flowers

Container Roses Light Up Your Patio or Balcony

Container Roses Light Up Your Patio or Balcony

By Christina McDonald

There are many reasons to have roses in containers rather than in a traditional garden or order. Perhaps you have limited space, making the deck or balcony your only option. Or you may want to have a rose close at hand, to easily enjoy its beauty, scent and burst of colour.

Regardless of the reason, a container rose is an easy-to grow delight.Choose your rose and the container carefully. A 24-cm pot will easily accommodate a small miniature rose, whereas a large, robust Hybrid Tea will need a container at least 37 cm in diameter. Consider the shape, colour and material of the pot and whether it will compliment the form of the rose and its bloom colour. Traditional urns of roses are stunning, but so are hanging baskets; don’t be afraid
to try something new. Keep in mind that roses growing in plastic or glazed pottery vessels will require less water than clay or fibre.

Whichever pot you choose, fill it with good quality potting soil; regular garden soil will harden in the pot, and may carry soil-borne diseases. Potting soil won’t compact, allowing for better drainage; plus, it breathes and holds fertilizer well.

Select roses that are well suited to container growing. Roses with strong, upright growth that supports blooms above the foliage are ideal, as they hold up well to the elements and you can see each bloom. Cascading forms look striking with their blooms tumbling over the sides of a pot and compact forms can provide a very formal mounded look to a patio setting. The fun part is choosing a rose based on your own preference for flower form, fragrance, foliage and, of course, colour.

Roses prefer full sun, so place your pots accordingly (try moving your pots around the deck to follow the sun—that’s what I do as the season progresses). Make sure to keep your roses well
watered and once a week it helps to add a pinch of 20-20-20 fertilizer to the watering can. Remember to remove spent blooms regularly. While container roses are far more prone to drying out than those in the garden, take heart—they are much easier to weed. That feature alone may inspire you to try your hand at growing a glorious pot of roses!

You’re sure to find a suitable rose in every class—some are even purposely bred for this use. Here are a few of our tried and true favourites and some newer varieties to consider.
Abbaye De Cluny
Abraham Darby
Baby Love
Barbra Streisand
Bronze Star
Cupcake
Cyril Fletcher
Dream series
Flower Carpet series
Gizmo
Marmalade Skies
Octoberfest
Origami
Palace series
Ruffles series
Sheila’s Perfume
Singin’ in the Rain
Weeping China Doll

The Annual Elite

The Annual Elite

All-America Selections is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting excellence in plant breeding. Each year, a panel of volunteer judges selects some of the very best varieties, recognizing them for outstanding garden performance, beauty or, in the case of edible plants, flavour. AAS winners usually have at least two or three significant improvements over previous similar varieties!

‘Blue Wave’ Petunia

The ‘Wave’ series is already well-known for unparalleled vigour, producing dozens of large, vibrant blooms on huge, bushy plants. ‘Blue Wave’ possesses the same admirable qualities as its predecessors, but the blooms are a rich, fade-proof, deep blue. And it flowers all season with no pinching or pruning!

‘Prairie Sun’ Rudbeckia

‘Prairie Sun’ is a show-stopping, 90-cm tall rudbeckia with fantastic 12-cm blooms. The golden petals are tipped in primrose yellow and the eye is a gorgeous light green. It looks great as a focal point in containers!

‘Corona Cherry Magic’ Dianthus

This unique dianthus blooms in cherry red, lavender or a bicolour mosaic of both, resulting in an unpredictable but beautiful array of colour.

‘Purple Majesty’ Ornamental Millet

Ornamental millet is great for adding height and texture to a bed. ‘Purple Majesty’ accomplishes both feats and brings a fantastic dark purple colour to the garden. Plus, the tall flower spikes make ideal cut flowers.

‘Can Can Scarlet’ Carnation

A bouquet of carnations will warm the heart and these beauties have the added attraction of a powerful, spicy fragrance. The blooms are a vibrant scarlet, while the stems are an attractive shade of grey-green. The flower shape and quality are similar to commercial cutflower carnations!

Quick & Easy Garden Tricks!

Not everyone has a lot of time to spend in the garden, but that's okay! The good news is that with a few easy tricks, you can still have great looking gardens in a matter of minutes. Here are a few easy to do examples that took less than 10 minutes to make each, and look fantastic!

Rather than planting individual flowers into your garden, a quick way to fill your garden with flowers is to use hanging baskets instead.

Simply dig a small hole, remove the flowers from the hanging basket pot, and place into the hole, filling in the soil around it. That's it!

Repeat as many times as you'd like. It looks great and takes only minutes! 

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

For these pots, we simply filled them with potting soil, added two planters to, and one hanging basket each, to make instant flower pots that look as though they've been growing in the pot for months!

Stop by Hole's today!

Buy 1, Get 1 Bedding Plant Sale!

Right now at Hole’s Greenhouses, all bedding plants are buy 1, get 1 FREE!

We have over 100 varieties of petunias in our greenhouse, as well as favourites like thunbergia, mandevilla, & sweet potato vines.

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Plus, this sale includes our edible and flower hanging baskets. Featuring Canadian colours in our flower baskets, these beautiful arrangements are the fastest way to spice up your yard, patio, or balcony!

The Birds, The Bees, & The Butterflies

Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the stamen (male part of the flower) to the pistil (female part of the flower), which results in the formation of a seed.

Hybrids are created when the pollen from one kind of plant is used to pollinate and entirely different variety, resulting in a new plant altogether.

Did you know?

  • Ladybugs eat harmful pests such as aphids, mites and scale.
  • Mason bees pollinate up to 1500 blossoms per day!
  • Butterflies help gardens grow by pollinating native plants and are a sign of a healthy garden.

Here are some easy steps you can take to make your yard more pollinator-friendly:

1. Plant flowers & plants that attract pollinators!

As you may have guessed, planting plants and flowers that support pollination is a great place to start. If you’re already planting something, why not make them pollinators! Try Echinacea, Sunflowers, or Black-Eyed Susans from Hole's.

2. Plan your yard so you always have something in bloom

Do your research before planting and find out when different plants bloom. Always having at least one plant in bloom is a great way to attract pollinators AND it makes your yard look great too!

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3. Plant native plants

Native plants help native species pollinate. Many plant and animal species have adapted to environmental changes together, making them a great team. Let’s help them remain a great team! Consider a Lady’s Slipper in Alberta. When bees and other insects enter the pouch of the Lady Slipper, they can only exit through the back of the flower. This forces the insect to pass through pollen, which then spreads to the next plant the insect visits. Lady Slippers are perennials, blooming in May and June. Get yours at Hole’s!

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4. Pick up a Wildlife Habitat!

Your yard is already home to insects galore, so why not give bees a proper place to rest their wings? Wildlife Habitats, also called nests or houses, are a great way to attract pollinators to your family’s flower or vegetable garden.

Special Bee Hotels are places for solitary bees to make their nests. These bees live alone, not in hives. They do not make honey. Solitary bees are much less likely to sting than honeybees because they aren’t defending a hive.

Hole's carries specialty wildlife homes for ladybugs, butterflies, bees, & more!

Planning an event? Rent a patio planter!

Save money at your next event! Hole's Greenhouses rents patio planters for your wedding, anniversary or other special event.

Here's how it works:

  1. Visit Hole's Greenhouses 7 days before your event.
  2. Pick out the planters you would like. We recommend snapping a picture of the planters with your phone.
  3. Email our Information Centre at questions@holesonline.com and include contact information, rental dates, location, number of planters required, indicate pick up or delivery and include the pictures of the planters if you are able to. 
    • If you prefer, you may place your order over the phone at 780-419-6800 (9am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday; excluding holidays.)
  4. Our Information Centre will respond within one business day. Weekend enquiries will be answered on Monday. 
  5. Once confirming your order, we will tag your planters and have them ready for you to pick up or for delivery!

Rental Fee: 25% of the retail price of the patio planter/per day

Delivery & Pickup Fee: $100*

*subject to additional fees depending upon special requirements such as location, delivery times, venue restrictions, site preparation, size of order, etc.

Payment Terms: patio planter retail price must be fully paid along with Delivery & Pickup Fee, should delivery and pickup be required. Upon return, 75% of the patio planter retail price is credited back to the renter. Damaged planters will not be given full credit.

Visit Hole's today, or contact our Information Centre (9am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday; excluding holidays) by emailing questions@holesonline.com or by calling 780-419-6800 during specified hours.

Hole's Guide To Mother's Day Gifts

Looking for that perfect Mother's Day gift? Look no further! Hole's has all the products you need to show Mom you care & to help her get into the garden!

Hanging Baskets

Pick up one of our famous hanging baskets for Mom and brighten up your yard, balcony or patio. Online ordering and scheduled delivery available!

Click here to order.


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Floral Arrangements

The Floral Studio at Hole's has been hard at work creating an abundance of beautiful bouquets specifically for Mother's Day. Available in a variety of sizes, choose from our Canada 150 theme or Garden theme.

Click here to order.


Hummingbird Feeders

Pick up a hummingbird feeder for Mom and receive a FREE bag of nectar concentrate hummingbird food. A great way to decorate your yard and enjoy the wildlife all at once. With a variety of designs and colours to choose from, you can't go wrong with this gift!


Vicki Sawyer Gift Boxed Mugs

With beautiful graphics, and chip resistant porcelain, get creative with how you use them!


Brier Gardening Products

Hole's carries a wide range of Brier's beautiful kneelers, kneepads, boots and hand tools, offering attractive and practical products to get gardening tasks done in style.

 


LAFCO Candles & Diffusers

LAFCO products use natural essential oil based fragrances and blown art glass vessels, complimenting any space and creating the perfect ambiance.

Click here to order a LAFCO Candle.


LOVEBLOOM Blooming Tea

A masterpiece of hand-crafted blooming tea. Enjoy a gathering of fresh springtime tea in a heart-shaped tea. Let the heart sink within your teapot and attend the spectacle love has prepared for you.


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Canada 150 Gloves

Celebrate Mom and Canada's 150th Birthday with these Hole's exclusive gardening gloves. Available in a variety of sizes, these red and white gloves are the best way to show your Canadian pride this spring. 

Click here to order a pair for Mom!


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Kitras Art Glass

Give the gift of inspiration with these unique glass ornaments. Like trees in a forest, no two are alike. Each ornament has a special hang tag story with a sentiment for each theme. All ornaments come ready to give in a gift box.


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Home Decor

Add character to your home with any of our home decor pieces. Put a smile on Mom's face with one of these cheerful welcome signs.


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Everygreen Gazing Balls

Gazing balls make a unique sculptural accent for patios and gardens. They date back to 13th century Italy, and are historically thought to bring good luck. They're one of our most popular garden décor items.


DRAMM Watering Cans

Picking up a plant for Mom? Complete the gift with a DRAMM watering can! Available in a variety of sizes and colours, she'll be sure to appreciate the thoughtful gift.

Click here to order a colourful 2L DRAMM watering can for Mom.


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Faux Succulent Arrangements

Realistic and modern, these beautiful arrangements have been designed to add tranquility and bohemian flare to any space. Featuring high quality artificial succulents they are ideal for your home or office.

"Bulb Empowering"

When I hear the term "forcing" bulbs, I usually envision someone holding a flower bulb over a compost bin and yelling, "This is your last chance dammit! Bloom or I’m dropping you in."
 
But the term "bulb forcing" really hasn’t arisen out of any ill feelings towards bulbs. It’s used simply to describe a technique where one schedules flower bulbs to bloom within a particular time frame.
 
Amaryllis, Narcissus and Hyacinth are examples of forced bulbs that are commonly grown in our homes. At the greenhouses, we have a bunch that are quite content to sit dormant in boxes on our store shelves and wait patiently for customers to pot them for forcing indoors.
 
Each variety of forcing bulbs has its own "weeks to flower" schedule, based largely on its genetic make-up. Bulbs like Narcissus bloom quickly once potted-up, while Hyacinth and Amaryllis take a bit longer to display their gorgeous flowers.
 
Flowering times can be sped-up or slowed-down, somewhat, by manipulating temperatures. Cool temperatures delay flowering while warm temperatures reduce the time to flower.

Beyond their beauty, what I really like about forced bulbs is that they require so little care. The growers who have carefully nurtured them have already done most of the work. All I that I have to do is drop them into pots, add water, and enjoy.
 
Come to think of it, given that potting up a bulb is such a gentle and nurturing activity, coupled with our modern sensitivity to labeling things, perhaps its time to replace the harsh term "bulb forcing" with something like "bulb empowering".
 
Maybe "bulb emancipation" is an even better phrase, since we liberate the bulbs from their dry packages and transplant them into warm, moist, potting soil. Or perhaps consider "Manipulation of florogenesis of geophytes" if plant science is your thing.
 
Hmm… with some sober second thought, I think "bulb forcing" sounds just fine.

~Jim Hole
 

Growing Fall Bulbs In Pots

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When it comes fall planting, most people think of planting tulips into flowerbeds around the house or in the garden.
 
But here is something a bit different that you might want to try with your tulips this fall. Rather than planting your tulip bulbs into the ground, plant them into pots. I’ve done this for years because it is simple as can be, plus I have a blaze of colourful flowers long before anything else is transplanted outside.
 
Now, not everyone can put tulips into pots because one needs some free space and a cold storage area. But if you have garage or storage shed that is cold during winter (anything around the freezing mark but not down into the minus 20s!) and a bit of extra space, then you’re set. You’ll have tulips poking through the soil in March.
 

Here are the step by step instructions for very early spring tulips:

  • Choose a pot. I like bigger pots but smaller are just fine.
  • Add good quality potting soil to the pot. Garden soil is too heavy and dense, plus it often contains too many weed seeds.
  • Fill the pot to within about 15 cm of the top of the rim.
  • Place the tulip bulbs on the potting soil with the "pointy part up". Put lots of bulbs into the pot for a really good spring show. I like to plant the bulbs about 3cm apart.
  • Cover the bulbs completely with potting soil leaving a few centimeters of space below the rim so that the pot can be easily watered.
  • Water the pot thoroughly and then place it in a warm spot for at least 2 weeks to allow roots to develop. The rooted bulbs will not bloom, after rooting, until their "chilling requirement" has been met, which is equivalent to about a month or so of freezing to near freezing temperatures.
  • Once the bulbs have received their chilling requirement, they are ready to bloom. The trick at this point is to keep the tulips cold until you are ready to place them outside. If you warm the bulbs too early, the shoots will pop out of the potting soil and become floppy and die. I keep my tulips cold until about the 3rd week of March and then I place them on my deck and give them a good shot of water. If it does freeze outside even after the tulip shoots have emerged they won’t be harmed.


Usually, this pot planting technique allows me to enjoy tulips in early April - a good month before the regular garden tulips begin to bloom.
 
So if you have some extra cold space in your garage or cellar, give potted tulips a try. It really is a thrill to see tulips popping out of pots when there is still a foot of snow on the ground.

~Jim Hole

Thoughtful Husband

This past weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to sold-out sessions on one of my favourite topics: vegetable gardening.

Given, the large number of people who attended the weekend sessions, I think 2016 will be the "year of vegetable gardening" in Canada. Let’s face it, with vegetable prices sky high in grocery stores, there is a pretty good chance that lawns may be sharing a portion of their real estate with lettuce!

If you missed last weekend’s talks, don’t worry. We are running them again in the upcoming weeks. The sessions are free but you do need to register. And keep in mind that even if you don’t have a penchant for vegetable gardening, I always leave plenty of time at the end for answering any gardening questions from turf to trees. It's always a favourite among attendees. 

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. And I must confess here and now that I couldn’t put together an attractive flower arrangement if my life depended on it. I might have peaked early - in grade 1, I think - when I gave my Mom a bouquet of dandelions!

Now-a-days, I rely on our skilled Floral Studio to assemble beautiful Valentine bouquets for my wife, and I’ve even gone one step further. I am on the "Unforgettable Bouquet" program that, essentially means our Floral Studio puts together a floral arrangement for me every month that I can take home. The flowers are spectacular, brighten our home and, for the most part, keep me in the "thoughtful" husband category without me having to remember to bring flowers home. Monthly bouquets are fabulous, but at the very least, they are terrific for the important dates that you can’t afford to miss like birthdays, anniversaries and, of course, Valentine’s Day.  


~Jim Hole

 

For more information on our Unforgettable Bouquet program,
please give us a call at 780 419 6800

Grow It From Seed!

written by Lois Hole. Originally published February 1, 1999

Quick, which would you rather have: an ounce of gold or an ounce of begonia seed? Gold at it’s current market price of around $300 [sic] an ounce is mere pocket change compared to a series of tuberous begonia seed called “Charisma” that rings in at an astounding $200,000 [sic] an ounce.

Mind you, an ounce of begonia seed does contain anywhere from 1.5 to 2 million seeds and, in all fairness, only the world’s largest plant propagators would ever buy an ounce.

Thankfully for home gardeners, growing your own plants from seed is substantially less expensive. It can also be an incredibly rewarding experience, but at other times it can be downright frustrating.

I remember when my husband Ted and I first got started in market gardening back in the early 1960s. We needed a large number of tomato transplants and obviously that required a greenhouse, so we built one—a small, plastic-covered, wood-framed structure.

Having very little seed experience, I rationalized that if I sowed double the recommended number of tomato seeds I should, at the very least, get half to grow and therefore be pretty darn close to my target.

After about a month, not one seedling had emerged. Of course, I blamed everything and everyone, including my husband, for this abysmal failure, but it wasn’t until Ted decided to check the soil temperature that he was finally exonerated. The soil temperature was a rather frigid 50°F (that was in the pre-metric days) and tomatoes, being warm season plants, prefer a nice warm 70°F, or 20°C to germinate properly. Installation of some heating cable solved that problem for us, but for many gardeners, poor control of soil temperature is still the primary reason for poor results.

Each year more and more gardeners are starting their own seeds, which I’m sure has been fuelled in part by the tremendous satisfaction derived from successfully nurturing a plant from seed to maturity.

Undoubtedly, the adventure of trying the new, the improved, and the unusual is a strong motivator as well, and never before has there been such an extensive selection of seeds.
Yet for many gardeners, there still exists an unwarranted fear of growing seedlings. So to minimize the trauma of starting seed, here is the seed starter’s primer in one highly condensed, non-technical paragraph.

The first thing to do is purchase only high-quality seed (which is typically a little more expensive). Place the seed in a tray on top of pre-moistened soilless seedling mixture. Cover the seed lightly with horticultural grade vermiculite (that’s the small stuff). Mist the seed tray several times with a pump bottle. Cover the tray with a clear or opaque plastic cover and place the whole apparatus on a heat register or heating cables as close as possible to a south-facing window. Inspect the seed daily and mist as required.

That’s all there is to it. Most seed fits rather neatly within these parameters, although, of course, there are those seeds that deviate somewhat. Some like the soil a little warmer or a little cooler, some like a little more or a little less moisture, but the same basic principles still apply.

Still, there are some plant species, particularly a few perennials, that can be rather obstinate. Some perennial seeds require a treatment in moist soil to break the seeds’ self-imposed dormancy. Other perennial seeds must be scarified, which is essentially a delicate cutting or etching of the seed coat to allow germination, allowing water to be drawn in.

I remember a few particularly stubborn perennial seeds that I’ve tried to germinate in the greenhouse. One in particular was the Himalayan Blue Poppy.

After my disappointing experience with tomato seed, I must admit that I leaned on the warm side for starting all other seedlings, including poppies. After about six weeks of tender care, the poppies, like the tomatoes, had failed to emerge. So in frustration I just pulled the trays off the heating cables, left them on the cold floor, and forgot about them. Inadvertently,  I had provided exactly what the poppies wanted—a nice, cool spot—and within days the tiny seedlings were popping up.

If you have seed left over when all of the spring seeding is said and done and you’re wondering just what is the best way to store it, just remember the rule of 100. Any combination of relative humidity percentage and air temperature that exceeds 100 will reduce seed storage life. For example, if the air is 60°F (sorry, this rule only works in Fahrenheit, not Celsius) and the relative humidity is 40%, you’re in the correct range. However, if the relative humidity climbs to 60%, then the air temperature shouldn’t exceed 40°F to maintain the 100 rule. The lower the number drops below 100, the better.

If you have a bright window, some heat, and a little patience, give starting your own seed a try. Remember, all that glistens is not gold.

– Lois Hole The Best Of Lois Hole

 

Win $500 Worth Of Patio Planters from Hole's Greenhouses!

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Help us spread the word and win! Refer a friend to sign up for our newsletter, and each of you will be entered into our four weekly drawings to win $500 worth of patio planters from Hole's Greenhouses! 

Entering is easy:

1. Enter your email, and a friend's email into our contest form HERE.

2. A confirmation email will be sent your friend. Have them click the link inside to confirm.

And that's it! You're both entered!

The more referrals you make, the more entrees you get! 

Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas are a beautifully blooming garden classic. The long-stemmed sprays of ruffled blossoms produce an irresistible perfume scent, and can either be trained onto a plant support to create an impressive column of fragrant, summer colour, or cut for a wonderful bouquet.

Growing sweet peas couldn’t be easier. Sweet peas thrive in cool temperatures, so Alberta is an ideal place for growing them. You can plant them outdoors as soon as the soil can be worked in spring. Before sowing,  sweet pea seeds can be soaked in tepid water to rehydrate them. It helps them get off to a quicker start but it isn't essential as they will still germinate well in moist compost.

These pea-like flowers grow in many lovely colours and are suitable for an annual border, a woodland garden, and a trellis or arch.

Here are a few of our favourite varieties:

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April In Paris -  is a perfect match of intoxicating fragrance, lovely form, captivating colour, and the most intense perfume of any Sweet Pea variety.

The large ruffled blossoms are a soft primrose cream, tinted at the edges in dark lilac that deepens and increases with age.

These strong-growing vines produce heavy sets of long-stemmed flowers that beg to be cut for heavenly scented bouquets.


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Jewels of Albion - This custom-blended colour palette of especially fragrant antique varieties offers both beautiful cool shades and plants with significantly more heat tolerance than other Sweet Pea varieties.

You'll have succession in bloom with "Flora Norton" (pastel blue), "Lord Nelson" (deep blue), "Mrs. Collier" (creamy-white), "Lady Grisel Hamilton" (pastel lavender) and "Captain of the Blues" (mauve-blue).

This lovely perfumed mix blooms on strong climbing vines that easily cover a trellis or fence.


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Saltwater Taffy Swirls - These charming novelty Sweet Peas will delight flower lovers with their unusual patterned blossoms. 

Each large flower is uniquely "flaked", showing finely rippled veins of colour that swirl throughout the pastel background of the petals.

This blended mix consists of blue, maroon, chocolate, burnt orange, crimson red, and rich purple swirled flowers all from the same packet.

A handful of these long blooming, intricately marked blooms makes delightful softly-scented centerpiece bouquets.


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Royal Wedding - These long-stemmed, softly frilled sweet peas come down the garden isle decked out in glorious pure white blossoms, four to six on each long stem, all with lovely ruffled petals.

This premier award-winning variety is imported from England because it has outstanding form and garden performance and carries an enchanting fragrance reminiscent of jasmine and orange blossoms.

You'll enjoy Royal Wedding's beauty and enticing pefume indoors and out over a long season of bloom.


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Cupani's Original - This is an especially strong blooming strain of this heat-tolerant treasured heirloom. It's ancestry can be traced to the first wild sweet peas from Sicily named for Father Francis Cupani, the Italian monk who discovered and sent them back to England in the 17th century.

These intensely perfumed, beautifully bicoloured flowers have petals of deep maroon-purple and orchid-violet. The fragrance of these classic simple blossoms truly wafts in the air, delighting every passerby.


Gladiolus, gladioli!

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When I was growing up on the farm, Mom always planted a single row of gladioli in her vegetable patch. She just loved the beautiful flowers and would often head out to the garden in the summer and gather up a bunch of gladioli stalks to stick straight into a tall, clear, glass vase. The large flowers set on the tall straight spikes were always spectacular and looked incredible all on their own, without the addition of any other flowers or greenery. 

I was always amazed that these little brown corms could grow so quickly and produce such tall, magnificent spikes in such short order. Gladiolus grows best in rich, loamy soil and we had plenty of them by our old farmhouse.

For 2015, it’s exciting to see so many wonderful gladioli varieties available to plant in our yards. Everything from purples, blues and greens, to colourful mixed varieties like "Tutti Frutti", "Tropical Blend" or "Chocolate & Banana Blend".

If you haven’t planted gladiolus before, give it a try. It is unsurpassed as an outstanding cutflower for summer weddings, backyard BBQs, or simply to liven-up the kitchen or livingroom. And don’t be afraid to put a row in your vegetable patch if you have the space. Just remember to place the row of glads to the east side of the patch so that the tall spikes don’t block the sunlight for the vegetables.

The north to south row on the east side of the garden always worked out great in Mom’s garden.

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~Jim Hole

p.s. There are still a few spots left for my tomato workshop on Saturday, April 18th. You can sign up by clicking here or using the button below.

 


The Time to Plant Begonias is Now!

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If you've got a shady spot in your garden, begonias are a great flowers to consider. 

Begonias come in 2 distinctly different types: fibrous or tuberous. Fibrous begonias are small, compact plants with small flowers. The seeds for those will be planted in the greenhouse near the end of this month.

Tuberous begonias, on the other hand, are showy, large-flowered plants and we're planting our own begonias tubers here in the greenhouse right now. Tuberous begonias were also one of my mother's favourite flowers.

If you'd like to start your own tuberous begonias, now is the time to visit us. Come in and browse our selection of begonia tubers, and bring home some of your favourites.

Generally, we recommend starting tuberous begonias indoors 12-14 weeks before you plan on transplanting them outside. This means that February is the ideal time to be planting them inside for them to be ready in the spring.

When starting your begonias inside, heat and light are essential. My father used to start our begonias in the house on top of the hot water register beside a south window. He added an 8 foot fluorescent light that was on 24 hours a day. These days, I recommend a heating mat and some full spectrum grow lights (sold here in the greenhouse).

This heat and light will allow your the begonias to grow thick and vigorously before the spring. They will be a sight to see in your garden, and—if given plenty of light now—will survive in even the shadiest of spots in the summer.


~Jim Hole

p.s. An updated, complete list of all of our organic, heirloom, and/or non-GMO seeds is now available on our website. Click here to see it and to start planning your garden.

New Fall Flower Arrangements

Ornamental kale floral arrangement

Ornamental kale floral arrangement

This week in our floral studio we have all kinds of interesting new flowers and plants to choose from:

  • "Goldstrike" leucadendrons is an interesting evergreen "white tree" with yellow blossoms
  • Purple Leaf Smokebushes add a nice touch of soft burgundy coloured foliage.
  • Our tinted Sunflowers also put an unusual spin on a traditional flower.

Our favourite new plant in this week, however, has to be our ornamental kale heads (pictured).

With its rich nebula of colours, ornamental kale really stands out. This makes it a great choice for unique and funky floral arrangements.