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More of the very nice flowers in our garden on Vancouver Island right now.
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

August 7, 2016

Our gorgeous oriental lily ‘Casa Blanca’; and the white Butterfly bush both in bloom now. Author photos.




Following up on last week’s article here, I thought I should make mention of a few other interesting items that are in bloom in our garden here in Parksville now.

To follow on directly from what I was writing about last week—the lilies—one particular one that I did not mention or show was the pure white Oriental lily ‘Casa Blanca’. Courtesy of the birds (as mentioned last week) we now have this one in a number of places in the garden, and the fragrance is absolutely stunning.

Our butterfly bushes (Buddleia davidii) are also in flower now, although just slightly past their best today. We have three of them now; all in one area of the garden. Our white one is the tallest—now reaching a height of four metres. The purple one runs it a close second as to height; while a yellow one—which was the first one we planted a decade ago—has the most branches and girth of trunk.

Though in Ontario and similar climates, they usually need to be cut back almost to the ground each spring, but here in British Columbia they are considered an invasive species and only require general pruning to keep them in-bounds.

In addition to Buddleia davidii as mentioned, there is another species of this tree/shrub known as Alternate Leaf Butterfly Bush (Buddleia alternifolia) that grows well both here and in parts of southern Ontario.

Alternate Leaf Butterfly Bush features showy panicles of fragrant lilac purple flowers at the ends of the branches from mid-summer to mid-fall. The flowers are excellent for cutting. It has green foliage throughout the season. It is a sizeable garden shrub with showy purple-blue flowers in late summer when little else blooms, and at-tracts butterflies; may be treated as a perennial and cut back to the ground each spring as it regrows vigorously and blooms on new wood.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to your garden, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Comparing B. davidii with B alternifolia one must conclude I think, that B. davidii is much more spectacular in the garden, and of course comes in quite a list of flower colours.

That is about all I have time to write about this week, I hope you have an enjoyable week in your garden!


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