In the Garden July 2016

Story and photo by Peg Keenleyside


Is it too late to plant in July?

If you took in the fabulous Point Roberts gardens on the Garden Club tour on June 26, you may be itching to emulate a few ideas you saw. You might also just be opening up the cottage for the kids summer school break and want to jazz the place up a bit with some flowers.

In either case, the short answer is yes!

I spoke with Darlene Gibbs, the owner of Point Roberts’ Lady Bug nursery recently, and she still has lots of stock available, both annuals and perennials. Her nursery is also carrying pre-made patio planter pots and also offers a bespoke service where you can get planters made up with plants of your own choosing.

Lady Bug is located on a lovely property on Windsor Drive, and well worth a visit. Get there by heading to Benson Road, turning onto Mill Road and watch for the Lady Bug sign at Austin Road corner where you will turn left and then a quick left again onto Windsor Drive.

You can visit the Lady Bug Facebook page or call the nursery at 360/945-0832 for more information.

Darlene will be happy to show you around the growing business she started in 2009 with a love of plants and a very green thumb. Talk with her about the kinds of plants that will bloom in the late summer and that are heat-tolerant.

One of the strongest El Niño events on record has been influencing weather patterns across Canada, the U.S. and around the globe for the past couple of years.  This weather phenomenon occurs at two- to  seven-year intervals and starts with the warming of the ocean surface in the Pacific Ocean. This in turn changes the dominant pattern of the water cycle and northerly wind flows.

Here in the Pacific Northwest the El Nino effect means we’ve had milder winters and hotter, drier, summers than usual. You’ll have no doubt noticed that the result is plants, trees and shrubs are all blooming and bearing fruit earlier.

So even though summer is only just officially  begun, now’s the time to shop for some late summer and fall blooming plant options. You’ll find the hot color palette just coming into display now in plants like big fuchsia-pink perennial coneflower (Echinacea), the scarlet red flowers of crocosmia, the yellow-golds of black-eyed Susan (Rudbekia), bright yellow coreopsis, and the purples of fall-flowering Asters.

In pots, contrast hot color blooms with some cool lime green or dark purple foliage like trailing potato vines (Impomea). Sages – in all their many varieties are also good choices for the late summer garden.

If you’re not seeing that plant you really have your heart set on at Lady Bug, you’re planning a new hedge or want to buy a nice specimen tree, Darlene offers a custom ordering service.

Place an order before the end of September this year for 6-12 of a plant or shrub and she can get it put on her order for delivery in spring 2017. She can also take orders for individual trees, including fruit trees (many of which you cannot import from Canada).

She also says she brings in new plants every year. “If I have customers asking for a certain plant, then I will always bring some of those in the following year,” she says.

Lady Bug has a nice display of glazed ceramic pots perfect for the deck or as a visual pick-me-up for a garden bed that may be looking a little weary in the heat of the summer. These pots are priced individually or by sets of three.

“It’s one of these things you never stop learning,” Darlene said about her love of gardening and her philosophy about her nursery. Drop by Lady Bug with your plant concerns and ideas and she will do her best to help you out. Lady Bug’s summer hours are Thursday–Monday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

What a great gardening resource to have in our community!

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