden Centre to get some plants for a friends front garden transformation ... and so I could get another AGAVE!!!! Remember the agave ovatifolia frosty blue I bought a couple weeks ago.  I am now the proud owner of another one!! Here it is after being planted on sunday afternoon.  It is situated where the unkown agave used to be.

As you can see I added a bunch of sand. It is mounded a bit and the soil beneath it flows away from the plant.  I'm hoping that will be good enough drainage.  Thankfully there are huge trees behind that actually keep the ground around here really dry.

The garden I "discovered"turns out to be the park and Tilford gardens.  They have an amazing selection of plants!!  The garden was divided into specific zones but overall was incredibly lush and inviting.  here are some of my highlights... 

loquat! I really want a loquat tree and so it makes me greatly excited when I see just how great they can thrive in our environment!

What great garden is complete without a palm tree!?! notice the elongated fronds? This palm is situated in a fair amount of shade which causes the fronds to literally reach more towards the sun. It makes for a really beautiful specimen.

The find of the day!!! Aloe striatula!  This was under the eaves of a south facing washroom up against a brick wall. Whoever planted it here new exactly where this little plant would thrive!  I love when you can read the mind of the gardener!

I almost missed this on the way out... I know... how can you miss great agaves?!  The planting albeit needs some help, but these are great agaves! I wonder how long they have been there?!

So what could make a great day even better? how about visiting ANOTHER NURSERY?!!?! How about Southlands Nursery ? It is only the mecca of garden centres in and around Vancouver.  Sadly, I had spent my plant budget for the day... but would that stop me? NO!  With much will power and determination I kept my purchases down to just one treasure... yucca aloifolia purpurea!  Here it is in its new pot....

Another view ... it has a fair bit of green and blue as well as a deep purple right in the crown.  I have never seen this particular yucca for sale at any garden centre in the area and have been keeping my eyes open for one.  They also had a great selection of yucca gloriosa recurvifolia "bright star" which I'm already planning a trip back to get some more.

To top it all off, the day ended at the Spanish Banks to walk along the beach and enjoy an epic sunset!  All in all, this day will go down in the books!  #LOVE

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Cedar Rim Nursery!

I decided to jump the band wagon on the praise of local nurseries!  I can't emphasize just how much they are a vibrant and essential part of the local gardening community.  I remember as a young child visiting nurseries with my parents, it was always a magical kind of experience.  All the colours and textures seemed like the tools of an artist!  Cedar Rim garden centre is that kind of place! it never fails to disappoint!  Perhaps cedar rim is most special because its where I got my first palm tree!  I decided to go for a jaunt yesterday morning with a good friend of mine to take in one of my favourite places and hopefully share why I feel Cedar Rim is so special! (apparently the my lens had water on it, sorry some pics are a bit blurred).

These great euphorbias lined the entry way to the store.  Cedar rim always does a great job of enticing you as you walk into the store.

Like with these great garden chairs... don't they just say, come on and take a seat!

and who can resist a sale?! Great way to start a nursery visit in my opinion!

This table is near the entrance to the store and a must visit! notice the agave parryi in the bottom right hand corner?  If its there next spring it will be mine!

Sorry for the blur here, but this pergola houses some of the most extrordinary plant groupings throughout the season.  They seam to pay special attention to matching great foliage plants with beautiful seasonal flowers and interest.  It's kinda a way of saying, "this is whats going on in the garden this time of year!"


Bulbs are in full swing right now.... in a few weeks this will house palm trees coming inside for the winter.

it wouldn't be fall at Cedar Rim without a great selection of cabbages!

This bamboo recliner belongs in the palm garden! ahhhh can I take it home?!

If only this great washingtonia robusta could survive in my yard! (I keep reminding myself, no more winter protection projects!!)

hmmm.... new planters for the garden?

magnolia heaven!

this is my kinda gardening!!! bamboo, eucalyptus, and palms!

hidden in the jungle here is a jubaea chilensis... serious plant lust!

the yuccas I was talking about a couple weeks ago!

This "wheel tree" always catches my attention! maybe another springtime purchase?

this just looks right!

Check out this summer chocolate mimosa! I love the depth of colour on this one.

The fern house is another treat!

and my favourite.... the flax house!!! I have had a couple of bad years with flax and have not had the nerve to re plant them yet.  They still, however, are very tempting!

All is right with the world when you see a grouping like this!

As you can see, this is one seriously amaaaazing place!!!!! I am always soo impressed with their selection and most importantly some of the best nursery staff around!!!! Thanks Cedar Rim!!