Handmade Artisanal Soap Collections

Honeysuckle Soap

Who doesn’t like handmade artisanal soap collections?

There’s something so satisfying about the fragrance, feel and look of a truly luxurious soap, don’t you agree?  Some are just so beautiful that it seems that they should be kept in their pristine state as bathroom decor rather than used as a necessary tool.

That’s the feeling you get from these gorgeous collections from Michel Design Works – the Vanilla Palm, Honeysuckle, Golden Pear and White Magnolia are items you’ll be proud to display in your bathroom and gifts you’ll be proud to give.  They’re especially perfect for those ‘hard to buy for’ people on your Christmas shopping list!


Vanilla Palm Soap

Step away from that Hydrangea!


Step away from that Hydrangea and put down your secateurs!

Yes, you might be feeling the urge to prune those feisty hydrangeas as you go about tidying up your Fall garden, but hang on a moment while we tell you why that’s not a good idea!

Unlike many other flowering shrubs, hydrangeas don’t benefit from pruning, and in fact, you may be causing your hydrangea not to bloom if you cut them back.

One of the first things you need to do is to determine what kind of hydrangea you have in your garden.  If you have a ‘Big Leaf’ hydrangea (the botanical name is Hydrangea Macrophylla, commonly known as a Mophead Hydrangea, Lacecap Hydrangea, Florist’s Hydrangea or Hortensia, or, if you have an Oak Leaf Hydrangea, you will know that they bloom in late summer.  What you might not know, is that they only bloom on old wood.

If you prune them after they flower, there may not be enough time for them to develop old wood and flower buds before the next flowering season.  If you prune them before summer, for instance in the spring, then you’ll be pruning away the buds and you won’t get any flowers at all.

The best thing to do is to step away from the Hydrangea, take your pruning shears and get busy on another shrub that actually likes being pruned.

So what if you have some other kind of Hydrangea?

Well, if you have a ‘reblooming’ Hydrangea that can bloom both on old and new wood, the effect of pruning won’t be as bad, but it still won’t be advisable.  Leave that Hydrangea alone and you’ll find it will bloom more prolifically and for longer.

In short, hydrangeas don’t really need pruning at all.  Especially when you buy the varieties we have in our center.  The only thing you need to do is to remove the old dead flowers when the new growth begins in Spring.

What is the best way to deal with an untidy Big Leaf or Oak Leaf Hydrangea?

If your Big Leaf or Oak Leaf Hydrangea is scraggly and wild, the best way of getting it to look nice and tidy is to cut back only one third of the stems every year once it has finished flowering.  This way, you’ll still have two thirds of the shrub flowering. Obviously this strategy will take time, but it will ensure that your Hydrangea continues to bloom without interruption.

Panicle HydrangeaIf you have a Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea Arborescens) or “Annabelle” or a Panicle Hydrangea  (Hydrangea Paniculata) or “PeeGee”, then go ahead and grab those pruning shears.  These Hydrangeas bloom on new wood, so you’re safe to prune in Spring and still enjoy flowers in Summer.  However, once again, they don’t really need pruning, so you’re equally safe just leaving them be

Golden Pear Soaps from Artisanal Soap Maker

golden pear large bath soap

golden pear large bath soap

These Golden Pear Soaps made by Michel Work’s artisanal soap maker are like a beam of summer sunshine!

Each large bath soap bar weighs in at a hefty  8.7-ounce / 246 gram.  Blended from fine ingredients including

  • pure vegetable palm oil
  • glycerine
  • rich, moisturizing shea butter.

Each bar of Golden Pear Soap is triple-milled by an artisanal soap maker by hand, far away in Sussex, England.  Every step of the process undertaken with such painstaking care that we can guarantee that every bar is thoroughly-blended, firm, long lasting, and silky smooth.

Golden Pear foaming hand soap

Golden Pear foaming hand soap

You’ll also enjoy other items from
this collection such as the foaming hand soap, and items from other Michel Works collections such as White Magnolia, Honeysuckle and Vanilla Palm.


Succulent Zebra Plants


Succulent Zebra Plants are in!

Succulent Hawarthia Fasicata Zebra Plants

Succulent Zebra Plants

These are one of my favorites.  No muss, no fuss, easy to grow succulent that is a great house (or office) plant.

If you don’t have a ‘green thumb’ but you love having living plants in your home, this is your perfect choice – it can last a lifetime!

As you can see from the picture, it has has triangular spiky looking leaves with bold white markings that provide visual interest.  These plants won’t flower unless grown under ‘ideal’ conditions when they may develop a long spike from the centre sporting small white flowers.

Like most succulents, you don’t have to water very often – only once every few weeks and only when the soil is quite dry. If in winter the soil doesn’t dry out that quickly, then wait until it does even if it’s only about once a month.

Zebra plants can tolerate low light, which is a boon for a house plant in this region, though they do like bright indirect sunlight.  Don’t put them in full sun.

This easy plant looks great in planters of all kinds – whether you like rustic or vibrant, modern styles.  All in all, the perfect ‘non-gardener’ plant!

They’ve just come in stock so come on in and check them out.

Romantic White Magnolia from Michel Design Works

Magnolia Foaming Hand Soap

Magnolia Foaming Hand SoapWhite Magnolia. There’s nothing that says ‘Romance’ quite the same way as the fragrance of magnolia blossoms.

It’s a little touch of luxury to pamper yourself, your guests and your special friends. 

If you haven’t yet experienced these exquisite English soaps from Michel Works, they are bound to become favorites as they are for so many of our customers already.

magnolia large soap bar

magnolia large soap bar

Magnolia guest soap set

Magnolia guest soap set

magnolia double soaps

magnolia double soaps







We have them in store now, so stop by and choose your favorites from our hand picked collection.

We  also have items from the Honeysuckle, Golden Pear and Vanilla Palm collections.

Want Fall Colour? A few good choices

You can enjoy Fall Colour with these versatile plants.

When you think ‘Fall’, usually you also think of the rich warm foliage colours as leaves turn from their summer green to shades of orange, brown, russet and purple.  But you don’t usually think of flowers.  The good news is that you can still enjoy gorgeous flowers even in Fall, and yes, even in cool, wet, south west  British Columbia.

Here are a few of recommendations:

sedum pure joy

Sedum: pure joy


Sedum: Maestro




Anytime Pansiolas


Cheyenne Sky Ornamental Grass


Summerific Perennial Hibiscus

Asters, hardy Mums, fall flowering Sedums, Heuchera or Coral Bells, ornamental grasses, perennial Hibiscus and Pansiolas are all great choices to bring cheerful colour to your garden during the months when the summer blooms are fading and branches begin to look a little bedraggled and bare.

Hydrangea IncrediballFall Flowering Shrubs

If flowers aren’t your thing and you prefer shrubs, then consider the Hydrangea.  There’s a reason that they’re so popular.  They’re easy to grow and they can take a wide variety of climatic conditions from full sun and heat to drought to cooler temperatures common here during Fall.  The added bonus is that not only are they extremely forgiving and low maintenance, they’re also very showy with gorgeous abundant blooms during the summer right through into the Fall.

Unlike flower blooms which tend to fade as they age, some varieties of hydrangea such as “Firelight” and “Bobo” change color with the seasons and look wonderful as they do.

Even better, you can cut the blooms for drying so that you can enjoy them all winter long indoors.


Hydrangea Firelight


Hydrangea Bobo

Hydrangea Blue Jangles Fall Color

Hydrangea Blue Jangles

Hydrangea Diva Fall Color

Hydrangea Diva

If you don’t see anything here that appeals to you, we have more choices in the garden centre, so feel free to stop by and ask us to show you what’s available.  Fall is a great time to plant!


Brambles Bistro Wins Award!

Brambles Bistro Wins Award

Gourmet French Toast for Breakfast!

Brambles Bistro wins Award!

We are proud to be one of the winners of The Culture Trip’s Abbotsford’s Local Favorite 2015 Award!

We’re also proud to be featured in their list of The 10 Best Restaurants in Abbotsford!  Read all about it here: Bramble’s Bistro in Abbotsford

French Toast Brambles Bistro Wins Award

Our goal is to become your favourite place to spend time with friends and family while we pamper you with gourmet cuisine.

WARNING:  Just like most things, you can read about it all you like but you won’t really understand till you experience it!  So, what are you waiting for?  Come on in and try something from our awesome Fall Menu!

New Fall Menu Items Being Added

New Fall Menu items are being added at Brambles Bistro.


There’s something about food and Fall that go together.  Our chef has created some mouthwatering new dishes and we’d love you to come and try them!

Begin with our mouthwatering Baked pear French toast with Orange Mascarpone Cream and Dulce de Leche for breakfast… or brunch.

Then stay for lunch and enjoy


Brambles signature Beet Salad, or…

Kale Salad

kale salad with Castillo blue cheese, pomegranate, roasted butternut squash, raincoats crisp and roasted pear vinaigrette.

Hungry yet? Mmmm… thought so!

See you soon!  In the meantime,  we’re off to see (read ‘sample’) the latest creations of our talented chef! Mmmm… smells wonderful!

5 Tips for Fall Planting

Fall PlantingJust because Spring and Summer are over doesn’t mean that your garden has to look drab and dreary.  Now’s the time for Fall planting. You can easily liven things up with creative use of Fall colours and textures.

Here are some tips on things to consider when planning Fall planting in your garden or in a container.

Tip 1:
Choose plants that will withstand cooler temperatures including frost. Be sure to check with your garden center for advise on plants suitable for your zone.

Tip 2:
Plan your color scheme: choose plants that have both contrast and compatibility. Remember foliage can provide both texture and colour. You’re not limited to flowers alone.  If you’re not sure what colors will work for you, or which colors are available, feel free to come and chat with us and we’ll point out exactly which plants will provide you with the pizzazz you’re looking for.

Tip 3:
Plants don’t grow and spread as vigorously in Fall, so you can plant them a bit closer and in greater quantity than you would in summer.  Plant your container as full as it needs to be to look good as Fall progresses. The plants won’t get much fuller or bigger, so essentially, what you see is what you’ll get.

Tip 4:
Fall means a bit less water and less fertilizer is necessary.  If you are going to use fertilizer, use a water soluble variety that will get to the roots.  Controlled or slow release fertilizers are often temperature activated, meaning that in lower temperatures they may not be released at all.

Tip 5:
Look out for Jack Frost!  You’ve already chosen plants that are frost tolerant, but it’s a wise idea to take extra care when a heavy frost or cold snap is expected.  Cover the plants with a light weight cover – an old sheet  will work – over night.  It’ll keep your Fall colour going strong!

In our next article,we’ll give you some ideas as to what plants are perfect for our West Coast gardens.  If you don’t want to wait for that, come on in and we’ll be happy to show you and give you any advice you need.

Happy planting!

Thymes is back at Tanglebank!

Thymes at Tanglebank

A fine selection of Thymes products are available now in our store.

We’ve handpicked the most wonderful items for you – just in time for Thanksgiving hostess gifts and, of course, just in time for Christmas!

If you want to pamper someone (or yourself!), you’ll know you’ve made the right choice with Thymes. There’s so much to choose from:


  • Triple Milled Soaps
  • Hand washes, Body washes, Hand creams
  • Lotions
  • Kitchen soaps
  • Cologne
  • Reed Diffusers, Porcelain Potpourri, Fragrance Sachets
  • Candles and Votives

Thymes-Lavender-Glycerine-Bar-Soap-0490050107-360We’ve selected from your favourite Thymes collections:

  • Frasier Fir
  • Gingerbread
  • Mandarin Coriancer
  • Olive Leaf
  • Lavender
  • Eucalyptus
  • Kimono Rose
  • Lotus Santal

Thymes products are made from the finest ingredients – which is obvious as soon as you try them.  Come in today to see for yourself.  These are exclusive and sought after gifts, and we are the only ones in the area to carry them – so hurry in for the best of the selection!