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More about our garden here in Parksville; and a major prize for Sheridan Nurseries
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale


Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at

April 24, 2016

Above, Berberis x gladwynensis 'William Penn' has grown immensely since it was planted about ten years ago. It is in full bloom here, and its width exceeds two metres. Our Rhododendrons are either in full bud or already in bloom, as is the case with the ‘Yak’s Princess’ shown here. Below, this is the evergreen Mexican orange flower (Choisya ternata), followed by a typical herbaceous perennial border from Sher-idan Nurseries. Author photos.




Here’s a few words and look at three more of the spring-flowering plants currently in bloom in our garden here in Parksville.

I’ll start with one of our evergreen barberries (Berberis x gladwynensis 'William Penn') currently in full bloom. This plant’s gently arching branches will grow to a height and spread of two metres (6’+) and can be used as a barrier hedge which will pretty well keep animals and people out of any particular area. The branches are well thorned! This is a great plant for drought conditions, and since it is also resistant to deer damage an excellent plant for us here on Vancouver Island.

My second plant for today is a small Rhododendron we have had for almost a decade. R. ‘Yaku Princess’ presents a significant range of flower colours. The buds start out a strong pink and that colour carries on to the flowers as they begin to open fully. Once open, the flower colour begins to bleach out, and as the flowers finish they are almost a creamy white.

This is a great Rhodo for a small garden, or if the climate is mild enough, for growing in a container on a deck or patio.

Finally today a little bit about an evergreen shrub, also not too hardy, so not advised for climates such as Ontario and Québec. Mexican orange flower is the plant’s name (Choisya ternata) that has fragrant white flowers about this time each spring. It prefers to grow in good bright light, but not necessarily in full bright sun. We have never seen insects on this plant although it is said that they can attract slugs and snails and may become infested by red spider mites.

Still lots of other plants to write about in our garden here and perhaps I’ll do that within the next two weeks.

* * *

Sheridan Nurseries, Canada’s largest garden centre retailer and grower, has received the prestigious accolade of “one of Canada’s Greenest Employers” by Mediacorp Canada, for its continued commitment to the environment and sustainability.

Winning employers are evaluated on the following criteria: Unique environmental initiatives; Successful in reducing their own environmental footprint; Employee involvement in the pro-gram; and Environmental initiatives are linked to the employer’s public identity

Karl. E. Stensson, CEO & President at Sheridan said: “Receiving the Canada’s Greenest Employers award is an outstanding honour for Sheridan Nurseries. This award is a result of passion, commitment and dedication by our entire team to achieve our environmental goals in all areas of our business. As a company that was founded on outdoor plants, our standards of excellence for everything ‘green’ is a reflection of our company values for over 100 years.”

A few of the reasons why Sheridan Nurseries was selected as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers:

• Noting its "green-thumb" line of business, Sheridan Nurseries is uniquely positioned to offer educational programmes in the community, including the "Little Digger" programme to intro-duce children to the plant life-cycle, the "Growing-up Green" school outreach programme and the LEAF programme to highlight native plant species.

• Construction of a massive water recapture pond to collect rainwater and water run-off from its growing operations—the 117 million litre pond naturally filters water through a series of settling ponds and has significantly reduced the company's water draw from local sources.

Richard Yerema, Managing Editor at Mediacorp says “Today, we’ve moved well beyond the business case to the point where we can say that a large part of Canadian society now expects the organizations they deal with to incorporate sustainable business practices into their operations.

Karl Stensson added: “We believe building a culture of sustainability into our workplace is intrinsically linked to who we are as a company and our brand. It has always been a part of what we do, and now is considered in every new venture and project we undertake.”


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