Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Plants in Motion

Blog Image May 5, 2015

With an abundance of vertical structures available for our garden spaces, we’ve brought in colorful, climbing annual vines to match.  Ready to scale even the tallest trellis in a single season, annual vines are growing in popularity as they’re easy to grow and are an effective way to beautify a wall or fence, or to create a privacy screen. All annual vines have similar requirements; they like full sun, they like to be moist but not wet, and when fed a regular diet of 15-30-15 fertilizer, will produce an abundance of blooms all summer long.   Once established, vines require little attention, perhaps just a little cutting back to control unwanted spreading.

Our latest arrivals, Moonflower and Morning Glory, are fascinating ‘plants in motion’ which open and close their flowers throughout the day and night!

Moonflower Vine: The Moonflower Ipomea alba is a popular fragrant variety which opens in the evening with an enticing sweet fragrance and lasts through the night until touched by the morning sun. Its petals curl up and these flowers sleep during the day.  The Moonflower is the ideal plant for anyone who loves being in the evening garden!  On a warm summer night, Moonflowers can open in a matter of several minutes.  Large, heart-shaped leaves further enhance this attractive vine. Moonflowers can reach heights of up to 10 or more feet, happily twining around anything within their reach.

Morning Glory Vine:  Morning Glory was first known in China for its medicinal uses. It was introduced to the Japanese in the 9th century, and they were the first to cultivate it as an ornamental flower. The Japanese have led the development of hundreds of varieties and Morning Glory has come to symbolize summer in Japanese horticulture and art.  Morning Glory flowers are funnel-shaped blossoms in white, red, blue, purple and yellow.  In early morning they unravel into full bloom and after a few hours the petals start to curl up and close.  A favorite heirloom variety arrived this week, watch for Sunrise Serenade, a stunning ruby-rose double flowering morning glory.

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Heaven Sent! An Early Spring

Blog Image May 3, 2015

By golly spring has sprung! It’s hard to believe that just overnight we’ve burst into bud and bloom! An exceptionally warm, early spring like this doesn’t come our way very often, and as glorious as it feels, it also catches us gardeners a little off guard. We’re tempted to frantically plant our tomato plants and herb baskets, and to pot up our containers with colorful annuals and perennials.  But remember, Mother Nature is a quirky lady, and she may have a cold spell or even a frost up her sleeve! In our area, we’ve experienced frost as late as June 7, a tragedy for newly planted bedding plants.

So what’s a gardener to do with an early spring?

Take this time to start from the ground up. We suggest amending the soil in your beds by adding compost and manure. Thatch, aerate and topseed your lawn. Check your garden tools and tune up your mower – are they sharpened and ready for action?  Taking care of these fundamentals before you begin planting will ensure that you have a successful gardening season with thriving plants. And if you just can’t wait to see some colorful flowers, play it safe by potting up some cold-tolerant pansies or a few fresh hanging baskets that are easy to bring indoors in case a frost threatens.

Patience is a gardener’s virtue!

Hours of Inspiration




Shelmerdine Garden Centre Ltd.

7800 Roblin Boulevard
Headingley, MB R4H 1B6

Phone: 204.895.7203
Fax: 204.895.4372
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