Category Archives: Westcoast Homes and Design

Brian Minter: How to bring ‘True Blue’ into our gardens

Veronica Moody Blues Dark Blue.

Classic Blue is Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2020, and indigo is one of this season’s most winning shades. Although blue is one of the most sought-after colours for gardens, surprisingly, it can be one of the more difficult colours to find.

Indigo, always recognized as one of the seven colours of the spectrum, is borderline between blue and violet. A richly saturated colour, indigo has a long history of being indicative of wealth and prestige. From early Mesopotamian and Roman times to Indian and West African cultures, cloth and clothes dyed with indigo were highly prized.

 Black and Bloom Salvia

The indigo plant was a source of early dyes, and with today’s renewed interest in organic dyes, indigo is making a comeback, both in interior design and fashion. It’s a colour that can be stimulating as well as calming, depending on how it is used.

In the garden world, not many annuals have a rich blue colour. Dark blue salvias, such as Salvia farinacea ‘Evolution Violet,’ could be the closest you will find. ‘Evolution Violet’ is very heat and drought tolerant and is an All-American Selections and Fleuroselect award winner. Another new, much larger salvia is an interspecific annual named S. ‘Big Blue.’ It grows 61 to 91 centimetres, is very weather tolerant, has a long bloom period and attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators.

 Blue Marvel Salvia

Vibrant purple-blue violas and pansies are the earliest and latest to flower. Matrix ‘Deep Blue Blotch’ and ‘Denim’ pansies are stunning, especially when contrasted with whites, soft primroses or pinks.

For blue flowers that are fragrant, it’s hard to beat heliotrope . The sweetly perfumed H. ‘Sachet’ has the most intense blue blooms.

Early in the season, before the summer heat sets in, deep blue lobelias, like ‘Regatta Marine Blue,’ Regatta Midnight Blue’ and ‘Regatta Sapphire,’ provide stunning hues that look great in both containers and hanging baskets.

Whether planted in the ground or in containers and baskets, all varieties and sizes of petunias are some of the longest-flowering summer annuals that can carry a rich indigo colour during the intensity of hot summer days. Blue petunias also have a soft perfume that often attracts pollinators.

 Magadi Blue + Eye Lobelia

In the perennial world, many varieties of lavender, like ‘Ellagance Purple,’ ‘Lavance Deep Purple’ and the new ‘Blue Spear,’ provide vivid blues.

For longer colour in the summertime, perennial salvias are certainly coming into their own, especially with the new, longer-blooming and repeat-blooming varieties . Many series are now more compact as well. The ‘Fashionista,’ ‘Bumble,’ ‘Color Spires’ and ‘Profusion’ series all contain varieties that provide strong indigo colours. Like lavender, they are all pollinator magnets.

Nepeta, too, is growing in popularity because of its new, improved longer-blooming habit. Proven Winners’ ‘Cat’s Meow’ and ‘Cat’s Pajamas’ are just two of these exciting must-have varieties.

From deep blue geraniums, Siberian iris and late-blooming asters to rich lupins and lovely delphiniums, they all add a seasonal punch of indigo in our gardens.

Whether it’s the colour of the year or not, indigo is always an inspired choice to add interest to our gardens.

Related

Town Talk: Magazine publisher puts on a new face

Canada Wide Media president Samantha Legge put a new face on the magazine publishing firm by launching Evalina Beauty cosmetics with part proceeds going to Crabtree Corner and other women-and-children charities.

FACE FORWARD: The digital era has obliged many ink-and-paper publishers to put on new faces. That’s literally so for Canada Wide Media president Samantha Legge. With company founder Peter Legge sunning his mug in Palm Springs, daughter Samantha recently launched Evalina Beauty. Not a traditional magazine like CWM’s B.C. Business, Western Living and suchlike, Evalina is a collection of creams, glosses, eyeliners and other cosmetics that is only marketed online. Facial products ready for introduction are named Flutter, Glaze and Liquid Love, which sounds as though it might be applied elsewhere. Partial proceeds currently go to the YWCA’s Crabtree Corner Community Resource Centre that feeds, houses and otherwise supports needy women and children, Legge said.

 Pictured at the YWCA’s Crabtree Corner Community Resource Centre, Diane Forsythe Abbott was honoured for long supporting that DTES facility.

KEY CONTRIBUTOR: Crabtree Corner was an unexpected stop for Diane Forsythe Abbott in December, 1995. Having accidentally locked the keys in her car, she entered the DTES facility to phone for help and promptly learned what it and its clients needed. Leaving, she said: “I’ll be back with help and supplies.” She wasn’t kidding. Recruiting friends and their friends, Forsythe Abbott launched an annual luncheon, usually at Hy’s Encore, that had raised well over $2 million by 2018, plus $1 million that Jane McLennan added to the pot. The luncheons ended this week with a private tribute to Forsythe Abbott and further donations to Crabtree Corner on her behalf. With failing eyesight, she doesn’t drive today. Still, anyone can see that her “help and supplies” promise was kept.

 B.C. Business magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year Geoff Chutter has developed global waterparks that make humans as happy as basking harbour seals.

WETTER IS BETTER: B.C. Business magazine recently named Whitewater West Industries founder-head Geoff Chutter its Entrepreneur of the Year. That was for literally cleaning up in the global waterpark park business. Not in politics, though, as Chutter lost two bids to be Vancouver Quadra’s Conservative MP. Much as at waterparks, his campaigns illustrated that even those going with the flow have to make a splash or end up high and dry.

 Mission Hill president Darryl Brooker and Science World’s Janet Wood fronted the Science of Wine benefit for Science World’s On The Road program.

WINE-SCI: Science World was packed to its geodesic gills recently for Uncorked: A Celebration of the Science of Wine. Its short seminars on vineyard and winery practices showed attendees how science turns grapes into what gets imbibers glowing without becoming blind. The event’s participating wineries — CedarCreek, Checkmate, Martin’s Lane, Mission Hill and Road 13 — rely on such science. But attendees would likely settle for revamping Euler’s Polyhedra Formula, V-E+F=2, to mean Vines minus Extremities (grapes) plus Fermentation equals Two having a good time. Scanning attendees, Science World president-CEO Janet Wood said their $89 tickets will help fund the False Creek waterfront facility’s On The Road program that takes scientific gee-whizery to 40,000 students in and beyond the wine-producing Okanagan Valley.

 Having co-founded Haida Gwaii Glamping Co., forestry family member Alana Husby met eagle Helen at the nearby Penthea sanctuary and rescue centre.

SHOW AND TLELL: Previous reports had Alana Husby extracting, milling and marketing hardwoods that had spent almost a century underwater in the Panama Canal’s Lake Gatun. Now, the model-like, tough-as-ironwood daughter of Husby Forest Products founder Dave Husby has returned to where rainfall can match Panama’s and where unsubmerged timber supports the family firm’s diversified activities. With sister Nicole, she’s developed beachfront Haida Gwaii Glamping Co. in Graham Island’s Tlell region. Their tent-topped rooms will remind African-safari veterans of the Maasai Mara, but with eagles rather than hornbills flying by.

 Ron Rule welcomed Chilean fellow landscape architect Teresa Moller who explained her naturalistic “unveiling” style at a UBC garden-design lecture.

MANY PATHS: City landscape architects Jane Durante, Daniel Roehr and Ron Rule invited famed colleague Teresa Moller to fly from riot-plagued Chile and demonstrate the serene style she calls “unveiling.” She delivered a UBC School of Architecture + Landscape Architecture garden-design lecture that the trio arranged. Moller’s work includes a north-of-Santiago oceanside footpath so subtly configured that her role and nature’s are hard to tell apart.

 At a reception for Teresa Moller at Robert and Marie Khouri’s home, math-software whiz Robert demonstrated how to calculate the mathematical symbol pi.

Landscapers, clients and academics attended a reception honouring Moller in Robert and Marie Khouri’s home. Marie sculpted four fountains that stand beside the Hôtel de Crillon on Paris’s Champs Elysee. Robert designed a system for international brokers to trade options on the Société Bourse Française. The ticked-off stock exchange finally paid “eight figures” for it. Eyeing the reception’s dessert table, math-whiz Robert said that by rearranging very narrow pie slices nose-to-crust to form a rectangle, the mathematical symbol pi can be closely estimated. Modern supercomputers have calculated pi’s still-unresolved radius-to-area ratio to 10 trillion digits, which is the mathematical equivalent of a Moller footpath around all the world’s continents and then some.

SETTING IT STRAIGHT: The Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre’s Treasured Belongings exhibition will run to Nov. 27, 2020.

 When currently expat filmmaker Richard Bell screens his Brotherhood feature here, possibly in January, real brother Ian will doubtless be in the audience.

COMING ATTRACTION: Expat Vancouver moviemaker Richard Bell, who wrote and directed the feature film Eighteen here, will premiere his latest, Brotherhood, at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Cineplex theatre Dec. 6. It’s based on a 1926 storm that drowned 11 male teenagers attempting to cross Balsam Lake, Ont. in a 30-foot canoe. The summer-campers’ fathers had all perished in the 1914-1918 Great War. Bell expects a Vancouver screening in January.

DOWN PARRYSCOPE: Vlad Dracula’s advice to Washington: “Why impeach when you could impale?”

malcolmparry@shaw.ca
604-929-8456

Town Talk: Magazine publisher puts on a new face

Canada Wide Media president Samantha Legge put a new face on the magazine publishing firm by launching Evalina Beauty cosmetics with part proceeds going to Crabtree Corner and other women-and-children charities.

FACE FORWARD: The digital era has obliged many ink-and-paper publishers to put on new faces. That’s literally so for Canada Wide Media president Samantha Legge. With company founder Peter Legge sunning his mug in Palm Springs, daughter Samantha recently launched Evalina Beauty. Not a traditional magazine like CWM’s B.C. Business, Western Living and suchlike, Evalina is a collection of creams, glosses, eyeliners and other cosmetics that is only marketed online. Facial products ready for introduction are named Flutter, Glaze and Liquid Love, which sounds as though it might be applied elsewhere. Partial proceeds currently go to the YWCA’s Crabtree Corner Community Resource Centre that feeds, houses and otherwise supports needy women and children, Legge said.

 Pictured at the YWCA’s Crabtree Corner Community Resource Centre, Diane Forsythe Abbott was honoured for long supporting that DTES facility.

KEY CONTRIBUTOR: Crabtree Corner was an unexpected stop for Diane Forsythe Abbott in December, 1995. Having accidentally locked the keys in her car, she entered the DTES facility to phone for help and promptly learned what it and its clients needed. Leaving, she said: “I’ll be back with help and supplies.” She wasn’t kidding. Recruiting friends and their friends, Forsythe Abbott launched an annual luncheon, usually at Hy’s Encore, that had raised well over $2 million by 2018, plus $1 million that Jane McLennan added to the pot. The luncheons ended this week with a private tribute to Forsythe Abbott and further donations to Crabtree Corner on her behalf. With failing eyesight, she doesn’t drive today. Still, anyone can see that her “help and supplies” promise was kept.

 B.C. Business magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year Geoff Chutter has developed global waterparks that make humans as happy as basking harbour seals.

WETTER IS BETTER: B.C. Business magazine recently named Whitewater West Industries founder-head Geoff Chutter its Entrepreneur of the Year. That was for literally cleaning up in the global waterpark park business. Not in politics, though, as Chutter lost two bids to be Vancouver Quadra’s Conservative MP. Much as at waterparks, his campaigns illustrated that even those going with the flow have to make a splash or end up high and dry.

 Mission Hill president Darryl Brooker and Science World’s Janet Wood fronted the Science of Wine benefit for Science World’s On The Road program.

WINE-SCI: Science World was packed to its geodesic gills recently for Uncorked: A Celebration of the Science of Wine. Its short seminars on vineyard and winery practices showed attendees how science turns grapes into what gets imbibers glowing without becoming blind. The event’s participating wineries — CedarCreek, Checkmate, Martin’s Lane, Mission Hill and Road 13 — rely on such science. But attendees would likely settle for revamping Euler’s Polyhedra Formula, V-E+F=2, to mean Vines minus Extremities (grapes) plus Fermentation equals Two having a good time. Scanning attendees, Science World president-CEO Janet Wood said their $89 tickets will help fund the False Creek waterfront facility’s On The Road program that takes scientific gee-whizery to 40,000 students in and beyond the wine-producing Okanagan Valley.

 Having co-founded Haida Gwaii Glamping Co., forestry family member Alana Husby met eagle Helen at the nearby Penthea sanctuary and rescue centre.

SHOW AND TLELL: Previous reports had Alana Husby extracting, milling and marketing hardwoods that had spent almost a century underwater in the Panama Canal’s Lake Gatun. Now, the model-like, tough-as-ironwood daughter of Husby Forest Products founder Dave Husby has returned to where rainfall can match Panama’s and where unsubmerged timber supports the family firm’s diversified activities. With sister Nicole, she’s developed beachfront Haida Gwaii Glamping Co. in Graham Island’s Tlell region. Their tent-topped rooms will remind African-safari veterans of the Maasai Mara, but with eagles rather than hornbills flying by.

 Ron Rule welcomed Chilean fellow landscape architect Teresa Moller who explained her naturalistic “unveiling” style at a UBC garden-design lecture.

MANY PATHS: City landscape architects Jane Durante, Daniel Roehr and Ron Rule invited famed colleague Teresa Moller to fly from riot-plagued Chile and demonstrate the serene style she calls “unveiling.” She delivered a UBC School of Architecture + Landscape Architecture garden-design lecture that the trio arranged. Moller’s work includes a north-of-Santiago oceanside footpath so subtly configured that her role and nature’s are hard to tell apart.

 At a reception for Teresa Moller at Robert and Marie Khouri’s home, math-software whiz Robert demonstrated how to calculate the mathematical symbol pi.

Landscapers, clients and academics attended a reception honouring Moller in Robert and Marie Khouri’s home. Marie sculpted four fountains that stand beside the Hôtel de Crillon on Paris’s Champs Elysee. Robert designed a system for international brokers to trade options on the Société Bourse Française. The ticked-off stock exchange finally paid “eight figures” for it. Eyeing the reception’s dessert table, math-whiz Robert said that by rearranging very narrow pie slices nose-to-crust to form a rectangle, the mathematical symbol pi can be closely estimated. Modern supercomputers have calculated pi’s still-unresolved radius-to-area ratio to 10 trillion digits, which is the mathematical equivalent of a Moller footpath around all the world’s continents and then some.

SETTING IT STRAIGHT: The Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre’s Treasured Belongings exhibition will run to Nov. 27, 2020.

 When currently expat filmmaker Richard Bell screens his Brotherhood feature here, possibly in January, real brother Ian will doubtless be in the audience.

COMING ATTRACTION: Expat Vancouver moviemaker Richard Bell, who wrote and directed the feature film Eighteen here, will premiere his latest, Brotherhood, at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Cineplex theatre Dec. 6. It’s based on a 1926 storm that drowned 11 male teenagers attempting to cross Balsam Lake, Ont. in a 30-foot canoe. The summer-campers’ fathers had all perished in the 1914-1918 Great War. Bell expects a Vancouver screening in January.

DOWN PARRYSCOPE: Vlad Dracula’s advice to Washington: “Why impeach when you could impale?”

malcolmparry@shaw.ca
604-929-8456

Brian Minter: Spice up your fall décor with pumpkins

Orange you glad that pumpkins now come in so many fashion-forward hues?

Pumpkins have been repositioned from October’s traditional porch staples to today’s trendy décor “hotties.” And the traditional orange gourd has been joined by many new colours, including pink, blue, yellow and especially white.

These new designer pumpkins are even sneaking their way into Christmas décor. They are not carved but are left intact to last for months—or until you crave a delicious dessert, when they can be transformed into delectable cakes, cookies and pies.

I’m sure we have all seen fruit stands and produce stores that create beautiful seasonal displays. About 10 to 15 years ago, however, top designers started to incorporate autumn flavour into home décor—but on their terms. Simple elegance was their theme, and smaller, more versatile designs became the order of the day.

White pumpkins are the darlings of today’s design circles. Miniature whites, like Baby Boo and Casperita (eight by 11 centimetres), make ideal table toppers, vase fillers and plate accessories. Moonshine (16 by 16 centimetres) is a very bright white that looks great in groupings on a coffee table, especially when accessorized with grasses like the bunny-tail pennisetums. The slightly smaller Snowball (12 x 12 centimetres) combines nicely with Moonshine. For bigger porch and patio statement pieces, a real attention-getter is Full Moon, weighing in at 15 to 30 kilograms and sizing up to 60 centimetres.

These pumpkins will last for months if left whole and washed lightly with bleach to control any bacteria that could cause deterioration. Fall-blooming white chrysanthemums make beautiful companions for white pumpkins.

Other stylish favourites are the new pumpkins that have a low, flattened shape and come in unusual colours. My top picks are the pink Porcelain Doll, the grey-blue Blue Doll and the soft orange Indian Doll. Used by themselves or in combinations, they are eye-catchers. Accessorized with grasses, like dwarf miscanthus Yaku Jima, they look fabulous indoors or out. Soft yellow and pink mums would complete the look.

These pumpkins all have a deep centre cavity, so one of our designers creates magic by gluing a clear saucer on top and filling it with a one-of-a-kind succulent garden using different varieties of tender echeverias and/or hardy sempervivums and sedums. She adds some Spanish moss as a surround to hide the saucer and lets the moss gently spill over the sides. These unique creations can be displayed anywhere inside or out, and they are pure art that will last for months.

For foodies, a whole ancient squash family is suddenly in demand and not only because of its diverse and unusual shapes, warts and all. The flat, warted, richly deep green Marina di Chioggia is one of the most decadently flavoured pumpkins. Its sweet flesh is used for making ravioli and gnocchi. The soft pinkish-orange and heavily warted Galeux d’Eysines is another culinary superstar. Triamble, with its blue-grey triangularly folded skin, is one of the most unusually shaped pumpkins, and it, too, has wonderfully flavoured orange-yellow flesh.

Another one of my favourite new pumpkins is a striking soft yellow called Sunlight, and then there is Grizzly Bear, a greyish light brown with warts that would make any old Disney witch proud.

All of these and many more golden oldies are not tucked away in root cellars but enjoyed for their antique charm. Even the better-known squash have joined in this décor revolution. The traditional acorn squash now comes in a pure white variety called Mashed Potatoes, the heritage Hubbard squash now comes in a beautiful grey called Heavenly Hubbard and New England Blue turns out to be a lovely grey-blue hue.

Whether old or new, pumpkins are ideal for so many reasons, particularly for their relative low cost, their lasting qualities and their versatility in terms of creating interesting décor. They are real conversation pieces at get-togethers, and when all is said and done, you can repurpose them into incredible desserts.

Related

Brian Minter: Patio preparation for fall

Parrotia persica has truly stunning autumn colour, and when planted in a container or garden, can help you extend your patio season well beyond September.

As we move into a cooler time of year, don’t abandon your patio—instead, realign it for the next season. Lighting our decks has become far more important as we extend our outdoor living time, and smaller trees on the patio create a sense of privacy and intimacy, as well as a natural framework for lighting.

Japanese maples are one of the favourite choices for patios because of their many different sizes, shapes and foliage colours. Most have nice branching habits, making them ideal for screening. If you enjoy plenty of sun, the red foliage varieties provide lots of colour, and the blood-red foliage varieties hold that colour all summer before turning an even more intense red in the fall. Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’ and ‘Emperor’ are the best known, but if you need a more compact variety, ‘Fireglow’ would fit the bill.

 Ginkgos offer lovely golden yellow foliage in fall and are disease-resistant to boot.

I personally prefer green foliage maples because they perform well in sun or shade. One of the most compact is Acer shishigashira (‘Lion’s Mane’ maple) which will grow only three to four metres in size. If you have quite a shady spot, Acer shirasawanum (‘Full Moon’ maple), with its golden lime foliage, is one of the best. Some of its cousins, like A.p. ‘Moonrise’ and A.p. ‘Autumn Moon,’ are delightful too. If it’s privacy you’re needing, the standard Acer palmatum would be your best choice. I’m a huge fan of our native vine maples Acer circinatum, especially the multi-stem forms. I love to underplant Japanese maples with evergreen ferns for a classy look.

One of the most underused trees in our landscapes is the sourwood (oxydendrum). It’s a hardy smaller tree that flowers in August with Pieris japonica-like flowers and then begins its journey transitioning into rich scarlet colours for autumn. It’s a fun tree because it is so uniquely different.

 Vine maples have lush, green foliage and great fall colour.

Speaking of different, the many new compact forms of ginkgo biloba are fascinating. Ginkgos are completely insect- and disease-free. (Even the ancient dinosaurs kept their distance!) The larger-growing varieties can be kept smaller in containers, but columnar varieties like ginkgo ‘Chase Manhattan’ make nice patio trees.

Another great patio tree is Parrotia persica. A compact variety called ‘Henny’s Dwarf’ has tiny red flowers in January and stunning fall colour in October. I like its small leaves, which often have red tips in the growing season.

I love the Japanese snowbell Styrax japonicus not only because of its masses of white flowers in spring but also for the blue-green seed pods that follow all summer and fall. Yes, you need to sweep them up, but it’s so worth it. Its cousins, the weeping forms of S.j ‘Fragrant Fountain’ and ‘Marley’s Pink’, are both spectacular.

 Bees love the white flowers of Styrax.

As for evergreens, compact magnolia grandifloras are attractive and hardy to zone six. A relative newcomer is a variegated cream and green cryptomeria called C. ‘Sekkan-sugi’. Its soft white and green foliage lights up any patio. Another unusual favourite is the umbrella pine Sciadopitys verticillate from Japan. A very elegant plant, its long, glossy needles are soft to the touch. A year-round golden spruce (Picea ‘Skylands’) is quite at home in a container and stays fairly narrow. Clumping bamboo will also add a nice touch and sound to a patio.

All these plants are either the right size for use on a patio, or they can be easily pruned to provide an attractive surround. Light them through all the seasons with traditional clear LED lights or with some of the new clear wire lights to add a magical touch to your outdoor space.

Adding hummingbird feeders and specialty feeders to your patio trees will create great interest and the birds will aid in insect control. Now is a great time to enrich your patio experience for late summer, fall and winter by incorporating trees and lighting on your patio.

Related

Brian Minter: Gardening in the Euro zone

Featuring single stems in a collection of glass vases is very trendy.

In January of last year, I was in Essen, Germany, attending the International Plant Fair, the world’s largest horticultural show, and what an eye-opener! From a horticultural and design perspective, it was a game changer. Europe has a population of over 700 million people, and many have a passion for plants and flowers, but even so, to see how far ahead they have surged was remarkable.

The first noticeable trend was the many new varieties, colours and combinations of tropical plants, such as the fabulous new tradescantias. The very tightly compacted white, green and pink T. ‘Nanouk’ was particularly unusual. It would be ideal used as a windowsill novelty or in summer as an outdoor hanging basket stunner. All our typically green crinkled peperomias were featured in unusual colours, such as the almost-black P. ‘Red Lion’ or the richly pinkish-brown P. ‘Quito.’ These, and so many others, offered great opportunities for some innovative combination planters.

 Female skimmia looks great as a potted patio plant.

The strong interest in succulents was enhanced by the many varieties of easy-to-grow trailing rhipsalis. There were so many species displayed in baskets and spilling over tall containers, they looked fabulous. Well-suited to today’s stark, clean lines, they will provide a new modern look for indoor decors.

I seldom saw design-conscious exhibitors display a tropical plant in an ordinary plastic pot. The most frequently used container was a white or black ceramic pot that complemented the style and colour of the plant. Glass containers that showed the soil and the roots, as well as the foliage and flowers, were also widely utilized. Talk about transparency! It was not just about the plant; it was always about the presentation of value adding.

Bulbs, too, were featured very differently. The focus was as much on the bulb itself as it was on the foliage and the flowers. The bulbs were not planted in the ground, but rather grown on top of the soil for a more natural and organic look. It was a beautiful concept.

Taking it one step further, larger bulbs were also waxed and painted. At Christmas, painted amaryllis bulbs are not uncommon, but in Europe they were doing the same with hyacinth bulbs. Seeing them planted in glass was truly remarkable.

Their floral designs were also over the top, but I noted two distinct trends. The importance of a single flower was huge. I particularly enjoyed a presentation of vases that were held together in narrow containers and featured one flower stem per vase. The other trend was mixed bouquets of everything you could imagine blooming at any time of the year. It was refreshingly natural and quite simple.

The new roses and ranunculus were bred to have the traditional old-fashioned garden appeal, but with a difference—green centres, called “green islands.” They looked stunning.

In European small space gardens and on patios, trees and shrubs are used like flowering plants. Boxwood, for example, would never be seen in a nursery pot, but rather in a beautiful container and pruned as a ball, a narrow pyramid or as some other unique form. New varieties of both male and female skimmias were not for the garden, but rather the patio. This is true of so many trees and shrubs that we often take for granted.

Here in North America, we have a long way to go to catch up with both European gardeners and growers. Fortunately, they have certainly opened some doors for us.

Related