Hellebore Days are coming!

Hello Gardening and foodie friends.  Spring is almost here and I for one am incredibly excited.  I can feel it in the air and according to one of my dear guests at the bistro I am told that a robin sighting has been made.  Definitely reinforcing that spring is in the air.  Who else is excited?
To add to all that excitment, Arnold and I spent the weekend down in Seattle at the Flower show and I must say that the flower of choice, besides bulbs that is, was the  drum roll please……..
Hellebores.  These amazing flowers were everywhere in every colour.  My personal favorites being the peachy coloured ones.  Absolutely gorgeous,  which now brings me into this reminder.
Saturday, March 2nd at 10:30 I will be sharing my love for these jewels of the late winter -early spring garden.  Everything you wanted to know or didn’t know you wanted to know will be discussed.
    • Learn why you should be adding these beauties to your garden.
    • Learn how to chose and where and how to plant them in your garden
    • Learn all their specific qualities and the care and attention needed to send them happily into a cacophony of rhapsody in blooms in your garden.
    • Learn how to display them in your home.

    You so want one!!!  I know…  For those of you who just don’t want to miss this fun filled morning full of the antics of this author  please call us (604 856 9339) ahead of time so we know that you are coming and how many chairs we will need to set up.  I am looking forward to seeing all your lovely cheerful faces.  Until then,  Cheers…..

Valentines Week at Tanglebank & Brambles

We have a busy month planned at Tanglebank Gardens and Brambles Bistro, from decadent chocolate Valentine’s desserts, to contests and much more!
Mark your calenders for March 2nd when Brenda will be sharing all about the care and use of hellebores in the winter garden.

February Festivities!

February 12th is SHROVE TUESDAY! What is Shrove Tuesday you ask? It is held every year the day before Lent begins. Lent is traditionally a day of clearing out the cupboards of sugar, fats and eggs for the 40 day fast. Shrove or Pancake Tuesday is a chance to eat a delicious stack of pancakes before the fast begins! We will be featuring Lemon Ricotta pancakes with sour cherry compote.


alongside our delicious menu we have incorporated some Valentines inspired specials

February 12th

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Sour Cherry Compote
Capellini Pasta with Prawns, Capers, Tomatoes and Lemon
February 13th
Baked Eggs Florentine
Flatbread with Pesto, Caramelized Onion, Roasted Chicken and Sundried Tomatoes
Chocolate Waffles topped with Sour Cherries and Raspberries and Creme Anglais
Champagne Poached Pears and Brie
February 15th
Crepes with Lemon Mascarpone Cream
Asiago and Artichoke Dip
February 16th
Chocolate Waffles topped with Sour Cherries and Raspberries and Creme Anglais
Champagne Poached Pears and Brie

Red Velvet Cupcake Contest

February 12th – 16th

Buy a cupcake for a chance to win!

Daily prizes for whomever buys and finds the surprise inside their cupcake!

On Valentine’s Day the GRAND PRIZE in the cupcake will be a piece of jewellery from Lee’s Fine Jewellery.


Taste, Smell, Experience. Brambles Bistro

When you close your eyes and imagine a bistro, thoughts of Paris, a foamy robust cappuccino, a low lit room filled with friends and the smell of fresh baguette in the oven typically enter your mind.  The history of the word bistro is somewhat of a mystery. Some believe it is derived from the Russian word bystro, meaning quickly. While stationed in Paris,  Russian officers would shout, “bysto”  to receive their food in a hurry. (We will try not to judge if you come in and holler, “bystro!” because you didn’t make it to the end of the column) Others say the name bistro comes from an apertif, called a bistrouille, a mixture of coffee and brandy.

Whichever the true meaning of the word, there are certain associations one strives to develop when attempting to create that particular bistro experience.  We are looking to perfect and maintain simplicity while extracting and enhancing the natural flavor from our fresh ingredients. Bistro food is something you could eat everyday, it’s comforting, traditional and familiar.

Is it too much of a stretch to say that  developing the feel and experience of a bistro is similar to developing the flavors and smells associated with the food? Both require technique and time. Each attempts to achieve a welcoming sense of comfort. As well as holding true to the standard and label. As any of you who have made french onion soup at home know, there is something to be said for the transcendent change of flavor and effort that Julia Child originally begged of us. For the somewhat painstaking, I must admit, time it takes to achieve that perfect balance, not to mention the involuntary onion tears,  it’s the difference between everyday and perfection. We strive to provide simple excellence, one dish at a time.

Perhaps, after you visit us at Brambles, thoughts of your experience here will enter your mind when envisioning a bistro!


Brambles Bistro is now open!

After nine months of construction we are pleased to announce that Brambles Bistro is now open.   We are excited to say that many years of dreaming have led to the construction of a brand new building in the garden that is home to a beautiful gift store as well as Brambles Bistro.  Chef Kayla Schapansky (daughter no 2) formerly of Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre and Ravens at the Airport and Chef Sarah Kruk also formerly of Ramada as well as Quazines and Roasted Grape  are whipping up some delicious lunch and brunch items as well as homemade pastries and goodies.

Arnold says you have to try the homemade pies and his favorite the Tandoori chicken wrap and of course The Caffe Umbria Coffee.   My favorites are impossible to say, it changes every day but the Moroccon  Breakfast or the Parisian Croque Monsieur Sandwich are definitely worth trying.  If you are looking for something a little lighter try the Waffles.  Kayla and Sarah serve up 3 mini waffles with your choice of chocolate ganache, Lavender creme, or Bramble  berry compote.  Delicious.  Whatever you come in to try it will be fresh, homemade and made with local ingredients.  Some as close as the back door.

So whether you choose to sit inside and enjoy the warm decor or enjoy the buzz of birds and bees on the patio we know you will enjoy the peaceful and relaxing atmosphere along with great food or just a simple cup of coffee.

We look forward to serving you.

Pulmonaria Trevi Fountain

Is it just me or is nobody planting Pulmonaria in there Garden? This beautiful perennial has been around for what seems forever and I usually see it planted in older gardens but for some reason I seldom see it in newer ones. With todays newer varieties there’s no reason not to plant these. Trevi Fountain is probably my favorite. It’s Cobalt Blue flowers will brighten any cool moist shady spot in your Garden. This perennial is both deer and disease proof. The flowers will last up to two months and the leaves are attractive enough to stand out even when not in flower. Pulmonaria like the morning sun best and pair beautifully with ferns,large leaved Hosta and Hydrangea.

Brambles Bistro

In September 2011 after seven years of wondering if it ever would come into being Tanglebank started construction on it’s newest venture Brambles Bistro. This will be a great addition to our nursery and Gardens. There will be seating for 30 guests,new washrooms ( yea,no more porta potty! ) and the current Gift Store will move into this new 3400 sq. ft. addition. Daughter number two Chef Kayla with her culinary expertise will be in charge of the Bistro. Opening date is set for Spring 2012. We will post more details as construction progresses.

Hydrange aspera ‘Macrophlla’

Summer time is Hydrangea time and nothing says look at me like Hydrangea aspera ‘Macrophylla’. Everything about this shrub commands attention, from it’s felted leaves which can grow up to 10 inches long  to it’s impressive height of 8 to 12′ and is equally as wide. The flattened blooms are 6 to 8″ across. To top it off the tan reddish bark peels from the trunk which adds to the beauty of this shrub,especially in the winter months. If you have the room this Hydrangea is a must have.


Here’s a North American wild flower that I had forgot I had planted. I was walking thru the garden and it was screaming look at me. Dodecatheon or Shooting Stars blooms May thru June and grows 1′ to 2′ in sun to part shade in good draining soil. This plant typically goes summer dormant. A real jewel for the spring Garden.

Angelica sylvestris ‘Vicars Mead’

A number of years ago I discovered this wonderful plant on a trip to Heronswood Nursery in Washington State. At that time ‘Vicars Mead’ was not available in our area. I found a small specialty grower who was growing it and now we have made it available in our Garden Centre. Angelica ‘Vicars Mead’ is a fully hardy biennial that grows up to1.4 m Small umbells of pale creamy white flowers appear in summer in it’s second year of growth. The foliage and stems are a deep purple/maroon. ‘Vicars Mead’ is suitable for growing in moist soil, Bog, Heavy clay, Alkaline and Acidic soil in full to part sun. It also adds a wonderful vertical accent to your garden.

Belarina Primula

Beautiful double Belarina primula have arrived at the nursery. The Belarinas have large full double fragrant flowers hardy to zone 5. Great early season colour. Use them in containers,window boxes or enjoy them as a houseplant. Once the flowers fade plant them in the garden as they are a true perennial.