Posts tagged Thomas Hobbs
Howdy to Hobbs!

Popping in on Thomas Hobbs at Southlands Nursery I want to share with you some of the exceptional places that I come across from time to time. These places are gems and not to be missed if you are in the area, or they could even be a destination. Most have a “garden thread” to them. “Places To Know” can be retail, restaurants, nurseries, and other. Whatever the place, expect the unusual.

If you are a gardener, and you are in Vancouver, British Columbia, you must visit Thomas Hobbs' Southlands Nursery. On a warm Saturday in late August, I stopped by Southlands Nursery, the renown nursery that has that special touch and magic to it.

Southlands Nursery has had extraordinary press over the years. To my surprise I did find Thomas Hobbs on site, attending to happy customers. He is known to be quite a jovial character with a quick wit. He warmly greeted and chatted with me, as gardening is a universal bond. Without skipping a beat, he started asking about his many friends in San Diego.

I have heard Thomas Hobbs' speak about his books and his plant passion when passing through Southern California on previous speaker circuit swings. I teased him that he is long over due for another visit.


Southlands Nursery is well-stocked with colorful French garden furniture, tidy rows of healthy plants, and incredible garden antiques and decor to tantalize you. The backdrop behind one of his registers was this clay pot mural masterpiece. Every garden room I entered at the nursery, could be center-fold photo in a top garden magazine.

Behind the Counter at Southlands Nursery

It is quite clear that Thomas Hobbs' gathers no moss. He is an author, speaker, plants-man, floral designer, entrepreneur, and now a farmer. Four years ago he traded his beautiful ochre-colored Vancouver home for a life in the country on a 20 acre farm. We must all take lessons from Thomas Hobbs', on following your passions.

Garden Antiques at Southlands Nursery

It just might be summed up in a "larger than life" caligraphy quote across a thick ceiling beam in his retail shop, "I ask not for a larger garden, but for finer seeds. --Russell H. Conwell

Entrance to Thomas Hobbs' Southland Nursery

Please share if you have been to Southlands Nursery. Please comment if you have read any of Thomas Hobbs' beautiful books.

Welcome To My Garden

Welcome To My Garden September 4, 2009 marks the one year anniversary of VintageGardenGal, a garden lifestyle blog. Many thanks to those who have visited in the past year, your wonderful comments, and enthusiasm. May those who are drawn to this blog, continue to find valuable information, creative ideas, musings, inspiration to dream, and most important, welcome more garden into your lives.

A garden is a sanctuary, it is reflective of the person that cares for it. Make sure your garden is "welcoming" to you, your family, your friends, and invited guests. You want your garden to convey a cheery happiness, and an underlying message that it is well taken care of. Here are a few simple suggestions to make a garden welcoming.

Explore color and plant combinations that are visually beautiful, and maybe a surprise to the eye. One of my favorite books for plant combinations, colors, and inspiration to buy for your home library is Shocking Beauty by Thomas Hobbs.

Create a special spot or garden room that is accessed by a meandering path to a bench under a shady tree. It can be a special spot to rest and gather one's thoughts, even meditate. It can be a spot to entertain and share a glass of lemonade.

Surprise those making footsteps in your garden with a weathered adorable vintage gnome peeking out from under your favorite shrub, or a beautiful garden ornament in a sun-laced clearing. These pieces can be subtle, yet yield a smile.

Scour flea markets and garage sales for time-worn wood buckets or wicker baskets to place in strategic places in the garden to toss a rogue weed or anything deemed for garbage. These pieces will blend in with your garden, and help you to keep your garden tidy.

Think of birds, butterflies, and wildlife in your garden. If your garden is full of songbirds, busy hummingbirds, fluttering butterflies, ladybugs, for instance, it enhances your garden and your time in the garden that much more. Design your garden with plants that attract wildlife. Place birdhouses in your garden. Keep fabulous bird baths, they are garden ornaments in themselves. Keep them clean and full of fresh water. If you have a lot of wildlife in your garden, chances are your garden is healthy and welcoming.

These are a few suggestions that I use in my garden. A welcome garden is a happy garden. What makes your garden welcoming?