Blog

I was recently asked "How do you make the choices of what seeds to grow for new plants?"

My response: I need something that is easy to grow and attractive in the garden. Further, on a personal level, I want to reach beyond the ordinary and grow those bits of nature that are beautiful, yet not generally found in our gardens. One needs time and experience to make the selections…

We have, over time, chosen to concentrate on growing the best of the seed collections from Western North America, the Middle latitudes of near Asia (Turkey and the Caucasus), and recently, the wonderful new collections from Western China. These areas have conditions similar to our own‚Äîa drier, continental climate with winter cold and…

We were on summer vacation towing 200 tons of rock in our trailer. Harvey was delivering tufa and stone troughs to Robin Magowan, Peter George and Bruce Lockhart. Combined with garden visits we were in for a good time.

We arrived at Peter's after 12 hours of driving. Peter has a large rock garden; astounding, almost impossible. At one end…

Through the years of running our nursery, now approaching 25, I have always looked to improve the way we grow plants in the garden. Alpines are especially demanding, in that they are plants that do not thrive in lowland areas. However, conditions of culture are a continuum and what is lacking in one component, may be compensated with other factors. This need not be complicated; a…

Frequently we receive questions regarding the hardiness of the plants we sell. I do not list hardiness zones in the catalogue as I feel they are too rigid. Most of the plants we offer are hardy into very cold winter climates (lows of -30¬∞C). Very few plants survive in places where temperatures dip below -40¬∞C as there is an actual physical change in the water molecule below this…

Mat formers are plants that will cover an area by sending out branches that quickly develop short surface roots. Overall height is low, under 5cm. Having such short stature, many of these plants are able to hold foliage all year and provide some off-season texture and colour for the rock garden. There is also an ability to cover and conform to the contours of rocks, thus softening…

Good understanding and management of garden culture can spell the difference between a mediocre garden and a superb one. There are five basic elements to consider which control the growth and health of plants in the garden. Some elements can be regulated more easily than others. They are climate, soil, light, water and nutrition.

Climate Obviously, climate is the one you can't…

As temperatures plunge and light fails in October, we move a great assortment of potted plants from the outdoor frames into the greenhouse. They are mostly stock plants from which we take a lot of our winter cuttings. Others are rare or sensitive plants - some in pots, some in stone troughs - that aren't yet put to the ultimate trial of "open garden" planting. Having grown accustomed…

We have acquired what every gardener needs - another garden. Actually it is an extension (a large one) to the much appreciated though small tufa garden which Josef Halda made for us in 1999. The extension was also constructed by Josef in April 2002, and he planted it with oversized stock plants and other oddities from the nursery.

It is set up as an outcrop in a '…

Everywhere you look new plant material is being offered; even the local garden centres and Big Box stores are in on the parade. All very good, but a fair number of these plants have either unknown cultural requirements, or perhaps worse, are "sensitive". Well there are steps one can take to provide for a plant's needs. First among them is a proper crevice garden that does not impede…