Green Thumb Newsletter – Spring 2016

Welcome to our 28th season–we’re ready for another gardening year. It’s been a very unusual winter…long fall, few but huge dumps of snow, light ice and snow collections on trees and evergreens and so on. Plants are for the most part, fairly forgiving and resilient…As long as your plants are well settled in to your gardens before the winter, they should do just fine but patience is the key. No jumping to conclusions that a plant didn’t survive – just like you and me, it takes a while to wake up and look our best!

Another milestone for us: 10 years at our finished home at Tristan Court. We purchased our property in 2005, but 2006 was the year we were able to set up our grounds and get our store ready. There are lots of pictures of Green Thumb through the ages on our website and Facebook pages.

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’. You’ll find out about our goings-on, speaking venues and regular helpful garden hints. 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

Plant Search

The plants that are listed on our ‘Plant Search Tool’ have updated descriptions. 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).

Sustainable gardening?

Everyone’s talking about it! Just like pollinators and attracting them to your garden – that’s a hot topic, too. As a gardener, you’re already doing your part. Continue to:

  • Mix up your plantings – avoid planting your favorite plant everywhere and anywhere…mono-cultures can backfire on you! Too many pests go to a densely planted single crop.
  • Variety is also the spice of life in your lawn – consider a grass seed blend, instead of your usual sod make up of Kentucky Blue Grass
  • Use your rain barrels
  • Make your own compost and annually add it to your garden
  • Include water and shelter in your garden for wildlife
  • The more blooms you have throughout the season, the more insects/pollinators you’ll attract to your garden

You’re trying to create or protect the unique environment by reducing chemicals, energy, water, and waste.

Email newsletters

So many of you agreed to receive your newsletter by email. Thank you – I love saving the odd tree without the paper! 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…

Last year, we started to email invoices… for a planting job, a spring or fall clean up, weeding and so on. We’ll accept your cheque, but you can also do an email transfer to us for your
payment – and PayPal is on our website soon, 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 Anemone x hybrid (Japanese anemone or windflower) ‘Honorine Jobert’ – an older, historical variety standing tall and airy at 90–120cm (3–4’) with single white blooms.

Happy in a either a sunny garden or part shade; will absolutely be fine in more shade, but the blooms will not be as prolific. Hardy to zone 4, but would benefit from mulch the first winter.

It’s a late season bloomer, bright and cheery on shorter, drearier days – but remember, because it blooms late, it will take longer to peek through the earth the following spring too. Makes a good
cut flower, so you can extend its blooming period by enjoying it indoors. Its trifoliate green foliage is a nice backdrop to bright and cheery Spring flowers – especially yellows and reds. The richer
and moister the soil, the more it spreads – but it is not invasive. Too wet or too dry conditions make for an unhappy windflower, but planted correctly, it’s low maintenance and is pest-, deer- and

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.

Native plants

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