27 May 2006

From the fog zone



Why do you suppose that every time I plan a day of working in the yard, the fog rolls in thicker than oatmeal porridge?

Obviously, the weather is related to my horse, the same intelligent equine who can read my mind, and who rolls in the mud immediately after I have a thought about riding him.

Well, while I wait patiently for the fog to lift, I’ll catch up on my blog postings and tell you about yesterday’s road trip. And I’ll resist the urge to look out the window and watch the gardens grow.

Talk about growing…I’d estimate that the garden here is about three weeks ahead of where it was last year this time. One of the nice things about using a digital camera is that each photo is datestamped, at least as long as I leave it unmodified in iPhoto, and so it’s easy to figure out when I took that shot of the front garden or the closeup of the red trillium or the latest picture of helpercats in the beds. And we won’t even discuss the quality of the weeds—sometimes referred to as ‘native plants’ just to confuse other gardeners who think maybe I PLANNED all that couchgrass. Actually, aside from the big bed in the back, where 73 thousand teasel seedlings are waking up and stretching their little leaves sunward, the beds aren’t in THAT bad a shape. Mostly, I’m a bit piqued that I didn’t get everything divided that I wanted to share with others, and now we have gargantuan clumps of centaurea, and cranesbills, and daylilies, and other things. All in good time, however.

So, what does a gardener who is way behind in her weeding, pruning, dividing and planting do? Go out and buy more plants, of course!

Well, I needed a road trip away…so I jumped in the car on Friday and headed to the south shore, drove down to the furthest point I wanted to visit, and worked my way back from there. I only made it to four places all day, but they were all well worth the visit, of course. And I was really happy to hear from the staff at each place that they’ve been having a really good spring so far. Let’s hope that trend continues.

First stop was to see my friend Alice at Ouestville Perennials in West Pubnico. Alice is one of those independent nursery operators who not only grows and sells marvelous plants, she plants them all around her property in display beds. Her rock garden alone is worth the trip, and it’s inspiring me greatly…for about three years from now, when I get the bed built that I want! She also has turned her front lawn into a wonderful shade bed, featuring shrubs, hostas, and other beauties, with lovely pathways (including a thyme walkway, sigh…..) and she has several theme gardens including a formally designed rose bed that I hope to see in full summer.

I’m besotted with echinaceas, especially the new colours that have been developed by crossing E. purpurea with E. paradoxa, resulting in shades of yellow, orange, melon, gold…and adding fragrance to the mix.
Alice is carrying most of these new coneflowers, so of course they beseeched me to take them home and plant them…Off I went with Sunrise, Sunset, and Sundown, plus the shining coneflower Rudbeckia Herbstonne. They’ll look great with the Orange Meadowbright echinacea I got last year…

Next stop along my travels was Spencer’s garden centre in Shelburne. (1-877-870-3055) I’ve been going to Spencer’s since back in the days when we were building Lowell’s last lobster boat in Lower East Pubnico, and I always look forward to my trips to Spencer’s. Jim Spencer and his staff know their stuff and they also love plants; they have a lovely rockery out front which changes with the seasons, using some nice foundation shrubs and then complimenting with unique perennials, flowering bulbs, ground covers;
Spencer’s carries a really nice selection of perennials, though because it’s in the Banana belt I generally check to make sure something is hardy to my area. A really splendid red ornamental rhubarb caught my eye, as did an epimedium I’d never seen before, with orange flowers rather than red or yellow. A couple of small heucheras also wanted to come with me, and since I prefer to buy my perennials small and let them establish in our beds, I agreed that they could come along; Mocha Mint and Crème Brule are waiting to be planted after the fog lifts.

I often say that independent garden centres and nurseries are all in this together, and they need to work together to survive the attack of the bigbox bullies. Well, a lot of them do just that (and probably far more than I know about.) I asked at Spencer’s where the heck Lavender Hill was, because I didn’t want to miss it, and hadn’t been able to get information to post here earlier in the spring. The staff were happy to explain just how to find it—it’s not hard once you pay attention to turnoffs on the highway, of course—and off I went to see Madeline. (Exit 24 off the 103, Lake John Road; phone 902.875.4600. ) She and her husband Allison do a terrific job with annuals, shrubs, some perennials, including many that Madeline seeds herself. I resisted the urge to buy the Black Lace Elder, but what a gorgeous thing it was. Interestingly, Lavender Hill had this shrub last year…while Canadian Gardening magazine said it wasn’t yet available in Canada. Just goes to show that magazine needs to remember there is more to gardening in this country than the central provinces…

What really got to me at Lavender Hill, however, was a purple foliaged clematis, Clematis recta ‘Purpurea’. I didn’t even ask how much it was, I just WANTED it. It gets the small, starry white flowers later in the summer, and they’re supposed to be fragrant; while I know the purple foliage will fade somewhat to green as the season progresses, I love interesting clematis and this one is a beauty! Also had to have the Raspberry Wine monarda for Marilyn’s butterfly garden, and a white flowered thunbergia for my annual containers, and…well, you know how it goes!

The last stop for the day was a place I’ve heard about for ages but never gotten to visit; the Village Nursery in Pleasantville, outside of Bridgewater. Well. It’s one of those destination type places, a tiny bit out of the way to find the first time but then you’ve got it. I could have spent much more time, (and many more dollars) there, especially in the so-called Dazee Dome, where the owners keep all their annuals. Talk about a burst of colour!
And I was especially pleased to see that they sell 4-packs of young perennials, and a good selection of them; some of those I brought home will flower this year, others won’t til next year, but that’s fine; there’s always enough going on in my garden to let young plants take their time establishing. There’s some really smart marketing going on at Village too; along with a print catalogue, which they’re cutting back on in size and turning more to email because of print/mailing costs, they have coupons giving customers a discount on a return trip; guaranteed to mean you’ll be back!

I’m really pleased to see how many nurseries are developing really good websites, and newsletters too. One of my favourites is Springvale Nurseries, which has three retail outlets around the province, in Hammonds Plains, Bible Hill, and Berwick (next door to Wheaton’s Store, truly a destination). Along with their website, they have launched their new newsletter; you can find out more about that and sign up for it at their website also. I’ll be doing talks at the Springvale outlets over the summer, so stay tuned for details there!

Wow...the fog is lifting...time to go get dirt under my fingernails!

16 May 2006

Home is the gardener, home from the Hill…



You know the old saying about how visitors or fresh fish are only good for three days? Well, I sort of feel that way about traveling. By the end of day 3, I’m ready to come home, because at heart, I AM a homebody. The sweetest feelings in the world are #1 Seeing my longsuffering spouse’s smiling face as he waits for me at the airport. #2. Seeing Scotts Bay and the pasture and roof of our home appear in view as we come over the hill about a mile up the road from home. #3 The welcoming purrs and snuggles of the furball brigade—even Nibs, the three legged wondercat who normally scolds me for a day after I come home, allowed me to pick him up and listen to his purr. And of course #4, walking around the yard seeing what has grown while I was away.

Ottawa was marvelous, it truly was; we members of the Professional Writers Association of Canada were treated like royalty at the Delta Ottawa
where we stayed as well as at the venues where we had functions; the National Press Club, the War Museum, and on assorted tours.

Visiting the gardens at Rideau Hall with Ottawa’s chief Landscape Architect, and with Lucie Caron of the National Capital Commission, as well as seeing the tulip displays along the Rideau Canal, was one of the highlights of my trip. The Byward market, with its vast selection of plant vendors and fruit and veggie stands, as well as great crafters, made me very glad I couldn’t take plants home in my suitcase.


Hearing Ken Alexander, publisher of The Walrus Magazine speak at our gala banquet on Saturday night at the War Museum was another complete delight. And of course we all hope that he, Heritage and Culture Minister Bev Oda, and other MPs and guests at that dinner enjoyed our a capella version of Barrett’s Privateers, sung by a gang of us especially for their listening pleasure!

So I left with many fond memories of Ottawa and of our PWAC conference, and came home to fling myself into work. But one of the first things we did was last evening, when we headed down into the woodlands behind our property to go counting red trillium.

Yes, counting red trillium. If you’ve never seen a red trillium (Trillium erectum) in bloom….you’ve missed a rare and lovely treasure.

Counting trillium isn’t like doing a census. (whoops, must get that finished, too)…it’s just a spring ritual that hubby and I conduct because it makes us ecstatically happy. Wandering through the woods, seeking out the plants in their favourite spots, and capturing them on film—well, digitally on film—is one of the highlights of May. Last year, we missed doing this because the spring was cold and late, and I spent two weeks right after our annual conference dealing with the death of my father, so this year we were determined to get out as soon as possible.

In half an hour, covering maybe an acre of woodland, we counted 165 trilliums in bloom. That doesn’t include the younger plants that aren’t flowering this year, of which there are also plenty.



Trilliums can’t take full sun, so those that were growing in the area that is now clearcut are gone. However, we have two dozen plants at home, about half of which are in flower, with younger stems coming up regularly, the result of rescuing half a dozen plants from the clearcut a few years ago. While these plants are a survival story and make my heart glad, it’s the wild ones that really excite both of us.

And therein lies a secret to true love. My big fisherman, my piece of North Mountain granite, my solid and strong but gentle husband, not only loves cats and me…(not necessarily in that order)…he is so excited every spring to greet the flowering of the red trillium, and to count the number of blooms we can find. And if a man can be joyful over the blooming of a wildflower…well, it’s small wonder that I found my soul mate in him, when we first met, and still feel that way years later.

Now, it’s time to deal with the profusion of growth in our gardens, so there may not be any postings for a bit…I’ll be in the garden if you’re looking for me!

11 May 2006

From Ottawa, Live and in Colour



Remember how I said I wouldn’t be talking about politics in my blog entries? Well, this is a bit of an exception, although it mentions cats and plants too. So just be warned.

After many mutterings and complainings to my darling long-suffering spouse about having to go to Ottawa for five days in mid May….I’m actually quite enjoying myself.

One of my hats, other than my fabulous Lee Valley hat (and now my dear sister has one too!) is to sit on the board of directors of the Professional Writers Association of Canada.

Our National conference and AGM is going on, and since this year is our 30th anniversary, we decided to go to where the lawmakers of our country hang out—in Ottawa. Some of us have been to the Hill today to lobby members and make them aware of our concerns regarding copyright, low rates for writers, rights-gobbling contracts by the press equivalent of the bigbox bullies, and other issues.

I went out gollywalking instead. Wandered down Sparks Street to the pedestrian mall, went in and out of shops, visited the War memorial and paid my respects to the Unknown Soldier at the monument. Walked around all the tulips, deep wine in colour, solemn and yet hopeful, around that monument, and said a prayer for our soldiers in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Some pocket impressions of Ottawa:
1. Wayyyyyy too many people smoke, and they all come outside to do it, standing outside office towers and shops and restaurants puffing their cancer sticks. I often wonder if people who smoke know either how dumb they look or how bad they smell. Apparently not, or they don’t care. But that’s their choice, not mine. I choose to avoid them whenever possible.

2. the traffic lights in this city are designed to intimidate pedestrians, especially the WALK/DON’T WALK signals. I defy anyone to get across ANY street in downtown Ottawa within the few seconds allotted to the blue WALK signal.

3. Everyone in Ottawa jaywalks or walks against the signals. See number 2 for explanation of same. I even watched people walk out across roads right in front of police officers.

4. There’s a lot of brick in the downtown area; not just on edifices, (also lots of stone) but on homes too. Lowell would roll his eyes and shake his head, but some of the homes I saw were really lovely, some old, some more modern.

5. There are lots of green spaces in this city. Besides the waves of tulips in beds and planters, there are parks, plantings, gardens, wild spaces…tomorrow I’ll get to see more of those but it’s nice to look out my window at the Delta Ottawa and see the river, lots of trees (in full leaf, of course) beds of flowers (yup, mostly tulips) and profusions of lilacs, dizzyingly fragrant and perfect.

6. You can always tell Maritimers. I entered the elevator this morning and there was a pleasant man who commented on the weather. I asked if this was a normal spring, and he didn’t know…as he was from PEI. Of course—no central Canadian would talk to a stranger in an elevator!

7. Food here is good and reasonably priced, especially in the ethnic restaurants. So far I’ve had Lebanese, Thai and East Indian food, including some dishes I can’t pronounce but found just dandy. People are polite and service prompt and pleasant. The water is drinkable, much better than in some places (including New Minas!)

8. I want a hot tub. The hot tub here at the Delta is a dandy one.

I went to the Hill, but not to see politicians, though I have the greatest regard for my MP, Liberal Scott Brison, who is also running for the leadership of that party. Go, Scott, Go! He probably won’t win, because the centre of Canada couldn’t cope with a Maritime leader of the Liberal Party (and ultimately Prime Minister) but he’ll make a good run for it.

No, I went to the Hill to see the Cat Man of Parliament Hill

His name is Rene Chartrand, and he’s 85 years old. He’s been looking after the stray cats that hang out on the Hill since 1987, when he took over for another catlover who had been doing the labour of love for more than a decade previously. Rene built a set of ‘cat condominiums’ for the cats, who are all neutered, needled and mostly named, although there are a number who apparently come and go as they please. When I was there, the cats were all catnapping or off doing Parliamentary feline business somewhere else, but Rene was there, eating his lunch and then clearing up branches of shrubs that were broken off. The cat condos are behind the wrought iron fence that edges the Hill, and people can’t go in and visit, which is just as well for the cats…but I was talking briefly to Rene and to one large, elegant orange tom, who was very tired, yawned and stretched and went back to sleep, weary from his labours….

Now, here’s something that is very interesting to me. While I was out walking, I walked INTO a huge protest march, of Right to Lifers, or anti-abortionists, whatever you want to call them. It was somewhat surreal at first, because I met them as I walked up the Sparks Street promenade, and though there were hundreds, probably thousands walking, they weren’t chanting or singing, just quietly walking. And it WAS quiet, as if the downtown core was holding its breath. They were heading for the Hill, of course. I cut across them and went around, up the Hill to take photos and observe. Standing in the shadow of the Peace tower, watching these people and halflistening to them, observing a handful of RCMP and Ottawa police officers observing in a laidback way, I was struck by the contrast between this gathering and the concrete pylons near the American Embassy I had seen earlier.



I also was struck by the floods of people all around the Hill, and the seeming lack of a security presense; a far cry from how it would be in other countries. I might not agree with the protesters who were on the Hill today, but I’d argue til the end of time for their right to protest. And it fascinated me that, despite my irritation with the Harperites, how fiercely proud I was to stand in our nation’s capitol, outside the buildings of our government, and watch all the goings on, Cat Man, Catholics, lilacs and all.



One sour note did pop into my head. While I was at the cat condos, a group from the anti abortion crusade came along, including one wearing the Roman collar. They stopped and read the sign about caring for the cats, about making donations, and the priest snorted. “what a waste of money,” he said as they moved away.

Oh really? Maybe he should have sung the hymn about all creatures great and small, or read the New Testement. The part about “whatsoever you do to the least of these my brethren, you do also onto me.” That God they worship made cats too, after all. If he/she/it does exist.

No wonder I’m an agnostic.

10 May 2006

In the spring the gardener's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of....

...New Plants, of course! What were you thinking?

Yet another reason to support our locally owned and operated nurseries…without them, how would we gardening addicts get our fixes of unique, unusual, and rare plants? Can you see WallyWorld or Crappy Tire carrying Trillium luteum or Meconopsis grandis or Lysimachia ‘Beaujolais’? Or really special heaths and heathers? Or grasses that are so unusual it’s hard to even find out about them through Google? I didn’t think so.

Yes, I’ve been making the rounds, in between preparing to go to Ottawa for the 30th anniversary Professional Writers Association of Canada conference and AGM. Normally, five days away with a collection of my fellow colleagues is something I look forward to, and when we set the date for the conference two weeks earlier than usual this year, I thought to myself, “great, there won’t be anything much going on in the gardens, I’ll go to Ottawa and have fun and then come back to a fairly sedate set of weeds.”

Well, who’da thunk that this would be the year that spring actually came when it was supposed to?

I don’t remember when we last had a May as lovely as this one is being. Granted, the month is still only a few days old, but the weather has been mostly very wonderful…and the gardens have responded by leaping ahead at an amazing, even an alarming rate. I did manage to get a pile of things divided to donate to a plant sale for the United church in Canning, but there are still several beds that I’ve not even touched yet, either to weed or to divide and move things…and there are new plants lined up by the front garden fence, just waiting to be planted.

While I’ve yet to make my way to the south shore to visit Captain Steele and Alice and Ivan and all the splendid nurseries along that balmy route, I did make it as far as Upper Clements on Saturday, to see Jill’s new retail area at Bunchberry Nurseries. She and her staff have done a marvelous job of turning their former main work area into a retail shop, with all sorts of shrubs, heaths and heathers, alpines, and even some local artwork and crafts that are garden themed. While they haven't moved all their plants up to the outside sale area, there's plenty there to choose from...



The display gardens are enough to inspire ANYONE to try their hand at conifers and ericaceous plants, with the subtle rainbow of foliage colours that don’t even require flowers to make a perfect planting.

Naturally, a few plants insisted that they needed to come home with me, including some small heathers; Con Brio, Boskoop and Cuprea, all of which tend to be russet to red coloured in the fall and winter. The other real delight was getting my hands on Lonicera ‘Mandarin’, a climbing honeysuckle developed by Dr. Wilf Nichols when he was at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Nichols is now at MUN Botanical Gardens in St. John’s Nfld, and I don’t know how many other plants he commercially developed, but ‘Mandarin’ is a beauty. It was flowering at Bunchberry last summer when I was there, and I was instantly besotted with it, and with ‘Graham Thomas’, a yellow honeysuckle with awesome fragrance, that was blooming beside it. Graham came home with me that day, and I’ve thought about Mandarin since then. Now it is here in our yard.


At Rob Baldwin’s a few days ago, I picked up a blue lacecap hydrangea (I think it was Blue Billows, but it and its tag are outside) to coldtest up here on our wild mountain. The ‘Endless Summer’ mophead hydrangea I got last year is awake and doing mighty fine already, so I’m thinking the lacecap can likely go in the same protected bed. Rob carries a wonderful variety of trees and shrubs, including many natives, and so three young Canada holly (Ilex verticillata) and one black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) climbed onto the truck, together with a cutleaf elder (Sambucus) and a red flowering quince. Of course my darling longsuffering spouse just wonders where I’m going to put these things.

Today I had to go to Berwick on errands and stopped in at The Briar Patch Farm and Nursery. This is a great nursery too; always lots of interesting perennials, healthy shrubs, including a big selection of hardy roses, and great annuals. It was here I first found Anagallis ‘Skylover’ being grown, and they also always have heliotrope. Today there were just a couple of perennials that needed me; the red-flowered gooseneck loosestrife ‘Beaujolais’, and two trilliums; T. luteum, the yellow flowered species, and T. grandiflora, the big white one. I bought these mostly for my darling husband, who loves trillium, and was just going to tuck them into the shade bed and see if he noticed, but the yellow one is going to open shortly so I figured it was best to let him know. I tucked it in near a couple of bloodroot that are already flowering, and not far from the big clump of red trillium.

While planting I peeked around a bit, and could see the Mayapples were sprouting, as well as the oakleafed fern and a young hellebore; the hepatica is in full bloom as is Redstart Pulmonaria and several other varieties. Hepatica, or 'that liver plant' as my longsuffering spouse calls it, is a pretty thing, and usually the first perennial to bloom, but this year it's about fourth in the lineup. Here it is, being dainty and lovely in the shade garden



I’m not sure where the Jack in the pulpit is, but I bought that from Jane at Woodlands and Meadows last summer, I think, so if I need to get another one she’s the person to see. But it’s still early yet for many things, of course.

Good thing I can't bring plants home in my suitcase from Ottawa. But I'll take photos whenever possible.

02 May 2006

Home for a rest...and to garden

For those of you who didn’t get a chance to attend the second annual Saltscapes East Coast Expo….well, you really missed out on a great event. Last year was great, but this year was outstanding, with terrific booths of vendors, demonstrators, tourism activities, crafts and artisans, amazing food…now, to be honest I was so busy as part of the show team, that I didn’t truly get to visit all the booths and meet all the exhibitors, but that’s okay, there’s always next year. I had a great time giving my talks even though my voice was still not completely healed, and I learned some wonderful new ideas from other gardeners too. Of course, there were times I needed to be in three places at once, a trick I haven't yet mastered, and I didn't get to meet all the people who wanted to talk with me, either. So although we’re just recuperating now, I’m already looking forward to next year.

The show planners put all the garden-related exhibitors fairly close together, near the Yamaha Do-It-Yourself stage where presentations were happening. Along with four of my favourite places to leave grocery money—whoops, that was supposed to read disposable income—Baldwin Nurseries, Blomidon Nurseries, Bunchberry Nurseries and Springvale Nurseries, Lee Valley was there with a great selection of their gardening items, Cora Mae Morse was there with her ‘Flora by Cora’ outdoor furniture and accessories, the Langilles were there with their Yardbirds, and I was delighted to see Eric and Dianne Schurman made it over from PEI with their Malpeque Fine iron. I first met the Schurmans last summer at their shop, and went down to their house to see Dianne’s gardens, which are delightful and won a rural beautification award several years ago. Eric does beautiful ironwork, both for inside the home and for the garden, with my favourites being his folk art pieces. Last summer, a dandy metal spider came home with me; at the show, one of their new pieces, a folk art cat I’ve nicknamed “Spike”, had to come and live with me, as did a terrific trellis. I would have bought more but I was in theory working the show to earn money, not to totally boost the region’s economy. Here’s Spike hanging out with the hellebores til I decide where everything is going to go.



I DO so love good garden art in my garden. I tend towards a mixture of whimsy and beauty, fun and functionality in our beds. We have a blue gazing ball that is actually placed in such a way as to be useful as it was designed; so that workers in the garden could see other people approaching, particularly handy if you were staff goofing off or saw someone approaching you didn’t want to talk to. Here we don’t worry about such things but merely let the bright blue catch sunlight and reflect the colours of the plants around the ball. We have some wonderful stained glass and cement pieces done by a local garden artist, including a large welcome stone, a birdbath, and a memorial stone for my late beloved cat Nermal, whose ashes are in the garden under some rosebushes. We have handmade wind chimes, an assortment of trellises and arbours, and one of the most recent items is a fabulous birdhouse on a post from Nacho Average Crafts. I don’t have it mounted yet but did take it to the Saltscapes Expo to display at the window box competition, and gave away all the cards that I had from the artisans who made it.

Because it had been raining recently and was too wet for my darling other half to work in the woods, he was lurking around home when I needed to work. So I asked him to make me some birdhouses, mostly for decorative purposes, but they may serve as nesting boxes too. Who knows? I had been smitten with a copper roofed birdhouse donated to the competition as a prize, so I got some copper and some weathered lumber and turned my sweetie loose to be creative. He did just fine, although now I suppose the county will be along wanting to charge more property taxes because of new edifices on our homestead…



Now is the time of year that my darling and I most enjoy. Weather permitting, we usually take a walk around the garden twice a day, to see what’s coming up, what’s in bloom, how many weeds are sticking up through the ground, where I can add more plants…this is most definitely an early spring, however. I’m estimating we’re about three weeks ahead of where we’ve been other years in terms of perennial growth and shrub leafing. This weekend while I was away, things really took off everywhere in the Valley. Forsythias are looking like explosions of yellow fireworks, there are daffodils and some early tulips, scilla and squill, adding bursts of colour all around, shrubs and trees are leafing out like crazy…it’s a very happy-making time of year. Normally, the first perennial to flower in our garden is the liverwort, Hepatica nobilis, but it’s just opening now: we’ve had lungwort or Bethlehem sage, Pulmonaria of various species, in flower for two weeks in some spots.

And oh goodie! There are two strong looking clumps of blue poppies up and putting on growth, and the other two are slowly emerging as well. Depending on how many crowns are on those clumps, I hope to let them flower again this year, and maybe there will be seedlings since there are no ducks—other than the wild ones in the pond, who won’t be parading through the garden beds any time soon.

The most happy-making sight in the gardens, other than the Meconopsis? The clump of red trillium that we rescued from a clear-cut a few years back has REALLY taken hold. Where there were only three stems for a few years, this year there are eighteen. Granted, not all of them will be flowering this year, but since we get jubilant every time we see a red trillium, whether in the garden or in the wild, we’re really happy to see they’ve settled in so well. Another new clump transplanted last year has started popping up, and there are two other clumps in shadier spots that we expect to see shortly as well.

I spent a good bit of time this weekend encouraging people to support their local garden centres, including the four that were at the Expo from the Valley. Of these four, only one currently has its website up and going, but all three of the others are working on theirs and expect to have them up soon. I’m especially excited that Bunchberry Nurseries is opening to the public this season, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9-5. Bunchberry has been growing amazing plants for wholesale purposes for over ten years, and now is entering the retail world too. Jill and her team are kicking off their foray into the retail market this weekend, May 5th, 6th and 7th at the nursery in Upper Clements (2779 Hwy 1, not far from Upper Clements Park). If you’re in the area, drop in and visit; they’ll have opening specials, rare plants, door prizes and of course their display gardens, featuring conifers, ericaceous plants, grasses, alpines and more, are an inspiration to any gardener. It’s because of Jill and Bunchberry Nurseries that I have ventured into grasses and into trying out heaths and heathers in my garden. I plan to visit on Saturday, weather permitting, and who knows how many plants will fling themselves into my car for the trip back home?

Great Gardens and More

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