Green Thumb Newsletter – Spring 2015

Welcome to our 27th season–we’re ready for another gardening year. It’s been a long wait with our very cold winter, but we’ve been busy on Tristan Court.

Although our refreshed website took a bit longer to be completed, it’s nice to have a place for you to see photos of our dedicated staff, our grounds and some of our accomplishments. The plants that are listed on our ‘Plant Search Tool’ have updated descriptions, too. Continue to experiment with it–it can help you to do some homework before you come to the store. We carry all plants that are listed, or we can readily get them. They are hardy for Ottawa (zone 5a).

Our Facebook pages (Green Thumb Garden Centre) offer you some thoughts of the moment and helpful hints! Remember that you can find us twice on Facebook: as a ‘person ‘and as a ‘place’ which means that is twice the pleasure! You can ‘like’ us and ‘be our friend’.

Thanks to some of you who have asked me to speak to your hobby group…always happy to do that. In 2015, I have visited the Champlain Garden Club, the Pakenham Hort Society, Morning Break, OPERA, the Gatineau Valley Gardeners, with many more to come.

Continue to tell your friends and family about us. Familiar faces are waiting to welcome you and your colleagues to another gardening season.
Mary Shearman Reid
Owner, Green Thumb Garden Centre

Email newsletters

With last year’s increase in Canada Post’s rates, many of you agreed to receive your newsletter by email. That has been a huge cost savings to us and of course, we’ve saved the odd tree without the paper! Thanks to each of you who have made that contribution. If you prefer to have a hard copy of the newsletter–that is absolutely fine. Many of you tell me that you like to post it on your fridge to remind yourselves of us, our location, hours and so on…

You can receive invoices from us – perhaps for a planting job, a spring or fall clean up, weeding and so on –via email. We’ll accept your cheque, but you can also do an email transfer to us for your payment – and PayPal will be on our website soon, too!

International Year of Soils

United Nations has declared 2015 to be the International Year of Soils. Good motivation for you to work on the quality of your garden soil – it’s alive and we want to keep it that way. Annually adding composted matter to your garden ensures your soil structure improves –enabling your plants to eat and drink. Soil is where we get our food – we need to look after it. Of course, it is a finite resource – so better to amend and work with what you have…no carting soil away – that’s less expensive, too.

Perennial of the Year

The Perennial Plant Association is a North American group of growers, garden designers, nursery and garden centre owners. This group votes for the Perennial of the Year (established in 1990) and nominates plants for the award. Perennials of the year are usually known for their year-round interest, their ease of care, their ability to thrive in a wide range of zones and varying growing conditions.

This year’s winner is Geranium cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’ – a compact plant at 6 – 10” high (up to 25cm) with fragrant foliage (often touted for not being tasty to bunnies and deer). Happier in a sunny garden but tough enough at zone 4 to do fine in part shade, too. Nice and bright late Spring blooms with 5-petaled white flowers, tinged pink with darker pink stamens opening from a redder bud. Long blooming in most soil conditions – although originally alpine, can be used as a groundcover with little to low maintenance and pest and disease free. No need to do the deadheads, but shearing them helps to keep the plant tight. If it grows where you don’t want it, the shallow root system makes it easy to remove. The fall foliage is scarlet and orange, adding to its full season interest. Much of the leaf cover is evergreen, so less cutting back to do – it’s just a matter of cleaning up the dead leaves in the Spring. In a shade garden, it goes well with Japanese painted fern, echoing the colours of the fern foliage; it pairs nicely with any pink spring bloomers.

Green Thumb Membership

Your Green Thumb membership continues from year to year —it’s our way of thanking you for your business. No matter what level of discount you had last year, your membership is automatically renewed with your first purchase; just remind us that you’re a member. Your membership entitles you to discounts that increase, depending on your total yearly purchases. Just save your receipts and bring them in.

Level Annual purchases Most items Trees, shrubs, perennials
Green $100 10% 15%
Silver $150 12% 17%
Gold $300 15% 20%

Please note: the only reason we have your name, address and phone number on file is to be able to share these discounts with you and to send you our newsletter or other Green Thumb information — we do not sell our customer list to anybody. If you do not want to be a Green Thumb member and receive these benefits, please let us know.

New this year – Locally grown native plants

We’re partnering with Twigs Nursery – an Ottawa group who grows a selection of native woody plants from locally collected seeds. These together with selected perennials will be readily available for you to consider as additions to your garden.

We are excited about the Knock Out roses, as well as the Sea Foam series – they are all compact and hardy for Ottawa. Long bloomers for your sunny garden.
Recycled pots are still welcome but PLEASE only if we can use them. If we can’t – we have to send them to landfill…we don’t have the benefit of city waste pick up. Please do your part for the environment – check first, and if we can’t take your pots, please put them in your blue bin.