Anyone live in Barrie area?

judyswont(5a)April 15, 2006

Hi everyone, we are soon moving to Barrie from Waterloo and our new home is in need of major landscaping. I would appreciate any information regarding what trees would be fast growing and hardy to that area as well as shrubs and vines. Also what would be a good place to buy these items that would be reasonable in price as well as good quality? I've been trying to find out the zone and from what I can tell - it's zone 5 - is that correct?

Hope to hear from some Barrie folks soon.


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Hi Judy and welcome to Barrie :) Yes, Barrie is zone 5.

If your home is in need of major landscaping, Bradford Greenhouses has a deal where if you buy a $75 gift certificate, they will come up with a landscape design for your front or backyard at no charge.

I just recently took advantage of this, and am waiting for the designer to come up with the plan, so I can't vouch for how good the design is. I figure it's essentially a free service, so it's got to be better than a poke in the eye :)

I was told that this service gets really busy in the summer months, so if you're interested in it, you might want to get it done sooner than later.

Here's the link to Bradford Greenhouses:

I live on the outskirts of Barrie, but I can tell you that my yard is pretty much all sand. DH built some raised beds in the back, and I put a huge garden in front, and we had triple mix trucked in both times.

As far as fast growing or hardy trees, shrubs and vines, I can't really comment on that as last year was my first year gardening.

There are a couple of yahoo gardening groups in the Barrie area as well. Sometimes people offer free cuttings or give plants away. If you email me, I can send you those links.

Take care,

Kristine :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Krystine's Garden Blog

    Bookmark   April 15, 2006 at 4:31PM
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sharont(z5 can)

Hi Judy,
I believe Barrie is still the fastest growing city in Canada. At least two years ago it was labelled as such and from what I see when we shop there it is still growing!
New sub-divisions & apartment buildings still going up.
I'm going to suggest a few of the most common landscape trees. Emerald Cedar, Alberta Spruce, low growing Junipers, Paper Bark Birch, Euonymous shrubs especially the 'alatus', etc. There are Rhododendrons that grow well here in Zone 4b-5a, as well as Azalias. Hardy Rose bushes, the Canadian Explorer species, are used.
Rose of Sharon does not do well for most part in our Zone.
We can grow Butterfly Bush but has to be cut to almost ground level each May.
Lilacs are a common tree, shrub used as property dividers as is the cedar.
There is a Tulip tree in the Barrie Arboritum!
The choice of trees, shrubs & vines are seemingly endless.
Even a few species of Magnolia do OK.
Places to check out:
Bradford Nurseries as Krystine mentioned.
Botanix (near Costco) down from the Barrie Arena, south end.
Wal*Mart -2 locations
Home Depot-south end
There are other nurseries in Elmvale, Coldwater, Midland & Orillia area.
If you are going to landscape with lots of trees, shrubs & vines I suggest Hortico Nursery. They are on line. You can shop in multiple amts for discount prices I believe.
Krystine's suggestion about the Bradford Greenhouse landscape design offer sounds great. The Barrie Horticultural Society will probably have a sale of their offspring some Saturday in May. A great way to start with new plants for your perennial garden!
I wonder if your property is low level, moisture retentive clay or sand. Some of your choices will depend on the type of soil.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2006 at 2:04AM
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Learned something new and I've lived here for 3+ years... I never heard of Botanix before! I'll have to check them out ;)

thanks Sharon :)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 10:49AM
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Hi Krystine and Sharon - so glad to hear from both of you with all the helpful suggestions. I'll surely be following up on several of your ideas.
Krystine - I sent you a separate email but am wondering if you got it. I would be interested in the links you mentioned. I think I will persue the landscape design from Bradford - although we won't be getting possession of our house in Barrie until July. Hopefully I will still be able to get them to do it. When you get your's let me know if you are pleased with it.
Sharon, you had lots of suggestions for trees and shrubs which I really appreciate. Glad you mentioned that Rose of sharon doesn't do so well - as it was on my list to get.
Is the Hortico you mentioned in Waterford? Have you ordered from them before? I would wonder how they ship larger shrubs etc.
If you hear when the Horticulture Society is having their sale maybe you could let me know. I'm planning on coming up some time in May for a few days. Do they have a web site? I looked under "City of Barrie" but didn't see it there - I guess I should have done a further search.
Anyway - thanks again to both of you for all the helpful advice. Hope to hear from you again.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 7:23PM
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Hi Judy,

I just sent you an email with all the links :)

Take care,


    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 7:16AM
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I remembered a posting from one of the groups about the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority Tree and Shrub sale. I've provided a link with the details and event times.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arbour Day Sale

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 7:27AM
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Thanks for the Arbour Day link Krystine. We have also purchased a farm just south of Stayner and would really like to get more trees and shrubs. We have heavy clay, which we are constantly amending. We have had success growing red and bur oaks, white birch, hackberry, maples and oak trees. The bushes we have are ninebark, dogwood, elder, lilac, euonymus, roses, saskatoon berry, flowering raspberry and goatsbeard. We also grow lots of hostas, ornamental grasses and daylilies. I found that in our area the climbing roses don't do well but the clematis do. Marg

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 8:02AM
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sunny_megs(z5a ONT)

There is also a lily farm somewhere around here. A friend of mine went to it a couple of years ago, and apparently you can buy any of the lilies they are growing, and they have beautiful gardens. She bought a bunch of them that are doing extremely well, but she does not remember where this place is, she just stumbled upon it while she was out one day. Anyone have any ideas?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 11:09AM
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Thanks Marg - you had some good suggestions also. I haven't heard of the flowering raspberry - how big does that get and when does it flower? What about the saskatoon berry - I've heard of it but never seen one. Does it flower in the spring or summer?
I appreciate all the helpful info!
Sunny - the lily farm sounds interesting - maybe someone will have heard of it.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 2:14PM
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I think I found the link to the lily farm?

I checked out Botanix yesterday... they had a nice selection, but I found them to be a bit pricey. Maybe I'm just spoiled by shopping at the big box stores and getting their deals.

Take care,


Here is a link that might be useful: Lily Farm?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 4:04PM
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Hi Sunny Megs. Your friend may also have been refering to Nottawasaga Daylilies. Their website is They are also at the farmers market in Creemore every Sat.
Judyswont: The Saskatoon berry is my favorite bush. There are quite a few varieties out there. We are not always at the farm (until we retire there) so I have never seen it flower, but I believe it flowers in late spring/early summer. The berries are edible, similar to blueberries. The fall colour varies from orange to red depending on the variety you get. We bought ours at Humbers fall sale which takes place the first week of Sept. The prices for their trees, shrubs etc. are really good then. The Flowering Raspbery grows to about 5' and has soft, maple like leaves. It has pink flowers during the summer. Marg

    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 6:37PM
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sharont(z5 can)

Gratrix Lilies are on County Rd 23 or the Vasey Rd between Waverly & Coldwater, north of Barrie. I live nearby but have resisted visiting as I know I'll spend, spend spend!!LOL

    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 3:40AM
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I bought an Indian Crab Apple it grows slowly but does well, also Lilacs, hosta, azalea and even Yuca have done well and off course cedar and here is an ad I found. I have not called as I need no more myself.Cedar Trees for sale. Hardier and more disease resistant than the Walmart trees. $5 waist high and $7 chest high.  Delivery can be arranged. Email [ ] or call (705) 429-9737 Barrie Garden Gallery also known as Bradford Greenhouses has been great and very helpful, all staff but if note were Doris, Gabriel and Marc. The Lily farm is in Essa just east of Angus.
All the best.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 12:13PM
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sheryl_ontario(Muncho Lake, BC z2)

I am in Barrie, also, now on a small farm at the south end, actually in the city limits as of Jan 1 :-(

I have lived in Barrie for about 30 years. It is the fastest growing city! It seems as though more and more of Toronto moves up here every year! The crowds and traffic are horrendous!

Waterloo is really not that far south. You can probably grow almost the same things, with a few exceptions.

I have seen some fabulous rose of Sharon growing here in Barrie. I have two baby ones now. Hardy hibiscus does really well too. The John Cabot climbing rose is very hardy and does well here. I have an old fashioned rose that flourishes but I don't know the variety. I also have two climbing blaze roses, but have to lay them on the ground and cover for the winter. Shrub roses do well and are commonly used for landscaping.

I have a very large collection of perennials and shrubs. If you have a question about something specific, I might be able to help you.

Northern lights azaleas will do well. Ordinary azaleas do not.

Sandcherry shrubs are borderline. We occasionally get a bad winter that kills most of them around here. I have successfully grown forsythia, beauty bush, weigelia, potentilla, various lilacs, oregon grape, holly (picky about location), hardy hibiscus, cotoneaster, pegee and snowball hydrangea (pink and blue hot house hydrangeas will not grow here outdoors in winter), mini roses, honeysuckle, hawthorn, Japanese maple 'Bloodgood' is the only one that is definately hardy here, other Japanese maples are sold here but don't survive an occasional "bad" winter. There are many, many other shrubs that grow here. Many evergreens. Too many to list. These are just what I have grown, trying to remember while sitting here...

Birch are hardy fast growing trees. Lilacs are fast growing and can be pruned into small trees.

If you want a pond that keeps fish all year, it needs to be about 4.5' deep in the wintering area.

Peaches and apricots will not grow well here. Apples and crab apples do very well.

There are two lily farms, Gratrix Lilies, which is near Horshshoe Valley and is quite a bit north of Barrie. Another one is Essa Valley Lilies located at 8786 10th line, Essa, just out side of Barrie at the south west end.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Country DIY Blog

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 6:02PM
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Ask a Master Gardener! Simcoe County Master Gardeners can help you. See

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:36AM
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Another Barrie resident, but
I am down in Florida for the winter.
Had not noticed this posting until today and expect you are now moved into your home
Hope you will enjoy living in Barrie

Rose of Sharon grows well for me
i have a 60 foot long hedge of it now about five years old and every year give away endless amounts of new seedlings in spring to others.
the hedge of different coloured flowers is a real eye catcher and required little maintenance other than cutting it back, as it runs along my driveway and the neigbhours yard.
Is nice knowing there are several members of garden web, who live in Barrie.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 3:12PM
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