Hello Gardeners Across Canada!

In this installment of the Mail Order Alert we highlight the magical world of ornamental onions, what they can do for you in your garden, and how to care for them. These hardy bulbs can be easily grown by the majority of Canadians. With careful siting even Canadians in the coldest zones can be successful. You can order them as part of our Rare Bulb pre-order for fall shipping.

This year we have 135 rare, unusual, and awesome selections for you - up from just 50 last year! So many cool bulbs. Have a look below and follow the link to see our full selection. As with last year, quantities available are small so please order early. There are only 8-15 packages available of each bulb and these can go very quickly when just a few people order a few packs each.

We are also very excited about our selection of hardy Cypripedium lady's slipper orchids which has doubled this year to 31 different cultivars. These are hardy almost everywhere in Canada, even into zone 2 and 3 with protection! This is truly a group of choice, choice plants for every Canadian gardener. You'll find information on these exquisite plants below as well.

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

Help Us Get the Word Out: We need your help to get the word out across this great (and very large) country of ours. Please forward this email to all your friends and family across the country to let them know that if they can't visit us in BC, we can ship to them anywhere in Canada!

 

Pre-Order
Magical
Ornamental Onions

Choose from 25 Different Allium Species and Cultivars
as Part of Our Rare Bulb Pre-Order

The genus Allium is best known for its edible members: onions, garlic, scallions, shallots, and leeks. Together they represent one of the most common and ubiquitous foods and food flavourings in most of the world's culinary cultures. These delicious bulbs make magic in the kitchen but many gardeners are still unaware that there is a huge diversity of ornamental onions that can make magic in the garden.

When we talk about perennial garden design we often mention contrasts: contrasts in flower colour, contrasts in height, and contrast in foliage including leaf size, colour, texture, and shape. Isn't interesting though that while we talk about all these different attributes of leaves, we frequently only focus on colour when it comes to flowers. To take a garden to the next level, designers and gardeners "in the know" also contrast flower shapes and sizes to create dynamic and thrilling plantins.

If we consider flower shapes many different plants offer us tubular or bell-shaped flowers, daisy-type flowers, orchid-shaped flowers, lily-like flowers, iris-like flowers. And when it comes to inflorescence shapes, many different plants offer us vertical spikes and racemes, flat-topped or rounded umbels, catkins, spadices and much more. But few plants other than ornamental onions can offer the sphere.

When you consider that the ornamental onions generally bloom from May through July you realize that these Allium represent an incredible opportunity for adding great floral shape contrast into your garden. One of my favourite combinations in my garden is Allium 'Globemaster', the broad-leaved red hot poker (Kniphofia northiae), and bearded irises (Iris germanica) but the possibilities are endless.

Ornamental onions, for the most part, come from bulbs that you plant in the fall. They are winter dormant but begin to emerge with lush green foliage in late winter and early spring. Most begin to bloom in mid spring to early summer, depending on the species or cultivar. The most common colours are purples, magentas, and lavenders but blues, yellow, and whites are also available.

At flowering time the foliage of many ornamental onions begins to go dormant. You can trim it off or plant your Allium so that other perennials mask the foliage. Some species and cultivars maintain their foliage during flowering such as 'Ostara' and A. karataviense. As ornamental onions finish blooming each floret in their sphere begins to swell with seeds creating an attractive scene of green spheres in the garden. These will slowly turn to straw colour in the fall but will often remain upright and attractive all winter long.

The most famed members of the ornamental onions are the ones that produce huge spheres, some of which can be as big as a person's head! In Canada A. giganteum and 'Globemaster' are the most common large-flowered plants. There are also many more options from the world of Allium that will suit woodland gardens, rock gardens, and the front of the border all with different variations on the theme of a sphere. The smaller-blooming Allium are best planted in clumps of 5 or more bulbs to create a good display. The larger-blooming cultivars are also outstanding planted in 3s, 5s or 7s in the garden but they can also be planted as singles scattered throughout the border. You can carve out a space for your Allium in the border or, frequently, you can insert their bulbs between existing perennials, especially summer-blooming perennials, where they can rise up and bloom in spring and early summer and then bow out to summer bloomers for the rest of the season. Allium of all sizes are also great planted under groundcovers where they can rise up in spring and early summer and then be protected from your digging when they are dormant.

Ornamental onions can be grown by the majority of Canadians from coast to coast. They are mostly considered hardy to zone 4 (with some officially hardy to zone 3) though gardeners in zone 3 and even zone 2 have successfully overwintered Allium with mulching and good snow cover in protected microclimates.

This fall I hope you will choose to plant ornamental onions in your garden. They are easy to grow, provide a unique and long-lasting effect, and will elevate your garden design to the next level.

We are excited to offer 25 different rare and unusual ornamental onions this fall through our Rare Bulb Pre-Order. These species and cultivars are hardly, if ever, available in Canada and we are pleased to make them available to Canadian gardeners for mail order or pick-up in mid to late September. Have a look!:

Allium 'Ambassador' - Ornamental Onion Allium 'Beau Regard' - Ornamental Onion
Allium 'Gladiator' - Ornamental Onion Allium 'Lucy Ball' - Ornamental Onion
Allium 'Mont Blanc' - Ornamental Onion Allium 'Ostara' - Ornamental Onion
Allium 'Pinball Wizard' - Ornamental Onion Allium 'Powder Puff' - Ornamental Onion
Allium 'Round and Purple' - Ornamental Onion Allium amethystinum 'Red Mohican' - Ornamental Onion
Allium aschersonianum - Ornamental Onion Allium caesium - Ornamental Onion
Allium carinatum ssp. pulchellum - Ornamental Onion Allium carinatum ssp. pulchellum 'Album' - Ornamental Onion
Allium falcifolium - Ornamental Onion Allium flavum - Ornamental Onion
Allium jesdianum 'Purple King' - Ornamental Onion Allium karataviense - Ornamental Onion
Allium nigrum - Ornamental Onion Allium obliquum - Ornamental Onion
Allium 'Spider' - Ornamental Onion Allium scorodoprasum - Ornamental Onion
Allium stipitatum 'White Giant' - Ornamental Onion Allium trichetrum - Ornamental Onion
All of these ornamental onions are available now for pre-order for pick-up or shipping in mid to late September. Details below.
Allium ursinum - Ornamental Onion

Pre-Order
Rare Spring Bulbs
Choose from 135 Different Rare Bulbs to Make Your Garden Extraordinary

Visit the Rare Bulb Pre-Order on our Phoenix Perennials Mail Order Site to see our full selection of 135 rare bulbs. Both mail order and local customers should place their orders through our mail order system. Local customers should select the pick up option when checking out. Quantities are limited. Please order early to secure your favourites.

Our selection of rare bulbs will ship or be ready for pick-up in September. For mail order customers: if you combine bulbs and Cypripedium in the same order (which are not available until mid October) we will ship your bulbs and Cyps together in October. Please place separate orders if you want your bulbs to arrive as early as possible in the fall (Sept) and to have your Cypripedium ship later in October.

Please Note: Because we must pay our suppliers in advance, we will process payment of Rare Bulb orders at the time of ordering.

Also note that we do not expect to receive about 10-15% of the bulbs we are hoping to get. These bulbs are rare for many reasons but mostly because they are slower to bulk up than bulbs that are more commonly available. For this reason, supplies at harvest time can be less than expected and we are usually shorted on some varieties. Please be understanding if we contact you in the fall that some of the bulbs you ordered are not available.

Should a cultivar not be available at the time of shipping/pick-up, we will give you the choice of substituting a different cultivar, receiving a refund, or having a credit applied to your account for a future order.

Ordering: Visit Rare Bulb Pre-Order on our Phoenix Perennials Mail Order Site for full details. Mail order and local customers should both place your orders through our mail order system. When checking out, local customers should select the pick-up option. Mail order customers should select their preferred shipping method. Have fun!

 


 

Pre-Order
Cypripedium Lady's Slippers Pre-Order
31 Different Hardy Orchids for Canadian Gardens

We are excited to offer our largest selection ever of hardy lady's slipper orchids for Canadian gardens. These Cypripedium hybrids possess hybrid vigour -- they have inherited the best traits of both parents -- and are much easier to grow than species orchids, have beautiful flowers in amazing colours, and clump up very quickly into amazing displays in the part shade garden. They bloom in late April and May offering an exquisite show in the garden.

Most are "officially" hardy to zone 4 while some are hardy to zone 3 and even zone 2! Even the zone 4 plants may be hardy in protected spots in zone 3 with mulch and good snow cover. Indeed, we have customers in Alberta and Saskatchewan who are growing Cypripedium outdoors with great success.

We are currently offering 31 different lady's slipper hybrids for shipping to our mail order customers and for pick-up at Phoenix by our local customers in mid October 2016. All are top quality, blooming size, many with multiple eyes, and should flower in the spring. Here they are:

We will be providing them to you bare root. All you need to do is plant them directly into a well-drained location in part shade or morning sun. A winter mulch of fallen leaves or conifer boughs or needles can be helpful in the first winter. We'll provide you with detailed instructions when you receive your plants.

For mail order customers, October is the only time of year we ship Cypripedium lady's slipper orchids so please take advantage.

For our local customers, though we do offer them in growth in spring on site at Phoenix, buying and planting them in fall ensures our local customers the widest possible selection and potentially greater and quicker success in establishment. They arrive bare root and super fresh. Planting them directly into the garden in fall is the best way to establish them even for local customers. Mulch with a pile of leaves after fall planting.

Please note: Because we must pay our suppliers in advance, we will process payment of Cypripedium orders at the time of ordering. Should a cultivar not be available at the time of shipping/pick-up we will give you the choice of substituting a different cultivar, receiving a refund, or having a credit applied to your account for a future order.

Ordering: Visit Phoenix Perennials Mail Order for full details. Mail order and local customers should both place your orders through our mail order system. When checking out, local customers should select the pick-up option. Mail order customers should select their preferred shipping method. Have fun!

 


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Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.
One of the largest and most exciting selections of perennials in Canada.
3380 No. 6 Road, Richmond (Between Bridgeport and Cambie)
604-270-4133

www.phoenixperennials.com
Please visit our web page for information on the nursery, driving directions and a map.
We are near the south end of the Knight Street Bridge and very easy to get to from all of the surrounding municipalities and beyond.

Opening Dates and Hours
February 26th to October 30th, 2016
10am-5pm


Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.

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