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A couple of new plants from the U.K. that will no doubt make their way over here in the next few years; plus news about possible redevelopment of Minter Gardens near Chilliwack B.C.
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

June 26, 2016

Ray Evison’s new Clematis Nubia Evipo59; and ‘Blue Marvel’ Salvia. Below two shots of Brian Minter in his famous Minter Gardens, now closed.
Author photos.




Visitors to Great Britain’s HTA National Plant Show, sponsored by Hortipak, have voted Clematis Nubia Evipo59 from Darby Nursery Stock as best in show at the New Plant Awards. The Visitor Vote Award, sponsored by Floramedia, proved extremely popular and with over 100 entries in this year’s awards visitors were spoilt for choice.

Clematis Nubia Evipo59, bred by Ray Evison’s Guernsey Clematis, is a stunning compact free flowering Clematis with striking deep red flowers with red anthers.

Salvia Blue Marvel from Darby Nursery Stock has been crowned best in show at the New Plant Awards on the opening morning of the show. The show, sponsored by Hortipak, takes place June 21 and 22 at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry.

The New Plant Awards, sponsored by the RHS, are the beating heart of the show and create an area bursting with inspiration for visitors.

Salvia Blue Marvel is a striking deep blue Salvia with the largest flowers of this type of Salvia. It re-blooms reliably over a long period.

Judging Panel member Jim Gardiner, Executive Vice-President of RHS comments, “As a panel of judges we were really thrilled with the large number of new plants put forward. The quality and vibrancy of new plant introductions is in good hands in this country.”

He adds, “The judges were really excited by the quality of all the category winners. However, the best in show, Salvia Blue Marvel, was for all of us a revelation in breeding of an already established herbaceous plant. The flower quality and in particular the size of Salvia Blue Marvel was quite exceptional. This plant will see uses far beyond the herbaceous border.”

* * *

One of British Columbia’s most famous gardens, which closed to the public in 2013, may soon be sold to a developer with plans to build housing on part of the site.

“We have for the past two years had several offers from various folks on the property,” said Minter Gardens owner Brian Minter, who still runs Minter Country Garden Ltd., which includes a garden store and café.

“We have one (offer) right now, but it doesn’t close until July 18. Most (of the offers) have not closed, just to be frank with you, for whatever reason. But, this one looks promising.

“(The potential buyer) is a local fellow and he is hoping to keep the core of the gardens open as far as I know and find a way to make that happen and keep the restaurant going perhaps, and put housing on the perimeter.”

Brian Minter wouldn’t divulge any other details of the proposal for the site, which he and his family have maintained since closing Minter Gardens to the public three years ago. “I’m not at liberty to talk about it until July 18 because we signed an agreement.”

In 1977, the Minters discovered a piece of land nestled beneath Mount Cheam in Chilliwack and, by 1980, had transformed it into the 13-hectare (32-acre) world-famous Minter Gardens.

Minter said that while there have been no public tours of the gardens since 2013, he didn’t let it fall apart. “We’ve put a lot of passion and love into the place and we just couldn’t let it go be-hind.”


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