Green Thumb Newsletter: Spring 2020

2020: Curbside pickup now! Full opening later? 

Well, well, well!  I don’t know how many times I have composed this year’s newsletter and it most certainly is like the weather – changing by the minute.  Thankfully and hopefully, we all have a piece of nature to enjoy outside where we can see our gardens while staying safe amid the COVID-19 crisis. Personally, I am grateful to live in Canada and feel fortunate that our governments and health authorities are doing their very best to look after all of us.

So… where is Green Thumb this year?  First, I have every intent to be in business in one way, shape or form.  Right now, if any of you want to purchase something, please send us an email or phone the store – we will do our best to offer you some options … right now it is ‘pick up at the curb’.  Perhaps later, we might be able to offer delivery service. Maybe you will be able to come to the store. None of us know.  

For now, our gardening services – gardening, planting and offering advice on our premises and at your garden are shut down – that too might change.  If we are able to venture out, our crews might be VERY different – only one or two in our trucks, so more travel, less gardening on site…so more time for each project.  It’s as they say the NEW reality.  

There is a small box on our website underneath our store picture banner that you can click on.  I am trying to keep it up to date with any news on the COVID-19 and Green Thumb fronts.

No crystal balls – let’s keep our 2 metre distance and enjoy the benefits of gardening and being outdoors…fresh air, exercise, helping preserve our environment and so much more.  Why not try your hand on turning a ‘grey’ space into a ‘green’ one – helps to reduce the water run-off! It’s never too late to add some edibles to your gardens and you don’t need a dedicated veggie patch, fruit grove or orchard to do it.  Just interplant these tasty delights in your gardens – they add a different look. Imagine the rainbow colours of swiss chard stalks next to a forest green evergreen! Double bonus: food on your table and a lovely view. You can find herb and veggie seedlings at Green Thumb, as well as fruit bushes and trees.

Drastic times call for drastic measures.  We’re all in this together. Hope to see you soon and not just over the fence for curbside pickup.

Mary Shearman Reid

Owner, Green Thumb Garden Centre

The Plant Search on our website includes more plants than in previous years. Plants are sorted in the same categories as in our display areas and the photos will give you an idea of how the plants will look when they are all grown up. We carry all plants that are listed, or we can readily get them.  The perennial ones are hardy for Ottawa (zone 5a). In view of our curbside pickup, we hope to add some of the many annuals and herbs that we offer. If you can’t find the ones you want, please ask.

Remember that you can find us on Facebook.  Either on our website or on Facebook, you’ll find out about our goings-on, future speaking venues, our staff’s floral pick and helpful garden hints. Please tell your friends and family about us!

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. The winners 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 Aralia ‘Sun King’ – it can be quite large, almost shrub-like (up to 6’ x 6’), and is very hardy for the Ottawa area. Who doesn’t need a bright yellow-gold leaf addition to a shady to part shade garden? It is fairly well behaved. If you are going to put this winner in the sun, it will need lots of water. The cream-coloured blooms are attractive to bees, airy and pretty; the deep purple-black berries are not edible. Known as deer resistant…but we always know that depends on what else the deer have to eat!

Why not check it out on our website under our Plant search:

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/email 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.

This and that

An early winter with snow but not too much ice, cold and wind – the initial read looks like it might be a Spring with limited damage in our gardens.  Many bulbs are blooming – a ray of hope. Remember to leave the leaves up so that they can photosynthesize and replenish the bulbs’ energy for next year’s blooms.  Last year we sold bulbs from PEI (in addition to the usual ones from Holland) – all of them are bound to please!

Again, the early winter didn’t allow us to build everything on last year’s newly expanded site – but we did get what we think is a magnificent tree grove constructed.  You’ll be able to walk through it and have a way better idea of how these trees will mature. Another one still needs to go in as well as our rain garden. Here’s hoping the conditions will allow it!