Open Garden Day, Spring 2016

Sunday, May 29th, 11 am – 4 pm

Beaux Arbres Native Plants is holding Open Garden Day slightly earlier this year,to give visitors a different view of the flowers, especially the spring flowers in the Rock Garden.

  • Tour the Demonstration  Gardens
  • Visit the nursery area to purchase your favourite native plants
  • Home-made baskets and other crafts
  • Coffee from Art Brulant

If you cannot make it that Sunday, we are open Saturday and Sunday afternoons throughout the summer, other hours by chance or appointment. Please plan to visit and bring a friend!


Seeds and Spring Flowers to come

Beaux Arbres Native Plants will be bringing seeds of wildflowers and other native plants to Seedy Saturday, Ottawa on Saturday, March 5th. (For a look at the seed species.)

We start the nursery season participating in the Rare and Unusual Plant Sale at the Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa on Sunday, May 15th. (We’ll post a list of species closer to the date.)

The Rare and Unusual Plant Sale is going to be one week later than it has been in previous years – this year it will be the Sunday after Mothers’ Day.

I am sure I am not the only one who has casually referred to this event as the Mothers’ Day Sale. However, after the two brutal winters and late springs we have had in the past couple of years, plant vendors found it difficult to get nursery stock up to saleable size and looking good for Mothers’ Day. I know that last year, three weeks before the sale, I had nothing, nothing, and nothing. Two weeks of above average temperatures saved my bacon.

This year,  Mother’s Day will be as early as it ever is. The RUP Sale organizers made the decision to hold the sale the following Sunday. I hope none of our loyal customers get confused about the date. Beaux Arbres will not only be bringing many good-looking native plants in pots, we hope the earliest bloomers will be in flower. (I am talking to you, violets, foamflowers and early saxifrages.)

Seedy Saturday, Ottawa: March 5th, 10 am – 3 pm at the Ron Kolbus Centre, Britannia Beach Park, 102 Greenview Avenue, Ottawa

Rare and Unusual Plant Sale: Sunday, May 15, 9 am – 2 pm, Neatby Building, 960 Carling Avenue, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa

Pictured above: Hooked-spur Violet (Viola adunca), an early spring bloomer for dry, sunny sites.


2016 Season

Download Nursery Catalogue 2016. pdf

Beaux Arbres Native Plants will open the 2016 season by participating in the Rare and Unusual Plants Sale on Sunday May 15th at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa.

Two weekends later we will be hosting our own Spring Open Garden Day at the farm, with guided tours of the native plant gardens, demonstrations and really good coffee from Art Brûlant. That happens Sunday, May 29, from 11 am to 4 pm.

The Rare and Unusual Plant Sale has been held on Mothers’ Day in past years. This coming year, Mothers’ Day is early and the organizers decided to hold the sale the following Sunday. We have experienced two brutally long winters in Ottawa the past two years, and it was challenging to get nursery stock to saleable condition by Mothers Day. Last year, three weeks before the sale, I had NOTHING. Then we had two weeks of unseasonable warm weather, and the plants emerged and leaves unfurled in time.

I will posts more about the Sale closer to the date.

The Nursery Catalogue 2016 is available for download. We won’t be bringing anything like the complete list to the sale. We expect to bring mostly early spring bloomers like violets, pussytoes, early saxifrage, and prairie smoke and later spring flowers like penstemons, golden Alexanders and wild columbine and a small selection of shrubs and summer bloomers. It is always great to see the spring blooms but for the full selection, plan to visit the farm.


Flowers in the garden this week

IpalePale beardtongue (Penstemon pallidus) is the first of my four species of Penstemon to bloom. It likes sandy soil and dry sites. Hairy beardtongue (P. hirsutus) and trumpet beardtongue (P. tubaeflorus) are budding and will bloom soon. The last to bloom will be the tallest of the four, Foxglove Beardtongue (P. digitalis), which is still growing upwards.

Golden Alexanders requires an enclosure of hardware cloth to defend it from groundhogs.
Golden Alexanders requires an enclosure of hardware cloth to defend it from groundhogs.

Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea) is a lovely wildflower and I would love to grow more of it. Alas, it seems to be irresistible to both deer and groundhogs and, in order to keep it at all, I have to cage it, which cramps its naturally blowsy style. I have had reasonable success masking some of the other groundhog magnets with highly aromatic neighbours, such as nodding prairie onion or anise-hyssop. Nothing but caging has worked for Golden Alexanders.

I have posted previously about the surfeit of chives in the rock garden. I have removed a lot, and deadhead the remainder strictly, but I do not want to get rid of all the chives. Who could resist its ability to flower even when dwarfed by growing in the tiniest chink in the rock?


Also blooming in the rock garden is a creeping shrub called three-toothed cinquefoil (Sibbaldiopsis tridentata) with small white flowers dotted over attractive shiny foliage, which will turn red in the fall. DSCN2485