It’s no secret I love gardening. Some of my favourite childhood memories are when I used to spend time with my mom out in our yard, tending to all our flowers.
That’s why it was such a treat to visit West Coast Gardens last week. Taylor and I spent a morning learning more about them, their nursery and picking up great gardening tips. The wealth of knowledge they have is beyond. I learned so much!
West Coast Gardens is a family-owned nursery in Surrey, BC. While they initially focused on growing and selling plants wholesale to various garden centres and grocery stores across Canada, they opened a retail space that is so much fun to visit. They host free workshops and demos on weekends and serve coffee and ice cream in Branches, their on-site coffee house. It’s a fun place to take the whole family!
Unlike other nurseries, West Coast Gardens grows almost everything in-house. They start with seeds or cuttings and nurture those little plants until they’re ready to sell. They have complete control over the entire process.
In fact, if you want to order one of their famous custom hanging baskets, you ought to place your order in November. They start growing the flowers in January/February. By the time March rolls around, they’re typically sold out! And I can see why: They’re gorgeous, high-quality baskets. (Put in a reminder in your phone now, “Order baskets in November!”)
And yes, West Coast Gardens offers custom orders. It’s a huge department! You can call in an order or bring in your pots to chat with someone about what you’re looking for. There are no size restrictions either: You can ask them to pull together something small for your kitchen counter or create elaborate arrangements for your front porch! (Also, if you’re in the Lower Mainland and feel it’s too far to drive to Surrey, they deliver!)
We put our heads together to come up with a few beautiful arrangements and hanging baskets for my house. They’re gorgeous. I’m thrilled with how they turned out. Here’s a quick rundown of what was planted:
Herbs: This planter is right outside my kitchen window so I can cut a few sprigs as I need them. They’re heartier herbs, rosemary and mint, that’ll work well for in that space. As a general rule, you’ll want to make sure your herbs have half sun and half shade.
Begonia baskets: I love these begonias because they have a nice full shape. They basically grow into a big ball of white! I chose these begonias because there’s so much going on at the front of our house. We have two small magnolias and I needed something to balance out all the greenery. I wanted a nice, polished look with our landscaping – and they’re perfect!
The rest of the arrangements included flowers like California lilac and hydrangea. We used fiber optic grass, white flash and bedhead for texture, along with elephant ear to add height. I would have never considered combining some of the plants they did, and am so grateful for their expertise and unique take on mixing and matching flowers. I love the result!
For all of you current and aspiring green thumbs, here are a few of the best gardening tips I picked up. Have you heard any of these before?
When it comes to gauging how much to water, try pulling the plant out of the soil. If you can’t pull it out, then you know the plant is rooted and you don’t need to be as concerned about overwater as you do when it’s first planted.
If you have planters displayed where they could be taken, nail them down.
The ideal time to water your plants is between 3–4 pm. Alternately, before 11am and no later than 6pm.
Add fertilizer to your watering can! No only do you polish off two tasks at once, but the fertilizer will be better absorbed by your plants.
We’re grateful to West Coast Gardens for all of the gardening tips and advice. If you’re in the area, I recommend going to check them out for all your gardening needs!
Here are some of my favourite planters and planter boxes: