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Van Belle Flowers & Gifts 1-800-263-8008

LET’S GET GROWING Naturally, Proven Winners plants are pretty, but it’s the remarkable way they flourish from spring through fall that makes all the difference. So, when it’s time to dress up your front entrance to boost your home’s curb appeal or improve the view out your kitchen window, Proven Winners is at your service. We are honored that you’ve trusted us for over 20 years to enhance your garden with exquisite flowers and plants. Cheers to another amazing season!

Find Proven Winners at your local retailers. For a listing of retailers visit






Spring 2018 Lineup of Classes


The Dirt On Dirt


Nature’s Nurture




Gardening With The Kids


Queen of Vines


The Colour Purple - Garden Style


Look Good, Feel Great

This publication may not be reproduced, all or in part, without written consent from the publisher and Van Belle Flowers. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all content in the publication, however, the publisher will not be held accountable for omissions or errors. Note that products may vary between retailers and regions, and supplies may be limited. Pricing is subject to change and is not valid with any other offer. Home & Garden Showplace is a registered trademark for use by its members, of which the Garden Centre Group Co-Op is an alliance member. A selection of photos in this magazine provided by Proven WinnersÂŽ.



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A Bright Idea!


special moments

flowers for all occasions

Anniversary Birthday Thinking of You Sympathy Prom Get Well Baby Special Occasions

SPRING 2018 • 5

Van Belle's is thrilled to announce our

SPRING 2018 LINEUP OF CLASSES! Register online at to RSVP to any of our events

Trendy Tropical Planter You design and create a 14” all foliage outdoor planter.

Saturday, June 2 at 2:00 pm - RSVP $125.00 plus tax

Herb-alicious Basket

Create a cutting herb planter that you will enjoy all summer long.

Saturday, May 26 at 2:00 pm - RSVP $60.00 plus tax

Ladies’ Night

Oh, yes it’s Ladies Night. Sign up with your daughters and girl friends to make a BOHO flower wreath, enjoy a glass of sparkling beverage, gourmet items and SAVE 25% on all fashion items.

Friday, June 1 from 6:30-9:00 pm $15.00 plus tax for BOHO Flower Wreath – RSVP 6 • VAN BELLE FLOWERS - 800-263-8008 - VANBELLEFLOWERS.COM

Birdcage Succulent Hanger Using a variety of succulents, Hens & Chicks, and mosses, create this unique birdcage planter.

Friday, June 8 at 6:30 pm - RSVP $125.00 plus tax

Succulent Terrarium

Plant a beautiful glass container filled with fun and feisty succulent plants.

Saturday, June 9 at 2:00 pm - RSVP $70.00 plus tax

Bloom and Grow Personalized Classes

Van Belle’s would be honoured to facilitate a “private class” for groups of 15 or more for any of our classes, or we can customize one specifically for you. From bachelorette to birthday parties, or just for a fun evening, Van Belle’s staff would be thrilled to accommodate any party at our location in Courtice. Cancellation Policy: All classes are payable in full upon registration. If cancelled 48 hours prior to class, a Van Belle’s gift card will be issued for the amount. If cancelled within 48 hours of the class, the amount will not be reimbursed but a “class kit” will be available for you for pick up. Van Belle Flowers has the right to cancel a class with 7 days prior notice.

Swanky Succulent Wreath Sign up to make your own 14” wreath, designed with succulents, Hens & Chicks, and a variety of mosses.

Friday, June 15 at 6:30 pm - RSVP $75.00 plus tax

Modern Wall Hanger

Be the talk of the town with this modern tin wall hanger, overflowing with easy to care for succulents.

Saturday, June 16 at 2:00 - RSVP $80.00 plus tax SPRING 2018 • 7

Elegant & beautiful wedding designs. from

VAN BELLE FLOWERS Photo courtesy of Heather Prosser Photography.

Satvhee Date


Mark your calendars with these special dates, so you won’t miss any of our Christmas events. ANNUAL CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE Friday, Nov. 2



Thursday & Friday Nights, Saturday, Nov. 15 - Dec. 8 (Sign up online for Classes begins October 1)








• For 50 % more vegetables and fruits, 50 % bigger plants and 50 % larger bloom* • Organic Formulation and OMRI approved

• Ideal to encourage quick establishment of roots • For general garden use, vegetables and flowers 1 800 667-5366 VISIT PROMIXGARDENING.COM PRO-MIX® is a registered trademark of Premier Tech Ltd. or its affiliated companies © Premier Tech Ltd. All rights reserved. * When compared to unfertilized plants. For optimal results feed every 3-4 weeks. / En comparaison avec des plants non fertilisés. Pour des résultats optimaux, fertiliser toutes les 3-4 semaines.



DIRT By John DeGroot, DeGroot’s Nurseries, Sarnia, Ontario


hat can we add to soil to rejuvenate it? Let’s look at the most common soil amendments to get the scoop on healthy soil.

PEAT MOSS: Hands down, peat moss has always been every green thumber’s favourite soil amendment. Peat moss helps sandy soil hold moisture and loosens clay soil to improve drainage. Peat moss improves all important soil texture but does little to improve soil fertility. Use liberal amounts and mix thoroughly with your existing soil.

BONE MEAL: Use bone meal to build soil fertility. Bone meal contains lots of phosphorous for bigger bolder blooms and stronger roots. Bone meal improves all soils, and especially benefits roses, bulbs and blooming plants. Bone meal releases slowly and steadily, keeping your plants healthy over time.

BLOOD MEAL: High in nitrogen and fast acting, blood meal is a perfect complement to bone meal, which is why they are often mixed together in the same package. Use blood meal to give anemic plants an organic shot in the arm. Blood meal has the added benefit of repelling mice and other unwanted rodents.

MANURE: Like compost, manure improves the structure of soil while increasing its organic nutrient value. Mix manure up to 50/50 with your existing soil. And no, there is little difference between sheep, cow, horse and your neighbour’s manure. If you are a city slicker with a pickup truck you might be able to bum manure from a country farmer friend. If not, bagged manure is odour-free and more highly concentrated.

GREEN MANURE: Follow the advice of an old farmer and grow a green manure cover crop for a year. In the fall plough the crop into the soil and your garden will be grateful. Use alfalfa, sorghum, legumes, clover or any annual crop that will produce lots of vegetation. Green manure serves as a source of food and energy, stimulating valuable microbial activity in soil. Other benefits are a reduction of weeds in your garden patch and improvement in soil aeration.


To break up the heaviest clay soil, spread gypsum on the surface. Be generous and put down about 20 kilograms of gypsum for every 100 square metres of surface area. Repeat for three consecutive years. Gypsum contains calcium and sulfur, but will not boost general fertility.

LIME: My high school chemistry teacher taught that if soil is too acidic, plants are unable to use nutrients that probably already exist in the soil. The solution is to add lime in order to raise the pH and sweeten or neutralize the soil. Apply 10kg dolomitic lime per 100 square metres of surface area. The application of lime may also serve to reduce moss and mushroom formation. While lime is not a moss killer, it will neutralize highly acidic soil where moss often thrives.


COMPOST: Let’s define compost as anything organic that has sufficiently broken down to look like rich dark soil. Compost can include everything from egg shells to leaves, to grass clippings, to banana peels. Compost trumps most other soil amendments because it improves soil texture and is chock full of nutrients. Mix generous amounts of compost with your existing soil.


KNOW THE DIRT.” ...Tips and tricks to optimize your dirt.

MULCH: Good gardeners know that mulch is the ticket to healthy soil and strong plant growth. Mulch keeps weeds down, retains soil moisture, reduces temperature fluctuations and insulates soil to minimize winter injury. Like the forest floor, organic mulches break down over time, contributing to soil health. Top up once a year to refresh appearance and maintain a depth of 2 to 3 inches. SPRING 2018 • 11

Nature’s NURTURE! By Tanya Olsen Royal City Nursery, Guelph, Ontario

• Sunlight: Soaking up the sun provides an influx of vitamin D and the fresh air is good for your body and your soul! • Getting in touch with nature: While we may not have the time for a walk in the woods, gardening for even 20 minutes will help create the primal connection to nature lost with the pressures of daily life. • You create a space that is beautiful and restful. Our garden centre’s mission is to assist in the creation of your outdoor living space, to suit your lifestyle, as an extension of the indoor space.


ith an increasing awareness of the value of gardening as a means to reduce daily stress and anxiety, the therapeutic benefits of nature and cultivated horticulture have been sought after for generations. The Japanese have a medical practice called forest bathing or Shinrin-yoku (森林浴) which is literally a short leisurely trip to a forest. The theory is that “visiting a forest for relaxation and recreational purposes provides the opportunity to breathe in wood based essential oils like α-Pinene (a bronchodilator that increases air flow to the lungs) and limonene (antimicrobial volatile organic compounds) emitted from trees to protect them from rotting and insects.” forest-bathing In Canada, the profession and study of horticulture therapy is growing rapidly. Many hospitals, nursing homes and mental health facilities have established horticulture therapy programs as part of their mainstream practices. Study after study shows that if we take the therapeutic concepts that benefit patient, staff and visitor, and apply them on a smaller scale, we can bring the anti-stress benefits home.

• Reaping the rewards of the garden through wildlife and bird observation and a harvest of vegetables, fruits or cut flowers for your kitchen table.

When you start your healing garden experience, the active benefits include physical activity, cognitive stimulation and a sense of accomplishment. The more passive benefits include:

• The calming effects of being in the moment as you view your green space through the window. Simply put, we decrease our illness recovery time if we enjoy the view!


In order to realize the benefits, we need to engage and connect with the landscape. Keep in mind that it is not so much gardening itself that is the key to stress reduction, so much as the way it is approached. Healing gardens can be gardens created for a single purpose or existing gardens renovated to include new ideas. Before you head to the garden centre to start creating a healing garden at your own home or office, here are a few recommendations:

1. Understand the available space you have. A healing garden does not need to be large. A collection of pots on the balcony can bring as much value as a fully landscaped backyard, if that is the space you have. Know how much sun or shade the space will receive so the plants can thrive properly.

2. Think about your overall maintenance requirements and be realistic about how much time and energy you will need. Your independent garden centre can help you plan for both available space and required efforts. Your landscape must suit your lifestyle. If the garden is at its best when you are not home, it is not functional. To reap the benefits of the experience you have to be in the space. When you come home after a long day, what better way to unwind than to sit on your patio and see the lights turn on one by one and reflect off the white edges of your favorite variegated plant, or watch the dusk blooming pond lilies and perennials come to life.

To make your garden effective:

1. Select plants that tickle all


five senses. How the garden sounds, Summer Photo courtesy of Proven Winners smells or feels - will transport you to another time. To harvest is to taste the garden. Winter When engaging your sense Fall of sight, don’t forget the views out your window during winter, as landscapes should be functional 365 days a year, both up close and from a distance.

2. Choose plants to signal the change of seasons and place them where you can see them from your window or as you enter the house. The blooms of a forsythia mean spring, the changing colours of a maple triggers memories of playing in

piles of leaves on a crisp fall day, while the dark green of a white spruce tree provides shelter in the winter. Sage, be it ornamental or edible, reminds everyone it is time to get into the summer BBQ season.

3. Bring the outdoors in with the use of a small greenhouse. If you don’t have room for a greenhouse structure, use a row cover on your vegetables to extend the season, or start seeds indoors with a mini greenhouse tray, available in the seed section of your independent garden centre.

Specific plants known to reduce stress… OUTDOORS Lavender – A fragrant Mediterranean perennial herb to reduce irritability and prompt relaxation. The essential oil can be consumed as tea or in a dried form. Chamomile – The dried flowers make a tasty tea, whose compounds assist in feeling calm. Lemon Balm – Used to reduce anxiety and help with sleep. It is also a magnet for pollinating insects. St John’s Wort – A small easy to grow shrub, hardy to Zone 5. Tablets can be found in health food stores to help treat depression and insomnia.

INDOORS Studies have reported many benefits to keeping plants indoors – not just for their psychological effects, but because many of our simple houseplants will help clean the air we breathe of chemicals and toxins. Use these sustainable solutions for improved air quality in both your home, your office or your dorm room or in a living wall! Spider Plant – One of the best for air exchange, as the daughter plants (plants produced by aerial roots) develop thick fleshy roots outside of the soil. These fleshy roots exchange gases and airborne nutrients quickly and easily. Peace Lily and English Ivy – Both have large volumes of leaves with porous openings on their undersides called stomata. These stomata release moisture into the air through transpiration, oozing humidity. Use these to help fight the dreaded winter cold and boost the overall humidity of a room by as much as 5%. Janet Craig Dracaena – With a high transpiration (gas exchange) rate, this plant will filter the local toxins and volatile organic compounds in the air. Whether you are just starting out with a raised vegetable garden, a pot overflowing with your grandmother’s favourite flowers or you are creating your first dynamic garden at your home, it is important to recognize that it is YOUR space. Go on, get your hands dirty! The benefits of your healing garden and your staycation are only a few short steps away! Happy planting! SPRING 2018 • 13


Beer and Honey BBQ Chicken Skewers Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 15 mins Total Time: 20 mins

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Cut chicken in small pieces, about 1 ½ inch cubes. 2. In a medium bowl whisk all the ingredients together. Add chicken. There should be enough marinade to cover the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours to 24 hours.

Incredibly delicious Beer and Honey BBQ Chicken Skewers – Perfect for a weekend or even a busy week night. Just prepare the night before, let marinate overnight and grill when ready.

3. Fire up grill.

Servings: 6 Calories: 197 kcal per serving

5. Place chicken on grill and turn every couple minutes or so, at the same time brushing some of the leftover marinade over the chicken. Grill until chicken is cooked through.

INGREDIENTS 3 cloves minced garlic ¾ cup beer 1/3 cup honey 1 tsp red pepper flakes 1 tsp Dijon mustard ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce 1 tbsp olive oil 4 chicken breasts cut into small cubes cilantro for garnish 14

4. Thread chicken on skewers, about 5 pieces per skewer. Do not throw away leftover marinade.

6. Garnish with cilantro and serve. RECIPE NOTES Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.

Healthy Kale Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette Prep Time: 10 mins This Kale Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette is fresh and delicious, loaded with good for you ingredients like kale, blueberries and apples then drizzled with a yummy blueberry vinaigrette! Servings: 6 Calories: 278 kcal

INGREDIENTS 8 cups curly kale leaves stems removed and finely chopped 1 tbsp fresh lime juice 1 tbsp olive oil salt and pepper to taste 1 apple, cored and sliced 1 cup fresh blueberries 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced ½ cup crumbled feta cheese 2 tbsp sunflower seeds FOR BLUEBERRY VINAIGRETTE ½ cup fresh blueberries 3 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp honey 1 tsp balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp water salt and pepper to taste INSTRUCTIONS 1. In a large bowl add the kale, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss really well making sure that all the kale is covered in oil and lime juice. 2. Add the chopped apples, blueberries, avocado, feta cheese and sunflower seeds. 3. In a blender add all the vinaigrette ingredients and blend until smooth. 4. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve. JO COOKS, JOANNA CISMARU Jo knows her readers so well they might as well be neighbours. She has a sixth sense for what they want to make on any given day, from warming comfort foods like chicken noodle soup to morning indulgences like iced cinnamon rolls. She also knows what’s in their cupboards (never calling for something that’s hard to find) and how much time they’ve got to cook. Add to that her spunky attitude, her endearing writing style and her love of food, and it’s clear why she’s so loved.

Available at select Garden Centres.


1/2 package of mix Cup of mayo / cup of sour cream Great for veggies, potatoe chips, pretzals or bread sticks

Baked Parmesan Artichoke Dip ½ cup (4oz) cream cheese ½ cup (4oz) real mayonnaise 3 tbsp Dip Mix ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 can (13.75 oz) artichoke hearts (drained and chopped) 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional) Squeeze out excess liquid from artichokes. In a small bowl, combine dip blend, mayonnaise, cream cheese & grated Parmesan. Stir in artichoke hearts. Transfer to a heat-proof dish. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired. Bake in a 180° C (350°F) oven until hot, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with crusty sourdough French bread, breadsticks, pita chips or crackers.

SPRING 2018 • 15





YOUR LOVE FOR NATURE By Bernie Whetter The Green Spot Home & Garden, Brandon, Manitoba


ardening is one of the most rewarding experiences we can share with our children. It is a chance to spend time together learning about the natural world, enjoying the outdoors, growing and harvesting food, and appreciating being in the moment. There is no greater way to pass on a respect for nature and a love for living things than teaching our children about gardening. Here are some ideas to help get your kids involved. During the winter months, do some research with your children to choose plants for the garden and help them learn the benefits of each, to allow them to think about questions such as: why are carrots good for your eyes? Do sunflowers make good wild bird food? How do marigolds keep pests away? What makes a zinnia attract a monarch butterfly? How can beans make nitrogen available to the soil? Does catnip really attract cats and repel aphids? If we plant basil beside a tomato, will the tomato taste better?

Once you have put together a list of candidates, have your child make the final selection and let the excitement for spring begin. Seeds are available at your local garden centre early in the new year, and frequent visits keep the kids interested in growing plants. It’s also a good time to collect child friendly garden tools with short handles and ergonomic grips. Tools that are brightly colored will add an element of fun.

"Grandpa, will you come to the garden with me?"


It is important that the garden is a fun place to be, so create activities around the work. Kids love to play, they love to make things, and they are all about motion so make an “activity centre” right in the garden. Build a play structure or shelter to provide protection from the sun, rain, and wind, and that can house a small table, a couple of chairs and a small storage container

for paper, crayons, paints etc. Drafting a garden map is a good starter project making areas for vegetables, flowers, butterfly gardens and the activity centre. Incorporating an entrance gate and walking paths will make the space more interesting. Garden projects relating to nature will allow for learning opportunities. Pressed leaves and flowers provide a great lesson in botany and can be used to make cards. Have a picnic or a tea party and enjoy fresh produce from the garden for snacks. Draw and colour pictures of things you see in the garden like flowers, bugs, and birds. Children can make signs for each variety of plant in the garden on waterproof paper stapled to a short stake. With some soil, pots, and bedding plants, make a hanging basket or a planter that can be displayed in the garden or used on the patio. Ant farm kits can be purchased and once populated will capture the attention of children as the ants busily go about their daily chores in full view. Other additions to the garden will complement the experience. If a building is nearby, set up a rain barrel under a downspout. Not only will the kids have a source of water for the garden, but they will also learn about

conserving natural resources. Start a compost pile in the back corner. A rain gauge and a windsock or a wind spinner will make the kids aware of the earth’s elements. A bird house, lady bug house, and a mason bee house will provide living quarters to beneficial friends in the garden and provide interesting viewing. Add a bench for relaxation after the day’s hard work and a garden gnome for good luck. The biggest challenge is to create incentive to maintain the garden. Weeding can feel like a chore, even for adults, but if done frequently for short time periods, added to the compost pile and rewarded with a game or snack, it can become fun. By giving your child their own watering can, you can help them take ownership over keeping the plants well hydrated. On a hot day, get the hose and sprinkler out and combine watering the garden with water play. Even though harvest is some of the hardest work, digging potatoes and carrots, the fruits of their labour, just might be enough gratification to retain their interest. One of the most rewarding activities I had with my children was planting a tree. About the same time as my oldest began school, we planted a small tree. Every year, on the first day of school, we took a picture of her and later on, her brother. These became treasures as we watched both the children and the tree grow and flourish. Above all, let the children make the decisions (or at least feel like they are making the decisions). Keep it fun and always be willing to respond with a resounding YES! when asked “Grandpa, will you come to the garden with me?”

SPRING 2018 • 19

Queen of Vines By Brian Minter, Minter Country Garden, Chilliwack, British Columbia


lematis truly are the ‘queen of vines’ in terms of hardiness, resilience and massive colour over a significant part of the spring, summer and into the fall. Many new varieties debut every year, each bringing something unique to the vine table. One clematis family, however, is often overlooked, according to Rob Wein of Clearview Horticultural Products, one of the largest clematis growers in our country.

“When folks go into garden stores, the tendency is to buy the newest varieties and those in bloom,” says Wein. “There are so many beautiful early-bloomers out there, they are hard to resist. The ones not in bloom, however, tend to be passed over, and it’s a huge miss for our summer gardens.”

"The 'C group' is for charming. Beautiful Clematis to be enjoyed all summer every summer!"

According to Wein, what’s being overlooked are the summer-bloomers, otherwise know as ‘group C’ clematis. Their blossoms are not as large as some of the early-blooming stalwarts, but they produce in great profusion and over a long period of time (8-12 weeks) during the summer when you will enjoy them the most. Among the hardiest (zone 3) of the clematis family, they are also some of the most disease and pest resistant.

Wein says ‘group C’ varieties will grow almost anywhere in our country if they get some sunlight. In areas that have very hot summers, it may be best to plant them in a morning sun location with some protection or shade from the day’s most intense heat. Wein recommends planting a smaller shrub in front of the clematis to shade its roots in extreme heat situations. Some of Wein’s favourite group C varieties are: • “Jackmanii” and “Jackmanii Superba” are among the most well-known in this group, often blooming from June through September with 4 to 6-inch (10-15cm) flowers. • “Ville de Lyon”, a striking red with a silver sheen, is another great one. Again, with 4 to 6-inch blooms (10-15cm).



Ville de Lyon



Comtesse de Bouchard

• For a white, “Huldine” is one of the best performers. Its massive display of 3 to 4-inch (8-10cm) blooms is outstanding.

• “Polish Spirit” is a very strong flowering Polish introduction with small 3 to 4-inch (8-10 cm) deep purple flowers produced June through September.

• “Honora” has attractive velvety red-violet purple blooms and is a great performer.

• “Venosa Violacea” has streaked purple veins on a white background with six petaled 4 to 6-inch (10-15cm) flowers.

• “Comtesse de Bouchard” is one of the better pinks, producing lots of 4 to 6-inch (10-15 cm) blooms. • “Perle d’Azur”, a distinctive purple, also features 4 to 6-inch (10-15cm) blooms that fade to an attractive blue. • “Pink Fantasy”, one of the few bi-colours in this category, sports shell-pink blooms with rosy pink bars. • “Madame Julia Correvon” has 3 to 4-inch (8-10cm) deep wine-red flowers with twisted sepals. • “Rouge Cardinal” is a rich burgundy-crimson with attractive brown stamens that blooms from June till September with 4 to 6-inch (10-15cm) blossoms.

When planting clematis, make sure you prepare a planting hole about 18 inches deep. Then carefully set in the root ball and bury the stems about four inches below the top of the soil. Clematis are ‘stem rooting’ and if the top is broken, this will ensure a fast recovery from the root system. Be careful not to bend the stems when setting in the clematis roots. Water the clematis well to help get it established, but once growing, be sure not to overwater. Another nice thing about summer-blooming clematis is the ease of pruning. When they are beginning to decline at the end of summer, they can simply be pruned down to about 12 inches. Over time, as the stems become thicker, prune them back in stages, down to around 3 feet one year and down to 12 to 18 inches the next – this will lessen the shock to older plants. Any time the leaves look unsightly or get burnt in the sun, a simple haircut will clean them up, and they will soon grow back fresh leaves and blooms. Today, the emphasis is all about the new clematis varieties while the proven success stories are often passed over. So, when adding these wonderful vines to your garden, please consider these amazing summer-bloomers.

SPRING 2018 • 21

The Colour Purple GARDEN STYLE By Carla Hrycyna, St Marys Nursery and Garden Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba


he colour purple. Some may think of the movie or a familiar song, but it is so much more than that! Purple is a secondary colour that ranges from the warm tones of red-violet magentas to the cooler side of violet blues and lavenders, and harmonizes well with yellow. The 2018 inspired Pantone “Ultra Violet” colour was described as a “dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level.” Historical accounts show that for the Phoenicians the colour was valuable and rare due to the painstakingly difficult process of extracting the dye from sea snails. This shade was worn mostly by royalty and often associated with magic and religion. In Eastern cultures, and in Feng Shui, purple is associated with nobility, dignity and 22

abundance. The colour purple is viewed as peaceful, soothing and having spiritual qualities while also having a correlated reference to creativity and independence. Most recently, purple has taken on associations with contentment and passion and has come to symbolize success. In flowers, fruit and vegetables the pigment anthocyanin creates purples, reds and blues. The deep tones of these purple pigments protect the plant against harm from the sun while also acting as an attraction to pollinating insects. Purple fruits and vegetables also posssess medicinal qualities. Studies have shown that antioxidants produced by purple edibles can be effective in preventing diseases. Purple power foods can: • Reduce the risk of high blood pressure and lower cholesterol • Help prevent obesity and diabetes • Assist in lowering the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurological diseases • Reduce inflammation and therefore chronic disease • Aid cognitive functions • Have properties which help prevent urinary tract infections, fight ulcers, and reduce liver damage and diseases which affect cell development

In a garden design, plants with intense dark purple foliage and blooms add a vibrant colour element. These standout plants punctuate the landscape, providing depth and contrast. They can bring focus to a design as either an opposing tone or as a strong complement to yellows and greens.

BLOOMERANG LILACS – This fragrant lilac blooms in spring, and again mid-summer. Its small form will fit nicely into most gardens. Can be used to obtain cut flowers.

Whether choosing annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, fruits or vegetables, opt for purple to celebrate health and happiness for 2018.

SUPERTUNIA BORDEAUX PETUNIA – A vigorous petunia with a slightly mounded habit that functions as both filler and spiller in containers. The medium to large sized flowers are excellent landscape plants.

Top Pick Purples PERENNIALS

FOREVER PURPLE HEUCHERA – A coral bell variety with dramatically fluted, glossy deep purple leaves dressed with short purple-pink flowers. This perennial performs well in part shade to full shade. HIDCOTE AND MUNSTEAD LAVENDER – Lavender is coveted for its oils and beautiful fragrance, which are used as stress relievers. It is a tough plant, and drought-resistant once established. Plant in a sunny location, in an area protected from harsh winter winds.


FRAGRANT BLUE HELIOTROPE – Fragrant, long lasting flowers will attract butterflies and hummingbirds. An easy care annual that is great for containers or in the garden. PERSIAN SHIELD – This easy to care for plant is heat tolerant and boasts beautiful iridescent leaves of purple, green and silver. HONOURABLE MENTIONS – Morning Glory, Viola, Annual Sage, Salvia, Alyssum, Sweet Pea.





MILLENIUM ORNAMENTAL ALLIUM – This “Perennial of the Year” has bright, purple rounded flower clusters above a clump of glossy, green leaves. It is fragrant, late blooming and drought tolerant. HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Clematis, Bellflower, Dwarf Iris, Salvia, Verbena, Phlox, Veronica and Sage.

VEGGIES AND FRUIT FAIRY TALE EGGPLANT – A plant that produces mini 4” eggplants that are super tasty. Perfect for small gardens and patio pots. PURPLE BEAUTY PEPPER – The pepper this plant produces has a blocky full body with thick walls and a mild, sweet flavor. PURPLE RUFFLES BASIL – This plant has large and ruffled leaves, with a strong fragrance and flavour. It adds fantastic colour and flavour to herb vinegars. HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Blackberries, Blueberries, Purple Asparagus, Purple Cabbage, Purple Carrots, Purple Potatoes and Currants.

TREES AND SHRUBS ROYAL PURPLE SMOKEBUSH (COTINUS) – Its dramatic oval, deep purple leaves form masses with clouds of pink blooms. This compact, drought tolerant variety is a fantastic accent plant. Resists deer and rabbits. SPILLED WINE WEIGELA – A beautiful three foot purple foliage plant that produces bright pink blooms for the sunny garden. Easy to care for, grows wider than tall. Proven Winners Landscape plant of the year. Resists deer.

Photo courtesy of Proven Winners -

Attracts Hummingbirds

Attracts Bees

Attracts Butterflies SPRING 2018 • 23

Look Good, FEEL GREAT By Donna Moss, Meadow Acres Garden Centre, Petersburg, ON


pring 2018 is all about comfort, femininity and natural fibres with an upscale flair that won’t stress your wallet.

Your must have this summer is a pair of embroidered denim jeans. Featured here is a pair of distressed butterfly jeans topped with a beautiful feminine silk blend top with a flared sleeve and tie detail. Combine bold floral cotton blend shirts for a punch of colour with your basic jeans to make a statement and show off your personal style. Bamboo, linen, silk and cotton blends are staples that should be in every woman’s closet. Cotton and linen have always been favourite summer fabrics with our customers and are now making a strong showing in fashion boutiques. Look for pieces that will continue to grace your closet for several years. Mixing and matching with new pieces of jewellery will freshen up your look and will keep everyone wondering, “Is that a new outfit?”

Bamboo, linen, silk and cotton blends are staples that should be in every woman’s closet.

If you haven’t tried bamboo, you must! Bamboo keeps you cool and dry on the warmest of days and will carry you into the evening with comfort. A wide range of bamboo fashion will become staples in your closet. From tanks to bras, underwear, leggings and tops you will be singing bamboo’s praises to all of your girlfriends. A girl can never have enough shoes, sandals or boots. Whether it is a sandal, flats or bootie, footwear is as important as the clothes above the ankles. Your choice of footwear can make or break an overall look. Take your time and choose wisely. However if you like more than one look, why not purchase them all! The same is true for your handbags. Choose the one that says “Yes this is ME”.

Courtesy of Orange Fashion Village

Style should reflect your personality and taste. Check your image in the mirror before leaving your home. There is nothing worse than a dropped hem, a stain or a frayed seam. Step out of your home and wear those clothes with confidence and grace and you will receive compliments that will make you smile and confirm your choices. Remember when you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you look GREAT!!


Courtesy of Papa Fashions


Natural Mosquito Repellents

By Lynn Baarschers

osquitoes are great food for bats and birds, but a nuisance to people. Why not try planting some of these plants and allow their natural fragrances to help repel mosquitoes while you are enjoying your outdoor space. Although not proven scientifically, crushing the leaves and rubbing them onto your skin might help in repelling those pesky insects.


TENDER PERENNIAL Plant in pots. It can be used in cooking as an herb as well.



PERENNIAL Plant in pots as it can be invasive. Mint can also be used to flavour beverages.

PERENNIAL Plant in pots or the landscape. Mosquitoes dislike the lavender scent.

Lemon Grass

ANNUAL Plant in pots or the landscape. It can also be used in cooking.


ANNUAL Plant in pots. A member of the geranium family.


Available at

ANNUAL Plant in pots. Herb that has a pleasant aroma, and is easy to grow.

SPRING 2018 • 25


of the IAL

YEAR Photo courtesy of Proven Winners -

Ornamental Allium ‘Millennium’

Perennial produces compact clump, with rounded flower clusters, attracts bees, butterflies, and resists deer and rabbits.


$11.99 Reg. $14.99

Patio Peony

24” compact growth peony, features strong stems, upright flowers and is suitable for container gardening.


$23.99 REG. $27.99

NEW! Photo courtesy of Proven Winners -

Hosta Curly Fries

Compact, rippled leafed perennial is perfect for partial shade, rock gardens, walls or in containers.


$11.99 REG. $14.99

Stand By Me Clematis

Non-climbing, reblooming perennial with bell shaped flowers. It attracts hummingbirds.


$26.99 REG. $29.99

Photo courtesy of Proven Winners -

Sonic Bloom Weigela

Strong rebloomer with loads of hot pink flowers from May to frost. Attracts hummingbirds and repels deer.


$24.99 REG. $29.99

Hydrangea Revolution

Compact plant, flowers progress from green to all shades of pink or blue.


$28.99 REG. $32.99

Photo courtesy of Proven Winners -

Annabelle Hydrangea

Easy to grow, flowers most of the season.


$17.99 REG. $19.99


Bloomerang Lilac Bush

Blooms in spring and again in mid-summer, small habit fits most gardens, fragrant. Attracts butterflies.


$24.99 REG. $29.99

The Wonderful

Weigela Bush

A MUST HAVE in your garden!


ne of Van Belle’s favourite deciduous shrubs is the “My Monet” Weigela plant. We simply love its beautiful, stunning pink flowers that are nested between silvery, green leaves. This specimen or border plant will add flair and colour to any spring garden, or as an accent piece in a planter container. This weigela is very easy to care for, as it has few problems with insects or disease. It is a hardy shrub, requires little maintenance, and will enhance your garden for many years. “My Monet” Weigela blooms from April through to June, and the flowers can vary from lighter shades of pink (in shady area) to a more pink variegation when planted in full sun. Place in an area that has moist, well drained soil, and make sure

to leave room around it for potential growth. It typically grows 18-24” wide, and 12-18” tall, which could take some time, as it is considered a slow growing shrub. When planting, be sure to use a root stimulator, such as bone meal, to help the roots get established in the soil. Other weigelas require heavy pruning after their flowering season, where the “My Monet” only requires a light prune, at any time, to maintain its shape. It is also deer resistant. In the fall, browning leaves will fall early as a result of the plant going into dormancy, as it prepares for the winter months. “My Monet” Weigela attracts birds and butterflies to its showy flowers and is relatively low maintenance, this is why it is a MUST HAVE shrub for any garden and one of Van Belle’s favourite plants.



$24 .99 EACH

REG. PRICE $29.99 Valid from May 1 - May 31, 2018

SPRING 2018 • 27



MAY 7-12, 2018

Heart’s Delight Arrangement T16-1A If you're looking for a delightful gift that's full of heart for Mother’s Day, look no further than this beautiful bouquet. A pretty mix of beautiful flowers arranged in a cube vase will express your wishes perfectly. Price Ranges: $75.00 - $120.00 (as shown $80.00)

Spring Fashions & Accessories Featuring Magic Pantz One size fits most, pockets, wide elastic waistband & can trim to any length.

For the Mom who has Everything Let her shop all year long with a Van Belle Flowers & Garden Centre Gift card. In any denomination, this will let her choose her own perfect gift.

Fashion Sunhats

Perfect Summer Outdoor Planter

Protection from the sun can be fashionable and trendy.

VBM-0117 Outstanding flower performance that is a gift that keeps on giving.

Only $14.99 each

Price Ranges: $55.00 – $150.00 (as shown $90.00)


Gorgeous Cut Flower Bouquets VBM-0127 Honour mom with a beautiful bouquet of gorgeous cut flowers, overflowing with bright, beautiful fragrant blooms. Price Ranges: $45.00 - $95.00 (as shown $50.00)

Outdoor Hanging Baskets VBM-0118 Nobody does them like Van Belle’s. Colourful bright flowers that will bloom all summer long. Price Ranges: $65.00 - $105.00

Natural & Fresh Indoor Orchid Planter VBM-0317 Elegant and sophisticated planter that's tropical, colourful and easy to care for. Price Ranges: $75.00 - $175.00 (as shown $125.00)

Exquisite Orchid Plants VBM-0118 Our most popular flowering plant that is beautiful and long lasting. Price Ranges: $40.00 - $80.00 (as shown $50.00)

SPRING 2018 • 29

Nematodes work hard, so you don’t have to. Nematodes are microscopic worms that seek out and kill lawn grubs in soil.

Kills Grubs Dead

L AW N G U A R D I A N 100% Effective Natural Control for Lawn Grubs 100% Safe for people, pets and plants



Available at



• Precision, non-stick coated blades, soft component for a better grip • 25 year warranty

• Ideal for vines, roses and small branches • Stainless steel lower blade • 25 year warranty



• High performance versatile saw • Harden chrome plated saw blade, made of quality spring steel, impulse-hardened toothing for staying sharp! • Non slip ergonomic handle • Great for a lifetime of yard work • 25 year warranty

• 6.7” teflon coated blade • Gel padding in handles absorbs shock from cutting action, reducing stress on forearms. • 25 year warranty



Classic Bypass Lopper

Garden Saw

9 Pattern Nozzle • • • •

Thumb control nozzle 9 position spray head Heavy duty hose nozzle Easy to use thumb control for flow and shut off

Bypass Pruner

Hedge Trimmers

8 Pattern Telescopic Wand • Thumb control wand • Expandable to 60” • Reach to the back of the flower garden with 8 pattern nozzle head • Easy to use thumb control for flow and shut off



• 6 pattern rotary sprinkler • Adjustable multi pattern gear drive sprinkler • Full or partial circular coverage up to 70’ diameter • 3,800 sq ft coverage

• 5/8” x 50’ long Superior all weather hose • Stays flexible in low temperature • No memory hose will lay flat and coil easily • Aircraft grade aluminum fittings • Drinking water safe

Rotary Sprinkler

Prem-A-Flex Hose




Before they reach your garden, our flowering shrubs undergo years of trials and testing for color, quantity of blooms, cold tolerance, foliage and ability to thrive with ease. Only a few prove they’re worthy of the #1 plant brand.

Van Belle Flowers Spring 2018  
Van Belle Flowers Spring 2018